The best most underrated directors that deserve to make a comeback

by danielr0604 | created - 18 May 2011 | updated - 18 Oct 2011 | Public

1. Craig Brewer

Director | Hustle & Flow

Father, Walter D. Brewer worked in a number of high-level corporate positions for Matson Navigation Company, culminating in the position of director of corporate development from 1990-1998, when he died. His work caused the family to move from Vallejo, California (where Craig attended elementary ...

2. Jody Hill

Writer | Observe and Report

Jody Hill was born in North Carolina, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Observe and Report (2009), Vice Principals (2016) and Eastbound & Down (2009).

3. Albert Hughes

Director | The Book of Eli

Albert and Allen Hughes began making movies at age 12, but their formal film education began their freshman year of high school when Allen took a TV production class. They soon made a short film entitled How To Be A Burglar and people began to take notice. Their next work, Uncensored videos, was ...

4. Allen Hughes

Director | The Book of Eli

Albert and Allen Hughes began making movies at age 12, but their formal film education began their freshman year of high school when Allen took a TV production class. They soon made a short film entitled How To Be A Burglar and people began to take notice. Their next work, Uncensored videos, was ...

5. James Wan

Writer | Saw

James Wan (born 26 February 1977) is an Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw (2004) and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2010)...

6. Francis Lawrence

Director | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Francis Lawrence was born on March 26, 1971 in Vienna, Austria. He is a director and producer, known for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), I Am Legend (2007) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014).

7. Zach Braff

Actor | Garden State

Zach Braff was born and raised in South Orange, New Jersey, to Anne Hutchinson (Maynard), a clinical psychologist, and Harold Irwin Braff, a trial attorney. His father is from Russia and Austria, while Zach's mother, who is from a family with deep roots in New England. Zach attended Columbia High ...

8. Todd Solondz

Director | Welcome to the Dollhouse

Todd Solondz was born in Newark, New Jersey. One of his earliest jobs in the film industry was when, as a young man, he worked as a messenger for the Writers' Guild of America. During this time, he wrote several screenplays.

Solondz's first color film with sync sound was the short "Schatt's Last ...

9. Adam Rifkin

Writer | Chillerama

Adam Rifkin is a writer/director/producer/actor whose eclectic career ranges from broad family comedies to gritty urban dramas. Most recently Rifkin wrote, directed, and starred in Homo Erectus, a comedy set in caveman times that had its World Premier at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival. ...

10. Harold Ramis

Writer | Ghost Busters

Born on November 21, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois, Harold Allen Ramis got his start in comedy as Playboy magazine's joke editor and reviewer. In 1969, he joined Chicago's Second City's Improvisational Theatre Troupe before moving to New York to help write and perform in "The National Lampoon Show" ...

11. Peter Farrelly

Producer | There's Something About Mary

Peter Farrelly was born on December 17, 1956 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA as Peter John Farrelly. He is a producer and writer, known for There's Something About Mary (1998), Dumb and Dumber (1994) and Movie 43 (2013). He has been married to Melinda Farrelly since December 31, 1996. They have ...

12. Bobby Farrelly

Producer | There's Something About Mary

Bobby Farrelly was born on June 17, 1958 in Cumberland, Rhode Island, USA as Robert Leo Farrelly Jr. He is a producer and writer, known for There's Something About Mary (1998), Osmosis Jones (2001) and Me, Myself & Irene (2000). He has been married to Nancy Farrelly since 1990. They have two ...

13. Bobcat Goldthwait

Director | God Bless America

Robert Francis 'Bobcat' Goldthwait, born May 26, 1962, is an American comedian. He is most widely known for his high pitch voice during his comedy acts.

He was born in Syracuse, New York in 1962. He decided on a career as a comedian at an early age and was performing professionally while still in ...

14. Dito Montiel

Writer | A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

Dito Montiel was born on July 26, 1965 in New York City, New York, USA as Orlando Anthony Montiel Jr. He is a writer and director, known for A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006), Fighting (2009) and Boulevard (2014).

15. Terry Zwigoff

Director | Ghost World

Born in Appleton, Wisconsin, Zwigoff held several jobs before making his breakthrough feature: the documentary Crumb (1994) in 1994. His previous jobs included musician, shipping clerk, printer and welfare office worker. In fact, Zwigoff traces his film career back to discovering a rare blues ...

16. David Ayer

Writer | End of Watch

David Ayer is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. David Ayer was born in Champaign, Illinois and grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota, and Bethesda, Maryland, where he was kicked out of his house by his parents as a teenager. Ayer then lived with his cousin in Los Angeles, ...

17. David Wain

Writer | Wet Hot American Summer

David Wain was born and raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

He met the other members of the comedy troupe The State while a film student at NYU, where he graduated from in 1991.

As part of The State, he co-created and co-starred on their self-titled MTV sketch comedy show in the mid 90's. He then ...

