Lucian's Top Directors

A list of my favourite directors of all time. Directors are ranked by the average rating of the movies that I've seen from each.

Criteria for selection:
- seen more than five films
or
- seen more than half of their filmography

Movies that are shown in green are the ones I have to re-watch.

Recent additions:
J.S.A.: Joint Security Area - 8.7 (Chan-wook Park) ↑8
The Jungle Book - 8.9 (Jon Favreau) ↑15
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - 7.6 (Zack Snyder) ↓13
X-Men: Apocalypse - 7.7 (Bryan Singer) ↓10
Hail, Caesar! - 7.5 (Joel Coen) ↓1
Triple 9 - 6.0 (John Hillcoat) ↓45
Bridge of Spies - 8.7 (Steven Spielberg) ↓4
Steve Jobs - 7.3 (Danny Boyle) ↓12
Crimson Peak - 7.4 (Guillermo del Toro) ↓5
The Walk - 7.5 (Robert Zemeckis) ↓2
Good Kill - 6.1 (Andrew Niccol) ↓6
The People Under the Stairs - 6.6 (Wes Craven) ↑1
Doctor Strange - 8.6 (Scott Derrickson) ↑31
War Dogs - 6.1 (Todd Phillips) ↓1
Anonymous - 7.8 (Roland Emmerich) ↓28

*ratings based purely on my own opinion

Check out my other lists:
- The Movie Buff List
- Top 10 From Each Year
- War films
- Psycho-Thrillers
- Science-Fiction Films
...other lists here.
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1.
Christopher Nolan
Born in London in 1970, Christopher Nolan began making films at the age of seven years using his father's Super-8 camera and an assortment of male action figures. He graduated to making films involving real people, and his Super-8 surrealistic short 'Tarantella' was shown on P.B.S.' 'image union' in 1989...
“ Average rating: 9.11

Inception - 10.0
The Dark Knight - 10.0
The Prestige - 10.0
Interstellar - 9.7
The Dark Knight Rises - 9.5
Memento - 9.3
Batman Begins - 8.8
Following - 7.5
Insomnia - 7.2 ” - aquascape
 
2.
Stanley Kubrick
Director, The Shining
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 produce better academic performance...
 
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...
“ Average rating: 8.6

Pulp Fiction - 10.0
Reservoir Dogs - 9.8
Inglourious Basterds - 9.1
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 - 8.9
Django Unchained - 8.9
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 - 8.6
The Hateful Eight - 8.0
Jackie Brown - 7.1
Death Proof - 7.0 ” - aquascape
 
5.
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...
“ Average rating: 8.57

The Shawshank Redemption - 10.0
The Green Mile - 9.8
The Mist - 7.5
The Majestic - 7.0 ” - aquascape
 
6.
David Lean
An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon in 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 a job at Gaumont British Studios in 1927...
 
7.
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...
 
8.
“ Average rating: 8.56

Hot Fuzz - 9.2
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - 8.3
Shaun of the Dead - 8.2
The World's End - 7.8 ” - aquascape
 
9.
Franklin J. Schaffner
Franklin J. Schaffner was one of the most innovative creative minds in the early days of American network television, utilizing a moving camera in the days when most television directors kept the camera static. His eye for visuals was developed in the dozens of live television programs he directed on prestigious shows such as Studio One in Hollywood and Playhouse 90...
“ Average rating: 8.54

Planet of the Apes - 10.0
Patton - 9.8
Papillon - 8.6
The Boys from Brazil - 7.5
The Best Man - 6.8 ” - aquascape
 
10.
Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter, credited as the inventor of "Spaghetti Western" genre. Leone's film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots. His movies include the sword and sandal action films The Last Days of Pompeii and The Colossus of Rhodes...
 
11.
Duncan Jones
Director, Moon
“ Average rating: 8.53

Warcraft - 8.8
Source Code - 8.6
Moon - 8.2 ” - aquascape
 
12.
Akira Kurosawa
Writer, Yojimbo
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. Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater creative freedom...
 
13.
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 Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892)...
 
