Greatest Film Directors of All Time

The Top Ten

1 Steven Spielberg Steven Spielberg Steven Allan Spielberg is an American director, producer, and screenwriter. He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era, as well as being viewed as one of the most popular directors and producers in film history.

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...

All Spielberg movies have been genius

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2 Stanley Kubrick Stanley Kubrick Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor, and photographer. He is frequently cited as one of the greatest and most influential directors in cinematic history.

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

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

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

A perfectionist to the extreme, and he is far better than Spielberg, and I haven't watched Upendra.

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3 Quentin Tarantino Quentin Tarantino Quentin Jerome Tarantino is an American film director, writer, and actor. His films are characterized by nonlinear story lines, satirical subject matter, an anesthetization of violence, extended scenes of dialogue, ensemble casts consisting of established and lesser-known performers, references to popular ...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.

You know whats funny actually is...




Tarantino is the best director and writer in the world. once upon a time in hollywood 2019 here we come!

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4 Alfred Hitchcock Alfred Hitchcock Sir 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.

For the sheer number of films and his insight to the audience' psychology he should be voted number 1. The other great directors such as Spielberg, Wyler, Cameron, DeMille and Wilder have all been influenced by him - impossible not to have been.

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5 Martin Scorsese Martin Scorsese Martin Charles Scorsese is an American director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and film historian, whose career spans more than 53 years. He is best known for directing films such as Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, The Last Waltz, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, After Hours, The Last Temptation of Christ, ...read more.

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.

He Should be number 1

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6 Christopher Nolan Christopher Nolan Christopher Edward Nolan is an English film director, producer, and screenwriter who holds both British and American citizenship. He is one of the highest-grossing directors in history, and among the most successful and acclaimed filmmakers of the 21st century.

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

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...

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)

That he isn't in the top three is an insult to inteligence. This man is a genius, a total genius. (Just watched inception for the 10th time and I'm still discovering things that make the story more wholesome and cohesive than the time before). One day you all will see. That his work will stand the test of time..(pun not intended)

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7 Francis Ford Coppola Francis 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"

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

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

And 'the outsiders', everything is absolutly perfect!

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8 Upendra

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.

Who is this...? - TheFourthWorld

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9 James Cameron James Cameron James Cameron is a Canadian film director, producer, screenwriter, and deep-sea explorer. He is best known for his films, The Terminator, Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Titanic, and Avatar. He is also the third person in history to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ...read more.

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

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.

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

That director who made Indiana jones who's complete racist and ignorant, I'm talking that Indiana jones temple.. movie.
And James Cameron/Nolan is best and greatest directors of all time he deserves first.

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10 Ridley Scott Ridley 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.

Ridley Scott's SECOND movie he ever made was Alien. Which still hasn't been topped by any of the sequels. And then he returned to the series 30+ years later and he knocked it out of the park with his highly underrated alien prequel, Prometheus. He also has hits like Blade Runner, Gladiator and The Martian. Nobody will ever top him in my list.

I'm sorry but Ridley is both the best and the worst. He goes from works of art like Blade Runner, Alien, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down to embarrassments like Prometheus, Robin Hood and Exodus: Gods and Kings?

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The Contenders

11 Tim Burton Tim Burton Timothy Walter Burton is an American film director, producer, artist, writer, and animator. He is known for his dark, Gothic, eccentric, and quirky fantasy films such as Beetle-juice (1988), Edward Scissor-hands (1990), the animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), the biographical film ...read more.

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.

I love all his movies, both stop motion and real life, I like the fact that Tim creates a whole new world that most people won't even dare to think of. His stop motion movies are just beautiful, and all the stories are amazingly written, just add Danny Elfman for directing music, and Johnny Depp and Helen Bonham Carter, you are bound for nothing short of a masterpiece. And for the characters in his movies, you feel sympathy, yet you also cannot help loving them, Jack Skellington, Edward Scissorhands, and Victor are just a few examples. Sure, the Tim Burton style may not be for everyone, but in my opinion, his movies are a perfect mix of romance, comedy, and mystery.

