The Greatest Living Directors People In Film
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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?
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Departed

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  2. 2
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    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Schindler's List

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  3. 3
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    Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino

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  4. 4
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    Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds

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  5. 5
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    Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski

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  6. 6
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    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now

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  7. 7
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    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

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  8. 8
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    Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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  9. 9
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    Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator

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  10. 10
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    Mullholland Drive, Elephant Man, Blue Velvet

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  11. 11
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    The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia

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  12. 12
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    Annie Hall, Midnight in Paris, To Rome

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  13. 13
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    Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind

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  14. 14
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    Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Avatar Avatar 2

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  15. 15
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    The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the ...

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  16. 16
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    Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns

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  17. 17
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    Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein

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  18. 18
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    Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, The Pianist

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  19. 19
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    Ocean's Eleven, Erin Brockovich, Traffic

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  20. 20
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    Scarface, Carrie, The Untouchables

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  21. 21
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    Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom

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  22. 22
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    Platoon, Scarface, Natural Born Killers

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  23. 23
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    The Thing, Halloween, Escape from New York

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  24. 24
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    Heat, The Last of the Mohicans, The Aviator

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  25. 25
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    Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit

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  26. 26
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    Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Armageddon

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  27. 27
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    The Princess Bride, Stand by Me, This Is Spinal Tap

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  28. 28
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    The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life, Badlands

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  29. 29
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    ranked low on reranks Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hulk

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  30. 30
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    Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones and ...

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  31. 31
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    Spider-Man, Spider-Man 3, Spider-Man 2

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  32. 32
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    The Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead

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  33. 33
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    The Exorcist, The French Connection, To Live and Die in L.A.

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  34. 34
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    The Blues Brothers, Spider-Man 2, National Lampoon's Animal House

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  35. 35
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    ranked low on reranks One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt

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  36. 36
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, Spy Kids

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  37. 37
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    Good Will Hunting, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Milk

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  38. 38
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    ranked low on reranks Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire

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  39. 39
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    added by PeteBoyle The Fly, A History of Violence, Videodrome

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  40. 40
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    ranked low on reranks Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show, Master and Commander: The Far Side of ...

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  41. 41
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    The Graduate, Charlie Wilson's War, The Birdcage

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  42. 42
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    Sling Blade, Dead Man, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

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  43. 43
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Jurassic Park III, Election, Sideways

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  44. 44
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    Black Swan, Noah, The Wrestler

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  45. 45
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    Adaptation, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook

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  46. 46
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    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom ...

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  47. 47
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    added by laaaarrge The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, King Kong

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  48. 48
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    The Avengers, Toy Story, The Cabin in the Woods

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  49. 49
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks The Untouchables, Hannibal, Glengarry Glen Ross

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  50. 50
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    The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, A Few Good Men

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