14.
Michael Powell
Director, The Red Shoes
The son of Thomas William Powell & Mabel (nee Corbett). Michael Powell was always a self confessed movie addict. He was brought up partly in Canterbury ("The Garden of England") and partly in the South of France (where his parents ran an hotel). Educated at Kings School, Canterbury & Dulwich College he first worked at the National Provincial Bank from 1922 - 1925...
“ Average rating: 8.46

Stairway to Heaven - 9.7
Peeping Tom - 9.1
Black Narcissus - 8.8
'I Know Where I'm Going!' - 8.6
The Red Shoes - 8.3
A Canterbury Tale - 7.9
The Thief of Bagdad - 7.7
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp - 7.6

*+ Emeric Pressburger ” - aquascape
 
15.
“ Average rating: 8.45

Memories of Murder - 9.9
Snowpiercer - 8.5
Mother - 7.8
The Host - 7.6 ” - aquascape
 
16.
Jean-Pierre Melville
Writer, Le Samouraï
The name "Melville" is not immediately associated with film. It conjures up images of white whales and crackbrained captains, of naysaying notaries and soup-spilling sailors. It is the countersign to a realm of men and their deeds, both heroic and villainous. It is the American novel, with its Ishmaels and its Claggarts a challenge to the European canon...
“ Average rating: 8.44

Le Samourai - 9.2
Le cercle rouge - 8.9
Army of Shadows - 8.2
Bob le Flambeur - 8.0
Le Doulos - 7.9 ” - aquascape
 
17.
Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese directed landmark films such as the crime film Mean Streets, the vigilante-thriller Taxi Driver, the biographical sports drama Raging Bull, the black comedy The King of Comedy, and the crime films Goodfellas and Casino, all of which he collaborated on with actor and close friend Robert De Niro...
 
18.
Tom Hooper
Tom Hooper was educated at one of England's most prestigious schools, Westminster. His first film, Runaway Dog, was made when he was 13 years old and shot on a Clockwork 16mm Bolex camera, using 100 feet of film. At age 18, he wrote, directed and produced the short film Painted Faces, which premiered at the London Film Festival; it was released theatrically and later shown on Channel 4...
“ Average rating: 8.42

The King's Speech - 9.6
Les Miserables - 8.7
The Damned United - 7.8
The Danish Girl - 7.6 ” - aquascape
 
19.
Andrei Tarkovsky
Writer, Solaris
The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival...
“ Average rating: 8.41

Stalker - 9.4
Solaris - 9.1
The Mirror - 8.8
Andrei Rublev - 8.3
Nostalghia - 8.2
Ivan's Childhood - 7.9
The Sacrifice - 7.2 ” - aquascape
 
20.
Krzysztof Kieslowski
Mr. Kieslowski started his career shooting documentaries and later became associated with the "cinema of moral anxiety" movement. It grouped several Polish directors, including Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, and aimed at depicting the conditions of Poles under communism. His best known work was the Three Colors trilogy: Three Colors: Red...
 
21.
Robert Aldrich
Director, The Dirty Dozen
Robert Aldrich entered the film industry in 1941 when he got a job as a production clerk at RKO Pictures. He soon worked his way up to script clerk, then became an assistant director, a production manager and an associate producer. He began writing and directing for TV series in the early 1950s, and directed his first feature in 1953 (Big Leaguer)...
 
22.
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...
 
23.
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...
 
24.
Billy Wilder
The second of two sons, his father ran a chain of railway station cafes. As a youth he was obsessed with everything American. encouraged by his mother he enrolled as a law student at the University of Vienna but quit after 3 months to be a writer on a magazine which although poorly paid it gave him a great amount of experience interviewing such as Richard Strauss and Sigmund Freud...
 
25.
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...
 
