Top 10 Best Movie Directors of All Time

For as long as movies have existed, there have been film directors guiding the way, bringing their unique visions to life on the big screen. From the early days of silent films to the present day, the role of the director has been vital to the success of a movie.

But what makes a great film director? It's more than just having a vision. A great director has the ability to bring out the best in their actors, to craft a compelling narrative, and to create a visual style that is uniquely their own. They know how to work with a crew to make every shot count, and they have a keen sense of timing and pacing that keeps the audience engaged from beginning to end.

The history of film directors is a rich and varied one. From the pioneers of the silent era like D.W. Griffith to the modern-day masters like Martin Scorsese, there are countless directors who have left their mark on the industry. Some are known for their innovative techniques, while others are remembered for their ability to tell a great story.

But who are the best film directors of all time? That's where you come in. With your help, we've put together a list of some of the most iconic and influential directors in film history, but we want to hear from you. Vote for your favorite directors and help us determine who deserves to be at the top of the list.
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.

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.

Seriously, idiots are deciding this list. Kubrick, Spielberg, Nolan, Gilliam, Coppola, Chaplin all below Upendra. He sucks! I'd rather watch Michael Bay movies at the worst. Anyways, next year (2018-his first was Amblin' in '68) will mark 50 YEARS of directing from Spielberg. Many young and old directors and Steven's friends look upon him. His films are awesome! Fun fact: I heard people say he and Stanley Kubrick have (sadly HAD for Stanley) Aspergers (AKA high functioning autism, like me). You may now have a different view on people with autism. I am not saying this as I'm an aspie. Google it!

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 think it was critic Frank Rich who said it: the Shakespeare of film. Profound ideas about the human race and philosophy are found deeply hidden within his films, and are revealed on repeated viewings, which always get better and better. Also, they are the most visually stunning works in cinema history. The great director Fellini said to Kubrick, "You made me dream, eyes wide open."

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

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

Stanley Kubrick has changed filmmaking forever and for the better.

Spartacus. Lolita. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. 2001: A Space Odyssey. A Clockwork Orange. Barry Lyndon. The Shining. Full Metal Jacket. Eyes Wide Shut.

What more can you ask for? Kubrick is art. Kubrick is cinema. Kubrick is life. Kubrick is king. Kubrick is film.

3 Quentin Tarantino Quentin Jerome Tarantino (born March 27, 1963) is an American filmmaker, actor, film critic and author. His films are characterized by frequent references to popular culture and film history, nonlinear storylines, dark humor, stylized violence, extended dialogue, pervasive use of profanity, cameos and ensemble casts. 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

THis guy has the most insane and chaotic films. He made Pulp Fiction, Django, Reservoir dogs, Jackie brown, Sin city and Kill Bill. Dialogue can be corny but this guy makes them so over the top they're enjoyable. Also the action is super chaotic in his films, especially Pulp fiction. All his films are good and insane, even his worst films are fun. You gotta give props to this genius.

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 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.

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.

Alls you have to do is look at rear window rope the birds vertigo north by northwest. There's a long list in second place but so far there's no one to knock him off the number one spot. I think Christopher Nolan might come close I think he will be more appreciated as time goes on.

5 Christopher Nolan Christopher Edward Nolan CBE (born 30 July 1970) is a British-American film director, producer, and screenwriter. His films have grossed more than US$5 billion worldwide, and have garnered 11 Academy Awards from 36 nominations. more.

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.

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...

Indeed he is the best director. He always directs masterpiece. From my personal favourite Dark Knight Trilogy to the best of all Inception are directed by him. He has gave some of the beat movies hollywood could have ever had. Memento and interstellar were so great. I need to admit that none of his movies are bad. It would have been great if Warner Bros. had gave movies like BvS (directed by Zack Snyder) and The Batman (currently under Matt Reeves) to him. He never directs a linear movie. His movies are filled with great story, quality content, amazing story and plot twists.

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

6 Martin Scorsese Martin Charles Scorsese (born November 17, 1942) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is the recipient of many accolades, including an Academy Award, three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, four British Academy Film Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and two Directors Guild of America Awards. Scorsese has received various honors including the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1997, the Kennedy Center Honor in 2007, and the BAFTA Fellowship in 2012. Five of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant". 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.)

