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Top 40 Directors of Our Generation

So, it’s been nearly a year since I presented you with one of my ‘Movie Lists’ but FINALLY, I have returned!! I’ve actually had the idea for this list for quite sometime but as many of you are aware my schedule has not permitted me to do in a timely manner a lot of the things I have been wanting to do.

For years I have been maintaining not only a Top 50 Movie list for every decade that I have been alive but also a Top Ten list for each year I have been alive, with the lone exception being 1980. (I was born in 1981 :) ) Now, over time I have adjusted these lists as I have been able to watch movies that I had previously missed, I have added movies, dropped movies, and occasionally changed a movie’s position within the lists. In other words, these lists are ever evolving, living documents of my movie experiences and rankings.

At one point I decided that these lists could be used to birth NEW LISTS!! related to the movie industry and you should all know how excited I get when it comes to the prospect of making new lists and ranking things! However, as ALWAYS I strive to rank things that normally are ranked in a subjective manner, in the most objective way possible. I am not saying I always succeed in these endeavors but wherever I can I strive to use the data in front of me to swing my lists as far as I can in the direction of objectivity.

Before I lose you though in my rambling let me get to the point…

For all  too long I have listened to friends and self proclaimed ‘movie buffs’ spout off to me about this director or that director being the best of our generation or the best of all-time simply based on one or two films, or worse yet, what happens to be ‘trendy’ at the time.  Nothing bothers me more than people name dropping a director to try to ‘prove’ they know more about movies than those they are talking to OR someone claiming that a director is amazing just because he directed one or two movies that they love, when in the end they have no clue of what that director’s credit listing consists of.

Therefore, I went into this project with no preconceived ideas nor an agenda. The plan was simple:

I already have a list of what I feel are the Top Ten Movies of each year from 1980 through 2011.  Using this data let’s just see what the numbers tell us about who is and who is not a ‘great director’!  Using the 32 year time frame and the 320 movies that make up those top ten lists I crunched the numbers to see which directors appeared the most frequently on those lists.

[Why cut my list off at 1980 and ignore the classics?? Simple! That way we avoid the all too susceptible trap of over populating your lists with historical directors simply because all the people who have come before us have told us they are great.  No one wants to look through a list full of names we haven’t heard of and of people who directed films we have never seen.  This list is not about ‘all-time’ its about OUR generation.]

My initial list of possible directors using this data consisted of 204 individuals.  I then decided that in order to be eligible for the list that a director would have to appear on the list at least two times. This quickly shrunk my field from 204 to 52 possible candidates. I then took those 52 individuals and researched their entire resume to make sure when compiling my final list I was not completely ignoring the films they directed that may not have appeared on my Top Ten lists.

Admittedly it was in this next step that the largest amount of subjectivity unavoidably sneaks into my creation. A director who directed what I felt was the top movie from a given year, in my opinion should outweigh a director who worked on the number ten film from that same year. Therefore, I poured over the credit listing and the ranking amongst those movies and came up with what I believe is the most objective listing possible for

The Top 40 Directors of Our Generation


RT= RottenTomatoes Score

Roland Emmerich

#40: Roland Emmerich


The Patriot: RT=62%
Independence Day: RT=61%
Anonymous: RT=48%
Stargate: RT=48%
The Day After Tomorrow: RT=45%
2012: RT=39%
Godzilla: RT=26%
Universal Soldier: RT=20%
10,000 B.C.: RT=8%

Upcoming Projects:

White House Down is an upcoming American action-thriller film directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film will be released on June 28, 2013.

Frank Oz

#39: Frank Oz


Little Shop of Horrors: RT=89%
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: RT=88%
What About Bob?: RT=82%
The Muppets Take Manhattan: RT=81%
Bowfinger: RT=80%
The Score: RT=73%
In and Out: RT=73%
The Dark Crystal: RT=71%
The Indian in the Cupboard: RT=68%
Death at a Funeral: RT=61%
Housesitter: RT=37%
The Stepford Wives: RT=26%

Upcoming Projects:

Frank Oz has not directed any films since 2007.

Guy Ritchie

#38: Guy Ritchie


Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: RT=76%
Snatch: RT=72%
Sherlock Holmes: RT=70%
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows: RT=60%
RocknRolla: RT=59%
Revolver: RT=16%
Swept Away: RT=5%

Upcoming Projects:

In June 2012 it was announced that Ritchie would direct an adaptation of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Andrew Davis

#37: Andrew Davis


The Fugitive: RT=94% – Golden Globe Nomination
Holes: RT=77%
Under Siege: RT=75%
The Package: RT=64%
Above the Law: RT=57%
A Perfect Murder: RT=56%
Code of Silence: RT=45%
The Guardian: RT=37%
Collateral Damage: RT=18%
Chain Reaction: RT=16%
Steal Big Steal Little: RT=15%

Upcoming Projects:

No known projects at this time but has been rumored to be tied to a film called Pretty Boy Floyd.

