My Favorite Directors of all times

by Roberto Cepeda | created - 10 Feb 2011 | updated - 23 Dec 2015 | Public

This is a list of the film directors that I admire the most. Most of the times I will go to the movie theaters to watch their movies, just because I like their style more than the theme of the movie

1. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

The best director of all times, no doubt about it. All of his movies are great, once you start watching, you can't stop admiring his films. Every frame of everyone of his movies are like a painting, a masterpiece. He never did the same genre twice, even his three war movies are different from each other. He was a perfectionist and sometimes he took months and even years to finish his films. His films let the audience make their own interpretation of what they are watching and make you think and analyze about a certain topic. His movies are about the struggle human beings have between their own good and their own evil. He showed how all people have a good side and also an evil side. His movies are ironic and pessimistic, but always also have optimism. He was probably one of the most controversial filmmakers of all times, but saying that, he made movies that audience will talk about for a long time. Only Stanley Kubrick could get away with destroying his first movie so no one could see it. He was only one of the few directors in having the complete support from a studio (Warner Bros.) who financed all his projects and gave him complete artistic control of his movies. Stanley Kubrick is simply the best director in film history.

Favorite movies in order: 1. A Clockwork Orange 2. 2001 A Space Odissey 3. Dr. Stangelove 4. Paths of Glory 5. Barry Lyndon 6. The Shining 7. Lolita 8. Spartacus 9. Eyes Wide Shut 10. Full Metal Jacket 11.The Killing 12. Killer's Kiss.

2. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

The master of suspense, he was great at making psychological thrillers. Alfred Hitchcock was great at making movies of the same genre. The greatness of Hitchcock might be because he started working during the silent film era, so his films are visually exciting. Hitchcock also had innovative techniques that were rarely used before his time. He made the audience feel like they were part of the movie and through his film techniques he made the audience feel the fears and anxiety. You almost feel like you are a kid without control of what is about to happen. Not all of his movies are great, but he made many movies and most of them were great. He was an auteur who worked in the tight studio system but managed to show us his own vision.

3. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Artificial Intelligence: AI

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

He is my favorite director who is still alive. It is true that some of his recent movies have been disappointing (especially with forcing happy endings), but he has directed some of the best movies ever. I believe he changed Hollywood and now directors work based on his model of film-making. He is a great story teller and his movies capture the imagination of audiences. He can direct historical films which are very realistic and he can also make fantastic movies of events that can never happen in this world, and movies in between. His movies have the best special effects, before special effects were common in movies. His movies in the 70's and 80's were amazing. Spielberg makes movies that are fun to watch.

4. Quentin Tarantino

Writer | Reservoir Dogs

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...

He is also a member of the Hollywood independent. He is a genre filmmaker with a talent for great lines and for choosing great music. I love his editing style in which he uses non linear story lines. His movies are like a puzzle which the audience needs to solve. He makes great genre films like: gangster, martial arts, and exploitation films. His films are great because he shows us what kind of things people talk about even if these people are heroes or criminals. His movies are funny and smart. He really directs well action and violence in films. Visually his movies look like a classic modern film.

5. Martin Scorsese

Director | Taxi Driver

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 ...

I like the realism in his films. He really tell stories about people living in New York and the Italian-American society. His movies have realistic violence with characters who tend to self destruct.

6. Joel Coen

Writer | Fargo

Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for Fargo (1996), A Serious Man (2009) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.

The next two directors go together. The Coen brothers are the best duo of directors. His movies are very ironic and hilarious. They started the new wave of directors, they are what we call Hollywood independent, because they started out as independent directors and his movies were so original that Hollywood started financing their films. Even though they say that they try to make a different movie every time, they have motifs that are repeated in all of his movies. As an audience you can see a movie and say that it is a Coen Brothers movie because it has a very specific feel and environment in the movie. I really enjoy the fact that they always choose a specific setting in the movie, like a city or place, and the setting is almost another character in the movie. I also enjoy the fact that their main character always goes through a journey in which they have to go through hell (not literally, even though there is fire in those scenes) before they arrive to their destination.

7. Ethan Coen

Producer | A Serious Man

Ethan Coen was born on September 21, 1957 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Ethan Jesse Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for A Serious Man (2009), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and Fargo (1996). He has been married to Tricia Cooke since October 2, 1990. They have two children.

