Before he began his film career, he attended Bowdoin College, where he majored in anthropology and Russian.
A director of thriller and horror films and television projects, he is best known for having directed The Machinist (2004), starring Christian Bale, and The Call (2013), starring Halle Berry. He also produced and directed several installments of the FOX science fiction television series Fringe. He then went to London to finish his film education before returning to Boston.
Film career Anderson started out directing the romantic comedy films Next Stop Wonderland (1998) and Happy Accidents (2000).
The films were Sundance Film Festival audience favorites. His next film was the 2001 psychological horror film Session 9.
Unsuccessful at the box office, the film has since gained a cult following. This was followed by his most notable work to date, The Machinist (2004), starring Christian Bale.
The film has helped earn Anderson a cult following.
His next two films were Transsiberian (2008), a thriller starring Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer and Ben Kingsley and the horror film Vanishing on 7th Street (2010), starring Hayden Christensen, John Leguizamo and Thandie Newton. Notably, both Transsiberian and The Machinist were funded by Anglo-German production companies. At one point, he was also one of the candidates to direct the sequel to Paranormal Activity.
In 2013 Anderson directed The Call, a thriller starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin.
His latest film is Stonehearst Asylum (aka Eliza Graves), with Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess and David Thewlis, in the leading roles. Television work Future projects Anderson replaced Joseph Ruben as director of Bold Films thriller Jack in May 2010, and cast John Cusack for the lead, who has since been replaced by Liev Schrieber.
Anderson will direct The Living and the Dead, based on the novel of the same name by Robert Tinnell and Todd Livingston. After working together on The Machinist, Anderson and Christian Bale plan to collaborate again on an adaptation of J.G. Ballard"s novel Concrete Island.
In 2002, Anderson was a member of the dramatic jury at the Sundance Film Festival.