Ivan Reitman

#36: Ivan Reitman


Dave: RT=97%
Ghostbusters: RT=94%
Stripes: RT=88%
I Love You, Man: RT=83%
Meatballs: RT=75%
Ghostbusters 2: RT=51%
Kindergarten Cop: RT=50%
No Strings Attached: RT=49%
Legal Eagles: RT=47%
Evolution: RT=43%
My Super Ex-Girlfriend: RT=40%
Six Days, Seven Nights: RT=36%
Twins: RT=36%
Junior: RT=32%
Fathers’ Day: RT=19%

Upcoming Projects:

Triplets a sequel to Twins starring Arnold, Danny DeVito and Eddie Murphy has been rumored to have Reitman as a director. Reitman’s last role as Director came in 2011’s No Strings Attached starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.

John McTiernan

#35: John McTiernan


The Hunt for Red October: RT=95%
Die Hard: RT=94%
Predator: RT=78%
The Thomas Crown Affair: RT=67%
Die Hard 3: RT=52%
Last Action Hero: RT=38%
The 13th Warrior: RT=33%
Basic: RT=21%
Medicine Man: RT=20%
Nomads: RT=13%
Rollerball: RT=3%

Upcoming Projects:

No known projects at this time and McTiernan has not directed a film since 2003’s Basic.

Harold Ramis

#34: Harold Ramis


Groundhog Day: RT=96%
National Lampoon’s Vacation: RT=94%
Caddyshack: RT=76%
Analyze This: RT=68%
Bedazzled: RT=49%
The Ice Harvest: RT=46%
Multiplicity: RT=44%
Analyze That: RT=27%
Stuart Saves His Family: RT=27%
Year One: RT=14%
Club Paradise: RT=8%

Upcoming Projects:

Possible connections to a Ghostbusters III project. Harold’s last role as a film director came in 2009’s Year One. He has since directed episodes of the television series, The Office.

Robert Redford

#33: Robert Redford


Quiz Show: RT=96% – Golden Globe & Oscar Nomination
Ordinary People: RT=91% – Golden Globe & Oscar Win
A River Runs Through It: RT=83%- Golden Globe Nomination
The Horse Whisperer: RT=73% – Golden Globe Nomination
The Company You Keep: RT=63%
The Milagro Beanfield War: RT=59%
The Conspirator: RT=56%
The Legend of Bagger Vance: RT=43%
Lions for Lambs: RT=26%

Upcoming Projects:

No known projects at this time. Redford’s last directorial project was 2012’s The Company You Keep.

Francis Ford Coppola

#32: Francis Ford Coppola


The Godfather: RT=100% – Golden Globe Win & Oscar Nomination
Apocalypse Now: RT=99% – Golden Globe Win & Oscar Nomination
The Conversation: RT=98% – Golden Globe Nomination
The Godfather Part II: RT=98% – Golden Globe Nomination & Oscar Win
Tucker: The Man and His Dream: RT=86%
Peggy Sue Got Married: RT=84%
The Rainmaker: RT=82%
Bram Stoker’s Dracula: RT=80%
The Cotton Club: RT=75% – Golden Globe Nomination
New York Stories: RT=73%
Tetro: RT=71%
Rumble Fish: RT=71%
The Godfather Part III: RT=68% – Golden Globe & Oscar Nomination
The Outsiders: RT=64%
One From the Heart: RT=46%
Twixt: RT=45%
Gardens of Stone: RT=43%
Youth Without Youth: RT=30%
Jack: RT=17%
Supernova: RT=10%

Upcoming Projects:

No Known Projects at this time. Coppola last directed the film Twixt in 2011.

Baz Luhrmann

#31: Baz Luhrmann


Strictly Ballroom: RT=95%
Moulin Rouge: RT=76% – Golden Globe Nomination
Romeo & Juliet: RT=71%
Australia: RT=55%

Upcoming Projects:

Luhrmann’s next project is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, to be shot in 3D,starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Amitabh Bachchan as Meyer Wolfsheim, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan and Australian newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker.

