Greatest Film Directors of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Steven Spielberg Steven Allan Spielberg (born December 18, 1946) 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 haven't even started on his genre-defining war-time movies like Schindler's List, Saving Pvt Ryan and 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 to 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.

This is mt FAVORITE director. No words about it. He directed Jaws, E.T, Ready Player One, Tin tin, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the lost ark, and who could forget the B.F.G?! Those were all great movies, and it was all directed by Steven. No words about it, he is awesome.

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!

There are movies that are good, and bad. Then you have the ugly and the amazing. Now to have just one movie that wows audiences for years is an achievement, and most of the directors in this list have at least one. However, Speilberg has left his audiences more than just wow... They've been in awe of his work... Multiple times. To say there's a director better than him for some arbitrary reason such as "He's had flops before" is a... insult to all directors since flops are going to happen. Look at the best and how many times they've made the best, and Speilberg has made THE BEST many many times. So you can say this and that but... The quantity of the amazing quality Steven Speilberg has done... Is simply too much for him NOT to be number one.

2 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 died at the age of 71.

I'm not sure who exactly is the greatest filmmaker of all time. All I know is that it's an argument between 2-5 directors. Kubrick, Hitchcock, Scorsese, Spielberg, and maybe Quentin Tarantino. Scorsese and Tarantino have not made enough films in my opinion, although all their films are good, I wouldn't label either of them the GOAT of directing. Spielberg has made many great films, he's also made a few not so good films. Hitchcock is a great directors and I would say he is the GOAT of directing... however most of his movies fall under one genre, you could say he wasn't as versatile. However Kubrick in my opinion has never made a bad film and is one of the most versatile directors ever and he has many films. he made us laugh to death with Dr. Strangelove, terrified us in The Shining, made us stare in awe in 2001. Not to mention he also made masterpieces like Lolita, Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, Full Metal Jacket, eyes Wide Shut, Spartacus, and Paths Of Glory. He was truly the ...more

Aside from the Shining (which I hate for being a huge fan of the book and the movie butchering it) his movies are spectacular. A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odessy, Full Metal Jacket, and many others.

The greatest director ever..balancing art house and popular appeal like no other director on this list. His technical approach and genre changing almost make his work a relection of the aspects of humanity despite always being accused of being detached of feeling. Love, honour, madness, horror, lust, wonder and creation itself...its all there, covered in this wondrous body or work where almost every film is a masterpiece in some way and amongst them are some genuine cinematic game changers. Not as prolific as some but that's because of the sheer craft and intelligence of his movies took time and were always worth the wait. Even his very few "lesser" films by his own incredible standards always had something to say. Not only the greatest director but one of the great cultural artists per se'. You can judge this simply by the fact that if he had been able to make movies for another hundred years, you know every one of them would have been worthy of analysing and you would not bet ...more

Never made a bad film in his entire illustrious career with each displaying his ever evolving unique signature style yet are incredible ventures on their own that expanded horizons for filmmaking forever.

3 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!
He is truly a one of a kind filmmaker. Undeniably unique, Tarantino's collection of movies he wrote and directed are remarkable. His arguably weakest film: Death Proof, is still a good movie. He has the guts a make a movie that other directors wouldn't make.
Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, The Hateful Eight
These are all highly distinctive films and not even all the movies he has made.
Quentin Tarantino is the best
PERIOD.

Killer style and structure with razor cutting into your mind dialogue. His films breathe personality and flavor. And his love for cult films of the past certainly help ignite the interest of several generations to seek out overlooked works of yesterday.

