Entertainment

The Best Movies Directed by John Carpenter  

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8.7k votes 1.1k voters 14.9k views 30 items

List of all movies directed by John Carpenter ranked from best to worst with photos. Films directed by John Carpenter are listed here and include movie posters and John Carpenter movie trailers whenever possible. This is a collection of the best movies directed by John Carpenter as voted on by film buffs. If you think the greatest John Carpenter movie isn't as high as it should be on this list, then make sure to vote so that your opinion of what the top John Carpenter film is can be factored into this list.

From John Carpenter's studio films to John Carpenter's independent films, this John Carpenter filmography keeps tabs on all John Carpenter movies, and lets the cream of the crop rise to the top.

List is made up of movies like The Thing and Halloween.

If you’re wondering “what movies did John Carpenter direct?” or “who is John Carpenter?” then this list will explain how most people know this director. This list also answers questions like “what are the all-time best movies directed by John Carpenter?” and “what's a good selection of good John Carpenter movies?”

If you're wanting to get into John Carpenter films, then this list is a great starting point for at least starting with the most decent John Carpenter works.

All John Carpenter director credits are included. This list of every movie that John Carpenter has directed can be sorted for specific information such as what genre the John Carpenter movie is and which actors starred in the John Carpenter film.

Share this list with your friends to see if their votes change the order of the list. (30 items)

John Carpenter has had the pleasure of working with tremendous talent, including Robert De Niro and Charlton Heston. Are you a fan of John Carpenter's filmography? Vote on our lists of the best movies directed by Ridley Scott and Mel Brooks too.

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Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter
The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

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#116 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #84 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #33 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

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Halloween is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Directed by John Carpenter
Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence
Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her ...more

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#60 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #240 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Timefeaturing Stories About Jamie Lee Curtis From Behind The Scenes Of The Original ‘Halloween’ 

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Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling
The Fog is a 1980 American horror film directed by John Carpenter, who also co-wrote the screenplay and composed the music for the film. It stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, ...more

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#246 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #69 of 771 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #38 of 60 Horror Movie Set-Ups You'd Least Like to Be Trapped In

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Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine
Escape from New York is a 1981 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter. The film is set in a then near-future 1997 in a distopian United States ...more

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#86 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #40 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #25 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

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Roddy Piper, Keith David, Tommy Morrison
They Live is a 1988 American science fiction film written and directed by John Carpenter. The film stars Roddy Piper, Keith David, and Meg Foster. It follows a nameless drifter referred to as ...more

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#144 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #256 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Timefeaturing More Than An '80s B-Movie, 'They Live' Is A Surprisingly Savvy Prediction Of Modern Life

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Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, John Carpenter
Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 American action film directed by John Carpenter, and starring Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun and James Hong. The film was released in the United ...more

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#31 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #114 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #75 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

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Kelly Preston, Alexandra Paul, John Madden
Christine is a 1983 American horror thriller film directed by John Carpenter and starring Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul and Harry Dean Stanton. It was written by Bill Phillips and ...more

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#212 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #182 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedfeaturing 'Christine’ Is One Of The Most Underrated Adaptations To Come Off Stephen King’s Assembly Line

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Alice Cooper, Donald Pleasence, Peter Jason
Prince of Darkness is a 1987 American supernatural horror film directed, written and scored by John Carpenter. The film is the second installment in what Carpenter calls his "Apocalypse ...more

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#245 of 771 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #40 of 202 The Best Zombie Horror Films #110 of 151 The Best Zombie Movies of All Time

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Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jürgen Prochnow
In the Mouth of Madness is a 1995 American Lovecraftian horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter and written by Michael De Luca. It stars Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jürgen Prochnow, ...more

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#212 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #158 of 771 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #9 of 15 Horror Movie Endings People Only Pretend To Understand

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Austin Stoker, Charles Cyphers, Tony Burton
Assault on Precinct 13 is a 1976 American action thriller film written, directed, scored and edited by John Carpenter. It stars Austin Stoker as a police officer who defends a defunct precinct ...more

