Greatest Directors of the 21st Century

Note: Yes I know the 21st Century started in 2001 but I'm including the year 2000.

This is my list of Greatest Directors from (2000-"present") therefore it is my opinion. I placed each directors films that I saw in four different categories and the ones I did not see are under Other Notable Film(s):.

The films that I believe are classics are under Greats:, while the films that I enjoyed but does not reach the highest level are under Give It a Shot:.

The next two categories are movies I did not particulary enjoy, the films under Caution: I really did not enjoy but something about the movie I either liked or respected. The last category is the films I did not like at all which are under Flops:.

✦ Indicates that the film is listed in the listed in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? 1,000 Greatest Films

✧ Indicates that the film is listed in 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
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1.
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 19 and worked odd jobs for several years before enrolling at Los Angeles City College...
“ Greats: Mystic River (2003)✧; Million Dollar Baby (2004)✖✧; Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)✧; Gran Torino (2008)

Give It a Shot: Space Cowboys (2000); Blood Work (2002); Flags of Our Fathers (2006)☒; Changeling (2008)

Caution: J. Edgar (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): Invictus (2009); Hereafter (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
2.
Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese directed landmark films such as the crime film Mean Streets (1973), the vigilante-thriller Taxi Driver (1976), the biographical sports drama Raging Bull (1980), the black comedy The King of Comedy (1983), and the crime films Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995), all of which he collaborated on with actor and close friend Robert De Niro...
“ "I would wish for any one of my colleagues to have the experience of working with Martin Scorsese once in their lifetime." ~ Daniel Day-Lewis

Greats: Gangs of New York (2002)✧; The Aviator (2004)✧; The Departed (2006)✧; Hugo (2011)✧

Give It a Shot: Shutter Island (2010); The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Other Notable Film(s): No Direction Home: Bob Dylan [doc] (2005); Shine a Light [doc] (2008); George Harrison: Living in the Material World [doc] (2011) ” - Paul Hamell
 
3.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making 8 mm films, Anderson cut his teeth shooting films on video and editing them from V.C.R. to V.C.R...
“ Greats: Punch-Drunk Love (2002)✦✧; There Will Be Blood (2007)✦✧; The Master (2012)✧

Other Notable Film(s): Inherent Vice (2014) ” - Paul Hamell
 
4.
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...
“ One of the most promising film directors that has been making great movies in the past decade.

Greats: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008); The Social Network (2010)✧; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Give It a Shot: Panic Room (2002); Zodiac (2007)✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
5.
“ Representing himself and Ethan Coen

Greats: No Country for Old Men (2007)✦✧

Give It a Shot: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)✖✧; The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)☒; True Grit (2010)✧

Caution: Intolerable Cruelty (2003); Burn After Reading (2008)

Other Notable Film(s): The Ladykillers (2004); A Serious Man (2009)✧; Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) ” - Paul Hamell
 
6.
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...
“ Greats: Mulholland Dr. (2001)✦✧

Other Notable Film(s): Inland Empire (2006)✦✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
7.
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...
“ A recent great that directed Memento, The Prestige, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception, Following, and Insomnia.

Greats: Memento (2000)✦✧; Insomnia (2002); The Prestige (2006)

Give It a Shot: Batman Begins (2005); The Dark Knight (2008)✧; Inception (2010)✧; The Dark Knight Rises (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
8.
Alexander Payne
Producer, The Descendants
Director, producer and screenwriter Alexander Payne was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents, Peggy (Constantine) and George Payne, ran a Greek restaurant. His father is of Greek and German ancestry, and his mother is of Greek descent; the family name was originally Papadopoulos. He has two older brothers...
“ Greats: About Schmidt (2002)✧; Sideways (2004)✧; The Descendants (2011)✧; Nebraska (2013) ” - Paul Hamell
 
9.
“ Greats: The Piano Teacher (2001)✧; Caché (Hidden) (2005)✦✧; Amour (2012)✧

Flops: Funny Games (2007)

Other Notable Film(s): Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys (2000); Time of the Wolf (2003); The White Ribbon (2009)✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
10.
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...
“ Greats: Lincoln (2012)✧

Give It a Shot: Catch Me If You Can (2002)☒; Minority Report (2002)✧; The Terminal (2004)

Caution: War of the Worlds (2005); Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008); War Horse (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)✦✧; Munich (2005)✧; The Adventures of Tintin (2011) ” - Paul Hamell
 
11.
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...
“ Greats: The Pianist (2002)✧

Give It a Shot: Carnage (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): Oliver Twist (2005); The Ghost Writer (2010)✧; Venus in Fur (2013) ” - Paul Hamell
 
12.
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...
 
