Top 25 active directors - best resumes in Hollywood

Not who is the most hyped, not who has won the most Oscars, but who has made the best movies and who has the most impressive career overall.
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1.
Steven Spielberg
Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, director and writer...
“ Career high: Schindler's List

Other great films by Spielberg: Indiana Jones series, Jurassic Park, The Terminal, War of the Worlds, Artificial Intelligence: AI, Minority Report, Munich, E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Saving Private Ryan and Catch Me If You Can. ” - sifter132
 
2.
Christopher Nolan
After The Dark Knight's success, Warner Bros. signed Nolan to direct Inception. Nolan also wrote and co-produced the film, described as "a contemporary set within the architecture of the mind". Before being released in theaters, critics like Peter Travers and Lou Lumenick wondered if Nolan's faith in moviegoers' intelligence would cost him at the box office...
“ Career high: The Dark Knight

Other great films by Nolan: Batman Begins, The Prestige, Memento and Inception.

Give him a few more years and another mega hit movie or 2 and he moves to #1. ” - sifter132
 
3.
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later provided the inspiration for several of his films...
“ Career high: The Departed

Other great films by Scorsese: The Aviator, Gangs of New York, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Casino and Shutter Island. ” - sifter132
 
4.
Quentin Tarantino
Writer, Pulp Fiction
Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old. In January of 1992...
“ Career high: Pulp Fiction

Other great films by Tarantino: the Kill Bill set, Reservoir Dogs and Inglourious Basterds. ” - sifter132
 
5.
David Fincher
Director, Fight Club
David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials and music videos after signing with N...
“ Career high: Fight Club

Other great films by Fincher: Zodiac, Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Game and The Social Network. ” - sifter132
 
6.
James Cameron
Writer, Aliens
James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University but, after graduating, drove a truck to support his screenwriting ambition. He landed his first professional film job as art director...
“ Career high: Avatar

Other great films by Cameron: The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens, True Lies and Titanic. ” - sifter132
 
7.
Ridley Scott
Producer, Blade Runner
Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. Following his commercial breakthrough with the science-fiction horror film Alien (1979), his best known works are the noir science fiction film Blade Runner (1982), crime drama Thelma & Louise (1991), historical drama and Best Picture Oscar winner Gladiator (2000)...
“ Career high: Gladiator

Other great films by Scott: Alien, Kingdom of Heaven, American Gangster, Black Hawk Down, Blade Runner and Body of Lies. ” - sifter132
 
8.
Robert Zemeckis
A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone, 1941) and special effect vehicles (Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Back to the Future)...
“ Career high: Forrest Gump

Other great films by Zemeckis: Cast Away and the Back to the Future trilogy. ” - sifter132
 
9.
Clint Eastwood
Perhaps the icon of macho movie stars, and a living legend, Clint Eastwood has become a standard in international cinema. Born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the elder of two children in a middle-class family, Eastwood finished high school at the comparatively late age of nineteen and worked odd jobs over a period of several years before enrolling at Los Angeles City College...
“ Career high: Gran Torino

Other great films by Eastwood: Letters from Iwo Jima, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River and Unforgiven. ” - sifter132
 
10.
“ and his brother Ethan of course...

Career high: No Country for Old Men

Other great films by the Coens: Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading and A Serious Man. ” - sifter132
 
11.
Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies, which he made with his friends...
“ Career high: The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Other great films by Jackson: King Kong. ” - sifter132
 
12.
Ron Howard
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is one of this generation's most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 to the hit comedies Parenthood and Splash, he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films. Howard directed and produced "Cinderella Man" starring Oscar winner Russell Crowe...
“ Career high: A Beautiful Mind

Other great films by Howard: Apollo 13, Cinderella Man, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons and Frost/Nixon. ” - sifter132
 
13.
Tim Burton
Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), cat-themed gift shop owner, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was especially fond of films with Vincent Price)...
“ Career high: Big Fish

Other great films by Burton: Batman and Batman Returns, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow. ” - sifter132
 
14.
Michael Mann
Producer, Heat
A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch. He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile, in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release, Thief starring James Caan as a safe-cracker who falls under the spell of the mob...
“ Career high: Heat

Other great films by Mann: The Insider, Collateral and Public Enemies. ” - sifter132
 
15.
Oliver Stone
Director, Platoon
Oliver Stone has become known as a master of controversial subjects and a legendary film maker. His films are filled with a variety of film angles and styles, he pushes his actors to give Oscar-worthy performances, and despite his failures, has always returned to success. William Oliver Stone was born in New York City...
“ Career high: Platoon

Other great films by Stone: JFK. ” - sifter132
 
16.
Sam Mendes
Samuel Alexander Mendes was born on August 1, 1965 in Reading, England, UK to parents James Peter Mendes, a retired university lecturer, and Valerie Helene Mendes, an author who writes children's books. Their marriage didn't last long, James divorced Sam's mother in 1970 when Sam was just 5-years-old...
“ Career high: American Beauty

Other great films by Mendes: Jarhead and Road to Perdition. ” - sifter132
 
17.
Roman Polanski
Director, The Pianist
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years before World War II began...
“ Career high: The Pianist

Other great films by Polanski: Chinatown, The Ghost Writer and Rosemary's Baby. ” - sifter132
 
18.
“ Career high: Slumdog Millionaire

Other great films by Boyle: Trainspotting. ” - sifter132
 
19.
M. Night Shyamalan
M. Night Shyamalan is an Indian-American film director, screenwriter, producer and occasional actor known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots. His major films include the supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense (1999), the superhero drama thriller Unbreakable (2000), the science fiction thriller Signs (2002)...
“ Career high: The Sixth Sense

Other great films by Shyamalan: Signs and Unbreakable. ” - sifter132
 
20.
Michael Bay
Producer, Transformers
A graduate of Wesleyan University, Michael Bay spent his 20s working on advertisements and music videos. His first projects after film school were in the music video business. He created music videos for Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Lionel Richie, Wilson Phillips, Donny Osmond and The Divinyls...
“ Career high: Transformers

Other great films by Bay: The Rock, The Island, Armageddon and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. ” - sifter132
 
21.
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional race-car driver...
“ Career high: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Other great films by Lucas: the Star Wars prequels. ” - sifter132
 
22.
“ Career high: The Usual Suspects

Other great films by Singer: X-Men and X2, Superman Returns and Valkyrie. ” - sifter132
 
23.
Tony Scott
Producer, Man on Fire
Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. As a result of his father's career in the British military...
“ Career high: Man on Fire

Other great films by Scott: Deja Vu and Enemy of the State. ” - sifter132
 
24.
Steven Soderbergh
Director, Ocean's Eleven
Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to Baton Rouge...
“ Career high: Ocean's Eleven

Other great films by Soderbergh: Erin Brockovich, Ocean's Thirteen and Traffic. ” - sifter132
 
25.
Ang Lee
Director, Life of Pi
Born in 1954 in Pingtung, Taiwan, Ang Lee has become one of today's greatest contemporary filmmakers. Ang graduated from the National Taiwan College of Arts in 1975 and then came to the U.S. to receive a B.F.A. Degree in Theatre/Theater Direction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Masters Degree in Film Production at New York University...
“ Career high: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Other great films by Lee: Brokeback Mountain. ” - sifter132