Frank Darabont

#30: Frank Darabont


The Shawshank Redemption: RT=90%
The Green Mile: RT=80%
The Mist: RT=74%
The Majestic: RT=42%

Upcoming Projects:

Rumored to be the director of the upcoming TV series, Lost Angels. He has also been connected to being a writer for a 2014 release of Godzilla

Peter Weir

#29: Peter Weir


The Truman Show: RT=95%– Golden Globe & Oscar Nomination
Witness: RT=91%– Golden Globe & Oscar Nomination
Picnic at Hanging Rock: RT=91%
The Year of Living Dangerously: RT=88%
Gallipoli: RT=88%
The Last Wave: RT=87%
Fearless: RT=86%
Dead Poets Society: RT=85%– Golden Globe & Oscar Nomination
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World: RT=85% – Golden Globe & Oscar Nomination
The Mosquito Coast: RT=75%
The Way Back: RT=75%
The Cars that Ate Paris: RT=63%
Green Card: RT=56%

Upcoming Projects:

Weir has not directed since 2010 when he directed The Way Back starring Ed Harris.


#28: JJ Abrams


Star Trek: RT=95%
Six Degrees of Separation: RT=88%
Super 8: RT=83%
Mission Impossible III: RT=70%

Upcoming Projects:

J.J. Abrams, Star Trek Into Darkness releases in 2013 and his new project Star Wars Episode 7 is set to be released in 2015. He also remains tied to the Mission Impossible Franchise.


#27: Jason Reitman


Juno: RT=94% – Oscar Nomination
Up in the Air: RT=91% – Golden Globe & Oscar Nomination
Thank You for Smoking: RT=86%
Young Adult: RT=80%

Upcoming Projects:

Reitman’s next film is titlted, Labor Day which is about a depressed single mom named Adele and her son Henry who offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited. Starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin and Tobey Maguire is set to release in 2013.

Steven Soderbergh

#26: Steven Soderbergh


Sex, Lies, and Videotape: RT=98%
Out of Sight: RT=95%
The Limey: RT=93%
Good Night, and Good Luck: RT=93%
Traffic: RT=92%
And Everything is Going Fine: RT=90%
Side Effects: RT=86%
Contagion: RT=85%
Erin Brockovich: RT=84%
Ocean’s Eleven: RT=82%
Haywire: RT=80%
Magic Mike: RT=80%
The Informant!: RT=78%
Bubble: RT=72%
Ocean’s Thirteen: RT=70%
Solaris: RT=66%
The Girlfriend Experience: RT=64%
The Underneath: RT=57%
Kafka: RT=57%
Ocean’s Twelve: RT=55%
Full Frontal: RT=38%
Eros: RT=34%
The Good German: RT=33%

Upcoming Projects:

Soderbergh’s next film, Side Effects was just released to theatres.  Behind the Candelabra is also in the works and is a film about Liberace. Soderbergh has announced in numerous interviews his intention to retire from filmmaking after finishing these films to focus on his painting full-time.

Sam Mendes

#25: Sam Mendes


Skyfall: RT=92%
American Beauty: RT=88%
Road to Perdition: RT=82%
Revolutionary Road: RT=68%
Away We Go: RT=67%
Things We Lost in the Fire: RT=64%
Jarhead: RT=61%

Upcoming Projects:

Rumors have circled back and forth on if Mendes would be connected to the next installment in the Bond franchise or not.

Tony Scott

#24: Tony Scott


True Romance: RT=91%
Crimson Tide: RT=87%
Unstoppable: RT=86%
Enemy of the State: RT=71%
Spy Game: RT=66%
Deja Vu: RT=55%
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3: RT=51%
Beverly Hills Cop II: RT=46%
The Last Boy Scout: RT=45%
The Hunger: RT=42%
The Fan: RT=40%
Days of Thunder: RT=40%
Man on Fire: RT=38%
Revenge: RT=36%
Taking Lives: RT=22%
Domino: RT=18%

Upcoming Projects:

Sadly, Tony Scott passed away this past August. His last film as a director was 2010’s Unstoppable.

Richard Donner

#23: Richard Donner


Superman: RT=93%
Superman II: RT=88%
Lethal Weapon: RT=86%
The Omen: RT=85%
Lethal Weapon 2: RT=83%
Maverick: RT=74%
Ladyhawke: RT=67%
Scrooged: RT=66%
The Goonies: RT=63%
Lethal Weapon 3: RT=56%
16 Blocks: RT=55%
Conspiracy Theory: RT=52%
Lethal Weapon 4: RT=52%
Radio Flyer: RT=41%
Assassins: RT=16%
Timeline: RT=12%
The Toy: RT=11%

Upcoming Projects:

Donner has not directed since 2006 when he made the film 16 Blocks. He has no known projects linked to his name currently.