13.
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...
“ Greats: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)✦✧; Brokeback Mountain (2005)✦✧

Give It a Shot: Life of Pi (2012)

Flops: Hulk (2003)

Other Notable Film(s): Lust, Caution (2007); Taking Woodstock (2009) ” - Paul Hamell
 
14.
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...
“ Greats: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)✧; Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)✧; Inglourious Basterds (2009)✧

Give It a Shot: Django Unchained (2012)✧

Caution: Death Proof (2007) ” - Paul Hamell
 
15.
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...
“ Greats: Requiem for a Dream (2000)✦✧; The Wrestler (2008)✧; Black Swan (2010)✧

Other Notable Film(s): The Fountain (2006); Noah (2014) ” - Paul Hamell
 
16.
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)...
“ Greats: A History of Violence (2005)✦✧; Eastern Promises (2007)✧

Give It a Shot: A Dangerous Method (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): Spider (2002)✧; Cosmopolis (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
17.
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)...
“ "I have always been a huge fan of Ridley Scott and certainly when I was a kid. 'Alien,' 'Blade Runner' just blew me away because they created these extraordinary worlds that were just completely immersive. I was also an enormous Stanley Kubrick fan for similar reasons." ~ Christopher Nolan

Greats: Gladiator (2000)✧; Black Hawk Down (2001)☒

Give It a Shot: Matchstick Men (2003); American Gangster (2007); Body of Lies (2008)

Caution: Hannibal (2001); Prometheus (2012)

Other Notable Film(s): Kingdom of Heaven (2005); A Good Year (2006); Robin Hood (2010); The Counselor (2013); Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) ” - Paul Hamell
 
18.
Lars von Trier
Writer, Melancholia
Lars von Trier (the "von" was adopted during his stay at the Danish Film School) was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in April 1956. He graduated from the Danish Film School in 1983 with his short film Befrielsesbilleder ("Images of Relief"), which won the Best Film award at the Munich Film Festival the following year...
“ Give It a Shot: Melancholia (2011)✧

Other Notable Film(s): Dancer in the Dark (2000)✧; Dogville (2003)✧; Manderlay (2005); The Boss of It All (2006); Antichrist (2009) ” - Paul Hamell
 
19.
“ Other Notable Film(s): All or Nothing (2002); Vera Drake (2004)✧; Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)✧; Another Year (2010)✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
20.
Pedro Almodóvar
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 filmmaking because he didn't have the money to afford it...
“ Other Notable Film(s): Talk to Her (2002)✦✧; Bad Education (2004)✧; Volver (2006)✧; Broken Embraces (2009); The Skin I Live In (2011) ” - Paul Hamell
 
21.
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...
“ Greats: Avatar (2009)✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
22.
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...
“ Greats: Traffic (2000)✧

Give It a Shot: Ocean's Eleven (2001); Ocean's Twelve (2004); Ocean's Thirteen (2007)

Caution: Contagion (2011)

Flops: The Girlfriend Experience (2009)

Other Notable Film(s): Erin Brockovich (2000)✧; Full Frontal (2002); Solaris (2002); Bubble (2005); The Good German (2006); Che (Pt. 1, Pt. 2) (2008); The Informant! (2009); Haywire (2011); Magic Mike (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
23.
“ Greats: Slumdog Millionaire (2008)✧

Give It a Shot: 28 Days Later... (2002)✧; 127 Hours (2010)✧

Other Notable Film(s): The Beach (2000); Millions (2004); Sunshine (2007); Trance (2013) ” - Paul Hamell
 
