5 Directorial Debuts That Everyone Should See

A while back I created a list on letterboxd of my favourite directorial debuts. The only requirement I had, is that the movie had to be the director’s first feature-length movie and over time, as I’ve been compiling the list together, I realised how many movies there were that really grasped my attention.

I have chosen five of them to recommend to you, however, there are also three honourary mentions as an added bonus. There will be a little plot description as well as my spoiler-free opinion with each movie. All of these stood out to me in some way, shape, or form so I hope they do for you as well. If you have any favourite (feature-length) directorial debuts then please feel free to send those recommendations my way.

So, without further ado, let’s get onto the list!

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I Am Mother (2019) | Movie Review [Spoiler Free]

This one was definitely a surprise. When it first popped up on Netflix it caught my attention because it was clearly a sci-fi movie, a genre I’m always interested in checking out. Recently, I decided to look a little further into it and after discovering the plot, I finally decided to sit down and watch it. I’ll be honest and say I’m still a little unsure of how I feel about it entirely but I’m definitely glad I checked it out. It’s completely worth it.

The overall premise isn’t necessarily groundbreaking but it is explored and executed in really interesting ways. I Am Mother follows a teenage girl known as daughter (Clara Rugaard) who is raised by a robot – Mother (Luke Hawker, voiced by Rose Byrne) – following an extinction of mankind, however, one day a stranger (Hilary Swank) arrives. The movie is really well paced, albeit a little slow on a couple of occasions, and the overall structure of it is easy to follow even with the many twists and turns along the way. It doesn’t overcomplicate anything and while it is an ambitious movie, it never gets too over the top. That being said, there’s always something going on even if some scenes are very tame.

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Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) | Movie Review

[Header Image: Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw, Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw and Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs | Universal Pictures]

“I’m trying to save the world, which, for the record, will be my fourth time. ‘Cause I’m really good at it.”

I saw Hobbs & Shaw yesterday and even after sleeping on it, I don’t think I’ve fully wrapped my head around how I feel about it. I did like it and I certainly had an enjoyable time which isn’t a total surprise. The Fast & Furious is one of – perhaps even my absolute – favourite franchise of all time. So, going into this particular movie, I knew I was going to like it to some extent.

That being said, despite the similarities it shares with the rest of the franchise, it is very different and I would say it might be my least favourite overall although I do recommend checking it out at some point. Something that helps, is to separate this movie from the franchise just a little. It makes it much more fun because while there are similarities between Hobbs & Shaw and the rest of the Fast & Furious franchise, it also has a lot of qualities about it that are independent. It’s also almost an entirely new cast and while one of the writers – Chris Morgan – has written for previous Fast & Furious instalments, it’s arguably still better to separate this particular movie to some extent.

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Us (2019) | Movie Review [Spoiler Free]

[Header Image: Lupita Nyong’o as Red | Universal Pictures]

“Once upon a time, there was a girl and the girl had a shadow. The two were connected, tethered together.”

I have been wanting to see this movie ever since the first trailer dropped. After seeing (and loving) Get Out, I was already pretty excited to see what Jordan Peele’s next work would be and Us really did deliver.

For those of who don’t know, Us follows a family who, while on vacation, are terrorised by their doppelgängers.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) | Movie Review

[Header Image: Tom Holland as Peter Parker | Sony Pictures Releasing]

This post contains spoilers!

“Bitch, please! You’ve been to space.”

As someone who could be convinced to watch anything Spider-Man related and who has kept up with the MCU all these years, Far From Home was an instalment that I was a little more than excited to see, especially with how good Spidey’s other solo movie – Homecoming – was to watch. While I’m still not one hundred percent sure when I stand with this movie, I did enjoy it and I would probably consider it one of my favourite movies from the MCU so far.

It definitely has the charm we got to see in Homecoming that gives the Spider-Man movies it’s very own vibe to help it stand out a little in a franchise with a lot of other instalments. It doesn’t necessarily hit quite as well as it’s predecessor but the humour is definitely there and it did manage to make me laugh out loud a handful of times in a way that felt incredibly genuine and not forced at all. It also continues to balance its comedic moments with the more serious ones which worked especially well in Far From Home because it follows on from the giant that was Endgame. There was a perfect balance between dealing with the fact this movie follows on from the events of Endgame but yet Far From Home is never overshadowed and instead, is able to grow and become its own thing. Something I appreciated was that we got see how Peter was affected by the things that happened and they never sugar coated it or pretended like it never happened.

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Eighth Grade (2018) | Movie Review [Spoiler Free]

[Header Image: Elsie Fisher as Kayla Day | A24]

“But it’s like, being yourself is, like, not changing yourself to impress someone else.”

I’ve been waiting so long to see this movie and thanks to an eight hour flight I took recently, I finally got to!

Eighth Grade follows Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) throughout her last days before she starts high school. Along the way we see that she has her own youtube channel and while everyone at school believes she’s quiet, Kayla thinks she’s actually quite talkative and even a little outgoing when you get to know her.

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