Watch: 'Not Directed by Terrence Malick' Shows Filmmaker's Massive Influence

14 films that bear the unmistakable mark of a master.

Since the release of Badlands in 1973, Terrence Malick has been recognized as one of Hollywood's most lyrical and uniquely visual storytellers. And after a two-decade-long filmmaking sabbatical, Malick returned with The Thin Red Line in 1998, providing moviegoers with a World War II story unlike any they'd ever seen.

His influence remains strong. As evidenced in the video below by Jacob T. Swinney, Malick's aesthetic has had a profound influence on a generation of filmmakers, and Not Directed by Terrence Malick  provides clips from 14 films that show off "Malick-esque shots," though they were, as the title says, not the product of the visionary director himself.

As Swinney notes, "Malick's influence on certain filmmakers is undeniable." Clips from, among others, Ain't Them Bodies SaintsEx Machina, and even Man of Steel are used as examples illustrating the wide variety of films featuring "one of the most copied" styles in cinema (indie, as well as mainstream.)

Terrence Malick's 'The Tree of Life.'

The full list of the films from which the clips were pulled

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013), David Lowrey

All the Real Girls (2003), David Gordon Green

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), Andrew Dominik

Beasts of No Nation (2015), Cary Fukunaga

The Better Angels (2014), A.J. Edwards

Ex Machina (2015), Alex Garland

George Washington (2000), David Gordon Green

Joe (2013), David Gordon Green

Lost River (2014), Ryan Gosling

Man of Steel (2013), Zack Snyder

Shotgun Stories (2007), Jeff Nichols

Silent Light (2007), Carlos Reygadas

Up in the Air (2009), Jason Reitman

Upstream Color (2013), Shane Carruth     

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I was hoping that I will find "Assassination..." here. It's definitely my favourite movie ever. The train robbing scene was insane - these lights!

January 4, 2018 at 4:47AM


Watching those Man of Steel clips, I keep thinking about how Zack Snyder can be a wonderful filmmaker. He just needs to work on executing his ideas better. Batman v Superman could’ve been a great commentary on human nature and the mythology of superheroes. It just ended up as a mess, whichever cut.

January 5, 2018 at 5:20PM

Henry Barnill
Director of Photography