24.
“ Greats: Milk (2008)

Other Notable Film(s): Gerry (2002); Promise Land (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
25.
“ Other Notable Film(s): Liam (2000); Fail Safe [TV] (2000); High Fidelity (2000)✧; Dirty Pretty Things (2002); The Deal [TV] (2003); Mrs Henderson Presents (2005); The Queen (2006)✧; Chéri (2009); Tamara Drewe (2010); Lay the Favorite (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
26.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Producer, The Revenant
His six feature films-Amores Perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006) (comprising the "Death Trilogy"), Biutiful (2010), Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), and The Revenant (2015)-have garnered critical acclaim and numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations and wins...
“ Greats: 21 Grams (2003)✧

Give It a Shot: Amores Perros (2000)✧; Babel (2006)

Other Notable Film(s): Biutiful (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
27.
Woody Allen
Writer, Annie Hall
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...
“ Give It a Shot: Small Time Crooks (2000); Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008); Midnight in Paris (2011)

Caution: The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)

Flops: Whatever Works (2009)

Other Notable Film(s): Match Point (2005); Scoop (2006); To Rome with Love (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
28.
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.
“ Give It a Shot: Rescue Dawn (2006)

Other Notable Film(s): Invincible (2001); The White Diamond [doc] (2004); The Wild Blue Yonder (2005); Grizzly Man [doc] (2005)✧; Encounters at the End of the World [doc] (2007); The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (2009); My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009); Cave of Forgotten Dreams [doc] (2010); Into the Abyss [doc] (2011) ” - Paul Hamell
 
29.
Kar-Wai Wong
Wong Kar-wai (born 17 July 1956) is a Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker, internationally renowned as an auteur for his visually unique, highly stylised, emotionally resonant work, including Ah fei zing zyun (1990), Dung che sai duk (1994), Chung Hing sam lam (1994), Do lok tin si (1995), Chun gwong cha sit (1997)...
“ Greats: In the Mood for Love (2000)✦✧

Other Notable Film(s): 2046 (2004)✧; My Blueberry Nights (2007); The Grandmasters (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
30.
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...
“ Greats: The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)✦✧; Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)✧; Moonrise Kingdom (2012)✧

Give It a Shot: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)✧; The Darjeeling Limited (2007) ” - Paul Hamell
 
31.
“ Greats: The Fighter (2010); Silver Linings Playbook (2012)✧; American Hustle (2013)

Other Notable Film(s): I Heart Huckabees (2004)

Coming Soon... Accidental Love (TBA) ” - Paul Hamell
 
32.
Hayao Miyazaki
Director, Spirited Away
Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's greatest animation directors. The entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking animation in his films have earned him international renown from critics as well as public recognition within Japan. The Walt Disney Company's commitment to introduce the films...
“ Greats: Spirited Away (2001)✦✧

Give It a Shot: Ponyo (2008)

Other Notable Film(s): Howl's Moving Castle (2004) ” - Paul Hamell
 
33.
“ Other Notable Film(s): Happy Times (2000); The Road Home (2000); Hero (2002)✧; House of Flying Daggers (2004)✧; Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005); Curse of the Golden Flower (2006); A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (2009); Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010); The Flowers of War (2011) ” - Paul Hamell
 
34.
“ Greats: Capote (2005)✧; Moneyball (2011)✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
35.
Todd Field
Director, Little Children
William Todd Field was born in Pomona, California, and began acting after graduating from high school in Portland, Oregon, where he was raised. A budding jazz musician as well, he skipped college in favor of a move east to New York to study acting. Once there, he began performing with the Ark Theatre Company as both an actor and musician...
“ Greats: In the Bedroom (2001)✧; Little Children (2006) ” - Paul Hamell
 
36.
Jean-Pierre Dardenne
After studying drama in the arts institute, Jean Pierre Dardenne and his brother Luc made some videos about the rough life in blue-collar small towns in the Wallonie. After their meeting with filmmaker Armad Gatti and cinematographer Ned Burgess, they decided to enter in the movie business. In 1978 they shot their first documentary...
“ Representing the Dardenne brothers

