The Greatest Living Directors People In Film
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22  reranks 11,414 votes 853 voters 92,407 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
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 369
    Down 78

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Martin Scorsese

    Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Departed More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 352
    Down 103
    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Schindler's List More
    94
  3. 3
    Up 290
    Down 96
    Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino More
    91
  4. 4
    Up 247
    Down 85
    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now More
    89
  5. 5
    Up 226
    Down 85
    Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski More
    89
  6. 6
    Up 321
    Down 123
    Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds More
    88
  7. 7
    Up 223
    Down 75
    Cinema 16: British Short Films, Batman Begins, Following More
    82
  8. 8
    Up 165
    Down 55
    The Counselor, A Good Year, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers ... More
    78
  9. 9
    Up 185
    Down 87
    Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button More
    77
  10. 10
    Up 157
    Down 77
    Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind More
    75
  11. 11
    Up 208
    Down 140
    Annie Hall, Midnight in Paris, To Rome More
    74
  12. 12
    Up 174
    Down 87
    Mullholland Drive, Elephant Man, Blue Velvet More
    70
  13. 13
    Up 185
    Down 130

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Tim Burton

    Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns More
    70
  14. 14
    Up 127
    Down 59
    The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the ... More
    70
  15. 15
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    Down 115
    Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Avatar Avatar 2 More
    69
  16. 16
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    The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia More
    69
  17. 17
    Up 138
    Down 86
    Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Twelve Chairs, History of the World, Part I ... More
    66
  18. 18
    Up 134
    Down 81
    Magic Mike, Ocean's Eleven, Schizopolis More
    66
  19. 19
    Up 116
    Down 72
    The Fury, Obsession, Murder a la Mod More
    65
  20. 20
    Up 110
    Down 78
    Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek Into Darkness, Super 8 More
    63
  21. 21
    Up 116
    Down 65
    Dark Star, Starman, Dark Star: Hyperdrive Edition: Theatrical Cut More
    63
  22. 22
    Up 87
    Down 58
    Collateral, The Keep, The Jericho Mile More
    62
  23. 23
    Up 102
    Down 70
    Tess, Two Men and a Wardrobe, Afternoon of a Champion More
    62
  24. 24
    Up 133
    Down 70

    ranked low on reranks
    Wes Anderson

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling ... More
    61
  25. 25
    Up 100
    Down 71
    Back to the Future Part III, Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York, Flight ... More
    58
  26. 26
    Up 119
    Down 89
    U Turn, Born on the Fourth of July, Castro in Winter More
    58
  27. 27
    Up 84
    Down 62
    Stand by Me, Misery, Rumor Has It… More
    58
  28. 28
    Up 92
    Down 99

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    George Lucas

    THX 1138, 1:42:08, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith More
    57
  29. 29
    Up 95
    Down 72
    The Tree of Life, Untitled Terrence Malick project, The New World More
    56
  30. 30
    Up 85
    Down 69
    Clockwork, Evil Dead II, Oz: The Great and Powerful More
    53
  31. 31
    Up 59
    Down 56
    HIStory on Film, Volume II, The Kentucky Fried Movie, Coming to America ... More
    53
  32. 32
    Up 72
    Down 59
    What Planet Are You From?, Primary Colors, Postcards from the Edge More
    53
  33. 33
    Up 73
    Down 47
    Life of Pi, Lust, Caution, The Ice Storm More
    52
  34. 34
    Up 66
    Down 61
    Promised Land, 8, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues More
    52
  35. 35
    Up 80
    Down 61
    The Crazies, O. J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose, Season of the Witch More
    51
  36. 36
    Up 55
    Down 54
    Jade, Bug, Good Times More
    51
  37. 37
    Up 59
    Down 51
    Goners, The Avengers, Serenity More
    50
  38. 38
    Up 49
    Down 37
    Semafor: Greatest Hits 2, Loves of a Blonde, The Firemen's Ball More
    49
  39. 39
    Up 51
    Down 58
    Before Midnight, tape, Live from Shiva's Dance Floor More
    47
  40. 40
    Up 52
    Down 66
    Broken Flowers, Stranger Than Paradise, Storytelling Giant More
    47
  41. 41
    Up 46
    Down 38
    Three Kings, Nailed, American Hustle More
    47
  42. 42
    Up 43
    Down 24

    ranked low on reranks
    Peter Weir

    The Way Back, The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society More
    47
  43. 43
    Up 36
    Down 52
    The Winslow Boy, Lost Masterpieces of Pornography, Things Change More
    46
  44. 44
    Up 37
    Down 46
    In God We Trust, Juno, Up in the Air More
    45
  45. 45
    Up 58
    Down 66
    For Your Consideration, The Thick Of It, The Big Picture More
    45
  46. 46
    Up 37
    Down 41
    The Descendants, Paris, je t'aime, Citizen Ruth More
    45
  47. 47
    Up 68
    Down 72
    The Bling Ring, The Virgin Suicides, Lick the Star More
    45
  48. 48
    Up 34
    Down 35
    From the Drain, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch More
    44
    added by: PeteBoyle
  49. 49
    Up 40
    Down 37
    Wholphin: Issue 10, The Truth About Charlie, New Order: Substance More
    44
  50. 50
    Up 24
    Down 20
    What Just Happened, The Day the Laughter Stopped, Young Sherlock Holmes ... More
    43
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