Directors: Spike Jonze

1382049397000-GTY-184261820-59117702BIOGRAPHY (from Wikipedia)

Spike Jonze is an American director, producer, screenwriter and actor, whose work includes music videos, commercials, film and television. He started his feature film directing career with Being John Malkovich (1999) and Adaptation (2002), both written by Charlie Kaufman, and then started movies with screenplays of his own with Where the Wild Things Are (2009) and Her (2013).

Jonze is well known for his music video collaborations with Fatboy Slim, Weezer, Beastie Boys, and Björk. He was a co-creator and executive producer of MTV’s Jackass.

He has been nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Director for Being John Malkovich, and Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Song (“The Moon Song”) for Her. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay, the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, and the 2014 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Her.


1999 – Being John Malkovich

2002 – Adaptation

2009 – Where the Wild Things Are

2013 – Her

2020 – Beastie Boys Story


Being John Malkovich 1999 A wonderful script from Charlie Kaufman is amazingly brought to life by Jonze. Turning the surreal into a surprisingly real film. 9 Gordon
Adaptation 2002 The lines of film making and reality are blurred again in another excellent Kaufman's screenplay. Jonze does an amazing job of crafting the normally skinny, hyperactive Nicolas Cage into a depressive, overweight introvert. 8 Gordon
Where the Wild Things Are 2009 A beautiful film that is true to the books darker themes. WTWTA could easily swap monsters on an island for colleagues at a team building retreat and work just as well in the 'real' world. 8 Gordon
Her 2013 Despite its 'artiness' making it less accessible, once you start to believe in the relationship between Theodore and Samantha the film shines, as does Joaquin Phoenix. A beautiful dystopian/utopian dream. 10 Gordon
Her 2013 Unique, funny, sad, disturbing and almost certainly prescient, but the film is marred by being overlong and becomes a little tedious. 7 Mat
Beastie Boys Story 2020 Whilst this musical history lesson is fascinating, the live event documentary styling sometimes feels stilted, staged and a little sanitised. Despite that, the humour and warmth of Ad-Rock and Mike D make it essential viewing for all Beasties Boys fans. 7 Gordon

The Verdict

  • Being John Malkovich
  • Adaptation
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Her
  • Beastie Boys Story


Working with superb scripts (either his own or from the excellent Charlie Kaufman) is a good start, but it is what Jonze does with these works that impresses. The strange worlds he realises are so close to home, but twisted in strange directions. We are always excited to hear that Spike Jonze has a new project but unfortunately, since the wonderful HER and his live event Beastie Boys documentary, all has been quiet on the movie front as he continues writing, producing and directing for commercials, music videos and his Jackass franchise.


This page will be updated as we watch more Spike Jonze films and therefore his overall rating will change over time. You can see where Spike sits on in the Directors League here.


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