26.
Darren Aronofsky
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 several film awards after completing his senior thesis film...
“ Average rating: 8.34

Black Swan - 9.1
Pi - 8.5
The Fountain - 8.4
Requiem for a Dream - 8.1
Noah - 7.6 ” - aquascape
 
27.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Director, Amélie
Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a self-taught director who was very quickly interested by cinema, with a predilection for a fantastic cinema where form is as important as the subject. Thus he started directing TV commercials and video clips (such as Julien Clerc in 1984). At the same time he met designer/drawer Marc Caro with whom he made two short animation movies: L'évasion and Le manège...
“ Average rating: 8.33

Delicatessen - 9.8
The City of Lost Children - 8.8
Amelie - 8.7
A Very Long Engagement - 7.9
Alien: Resurrection - 7.6
Micmacs - 7.2 ” - aquascape
 
28.
“ Average rating: 8.32

Slumdog Millionaire - 9.6
Trainspotting - 9.3
Sunshine - 8.9
28 Days Later... - 8.7
127 Hours - 8.7
The Beach - 7.6
Shallow Grave - 7.5
Steve Jobs - 7.3
Trance - 7.3 ” - aquascape
 
29.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount productions in Hollywood...
“ Average rating: 8.32

All About Eve - 10.0
Sleuth - 9.1
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir - 8.6
Suddenly, Last Summer - 7.9
A Letter to Three Wives - 7.6
Cleopatra - 7.6
Guys and Dolls - 7.5 ” - aquascape
 
30.
Alejandro Amenábar
Writer, The Others
Is the son of a Spanish mother and a Chilean father. His family moved back to Spain when he was 1 year old, and he grew up and studied in Madrid. He wrote, produced and directed his first short film La cabeza at the age of 19, and he was 23 when he directed his feature debut Thesis. His film Open Your Eyes was a huge success in Spain and was distributed worldwide...
“ Average rating: 8.32

The Others - 9.5
Open Your Eyes - 8.9
Tesis - 8.6
The Sea Inside - 7.6
Agora - 7.0 ” - aquascape
 
31.
Sidney Lumet
Director, 12 Angry Men
Sidney Lumet was a master of cinema, best known for his technical knowledge and his skill at getting first-rate performances from his actors -- and for shooting most of his films in his beloved New York. He made over 40 movies, often complex and emotional, but seldom overly sentimental. Although his politics were somewhat left-leaning and he often treated socially relevant themes in his films...
“ Average rating: 8.31

12 Angry Men - 9.8
Serpico - 9.4
Dog Day Afternoon - 9.1
Fail-Safe - 8.9
Murder on the Orient Express - 8.7
The Verdict - 8.2
The Hill - 7.9
The Pawnbroker - 7.8
Network - 7.3
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - 7.3
Deathtrap - 7.1 ” - aquascape
 
32.
Yasujirô Ozu
Director, Tokyo Story
Tokyo-born Yasujiro Ozu was a movie buff from childhood, often playing hooky from school in order to see Hollywood movies in his local theatre. In 1923 he landed a job as a camera assistant at Shochiku Studios in Tokyo. Three years later, he was made an assistant director and directed his first film the next year...
“ Average rating: 8.3

Tokyo Story - 9.6
Late Spring - 8.7
Early Summer - 8.0
Floating Weeds - 7.7
Tokyo Twilight - 7.5 ” - aquascape
 
33.
Ben Affleck
Producer, Argo
American actor and filmmaker Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California, and was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His mother, Chris Anne (née Boldt), is a school teacher, and his father, Timothy Byers Affleck, is a social worker; the two are divorced. Ben has a younger brother...
“ Average rating: 8.3

Argo - 9.7
The Town - 7.9
Gone Baby Gone - 7.3 ” - aquascape
 
34.
Shane Black
Considered one of the pioneer screenwriters of the action genre, Black made his mark with his Lethal Weapon screenplay. He also collaborated on the story of the sequel, Lethal Weapon 2. Each successive script he turned in had a higher price attached it, from The Last Boy Scout to The Long Kiss Goodnight, and in between a re-write on the McTiernan/Schwarzenegger Last Action Hero script.
“ Average rating: 8.3

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - 8.8
Iron Man 3 - 8.5
The Nice Guys - 7.6 ” - aquascape
 
35.
Matthew Vaughn
Producer, Kick-Ass
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...
“ Average rating: 8.28

X-Men: First Class - 9.1
Kingsman: The Secret Service - 8.8
Kick-Ass - 7.9
Stardust - 7.9
Layer Cake - 7.7 ” - aquascape
 
