Best Catherine Hardwicke Movies, Ranked – MovieWeb

From Twilight to Thirteen, here are director Catherine Hardwicke’s best movies, ranked.
Catherine Hardwicke is an American director, production designer, and screenwriter. After flying under the radar for many years as a production designer, Hardwicke broke out into film industry as a director and screenwriter in her debut work Thirteen, which was subject to numerous awards despite its controversies surrounding its depiction of, as Slate puts it, "girls gone wild." Following Thirteen, Hardwicke would move on to direct a number of works over the years, many of which would feature her surrogate daughter Nikki Reed.
The pool of directors in Hollywood is very much a boys club, with men dominating the profession. Thanks to filmmakers like Hardwicke, women directors are being seen and heard. For example, in 2021 and 2022 at the Academy Awards, directors Chloé Zhao and Jane Campion took home the Oscars for Best Director, breaking new ground in the film industry with women being acknowledged for their hard work in cinema. This year, Hardwicke served as executive producer of the much-publicized film Don't Worry Darling. As we await her return to the director's chair, here's a look at her best movies, ranked.
One of Hardwicke's most known works is the popular teen vampire film Twilight. When Bella (Kristen Stewart) moves to Forks to live with her dad, she meets Edward (Robert Pattinson), whose odd behavior piques her interest. She is quick to discover his true identity as a vampire, but this does not change her feelings for him. Twilight was the first of the franchise to hit the market in 2008 and, despite its indie status, the film was extremely popular at the time of its release, with theaters being sold out everywhere. Hardwicke only acted as director for Twilight, while other directors took over to complete the franchise. Per Screen Rant, it was a matter of tight budget and deadlines that deterred her involvement.
Related: Twilight Saga: Every Movie in the Franchise, Ranked
One of Hardwicke's more recent projects is Miss Bala. Based on the 2011 Mexican film of the same name, Miss Bala tells the story of young Gloria whose friend is kidnapped by a cartel. After the police prove useless and corrupt, they hand Gloria over to the cartel who uses her to avoid detection from the DEA. In order to escape, Gloria must train in order to outwit the most dangerous criminals in Mexico. The film stars Gina Rodriguez in the main role. The film had a mediocre performance at the box office, while the critical response was similar, with many critics feeling it to be underwhelming.
The biblical drama The Nativity Story tells the story of the nativity of Jesus Christ, following Mary's struggles during the immaculate conception while being betrothed to Joseph when she is meant to remain a virgin. All these circumstances test the faith of Mary and Joseph, who travel to Bethlehem for the Roman census while avoiding King Herod's capture. The Nativity Story premiered at the Vatican City and was the first film to do so. Hardwicke served as director for The Nativity Story, which was subject to mixed reviews. Keisha Castle-Hughes who played the role of Mary got pregnant during filming at the young age of 16, which lead to a great deal of negative media attention surrounding the film.
Related: 8 Must-Watch Movies From Women Directors
Hardwicke made her directorial debut with Thirteen. Starring Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed, Thirteen tells the story of young Tracy who meets Evie, who, in turn, shows her a whole new way to live and rebel. From experimenting with drugs and sex to dealing with feelings through self-harm, Tracy spirals out of control. Hardwicke also developed the screenplay within a week and raised funding for the film herself. Thanks to the director's close relationship with Reed, Hardwicke managed to use Reed's own adolescent struggles in the film.
Lords of Dogtown follows a group of surfers in the 70s who, during a severe drought, use empty swimming pools in the Dogtown area of Venice Beach to skateboard, birthing a whole new sport. Based on the true story of the Z-boys, Lords of Dogtown shows how skateboarding was brought to life by a group of bored, young people. Starring Emile Hirsch, John Robinson, and Heath Ledger, Lords of Dogtown was met with mixed reviews, and while Hardwicke did serve as director, David Fincher was originally meant to direct, but ending up staying on as executive producer.
Started at MovieWeb in November of 2021.


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