Top Fifteen Modern Influential Directors

I'm young, and I'm sure that has a lot to do with my preference in films, and as such, effects the directorial viewpoint of the movies I watch. So, I specified that the fifteen directors I'll be listing are modern, because I don't want people to think I made an all-encompassing list that rudely excludes greats such as Alfred Hitchcock or Fritz Lang. I respect what they've done for films, but they do not personally influence audiences today, unless that audience seeks out their films. So, here is my list of modern directors who will one day be looked back on as, what I think are, the best of our time.
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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...
“ Martin Scorsese is almost a misnomer for the list, seemingly representing directors that I specifically stated in the description that wouldn't be here, however he stands out in the fact that he never stopped making movies. Recently, he's put out The Departed and Shutter Island, two excellent and amazing movies, and the several movies he has in-development all look interesting and unique. I've never seen a Scorsese movie I haven't enjoyed. ” - Bret Devies
Christopher Nolan
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. At 7 years old...
“ I know that Nolan receives a lot of praise by some, and a lot of violently adamant criticism by others, but again, I've never seen a Nolan film that hasn't been enjoyable. His first movie that I saw was Following, and it had me on the edge of my seat. Then I saw Memento, and I was overwhelmed by the creative genius of the plot, and the unique and fast-paced directorial presence. I've since seen Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception, and I have not been disappointed. I plan on watching Insomnia soon, and if it's just as good as his other films, it may worm its way into one of my other lists. ” - Bret Devies
Guy Ritchie
Director, Snatch
Guy Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK on September 10, 1968. After watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as a child, Guy realized that what he wanted to do was make films. He never attended film school, saying that the work of film school graduates was boring and unwatchable. At 15 years old, he dropped out of school and in 1995...
“ Guy Ritchie doesn't get half the praise he deserves. He knows how to handle a plot, and he knows how to make sure that every character is unique and easy to tell a part. Snatch, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, RockNRolla, and Revolver are some of my favorite movies. He does an excellent job as a director, and as a writer. ” - Bret Devies
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...
“ Fincher gets fourth place on my list despite having directed my all-time favorite movie, Fight Club. He's done decent movies, and he's done some pretty good ones, too, but none of the others have been the impacting, wonderful film that Fight Club has. It's cool that he's gotten a lot of notoriety and fame for The Social Network. I haven't seen it yet, but it doesn't look like a movie I'd fall in love with. I'm sure I'll appreciate it for its artistic value and genuine feel, but as with a handful of Fincher's films, it's just lacking. ” - Bret Devies
Frank Darabont
Three-time Oscar nominee Frank Darabont was born in a refugee camp in 1959 in Montbeliard, France, the son of Hungarian parents who had fled Budapest during the failed 1956 Hungarian revolution. Brought to America as an infant, he settled with his family in Los Angeles and attended Hollywood High School...
“ Darabont has a powerful mind, I suspect, in that he's able to read a book, in this case Steven King's books, and translate it to film seamlessly. The Mist, Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile. He's got an excellent mind's eye. I really look forward to what's to come from him. He's got quite an unrecognized talent. ” - Bret Devies
“ Chan-wook Park is a beast when it comes to talent. It pours from his eyes. This man has a twisted mind, and creates some truly ferocious films. I've seen two of them so far, and plan to watch all of them. His Vengeance Trilogy is a foreign masterpiece. ” - Bret Devies
Zack Snyder
Director, 300
Zachary Edward "Zack" Snyder (born March 1, 1966) is an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter, best known for action and science fiction films. Snyder made his feature film debut with the 2004 remake Dawn of the Dead and has gone on to be known for his comic book movies and superhero films...
“ Four films to his name, and I haven't seen the most recent one. However, Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Watchmen are each some of the best in their respective genres. I heard a lot of criticism about him, but I have no idea where it's coming from. 3 for 3 sounds like a good director to me. ” - Bret Devies
“ Joel and Ethan Coen are both on this list, but they really count as one director. They both do great work, though, and make some very creative, innovative films. Burn After Reading, The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men, O Brother Where Art Thou?, the list of notable Coen Brothers movies is nearly endless. Realistically, they've earned being higher on this list, but my own personal opinion of the above directors' films influences my decision otherwise. ” - Bret Devies
Kevin Smith
Producer, Comic Book Men
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, was filmed in the convenience store in which Smith worked...
“ I don't think any of his movies have topped Clerks, but he's still putting out unique and unforgettable films. Dogma is of particular note here, and his Evenings with Kevin Smith trilogies are awesome. ” - Bret Devies
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...
“ He's a very popular name nowadays, and Pulp Fiction, Four Rooms, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill 1 and 2, Inglorious Basterds, and pretty much everything he's done has been noteworthy. He's only so far down this list because he seems to have a cult following who love him for aspects of his movies that they shouldn't, and he seems to really focus on those aspects in his newer films, and so they lose some of their luster. ” - Bret Devies
Wes Craven
Director, Scream
Wes Craven has become synonymous with genre bending and innovative horror, challenging audiences with his bold vision. Wesley Earl Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Caroline (Miller) and Paul Eugene Craven. He had a midwestern suburban upbringing. His first feature film was The Last House on the Left, which he wrote...
“ Scream, the original Hills Have Eyes, Nightmare on Elm Street- the man is a genius of horror films. I'm particular toward the Scream trilogy, personally, but there's no denying his talent. I eagerly await the fourth installment of my favorite horror franchise, and I admire the talents of the man probably more than his films. ” - Bret Devies
Matthew Vaughn
Matthew Vaughn is an English film producer and director. He is known for producing such films as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch and for directing the crime thriller, Layer Cake, the fantasy epic, Stardust, the superhero comedy, Kick-Ass, and the superhero film, X-Men: First Class...
“ Layercake, Kick-Ass ” - Bret Devies
Robert Rodriguez
Producer, Grindhouse
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, none were as captivated as the 12-year-old Rodriguez...
“ Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Sin City, Planet Terror, want to see Desperado, El Mariachi ” - Bret Devies
“ Thank You For Smoking, Juno ” - Bret Devies
“ The Illusionist, other two movies look promising. ” - Bret Devies