The Greatest Living Directors People In Film
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21  reranks 11,261 votes 846 voters 91,030 views more info

The Greatest Living Directors

List of the best living filmmakers (though not necessarily still actively making films.) When discussing the finest directors of all time, a few names immediately pop to mind. John Ford. John Huston. Frank Capra. But adding in the condition that they must still be living adds a level of difficulty.

Sure, you still have a few luminaries who are with us and clearly are contenders for the title - Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg. These guys are no slouches. But it starts to make the list a bit more challenging to compile, particularly when you consider the vast array of genres and styles in which these directors are working. Can John Lasseter's work in animation be directly compared to Sofia Coppola's atmospheric character studies? Can John Carpenter's '80s horror classics comfortably sit side-by-side with Wes Anderson's twee indie adventures? These are the kinds of tough calls Ranker listers are just going to have to make.

One final element to consider would be consistency. Terrence Malick has made far fewer films than most of the entrants on this list, but most (if not all) have been of a remarkably high level of quality. Does that earn him a spot above, say, Clint Eastwood, who has worked a lot but with a somewhat more spotty record? Tough choices... but isn't that what ranking is all about?
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 21 ReRanks
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 367
    Down 77

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Martin Scorsese

    Casino, The Key to Reserva, Untitled The Departed 2 Sequel More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 351
    Down 102
    Lincoln, War Horse, Jaws More
    94
  3. 3
    Up 288
    Down 95
    Mystic River, Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby More
    91
  4. 4
    Up 246
    Down 84
    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Godfather Part III More
    90
  5. 5
    Up 320
    Down 122
    Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds More
    89
  6. 6
    Up 225
    Down 85
    Inside Llewyn Davis, True Grit More
    89
  7. 7
    Up 222
    Down 74
    Cinema 16: British Short Films, Batman Begins, Following More
    81
  8. 8
    Up 184
    Down 86
    Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button More
    78
  9. 9
    Up 164
    Down 55
    The Counselor, A Good Year, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers ... More
    77
  10. 10
    Up 155
    Down 77
    Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind More
    74
  11. 11
    Up 206
    Down 139
    Annie Hall, Midnight in Paris, To Rome More
    73
  12. 12
    Up 185
    Down 129

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Tim Burton

    Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns More
    71
  13. 13
    Up 172
    Down 86
    Mullholland Drive, Elephant Man, Blue Velvet More
    71
  14. 14
    Up 154
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    ranked low on reranks
    Paul Thomas Anderson

    The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia More
    70
  15. 15
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    Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Avatar Avatar 2 More
    69
  16. 16
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    Down 59
    The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the ... More
    68
  17. 17
    Up 134
    Down 80
    Magic Mike, Ocean's Eleven, Schizopolis More
    65
  18. 18
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    Down 71
    The Fury, Obsession, Murder a la Mod More
    64
  19. 19
    Up 137
    Down 86
    Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Twelve Chairs, History of the World, Part I ... More
    64
  20. 20
    Up 102
    Down 69
    Tess, Two Men and a Wardrobe, Afternoon of a Champion More
    62
  21. 21
    Up 115
    Down 65
    Dark Star, Starman, Dark Star: Hyperdrive Edition: Theatrical Cut More
    62
  22. 22
    Up 109
    Down 78
    Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek Into Darkness, Super 8 More
    62
  23. 23
    Up 133
    Down 69

    ranked low on reranks
    Wes Anderson

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling ... More
    62
  24. 24
    Up 86
    Down 58
    Collateral, The Keep, The Jericho Mile More
    61
  25. 25
    Up 118
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    U Turn, Born on the Fourth of July, Castro in Winter More
    59
  26. 26
    Up 92
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    George Lucas

    THX 1138, 1:42:08, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith More
    58
  27. 27
    Up 99
    Down 71
    Back to the Future Part III, Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York, Flight ... More
    57
  28. 28
    Up 83
    Down 62
    Stand by Me, Misery, Rumor Has It… More
    56
  29. 29
    Up 93
    Down 72
    The Tree of Life, Untitled Terrence Malick project, The New World More
    55
  30. 30
    Up 72
    Down 58
    What Planet Are You From?, Primary Colors, Postcards from the Edge More
    54
  31. 31
    Up 66
    Down 60
    Promised Land, 8, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues More
    52
  32. 32
    Up 84
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    Clockwork, Evil Dead II, Oz: The Great and Powerful More
    52
  33. 33
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    The Crazies, O. J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose, Season of the Witch More
    52
  34. 34
    Up 55
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    Jade, Bug, Good Times More
    51
  35. 35
    Up 58
    Down 56
    HIStory on Film, Volume II, The Kentucky Fried Movie, Coming to America ... More
    51
  36. 36
    Up 72
    Down 47
    Life of Pi, Lust, Caution, The Ice Storm More
    51
  37. 37
    Up 48
    Down 37
    Semafor: Greatest Hits 2, Loves of a Blonde, The Firemen's Ball More
    48
  38. 38
    Up 58
    Down 51
    Goners, The Avengers, Serenity More
    48
  39. 39
    Up 51
    Down 65
    Broken Flowers, Stranger Than Paradise, Storytelling Giant More
    47
  40. 40
    Up 50
    Down 58
    Before Midnight, tape, Live from Shiva's Dance Floor More
    46
  41. 41
    Up 45
    Down 38
    Three Kings, Nailed, American Hustle More
    46
  42. 42
    Up 68
    Down 71
    The Bling Ring, The Virgin Suicides, Lick the Star More
    45
  43. 43
    Up 34
    Down 34
    From the Drain, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch More
    45
    added by: PeteBoyle
  44. 44
    Up 42
    Down 24

    ranked low on reranks
    Peter Weir

    The Way Back, The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society More
    45
  45. 45
    Up 37
    Down 40
    The Descendants, Paris, je t'aime, Citizen Ruth More
    44
  46. 46
    Up 40
    Down 36
    Wholphin: Issue 10, The Truth About Charlie, New Order: Substance More
    44
  47. 47
    Up 40
    Down 48
    Swept Away, Suspect, Revolver More
    43
    added by: SiddhantAhuja
  48. 48
    Up 57
    Down 66
    For Your Consideration, The Thick Of It, The Big Picture More
    43
  49. 49
    Up 36
    Down 46
    In God We Trust, Juno, Up in the Air More
    43
  50. 50
    Up 35
    Down 52
    The Winslow Boy, Lost Masterpieces of Pornography, Things Change More
    43
  51. 105 +

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