Marc Forster

#22: Marc Forster


Monster’s Ball: RT=85%
Finding Neverland: RT=83%
Stranger than Fiction: RT=72%
Everything Put Together: RT=69%
The Kite Runner: RT=65%
Quantum of Solace: RT=64%
Machine Gun Preacher: RT=29%
Stay: RT=26%

Upcoming Projects:

Forster’s next film, World War Z, starring Brad Pitt will hit theatres in June of 2013.

Oliver Stone

#21: Oliver Stone


Salvador: RT=92%
Born on the Fourth of July: RT=90%
Platoon: RT=87%
JFK: RT=84%
Wall Street: RT=78%
Nixon: RT=75%
World Trade Center: RT=69%
U-Turn: RT=59%
W.: RT=59%
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: RT=55%
Savages: RT=51%
South of the Border: RT=50%
Any Given Sunday: RT=50%
Natural Born Killers: RT=48%
Heaven & Earth: RT=47%
Alexander: RT=16%

Upcoming Projects:

Stone last directed Savages in 2012 and is yet to be linked to any 2013 films.

Kevin Reynolds

#20: Kevin Reynolds


The Count of Monte Cristo: RT=73%
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves: RT=59%
Fandango: RT=50%
Waterworld: RT=43%
Godzilla’s Revenge: RT=33%
Tristan and Isolde: RT=32%
187: RT=30%

Upcoming Projects:

Reynolds received critical acclaim for his work on the TV Series, Hatfields and McCoys. He has not directed a film in over 6 years though.

Lasse Hallstrom

#19: Lasse Hallstrom


My Life as a Dog: RT=100%
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape: RT=89%
The Hoax: RT=85%
The Cider House Rules: RT=71%
Once Around: RT=68%
Chocolat: RT=63%
The Shipping News: RT=56%
An Unfinished Life: RT=53%
Casanova: RT=43%
Something to Talk About: RT=37%
Dear John: RT=28%
Safe Haven: RT=12%

Upcoming Projects:

Hallstrom’s latest project, Safe Haven recently hit theatres.


Edward Zwick

#18: Edward Zwick


Glory: RT=93%
Courage Under Fire: RT=85%
About Last Night…: RT=82%
The Last Samurai: RT=65%
Legends of the Fall: RT=62%
Blood Diamond: RT=62%
Defiance: RT=57%
Love and Other Drugs: RT=48%
The Siege: RT=45%
I Am Sam: RT=34%
Leaving Normal: RT=25%

Upcoming Projects:

Zwick has been tied to the 2014 title, Pawn Sacrifice, starring Tobey Maguire and telling the story of American chess champion Bobby Fischer as he prepares for a legendary match-up against Russian Boris Spassky.


Barry Levinson

#17: Barry Levinson


Diner: RT=96%
Good Morning Vietnam: RT=89%
Rain Man: RT=88%
Bugsy: RT=88%
Wag the Dog: RT=85%
The Natural:RT=82%
Tin Men: RT=79%
Sleepers: RT=73%
Bandits: RT=65%
Disclosure: RT=61%
Bee Movie: RT=51%
What Just Happened: RT=51%
An Everlasting Piece: RT=48%
Toys: RT=26%
Man of the Year: RT=21%

Upcoming Projects:

Levinson has been tied to a couple of 2014 films. The first one titled, Black Mass which stars Johnny Depp ans is said to be the true story of Billy Bulger, Whitey Bulger, FBI agent John Connelly and the FBI’s witness protection program that was created by J. Edgar Hoover. The other titled Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father with no known information at this time.

John Landis

#16: John Landis


National Lampoon’s Animal House: RT=90%
Trading Places: RT=89%
An American Werewolf in London: RT=89%
The Blues Brothers: RT=86%
Slasher: RT=80%
Coming to America: RT=68%
Three Amigos!: RT=56%
Blues Brothers 2000: RT=45%
Into the Night: RT=38%
Innocent Blood: RT=38%
Spies Like Us: RT=35%
Oscar: RT=13%
Beverly Hills Cop III: RT=10%

Upcoming Projects:

John Landis was last seen director for Franklin and Bash and Psych and has not yet been connected to any 2013 or 2014 films.

