Top 5 Film Directors

I am going to try something different from a movie review, and move into a blog post about film directors this time ’round.  I have never done this before, so, please excuse the similarity for analyzing these people and telling my opinion them–which is what I am probably going to do!

I notice when I look back on my other posts that I haven’t give you a reason to “trust” me as a writer of this blog and talk about movies.  So to make this a more personal experience, I thought I ought to share with you my unofficial top five list of movie directors and see what you think.  I hope you enjoy this “rendition”, and keep in mind that this list is liable to change over the years with new directors being born and older movies I have yet to see.  This is current; late 2011, my friends.  Just remedy on that for a while and then I shall begin.

Well, let us begin, shall we?

1. Christopher Nolan

Mr. Nolan has only been in Hollywood for less then a dozen years, but has shown promise since his independent physiological film, Following, which he made on a budget of zero.  He has believed in trying to make the audience experience a different version of seeing a movie where they cannot expect the same old same old, but instead, must think the story through and come away with a marvelous experience that leaves them hungry for more.  From what I’ve read, he is apparently an excellent artist of a filmmaker, great to work with actors, and the core of each of his films are the story.  I have seen of all of his films and deeply look forward to seeing where his career will take him.  Here is his short filmography as director and all but one, writer.  Following (1998), Memento (2000), Insomnia (2002), Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), and the much anticipated The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

2. Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick comes in at a very close second in my opinion.  Since the dawn of his career, Kubrick made it clear to the studio, the audience, and especially himself, that he wanted to make films that were totally different from anyone else’s, and they would be known as “Kubrick films”.  He is a legend throughout the world as one of the first artistic and stylized filmmakers, who started in the league of photography and starting his filmmaking career in the late forties.  All the actors and crew members that have ever worked with him have talked about in length how difficult it was to work with him, complaining about his year-length movie shoots and his perfectionist style that he was notoriously criticized for.  Though he always regretted not making more, Kubrick only made thirteen feature films in his entire career, each one marked as a classic as his legacy remains with us till this day.  His filmography–all of which he is a director, writer, and producer, is: Fear and Desire (1953), Killer’s Kiss (1955), The Killing (1956), Paths of Glory (1957), Spartacus (1960), Lolita (1962), Dr. Strangelove (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987), and Eyes Wide Shut (1999) which was released posthumously.

3. Clint Eastwood

I’ve grown up watching Clint Eastwood movies, I confess, and watching most of his films for a good amount of years now has impacted me, I’m pretty darn sure.  Clint started out as an actor and evolved into directing, when which he found his art.  He is most known to the general public for his iconic image as The Man With No Name, but also for such roles as Dirty Harry, Preacher, Josey Whales, and many others.  Though Eastwood began with westerns, he has moved onward to deep dramas, now stepping aside from acting for the moment, and re-concentrating on a story he would want to go to a movie and see on the big screen.  I very much enjoy his “contemporary” style of filmmaking, where he works quite strongly with the actors–being an actor himself, that helps the performances of his actors enormously, I believe.  And he is also from his movies from the beginning till the end, wishing to tackle a particular subject and making it clear how he addresses it to a mixed audience all around the world, with him knowing full well at the beginning credits, they will see, “A Clint Eastwood film”, and from that, they will automatically judge, and he does not wish to disappoint, I am sure.  A selected filmography of his would be: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966), Dirty Harry (1971), The Outlaw Josey Whales (1976), Pale Rider (1985), Heartbreak Ridge (1986), Unforgiven (1992), Absolute Power (1997), Mystic River (2003), Million Dollar Baby (2004), and Gran Torino (2008).

4. Paul Thomas Anderson

Young master Anderson literally grew up in the Hollywood area and was not unfamiliar with the business growing up in San Fernando Valley (where almost all of his films’ stories are based in).  He began as a technical assistant on a game show but eventually worked his way to the “top” as it were, and managed to come out with the indie film, Hard Eight (1996).  I have yet to see more of Anderson’s work, but his film There Will Be Blood (2007) left me in awe at the style of this director.  His style I think, in few words, is “show; don’t tell”.  He is a very visual director, citing he was inspired by filmmakers Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, and Jonathan Demme.  He apparently works very well with actors, with one of his strongest traits as a writer to tell the emotions and characterizations of the characters so well throughout his movies.  The actors he continually collaborates with appreciated that about him very much, and so do I, not having met him or worked with him.  I think he has a promising career and I look forward to seeing what he will be coming out with in the near future.  A shortered filmography includes: Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), Punch-Drunk-Love (2002), with The Master coming out next year.

5. M. Night Shyamalan

Lastly, there is Mr. Shyamalan, a loyal Hitchcock fan and physiological/thriller director, who understands the art of suspense in making movies.  He has a talent for building up the drama, making the scene more thrilling with long shots and deep, emotional acting.  He plans his films out so well that the producers and other crew members continually thank him for this preparation, and his actors love the laid back and relaxed filmmaking style he approaches his projects with.  The Sixth Sense (1999) is what has most strongly impressed me, and makes me appreciated this director and writer so much more.  You have to see the movie to understand what I mean, but…I just really enjoy that flick; I cannot explain it.  It leaves you saying, “That…was…awesome!  Again, again!”  But moving into his filmography, his other suspense movies are: Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), The Village (2004), Lady in the Water (2006), The Happening (2008), and his fantasy/action effort, The Last Airbender (2010).  He has been absent of the director’s chair a little while, and I pray that doesn’t last.  He has a promising career ahead of him, and yet again, I can’t wait to see where this film director is going.

So, that’s that!  A shortened premise of each of my “favorite” directors.  I could go on all day about them, but, for the moment, I hope you and I are content with this information that has been given out to you.  Sometime soon, I hope to go through each of these men and write a full article about them.  If there is a filmmaker you want me to check out and write about, please comment below and tell me and I’ll look into it.

Thank you so much for reading!

About Morgan

January 2016 Update: This blog is under reconstruction. Please be patient while we gradually remove old material, posts, and pages, and create new ones. Thank you.
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3 Responses to Top 5 Film Directors

  1. Zach S. says:

    Is this list “the best” directors or “your favorite” directors? (There’s a difference.) If it’s favorites, I would say you have a solid list. Especially glad to see P.T.A. on that list (he may be the most underrated director working today.) If it’s “the best” though, you have to add Renoir, Hitchcock, and Griffith… Perhaps even Speilberg.

    My 5 favorites would be Nolan (although everyone is starting to like him now), The Coens, Bergman, P.T.A., and either Hitchcock or perhaps Joe Wright… hmmm, not sure about that last one.

    Good list, though.


    • vonhauer2 says:

      Both, I’d dare say. Once again, in my personal opinion. It would be impossible for us to list in order of best directors rather then favorites, but I believe these directors are some of the greatest filmmakers of our time.


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