Here are some films of his and their IMDb ratings:
Pulp Fiction: 8.9/10
The Hateful Eight: 7.9/10
Django Unchained: 8.5/10
Reservoir Dogs: 8.4/10
Inglorious Basterds: 8.3/10
Jackie Brown: 7.5/10
Death Proof: 7.1/10
From Dusk till Dawn: 7.3/10
Kill Bill Volume 1 (and 2): 8.1/10 (and 8)
Grindhouse: 7.6/10
True Romance: 8/10
Four Rooms: 6.7/10
Sin City: 8.1/10
Natural Born Killers: 7.3/10
Planet Terror: 7.2/10

The highest rated film on IMDb is The Shawshank Redemption with 9.3/10, so his films are impressive

Just love all the scenes and dialogues he sets up, and go crazy every second, every time someone talks in his works of art, every moment is worth thousands of other minor directors whole films. Pulp Fiction is just out of this planet, out of the all wortheless brains of ours, it resonates in such frequency far higher than we all could reach or understand.

4 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.

I've seen just about every Scorsese film, at least all of the wildly successful ones. A key element I notice in a lot of Scorsese films is the element of surprise, not necessarily in a "shock value" sense, but with an ability to perfectly execute a plot twist, or by simply foreshadowing what's expected to happen in the climax, but showing how exactly it happens. A good example would be the 1988 controversial Last Temptation of Christ, it's right there in the title. Many viewers (Mostly Christian) drop out of the film right as we see Jesus take on a "normal life", Christian or not we can all agree at the time it was a very wild and risky idea, however, if you watch to the very last scene we see the story of Christ in the flesh end the way it was intended by scripture. From the start of the film we all know what's supposed to happen. However, the controversial segment of the "last temptation" is already in the title of the film, and it doesn't register until you watch the entire film ...more

Scorsese not in top 5? What? Let me remind you of some of his films. Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, King of Comedy, Aviator, Wolf of Wall Street, Shutter Island, Casino, Gangs of New York and let's not forget the masterpiece THE DEPARTED. Nolan is amazing but sometimes he relies on gimmicks with concepts rather than just straight up characters and story. Plus Scorsese's influence on film over the decades altogether is massive. Just look at his IMDB and you will instantly realize how much this guy has done for entertainment.

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.)

This is a man who not only loves movies; he breathes movies and that passion translates into his own masterpieces which help define multiple decades and will surely be discussed and remembered for generations to come.

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

This guy has more classic movies than any other director in history. "Psycho," "North by Northwest," "Rear Window," "Vertigo," "The Birds," just to name a few. Hitchcock's influence on the film industry has far surpassed any other director and his original style can be recognized in just a few scenes and camera shots. How many other filmmakers can you instantly recognize without any clues. Hitchcock truly is the greatest and most influential filmmaker to ever grace us with his movies.

Iconic, legendary and masterclass. His ability to weave a web of suspense that draws you all the way to the edge of your seat is incredible leaving you with an experience you certainly will not forget!

Shaped modern cinema from 1960 onwards with the Shower Scene. Created more masterpieces than anyone else: The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, Blackmail, The Lodger, Rebecca, Shadow of a Doubt, Notorious, Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho and The Birds. Even his 4 star movies set new standards like Lifeboat, Saboteur, Suspicion, The Wrong Man, Frenzy and Foreign Correspondent.

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.

6 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.

Maybe some of these other directors are more famous and have much more movies, but Nolan still easily has them beat. Do you know what he says? "It's disappointing that people make a movie without the mindset that 'this movie has the potential to be the greatest movie ever made'". No other directors even consider that. They just love money. All of his movies are polished, consistent, unique, and amazing, many of them flawless and renowned, the top three highest rated movies of the past 15 years all belong to him (Inception, The Dark Knight, Interstellar). Inception is the best movie of all time, and I say that with certainty. The dark Knight revolutionized superhero movies. Interstellar was such a moving and intelligent movie, I could go on. All his movies are must-watches. Most intelligent film-maker ever, and he's still doing it.

Maybe some of these other directors are more iconic and have more movies, but every single one of his movies are amazingly well detailed and some of the best of all time. Inception was the best movie ever made. The Dark Knight trilogy is the best superhero franchise other than mcu, but on average the dark knight trilogy movies are so much better than all of the mcu movies. Interstellar, The Prestige, Memento. All amazing and iconic movies. Tenet and Dunkirk were great. Insomnia and Following weren't top notch but just Inception completely makes up for that and then some. Nolan is a bonafide genius

Nolan is probably the most intelligent film-maker working today. He single-handedly saved the Batman franchise with the excellent The Dark Knight trilogy. He also wrote some of the best scripts on the world, namely The Prestige and Inception. He's tackled so many genres before - new noir mystery, superhero, science fiction thriller, dream heist, space adventure, war, and time travel.

