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The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard 

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Updated July 2, 2019 2.8k votes 520 voters 59.5k views 26 items

List of all movies directed by Ron Howard ranked from best to worst. This is a collection of the best movies directed by Ron Howard as voted on by film buffs. If you think the greatest Ron Howard movie isn't as high as it should be on this list, then make sure to vote so your opinion can be factored into this list.

From Ron Howard's studio films to his independent films, this filmography lets the cream of the crop rise to the top. This list has everything from A Beautiful Mind to Apollo 13.

If you’re wondering “what movies did Ron Howard direct?” or “who is Ron Howard?” 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 Ron Howard?” and “what's a good selection of good Ron Howard movies?” If you're wanting to get into Ron Howard films, then this list is a great starting point.

Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie are among the many great actors who have worked on a Ron Howard movie. We also have lists of the best movies directed by Oliver Stone and George Lucas, too, which you might like if you're a fan of Ron Howard.

Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie are among the many great actors who have worked on a Ron Howard movie. We have lists of the best movies directed by Oliver Stone and George Lucas too, which you might like if you're a fan of Ron Howard.

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1
Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ed Harris

Released: 1995

Directed by: Ron Howard

Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, ...more

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#132 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #15 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

2
A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ron Howard

A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva ...more

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#1,037 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #349 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Cocoon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

Released: 1985

Directed by: Ron Howard

Cocoon is a 1985 science fiction film directed by Ron Howard about a group of elderly people rejuvenated by aliens. The movie stars Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy, Jack ...more

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#134 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #118 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Cinderella Man is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti

Released: 2005

Directed by: Ron Howard

Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film by Ron Howard, titled after the nickname of heavyweight boxing champion James J. Braddock and inspired by his life story. The film was produced by ...more

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#33 of 234 The Best Movies Based On True Stories #250 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #38 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

5
Backdraft is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Released: 1991

Directed by: Ron Howard

Backdraft is a 1991 action thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by Gregory Widen. The film stars Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca De Mornay, ...more

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#110 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #388 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #93 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

6
Splash is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Tom Hanks, John Candy, Daryl Hannah

Released: 1984

Directed by: Ron Howard

Splash is a 1984 American fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Ron Howard, written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, and starring Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Dody ...more

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#103 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #270 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #71 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

7
Far and Away is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Brendan Gleeson

Released: 1992

Directed by: Ron Howard

Far and Away is a 1992 romance film directed by Ron Howard from a script by Howard and Bob Dolman, and stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Cinematography by Mikael Salomon, with a music score by ...more

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#396 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #350 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time #39 of 62 The 30+ Best Modern Western Movies

8
Ransom is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Mel Gibson, Liev Schreiber, Rene Russo

Released: 1996

Directed by: Ron Howard

Ransom is a 1996 American thriller film written by Richard Price & Alexander Ignon and directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Brawley Nolte, Gary Sinise, Delroy ...more

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#432 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #8 of 94 Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked #25 of 104 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Time

9
Parenthood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Keanu Reeves, Steve Martin, Bryce Dallas Howard

Released: 1989

Directed by: Ron Howard

Parenthood is a 1989 comedy-drama film with an ensemble cast that includes Steve Martin, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, ...more

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#118 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #123 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #351 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

10
Willow is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak, Warwick Davis

Released: 1988

Directed by: Ron Howard

Willow is a 1988 American fantasy film directed by Ron Howard, produced and with a story by George Lucas, and starring Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, and Billy Barty. ...more

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'Willow' Is A Watered-Down Version Of 'The Lord Of The Rings' #156 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #100 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

11
Rush is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde

Released: 2013

Directed by: Ron Howard

Rush is a 2013 biographical sports film directed by Ron Howard. The merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl).

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#141 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #45 of 144 The Best Films Directed by Famous Actors #16 of 155 The Greatest Car Movies Ever Made

12
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinc... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Jim Carrey, Anthony Hopkins, Bryce Dallas Howard

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ron Howard

This film is a 2000 American musical fantasy comedy Christmas film from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, based on the 1957 story of the same name by Dr. Seuss. It was the first Dr. ...more

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#88 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #15 of 109 The Best Christmas Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
The Da Vinci Code is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen, Audrey Tautou

Released: 2006

Directed by: Ron Howard

The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery-thriller film produced by John Calley and Brian Grazer and directed by Ron Howard. The screenplay was written by Akiva Goldsman and adapted from Dan ...more

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The Real Inspiration For The Da Vinci Code Wasn't Jesus – It Was A Notorious Hoax From The 1950s #317 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #503 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