Read the description above. I thought Ethan also deserves to have his picture in this list since he co-directs with his brother Joel.

8. Robert Rodriguez

Producer | El mariachi

Robert Anthony Rodriguez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, USA, to Rebecca (Villegas), a nurse, and Cecilio G. Rodríguez, a salesman. His family is of Mexican descent.

Of all the people to be amazed by the images of John Carpenter's 1981 sci-fi parable, Escape from New York (1981), none ...

He makes fun movies for an extremely low budget. Rodriguez also has make good use of technology to make his film look like they are a high budget film, but in reality he does not spend too much money. By watching his films you can tell he has a passion for films and he is really good at directing. I love his DVD and his 10 minutes film school. He explains his film techniques to his audience. He is not afraid to tell audience how he made his films and encourage people to get a camera and start making movies. He has challenged many of Hollywood rules and he makes his films in Austin, Texas. He really is a revel with a camera. He was not the pioneer in digital technology, but he was one of the first to use this technology without fear and to use it proudly. His films are like graphic novels and his action films are exciting and funny at the same time.

9. Christopher Nolan

Writer | Interstellar

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.


Nolan is a clever director which makes good phsycological thrillers. Most of his characters are highly obsessed. His movies are a a trip into characters minds. Also he is a director who takes his audience into global adventures, some of his films take place in more than one country.

10. Robert Zemeckis

Writer | Back to the Future

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 (1984), 1941 (1979)) and special effect ...

He is also like Spielberg, in a sense that he makes films that are fun to watch. He is a great story teller. His main characters are very likable people who go through a journey and they never forget who they are. I love his films because they deal with time and space travel. His characters are regular Joes or Janes who travel to places or events where regular people would never experience in their lives.

11. David Lean

Director | Lawrence of Arabia

An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon on March 25, 1908 and brought up in a strict Quaker family (ironically, as a child he wasn't allowed to go to the movies). During the 1920s, he briefly considered the possibility of becoming an accountant like his father before finding ...

David Lean made the best epic films. His films were like a great novel that you cannot put away. His movies seemed like greater than life. The characters in his movies had to cope with places of extreme weather and extreme situations. You can see the influence of Lean's work in movies made by Spielberg and Lucas where they have scenes in the desert and in places of extreme cold weather.

12. Billy Wilder

Writer | The Apartment

Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many ...

Wilder was a great director who worked under the studio system. He made great comedies which were funny but also smart comedies. I also loved his ability to make film noirs. His female leads are so good that you could understand why the male lead could fall in love with them.

13. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...

He directed the funniest physical comedies. He worked during the silent film era and made you laugh without saying a word. His films were so tragic but his characters always had a way to make you laugh. His films were like a thin layer of ice that was about to break and become a tragedy, but you would always laugh at what was happening on top of the ice. You can see the influence of his work in cartoons that have physical comedy.

14. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Ran

After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...

Kurosawa made perfect films. He pretty much introduced oriental films to the occidental world. His films have influenced many directors including George Lucas who's robot characters were based in the characters from the movie Hidden Forest. I love his samurai films, but he also made films that took place at the modern day Japan like Ikiru (the living) which was very well made. He is one of the best film directors in the entire world

15. Juan José Campanella

Writer | El secreto de sus ojos

Juan José Campanella was born on July 19, 1959 in Capital Federal, Argentina. He is a writer and actor, known for The Secret in Their Eyes (2009), El hombre de tu vida (2011) and El mismo amor, la misma lluvia (1999).

Great Argentinian director. I love his movies because they are entertaining and the movie's dialog is superb. I like the fact that his movies are about everyday life things. I like also the fact that his movies are usually about people in different ages, he do not focuses on young people, but also in issues of older people.

16. Milos Forman

Director | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Milos Forman was born Jan Tomas Forman in Caslav, Czechoslovakia, to Anna (Svabova), who ran a summer hotel, and Rudolf Forman, a professor. During World War II, his parents were taken away by the Nazis, after being accused of participating in the underground resistance. His father died in ...

I love Milos Forman specially for two movies, Amadeus and One Flew over the Cooko's nest. I really like the way he shows people in mental institutions. He sometimes show how people that might be a little crazy might be better people than people who are all sane. I really like his main characters who are outsiders and misunderstood people. His films are tragic and funny at the same time.

17. Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Producer | The Revenant

Alejandro González Iñárritu (ih-nyar-ee-too), born August 15th, 1963, is a Mexican film director.