Name one bad movie made by Nolan. If you can, I'll be darned.
The Dark Knight is enough. Add the other two Dark Knight movies, Memento, Inception, Interstellar, etc, and anyone can see why he is in the top 3. Spielberg is the only one I'd put above Nolan, simply because Spielberg has been around far longer than Nolan and as such has more experience in how to make a good movie. Yet Nolan has created films every bit as good as Spielbergs, Speilberg just has more awesome films than Nolan. Christopher Nolan ensures that audiences are given a film full of surprising details, twisting plot, awesome characters and more.

Notice how Michael Bay isn't on this list...

7 Upendra

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.

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 messages for society. According to him, movie making is not just entertainment and business purposes, but it is more than something else.

Unique. He's the definition of unique. If not, the most intelligent directors in Indian history and also in the world, his style - reverse screenplay, non linear screenplay, metaphorical elements, he makes us see his movies again and again, his movies are way way ahead of their time, his best works, his movies are loud but they show harsh reality.
He directs with pure passion, not for box office or fame, but for message.
Shhh (1993) - thriller, horror
Om (1995) - underworld, non-linear screenplay, with twists
A (1998) - psychological dark love story with non linear screenplay
Upendra (1999) - non linear screenplay story of Human ego.
Swastik (1998) - psychological terrorism based movie
Super (2010) - dystopian science fiction which depicts futuristic India and how Indians needs a change
Uppi 2 (2015) - psychological movie.

The screen play of upendra's movie is one of a kind & never seen or would be seen in the near future! Hats off to his creativity... With a budget as low as 50lakhs INR, that's a mere 82000USD (SEE MOVIE A or the movie upendra) he could put up such brilliant movies, imagine his movies being made up @ a cost of an average Hollywood movie!... I am a keen movie buff & criticizer.. I have watched all kinds of world movies, may be I am not aware off certain movies which could boast of such high esteemed unpredictable stories that upendra has made so far, but till date I certainly feel his way of narration is one of a kind & definitely the best I have seen!
Originality to the core! Take a bow REAL STAR!... People get to like his movies when attain maturity or teenage! Cause till then they blame him for making highly traumatized movies with little sense cause they are not able to grasp the ideas/feeling/emotions that he is trying to show up!

8 Francis Ford Coppola Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer, screenwriter and film composer. He was a central figure in the New Hollywood wave of filmmaking.

The fact he delivered us The Godfather and The Godfather Part II make him a legend in film history. His films The Conversation and Apocalypse Now only further showcased his multitude of movie making talents. Plus I enjoyed Finian's Rainbow and Captain EO ^-^ anyone else?

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"

The Godfather trilogy left a mark on cinematography and influenced everyone's approach on movies, especially on the gangster ones. The Godfather I and II, especially are cinematic jewels.

The Godfather is the best Mafia movie in history of man kind, no doubt, yeah The Good-fellas was great, so is Scar face, but the Godfather is better.

9 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.

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.

I wouldn't say he's my favourite or at all the best on this list. But when my art teacher told me my art style was very 'Tim Burton-like' I took it as a great complement (even if that wasn't how she meant it). He's got a very interesting feel around his stories, all being very recognisable as his work.

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.

10 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.

He has guts. He has a vision that is unprecedented. Only he can break his own box office records. Come on, he gave a 12 year gap for breaking the records set by TITANIC, no one ever dared to come to it's proximity. Finally, he shattered his own records by making the most advanced film in the history of WORLD CINEMA "AVATAR". Truly a GENIUS in direction and an excellent VISIONARY. He should be in TOP 3.

Avatar and Titanic was the 2nd and 3rd highest grossing films ever, along with Terminator and Alien, James Cameron should be number one on this list, with Avatar 2 coming along, this guy will be definitely the greatest ever director.

