The best directional debut filmsby rafael plaza | created - 11 Oct 2010 | updated - 5 months ago | Public
In no particular order
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1. American Beauty (1999)
R | 122 min | Drama
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.
Votes: 917,597 | Gross: $130.10M
2. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Not Rated | 131 min | Drama
A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.
3. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
R | 142 min | Crime, Drama
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
Votes: 1,903,139 | Gross: $28.34M
4. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.
Votes: 751,291 | Gross: $2.83M
5. Donnie Darko (2001)
R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.
Votes: 648,107 | Gross: $0.19M
6. Pi (1998)
R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.
Votes: 153,723 | Gross: $3.22M
7. Garden State (2004)
R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade.
Votes: 195,526 | Gross: $26.78M
8. Amores Perros (2000)
R | 154 min | Drama, Thriller
A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love.
Votes: 191,217 | Gross: $5.38M
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu
9. The Wicker Man (1973)
R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.
Votes: 53,723 | Gross: $0.06M
10. The Lives of Others (2006)
R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.
Votes: 292,211 | Gross: $11.29M
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
11. Moon (2009)
R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
Votes: 288,451 | Gross: $5.01M
12. The Orphanage (2007)
R | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.
Votes: 130,122 | Gross: $7.16M
Juan Antonio Bayona
13. American History X (1998)
R | 119 min | Crime, Drama
A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.
Votes: 874,904 | Gross: $6.72M
14. Elite Squad (2007)
R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama
1997, Captain Nascimento has to find a substitute for his occupation while trying to take down drug dealers and criminals before the Pope comes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Votes: 87,831 | Gross: $0.01M
15. District 9 (2009)
R | 112 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.
Votes: 574,071 | Gross: $115.65M
16. Toy Story 3 (2010)
G | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home.
Votes: 616,825 | Gross: $415.00M
17. Toy Story (1995)
G | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.
Votes: 710,787 | Gross: $191.80M
18. Finding Nemo (2003)
G | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.
Votes: 788,762 | Gross: $380.84M
19. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
G | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
In order to power the city, monsters have to scare children so that they scream. However, the children are toxic to the monsters, and after a child gets through, 2 monsters realize things may not be what they think.
Votes: 667,028 | Gross: $289.92M
20. The Iron Giant (1999)
PG | 86 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
A young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy.
Votes: 142,898 | Gross: $23.16M
21. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.
22. Citizen Kane (1941)
PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.
Votes: 331,462 | Gross: $1.59M
23. Delicatessen (1991)
R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime
Post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who occasionally prepares a delicacy for his odd tenants.
Votes: 71,301 | Gross: $1.79M
24. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance
Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?
Votes: 213,314 | Gross: $38.41M
25. Dances with Wolves (1990)
PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.
Votes: 204,753 | Gross: $184.21M
26. House of Sand and Fog (2003)
R | 126 min | Drama
An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners.
Votes: 59,443 | Gross: $13.01M
27. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.
28. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
PG | 91 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles.
Votes: 422,141 | Gross: $1.23M
Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
29. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl's kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally.
Votes: 217,479 | Gross: $20.30M
30. The Experiment (2001)
R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller
For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
Votes: 83,843 | Gross: $0.14M
31. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance
Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.
32. Blood Simple. (1984)
R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.
Votes: 73,827 | Gross: $2.15M
33. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime
A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.
Votes: 458,315 | Gross: $3.90M
34. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
R | 82 min | Comedy, Music
Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.
Votes: 113,594 | Gross: $0.19M
35. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Drama
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.
36. V for Vendetta (2005)
R | 132 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of "V", plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.
Votes: 883,619 | Gross: $70.51M
37. In Bruges (2008)
R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be.
Votes: 335,285 | Gross: $7.76M
38. Thank You for Smoking (2005)
R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama
Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.
Votes: 200,043 | Gross: $24.79M
39. My Left Foot (1989)
R | 103 min | Biography, Drama
Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.
Votes: 55,881 | Gross: $14.74M
40. The 400 Blows (1959)
Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama
Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.
41. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
PG | 76 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home cause confusion.
Votes: 249,437 | Gross: $75.08M
42. Serenity (2005)
PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
The crew of the ship Serenity try to evade an assassin sent to recapture one of their members who is telepathic.
Votes: 257,686 | Gross: $25.51M
43. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
R | 101 min | Comedy, Drama
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.
Votes: 386,723 | Gross: $59.89M
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
44. Zombieland (2009)
R | 88 min | Adventure, Comedy, Horror
A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.
Votes: 426,101 | Gross: $75.59M
45. Breathless (1960)
Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Votes: 58,760 | Gross: $0.34M
46. Following (1998)
R | 69 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller
A young writer who follows strangers for material meets a thief who takes him under his wing.
Votes: 73,438 | Gross: $0.05M
47. Show Me Love (1998)
Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Two teenage girls in small-town Sweden. Elin is beautiful, popular, and bored with life. Agnes is friendless, sad, and secretly in love with Elin.
Votes: 45,151 | Gross: $0.17M
48. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
PG-13 | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.
Votes: 74,597 | Gross: $12.80M
49. Der siebente Kontinent (1989)
Unrated | 104 min | Drama
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.
50. Rupan sansei: Kariosutoro no shiro (1979)
102 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
A flamboyant thief and his gang struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches and to learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to.
51. Eraserhead (1977)
Not Rated | 89 min | Horror
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.
Votes: 81,314 | Gross: $7.00M
52. Ivan's Childhood (1962)
Not Rated | 84 min | Drama, War
In WW2, twelve year old Soviet orphan Ivan Bondarev works for the Soviet army as a scout behind the German lines and strikes a friendship with three sympathetic Soviet officers.
53. Hunger (2008)
Not Rated | 96 min | Biography, Drama
Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.
Votes: 57,216 | Gross: $0.15M
54. Tesis (1996)
R | 125 min | Mystery, Thriller
While doing a thesis about violence, Ángela finds a snuff video where a girl is tortured until death. Soon she discovers that the girl was a former student in her faculty...