Tim Burton

#15: Tim Burton


Ed Wood: RT=92%
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure: RT=92%
Edward Scissorhands: RT=91%
Frankenweenie: RT=88%
Sweeney Todd: RT=86%
Corpse Bride: RT=83%
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: RT=82%
Beetlejuice: RT=81%
Batman Returns: RT=79%
Big Fish: RT=77%
Batman: RT=70%
Sleepy Hollow: RT=67%
Mars Attacks!: RT=52%
Alice in Wonderland: RT=51%
Planet of the Apes: RT=45%
Dark Shadows: RT=38%

Upcoming Projects:

On January 19, 2010, it was announced that after Dark Shadows, Burton’s next project would be Maleficent, a Wicked-like film that showed the origin and the past of Sleeping Beauty‘s antagonist Maleficent. In an interview with Fandango published February 23, 2010, however, he denied he was directing any upcoming Sleeping Beauty film. However, on November 23, 2010, in an interview with MTV, Burton confirmed that he was indeed putting together a script for Maleficent.It was announced in The Hollywood Reporter on May 16, 2011 that Burton was no longer attached to Maleficent.

It has been reported that Burton will direct a 3D stop motion animation adaptation of The Addams Family, which was confirmed by Christopher Meledandri. On July 19, 2010, he was announced as the director of the upcoming film adaptation of Monsterpocalypse.

In 2012, Shane Acker confirmed that Burton will work with Valve to create his next animated feature film, Deep. Like 9, the film will take place in a post-apocalyptic world (although set in a different universe). Deep will be another darker animated film, as Shane Acker has expressed his interest in creating more PG-13 animated films. Currently there is no set release date, although the film is rumoured to be released sometime in 2014.

As of Summer 2012, following the release of both Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, it was reported that screenwriter and novelist Seth Grahame-Smith is working alongside Tim Burton on a potential Beetlejuice sequel. Actor Michael Keaton has also expressed interest in reprising his role as the title character.

Burton will also direct an adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

John Hughes

#14: John Hughes


Planes, Trains and Automobiles: RT=94%
The Breakfast Club: RT=91%
Sixteen Candles: RT=86%
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: RT=84%
Uncle Buck: RT=64%
Weird Science: RT=56%
She’s Having a Baby: RT=48%
Curly Sue: RT=14%

Upcoming Projects:

John Hughes died from a heart attack in 2009.

Rob Reiner

#13: Rob Reiner


The Princess Bride: RT=96%
This is Spinal Tap: RT=95%
When Harry Met Sally: RT=91%
Stand By Me: RT=91%
The American President: RT=90%
Misery: RT=90%
The Sure Thing: RT=89%
A Few Good Men: RT=81%
Flipped: RT=55%
Ghosts of Mississippi: RT=46%
The Bucket List: RT=40%
The Story of Us: RT=28%
Rumor Has It: RT=20%

Upcoming Projects:

Rob Reiner is attached to a film titles You Belong to Me which does not have a current release date.

Quentin Tarantino

#12: Quentin Tarantino


Reservoir Dogs: RT=96%
Pulp Fiction: RT=95%
Django Unchained: RT=89%
Inglourious Basterds: RT=88%
Jackie Brown: RT=86%
Kill Bill V1: RT=85%
Kill Bill V2: RT=84%
Grindhouse: RT=83%
Sin City: RT=78%
Death Proof: RT=67%

Upcoming Projects:

Tarantino clarified his remarks and described his next film as being the final entry in a ″Django-Inglourious Basterds″ trilogy called Killer Crow. The film will depict a group of World War II-era black troops who have “been fucked over by the American military and kind of go apeshit. They basically — the way Lt. Aldo Raines (Brad Pitt) and the Basterds are having an ‘Apache resistance’ — [the] black troops go on an Apache warpath and kill a bunch of white soldiers and white officers on a military base and are just making a warpath to Switzerland.”

Ridley Scott

#11: Ridley Scott


Alien: RT=97%
Blade Runner: RT=92%
Thelma & Louise: RT=91%
The Duelists: RT=90%
Matchstick Men: RT=82%
American Gangster: RT=80%
Gladiator: RT=78%
Someone to Watch Over me: RT=76%
Black Hawk Down: RT=76%
Prometheus: RT=74%
White Squall: RT=62%
G.I. Jane: RT=55%
Body of Lies: RT=54%
Black Rain: RT=52%
Legend: RT=48%
Robin Hood: RT=43%
Kingdom of Heaven: RT=39%
Hannibal: RT=39%
A Good Year: RT=25%

Upcoming Projects:

The Counselor is an upcoming thriller film co-produced and directed by Ridley Scott, from a screenplay by Cormac McCarthy, which is also his first original screenplay. The film stars Michael Fassbender, with Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem in supporting roles. The Counselor is set to be released in the United States and Canada on November 15, 2013.