Greats: The Kid with a Bike (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): The Son (2002)✧; The Child (2005)✧; Lorna's Silence (2008) ” - Paul Hamell
 
37.
Fernando Meirelles
Director, City of God
Fernando Meirelles was born in a middle class family in São Paulo City, Brazil. He studied architecture at the university of São Paulo. At the same time he developed an interest in filmmaking. With a group of friends he started producing experimental videos. They won a huge number of awards in Brazilian film festivals...
“ Greats: City of God (2002)✧

Other Notable Film(s): Maids [Co-director] (2001); The Constant Gardener (2005); Blindness (2008); 360 (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
38.
Alfonso Cuarón
Writer, Gravity
Alfonso Cuarón Orozco was born on November 28th in Mexico City, Mexico. From an early age, he yearned to be either a film director or an astronaut. However, he did not want to enter the army, so he settled for directing. He didn't receive his first camera until his twelfth birthday, and then immediately started to film everything he saw...
“ Greats: Y Tu Mamá También (2001)✧; Children of Men (2006)✧

Give It a Shot: Gravity (2013)

Other Notable Film(s): Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) ” - Paul Hamell
 
39.
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...
“ Greats: Adaptation. (2002)✧; Her (2013)

Other Notable Film(s): Beastie Boys: Video Anthology [doc] (2000); Where the Wild Things Are (2009) ” - Paul Hamell
 
40.
Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His family subsequently lived in Oklahoma and he went to school in Austin, Texas. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1965. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he attended Magdalen College...
“ Give It a Shot: The Tree of Life (2011)✧

Other Notable Film(s): The New World (2005)✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
41.
Kathryn Bigelow
Director, The Hurt Locker
A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be critiqued by people like Richard Serra...
“ Greats: The Hurt Locker (2009)✧; Zero Dark Thirty (2012)✧

Other Notable Film(s): The Weight of Water (2000); K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) ” - Paul Hamell
 
42.
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...
“ Greats: Captain Phillips (2013)

Give It a Shot: The Bourne Supremacy (2004); United 93 (2006)✧; The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Other Notable Film(s): Bloody Sunday (2002); Green Zone (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
43.
“ Greats: 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Give It a Shot: Shame (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): Hunger (2008)✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
44.
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...
“ Greats: The Passion of the Christ (2004); Apocalypto (2006) ” - Paul Hamell
 
45.
Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Writer, The Assassin
Of the ten films that Hsiao-Hsien Hou directed between 1980 and 1989, seven received best film or best director awards from prestigious international films festivals in Venice, Berlin, Hawaii, and the Festival of the Three Continents in Nantes. In a 1988 worldwide critics' poll, Hou was championed as "one of the three directors most crucial to the future of cinema." Hou's birthplace...
“ Other Notable Film(s): Millennium Mambo (2001); Café Lumière (2003); Three Times (2005); Flight of the Red Balloon (2007) ” - Paul Hamell
 
46.
Stephen Daldry
Director, The Reader
In 1989, Stephen Daldry worked as a freelance reader of unsolicited manuscripts for Literary Manager Nicholas Wright in the Scripts Department at the Royal National Theatre. In July of that year, he directed a Dadaist/expressionist production of "Judgement Day," a play by Odon von Horvath, at the Old Red Lion in London.
“ Every movie he directed he received a nomination for best director except for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

Give It a Shot: The Hours (2002)✧; The Reader (2008)

Caution: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): Billy Elliot (2000) ” - Paul Hamell
 
47.
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 (2001), and Pan's Labyrinth (2006), and more mainstream American action movies...
“ Greats: Pan's Labyrinth (2006)✧

Caution: Blade II (2002); Hellboy (2004)

Other Notable Film(s): The Devil's Backbone (2001)✧; Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) ” - Paul Hamell
 
48.
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)...
“ Greats: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Other Notable Film(s): Planet of the Apes (2001); Big Fish (2003); Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005); Corpse Bride [Co-director] (2005); Alice in Wonderland (2010); Dark Shadows (2012); Frankenweenie (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
49.
“ Greats: Oldboy (2003)✧

