I don’t really look that often at who’s directing a film – if I want to see it, I go see it. So when it came to writing this list, five director’s came to me straight away – I have seen 90% of their films if not all of them and have loved pretty much every single one of them. The rest took a bit of IMDb-ing to figure out who directed some of my favourite films. Now this is a personal list and you will no doubt find some world famous, critically acclaimed directors missing from this list but I can’t honestly put someone like Martin Scorsese on this list when I’ve only ever seen three of his films.
So that’s something you can take away from this list, I’ve seen at least half if not all of these director’s films. (Probably something else I should mention, I don’t necessarily think a good director is a sign of a good film – script plays a big part of it in my opinion)
I adored Moon and Source Code; they are both clever and brilliant sci-fi films. He’s currently filming Warcraft and while I have never played World of Warcraft and know next to nothing about it, I am 99% sure I’ll still go see it just because Jones directed it.
Favourite film: Moon (2009)
Luc Besson can direct (and write, I’ve liked nearly every film Besson’s ever wrote) action well. I love Leon and the Fifth Element. I really want to see Nickita and can’t wait for Lucy to be released.
Favourite film: Leon (1994)
Tony Scott is probably my favourite action film director. I love all his work with Denzel Washington – I think they brought out the best of each other – and I love the use of colours and music in his films.
Favourite film: Unstoppable (2010) – in the words of one of my film lecturers, a simple idea done well
I’m sure Spielberg is on just about everyone’s “Best Director” lists. He is really a classic filmmaker and I’m pretty sure I’ve never disliked one of his films. From films like Hook and Jurassic Park that I’ve grown up watching and makes me feel like a kid again whenever I see them, to films like Jaws and Lincoln that keep the tension throughout –he is really one of the greatest filmmakers of our time.
Favourite film: Jurassic Park (1993)
While he has only ever directed two films, I have loved them both. That’s probably because he wrote them too and In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths are both incredibly clever and full of black comedy which I love.
Favourite film: Seven Psychopaths (2012)
Blomkamp is an example of some great talent that just needed a chance. I’m forever grateful for Peter Jackson for attaching his name to District 9 since I’m sure that not only helped the film get made but also got people to see it.
Favourite film: District 9 (2009)
Bar Swept Away (the infamously terrible film starring Madonna) I’ve seen all of his films – part of me kind of wants to watch Swept Away just to see how terrible it is, but I’m not sure if I can bring myself to do that anytime soon. I love his take on gangsters, his use of comedy, and choice of actors. I really wish there would be a sequel to Rocknrolla – that’s probably the only time I’ve ever hoped for a sequel to something.
Favourite film: Rocknrolla (2008)
Zemeckis has made some classics, the Back to the Future trilogy, Forrest Gump and Castaway – all are fantastic. Whether it’s combining humour with action as seen in Back to the Future or Who Framed Roger Rabbit? to tension and drama as seen in Flight – they’re all brilliant.
Favourite film: Flight (2012)
I think Affleck is one of the best actor-turned-director’s in recent years. As an actor he has had a somewhat spotted history but as a director he’s been great. I’ve yet to see Gone Baby Gone but really enjoyed both Argo and The Town.
Favourite film: Argo (2012)
Training Day is a brilliant thriller with brilliant performances but while not many of Fuqua’s other films have received the same level of critical acclaim, he still has made some great films. Olympus Has Fallen for instance, is a simple film in many respects, but the action scenes themselves are great and Fuqua knows how to mount the tension.
Favourite film: Shooter (2001)