14
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Kevin Costner, Shannen Doherty, Michael Keaton

Released: 1982

Directed by: Ron Howard

Night Shift is a 1982 American comedy film, one of former actor Ron Howard's earliest directorial efforts. It stars Howard's Happy Days co-star Henry Winkler along with Michael Keaton, in his ...more

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#280 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #705 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #323 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

15
The Missing is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Cate Blanchett, Evan Rachel Wood, Val Kilmer

Released: 2003

Directed by: Ron Howard

The Missing is a 2003 American Revisionist Western thriller film directed by Ron Howard, based on Thomas Eidson's 1996 novel The Last Ride. The film is set in 1885 New Mexico Territory is ...more

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#121 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #535 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #208 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

16
Frost/Nixon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Michael Sheen

Released: 2008

Directed by: Ron Howard

Frost/Nixon is a 2008 British-American historical drama film based on the 2006 play of the same name by Peter Morgan, who also adapted the screenplay. The film tells the story behind the ...more

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#91 of 234 The Best Movies Based On True Stories #226 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #19 of 86 The Best Movies Based on Plays

17
Angels & Demons is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård

Released: 2009

Directed by: Ron Howard

Angels & Demons is a 2009 American thriller film directed by Ron Howard and based on Dan Brown's novel of the same name. It is the sequel to the 2006 film, The Da Vinci Code, also directed ...more

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#546 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #283 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #139 of 233 The Worst Sequels Of All Time

18
The Paper is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Marisa Tomei, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close

Released: 1994

Directed by: Ron Howard

The Paper is a 1994 American comedy-drama film directed by Ron Howard and starring Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Randy Quaid and Robert Duvall. It received an Academy Award ...more
19
Gung Ho is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Michael Keaton, John Turturro, Clint Howard

Released: 1986

Directed by: Ron Howard

Gung Ho is a 1986 Ron Howard comedy film, released by Paramount Pictures, and starring Michael Keaton and Gedde Watanabe. The story portrayed the takeover of an American car plant by a Japanese ...more

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#455 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #166 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #33 of 41 The Greatest Movies About Making Money

20
EDtv is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Matthew McConaughey, Elizabeth Hurley, Ellen DeGeneres

Released: 1999

Directed by: Ron Howard

EDtv is a 1999 American satirical comedy film directed by Ron Howard. An adaptation of the Quebec film Louis 19, le roi des ondes, it stars Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, ...more

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#387 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #259 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #644 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

21
Solo: A Star Wars Story ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
starwarssuperfan added Solo: A Star Wars Story Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke

Released: 2018

Directed by: Ron Howard

This film is a 2018 American space Western film directed by Ron Howard. Before joining the Rebellion, a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) has adventures with his Wookiee partner Chewbacca, and ...more

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Easter Eggs In Solo You Definitely Missed #7 of 11 Every Star Wars Movie, Ranked Best to Worst #19 of 20 Movies That Tried And Failed To Spawn Franchises

22
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Ron Howard, Clint Howard, Marion Ross

Released: 1977

Directed by: Ron Howard

Grand Theft Auto is a 1977 American comedy road movie directed by Ron Howard. It was Howard's feature film directorial debut and features himself as Sam Freeman and Nancy Morgan as Paula Powers ...more

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#102 of 134 The Best Directorial Debuts of Famous Actors #89 of 155 The Greatest Car Movies Ever Made #163 of 201 The Best Comedy Movies Of The 1970s

23
The Dilemma is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum

Released: 2011

Directed by: Ron Howard

The Dilemma is a 2011 American comedy-drama film starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. The film is directed by Ron Howard. Savvy businessman Ronny and genius engineer Nick are best friends and ...more

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#19 of 49 The Best Vince Vaughn Movies #37 of 47 The Best Movies About Infidelity #33 of 46 The Best Winona Ryder Movies

24
Inferno is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster

Directed by: Ron Howard

Inferno is a 2016 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by David Koepp, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Dan Brown. The film is the sequel to The Da Vinci ...more

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#152 of 177 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked #35 of 54 The Worst Movies of 2016 #65 of 85 The Best New Thriller Movies of the Last Few Years

25
The Dark Tower is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard
Idris Elba, Tom Taylor, Matthew McConaughey

Directed by: Nikolaj Arcel

The Dark Tower is a 2017 science fantasy western horror film directed by Nikolaj Arcel, based on the series of novels of the same name by Stephen King. Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is a young ...more

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