Top 20 Movie Directors

by schreimer | created - 28 May 2011 | updated - 29 May 2011 | Public

best directors of all time

1. Chan-wook Park

Director | Ah-ga-ssi

Chan-wook Park was born on August 23, 1963 in Seoul, South Korea. He is a director and writer, known for Ah-ga-ssi (2016), Oldeuboi (2003) and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002).

Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA (2000), Boksuneun naui geot (2002), Oldeuboi (2003), Chinjeolhan geumjassi (2005), Bakjwi (2009)

2. Krzysztof Kieslowski

Writer | La double vie de Véronique

Krzysztof Kieslowski graduated from Lódz Film School in 1969, and became a documentary, TV and feature film director and scriptwriter. Before making his first film for TV, Przejscie podziemne (1974) (The Underground Passage), he made a number of short documentaries. His next TV title, Personel (...

Szpital (1977), Amator (1979), Przypadek (1981), Bez konca (1985), Dekalog (TV mini-series 1989), La double vie de Véronique (1991), Trois couleurs: Bleu (1993), Trzy kolory: Bialy (1994), Trois couleurs: Rouge (1994)

3. Irvin Kershner

Director | Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Irvin Kershner was born on April 29, 1923 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A graduate of the University of Southern California film school, Kershner began his career in 1950, producing documentaries for the United States Information Service in the Middle East. He later turned to television, directing...

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Never Say Never Again (1983), RoboCop 2 (1990)

4. Juliusz Machulski

Writer | Vinci

Film director, script writer and actor. Born in Olsztyn, Poland, in 1955. In 1978 graduated from the Lodz Film Academy. 1984-85 studied in Cal Arts, Valencia, California. Winner of the Stanislaw Wyspianski Award for Young Artists 1985, and a number of festival honours. Since 1988 artistic manager ...

Vabank (1981), Seksmisja (1984), Vabank II czyli riposta (1985), Kingsajz (1988), Déjà vu (1990), Kiler (1997), Kilerów 2-óch (1999), Vinci (2004), Ile wazy kon trojanski? (2008)

5. 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 ...

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Full Metal Jacket (1987)

6. Peter Jackson

Producer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

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,...

Braindead (1992), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

7. John Carpenter

Writer | The Fog

John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky ...

Halloween (1978), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), They Live (1988), Escape from L.A. (1996)

8. Paul Verhoeven

Director | Zwartboek

Paul Verhoeven graduated from the University of Leiden, with a degree in math and physics. He entered the Royal Netherlands Navy, where he began his film career by making documentaries for the Navy and later for TV. In 1969, he directed the popular Dutch TV series, Floris (1969), about a medieval ...

RoboCop (1987), Total Recall (1990), Основной инстинкт (1992), Starship Troopers (1997)

9. Tod Browning

Director | Dracula

Belonging to a well-situated family, Charles Browning fell in love at the age of 16 with a dancer of a circus. Following her began his itinerary of being clown, jockey and director of a variety theater which ended when he met D.W. Griffith and became an actor. He made his debut in Intolerance: ...

London After Midnight (1927), The Thirteenth Chair (1929), Dracula (1931), Freaks (1932)

10. 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 ...

Clerks (1994), Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997), Dogma (1999), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

11. 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 ...

Taxi Driver (1976), Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006)

12. 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...

Se7en (1995), Fight Club (1999), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

13. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

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 throughout the United Kingdom and Europe before they eventually returned to Teesside. Scott wanted ...

Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982)

14. 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. ...

Metropolis (1927), M (1931), Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933), Fury (1936)

15. Lilly Wachowski

Writer | The Matrix

Director, writer and producer Lilly Wachowski was born in 1967 in Chicago as Andrew Wachowski, the son of Lynne, a nurse and painter and Ron, a businessman. Lilly was educated at Kellogg Elementary School in Chicago, before moving on to Whitney Young High School. After graduating from high school, ...

Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

16. 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 ...

Back to the Future Part (1985), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990)

17. Danny Boyle

Director | 127 Hours

Danny Boyle was born on October 20, 1956 in Manchester, England as Daniel Boyle. He is a director and producer, known for 127 Hours (2010), 28 Days Later... (2002) and Shallow Grave (1994).

Trainspotting (1996), 28 Days Later... (2002)

18. 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 ...

The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

19. Jonathan Demme

Director | The Silence of the Lambs

Jonathan Demme was born on February 22, 1944 in Baldwin, Long Island, New York, USA as Robert Jonathan Demme. He was a director and producer, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Rachel Getting Married (2008) and Philadelphia (1993). He was married to Joanne Howard and Evelyn Purcell. He died...

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

20. John Hughes

Writer | The Breakfast Club

John Hughes was born on February 18, 1950 in Lansing, Michigan, USA as John Wilden Hughes Jr. He was a writer, known for The Breakfast Club (1985), Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). He was married to Nancy Ludwig. He died on August 6, 2009 in Manhattan, ...

The Breakfast Club (1985), Home Alone (1990), Home Alone 2 (1992)