Directors I obsess over

by Vaggeli | created - 02 May 2015 | updated - 09 Feb 2017 | Public

These guys are all visionaries in their own way and I watch every single film they make, no matter the genre, reputation or reaction. They always have films worth watching, thinking about and discussing.

Note: When I list 'must sees', I mean the film makers best films. Their whole filmographies should be seen at least once.

Of course a few of these guys have done the odd film I didn't like, but no one is perfect.

1. 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...

Must sees:

Gone Baby Gone The Town Argo Live By Night

2. 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, ...

Must sees:

Street Kings End of Watch Fury Suicide Squad

3. Shane Black

Writer | Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Considered one of the pioneer screenwriters of the action genre, Black made his mark with his Lethal Weapon (1987) screenplay. He also collaborated on the story of the sequel, Lethal Weapon 2 (1989). Each successive script he turned in had a higher price attached it, from The Last Boy Scout (1991) ...

Must sees:

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang Iron Man Three The Nice Guys

4. Neill Blomkamp

Director | District 9

Neill Blomkamp was born on September 17, 1979 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a director and writer, known for District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015). He is married to Terri Tatchell. They have one child.

Must sees:

District 9 Elysium Chappie

5. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

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 ...

Must sees:

The Terminator Aliens The Abyss Terminator 2 True Lies

6. Joe Carnahan

Writer | The A-Team

Joe Carnahan was born on May 9, 1969 in Sacramento, California, USA as Joseph Aaron Carnahan. He is a producer and writer, known for The A-Team (2010), Narc (2002) and Smokin' Aces (2006).

Must sees:

Narc Smokin' Aces The A-Team The Grey Stretch

7. Fred Dekker

Writer | The Monster Squad

Writer/director Fred Dekker was born on April 9, 1959 in San Francisco, California. An avid comic book fan, monster movie buff, and film nerd from an early age, Dekker was rejected by both USC and UCLA film schools. He wound up attending UCLA as an English major instead. His fellow UCLA classmates ...

Must sees:

Night of the Creeps Monster Squad

8. Gareth Edwards

Visual_effects | Monsters

Gareth James Edwards was born on June 1, 1975 in the English town of Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Growing up, he admired movies such as the 1977 classic "Star Wars", and went on to pursue a film career. He even cites George Lucas and Steven Spielberg as his biggest influences. Edwards studied BA (Hons) ...

Must sees:

Monsters Godzilla Rogue One

9. Gareth Evans

Director | Serbuan maut

Welsh born writer/director, in 2003 directed a short film "Samurai Monogatari" telling the tale of a Samurai waiting to be executed. The short was in Japanese language and starred students from Tokyo who were studying at Cardiff University at the time.

In 2003 he also graduated with an MA in ...

Must sees:

Merantau The Raid The Raid 2

10. David Fincher

Director | Se7en

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...

Must sees:

Alien 3 Seven The Game Fight Club Panic Room Zodiac The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Social Network The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

11. Antoine Fuqua

Producer | The Magnificent Seven

Antoine Fuqua is an American film director, known for his work in the film Training Day as well as The Replacement Killers, Tears of the Sun, King Arthur, Shooter, Brooklyn's Finest, Olympus Has Fallen and The Equalizer.

He has directed music videos for such artists as Arrested Development, Prince, ...

Must sees:

Training Day Tears of the Sun Shooter Brooklyn's Finest Olympus Has Fallen The Equalizer The Magnificent Seven

12. Walter Hill

Writer | 48 Hrs.

Hill was born in Long Beach, California and educated at Mexico City College and Michigan State University. He worked in oil drilling and construction in the 60s before becoming a 2nd assistant director in 1967. He has written and co-written screenplays, including several uncredited works. He has ...

Must sees:

The Warriors 48 HRS Extreme Prejudice Another 48 HRS Trespass Last Man Standing Undisputed

13. John Hyams

Director | All Square

Beginning his career in the fine arts, John Hyams graduated from Syracuse University's School of Visual and Performing Arts, earning top awards in painting and sculpture. Hyams exhibited and sold work in Los Angeles and New York before turning his attention to film. In 1997 Hyams wrote, directed, ...

