watchworthy presents

The Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard 

Reference
Updated July 2, 2019 2.8k votes 499 voters 58.2k 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.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
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

More Apollo 13 

#53 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #33 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More A Beautiful Mind 

#1,015 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #42 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

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

More Cocoon 

#114 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,037 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted 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

More Cinderella Man 

#282 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #36 of 239 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #13 of 54 The 30+ Greatest Sports Drama Movies of All Time

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

More Backdraft 

#122 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #191 of 344 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

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

More Splash 

#67 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #236 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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

More Far and Away 

#242 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #215 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

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

More Ransom 

#498 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #23 of 103 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Time #7 of 90 Best Kidnapping Movies & Hostage Movies of All Time, Ranked

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

More Parenthood 

#122 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #76 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #351 of 804 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

More Willow 

#99 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #378 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies 'Willow' Is A Watered-Down Version Of 'The Lord Of The Rings'

11
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinc... is listed (or ranked) 11 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

More Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas 

#86 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books #167 of 213 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
Rush is listed (or ranked) 12 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).

More Rush 

#12 of 155 The Greatest Car Movies Ever Made #3 of 22 The Best Chris Hemsworth Movies

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

More The Da Vinci Code 

#508 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #87 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books The Real Inspiration For The Da Vinci Code Wasn't Jesus – It Was A Notorious Hoax From The 1950s

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

More Night Shift 

#642 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #292 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,306 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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

More The Missing 

#220 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #354 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

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

More Frost/Nixon 

#29 of 85 The Best Movies Based on Plays #129 of 239 The Best Movies Based on True Stories

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

More Angels & Demons 

#546 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #277 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books

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

More Gung Ho 

#468 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #22 of 32 The Best Comedies About the Workplace #35 of 42 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
21
The Dilemma is listed (or ranked) 21 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

More The Dilemma 

#19 of 48 The Best Vince Vaughn Movies #37 of 46 The Best Winona Ryder Movies

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

More Grand Theft Auto 

#87 of 155 The Greatest Car Movies Ever Made #165 of 201 The Best Comedy Movies of the 1970s

23
Solo: A Star Wars Story ... is listed (or ranked) 23 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

More Solo: A Star Wars Story 

#81 of 159 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #18 of 20 Movies That Tried And Failed To Spawn Franchises Easter Eggs In Solo You Definitely Missed

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

More Inferno 

#81 of 92 The Best New Thriller Movies of the Last Few Years #41 of 53 The Best Tom Hanks Movies

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