The film tells the story of a lawyer, played by Fassbender, who finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.

On October 2008, Scott confirmed that after a 25-year wait for the rights to become available, he was to make an adaptation of the book The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. He was looking for a script writer. The following March, he confirmed that the film would be in 3D, citing James Cameron’s Avatar as an inspiration for this. “I’m filming a book by Joe Haldeman called Forever War. I’ve got a good writer doing it. I’ve seen some of James Cameron’s work and I’ve got to go 3D. It’s going to be phenomenal.” Another science fiction project associated with Scott is an adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, with Leonardo DiCaprio potentially involved.

In August 2011, information leaked about production of a sequel to Blade Runner by Alcon Entertainment, with Alcon partners Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove.[31] Earlier (in 2009) Scott had stated that he would direct a film adaptation of the Red Riding trilogy.[32]

In January 2013, Scott aquired the rights to produce a film adaptation of Matt Kindt’s Dark Horse comic book, MIND MGMT with Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg

Brian De Palma

#10: Brian DePalma


Phantom of the Paradise: RT=94%
Carrie: RT=91%
Blow Out: RT=90%
Scarface: RT=89%
Dressed to Kill: RT=84%
Casualties of War: RT=83%
Sisters: RT=83%
The Untouchables: RT=81%
Obsession: RT=79%
Hi, Mom!: RT=78%
Body Double: RT=78%
Carlito’s Way: RT=78%
The Fury: RT=77%
Mission Impossible: RT=61%
Raising Cain: RT=52%
Femme Fatale: RT=48%
Redacted: RT=44%
Snake Eyes: RT=40%
Wise Guys: RT=33%
The Black Dahlia: RT=32%
Mission to Mars: RT=25%
Bonfire of the Vanities: RT=23%

Upcoming Projects:

DePalma last directed in 2012’s Passion and has not yet been tied to any future projects.


#9: Coens


True Grit: RT=96%
No Country for Old Men: RT=95%
Blood Simple: RT=94%
Fargo: RT=94%
Barton Fink: RT=91%
Miller’s Crossing: RT=91%
A Serious Man: RT=89%
The Man Who Wasn’t There: RT=81%
The Big Lebowski: RT=80%
Burn After Reading: RT=78%
O Brother, Where Art Thou?: RT=77%
The Hudsucker Proxy: RT=56%
The Ladykillers: RT=55%

Upcoming Projects:

The Coens are currently filming a script based on the 1960s folk music scene in New York City’s Greenwich Village, specifically on the life of Dave Van Ronk. The film is loosely based on Van Ronk’s memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal Street. Titled Inside Llewyn Davis, the film is backed by USA’s The Weinstein Company, will star Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan and will be distributed by Paramount Pictures in USA and Canada only and The Weinstein Company in the non-USA and United Kingdom only.

The brothers are also reportedly working on their first television project called Harve Karbo about a quirky Los Angeles private eye for Imagine Television

James Cameron

#8: James Cameron


Terminator: RT=100%
Terminator 2: Judgement Day: RT=98%
Aliens: RT=98%
The Abyss: RT=88%
Titanic: RT=88%
Aliens of the Deep: RT=84%
Avatar: RT=83%
Ghost of the Abyss: RT=80%
True Lies: RT=72%

Upcoming Projects:

In October 2010, Cameron signed an agreement with Fox to direct two sequels to Avatar, which are scheduled to be released in December 2015 and December 2016. Another project Cameron has announced is a personal commitment to shoot a film on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as told through the story of Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a man who survived both attacks. Cameron met with Yamaguchi just days before he died in 2010

Christopher Nolan

#7: Christopher Nolan


Dark Knight: RT=94%
Insomnia: RT=93%
Memento: RT=92%
Dark Knight Rises: RT=87%
Inception: RT=86%
Batman Begins: RT=85%
Following: RT=79%
The Prestige: RT=76%

Upcoming Projects:

Nolan’s co-production (not directing) Man of Steel is set to release in June of 2013. On 9 January 2013, it was announced that Nolan will be directing and producing his next project; a science-fiction film titled Interstellar. The script was written by Jonathan Nolan and was originally to be directed by Steven Spielberg. A day later it was revealed that Nolan was rewriting the script in order to incorporate an original idea of his own. The film will reportedly depict “a heroic interstellar voyage to the farthest borders of our scientific understanding

David Fincher

#6: David Fincher


Social Network: RT=96%
Zodiac: RT=90%
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: RT=86%
Se7en: RT=85%
Fight Club: RT=81%
Panic Room: RT=76%
Curious Case of Benjamin Button: RT=73%
The Game: RT=71%
Alien 3: RT=42%

Upcoming Projects:

Fincher last directed 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.