A lot of his movies not only make my favorite sci fi films of all time lists, they also make my favorite movies of all time PERIOD lists. With the first two terminators, aliens (best sequel ever), and avatar. COME ON GUYS! He should at least be in the top five!

How is he so low in the list? James Cameron's movies are a masterpiece. Terminator 1 and 2, Avatar, Titanic, etc. Two of his movies were ranked on the top list. He and Christopher Nolan should be the top 2. Not sure for Speilberg. He screwed up in The BFG. That movie was boring.

The Newcomers

? Joel Ashton McCarthy
? Robert Wise
The Contenders
11 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 its 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 a director. A legend this man is.

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.

I liked The Frighteners (1996) I thought it was quite funny.

Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) His masterpiece work from a book trilogy from the 50s.

The Hobbit (2012-2014) His masterpiece from a very old book from the late 30s.

While I wouldn't call him the best of all time, Jackson made a masterpiece Hugh fantasy trilogy out of a book that was generally considered unfilmable. This is no small feat.

12 Joel and Ethan Coen

Incredible range - from screwball comedy to gangster epic, psychological thrillers, musicals, westerns and plenty of crime

Not only have they won 4 Oscars but they have also won the Palme'dor, The Grand Prix and The Prix Mise En Scene 3 times! They have made great film after great film after great film.

Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, Fargo, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men, Burn After Reading, A Simple Man, True Grit, Inside Llewelyn Davis and Hail Ceaser!

They are genius filmmakers that are two of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived.

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.

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!

13 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 his 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 deserves a lot credit for his work in the film business!

He invented the special effects for Star Wars. Do you know how many directors used those same FX after? Just about all of them. Plus, he's got to be given credit for India Jones. Not to mention Harrison Ford. He was still a carpenter when Lucas made him an actor. All of Harrison Fords movies would exist without George Lucas. Just to make him the best, he created Star Wars.

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!

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.

14 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

I like Lynch but four of his films I didn't actually like

Eraserhead (1977) brilliant film but it wasn't that bad 12+

The Elephant Man (1980) excellent performances by John Hurt, Anne Bancroft & Anthony Hopkins.

Dune (1984) I enjoyed it at first but still the book was better.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) I kind of liked it but the T.V. series was better.

Mulholland Dr. (2001) I didn't like that.

The Straight Story (1999) I loved it.

Inland Empire (2006) Excellent story but quite long.

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.

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).

15 Akira Kurosawa Akira Kurosawa was a Japanese film director and screenwriter, who directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years. He is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema.

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

Who the f is upendra? the viewers of his films have not seen masterpieces from which all other great films derived. Case in point. I can understand Kurosawa's position at 15th. because he never directed any sci-fi films. But the person Upendra. I have not even heard of him. To be on this list one has to produce masterpieces. And masterpieces' names are at least known to people. And masterpieces tend to be imitated. I never heard of him. Maybe it is the doing of his fan club, however small that fan club is, I think is a rabid group of people. enough said. Kurosawa may not come at number 1 or not, depending on the composition of movie viewing people who vote. Cameron, Hitchcock, Spielberg, Tarantino, Kubrik, Lukas, Scorcese, Nolan, yes they may occupy the top spot. No controversies there. But I find it strange, 1 who has not any film that was imitated gets to the top spot. Surely it is the work of a small dedicated rabid fan club. Sure I envy him of his dedicated small rabid fan club ...more

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. (Personally, I prefer Hitchcock -- today.)

In my top 3 favorite directors. Any director who wants to film in the rain have most likely flashbacked to one this masters films. His mastery is still resonating today. One of the most influential directors to ever step behind a camera. The vision, scope, beauty and intensity of this man is in every one of his films.
Essential Kurosawa: Rashomon, The Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, Ikiru, The Hidden Fortress, Ran, High and Low, Kagemusha, Yojimbo. Red Beard, Dreams

16 Ridley Scott Sir Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. Following his commercial breakthrough with the science fiction horror film Alien, further works include the neo-noir dystopian science fiction film Blade Runner, historical drama Gladiator, and science fiction film The Martian.

