A list of 40 Great Movie Directors

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3.
Michael Bay
Producer, Transformers
A graduate of Wesleyan University, Michael Bay spent his 20s working on advertisements and music videos. His first projects after film school were in the music video business. He created music videos for Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Lionel Richie, Wilson Phillips, Donny Osmond and The Divinyls...
 
4.
Ron Underwood
Director, Tremors
A director who is equally adept at working in television as well as features, Southern California native Ron Underwood has been making films since 5th grade and was winning Eastman Kodak filmmaking awards by the time he was in his teens. After graduating from University of Southern California, he completed...
 
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6.
Peter Berg
Producer, Lone Survivor
Peter Berg is an American actor, director, writer, and producer. His first role was in the Adam Rifkin road movie Never on Tuesday. He went on to star in the Word War 2 film A Midnight Clear. Roles in Fire in the Sky and Cop Land followed, and the Tom Cruise films Collateral and Lions for Lambs...
 
7.
Keenen Ivory Wayans
Writer, White Chicks
The trail-blazing linchpin of a sprawling African-American family of comic entertainers, it was multi-talented writer/director/producer Keenen Ivory Wayans (born June 8, 1958, in New York City) who was the first to achieve national prominence by successfully creating, launching and hosting a landmark 1990s black-oriented comedy satire on Fox TV...
 
9.
Joe Dante
Director, Gremlins
Joe Dante is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art. After a stint as a film reviewer, he began his filmmaking apprenticeship in 1974 as trailer editor for Roger Corman's New World Pictures. He made his directorial debut in 1976 with Hollywood Boulevard (co-directed with Allan Arkush), a thinly disguised spoof of New World exploitation pictures, shot in ten days for $60,000...
 
10.
Les Mayfield
Director, Flubber
 
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13.
Edward D. Wood Jr.
Hacks are nothing new in Hollywood. Since the beginning of the Hollywood film industry, thousands of untalented people come to Los Angeles from all over America and abroad to try to make it big (artists, writers, producers, directors, actors, talent agents, etc.), but who end up using, scamming and...
 
14.
Tamra Davis
Director, Billy Madison
Began her career directing music videos for acts like Tone Loc, Depeche Mode, NWA and Sonic Youth and made her first feature in 92 with Guncrazy starring Drew Barrymore. Ms Barrymore received a Golden Globe Nomination. She then went on to direct feature films starring Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Dave Chappelle and Britney Spears...
 
16.
Gore Verbinski
Gore Verbinski, one of American cinema's most inventive directors who was a punk-rock guitarist as a teenager and had to sell his guitar to buy his first camera, is now the director of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest which made the industry record for highest opening weekend of all time ($135,600,000) and grossed over $1 billion dollars worldwide...
 
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18.
Neil LaBute
Acclaimed and highly discussed filmmaker Neil LaBute has made himself a force to be reckoned with and a name to watch. With his true-to-life cynical and self-absorbed characters and all-too-true social themes, he has firmly established himself as an unforgiving judge of the ugliest side of human nature...
 
20.
M. Night Shyamalan
Born in Puducherry, India, and raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is a film director, screenwriter, producer, and occasional actor, known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots. He is the son of Jayalakshmi, a Tamil obstetrician and gynecologist...
 
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22.
Mark L. Lester
Director, Commando
Director, writer and producer Mark L. Lester has created high-action films throughout his career, including some of the world's biggest box office draws. His directorial expertise has garnered praise for such films as Arnold Schwarzenegger's box-office mega-hit Commando, Stephen King's supernatural thriller Firestarter with Drew Barrymore and Martin Sheen...
 
23.
Stephen Sommers
Writer, The Mummy
Stephen Sommers was born on March 20, 1962 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota, he attended St. John's University and the University of Seville in Spain. Afterward, Sommers spent the next four years performing as an actor in theater groups and managing rock bands throughout Europe...
 
24.
Danny DeVito
Danny DeVito has amassed a formidable and versatile body of work as an actor, producer and director that spans the stage, television and film. Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. was born on November 17, 1944, in Neptune, New Jersey, to Italian-American parents. His mother, Julia (Moccello), was a homemaker...
 
25.
Tyler Perry
Perry was born and raised in New Orleans, to Willie Maxine (Campbell) and Emmitt Perry, Sr. His mother was a church-goer and took Perry along with her once a week. His father was a carpenter and they had a very strained and abusive relationship, which led Perry to suffer from depression as a teenager...
 
26.
Uwe Boll
Producer, Postal
As a child, he produced a number of short films on Super 8 and video before beginning his studies as a film director in Munich and Vienna. He also studied literature and economics in Cologne and Siegen. Uwe graduated from university in 1995 with a doctorate in literature. From 1995-2000, he was a producer and director with Taunus Film-Produktions GmbH...
 
27.
Barry Sonnenfeld
Director, Men in Black
Barry Sonnenfeld was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from New York University of Film School in 1978. He started work as director of photography on the Oscar-nominated In Our Water. Then Joel Coen and Ethan Coen hired him for Blood Simple.. This film began his collaboration with the Coen Bros....
 
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32.
John Stockwell
Director, Blue Crush
John Stockwell is an American actor, director, producer and writer who is probably best known - as an actor - for his roles in the Tom Cruise vehicles Losin' It and Top Gun, and the Stephen King - John Carpenter film Christine. John has since moved from acting into the director's chair...
 
33.
Tom Vaughan
Director, Victoria
 
34.
Tom Brady
Raised on the back-streets of Jersey, Tom's award-winning fiction helped earn him a scholarship to Harvard College. Arriving in Cambridge, he landed a lead acting role opposite Amy Brenneman where they stripped naked and smeared ice cream and sprinkles on each other - and Tom knew a career in show business was his destiny...
 
35.
Tinto Brass
Actor, Monella
Giovanni Brass was born on 26 March 1933 into the family of a famous artist, Italico Brass, who was his grandfather. Italico gave his grandson a nickname "Tintoretto," which Giovanni later adapted into his cinematic name, Tinto Brass. Tinto inherited his grandfather's artistic skills, but he applied them to film instead of canvas...
 
36.
McG
Producer, Supernatural
 
37.
Renny Harlin
Director, Die Hard 2
Born in 15 March 1959 as Renny Lauri Mauritz Harjola, he is the most successful Finnish film director in the history of Hollywood. Harlin started his career in film business in the beginning of 1980s when he was directing commercials and company films for companies like Shell. Later he worked as a buyer for Finnish film distributor and met Finnish Markus Selin in Los Angeles...
 
38.
Steven Brill
Director, Little Nicky
A native of Utica, New York, Steven Brill studied film, theater and acting at Boston University. It was there that he became a student of acclaimed, Nobel Prize winning poet and playwright, Derek Walcott. Brill became a part of Mr. Walcott's first theater group in Boston, Playwright's Theater, where he wrote and directed original plays...
 
39.
Roland Emmerich
Roland Emmerich is a German film director and producer of blockbuster films like The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla, Independence Day and The Patriot. Before fame, he originally wanted to be a production designer, but decided to be a director, after watching the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Emmerich began his career in his native Germany...