Mike Binder (born June 2, 1958) is an award winning American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor.[1]

Life and career

Binder grew up in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham. During the summers of 1966 through 1975, he attended Camp Tamakwa, a summer camp in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada; that experience was the inspiration (and the filming location) for his 1993 film Indian Summer.[2][3][4]

Beginning his career as a screenwriter and standup comedian,[5] he had a banner month in March 1990 with the March 9 theatrical premiere of his first screenplay, Coupe de Ville, directed by Joe Roth and co-produced by Mike, and his own HBO stand up comedy special, broadcast the following night.

Binder's directorial debut was with his second screenplay, 1992's Crossing the Bridge.

Binder gained further prominence with his 20-episode 2001-02 HBO comedy series, The Mind of the Married Man, which he co-wrote, co-directed and starred in as the central character "Micky Barnes".[6][7] That same year, his independently produced film The Sex Monster won "Best Film" and Binder won "Best Actor" at the 2001 Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.

Binder wrote and directed three mid-2000s films in which he also played supporting roles. The first, The Upside of Anger, starring Joan Allen and Kevin Costner, premiered at the January 2005 Sundance Film Festival; thirteen months later, Man About Town with Ben Affleck, was first seen at the February 2006 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and, after another thirteen months, he directed and appeared in Reign Over Me starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. The three films were co-produced by Sunlight Productions, a company formed by Mike and his brother, Jack Binder. His most recent film is 2014's Black or White, starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer.

As an actor, Binder has appeared in Steven Spielberg's Minority Report with Tom Cruise, Rod Lurie's The Contender with Joan Allen, and Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee with Robin Wright Penn.[8]

Binder has directed most of the screenplays he has written, and has acted in many of them as well (in addition to other acting roles). As a writer, he has written screenplays for Steven Spielberg, Julia Roberts, Robert Zemeckis, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Tim Allen and Reese Witherspoon.

Binder's first novel, Keep Calm, a thriller set in the UK, was published in 2016.[9]


Year Title Director Producer Writer Actor Role Notes
1990 Coupe de Ville NoN NoN
1992 Crossing the Bridge NoN NoN
1993 Indian Summer NoN NoN
1994 Blankman NoN NoN Dr. Victor Norris
1999 The Sex Monster NoN NoN NoN Marty Barnes Comedy Arts Festival for Best Actor
Comedy Arts Festival for Best Film
2000 The Contender NoN Lewis Hollis
2001–2002 The Mind of the Married Man NoN NoN NoN Micky Barnes TV show, Creator
2001 Fourplay NoN NoN NoN Ben Greene
2002 Minority Report NoN Leo Crow
2005 The Upside of Anger NoN NoN NoN Adam "Shep" Goodman
2006 Man About Town NoN NoN NoN Morty
2007 Reign Over Me NoN NoN NoN Bryan Sugarman
2009 The Private Lives of Pippa Lee NoN Sam Shapiro
2011 Fanboy NoN Acting coach
One Day NoN Dexter's agent Uncredited
2014 Black or White NoN NoN NoN


  1. ^ "Mike Binder". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent (April 23, 1993). "Movie Review: Indian Summer (1993)". The New York Times. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 
  3. ^ Hinson, Hal (April 24, 1993). "‘Indian Summer’". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Indian Summer: The Movie". Camp Tamakwa. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ Jerry Buck (1985-06-10). "Comedy from Detroit". The Lewiston Journal. 
  6. ^ Tomashoff, Craig (September 22, 2002). "TELEVISION/RADIO; A Few Brave Husbands Have Sex on Their Minds". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ Salamon, Julie (September 11, 2001). "TELEVISION REVIEW; Three Guys With One Thought". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ "Mike Binder". Yahoo!. 
  9. ^ "Keep Calm". Kirkus Reviews. 2016.