18. Nimród Antal

Director | Kontroll

Antal was born in Los Angeles, California of Hungarian ancestry. He moved to Hungary in 1991 to study at the Hungarian Film Academy. After graduating, he went on to work in the film and television industry. In 2005, he moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles to pursue success in Hollywood.

He is ...

19. 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...

20. 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 ...

21. Edgar Wright

Director | Shaun of the Dead

Edgar Howard Wright (born 18 April 1974) is an English director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. He is best known for his comedic Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy consisting of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013), made with recurrent collaborators Simon Pegg...

22. Pierre Morel

Director | Banlieue 13

Pierre Morel was born on May 12, 1964 in France. He is known for his work on District B13 (2004), Taken (2008) and The Gunman (2015).

23. Bob Odenkirk

Actor | Better Call Saul

Robert John Odenkirk was born in Berwyn, Illinois, to Barbara (Baier) and Walter Odenkirk, who worked in printing. His ancestry includes German and Irish. He grew up in Naperville, IL, the second of seven children. He worked as a DJ for WIDB, his college radio station at Southern Illinois ...

24. Rob McKittrick

Writer | Waiting...

Rob McKittrick was born in 1973. He is a writer and director, known for Waiting... (2005), Man That Rocks the Cradle and The Brothers Solomon (2007).

25. Brian Helgeland

Writer | A Knight's Tale

Brian Helgeland was born on January 17, 1961 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA as Brian Thomas Helgeland. He is a writer and director, known for A Knight's Tale (2001), Man on Fire (2004) and 42 (2013).

26. Luc Besson

Writer | Le cinquième élément

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 (1988) and The Fifth Element (1997), as an adolescent bored in ...

27. Denzel Washington

Actor | Fences

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at ...

28. 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 ...

29. Spike Lee

Director | Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended ...

30. Peter Berg

Writer | Very Bad Things

Peter Berg is an American actor, director, writer, and producer. His first role was in the Adam Rifkin road movie Never on Tuesday (1989). He went on to star in the World War 2 film A Midnight Clear (1992). Roles in Fire in the Sky (1993) and Cop Land (1997) followed, and the Tom Cruise films ...

31. Eli Roth

Actor | Inglourious Basterds

Eli Raphael Roth was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Cora (Bialis), a painter, and Sheldon H. Roth, a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and clinical professor. His family is Jewish (from Austria, Hungary, Russia, and Poland). He began shooting Super 8 films at the age of eight, after watching Ridley ...

32. Akiva Schaffer

Writer | Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Akiva Schaffer was born on December 1, 1977 in Berkeley, California, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016), Saturday Night Live (1975) and The Lego Movie (2014). He has been married to Liz Cackowski since 2010. They have two children.

33. John Hamburg

Writer | Little Fockers

John Hamburg was born on May 26, 1970 in New York City, New York, USA as John Liman Hamburg. He is a writer and director, known for Little Fockers (2010), Why Him? (2016) and I Love You, Man (2009). He has been married to Christina Kirk since September 24, 2005.

34. Adam McKay

Writer | The Big Short

Adam McKay (born April 17, 1968) is an American screenwriter, director, comedian, and actor. McKay has a comedy partnership with Will Ferrell, with whom he co-wrote the films Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and The Other Guys. Ferrell and McKay also founded their comedy website Funny or Die through ...

35. Shane Acker

Director | 9

Shane Acker was born as Shane Richard Acker. He is known for his work on 9 (2009), Total Recall (2012) and 9 (2005).

37. Simon West

Director | Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Simon West was born in 1961 in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. He is a producer and director, known for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), The General's Daughter (1999) and Stolen (2012).

38. Chan-wook Park

Director | Ah-ga-ssi

Chan-wook Park was born on August 23, 1963 in Seoul, South Korea. He is a director and writer, known for Ah-ga-ssi (2016), Thirst (2009) and Oldeuboi (2003).

39. Danny DeVito

Actor | Matilda

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. ...

40. Florent-Emilio Siri

Director | Hostage

Florent-Emilio Siri was born on March 2, 1965. He is a director and writer, known for Hostage (2005), L'ennemi intime (2007) and Une minute de silence (1998).

41. Tamra Davis

Director | Crossroads

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...

42. Michael Dougherty

Writer | Trick 'r Treat

Michael Dougherty was born on October 28, 1974 in Columbus, Ohio, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Trick 'r Treat (2007), Krampus (2015) and Superman Returns (2006).

43. Chris Robinson

Director | ATL

Award-winning director Chris Robinson delivers imagery for commercial, music video, feature film and digital platforms.

Robinson's commercial work includes campaigns for global brands like Reebok, Orange, Mountain Dew, Budweiser, Kodak, Gatorade, Apple, Coca-Cola, and Verizon. He recently completed...