Other Notable Film(s): J.S.A.: Joint Security Area (2000); Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002); Lady Vengeance (2005); I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (2006); Thirst (2009); Stoker (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
50.
Paul Haggis
Writer, Crash
Paul Haggis is the award-winning filmmaker who, in 2006, became the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back - Million Dollar Baby directed by Clint Eastwood, and Crash which he himself directed. For Crash, he won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay...
“ Greats: Crash (2005)✧

Give It a Shot: In the Valley of Elah (2007)

Other Notable Film(s): The Next Three Days (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
51.
“ Give It a Shot: Thank You for Smoking (2005); Up in the Air (2009)✧; Young Adult (2011)

Caution: Juno (2007) ” - Paul Hamell
 
52.
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...
“ Greats: Skyfall (2012)

Give It a Shot: Revolutionary Road (2008)

Caution: Jarhead (2005)

Other Notable Film(s): Road to Perdition (2002); Away We Go (2009) ” - Paul Hamell
 
53.
Richard Linklater
Director, Before Sunset
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. Typically setting each of his movies during one 24-hour period...
“ Give It a Shot: Bernie (2012*)

Caution: The School of Rock (2003)

Other Notable Film(s): Waking Life (2001); Tape (2001); Before Sunset (2004); Bad News Bears (2005); A Scanner Darkly (2006); Fast Food Nation (2006); Me and Orson Welles (2008) ” - Paul Hamell
 
54.
Ken Loach
Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it's virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context. After studying law at St. Peter's College, Oxford, he branched out into the theater...
“ Other Notable Film(s): Bread and Roses (2000); The Navigators (2001); Sweet Sixteen (2002); Ae Fond Kiss... (2004); Tickets [Co-director] (2005); McLibel [doc/Co-director] (2005); The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006); It's a Free World... (2007); Looking for Eric (2009); Route Irish (2010); The Angels' Share (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
55.
Edward Yang
Writer, Yi Yi
Born on November 6, 1947 in Shanghai, China, Edward Yang has become one of the most talented international filmmakers of his generation. Along with Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Tsai Ming-Liang, Yang ranks among the leading artists of the Taiwanese New Wave, and one of the world's most brilliant auteurs. Growing up in Taipei...
“ Other Notable Film(s): Yi Yi (2000)✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
56.
Aki Kaurismäki
Aki Kaurismäki did a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic, before forming a production and distribution company, Villealfa (in homage to Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville) with his older brother Mika Kaurismäki, also a film-maker. Both Aki and Mika are prolific film-makers...
“ Other Notable Film(s): The Man Without a Past (2002)✧; Lights in the Dusk (2006); Le Havre (2011)✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
57.
“ Other Notable Film(s): The Circle (2000)✧; Crimson Gold (2003)✧; Offside (2006)✧; This Is Not a Film (2012)✧ ” - Paul Hamell
 
58.
Todd Haynes
Director, I'm Not There.
Todd Haynes was always interested in art, and made amateur movies and painted while he was still a child. He attended Brown university and majored in art and semiotics. After he graduated he moved to New York City and made the controversial short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. The movie uses dolls instead of actors to tell the the story of the late Karen Carpenter...
“ Greats: Far from Heaven (2002)✧

Caution: I'm Not There. (2007) ” - Paul Hamell
 
59.
Abbas Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940. He graduated from university with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer. He then joined the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started a film section, and this started his career as a filmmaker at the age of 30...
“ Other Notable Film(s): ABC Africa [doc] (2001); Dah (2002); Five Dedicated to Ozu [doc] (2003); 10 on Ten [doc] (2004); Tickets [Co-director] (2005); Shirin (2008); Certified Copy (2010)✧

Coming Soon... Like Someone in Love (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
60.
“ Greats: Walk the Line (2005)

Caution: Identity (2003)

Other Notable Film(s): Kate & Leopold (2001); 3:10 to Yuma (2007); Knight and Day (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
61.
“ Greats: The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

Other Notable Film(s): Son of the Bride (2001); Avellaneda's Moon (2004) ” - Paul Hamell
 
62.
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...
“ Give It a Shot: The Last Samurai (2004); Blood Diamond (2006)