36.
John Huston
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 included English...
 
37.
Rob Reiner
Robert Reiner was born in New York City, to Estelle Reiner (née Lebost) and Emmy-Winning actor, comedian, writer, and producer Carl Reiner. Robert as a child often looked up to his father as his inspiration and role-model. Carl Reiner was on The Dick Van Dyke Show which Carl Reiner created and also starred in...
“ Average rating: 8.27

Stand by Me - 10.0
Misery - 9.6
This Is Spinal Tap - 8.9
When Harry Met Sally... - 8.7
A Few Good Men - 8.6
The Princess Bride - 7.9
The Bucket List - 7.3
North - 5.2 ” - aquascape
 
38.
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 of mostly Irish descent...
“ Average rating: 8.27

Braveheart - 10.0
Apocalypto - 8.7
The Passion of the Christ - 7.3
The Man Without a Face - 7.1 ” - aquascape
 
39.
Fritz Lang
Director, M
He studied at the College of Technical Sciences of Vienna's Academy of Graphic Arts but unhappy with the career path chosen for him by his parents, he ran away to study art in Munich and Paris. He then spent many years travelling the world including Asia. In 1913, he returned to Paris to paint. When World War I began...
“ Average rating: 8.26

Metropolis - 10.0
M - 8.9
Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler - 7.8
The Big Heat - 7.7
Fury - 7.6
By Rocket to the Moon - 7.6 ” - aquascape
 
40.
Charles Chaplin
Writer, Modern Times
Charlie Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, 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 "Little Tramp" character; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk...
“ Average rating: 8.26

The Gold Rush - 9.3
The Great Dictator - 8.2
Modern Times - 8.1
The Circus - 7.9
The Kid - 7.8
City Lights - 7.7 ” - aquascape
 
41.
F.W. Murnau
Director, Nosferatu
He studied art and literature history at the University of Heidelberg. During World War I, he was a combat pilot.
“ Average rating: 8.26

Faust - 10.0
Sunrise - 8.6
Nosferatu - 8.2
The Last Laugh - 8.0
Tabu: A Story of the South Seas - 7.7
Phantom - 7.1 ” - aquascape
 
42.
Werner Herzog
Director, Grizzly Man
Director. Writer. Producer. Has studied history, literature and theatre, but hasn't finished it. Founded his own production company in 1963. Has staged several operas, besides others in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has won numerous national and international awards for his films.
“ Average rating: 8.26

Fitzcarraldo - 9.1
Aguirre: The Wrath of God - 9.4
Nosferatu the Vampyre - 7.9
Rescue Dawn - 7.8
Stroszek - 7.1 ” - aquascape
 
43.
“ Average rating: 8.24

The Usual Suspects - 9.8
X-Men: Days of Future Past - 9.7
X2 - 9.4
X-Men - 8.9
Apt Pupil - 7.9
X-Men: Apocalypse - 7.7
Valkyrie - 7.1
Superman Returns - 6.9
Jack the Giant Slayer - 6.8 ” - aquascape
 
44.
Frank Capra
One of seven children, Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897, in Bisacquino, Sicily. On May 10, 1903, his family left for America aboard the ship Germania, arriving in New York on May 23rd. "There's no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. They're all miserable. It's the most degrading place you could ever be," Capra said about his Atlantic passage...
 
45.
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...
“ Average rating: 8.23

Zodiac - 10.0
Se7en - 9.2
Fight Club - 9.1
The Game - 8.8
Gone Girl - 8.7
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - 8.5
The Social Network - 8.2
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 7.1
Alien 3 - 7.0
Panic Room - 6.9 ” - aquascape
 
47.
Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan, known for his creative stage direction, was born "Elia Kazanjoglous" in Istanbul in 1909 to Greek parents. He directed such Broadway plays as "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". He directed the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire and also films written for the screen...
“ Average rating: 8.2

A Streetcar Named Desire - 9.1
On the Waterfront - 8.7
A Face in the Crowd - 8.1
East of Eden - 8.0
Viva Zapata! - 7.8
Gentleman's Agreement - 7.5 ” - aquascape
 
48.
“ Average rating: 8.2

Prisoners - 8.8
Sicario - 8.6
Incendies - 7.2 ” - aquascape
 
49.
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 before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his screenwriting ambition...
“ Average rating: 8.17

