Spike Jonze

Lowest Rated: 16% The Lazarus Effect (2015)
Birthday: Oct 22, 1969
Birthplace: Not Available
A notoriously shy prankster with a penchant for skateboarding and tall tales, Spike Jonze might not have been the most obvious candidate for "most promising director" or "best first feature" status. With the release of Being John Malkovich in the fall of 1999, however, those were exactly the kinds of superlatives being lauded upon the impetuous wunderkind.Purportedly an heir to the Spiegel catalog empire, Jonze was born Adam Spiegel in 1969 in St. Louis, MO. Nicknamed "Spike" at a young age -- he was fond of buzz haircuts -- he would adopt the "Jonze" later in life as an homage to the comic bandleader of the 1940s. After his parents divorced, Jonze spent most of his formative years with his mother in Maryland, where he cultivated interests in skateboarding, freestyle biking, and photography. He opted out of college to take a position at one of his favorite magazines, Freestyle, and before long, he was creating his own monthly, Dirt. The nationally distributed publication promptly failed, and Jonze returned to his bread and butter: shooting photo spreads and videos of skaters.It was Jonze's skateboarding photography which brought the attention of the rock group Sonic Youth, who enlisted him to contribute skate footage to their "100%" video in 1992. From there, video offers streamed in, and Jonze's distinctive clips for bands such as the Breeders, R.E.M., and Weezer quickly made him one of the most sought-after video directors in the business. Even within the confines of a three-minute spot, Jonze would find ways to subtly reference pop culture: his "Sabotage" video for the Beastie Boys aped the look and feel of 1970s cop shows; in the Breeders' "Cannonball," he gave a nod to the 1956 children's classic The Red Balloon; and Jonze transformed Björk's "It's Oh So Quiet" into an elaborate musical fantasy number inspired by Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.It didn't take long for the movie industry to take notice, and in 1995, Jonze was offered the chance to direct the film adaptation of Harold and the Purple Crayon, with a script by The Player scribe Michael Tolkin. After much pre-production work, however, the project went into developmental limbo, and Jonze continued to work on videos and advertisements while he searched for the perfect debut material. It arrived in 1997 in the form of Being John Malkovich, Charlie Kaufman's dark, surreal comedy about the havoc wreaked when a disaffected puppeteer discovers a portal into the mind of the titular actor. Instead of playing up the script's more fantastical elements, Jonze chose to approach the film with an almost deadpan realism, exhibiting his skills with cinéma vérité as well as a particularly uncanny knack for re-creating corporate training films. In 1999, The National Society of Film Critics named Malkovich best picture of the year, and its director was rewarded with best debut feature awards from both the New York Film Critics Association and the Independent Spirit Foundation. Though Jonze would be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director, the film was shut out of the Best Picture category.Malkovich wasn't the only film for which Jonze was receiving praise in the fall of 1999. After a handful of bit parts in such films as The Game and Mi Vida Loca, he was cast as a dim but well-meaning soldier in director David O. Russell's Gulf War saga Three Kings. Critics noted Jonze's ability to bring depth and warmth to the somewhat stereotypical role of the impudent loose cannon from the backwoods, Private Conrad Vig. 1999 was also the year that Jonze married into one of the most venerable filmmaking clans in America, as he exchanged vows with longtime girlfriend and fellow director Sofia Coppola.Following up Being John Malkovich proved to be no easy task. At the turn of the century, Jonze laid low, lending his skills to more music videos and commercials, and teaming up with skating buddy Johnny Knoxville to create Knoxville's immediately infamous weekly revue of self-mutil


Highest Rated Movies



88% Aziz Ansari: Right Now Director 2019
96% Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond - Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton Executive Producer 2017
100% Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine Actor 2017
16% The Lazarus Effect Executive Producer $20.5M 2015
94% Her Screenwriter Director $18M 2013
No Score Yet Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5 (Unrated) Screenwriter Gloria Producer 2013
61% Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Screenwriter Old Woman Producer $85M 2013
No Score Yet Mourir auprès de toi Director Actor 2011
60% Jackass 3.5 Producer 2011
No Score Yet Scenes from the Suburbs Director Screenwriter 2011
65% Jackass 3 Producer $117.3M 2010
No Score Yet I'm Here Director 2010
73% Where the Wild Things Are Director Screenwriter $77.3M 2009
No Score Yet Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak Actor Director 2009
68% Synecdoche, New York Producer $3.1M 2008
83% Heavy Metal in Baghdad Executive Producer 2008
No Score Yet Jackass Presents - Matt Hoffman's Tribute to Evel Knievel Actor 2008
No Score Yet Jackass 2.5 Producer 2007
No Score Yet Vice Guide to Travel Actor 2006
63% Jackass: Number Two Producer Actor $72.8M 2006
No Score Yet Fatlip: The Loneliest Punk Director 2005
No Score Yet The Work of Director Spike Jonze Director 2003
No Score Yet Keep Your Eyes Open Actor 2003
No Score Yet Yeah Right! Director 2003
No Score Yet What's Up, Fatlip? Director Actor 2003
91% Adaptation Director $22.2M 2002
49% Jackass - The Movie Producer Actor $64.3M 2002
No Score Yet Pavement: Slow Century Director 2002
49% Human Nature Producer $0.7M 2002
No Score Yet Beastie Boys Video Anthology Director 2000
No Score Yet Song of Tibet Director 2000
93% Being John Malkovich Director 1999
94% Three Kings Conrad 1999
No Score Yet D.A.F.T. - A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes Director 1999
73% The Game Beltran, Airbag EMT 1997
No Score Yet R.E.M. - Parallel Director 1995
71% Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) Teenage Drug Customer 1993
No Score Yet Bjork: Greatest Hits Director 1993
No Score Yet Video Days Director 1991
No Score Yet Fully Flared Director


No Score Yet The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Guest Performer
  • 2019
  • 2016
No Score Yet Desus & Mero
  • 2017
No Score Yet The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • 2017
No Score Yet Late Show With David Letterman
  • 2014
No Score Yet 30 for 30
Co-producer Producer
  • 2010
No Score Yet Jackass
Creator Producer
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000