CATEGORIES Features, Cinematical

The Internet has been buzzing with the release of 'Throwdown,' the latest commercial from Nike, promoting their Nike Free line of shoes. Featuring a roster of athletes challenging each other in a cross-country game of "top that!", the clip features some impressive, non-CGI enhanced displays of physical talent. But one of the more interesting aspects of this new commercial is that it's directed by Jake Scott, the man who made this past fall's 'Welcome to the Rileys' (who just also happens to be the son of Ridley).

Plenty of movie directors have made commercials before, but Nike always seems to get something extra special out of filmmakers they work with. With limited running times, they are able to produce a high volume of visually-exciting and genuinely-creative segments that grab your attention and make you forget that you're watching an ad for shoes. With 'Throwdown' being only the latest example, we thought we'd take a look at our favorite Nike commercials made by famous directors.

Check out 'Throwdown' by Jake Scott and see what all the hype is about.


Who other than Terry Gilliam could do 'The Secret Tournament,' a weirdly dystopic-looking steel cage soccer game?


Taking a cue from his '99 Problems'-style grittiness is 'The Chalk' from Mark Romanek.


'Take It To the Next Level,' the kinetic, flashy, sometimes-nasty/sometimes-awesome ad about the life of a soccer player was done by the kinetic, flashy Guy Ritchie.


Robert Rodriguez directed Kobe Bryant in this totally ridiculous, Grindhouse-style spot: 'Kobe Bryant is "The Black Mamba"' -- complete with out-of-control Kanye West.


Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu -- currently earning rave reviews for 'Biutiful' -- directed 'Write the Future,' an expansive look at the global phenomenon of the World Cup.


The sleek and intense 'Leave Nothing' was made by none other than Michael Mann.


What memorable Nike commercials have you added to your list of favorites?