The Greatest Living Directors People In Film
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22  reranks 11,872 votes 885 voters 94,544 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 385
    Down 81

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Martin Scorsese

    Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Departed More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 366
    Down 105
    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Schindler's List More
    94
  3. 3
    Up 299
    Down 100
    Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino More
    91
  4. 4
    Up 257
    Down 87
    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now More
    89
  5. 5
    Up 236
    Down 87
    Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski More
    89
  6. 6
    Up 336
    Down 125
    Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds More
    89
  7. 7
    Up 235
    Down 76
    Cinema 16: British Short Films, Batman Begins, Following More
    82
  8. 8
    Up 173
    Down 57
    The Counselor, A Good Year, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers ... More
    78
  9. 9
    Up 190
    Down 89
    Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button More
    77
  10. 10
    Up 165
    Down 81
    Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind More
    75
  11. 11
    Up 216
    Down 144
    Annie Hall, Midnight in Paris, To Rome More
    74
  12. 12
    Up 181
    Down 89
    Mullholland Drive, Elephant Man, Blue Velvet More
    70
  13. 13
    Up 133
    Down 62
    The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the ... More
    70
  14. 14
    Up 190
    Down 136
    Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns More
    70
  15. 15
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    Down 119
    Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Avatar Avatar 2 More
    70
  16. 16
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    The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia More
    69
  17. 17
    Up 141
    Down 90
    Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Twelve Chairs, History of the World, Part I ... More
    66
  18. 18
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    Down 82
    Magic Mike, Ocean's Eleven, Schizopolis More
    66
  19. 19
    Up 120
    Down 75
    The Fury, Obsession, Murder a la Mod More
    64
  20. 20
    Up 116
    Down 81
    Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek Into Darkness, Super 8 More
    64
  21. 21
    Up 108
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    Tess, Two Men and a Wardrobe, Afternoon of a Champion More
    62
  22. 22
    Up 118
    Down 71
    Dark Star, Starman, Dark Star: Hyperdrive Edition: Theatrical Cut More
    62
  23. 23
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    ranked low on reranks
    Wes Anderson

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling ... More
    61
  24. 24
    Up 88
    Down 63
    Collateral, The Keep, The Jericho Mile More
    61
  25. 25
    Up 90
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    Stand by Me, Misery, Rumor Has It… More
    58
  26. 26
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    Down 92
    U Turn, Born on the Fourth of July, Castro in Winter More
    58
  27. 27
    Up 103
    Down 75
    Back to the Future Part III, Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York, Flight ... More
    58
  28. 28
    Up 96
    Down 105

    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 97
    Down 75
    The Tree of Life, Untitled Terrence Malick project, The New World More
    56
  30. 30
    Up 78
    Down 47
    Life of Pi, Lust, Caution, The Ice Storm More
    53
  31. 31
    Up 61
    Down 60
    HIStory on Film, Volume II, The Kentucky Fried Movie, Coming to America ... More
    53
  32. 32
    Up 88
    Down 75
    Clockwork, Evil Dead II, Oz: The Great and Powerful More
    53
  33. 33
    Up 73
    Down 63
    What Planet Are You From?, Primary Colors, Postcards from the Edge More
    52
  34. 34
    Up 69
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    Promised Land, 8, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues More
    52
  35. 35
    Up 57
    Down 57
    Jade, Bug, Good Times More
    51
  36. 36
    Up 82
    Down 65
    The Crazies, O. J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose, Season of the Witch More
    51
  37. 37
    Up 61
    Down 54
    Goners, The Avengers, Serenity More
    49
  38. 38
    Up 53
    Down 40
    Semafor: Greatest Hits 2, Loves of a Blonde, The Firemen's Ball More
    49
  39. 39
    Up 55
    Down 61
    Before Midnight, tape, Live from Shiva's Dance Floor More
    47
  40. 40
    Up 55
    Down 68
    Broken Flowers, Stranger Than Paradise, Storytelling Giant More
    47
  41. 41
    Up 50
    Down 40
    Three Kings, Nailed, American Hustle More
    47
  42. 42
    Up 45
    Down 27

    ranked low on reranks
    Peter Weir

    The Way Back, The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society More
    46
  43. 43
    Up 37
    Down 56
    The Winslow Boy, Lost Masterpieces of Pornography, Things Change More
    45
  44. 44
    Up 72
    Down 75
    The Bling Ring, The Virgin Suicides, Lick the Star More
    45
  45. 45
    Up 40
    Down 45
    The Descendants, Paris, je t'aime, Citizen Ruth More
    44
  46. 46
    Up 59
    Down 69
    For Your Consideration, The Thick Of It, The Big Picture More
    44
  47. 47
    Up 38
    Down 50
    In God We Trust, Juno, Up in the Air More
    44
  48. 48
    Up 36
    Down 40
    From the Drain, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch More
    43
    added by: PeteBoyle
  49. 49
    Up 40
    Down 40
    Wholphin: Issue 10, The Truth About Charlie, New Order: Substance More
    43
  50. 50
    Up 24
    Down 23
    What Just Happened, The Day the Laughter Stopped, Young Sherlock Holmes ... More
    42
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