Scorsese is the greatest director of all time! A career that has spanned for 40 years, no other filmmaker has managed to consistently release great films for 4 decades. He has defining film for each decade he has worked in - Taxi Driver in the 70s, Raging Bull in the 80s, Goodfellas in the 90s, The Departed in the 00s, The Wolf Of Wall Street in the 10s.
He's much better than the likes of Nolan and Tarantino!

7 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.

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.

Apocalypse Now and The Godfather were both directed by this genius. He should be at least top 3 for Godfather alone.

8 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.

First Indian Director / Actor who Acted as Robot also in 3 roles in different characters in the same movie called HOLLYWOOD for the first time and I liked all his movies, as director, screen writer, singer, actor and I think no one can shake eyes like him in the world.

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.

He is the greatest and unique director in the world. No one can even remake his direction movies. He is the only masterpiece. Every time you watch same movie it tells different stories that's his direction power. Love you Uppi sir.

9 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 ocean and the only person to do it solo and unassisted.

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.

The man, the legend himself! I know some people will say that XYZ is a better director than Cameron but come on, this guy is literally a human manifestation of the phrase larger than life. He is probably the most ambitious and diverse director of all time.

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.

10 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 Ed Wood (1994), the horror fantasy Sleepy Hollow (1999), and later efforts such as Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Dark Shadows (2012), and Frankenweenie (2012). He is also known for blockbusters such as the adventure comedy Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), the superhero films Batman (1989) and its first sequel Batman Returns (1992), the sci-fi film Planet 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.

The Newcomers

? Ed Wood
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 Taste, Meet the Feebles, Dead Alive (Braindead), Heavenly Creatures, Forgotten Silver, and The Frighteners.

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 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.

Without George Lucas, there would be no Star Wars. He made one of my favorite franchises in my childhood and wrote my all-time favorite fictional character, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. When filmmaking (even in his worst movies), George definitely has this certain style and charm that he puts into his movies that makes him stand out among others. I loved the Star Wars original trilogy and to this day, they're still one of my favorite films ever. As for the prequels, they may not live up to Episodes 4-6, but I still really enjoyed watching them and they were also some of the reasons why I became the Star Wars fan I am today. To be honest, I the prequels are extremely underrated; they may have some problems with the scriptwriting and visuals, but they were never enough to ruin the films completely and most of the criticisms old school Star Wars fans had for them were never bad enough to the point where the prequels should be hated; the prequel trilogy undoubtedly have good stories, a ...more

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!

13 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).

14 Joel and Ethan Coen

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!

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.

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 Andrei Tarkovsky

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 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

19 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.

20 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.

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 more.

He directed such comedy classics as spaceballs and young frankenstein.

The Producers which coined the song Springtime for Hitler.

22 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.

23 John Hughes John Wilden Hughes Jr. was an American filmmaker. Beginning as an author of humorous essays and stories for National Lampoon, he went on to write and direct some of the most successful comedy films.

Without him we couldn't have had the 1980's and the influence it spawned. He directed classics such as The Breakfast Club (my all time favorite), Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Home Alone 1 and 2 and Weird Science. He was also a great producer.

John Hughes and Chris Columbus both rock.

24 Wes Anderson Wesley Wales Anderson is an American filmmaker. His films are known for their distinctive visual and narrative styles.

Wes Anderson is a strange cookie. His films always involve strange camera maneuvers, eccentric colour choices, made-up worlds and symmetrical shots with such perfectionism that you leave the cinema wondering if he's borderline autistic. His films are full of hilarious but subtle humour and are always a pleasure to watch. He gets my vote for being brave and bold enough to create his own cinema style and not just conform to the usual Hollywood rubbish. He's indeed a very intelligent man and his films will always be Jewels.

He's a very clever director. I can see most others do not recognize him - but he's directed a childhood for me. Fantastic Mr Fox was the first Wes Anderson movies I have ever seen. It's use of colors, and his intellegient dark humour changed my life. His films are quirky, but still so human. I'm wondering why so many people are choosing other directors. A 10/10 director in me, that is and will always be astonishing.

Wes' style is very niche, and the problem with this format is that no one can give their number 2, 3, etc. If they could, Wes would be way higher on this list. Unfortunately, he isn't anybody's favorite director. Just showing him some love, as he definitely deserves it.

Love his style. I could watch any one of his movies and laugh hysterically. Granted, he is very much an acquired taste, but if you give him a shot you will love his work.

25 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.

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