Clint Eastwood2

#5: Clint Eastwood


Unforgiven: RT=97%
High Plains Drifter: RT=96%
The Outlaw Josey Wales: RT=94%
Honkytonk Man: RT=93%
Pale Rider: RT=92%
Million Dollar Baby: RT=92%
Heartbreak Ridge: RT=92%
Letters from Iwo Jima: RT=91%
The Bridges of Madison County: RT=90%
Mystic River: RT=87%
Kelly’s Heroes: RT=86%
White Hunter Black Heart: RT=85%
Play Misty for Me: RT=83%
The Gauntlet: RT=82%
A Perfect World: RT=81%
Gran Torino: RT=80%
Bronco Billy: RT=80%
Space Cowboys: RT=79%
Bird: RT=78%
Invictus: RT=76%
The Eiger Sanction: RT=75%
Flags of Our Fathers: RT=73%
Changeling: RT=62%
Sudden Impact: RT=58%
True Crime: RT=54%
Blood Work: RT=53%
The Rookie: RT=50%
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: RT=47%
Hereafter: RT=47%
Absolute Power: RT=45%
J.Edgar: RT=44%
Firefox: RT=42%

Upcoming Projects:

Eastwood last directed 2011’s J.Edgar and has not been tied to any future releases at this time.

Ron Howard

#4: Ron Howard


Apollo 13: RT=97%
Night Shift: RT=95%
Parenthood: RT=93%
Frost/Nixon: RT=92%
Splash: RT=92%
The Paper: RT=88%
Cinderella Man: RT=80%
Cocoon: RT=79%
A Beautiful Mind: RT=78%
Ransom: RT=74%
Backdraft: RT=73%
The Missing: RT=58%
Osmosis Jones: RT=55%
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: RT=53%
Far and Away: RT=50%
Willow: RT=46%
Angels and Demons: RT=37%
Gung Ho: RT=35%
The Da Vinci Code: RT=25%
The Dilemma: RT=24%

Upcoming Projects:

Ron Howard’s name is tied to three upcoming projects with little to nothing known about them. Rush, The Graveyard Book and Jay Z: Made in America.

Robert Zemeckis

#3: Robert Zemeckis


Who Framed Roger Rabbit: RT=98%
Back to the Future: RT=97%
Cast Away: RT=90%
Romancing the Stone: RT=86%
I Wanna Hold Your Hand: RT=82%
Flight: RT=78%
Used Cars: RT=76%
Back to the Future Part III: RT=73%
Beowulf: RT=71%
Forrest Gump: RT=70%
Back to the Future Part II: RT=64%
Contact: RT=63%
The Polar Express: RT=56%
Disney’s A Christmas Carol: RT=54%
What Lies Beneath: RT=46%
Death Becomes Her: RT=43%

Upcoming Projects:

Zemeckis made his return to live-action in last year’s Flight and we can only wait and see for what he will do next.


Martin Scorsese

#2: Martin Scorsese


My Voyage to Italy: RT=100%
Mean Streets: RT=98%
Taxi Driver: RT=98%
Raging Bull: RT=98%
The Last Waltz: RT=98%
Goodfellas: RT=97%
Hugo: RT=94%
The Departed: RT=93%
The Color of Money: RT=92%
Public Speaking: RT=90%
After Hours: RT=89%
The Aviator: RT=87%
Shine a Light: RT=86%
The Last Temptation of Christ: RT=83%
Casino: RT=80%
Cape Fear: RT=76%
Gangs of New York: RT=75%
New York Stories: RT=73%
Bringing Out the Dead: RT=71%
Shutter Island: RT=68%
New York, New York: RT=67%
Shark Tale: RT=36%

Upcoming Projects:

Scorsese’s next movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and is called The Wolf of Wall Street.Scorsese has also announced several potential future projects. Scorsese anticipates filming an adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence, a drama about the voyages of two Portuguese Jesuit priests in Japan during the 17th Century. Scorsese had originally planned Silence as his next project following Shutter Island. Scorsese reported that his long-planned Frank Sinatra biopic is coming up, with Phil Alden Robinson writing the screenplay. He is also attached to direct The Irishman, which will star Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino. It has also been announced that Scorsese is attached to direct an adaptation of Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø’s novel The Snowman.