Tim Burton movies - good or bad - are somehow special, because they all have a uniqueness to them. They always look beautiful, and the direction is always pristine, and Burton has pulled some truly brilliant performances from actors in the past (Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton in Batman, Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands). I love the characters he creates, the worlds he invites us to inhabit, and the sheer creativity and authenticity that he gives his movies.

Dark, imaginitive, aloof, quirky, spirited. What a combination. There is truly only one.

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12 Peter Jackson Peter Jackson Sir 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. Tolkein. He is also known for cult films like Bad ...read more.

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

Peter Jackson directed The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. In fact, the Lord of the Rings was described by J.R.R Tolkien himself as "unsuitable for dramatic representation" and Peter Jackson still managed to make one of the greatest and most iconic of movie series ever.

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13 George Lucas George Lucas George 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.

Compared to Spielberg, George Lucas is most famous for just a single project. But George is special. He thinks like no one else does. That is what makes him fantastic. The work he put into Star Wars is astonishing. He had he's own universe in his own head, and he somehow transformed this universe, into some of the greatest movies ever made. Not only movies that entertain, but movies that touches your very heart. This man is a genius, and he derseves a lot credit for his work in the film business!

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

Yeah! Lucas! He made Star Wars and Indiana Jones which is basically my life and founded Lucasfilm and was a huge innovator in special effects and CGI! I also really like Spielberg, Nolan, and P. Jackson too.

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14 Akira Kurosawa Akira 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.

Ultimately, as far as I'm concerned, there are no top ten directors. For me, more appropriate would be a floating list of acclaimed film directors with no ranking to muddle the view. I do enjoy lists. I like to see what people like and why they like what they like. I myself have no number one slot. My favorite director depends more on my mood than any aesthetic criteria. I'd suggest directors if anyone asked me to recommend a few, but I wouldn't presume superior insight over anyone else's preferences. Who's the best film director ever? Today I'd say Cocteau because I love Beauty and the Beast. Tomorrow Billy Wilder because I'm fascinated with Sunset Boulevard. Next week it will be Kurosawa or Bergman or Renoir or Capra or Sturges or Carol Reed. So what? Tell me who you like, I'd like to know. But don't drub me down because Spielberg isn't in my number one slot. (Poisonally I prefer Hitchcock -- today.)

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15 David Lynch David Lynch David Keith Lynch is an American director, screenwriter, producer, painter, musician, actor, and photographer. He has been described by The Guardian as "the most important director of this era".

Lynch is like a damn fine cup of coffee. His films hit harder than anything you'd ever see on screen cause it's main focus is the implicit. As such, you cannot immediately give a place to the fear, horror and immense emotional responses his beautiful blend of image and sound evoke in you. Lynch was a painter long before he started directing, and it shows. He uses sound and image as a canvas to project his ideas upon. His 'films' are sometimes more of an art medium and thus on a different level than the classic, often linear, film-medium, containing many layers of metaphors. Its main focus is the implicit, suggestive, whereas the classic film's focus is usually explicit. So it's only normal that David Lynch is not for everyone, while others think he's the best. Some of his more abstract films (Eraserhead, Inland Empire) are even difficult to categorize as films. But the fact that he can translate his unique style to the more "classic" filmgenre, case in point "The Straight Story", only ...more - Bicyclerepairman

One of the most brilliant directors alive. "Eraserhead" is a masterpiece - an union of creativity and excellent directing (with the most sharply beautiful sound design in the history of cinematic expression).

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.

Don't forget twin peaks too...

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16 Joel 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.

Why all the fat men? Will I ever get it? Am I trying too hard? Probably just trying.

Coen are not only writer director, the amazing editor as well and edited all their movies

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17 Charlie Chaplin Charlie Chaplin Sir 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.

There is no one who has inspired the world of cinema like the one and only Charles Chaplin

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18 Ingmar 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.

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.

Should be in the top 3. Amazing stories and besides that, he had a genius view in how photography and lightning should be in a movie. He really is a figure of excellence of the 7th art. Tortured existentialism at his best.

