Greatest Film Directors of All Time

The Top TenXW

1Upendra

Wonderful person with lot of new ideas and with new technology.. All of his movies will be having a different screenplay and his movies contains very very important message for the society. According to him movie making is not entertainment and business purpose but it is more than something else..

Upendra Sir is a Common man, with simple life style but his works are legendary... He is a Man for the Society. A person worth to be honored... His movies a very much realistic... His Movies are very much needed for Society...

No one can do 10 films with different story, narration, good message for social... Other than UPENDRA... From his movies 100's of movies inspired in india unofficially..

Excellent director. You need to watch the complete movie without even missing one single scene to understand perfectly. It is definitely applicable to the movies like A, Upendra, Swastik etc. , His talent is really provided with OM. Excellent director, expect more and more different movies. I personally did not like Super movie. He would have done a better justice to his latest movie Super. I hope he will come back with a bang in Upendra2. Do not mix the commercial elements in Upendra2, just go with your innocent attitude which you almost one and half decade back.

The Great number 1 World Director

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2Steven Spielberg

This man gave us the meaning of summer blockbuster with Jaws. Reinvented the genre of adventure with Indiana Jones. Gave us two of the most contrasting yet revered alien movies ET and CEOTK. And I havnt even started on his genre defining war-time movies like Schindler's List, Saving Pvt Ryan amd WarHorse (yes I loved it). And then if it was not all, he gave us Lincoln. Best biopic ever. Period. And when he is making films for just sake of good script he ends up with Minority Report, Catch me if you can and The Terminal. And not to forget, he doesn't remain just another great American director as when he made Munich.
Do we need more proof of this most versatile director.
OK, let me put just one more. The same year he made Schindler's List (a critic's orgasm) he made Jurassic Park (a geek's orgasm). The same year he made War Horse (a world war 1 feature) he made TinTin ( an ode to Indiana Jones in animation). So lets just bow to him and stop discussions.

Steven Spielberg has simply directed so many great films. Here are 25 of his best: Duel (1971), The Sugarland Express (1974), Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), the Color Purple (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), Hook (1991), Jurrasic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1993), Amistad (1997), Saving Private Ryan (1998), A.I. artificial Intelligence (2001), Minority Report (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002), the Terminal (2002), The War of the worlds (2005), Munich (2005), The Adventures of Tintin (2011), War Horse (2011), and Lincon (2012). Spielberg has simply directed so many amazing films and that is why he is the best!

His directing was revolutionary. You people are basing your views too much on the film's content. Base your perspective on the film's DIRECTING. Sure, Christopher Nolan wrote perfect films, his directing just was not as top notch as this bearded master. He is responsible for building the childhood and entertainment through the film industry of the 1980s and 1990s by layering their foundation with directory masterpieces... Over masterpieces... Over masterpieces...

Is very very evil

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3Stanley KubrickStanley Kubrick was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor, and photographer.

Best director ever with classics like the shining, a clockwork orange, full metal jacket, dr strangelove, 2001 a space odyssey and other great moves.

he's a genius! much better than james cameron or tim burton, the only one close is steven spielberg - beasthound

Film would be 20-30 years behind if it wasn't for the great Kubrick. Spielberg may claim to be his protege, but no one comes close

I just love him and his quotes

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4Quentin TarantinoQuentin Jerome Tarantino is an American filmmaker and actor. His films are characterized by non-linear storylines, satirical subject matter, an aestheticization of violence, utilization of ensemble casts consisting of established and lesser-known performers, references to popular culture, soundtracks ...read more.

Quentin Tarantino is an amazing director and writer! He has shown his skill and originality through films such as Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction and his latest film Django Unchained. Quentin always delivers and never dissapoints, most of all his films are rate high. What an inspiration!

he leaves his trademark in every movie, but every movie stays individual. nobody can do that except him.

Not only an excellent director, but also an excellent writer. He takes his time with every project and makes it perfect. With films such as Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds and of course Pulp Fiction I think he is the greatest director.

Taking scripts and techniques of movies ( non-linear story telling, scripts of exploitation movies of the 50's, 60's and 70's... ) that already existed and rewrite them is not what I call originality or talent. He is just too overrated.