Terminator 2: Judgment Day - 10.0
Aliens - 10.0
The Terminator - 9.9
Avatar - 9.5
The Abyss - 8.9
Titanic - 7.3
True Lies - 6.9
Piranha Part Two: The Spawning - 2.9 ” - aquascape
 
50.
Kenneth Branagh
Actor, Valkyrie
Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter born in 1930, and Frances (Harper) Branagh, also born in 1930. His brother, William Branagh Jr., was born in 1955 and sister, Joyce Branagh, was born in 1970...
“ Average rating: 8.15

Hamlet - 9.1
Henry V - 8.8
Thor - 8.6
Much Ado About Nothing - 7.8
Cinderella - 7.5
Frankenstein - 7.1 ” - aquascape
 
51.
Francis Ford Coppola
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 with a degree in drama from Hofstra University...
 
52.
Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, and novelist. In his filmmaking career, del Toro has alternated between Spanish-language dark fantasy pieces, such as the gothic horror film The Devil's Backbone, and Pan's Labyrinth, and more mainstream American action movies, such as the vampire superhero action film Blade II...
“ Average rating: 8.14

Pacific Rim - 9.7
Pan's Labyrinth - 9.2
Hellboy II: The Golden Army - 9.1
The Devil's Backbone - 8.7
Blade II - 7.8
Hellboy - 7.5
Crimson Peak - 7.4
Cronos - 7.3
Mimic - 6.6 ” - aquascape
 
53.
“ Average rating: 8.14

Ratatouille - 9.6
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - 8.6
The Iron Giant - 8.1
The Incredibles - 7.7
Tomorrowland - 6.7 ” - aquascape
 
54.
“ Average rating: 8.12

The Great Escape - 10.0
The Magnificent Seven - 8.8
Bad Day at Black Rock - 7.5
The Eagle Has Landed - 7.2
The Old Man and the Sea - 7.1 ” - aquascape
 
55.
Luis Buñuel
The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the university there, where his close friends included Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca...
 
56.
Orson Welles
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 seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr...
“ Average rating: 8.11

The Trial - 9.2
Citizen Kane - 9.1
The Magnificent Ambersons - 7.8
The Stranger - 7.8
The Lady from Shanghai - 7.7
Othello - 7.6
Touch of Evil - 7.6 ” - aquascape
 
57.
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)...
 
58.
Tim Burton
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 especially fond of films with Vincent Price)...
 
59.
John Ford
Director, The Searchers
John Ford is, arguably, The Great American Director. When Orson Welles, who repeatedly screened Ford's Stagecoach as a crash course in filmmaking before helming his first film, Citizen Kane, was asked who his three favorite directors were, he answered, "John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford." Along with D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille...
 
60.
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, she attended Emerson College in Boston, but dropped out...
“ Average rating: 8.08

The Matrix - 10.0
Cloud Atlas - 9.8
The Matrix Reloaded - 7.9
The Matrix Revolutions - 7.1
Speed Racer - 5.6

*+ Laurence/Lana Wachowski ” - aquascape
 
61.
Howard Hawks
Director, The Big Sleep
What do the classic films Scarface, Twentieth Century, Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday, Sergeant York, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Red River Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Rio Bravo have in common? Aside from their displays of great craftsmanship, the answer is director Howard Hawks...
 
62.
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...
“ Average rating: 8.06

The Pianist - 10.0
Rosemary's Baby - 9.9
The Tenant - 9.3
Repulsion - 9.1
Chinatown - 8.7
Death and the Maiden - 7.8
The Ghost Writer - 7.8
Frantic - 7.7
Carnage - 7.2
Cul-de-sac - 7.1
The Fearless Vampire Killers - 7.0
The Ninth Gate - 6.7
Oliver Twist - 6.5 ” - aquascape
 
64.
Milos Forman
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 Buchenwald and his mother died in Auschwitz...
“ Average rating: 8.06

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - 10.0
Amadeus - 9.8
Man on the Moon - 8.6
The People vs. Larry Flynt - 7.1
The Firemen's Ball - 6.7
Goya's Ghosts - 6.2 ” - aquascape
 
