The Top 25 Best Modern Genre Filmmakers

by RevengeOfBobRoss | created - 09 Mar 2014 | updated - 09 Mar 2014 | Public

So, what is a "modern" director. Well, I'm including directors whose films have become popular from the mid-90s to present, because I feel "modern" means a director whose films were produced during the technological revolution of modern CGI, the internet, and fast editing/shaky cam. The modern style of blockbusters became popular in the mid-90s with Independence Day, Titanic, Jurassic Park and the like, and this has taken control of Hollywood for the most part. That doesn't mean there aren't good directors whose films shine through. The same could be said for modern horror- the PG-13 rating has made many films profitable without taking any chances, and the teen demographic has allowed jump scares to pervade the market. Yet there are still directors who make fantastic films. This list is dedicated to the genre filmmakers out there who should be remembered years from now.

Honorable mentions to Gore Verbinski, Tarsem Singh, Robert Rodriguez, Guy Ritchie, and Zack Snyder for making a few very good films but unfortunately some downright awful ones, too.

1. Guillermo del Toro

Writer | El laberinto del fauno

Guillermo del Toro was born October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. Raised by his Catholic grandmother, del Toro developed an interest in filmmaking in his early teens. Later, he learned about makeup and effects from the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist (1973)) and worked on making his ...

2. Quentin Tarantino

Writer | Reservoir Dogs

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...

3. J.J. Abrams

Producer | Lost

Jeffrey Jacob Abrams was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, the son of TV producer parents. Abrams planned on going to dental school, but decided to study film at Sarah Lawrence College. At 15, he wrote the music for Don Dohler's Nightbeast (1982). In his senior year, he and Jill ...

4. Christopher Nolan

Writer | Dunkirk

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear, storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.

...

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. 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, ...

This spot counts as "The Wachowskis" together since I couldn't put two people in one slot.

7. Peter Jackson

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

Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...

8. 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 The Handmaiden (2016), Thirst (2009) and Oldboy (2003). He is married to Eun-hee Kim. They have one child.

9. Joss Whedon

Writer | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon is the middle of five brothers - his younger brothers are Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon. Both his father, Tom Whedon and his grandfather, John Whedon were successful television writers. Joss' mother, Lee Stearns, was a history teacher and she also wrote novels as Lee Whedon. Whedon was ...

10. Darren Aronofsky

Director | Pi

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 ...

11. 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 ...

12. Shane Carruth

Composer | Primer

Writer-director Shane Carruth, a former software engineer, burst onto the independent movie scene with his extremely low-budget science-fiction film Primer (2004) in 2004. Carruth also played one of the two leads in the film and composed its music. "Primer" won the Grand Jury Prize and the Alfred P...

13. Brad Bird

Writer | The Incredibles

Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an American director, screenwriter, animator, producer and occasional voice actor, known for both animated and live-action films. Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana, the youngest of four children of Marjorie A. (née Cross) and Philip Cullen Bird. His father worked in...

14. Bryan Singer

Director | X-Men

Bryan Singer was born on September 17, 1965 in New York City, New York, USA as Bryan Jay Singer. He is a producer and director, known for X-Men (2000), The Usual Suspects (1995) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).

15. Jee-woon Kim

Director | Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom

Jee-woon Kim was born on May 27, 1964 in Seoul, South Korea. He is a director and writer, known for The Good the Bad the Weird (2008), A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) and I Saw the Devil (2010).

16. Takashi Miike

Director | Koroshiya 1

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, ...

17. Luc Besson

Writer | The Fifth Element

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 ...

18. 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...

19. Alexandre Aja

Director | Haute tension

Alexandre Aja was born on August 7, 1978 in Paris, France as Alexandre Jouan Arcady. He is a director and producer, known for High Tension (2003), The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and Piranha 3D (2010). He is married to Laïla Marrakchi.

20. Rian Johnson

Director | Brick

Rian Johnson was born in Maryland and at a young age, he moved to San Clemente, California, where he was raised. After graduating from high school, he went on to attend the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His first feature film Brick (2005) was released in 2005 and was ...

21. Duncan Jones

Director | Moon

Duncan Jones was born on May 30, 1971 in Bromley, Kent, England as Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones. He is a director and writer, known for Moon (2009), Source Code (2011) and Mute (2018). He has been married to Rodene Ronquillo since November 6, 2012. They have two children.

22. Ti West

Director | The Innkeepers

Ti West Most Notable For Directing Horror Films Is An Actor,Writer,Producer,Editor And Very Genuine Director As Well.Ti Broke Out After Directing Various Features Until 2009 Happened Upon Him With Which He Directed 2 Feature Films 2009's The House Of The Devil & Also Cabin Fever 2 Spring Fever.Ti ...

23. Nicolas Winding Refn

Writer | The Neon Demon

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 teen years. ...

24. Neil Marshall

Director | Dog Soldiers

Neil Marshall was born on May 25, 1970 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He is a director and producer, known for Dog Soldiers (2002), The Descent (2005) and Doomsday (2008). He was previously married to Axelle Carolyn.

25. Ben Wheatley

Director | Free Fire

Ben Wheatley was born in May 1972 in Billericay, Essex, England. He is a director and writer, known for Free Fire (2016), Kill List (2011) and High-Rise (2015).



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