He's directed some really great movies, including Legend, Alien, Blade Runner, etc. He had directed so many movies and does such a fantastic job. Legend is one of the best fantasy/adventure movies ever made (I downright love Blix, the coolest goblin ever), and Alien and Blade Runner are some of the best sci-fi movies ever made. And there are plenty of other awesome movies where those come from. Ridley Scott should be higher than this.

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.

Easily in the top ten. shouldn't be at twelve. he's not the best but like is aid, he's certainly one of them. he has produced amazing films such as Gladiator, the Martian, Black Hawk Down and (varying for different people) Prometheus but then as if that wasn't a great enough roster, he's done masterpieces such as Alien, Aliens and Blade Runner!

I enjoyed every film he has done.

He was going to direct Dune. The film rights was sold to Dino De Laurentiis, an Italian producer who commisioned Herbert to write the screenplay. Scott attended to split the film into 2-parts, then he dropped out because his older brother died of cancer.

17 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.

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky is by far the greatest film director of all time. He can portray events in a way that no one else can. Once you watch a Tarkovsky film, you'll understand, you'll think of cinema in a way that you never have before. Sure Tarantino, Scorsese, and Kubrick are great, but Tarkovsky is truly an artist. Watch Solaris, and you'll understand.

Tarkovsky could force the audience to use their brain when watching one of his films. The blank spaces in his poetry are placed carefully so the viewer can make the film their own.

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.

18 Ingmar Bergman Ernst Ingmar Bergman was a Swedish director, writer, and producer who worked in film, television, theatre and radio.

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.

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.

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.

19 Robert Zemeckis Robert Lee Zemeckis is an American director, film producer and screenwriter frequently credited as an innovator in visual effects.

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?

He makes weird movies, but they somehow make sense and relate to everyone. They are captivating enough to keep you watching.

20 David Fincher David Andrew Leo Fincher is an American film director, film producer, television director, television producer, and music video director.

The director of the likes of Gone Girl, Zodiac, Fight Club, Se7en and The Game. Ones of the best thrillers to ever be made. The attention that builds throughout, the characters you never have a clear opinion of, because of the ever-changing approach towards them and the plot which is always full of twists and enigmatic suprises, all of these make his movies experiences you don't want to miss.

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.

I've heard he was originally going 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 would reflect his own vision, not lynch's take on it.

David Fincher should be in at least top 5. He made Fight club, se7en, zodiac, the girl with the dragon tattoo, the social network and the curious case of Benjamin button. Some of my favourite films

21 Mel Brooks Mel Brooks (born Melvin Kaminsky; June 28, 1926) is an American actor, comedian, film producer, director and screenwriter. With a career spanning over 7 decades he is known as a creator of broad film farces and comedic parodies. Brooks began his career as a comic and a writer for Sid Caesar's variety ...read more.

He directed such comedy classics as spaceballs and young frankenstein.

The Producers which coined the song Springtime for Hitler.

22 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.

Leone is one of the producers who does everything for his films. He worked at Once Upon A Time In America for more than 10 years! Also my favourite producers: Coppola, Tarantino, Martin Scorsese

23 Charlie Chaplin Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era. He is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry.

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 is not only an extraordinary director. He foes everything too!

Acting without voice? Just facial expressions? Nailed it too.

Storyline? Relevant, refreshing, touching, memorable, everlasting, risk taking.

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!

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.

24 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.

What? I thought he would be top 5. This must be a technical mistake of some kind. He is very famous.

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

"Citizen Kane" today as technically marvelous as it was when it was made.

25 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.

Simply one of the finest of men left on the planet. His films depict real life at it's most basic and instinctual level... never pretentious just raw and laid bare. Hollywood is barely surviving today ONLY due to gentlemen like Eastwood... when he dies, Hollywood will never be the same.

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

Everything he makes is perfection. A truly talented man.

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