65.
“ Average rating: 8.06

J.S.A.: Joint Security Area - 8.7
Oldboy - 8.4
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance - 8.0
Lady Vengeance - 7.7
Stoker - 7.5 ” - aquascape
 
66.
“ Average rating: 8.04

Toy Story - 10.0
Toy Story 2 - 8.6
A Bug's Life - 7.9
Cars - 7.6
Cars 2 - 6.1 ” - aquascape
 
67.
David Lynch
Born in 1946 in Missoula, Montana, David Lynch was raised in small-town America. After high school, he went to Boston to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Shortly after that, he planned a three-year trip to Europe to work on his art, but didn't take to it and left after 15 days. In 1977...
“ Average rating: 8.01

The Elephant Man - 10.0
Mulholland Dr. - 8.9
Blue Velvet - 7.9
Eraserhead - 7.9
The Straight Story - 7.8
Inland Empire - 7.6
Dune - 7.1
Lost Highway - 6.9 ” - aquascape
 
68.
George Miller
George Miller is an Australian film director, screenwriter, producer, and former medical doctor. He is best known for his Mad Max franchise, with The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Fury Road being hailed as amongst the greatest action films of all time. Aside from the Mad Max films, Miller has been involved in a wide range of projects...
 
69.
Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam was born in Minnesota near Medicine Lake. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of Mad magazine. In his early 20's he was often stopped by the police who often suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising....
 
70.
Jim Jarmusch
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.
“ Average rating: 7.95

Dead Man - 8.9
Mystery Train - 8.7
Down by Law - 8.2
Stranger Than Paradise - 8.2
Night on Earth - 7.9
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai - 7.4
Coffee and Cigarettes - 6.4 ” - aquascape
 
71.
William Wyler
Director, Ben-Hur
William Wyler was an American filmmaker who, at the time of his death in 1981, was considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema. The winner of three Best Director Academy Awards, second again only to Ford's four, Wyler's reputation has unfairly suffered as...
 
72.
Spike Jonze
Producer, Her
Spike Jonze made up one-third (along with Andy Jenkins and Mark Lewman) of the triumvirate of genius minds behind Dirt Magazine, the brother publication of the much lamented ground-breaking Sassy Magazine. These three uncommon characters were all editors for Grand Royal Magazine as well, under...
“ Average rating: 7.92

Adaptation. - 9.1
Being John Malkovich - 8.4
Her - 7.9
Where the Wild Things Are - 6.3 ” - aquascape
 
73.
Stephen Chow
Born Chow Sing-Chi in Hong Kong on June twenty-second, 1962, Stephen Chow spent his youth days with three sisters in Shanghai, China. He developed an interest in the martial arts after witnessing the talent of Bruce Lee, where he began training in the style of Wing Chun, which was one of Bruce Lee's specialties...
“ Average rating: 7.9

Shaolin Soccer - 9.3
Kung Fu Hustle - 8.3
Journey to the West - 7.9
The Mermaid - 7.7
CJ7 - 6.3 ” - aquascape
 
75.
Wes Anderson
Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an event that he described as the most crucial event of his brothers and his growing up...
 
76.
Ingmar Bergman
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July fourteenth, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions is the trilogy closed. Here...
“ Average rating: 7.88

The Seventh Seal - 9.7
Wild Strawberries - 8.6
The Virgin Spring - 8.0
Fanny and Alexander - 7.9
Autumn Sonata - 7.4
Hour of the Wolf - 7.4
Through a Glass Darkly - 7.2
Persona - 6.9 ” - aquascape
 
77.
Ernst Lubitsch
From Ernst Lubitsch's experiences in Sophien Gymnasium (high school) theater, he decided to leave school at the age of 16 and pursue a career on the stage. He had to compromise with his father and keep the account books for the family tailor business while he acted in cabarets and music halls at night...
“ Average rating: 7.88

To Be or Not to Be - 8.7
The Shop Around the Corner - 8.5
Ninotchka - 7.8
Trouble in Paradise - 7.5
Heaven Can Wait - 6.9 ” - aquascape
 