Obviously enough this list is made from US film goers. Bergman should be in top ten. Where is Federico Fellini?

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19 Robert Zemeckis Robert Zemeckis

He is okay but I don't believe what he directed because each films he did have different categories but they kind of have random elements in those films to know or guess who directed those films.

I enjoyed Back To The Future 1 & 2 but I didn't like the third film.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Best film with brilliant and talented project based on Gary K. Wolf's 1981 novel.

Polar Express was okay.

Beowulf, I didn't like it.

The Walk, excellent story.

Contact, quite good.

Cast Away, excellent story and famous line. "Wilson! "

Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Walk, and the greatest trilogy of all time, the Back to the Future movies. He does all these movies that sound dumb and nonsensical on paper, but couldn't have more clarity on screen (in addition to charm). That's much more than the likes of David Lynch could say, whose films don't even make sense after multiple viewings.

His mentor Steven Spielberg has created one of the greatest directors of all time. Robert's films have such inexplicable value it would be a crime to not place him on the best directors list. I mean come on who doesn't like forrest gump?

"RUN FOREST, RUN! "

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20 Woody Allen Woody Allen Heywood "Woody" Allen is an American actor, comedian, filmmaker, playwright and musician, whose career spans more than six decades.

Should be way higher up. Is there another director thats consistenly delivered films that have been so widely enjoyed. His movies are hilarious because they strike so close to home and so accurately say the things we wish we could scream out. Brilliant writer and director, who's never had to use flash to make his movies amazing.

When he isn't busy molesting children he makes some solid movies

Should be much higher up. He has lots of hilarious movies. He is the best comedy director of all time.

Probably the best comedy director ever. And a great introspective one also.

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21 David Fincher

This is so not the truth, david fincher is far better than peter jackson and mikhael... He's work in movies like zodiac and seven and many more movies... Would totally prove this wrong... He should at least be the tenth... He deserves it... I love fincher for the way he makes the movie, and the way he presents it... I love him for the works HE HAS DONE AND THE LEGENDARY REMARKS THAT THEY ARE AND no one CAN REPLACE IT...!

A young gifted and talented director. One of the greatest upcoming geniuses, who will change the modern motion pictures future.

He isn't even my favorite director, he's my 4th favorite, but still, he shouldn't be that low. He's much better than George Lucas, ridley scott, james cameron, tim burton and whoever these Indian directors are. Fight Club might be my favorite movie of all time, se7en is one of my favorites, Zodiac, Gone Girl and The Social Network are all masterpieces and Alien 3 is underrated.

Christopher Nolan is only above him because his movies are more popular. Fincher should at least be 2nd to Spielberg.

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22 Wes Craven

He is the director of lots of slasher and horror movies. the only movie directed by him that is not a horror movie is music of the heart starring Meryl Streep

Nightmare On Elm Street. Hello? Now what movie was better than that?

23 Sergio Leone

I personally think Kubrick should be number one, but Leone should be ten spots up at the very least. His films have been extremely influential and many consider his movies to be some of the greatest ever made. Raise him up, please. Give the Spaghetti man his respect.

Good bad ugly - best movie ever. Once upon a time in West - best Western ever. Once upon a time in America one of the best gangster movies ever. For a few dollars more - best spaghetti western ever. A fistful of dollars - creator of spaghetti western genre

A genius. He only did one bad film. Most the directors ranked above him can't make that claim. It's such a shame he died when he did. Two days before signing the contract to direct his WWII epic. One of cinema's greatest losses.

number 1

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24 Andrey 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..

awesome

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25 David Lean

Every film he made came from a book which was considered impossible to adapt and he didn't just successfully do it, but ended up turning them into the greatest movies of all time. People not voting for him would either have a bad taste or don't know a thing about him, that's it. Plain and simple

2 of his films are in my top 15: Lawrence of Arabia (the greatest epic ever made) and The Bridge on The River Kwai (which arguably has the greatest ending of any film). His filmography is epic in every sense of the word.

For one man, to have directed so many classics (Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, A Passage to India, Brief Encounter, Hobson's Choice, Blithe Spirit, Ryan's Daughter, etc.) is almost unbelievable. Not to mention, all the others, he'd worked on as an editor.