Other Notable Film(s): Defiance (2008); Love & Other Drugs (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
63.
“ Other Notable Film(s): Before Night Falls (2000); The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007); Berlin (2007); Miral (2011) ” - Paul Hamell
 
64.
“ Greats: Hot Fuzz (2007)

Give It a Shot: Shaun of the Dead (2004)✧

Other Notable Film(s): Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
65.
George Clooney
Actor, Gravity
George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and game show host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney). He has Irish, English, and German ancestry. Clooney spent most of this youth in Ohio and Kentucky...
“ Give It a Shot: Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005); The Ides of March (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002); Leatherheads (2008) ” - Paul Hamell
 
66.
“ Other Notable Film(s): Chocolat (2000); The Shipping News (2001); An Unfinished Life (2005); Casanova (2005); The Hoax (2006); Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009); Dear John (2010); Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
67.
“ Other Notable Film(s): Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003); The Way Back (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
68.
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...
“ Give It a Shot: The Others (2001)

Other Notable Film(s): The Sea Inside (2004); Agora (2009) ” - Paul Hamell
 
69.
Nicolas Winding Refn
Director, Drive
Writer, director, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1970, to Anders Refn, a film director and editor, and Vibeke Winding (née Tuxen), a cinematographer. Just before he turned 11, in 1981, he moved to New York with his parents, where he lived out his teenage years. New York quickly became his city and soon began to shape Nicolas's future...
“ Give It a Shot: Drive (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): Fear X (2003); Pusher II (2004); Pusher III (2005); Bronson (2008); Valhalla Rising (2009) ” - Paul Hamell
 
70.
“ Greats: Monster's Ball (2001)

Caution: Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Other Notable Film(s): Everything Put Together (2000); Finding Neverland (2004); Stay (2005); The Kite Runner (2007); Quantum of Solace (2008); Machine Gun Preacher (2011); World War Z (2013) ” - Paul Hamell
 
71.
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...
“ Greats: The King's Speech (2010)✧

Other Notable Film(s): Red Dust (2004); Longford [TV] (2006); The Damned United (2009) ” - Paul Hamell
 
72.
Lee Unkrich
Editorial Department, Finding Nemo
Lee Unkrich attended Chagrin Falls High School in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. He was born in 1967 and graduated in 1985. He was a great French student and created a character in his movie, Toy Story 2 after his high school French teacher. He was featured in the local paper twice for Monsters, Inc. and for Finding Nemo.
“ Greats: Toy Story 3 (2010)✧

Give It a Shot: Monsters, Inc. [Co-director] (2001); Finding Nemo [Co-director] (2003) ” - Paul Hamell
 
73.
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...
“ Greats: Amélie (2001)✧

Other Notable Film(s): A Very Long Engagement (2004) ” - Paul Hamell
 
74.
“ Other Notable Film(s): Werckmeister Harmonies (2000); The Man from London (2007); The Turin Horse [Co-director] (2011) ” - Paul Hamell
 
75.
Robert Altman
Director, Gosford Park
Robert Altman was born on February 20th, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri, to B.C. (an insurance salesman) and Helen Altman. He entered St. Peters Catholic school at the age six, and spent a short time at a Catholic high school. From there, he went to Rockhurst High School. It was then that he started exploring the art of exploring sound with the cheap tape recorders available at the time...
“ Give It a Shot: Gosford Park (2001)

Other Notable Film(s): Dr. T & the Women (2000); The Company (2003); A Prairie Home Companion (2006) ” - Paul Hamell
 
76.
Anthony Minghella
Anthony Minghella was the son of immigrants from Italy, who own an ice-cream factory on the Isle of Wight, where Anthony was born on January 6, 1954. He and his two siblings, Edana Minghella and Dominic Minghella, grew up there, a popular British holiday spot. After graduating from the University of Hull...
“ Greats: Cold Mountain (2003)

Other Notable Film(s): Breaking and Entering (2006) ” - Paul Hamell
 
77.
Takashi Miike
Takashi Miike was born in the small town of Yao on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan. His main interest growing up was motorbikes, and for a while he harbored ambitions to race professionally. At the age of 18 he went to study at the film school in Yokohama founded by renowned director Shôhei Imamura, primarily because there were no entrance exams...
“ Give It a Shot: Ichi the Killer (2001)