78.
James Mangold
Director, Walk the Line
James Mangold is an American film and television director, screenwriter and producer. Films he has directed include Girl, Interrupted, Walk the Line, which he also co-wrote, the 2007 remake 3:10 to Yuma, The Wolverine, and Logan. Mangold also wrote and directed Cop Land, starring Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, and Ray Liotta.
“ Average rating: 7.86

Walk the Line - 8.7
3:10 to Yuma - 8.6
The Wolverine - 7.8
Identity - 7.7
Kate & Leopold - 7.5
Cop Land - 6.9 ” - aquascape
 
79.
Mervyn LeRoy
Director, Gypsy
The great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 was a tragedy for Mervyn Leroy. While he and his father managed to survive, they lost everything they had. To make money, Leroy sold newspapers and entered talent contests as a singer. When he entered vaudeville, his act was "LeRoy and Cooper--Two Kids and a Piano"...
“ Average rating: 7.86

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang - 8.5
Mister Roberts - 8.1
Quo Vadis - 8.0
Little Caesar - 7.8
No Time for Sergeants - 7.6
The Bad Seed - 7.2 ” - aquascape
 
80.
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...
“ Average rating: 7.84

Heat - 8.9
The Last of the Mohicans - 8.7
Ali - 7.9
Collateral - 7.7
Manhunter - 7.6
The Insider - 7.1
Public Enemies - 7.0 ” - aquascape
 
81.
“ Average rating: 7.82

Die Hard - 9.4
Predator - 8.7
Die Hard: With a Vengeance - 8.5
The Hunt for Red October - 7.8
The 13th Warrior - 7.6
Last Action Hero - 6.5
Basic - 6.3 ” - aquascape
 
82.
Jon Favreau
Producer, Iron Man
Initially an indie film favorite, actor Jon Favreau has progressed to strong mainstream visibility into the millennium and, after nearly two decades in the business, is still enjoying character stardom as well as earning notice as a writer/producer/director. The amiable, husky-framed actor with the tight...
“ Average rating: 7.81

Iron Man - 9.7
The Jungle Book - 8.9
Elf - 7.7
Iron Man 2 - 7.5
Chef - 7.5
Cowboys & Aliens - 7.1
Zathura: A Space Adventure - 6.3 ” - aquascape
 
83.
Luc Besson
Luc Besson spent the first years of his life following his parents, scuba diving instructors, around the world. His early life was entirely aquatic. He already showed amazing creativity as a youth, writing early drafts of The Big Blue and The Fifth Element, as an adolescent bored in school. He...
“ Average rating: 7.81

The Fifth Element - 9.8
Leon: The Professional - 9.2
La Femme Nikita - 8.1
Le Dernier Combat - 7.9
Lucy - 7.5
The Family - 6.1
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc - 6.1 ” - aquascape
 
84.
Paul Greengrass
Paul Greengrass started his filmmaking career with a super 8 camera he found in his art room in secondary school. Those short movies were animation horror films he made using old dolls, artist dummies, and the general art room clutter. After studying in Cambridge University he got into Granada Television...
“ Average rating: 7.8

Captain Phillips - 8.6
The Bourne Ultimatum - 8.0
United 93 - 7.8
The Bourne Supremacy - 7.4
Green Zone - 7.2 ” - aquascape
 
85.
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...
“ Average rating: 7.8

Life of Pi - 8.9
Sense and Sensibility - 8.6
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - 8.1
Brokeback Mountain - 7.3
Hulk - 6.1 ” - aquascape
 
86.
“ Average rating: 7.8

The Breakfast Club - 8.8
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - 8.4
Planes, Trains & Automobiles - 8.1
Uncle Buck - 7.4
Curly Sue - 6.3 ” - aquascape
 
87.
Jeff Nichols
Writer, Mud
“ Average rating: 7.8

Take Shelter - 8.6
Mud - 7.7
Midnight Special - 7.1 ” - aquascape
 
88.
Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to television...
 