Five Reasons to love David Lean:

1. Lawrence of Arabia
2. Doctor Zhivago
3. The Bridge on the River Kwai
4. Brief Encounter
5. Great Expectations

Any questions?

26 Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood Clinton "Clint" Eastwood Jr. is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and political figure.

An expert, so real. This is why he is the best, because his view of the world is real, its true. Its because he's a conservative. You see, liberals don't get it. Look at the Newsroom by Aaron Sorkin, it's a pretty (if not smug and sanctimonious) view of how the would SHOULD be. But Eastwood produces films which depict how the world IS: dark, dirty, vicious, cruel, but also nuanced, subtle, and capable of redemption.

Everything he makes is perfection. A truly talented man.

Clint Eastwood was damn handsome back in the day next to the late and legendary, Teen Idol, Ricky Nelson. - KaylaRae897

Both a good actor and director. - zxm

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27 Walt Disney Walt Disney Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons.

He's a producer not a director

28 Federico Fellini

A flash of geniality in the european sky! - Ribaldo67

How the hell is he so low - NickFellini

Should be in top 10 list.

29 Hayao Miyazaki Hayao Miyazaki Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, and manga artist.

Everything about the way this man portrays his art is awe inspiring his obscure but interesting choice of camera angles his deep and simplistic philosophical themes all the way down to his storytelling which does not adhere to the common plot structure even his animation alone should win him the number 1 spot on this list he does not need special effects nor does he need a big budget just a piece of paper a pencil and the sheer magnitude of his imagination

What a great animator! His Ghibli films are all top-notch and bring out the inner kid in everyone. Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind... Even if you don't like foreign films, his animations are worth seeing!

30 Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro's filmography is varied and each one of his projects is exciting in their own way. Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone prove that he is a master of mixing the fantastical with the dramatic, balancing childlike wonder with paranoia and challenging situations; they delve deep into the emotional core of mythology and fairy tales with their haunting beauty and eerie performances and on the side, they possess an incredible understanding of the tragedies often faced by real children and how they react to them. As for his blockbuster ventures like Hellboy and Pacific Rim, they're just proof that he can still embrace his inner child and just have fun; in doing so, he always creates interesting universes filled by hyper-kenetic action and a great sense of humour. Only Stephen Spielberg has proven as articulate in balancing his starker films with such joyful and exciting projects. I always look for projects with del Toro's name on them and I always get excited for more ...more

He ll one day will become the no film director of all time... One thing which aids this statement is uncompromising and rigid vision

31 Henry Selick

Number one for technology at the time and screenplay.

32 Terry Gilliam

This guy is an expert of paper cut animation (the style was realistic thanks to airbrush) for Monty Python's Flying Circus. He's an underrated man for not only a director but more of an animator.

Superb films from a brilliant mind. Thank you terry old chap.

From 'Time Bandits' to 'Brazil' to 'Baron Munchausen', 'The Fisher King', '12 Monkeys' to 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' and 'The Brothers Grimm', he created intelligent, visually stunning, inspiring and creative masterpieces. Shame, he never finished 'The Man who killed Don Quixote' this story would have been perfect for him.

33 YasujirĂ´ Ozu

The most truthful, touching and universally relevant films I have ever seen.
did I mention beautiful?

34 Orson Welles Orson Welles George Orson Welles was an American actor, director, writer, and producer who worked in theatre, radio, and film.

He should be top 5 at least. his first film Citizen Kane is considered the greatest movie of all time and was made in 1941. He also directed The Third Man which is also a wonderful film.

It's depressing that this genius is only number 96. At least Kubrick is deservedly very high.

Citizen Kane. That is all. - ILegitMakeLists

The GOAT - PanteraForever

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35 Mel Gibson Mel Gibson

Braveheart (won best director in the academy awards), Apocalypto, Passion of the Christ - Bman23

Greatest of all time but persecuted as a Goy

36 Satyajit Ray

Mr Ray at no 19 and Mr Spielberg at number 1, even better from Kurosawa. really funny. how the greatest cinematic genius is disrespected by this kind of ranking. Mr spielberg took the complete script of E T... from Ray's story The Alien which he had written to make a film with Colombia Pictures. please don't make this kind of ranking..