Other Notable Film(s): The City of Lost Souls (2000); Dead or Alive 2: Tôbôsha (2000); Gozu (2003); One Missed Call (2003); Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (2006); Sukiyaki Western Django (2007); 13 Assassins (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
78.
“ Greats: Ray (2004)

Other Notable Film(s): Proof of Life (2000); Love Ranch (2010)

Coming Soon... Parker (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
79.
Ki-duk Kim
He studied fine arts in Paris in 1990-1992. In 1993 he won the award for Best Screenplay from the Educational Institute of Screenwriting with "A Painter and A Criminal Condemned to Death". After two more screenplay awards, he made his directorial debut with Crocodile. Then he went on to direct Wild Animals...
“ Other Notable Film(s): The Isle (2000); Address Unknown (2001); Bad Guy (2001); The Coast Guard (2002); 3-Iron (2004); Samaritan Girl (2004); The Bow (2005); Time (2006); Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2008) ” - Paul Hamell
 
80.
“ Other Notable Film(s): Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000); Memories of Murder (2003); The Host (2006); Tokyo! (2008); Mother (2009) ” - Paul Hamell
 
81.
“ Give It a Shot: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): Four Shades of Brown (2004); Let the Right One In (2008) ” - Paul Hamell
 
82.
Michel Hazanavicius
Director, The Artist
Michel Hazanavicius was born and raised in Paris, France. His grandparents were originally from Lithuania, but relocated to France in the 1920s. Hazanavicius attended art school, and moved on to work as a director for commercials and television projects. In 1999, he wrote and directed his first feature film Mes amis...
“ Greats: The Artist (2011)✧

Other Notable Film(s): OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006); OSS 117 - Lost in Rio (2009) ” - Paul Hamell
 
83.
Noah Baumbach
Born in Brooklyn in 1969 Noah Baumbach is the son of two film critics, Georgia Brown and Jonathan Baumbach (also a writer). His studies at Vassar College were the subject of his first film (made as he was 26 years old), Kicking and Screaming. His second major picture, made ten years later, The Squid and the Whale was no less autobiographical but went back further in his personal history...
“ Other Notable Film(s): The Squid and the Whale (2005)✧; Margot at the Wedding (2007); Greenberg (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
84.
Jacques Audiard
Writer, A Prophet
Born in Paris, France, in 1952. Jacques Audiard's family has always been involved in movie business. His father, Michel, was a popular screenwriter and director and his uncle a producer. But in his teens he refused that world and wanted to be a teacher. He studied literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne but didn't finish his degree...
“ Other Notable Film(s): Read My Lips (2001); The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005); A Prophet (2009); Rust & Bone (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
85.
“ Greats: The Lives of Others (2006)✧

Other Notable Film(s): The Tourist (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
86.
Michel Gondry
He grew up in Versailles with a family who was very influenced by pop music. When he was young, Gondry wanted to be a painter or an inventor. In the 80s he entered in an art school in Paris where he could develop his graphic skills and where he also met friends with whom he created a pop-rock band called Oui-Oui...
“ Greats: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)✧

Caution: The Green Hornet (2011)

Flops: Be Kind Rewind (2008)

Other Notable Film(s): Human Nature (2001); Dave Chappelle's Block Party [doc] (2005); The Science of Sleep (2006) ” - Paul Hamell
 
87.
“ Other Notable Film(s): Happy Accidents (2000); Session 9 (2001); The Machinist (2004); Transsiberian (2008); Vanishing on 7th Street (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
88.
Andrew Stanton
Writer, Finding Nemo
Oscar-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton was raised in Rockport, Massachusetts. He was educated at The California Institute of the Arts (or "CalArts") in Los Angeles, where he studied character animation. After graduation, Stanton began working as a writer on the TV series Mighty Mouse, the New Adventures. In 1990, he became only the second animator and ninth employee to join Pixar Animation Studios...
“ Greats: WALL·E (2008)✧