89.
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 director to have won the Prix de la mise en scene or best director award at Cannes (2006)...
“ Average rating: 7.78

The Revenant - 8.6
Birdman - 8.6
Amores Perros - 8.1
Babel - 7.3
21 Grams - 7.2
Biutiful - 6.9 ” - aquascape
 
90.
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...
“ Average rating: 7.77

Platoon - 10.0
JFK - 9.6
Born on the Fourth of July - 7.8
Salvador - 7.8
Wall Street - 7.6
Natural Born Killers - 7.0
Alexander - 6.3
Any Given Sunday - 6.1 ” - aquascape
 
91.
Robert Wise
Robert Earl Wise was born on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Indiana, the youngest of three sons of Olive R. (Longenecker) and Earl Waldo Wise, a meat packer. His parents were both of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent. At age nineteen, the avid moviegoer came into the film business through an odd job at RKO Radio Pictures...
 
92.
Sam Peckinpah
"If they move", commands stern-eyed William Holden, "kill 'em". So begins The Wild Bunch, 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 exploding bottle...
“ Average rating: 7.76

Cross of Iron - 9.3
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid - 8.9
The Wild Bunch - 8.6
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - 7.5
Junior Bonner - 7.2
Major Dundee - 7.1
The Getaway - 7.1
Straw Dogs - 6.4 ” - aquascape
 
93.
David Cronenberg
Director, The Fly
David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father was a journalist, and his mother was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early age (he wrote and published eerie short stories, thus following his father's path) and for music (playing classical guitar until he was 12)...
“ Average rating: 7.75

The Fly - 9.1
Videodrome - 8.9
Eastern Promises - 8.8
Naked Lunch - 7.9
eXistenZ - 7.9
Scanners - 7.9
The Dead Zone - 7.7
A History of Violence - 7.5
The Brood - 7.3
Spider - 7.2
Dead Ringers - 7.0
A Dangerous Method - 6.9
Rabid - 6.7 ” - aquascape
 
94.
Federico Fellini
Writer,
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 devil herself said the priests who ran his school)...
“ Average rating: 7.75

La Dolce Vita - 9.1
La Strada - 8.4
8 1/2 - 8.0
Amarcord - 7.9
Juliet of the Spirits - 7.7
Nights of Cabiria - 7.4
Il bidone - 7.4
Fellini Satyricon - 6.1 ” - aquascape
 
95.
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)...
 
96.
George Roy Hill
Director, The Sting
Combative director George Roy Hill never hit it off with the critics, despite the fact that two of his films -- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting -- had remained among the top ten box office hits by 1976. His work was frequently derided as 'impersonal' or lacking in stylistic trademarks, Andrew Sarris famously referring to it as 'idiosyncratic odious oiliness'...
“ Average rating: 7.72

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - 9.9
The Sting - 8.7
Slap Shot - 7.0
Slaughterhouse-Five - 6.9
Funny Farm - 6.1 ” - aquascape
 
97.
Sam Raimi
Writer, Spider-Man 3
Highly inventive U.S. film director/producer/writer/actor Sam Raimi first came to the attention of film fans with the savage, yet darkly humorous, low-budget horror film, The Evil Dead. From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making movies with an 8mm camera...
 
98.
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...
 
99.
Edward Zwick
Edward Zwick is well-known for his heroic movies that include Glory, and the breathtaking works of art that include Legends of the Fall. Zwick has also been known for his thoughtfulness as a director, and for his record of working with television series and other films as a producer. Born in 1952...
“ Average rating: 7.7

Blood Diamond - 9.1
The Last Samurai - 8.6
Glory - 8.2
Defiance - 7.9
Legends of the Fall - 7.1
Courage Under Fire - 6.9
The Siege - 6.1 ” - aquascape
 
100.
Brian De Palma
Director, Scarface
Brian De Palma is the son of a surgeon. He studied physics but at the same time felt his dedication for the movies and made some short films. After seven independent productions he had his first success with Sisters and his voyeuristic style. Restlessly he worked on big projects with the script writers Paul Schrader...
“ Average rating: 7.68

Scarface - 9.1
The Untouchables - 8.8
Carrie - 8.7
Carlito's Way - 8.2
Mission: Impossible - 7.9
Blow Out - 7.6
Dressed to Kill - 7.2
Casualties of War - 6.9
Obsession - 6.6
Wise Guys - 5.8 ” - aquascape