10 Directors Who Started Movies The Same Way

Christopher Nolan loves putting masked men in elaborate opening missions.

The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan
Warner Bros.

Even the most dynamic and versatile filmmakers working today have a set series of stylistic techniques and thematic touchstones that they love to return to time and time again. And if it works, why the hell not?

There are far worse crimes for a filmmaker to commit than remixing aspects of their prior output in the latest work, and considering how nailing down the opening of a movie is arguably the hardest step, it's little surprise that many directors end up looking back to their previous films for inspiration.

These 10 filmmakers, all huge acclaimed and unique artists in their own rights, started at least two of their movies in almost exactly the same way, whether re-using a distinct location, theme, style, or technique that worked so well for them before.

And you won't find many people complaining about that - if a setup yields spectacular results the first time and suits the objective of a new movie, what's the harm in repeating it?

If audiences love watching a masked man pull off a daring mission once, why not give it to them again and again with the variables changed just enough to keep it interesting?...

10. Criminals Chat In A Diner Before All Hell Breaks Loose - Quentin Tarantino

The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan

Few filmmakers have managed to pull off as many unforgettable opening sequences as Quentin Tarantino, though earlier in his career he did repeat himself a little bit.

Tarantino's feature debut Reservoir Dogs of course kicks off with the eight focal criminals sitting down to eat breakfast at a Los Angeles diner, as they banter and get their energy levels up ahead of the central diamond heist.

And for Tarantino's follow-up Pulp Fiction, how does the movie open? With Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer) sat in a diner, having breakfast as they prepare to stage a holdup there.

Obviously the content of the dialogue and the characters themselves are very different, but in each case a loaded diner discussion serves as the primer for the rest of the movie.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.