Give It a Shot: Finding Nemo [Co-director] (2003) ” - Paul Hamell
 
89.
“ Give It a Shot: The Bank Job (2008)

Caution: The Recruit (2003)

Other Notable Film(s): Thirteen Days (2000); The World's Fastest Indian (2005); Seeking Justice (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
90.
“ Other Notable Film(s): The Foul King (2000); A Tale of Two Sisters (2003); A Bittersweet Life (2005); The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008); I Saw the Devil (2010)

Coming Soon... The Last Stand (2013) ” - Paul Hamell
 
91.
Andrzej Wajda
Director, Katyn
Andrzej Wajda is an Academy Award-wining director. He is the most prominent filmmaker in Poland known for The Promised Land, Man of Iron, and Katyn. He was born Andrzej Wajda on March 6, 1926, in Suwalki, Poland. His mother, Aniela Wajda, was a teacher at a Ukrainian school. His father...
“ Greats: Katyn (2007)

Other Notable Film(s): The Revenge (2002); Tatarak (2009)

Coming Soon... Walesa. Czlowiek z nadziei (2013) ” - Paul Hamell
 
92.
Takeshi Kitano
Takeshi Kitano was born in Tokyo in 1947 and entered show business in 1972 as "Beat" Takeshi, the stage name he continues to use today as a performer. As part of the comic duo Two Beats, Kitano was one of the leading figures in the manzai (stand-up comedy) boom in the late 1970s. With his distinctive art of speech and his idiosyncratic perspective...
“ Other Notable Film(s): Brother (2000); Dolls (2002); The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003); Outrage (2010) ” - Paul Hamell
 
93.
Jim Jarmusch
Jarmusch came to New York City from Akron, Ohio to study at Columbia and NYU's film school. He would also study film at the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris. He worked as an assistant on Lightning Over Water, a film by Nicholas Ray and Wim Wenders, before making his first film, _Permanent Vacation (1982)_...
“ Give It a Shot: Broken Flowers (2005)

Other Notable Film(s): Coffee and Cigarettes (2003); The Limits of Control (2009) ” - Paul Hamell
 
94.
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...
“ Greats: A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Caution: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000); Frost/Nixon (2008); The Dilemma (2011)

Other Notable Film(s): The Missing (2003); Cinderella Man (2005); The Da Vinci Code (2006); Angels & Demons (2009); Rush (2013) ” - Paul Hamell
 
95.
Joe Wright
Director, Atonement
“ Other Notable Film(s): Pride & Prejudice (2005); Atonement (2007); The Soloist (2009); Hanna (2011); Anna Karenina (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
96.
Ed Harris
By transforming into his characters and pulling the audience in, Ed Harris has earned the reputation as one of the most talented actors of our time. Ed Harris was born in Tenafly, New Jersey, to Margaret (Sholl), a travel agent, and Robert Lee Harris, a bookstore worker who also sang professionally...
“ Greats: Pollock (2000)

Other Notable Film(s): Appaloosa (2008) ” - Paul Hamell
 
97.
Derek Cianfrance
Derek Cianfrance began making movies at age 13. He later attended The University of Colorado where he studied under avant-garde film legends Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon. His first three films, 'Five O'clock Shadow', 'Raw Footage', and Brother Tied, won consecutive Goldfarb Awards for best film...
“ Greats: Blue Valentine (2010)

Give It a Shot: The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

Other Notable Film(s): ” - Paul Hamell
 
98.
“ Greats: In Bruges (2008)

Other Notable Film(s): Seven Psychopaths (2012) ” - Paul Hamell
 
99.
Wim Wenders
Director, Wings of Desire
Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until reunification)...
“ Other Notable Film(s): The Million Dollar Hotel (2000); The Soul of a Man (2003); Land of Plenty (2004); Don't Come Knocking (2005); Palermo Shooting (2008); Pina (2011) ” - Paul Hamell
 
100.
“ Other Notable Film(s): Behind the Sun (2001); The Motorcycle Diaries (2004); Dark Water (2005); Linha de Passe (2008) ” - Paul Hamell