Without a doubt, Denis Villeneuve is one of the most masterful directors working today. The prolific, Canadian auteur has a distinct style that is moody and beautiful, while also being incredibly unnerving. From bold, striking visuals to inconspicuous details, every frame of a Villeneuve film is executed with precision and an expertise of filmmaking craft. And yet, while his style is unique and impactful, it’s actually rather hard to define. You aren’t going to find distinct trademarks like eye-catching whip-pans or attention-grabbing long takes. Villeneuve’s style is subtle and quiet, creeping up on us, and festering under our skin. While his style may not be obvious, its ultimate impact on us certainly is.

Watch Now: The early films of Denis Villeneuve, such as Rated R for Nudity, Polytechnique, and REW-FFWD.

For other entries in our Moodboard series, check out our deep dives into the styles of Tsai Ming-liang, Jim Jarmusch, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and John Hughes. Plus check out this article on Villeneuve’s frequent collaborators, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Bradford Young