This list will contain the top 15 Movie Directors according to Topazziworld. These choices are subjective and are tied to my personal preferences. The idea of such a list immediately provokes discussion. You may scratch your head sometimes with the choices I make. However, these are directors where I always look forward to seeing their movies.
The most important person to make a film is the one behind the scenes. In other words, the film director. This is not to say that the others have a less important job because, in the end, they all have to work together. The movie director determines the tone, flow, story, and filming of the entire picture. On top of that, sometimes they even play as an actor in their own movies.
A side note: Women are grossly underrepresented in this list as there are none. This should be a serious wake-up call for Hollywood. Although women have been an integral part of the film industry since the beginning, they rarely got the chance to direct. And if I’m honest to myself, none of them made my list so far. However, I sure hope there will be some in my top 15 movie directors list in the future.
15. Jordan Peele
I start my list with Jordan Peele and I’m already cheating a little bit. Currently, I have only seen one film of his, and that is “Get Out.” His other film, “Us,” I have yet to see at this time. Still, I added him to my list because I’m curious about his career. Jordan Peele was mostly known for acting as a comedian but surprised the world with his debut film. And I love surprises, and it did intrigue me to see what his future holds.
Favorite film of Jordan Peele: Get Out
14. James Cameron
James Cameron made some extraordinary films, and some of them are some of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Two great examples are Titanic and Avatar. I don’t know a soul that hasn’t seen Titanic. However, these are not the only films he directed. Other movies like The Terminator, Aliens, and True Lies are also in his repertoire.
Favorite film of James Cameron: The Terminator
13. Peter Jackson
Peter Robert Jackson is a New Zealand film director, producer and screenwriter. He is best known as the director, writer and producer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03) and the Hobbit trilogy (2012-14), both of which are based on the novels of the same name by J.R.R. Tolkien. Even the King Kong movie I loved at the time. He has certainly brought us some outstanding major films.
Favorite film of Peter Jackson: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
12. Taika Waititi
Peter Jackson is not the only one from New Zealand as Taika Waititi is one of his compatriots. He is a New Zealand comedian, director, screenwriter, and actor. It is mainly his directing that really fascinates me. Other than that, he looks like a great guy to chat with. Anyway, his movies “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Jojo Rabbit” were great movies. My gut feeling says this guy is going to bring some great film yet. He is someone who knows what he is doing. And the best is yet to come because he is also going to direct a Star Wars movie.
Favorite film of Taika Waititi: Jojo Rabbit
11. Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican film director. He specializes in making fantasy and horror films. In 2018, he won an Oscar as best director for the film The Shape of Water. He was then also awarded the Oscar for best film.
Many of his films grew to become cult classics. The film El Laberinto del Fauno received six Oscar nominations, three of which were plated. Personally, I wished he would have made a third Hellboy film. His vision of this comic book character was excellent.
Favorite film of Guillermo del Toro: Hellboy
10. Clint Eastwood
Everyone knows Clint Eastwood as the greatest actor in Western movies. Yet, he did not stop at acting but also directed films. As a director, Clint Eastwood has more than 25 films to his name. With four nominations and 2 Oscars, he is one of the great American film directors.
I especially like that his films have a kind of “indie” tone with a great story and cinematography. Think of films like “Million Dollar Baby,” “Unforgiven,” and “Gran Torino.” These are all great movies without feeling gigantic like a blockbuster.
Favorite film of Clint Eastwood: Million Dollar Baby
9. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson is another actor who surprised me with his films as a director. Everyone knows Braveheart is a great movie, but it’s with Apocalypto that he started to come on my radar. I was amazed at how good he was with bringing such a film. His last film, “Hacksaw Ridge,” was also again excellent and, this time, inspiring.
Favorite film of Mel Gibson: Braveheart
8. Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott is a British photographer, film director, and film producer. He is best known for his visually overwhelming and grandiose Hollywood action films. The fascinating thing about Ridley Scott is that he is also an artist in his movies. This is mainly due to the strikingly stylish, colorful, and remarkably lit camera work that always dominates in his films. Think of a Blade Runner where the lighting work does much to contribute.
He has many different movies under his belt: the Alien Franchise, Gladiator, Blade Runner, and so on.
Favorite film of Ridley Scott: Gladiator
7. Tim Burton
Tim Burton really does have a style all his own: gothic, bizarre, sometimes a bit humorous, and imaginative. Sometimes I watch other TV shows or movies that tackle the same style, and I immediately think, “ah, this is a bit of a Tim Burton style.” This already says a lot about him. It’s like it’s his stamp in the film world.
Favorite film of Tim Burton: Batman (I’m a Batman fan so I would lie if I chose something else)
6. Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director of Sicilian descent. His roots are well seen in his films and also in his clothing style. Let’s be honest here. If this were a top 10 of the best-dressed directors, he would be number one!
Scorsese is a very respected director and is mostly known for his mob/crime films. The man onl
Favorite film of Martin Scorsese: Goodfellas
5. David Fincher
David Fincher was first known for directing commercials and music videos. However, his skill made him become a movie director. Now, he’s probably the best director alive, although not my favorite director. That’s why he’s still number five on my Top 15 Movie Director list.
There are still a lot of movies I should watch from him. However, the ones I did, stuck with me.
Favorite film of David Fincher: Se7en
4. Quentin Tarantino
The theme of Tarantino films is situated in the underworld where different laws prevail than in bourgeois society. A characteristic of his handling of violence is its banality, as if murder and torture were everyday occurrences.
Also characteristic of Tarantino’s work is the numerous references to other films. This is probably because he left school at the age of fifteen to work in a video store and thus came into contact with all sorts of film genres.
Also, you have to be a fan of his heavy dialogue films. I’ve seen people walk away from the theater for movies like The Hateful Eight, where it’s mostly dialogue. These kind of movies aren’t for everywhere, but it sure works for me.
Favorite film of Quentin Tarantino: Reservoir Dogs
3. Christopher Nolan
The Batman films made me discover Christopher Nolan at the time. Now, I’ve to admit that I became a Nolan fanboy as none of his movies are bad. Even when the critics are hard against some of his films, I still believe they’re great. What I truly love is his approach to using huge concepts like in Inception, Tenet, and even Dunkirk.
Christopher Nolan is someone who challenge himself with every movie and I like that.
Favorite film of Christopher Nolan: The Dark Knight
2. Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was a British film director. He is regarded as one of the best film directors ever. When I started to invest myself in movies, I was skeptical of classic movies. I always was worried that films would feel outdated, but I tried it out anyway. Psycho is the film that I chose to begin with, and my god, I was amazed at how much I loved it. It opened doors to classic films for me.
Alfred Hitchcock was the best of his time. Every film of him is just brilliant.
Favorite film of Alfred Hitchock: Psycho
1. Steven Spielberg
My number one spot for the Top 15 movie directors was a no-brainer for me. And, I know it’s such a basic answer, but I can’t help it. Steven Spielberg is my favorite director of all time. What I usually admire the most are my childhood memories and Steven Spielberg contributed a lot with his major films. Who doesn’t love Jurassic Park or Indiana Jones? However, I still have to see Shlinder’s list. Shame on me.
Favorite film of Steven Spielberg: Jurassic Park