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5Christopher Nolan

Memento, Batman Begins, Dark Knight, and Inception. A check at Rotten Tomatoes will show you that he has literally NEVER made a bad movie. That's more than all the directors above him can say... Should be Number 1

I hate it when the story line to a movie could be great but the director messes up and ruins it. Christopher nolan hasn't done that (Steven spielberg and George Lucas have though)

Memento, batman begins, The Dark knight, Inception, The prestige...
If you haven't watched these movies... Just watch and then vote..
One of best movies ever...

Nobody can top him. - BoltMarksman

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6Martin ScorseseMartin Charles Scorsese is an American director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and film historian, whose career spans more than 53 years.

Scorses the greatest director of all time, for many reasons, his movies are always about something, handling themes such as violence, (mean streets, Goodfellas, Casino, etc. ) machismo0 jealousy, (Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, etc. ) italian american identity(Mean Streets, Goodfellas, etc. ) and particularly religion (Mean Streets, The Last Temptation Of Christ) and a classic theme in cinema: identity itself (particularly in The Departed, and Shutter Island) Historical events (Gangs of New York) and greed (Goodfellas, The Color of Money) as well. He's great at getting us inside the characters head, making you feel as he does. And he can get you to see what other characters think through his classic use of slow motion and music. (classic rock bernard hermann's jazz inspired score in Taxi Driver, etc. )

The only 2 directors that Scorsese should be behind are Kubrick and Hitchcock. What are Nolan and Tarantino doing in the top 20 of this list. They are good directors but neither of them have made as many exellent films and are as influential as Scorsese. He has a countless amount of amazing films stretching from genres like crime, comedy, documentary, and sports. Here's just a few of his great films: Taxi Driver (the greatest 1st person character study film of all time), Goodfellas (one of the greatest, if not the greatest, mafia films of all time, and Raging bull (most people consider it to be the greatest sports film of all time even though I myself don't even consider it a sports film.)

He is the best have you all ever seen The Departed, Goodfellas, The shutter island, casino or the the taxi driver. They are the best movies and these movies show that he is the best. Whenever he makes a film it leaves a trademark in the film industry.

So Nolan is above Scorsese and I am Rick Grimes

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7Alfred HitchcockSir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, was an English-American film director and producer, at times referred to as "The Master of Suspense".

His movies are classics. They are full of wit and have some of the best storylines I've seen.

The best there is and he shows that it takes real skill to direct. - Baltimore1993

He is my absolute favorite director (before Akira Kurosawa). He proves he can direct like the Master of Suspense. There are no genius at filming more than him. Psycho, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and The Birds are all masterpieces proving his directing is genius done.

Hitchcock should at least be in the top 5!

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8Francis Ford Coppola

I've said it before and I'll say it again, his best film is Apocalypse Now. The Godfather Trilogy is incredible, but he truly displays his perseverance and commitment as a filmmaker through the adaptation of "Heart Of Darkness"

you just need to see the godfather to understand he is the best - manya93

Just watch Apocalypse now... you would not need any other reason

I enjoyed the first two Godfather movies (1972,1974) & Apocalypse Now (1979).

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9James Cameron

After Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator, True Lies, Titanic and AVATAR. He lives in film lover's heart.. his work says on his behlaf.. KING OF THE WORLD. - redgedawson

What he should be 1st. Or 2nd, behind Spielberg. Avatar and Titanic should say enough. Titanic was arguably best movie of the 1990s and Avatar was arguably best movie of the 2000s. - AymanKabir

Terminator 2 was a really good movie, but James Cameron isn't as good as some of the others above such as Spielberg, Nolan, and Scott. Then again, he made the two highest grossing films... So that says something.

He is movies best in the world

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10Ridley Scott

No other Director so far in history has been able to go from making a historical action/drama as good as Gladiator and then make a Sci-Fi/horror which is the complete opposite which is just as good, and then, on top of that, make an action/war epic which is also amazing! Usually directors such as Tarantino and Peter Jackson just stick with one genre and time period to guarantee their films are successful, Ridley has not only played around with almost every genre out there, but has also made a success out of them, how can he be 11? Gladiator is the best historical drama ever made, alien is the best sci-fi ever made and to be honest I think that black hawk down is one of the best if not the best war film in decades, and he doesn't just make a film what it is because of one convention like Michael Bay does with explosions and fighting but instead he considers all aspects of a film, for example Gladiator has great music, great acting, great fight scenes, great visual effects and there all ...more

Ridley totally brings you into his worlds, whether it's LA circa 2019 in Blade Runner, or 12th century Jerusalem circa in Kingdom of Heaven. An amazing artist.

Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Legend (1985), Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), Black Rain (1989), Thelma & Louise (1991), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), White Squall (1996), Gladiator (2000), Hannibal (2001), Black Hawk Down (2001), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), American Gangster (2007), Body of Lies (2008).
To Be Continued - Irina2932

He made Alien and Gladiator. Enough said

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The Newcomers

?Asghar Farhadi

He's the best and greatest director in the world

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The Contenders

11Tim Burton

Tim welcomes you to his world... It's something really special you know... His films are like paintings, wonderful treat to your eyes. Burton + Depp + Elfman = masterpiece. And let's not forget Helen Bonham Carter.

Tim Burton's movies are very creative, they have an individual style. He's absolutely one of the best filmmakers of all time, you will recognize that if you watch Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride and Edward Scissorhands.

tim burton is the best I love the movie alice in wonderland cinemas in 25 march also 3d I love it its amazing and nightmare befor christmas that was a classic - hermione_granger

Tim Burton's movie touch is awe-inspiring. Batman, Batman Returns, a Nightmare before Christmas, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Sleepy Hollow are some of his best works

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12George LucasGeorge Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American filmmaker and entrepreneur. He is best known as the creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as the founder of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic.

I'll pick George, sure he did the prequels & howard the duck but before that he definitely was a great director at one point. To tell the truth, I just think the dark side got him!

He created star wars. The greatest saga of all time. How can he not be number one

How could the creator of the famous Star Wars series not be in the top ten?

He made all 4 Indian jones movies and I'm looking forward to the 5th one coming in 2019. He made Star Wars episodes 1 - 4. Even though the holiday special was corny I still enjoyed episodes 1 and 3.

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13Peter JacksonSir Peter Robert Jackson is a New Zealand filmmaker and screenwriter. He is best known as the director, writer and producer of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy, both of which are adapted from the novels of the same name by J. R. R.

Come on Lord of the Rings! The Hobbit! King Kong! This man is easily the greatest film director of all time. All of the Lord of Rings movies won at least 2 Academy awards with Return of the King winning ALL of it's 11 Academy Award nominations. Seriously this guy should be number 1. So what if Steven Spielberg made Jurassic Park series and Jaws but did that series get 8.7 and over on IMDb for every one of the films in it? No. But every single Lord of the Rings film got 8.7-8.9. Not to mention getting over 90% for each film on Rotten Tomatoes. Seriously this guy is the definition of director. A legend this man is.

He is really underrated. The director of 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy and King Kong deserves better! - funkymonkey

he brought us king kong, lord of the rings: the trilogy and distict 9 WOW! - whatsitsname

He directed lord of the rings and the hobbit for god's sake!

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14Akira Kurosawa

I am not sure how he was listed 20 in this crap list. Every film he ever directed was a masterpiece or storytelling, recreation, cinematography, acting, drama, romance, violence (and tasteful violence, not gratuitous violence), action... all of it. Brilliant. Incredible film. This list was compiled by people under the age of 30 who have never seen great old, or foreign film. Not just one his pieces is great. There are people on this list who made a couple good films. EVERYTHING this director made was genius. Every single film, a brilliant epic. The ironic thing about this list is most of these directors stole their technique from him. This is the depressingly sad list of film directors analogous with the list of music icons today; Madonna gets 35 music awards and Ella Fitzgerald can't pick up a lifetime achievement award. THAT, is sad. OLD SCHOOL is better. He is my number one pick for best director of all time. Not for one film. For every film that he ever brought to life. He wasn't ...more

When someone asks for the name of a japanese director, the name that will probably immediately jump into peoples minds is Akira Kurosawa. Hes created so many fantastic films that I don't know why he's not higher up.

I think this man should be on this list for a number of reasons. You figure it out.

The master Akira Kurosawa should be at the top if not close to the top of any ranking list of great directors.

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15Joel and Ethan Coen

Amazingly weird, mischievous, terrific & utterly incredible is how you would define his movies. Till the last moment you'll feel, you are reading a cheap crime novel and then.. Boom!

Their writing is what really makes me a fan and they do make a wide variety of excellent films, but whatever time and location a film of their is in the dialogue is always very authentic.

