Kenneth Branagh: The 10 Best Movies He's Directed, Ranked By IMDb Score
Kenneth Branagh has forged a successful career as both an actor, writer, and director. We take a look back at the most successful movies he directed.

Screenrant, 4 June 2020
By Daniel Smith

Thanks Sarah

From humble beginnings Kenneth Branagh has forged a successful career as both an actor, writer, and director. He's a rare triple threat that only a few filmmakers can claim to be. And although he may be most well-known know for his adaptations of Shakespeares' work he has proved himself to be one of Hollywood's most diverse directions.

His decades-spanning career has displayed that he is able to turn his talents to almost any genre, from horror to superhero, whilst infusing each project with what makes him unique. With this in mind here are the 10 best films Kenneth Branagh has directed.

Sleuth (6.5)

Starring Michael Caine and Jude Law 'Sleuth' was released in 2007. The thriller sees an aging writer hire a young actor to break into his wife's house and steal a sizable sum of jewelry.

The film is a remake and is filled with unexpected twists and turns. With the original being released way back in 1972 and starred Micheal Caine in the role of the young actor that Jude Law would go on to play.

The Magic Flute (6.6)

The romantic musical 'The Magic Flute' is set during World War I and sees a soldier on a mission to rescue a princess, who has been taken prisoner. Based on Mozart's famous opera, the film updated the story for a modern audience.

The film was filmed entirely in a studio and was then enhanced with CGI to render the more fantastical elements of the story. The Magic Flute also marks one of only a few films in Branagh's filmography in which he does not make an appearance, even a cameo.

Cinderella (6.9)

2015's 'Cinderella' re-imagined the '50s animated film and continued Disney's trend of remaking classic cartoons into live-action, which shows no signs of going away soon. The film stars Lily James as the titular princess and an all-star cast including Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother.

The film was one of the biggest successes of Kenneth Branagh's career and went on to gross more than $500 million worldwide and even received an Oscar nomination for best costume design.

Dead Again (6.9)

Released in 1991 'Dead Again' marked Kenneth Branagh's second time in the director's chair. The films see a woman with no memory trying to figure out who she is with the help of a P.I, but they soon discover they may have met before in a past life.

As well as directing the film Branagh has a large role and played two characters, a private investigator in the present and a killer in the past.

Peter's Friends (7.0)

'Peter's Friends' marked another collaboration between Branagh and Emma Thompson, who had previously starred together in Branagh's other films and would go on to marry in real life.

In the film a group of college friends reunites at a country house on New Years' Eve to catch up and find their lives haven't turned out quite as they planned. The film features an all-star cast of some of the best British comedic performers of the time and went on to received positive reviews from critics.

Thor (7.0)

'Thor' marks one of the most unexpected entities in Branagh's filmography and introduced the world to the God of Thunder. Though a science-fiction comic-book story the film is right up Branagh's alley and features many of the same motifs and styles as many of his Shakespeare adaptations.

Released early in the MCU's lifespan it was certainly one of the more out-there concepts, but regardless Thor proved to be a success and a fourth Thor movie is planned to be released in early 2022.

A Midwinter's Tale (7.1)

'A Midwinters Tale' (aka 'In the Bleak Midwinter') was released in 1995 and allowed Kenneth Branagh to use his own experiences as an actor and reinterpret and re-imagine them through his art.

The film sees a group of actors performing Hamlet in a small village but the behind-the-scenes drama proves to be just as eventful. And over the course of the production everyone must come to terms with their shortcomings and personal issues. The small production was funded entirely by Branagh and was filmed in only twenty-one days.

Much Ado About Nothing (7.3)

'Much Ado About Nothing' is by no means the first time the classic Shakespeare comedy was adapted for the big screen but is considered one of the best. Released in 1993 the film saw Branagh front and center in a starring role alongside some of the biggest American and English actors of the time including Keanu Reeves and Denzel Washington.

Upon its release the film was a success at the box-office, due in large part to its fresh interpretation of the source material which proved to be popular among modern audiences.

Henry V (7.5)

'Henry V' marked Kenneth Branagh's first time in the directors' chair, but despite this the film proved to be one the best of his career and received excellent reviews from critics upon its release. The historical epic displays his passion for Shakespeare's classic works which would continue throughout his career.

The Shakespeare adaptation went on to win an Oscar for costume design as well as several other nominations. Kenneth Branagh stars in the titular role as Henry V alongside many of his frequent collaborators.

Hamlet (7.7)

With 1996's 'Hamlet' Kenneth Branagh proved that he was the Shakespeare guy, and had an affinity and understanding of the source material like only a few do.

The four-hour-long epic is a faithful rendition of the original story which sees a prince return home to find his father murdered and his mother set to remarry his uncle, the murderer. Despite its epic length the film went on to be nominated for four Oscars and was the first time the epic play had been faithfully adapted into a single film.

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