González Iñárritu is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and by the Directors Guild of America for Best Director. He is also the first Mexican-born ...

Alejandro González Iñarruty is a radio DJ who became a film director. In Mexico he made the most innovative and creative commercials to appeal the young audience of the country. His commercials looked like avant-garde art. His success as a director is related to his collaboration with screen writer Guillermo Arreaga. Both made several short stories that together made up their film Amores Perros. His trilogy of films show us how one event can affect the lives of several people. His style of editing is very similar to the non linear narrative used by Quentin Tarantino. His movies deal with pain, suffering and death of regular people. Alejandro González Iñarritu has the reality of Scorsese with the story telling technique of Tarantino. His stories are also a puzzle that the audience can solve and the answer is revealed at the end of the movie. Even though he has only made three movies, Alejandro González Iñarruty in my opinion one of the most creative and clever directors of the present era in film.

18. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...

Coppola really made some of the best films in the 70's and was one of the most influencial directors group from the movie brats film movement. His use of lightning is great in his movies and also his use of sound, specially in the conversation. But his main achievement is the Godfather and being able to make a movie as good as the first one and might be even better that the first one in The Godfather II. I like the way he portrays the italian american mafia, not only to judge them by their violent behavior, but also see the other face of the mafia in their family values and their traditions.

19. John Ford

Director | The Quiet Man

John Ford came to Hollywood following one of his brothers, an actor. Asked what brought him to Hollywood, he replied "The train". He became one of the most respected directors in the business, in spite of being known for his westerns, which were not considered "serious" film. He won six Oscars, ...

Mr Ford is the best westerns directors and he made great films with John Wayne. I like the way he portrayes the open spaces of the west with great wide shots of mountains and skies. He was really Mr. Westerns and when he died so did the genre of the true westerns of that era.

20. Sergio Leone

Writer | Once Upon a Time in America

Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...

The reason I like Sergio Leone is because he made the best Spaguetti westers. I like his extreme close ups with lengthy long shots. I also like his no mercy characters out for revenge (revenge is always served best cold).

21. Pedro Almodóvar

Writer | Hable con ella

The most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel was born in a small town (Calzada de Calatrava) in the impoverished Spanish region of La Mancha. He arrived in Madrid in 1968, and survived by selling used items in the flea-market called El Rastro. Almodóvar couldn't study ...

Pedro Almodobar is a great artist. His films are always about women and he seems like a person who really understand women. I also like the fact that in his movies there are always scences of another art form like the theater.

22. David Fincher

Director | Se7en

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...

His movies are very interesting and you can sit through his movies more than once. His movies are edited in a very clever way.

23. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

I really like his films because he uses strong characters, both female and male strong characters who go through a journey through big cities and dangerous situations. I like the fact that he makes movies where the main lead is a strong woman. He can make great futuristic films like Blade Runner and great historical epics like Gladiator.

24. John Huston

Director | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry was English,...

John Houston made visually exiting movies about characters who struggle with big problems, usually they are in grave danger. I like the fact that he would usually edit with the camera which means that the editor did not have much to do, but he liked it that way. I specially like his films in which he works with Bogart

25. Woody Allen

Writer | Manhattan

Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...

26. Clint Eastwood

Actor | Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school Clint took interest in music...

Eastwood films have heart. He was a great actor but I do believe he is a better director. His films never have any special effect rather they are well written with good dialog and it is about people and their everyday live struggles

27. Richard Linklater

Director | Waking Life

Self-taught writer-director Richard Stuart Linklater was born in Houston, Texas, to Diane Margaret (Krieger), who taught at a university, and Charles W. Linklater III. Richard was among the first and most successful talents to emerge during the American independent film renaissance of the 1990s. ...

What I love about Linklater is his depth in their character's conversations. I like the fact they are always talking about philosophy and the purpose of life.

28. Darren Aronofsky

Director | Pi

Darren Aronofsky was born February 12, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Darren was always artistic: he loved classic movies and, as a teenager, he even spent time doing graffiti art. After high school, Darren went to Harvard University to study film (both live-action and animation). He won ...