Great range, from Raising Arizona to Fargo to the Big Lebowski to No Country for Old Men, the Coens have some of the greatest and most versatile bodies of work of any directors ever.

That's just your opinion, man.

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16Charlie ChaplinSir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era.

One of the greatest directors EVER! City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, The Gold Rush, The Circus, the list goes on as long as any of those "New" directors.

Man this guy couldn't JUST direct! He could act, produce, compose, cast, write, in ALL of his own films! He was that good! Not to mention he was a great person. He's easily my favorite actor! - MontyPython

I red history of Charlie Chaplin, and he makes every scene again and again to make his movies perfect. But his shortest is I think 10 minutes and longest 30 minutes. I think. Because I haven't watch some of his movies yet.

He should be on top, greatest!

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17Ingmar Bergman

I'm crying legit tears because of how hilariously ridiculous this list is. Steven Spielberg, Chirstopher Nolan and Tim Burton are the ultimate 'I don't know a single thing about film' picks. Anyone who thinks they are even close to being one of the greatest film directors has definitely never been outside the Hollywood bubble. They make easy, mainstream movies disguised as thought-provoking films and, judging by this list, they do a pretty good job at fooling the masses.
Call me pretentious, arrogant, bitter I don't care. It still doesn't erase the fact that you are probably one of those who doesn't watch foreign films because you don't like reading the subtitles.
I'd tell you people to watch the works of the master, so you can understand what art is. But I now realise you are too weak for Bergman. It's best if you just watch the godawful thing that is Interstellar and go on Facebook saying how is the best thing you've ever watched. I'll be here having a great laugh.

Literally one of the true masters of cinema. Anyone that voted on this list without knowing who this man is shouldn't be allowed to vote in their respective countries political elections because they would probably elect Hitler 2.

People who like mind-benders and/or thought provoking films would love the filmography of Ingmar Bergman. He is one of my top 5 favorite directors. His films are beautiful to look at and the films really get under your skin with deep philosophical and psychological themes.
Essential Bergman: The Seventh Seal, Persona (one of the most influential films of all time), Wild Strawberries, Cries and Whispers, Summer With Monika, Winter Light, The Virgin Spring, Through A Glass Darkly, Fanny and Alexander. Autumn Sonata.

I mean, come on, Quentin Tarantino at the 4th rank and Ingmar Bergman at number 18. This is not serious. Is this a list for 14year old kids?

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18Shankar Nag

He used to experiment all the time with new ideas. He was a man with full of great ideas in him.

The greatest actor as well as director from Kannada ever seen in Indian film industry..

One of the trend setters of creative cinema in India. Undoubtedly good human being and also the best creative director so far in the history of sandalwood. Miss You. Your demise is a great lose to sandalwood:(

He is greatest film maker ever in sandalwood with all advanced thinking

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19David Lynch

I've heard he was originally hired to be the director of star wars episode 6 return of the Jedi, but he refused because he stated that Lucas should direct the film himself as the movie should reflect his own vision, not lynch's take on it.

Most creative director ever and you don't put him on the list? - Ioramus

My favorite director. Blue Velvet changed the way I look at cinema. His films are a true cinematic experience and works of art.

David Lynch is down here and james Cameron is on the 9?! No way! And who is upendra? Indians need to be banned from this site ASAP!

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20Andrey Tarkovskiy

Films wouldn't be the same without tarkovsky, the style, the cinematography, the message in his films are way ahead than others directors. Spielberg, cameron, scott, lucas, etc are just candy sellers, Tarkovsky is art.
I understand why there is people who don't like him, but you can't say that he is not one of the most important film maker in history.

Tarkovsky is one of the ten samurais of the world cinema. He is probably the greatest discoverer of reality through the prism of mix of intuition, intellect and vision.

The greatest film maker ever.. The man who showed the world the purpose of cinema as an art form..

The only director who touches the deep inner psyche.

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List StatsUpdated 1 Oct 2016

10,000 votes
254 listings
9 years, 262 days old

Top Remixes (83)

1. Steven Spielberg
2. Quentin Tarantino
3. Stanley Kubrick
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1. Steven Spielberg
2. Martin Scorsese
3. Francis Ford Coppola
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1. Christopher Nolan
2. Robert Zemeckis
3. Charlie Chaplin
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