Top ten modern directors

Often the focal point of a movie is the actors, but there are few directors whose name sells the movie whether a big-budget movie or an indie flick. As a movie lover, this is my list of favorite modern directors who have been influential and proven their skill time after time.

1. Quentin Tarantino

He is regarded as the most talked-about film director of all time by times magazine. He is my all-time favorite director. His filmmaking and the way he loves movies have intrigued me to be a big movie lover myself. His non-linear story-telling, dark comedy, neo-noir, and violently graphic rule-breaking movies speak for themselves. He is a director who is equally loved by movie viewers and critics alike. Some of his best work includes films like Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill vol.1 and 2, Inglorious Basterds, and Django Unchained.

2. Christopher Nolan

The Dark Knight is my all-time favorite movie. That movie made me love cinema a lot more than I before did. He is one of the 3 directors, I personally look up to. His neo-noir, non-linear psychological thriller to mind-bending sci-fi has amazing visuals to tell the story.

3. Martin Scorsese/Kathryn Bigelow

Inspired by his Italian background and Roman Catholic upbringing, Scorsese crafted some of cinema’s greatest with recurring collaborator Robert De Niro. Also known for featuring themes of violence and crime, Scorsese found further success in the ‘90s with “Goodfellas.” After pushing his actors to use their dramatic chops in “The Aviator,” he won his first Best Director Oscar for “The Departed” and continues to produce critically acclaimed work today.

Kathryn Bigelow shares the third-best director on my list. The first woman to win the directing Oscar (for 2008’s Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker), Bigelow, 68, is a maverick. She took on the action flick (Point Break) and started with a vampire western (Near Dark) that garnered a cult following. Bigelow plays well with actors — from Jamie Lee Curtis in the cop drama Blue Steel to Jeremy Renner in Hurt Locker to Jessica Chastain in the Osama Bin Laden/CIA saga Zero Dark Thirty — getting performances that feel like the first time we truly witness their depth.

4. Coen Brothers

Joel and Ethan Cohen aren’t just directors; they’re also writers and producers. These brothers are known for letting their wit and cleverness shine through, which sometimes leads to dark and twisted results. Whether it’s an Oscar-winning crime flick, a cult hit, or a satirical comedy, the Coens prove two heads are better than one. While they’ve excelled especially in western-inspired films, their black comedies have also been critically recognized. Their best work for me is obviously The Big Lebowski, the movie that became a lifestyle for many and a cult classic.

5. David Fincher

One of the best directors working in Hollywood today is David Fincher. He is best known for directing psychological thrillers like ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ (2011). Films like ‘Fight Club’ and ‘Zodiac are also directed by him, both are among the best films in the history of cinema. His best work in recent years was ‘The Social Network’ which received 96% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. All films of his career combined have crossed $2.1 billion at the global box office against a budget of around $650 million. That’s enough to convince someone that he is not only among the best but also highly successful directors working today.

6. Peter Jackson

How can we forget the creator of the two biggest trilogies in the film industry, The Lord of the Rings (2001-03) and Hobbit (2012-14) both based on the novels by J.R. R Tolkien and directed by Sir Peter Jackson. Both trilogies were record-breaking successful as well as acclaimed by critics. The return of the king alone won 12 academy awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and several other technical awards. He also directed 2005’s ‘King Kong’. He is known for his attention to detail and for shooting scenes from any angle. Peter Jackson is also one of the richest directors of all time with an estimated net worth of $600 million and is one of the top 10 best directors working in Hollywood today. He has been awarded three academy awards.

7. Steven Speilberg

He was one of the most innovative director of the eighties and nineties and is still making imaginative movies like Ready Player One.

With a personal net worth of a whopping $3 billion, he is the second richest director in history only behind George Lucas. He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era, as well as is viewed as the most popular director in history. Spielberg is also one of the cofounders of DreamWorks studio and is regarded as one of the best directors working in Hollywood today. With four decades of career span, he has a long list of amazing movies. ‘Jurassic park’, ‘E.T’, ‘Indiana Jones’ and ‘Jaws’ are just the names of a few. The total box office gross of all the films directed by him exceeds $9 billion worldwide making him the highest-grossing director of all time.

8. Ang Lee

This Taiwanese-American’s work is so diverse, that you don’t always expect what he’s gonna do next. And so far, that’s worked: he’s broken the laws of gravity, has had us seeing green, and has broken our hearts. Lee even managed the technically impossible by turning Yann Martel’s fantasy adventure novel Life Of Pi into a movie. What’s more, he’s the first Asian to win a Best Director Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA.

9. Alejandro González Iñárritu

He has directed only six films in the last 15 years time period. Each film is good and worth watching. But his best film goes by the name ‘Birdman’ or The unexpected virtue of ignorance released in 2014 and generated wide acclaim and won numerous awards including the Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture 2014. His sixth film ‘The Revenant is in the race of getting the same number of awards at the 2016 Academy Award event.

10. Richard Linklater

His best films deal with deep human emotions that revolve around personal relationships. His most remarkable project is a milestone in the history of cinema. ‘Boyhood’ was shot for over 12 years from 2002 to 2013 that portrayed the life of Mason from 6 to 18 years old with the same cast. Their in-depth examination of human experience led him to be known as one of the best directors of this decade. This ultimate ambitious project helped him to win several awards in the best director category and got his first nomination for Academy Award.

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