Must sees:

Universal Soldier: Regeneration Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

14. 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 Warcraft: The Beginning (2016). He has been married to Rodene Ronquillo since November 6, 2012. They have two children.

Must sees:

Moon Source Code Warcraft

15. 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.

Must sees:

Dog Soldiers The Descent Doomsday Centurion

16. John McTiernan

Director | Die Hard

John McTiernan was born on January 8, 1951 in Albany, New York, USA as John Campbell McTiernan Jr. He is a director and producer, known for Die Hard (1988), Predator (1987) and Last Action Hero (1993). He has been married to Gail Sistrunk since 2012. He was previously married to Kate Harrington, ...

Must sees:

Predator Die Hard The Hunt For Red October Die Hard: With a Vengeance

17. Vincenzo Natali

Director | Cube

Vincenzo Natali was born on January 6, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is known for his work on Cube (1997), Cypher (2002) and Splice (2009).

Must sees:

Cube Cypher Splice Haunter

18. 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.

...

Must sees:

Memento Insomnia Batman Begins The Prestige The Dark Knight Inception The Dark Knight Rises Interstellar

19. Alex Proyas

Director | Dark City

Alex Proyas has moved effortlessly between helming TV commercials and music videos to feature films. Born to Greek parents in Egypt, Proyas relocated to Australia with his family when he was three years old. He began making films at age ten and went on to attend the Australian Film Television and ...

Must sees:

The Crow Dark City I, Robot Knowing Gods of Egypt

20. Guy Ritchie

Director | Sherlock Holmes

Guy Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK on September 10, 1968. After watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) 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 ...

Must sees:

Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels Snatch RocknRolla Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

21. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

Must sees:

Alien Blade Runner Legend Black Rain Thelma & Louise 1492 Gladiator Hannibal Black Hawk Down Matchstick Men Kingdom of Heaven: Director's Cut American Gangster Prometheus The Martian

22. 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 ...

Must sees:

Dawn of the Dead 300 Watchmen Man of Steel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition

23. 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...

Must sees:

Reservoir Dogs Pulp Fiction Jackie Brown Kill Bill Inglorious Basterds Django Unchained The Hateful Eight

24. 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 ...

Must sees:

Cronos Mimic Director's Cut The Devil's Backbone Blade II Hellboy Pan's Labrynth Hellboy II: The Golden Army Pacific Rim Crimson Peak

25. 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 (1998) and Snatch (2000) and for directing the crime thriller, Layer Cake (2004), the fantasy epic, Stardust (2007), the superhero comedy, Kick-Ass (2010), and the ...

Must sees:

Layer Cake X-Men: First Class Kick Ass Kingsman: The Secret Service

26. 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, ...

Must sees:

Bound The Matrix Trilogy Speed Racer Cloud Atlas Sense8

27. Lana Wachowski

Writer | The Matrix

Lana Wachowski and her sister Lilly Wachowski, (also known as 'The Wachowskis') are the duo behind ground-breaking movies such as The Matrix (1999) and Cloud Atlas (2012). Born to mother Lynne, a nurse, and father Ron, a businessman of Polish descent, Wachowski grew up in Chicago and formed a tight...

Must sees:

Bound The Matrix Trilogy Speed Racer Cloud Atlas Sense8

28. James Wan

Producer | The Conjuring 2

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)...

Must sees:

Saw Death Sentence Insidious The Conjuring Insidious Chapter 2 Furious 7

29. Adam Wingard

Director | You're Next

At 19 Adam got his start in feature film making early with his directorial debut Home Sick, a slasher horror film starring Bill Moseley and Tom Toweles. However it was his second effort at 24 years old with the film Pop Skull that garnered him a talent to watch. Made for a budget of around 2000 ...

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