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#116 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #51 of 94 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Time #241 of 376 The Greatest Movie Themes

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James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Vampires, also known as John Carpenter's Vampires, is a 1998 American supernatural action-horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter. Adapted from the novel Vampire$ by John Steakley, the ...more

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#3 of 20 20 Obscure Horror Movies from the '90s You Need to See Right Now #18 of 27 The Nastiest Decapitations in Horror Movieslisted on All Vampire Movies: List of Vampire Movies and Vampire Films

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Kirstie Alley, Mark Hamill, Christopher Reeve
John Carpenter's Village of the Damned is a 1995 science fiction-horror film directed by John Carpenter. It is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name which is based on the novel The Midwich ...more

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#39 of 63 The Best Horror Movie Remakes #90 of 128 The Best Horror Movie Franchises #29 of 41 The Scariest Movies Set In Schools

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Jeff Bridges, John Carpenter, Karen Allen
Starman is a 1984 American romantic science fiction film, directed by John Carpenter, that tells the story of an alien who has come to Earth in response to the invitation found on the gold ...more

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#261 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #95 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #425 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

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Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Pam Grier
Escape from L.A. is a 1996 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter, co-written and produced by Debra Hill and Kurt Russell, with Russell also ...more

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#94 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #51 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies #129 of 180 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

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Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Natasha Henstridge
John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars is a 2001 American science fiction action horror film composed, written, and directed by John Carpenter. The film stars Ice Cube, Natasha Henstridge, Jason ...more

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#153 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #14 of 41 The Scariest Movies Set in Space #491 of 567 The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

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Udo Kier, Chelah Horsdal, Lori Petty
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John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns Norman Reedus, Udo Kier, Chris Gauthier
John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns is the eighth episode of the first season of Masters of Horror. It originally aired in North America on December 16, 2005.
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Amber Heard, Lyndsy Fonseca, Danielle Panabaker
The Ward is a 2010 American psychological horror film directed by John Carpenter. It stars Amber Heard, Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker and Jared Harris. The story revolves around a young ...more

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#10 of 46 The Best Horror Movies About Hospitals and Mental Asylums #34 of 49 The Best Movies About Split Personalities #17 of 26 25+ Great Movies About Life After a Nervous Breakdown

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Mark Hamill, Debbie Harry, Tom Arnold
Body Bags is a 1993 American horror sci-fi anthology film, originally made for television, featuring three unconnected stories, with bookend segments featuring John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper as ...more
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Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Patricia Heaton
Memoirs of an Invisible Man is a 1992 film directed by John Carpenter and released by Warner Bros., with many scenes taking place in and around San Francisco. The film is loosely based on a 1987 ...more
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Dan O'Bannon, Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm
Dark Star is a 1974 American comic science fiction motion picture directed, co-written, produced and scored by John Carpenter, and co-written by, edited by and starring Dan O'Bannon.

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#220 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #1,164 of 1,204 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #30 of 31 The Funniest Comedy Movies About Aliens

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Kurt Russell, Shelley Winters, Ed Begley
Elvis is a 1979 American television biographical film directed by John Carpenter. It is based upon the life of Elvis Presley, and stars Kurt Russell in the title role. It stars Shelley Winters, ...more
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Memoirs of an Invisible ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Directed by John Carpenter
Memoirs of an Invisible Man is a book by H. F. Saint.
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Lauren Hutton, Adrienne Barbeau, David Birney
Someone's Watching Me! is a made-for-TV movie, written and directed by John Carpenter and starring Lauren Hutton and Adrienne Barbeau. The film was made in 1978, the same year that ...more
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Luciana Paluzzi, Sylva Koscina, Steve Reeves
Le fatiche di Ercole is a 1957 Italian epic fantasy feature film based upon the Hercules myths and the Quest for the Golden Fleece. The film stars Steve Reeves as the titular hero and Sylva ...more