He makes grate psychological thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat. I love how he puts you in the place of the character that is going through a tough time and who is out of touch with reality

29. Sam Peckinpah

Writer | Straw Dogs

"If they move", commands stern-eyed William Holden, "kill 'em". So begins The Wild Bunch (1969), Sam Peckinpah's bloody, high-body-count eulogy to the mythologized Old West. "Pouring new wine into the bottle of the Western, Peckinpah explodes the bottle", observed critic Pauline Kael. That ...

He made great Spaguetti Westerns, and his film The Wild Bunch seemed almost as the end of an era for the westerns and the beggining of the glorification of violence

30. Guillermo del Toro

Writer | El laberinto del fauno

Guillermo del Toro was born October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. Raised by his Catholic grandmother, del Toro developed an interest in filmmaking in his early teens. Later, he learned about makeup and effects from the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist (1973)) and worked on making his ...

He has a very similar style as Tim Burton. I love his films because of the fantasy element. His movies are very interesting and have a feeling of a legend or folk story.

31. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr....

He definetely made some of the best movies including what many critics say is the best movie of all times in Citizen Kane. I also like Orson because he also spend some years in Mexico working with mexican film studios.

32. Ang Lee

Director | Wo hu cang long

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, ...

33. Fritz Lang

Director | M

Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...

34. Federico Fellini

Writer | Le notti di Cabiria

The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the ...

This italian director is great because of his dream like sequences. His movies are very surrealist. I love the way he mix reality with things that look not real.

35. Victor Fleming

Director | Gone with the Wind

Victor Fleming entered the film business as a stuntman in 1910, mainly doing stunt driving - which came easy to him, as he had been a mechanic and professional race-car driver. He became interested in working on the other side of the camera, and eventually got a job as a cameraman on many of the ...

Mr Fleming directed two of the most celebrated films of all times in the same year. The Wizard of OZ and Gone with the wind were created by this amazing director. What I like the most about Victor Fleming is his craft and his sets are amazing.

36. Baz Luhrmann

Writer | Moulin Rouge!

Baz's parents did Ballroom competitions, thus growing up around the very subject matter of his first three films.

Great imagination. I really like his use of color in his films, the use of speed in film like fast motion or slow motions. He makes very entertaining films.

37. Ron Howard

Actor | Arrested Development

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is one of this generation's most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Apollo 13 (1995) to the hit comedies Parenthood (1989) and Splash (1984), he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films.

Howard ...

His films are entertaining and many times they take place in the 50s or in the past just few decades ago. His films are very commercial but they keep you wanting to watch more.

38. Tim Burton

Producer | Edward Scissorhands

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, 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 ...

Visually he is like no other. I like the way he makes dark movies that are sometimes macabre but they are funny at the same time. The opening of his films are very exiting, he usually follows someone or something and gives a great tone to the movie. He is another director who you can definitely spot his style, like his use of clowns or circus and most of his characters wear a mask. Also his characters are outcast who discover something amazing. He is what kids like about Halloween, he is spooky but fun.

39. Kevin Smith

Producer | Clerks

Kevin Patrick Smith was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, to Grace (Schultz) and Donald E. Smith, a postal worker. He is very proud of his native state; this fact can be seen in all of his movies. Kevin is of mostly German, with some Irish and English, ancestry.

His first movie, Clerks (1994), was ...

He makes funny movies about characters from New Jersey. I like all his motifs like talking about Star Wars and about Hockey. I love that even though his characters are goofy, they sometimes have insightful thoughts at the end of the movie.

40. Jim Jarmusch

Director | Only Lovers Left Alive

Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

He is one of the best independent directors. I like the fact that he is always using creativity intead of money to make his films good.

41. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

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 before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

He is a good sci-fi movie director. I he has a good imagination, and create places out of this world. I specially like his early films like the Terminator and Abyss.

42. Mel Gibson

Actor | Braveheart

Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York, USA, as the sixth of eleven children of Hutton Gibson, a railroad brakeman, and Anne Patricia (Reilly) Gibson (who died in December of 1990). His mother was Irish, from County Longford, while his American-born father is ...

He is not only an actor, but a pretty good director. I like his movies because they are based in historical events. Even though they might not seem historical accurate (most films are not historically accurate anyways), at the same time that does not make his films bad, on the contrary I think, his films are very entertaining, and he transport you to a specific historical period.

43. George Lucas

Writer | Star Wars

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 Thomas Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional racecar ...

It is true, most of his career was all about Star Wars, but I like Lucas because of what he meant to the industry with his company that revolutionalized special visual and audio effects. He was a good producer as well.