BIOGRAPHY (from Wikipedia)
James Mangold is an American film and television director, screenwriter and producer. He was raised in New York State’s Hudson River Valley and later attended the California Institute of the Arts film/video program.
In 1985, Mangold secured a writer deal at Disney and co-wrote the 1988 animated feature Oliver and Company. A few years later he moved to New York and applied to Columbia University’s film school, where he graduated with an MFA in film. While there, he studied under Miloš Forman and developed his first two feature films. He has worked as a director since 1995, when his first feature, the independent film Heavy, won the best directing prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
In recent years, Mangold directed two films based on the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, the latter of which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He most recently directed the sports drama film Ford v Ferrari, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
He also produced and directed pilots for the television series Men in Trees (2006–2008), NYC 22 (2011–2012), and Vegas (2012–2013).
1995 – Heavy
1997 – Cop Land
1999 – Girl, Interrupted
2001 – Kate & Leopold
2003 – Identity
2005 – Walk the Line
2007 – 3:10 to Yuma
2010 – Knight and Day
2013 – The Wolverine
2017 – Logan
2019 – Le Mans ’66 (AKA Ford v Ferrari)
|Cop Land||1997||There are few twists, but the film is paced well and delivers just enough on the action front to satisfy fans of the main actors, whilst being different enough from the over abundance of cop/mob movies of the nineties.||3||Gordon|
|Identity||2003||A film that divides opinion due to its unexpected conclusion. I am firmly in the camp that loved it!||4||Gordon|
|Identity||2003||A great ensemble cast unites in a rain-drenched psychological thriller whose only failing is the rather disappointing twist.||3.5||Mat|
|The Wolverine||2013||The Japanese setting and gritty tone set this apart from most Marvel movies, and at its best it's a decent no-frills action thriller. Unfortunately the showdown with the giant Samurai-bot is more akin to typical superhero films and lets it down a bit.||3.5||Mat|
|Logan||2017||To call this a superhero film does it a massive disservice. An emotional and violent road movie that is a fitting end to the Wolverine story and is exactly the mature film that many have been hoping for from this genre.||4.5||Mat|
|Logan||2017||A superhero film that gives no sense of hope. The acting is great and the story brave, but it all feels a little bleak.||3||Gordon|
|Le Mans '66||2019||Billed as Ford vs Ferrari, this 'based on a' true story is more Ford vs Ford. Great performances and a beautiful 70s sheen make it a very easy watch (once you get over Bale's dodgy accent).||4||Gordon|
For a more in-depth analysis of one of Mangold’s earliest films, take a look at Gordon’s review of Cop Land.
The Verdict – 3.6 Stars
Over his career so far Mangold has proven capable of crafting solid films, be they smaller Indie productions or big budget action movies. He seems to command respect from the acting talent he works with and as a result has brought out some of those stars best performances. Most of his films have received critical acclaim and while he hasn’t had a Best Director nomination yet, we wouldn’t bet against him getting an Oscar nod in the future.
This page will be updated as we watch more James Mangold films and therefore his overall rating will change over time. You can see where Mangold sits in the Directors League here.