33? Christ, how the hell is Ray so low? He IS the greatest Indian director of all time and one of the greats of film in general. Spielberg made a few decent films, but in the end is just an overrated prick who hasn't made a really good movie in 20 years. Mr Ray's films are so much more inventive in the most subtle possible way. No director I know of can portray human emotions as subtly as Ray could. He was a true gem, a gift to cinema. And to see him this low on the list, below so many other directors is just... sad.

Greatest Indian movie maker, one of the best in the World, with very little technical help at his disposal made unbelievably great movies. He should be within the 5 best movie makers of all time in the world

Best,best,best.always he an best director in the world

V 28 Comments
37 John Carpenter

Seriously this guy's movies are original and not duplicates of other flicks, Escape from NY (created Snake Plissken whose similarity is copied by protagonists in duke nukem, action man, metal gear and hoss del gado in Billy n Mandy), The Thing, Prince of darkness, StarMan, Vampires (which inspired van helsing), Ghosts of mars. And has also directed video games such as Fear 3, Dead Space, plus he is the cinematic director for God Of War 4 (2012)

His early works like 'Dark Star', 'Assault on Precinct 13', 'Eyes of Laura Mars', 'Halloween', 'Escape from New York' and 'Big Trouble in Little China' have all stood the test of time and remain great movies. Sadly, later films have mainly disappointed.

He's also a great composer, composing most of the music for his films (especially composing the Halloween theme song). he even has his own band called the Coupe De Viles.

38 J.J. Abrams J.J. Abrams

How is Abrams not higher on this list? He did Cloverfield, Mission Impossible 3, the first two excellent Star Trek reboots, and last but most certainly not least STAR WARS EPISODE 7.

Star Wars.

39 Chris Columbus

I mean who hates Harry. I think chris 8

40 Kenji Mizoguchi
41 Shankar 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 must be in top 3

V 140 Comments
42 Kasinathuni Viswanath

A legendary director who took telugu film and culture on to a global level. One of the best directors known for the classical touch in his films.

A great classical cinema director in Telugu and Tamil film industry!

43 Ishiro Honda

This guy is hands down, the best Japanese director in the world. Put him on top 10.

44 Mikhail Kalatozov
45 Darren Aronofsky

Watch Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, and Black Swan, and honestly tell me Aronofsky is not a top 10 director! His thought-provoking, brilliantly-shot masterpieces are complemented by some of the greatest scores by the underrated Clint Mansell. Although a young director now, expect him to be listed in the ranks of Scorsese and Tarantino as his repertoire grows.

First of all, this 2 trick player has only made 5 or 6 great movie, second of all, he will never rank among the "Legendary" Spielberg or Scorsese, Aftermath was garbage, and all he wants to do is make porn movies with a very "Overrated" actress.

Great director.

He should be in one.

46 John Ford

Made some of the greatest westerns stage coach my darling clementine and the searchers

Top 10 in my book

47 Paul Thomas Anderson

33 shocking. This man boasts an impeccable and awesomely eclectic track record. From the exuberance of Boogie sweep to the Broad sweeping drama of There will be blood. This man is a genius and he always collaborates with the best actors and draws the very best out of them. For me the best living director.

One of the best directors making movies now. Every movie is a classic. From Hard Eight to Inherent Vice, its amazing to see how he has evolved

There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights are masterpieces. A modern day Kubrick.

48 Lars Von Trier

Dogville, Dancer in the Dark, Breaking the Waves. No more to say..

The top ten of this list is an absolute mess. Hollywood BS like Thievin' Stealberg, with me having to scroll to page 3 to find LvT. Grow up, Hollywood moviegoers, and embrace the dark side.

49 James L. Brooks

The Simpsons... And he's at 169...

50 George A. Romero

When you get down to it, George A. Romero seems like a wise old man.

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