And the Best Director or Our Generation is…

Steven Spielberg

#1: Steven Spielberg


Jaws: RT=100%
E.T.: RT=98%
Schindler’s List: RT=97%
Catch Me If You Can: RT=96%
Close Encounters of the Third Kind: RT=95%
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark: RT=95%
Saving Private Ryan: RT=93%
Minority Report: RT=92%
The Sugarland Express: RT=92%
Lincoln: RT=90%
Jurassic Park: RT=90%
Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade: RT=89%
The Color Purple: RT=88%
Duel: RT=86%
Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom: RT=85%
Empire of the Sun: RT=82%
Munich: RT=78%
Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: RT=78%
Warhorse: RT=77%
Amistad: RT=76%
The Adventures of Tintin: RT=75%
War of the Worlds: RT=74%
A.I.: RT=73%
Twilight Zone: The Movie: RT=68%
Always: RT=64%
The Terminal: RT=60%
Jurassic Park: Lost World: RT=52%
1941: RT=32%
Hook: RT=29%

Upcoming Projects:

Spielberg was next scheduled to shoot a $200 million adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson’s novel Robopocalypse, adapted for the screen by Drew Goddard.[69] The film follows a global human war against a robot uprising about 15–20 years in the future. Like Lincoln, it will be released by Disney in the United States and Fox overseas. It was set for release on April 25, 2014,[72] but Spielberg postponed production indefinitely in January 2013, just before it had been set to begin.

In 2009, Spielberg reportedly tried to obtain the screen rights to make a film based on Microsoft’s Halo series. In September 2008, Steven Spielberg bought film rights for John Wyndham’s novel Chocky and is interested in directing it. He is also interested in making an adaptation of A Steady Rain, Pirate Latitudes, The 39 Clues, and Under the Dome, along with a remake of When Worlds Collide.

In May 2009, Steven Spielberg bought the rights to the life story of Martin Luther King, Jr.. Spielberg will be involved not only as producer but also as a director. However, the purchase was made from the King estate, led by son Dexter, while the two other surviving children, the Reverend Bernice and Martin III, immediately threatened to sue, not having given their approvals to the project.

He has also been connected to a 5th Indiana Jones film.

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Kevin "OptimusSolo"

OptimusSolo is a Cartoon Historian and even has an actual History degree to go with it. He's also an avid Toy collector boasting an over 1,000 piece Star Wars collection and nearly 400 Transformer toys. He is one of the hosts of the Powers of Grayskull series. He also has a passion for cartoon Theme Songs, Star Trek, MacGyver, Baseball, and is a major Movie Geek!


  1. Very awesome, and interesting list. Just curious, did you not remember or intentionally leave out that Tony Scott directed Top Gun, and why isn’t BTTF 2 the list for Zemeckis?

    Other then that great job!!!

  2. Great list. It’s a hard job to sum up nearly 30 years of film into 40 directors but overall really solid work. There are some directors I’m surprised didn’t make the list like Ang Lee, Danny Boyle, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Wes Anderson, and a few I’m surprised are on there like Roland Emmerich, Andrew Davis, and Marc Forster. Though that’s par for the course. It’s hard to argue with 1 and 2, Personally I’m more of a Scorsese fan than Spielberg, but it’s splitting hairs.

    Fantastic list overall.

    1. Yea I can see why you would mention those guys that I included, especially Emmerich and Davis. Forster clinched it with Stranger than Fiction and Finding Neverland though – love those movies!!

      Danny Boyle’s only quality film in my book is Slumdog Millionaire. Don’t like any of Paul Thomas Anderson’s stuff. Bottle Rocket would be the only highlight for me from Wes Anderson. Ang Lee I considered heavily but he just didn’t have the number of quality films some of these other guys did.

      Thanks for the kind words!!

      1. Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson certainly have a style that’s not for everyone. Danny Boyle having only 1 quality film is crazy talk lol. Trainspoitting, 28 Days Later…, Sunshine, Millions, and 127 hours are all solid films. He’s one of the few directors who can dip his toes in multiple genres and succeed. Regarding Marc Forester I agree Finding Neverland and Stranger Than Fiction are great films, but I felt their success was more based on their screenplay than his direction. When he doesn’t have a tight script he tends to make rather lackluster movies like Machine Gun Preacher or The Quantum of Solace. Though truthfully you can say that about a lot of directors, but he’s one in particular that comes to my mind.

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