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?
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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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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    Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski

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  5. 5
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    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now

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  6. 6
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    Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds

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  7. 7
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    Cinema 16: British Short Films, Batman Begins, Following

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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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    The Counselor, A Good Year, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers ...

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  10. 10
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    The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia

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  11. 11
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    Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind

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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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    Mullholland Drive, Elephant Man, Blue Velvet

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  14. 14
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    The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the ...

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  15. 15
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    Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Avatar Avatar 2

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  16. 16
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    Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns

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  17. 17
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    Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Twelve Chairs, History of the World, Part I ...

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  18. 18
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    Magic Mike, Ocean's Eleven, Schizopolis

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  19. 19
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    The Fury, Obsession, Murder a la Mod

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  20. 20
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    Tess, Two Men and a Wardrobe, Afternoon of a Champion

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  21. 21
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    Dark Star, Starman, Dark Star: Hyperdrive Edition: Theatrical Cut

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  22. 22
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    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling ...

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  23. 23
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    Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek Into Darkness, Super 8

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  24. 24
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    U Turn, Born on the Fourth of July, Castro in Winter

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  25. 25
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    Collateral, The Keep, The Jericho Mile

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  26. 26
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    Back to the Future Part III, Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York, Flight ...

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  27. 27
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    The Tree of Life, Untitled Terrence Malick project, The New World

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  28. 28
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    Stand by Me, Misery, Rumor Has It…

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  29. 29
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    THX 1138, 1:42:08, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

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  30. 30
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    Life of Pi, Lust, Caution, The Ice Storm

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  31. 31
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    Clockwork, Evil Dead II, Oz: The Great and Powerful

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  32. 32
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    HIStory on Film, Volume II, The Kentucky Fried Movie, Coming to America ...

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  33. 33
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    The Crazies, O. J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose, Season of the Witch

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  34. 34
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    Promised Land, 8, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

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  35. 35
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    What Planet Are You From?, Primary Colors, Postcards from the Edge

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  36. 36
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    Jade, Bug, Good Times

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  37. 37
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    The Way Back, The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society

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  38. 38
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    Semafor: Greatest Hits 2, Loves of a Blonde, The Firemen's Ball

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  39. 39
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    often listed & added by PeteBoyle From the Drain, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch

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  40. 40
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    Before Midnight, tape, Live from Shiva's Dance Floor

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  41. 41
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    ranked low on reranks Mystery Men, The Family Stone, Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise

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  42. 42
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    Goners, The Avengers, Serenity

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  43. 43
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    Three Kings, Nailed, American Hustle

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  44. 44
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    The Descendants, Paris, je t'aime, Citizen Ruth

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  45. 45
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    Broken Flowers, Stranger Than Paradise, Storytelling Giant

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  46. 46
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    For Your Consideration, The Thick Of It, The Big Picture

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  47. 47
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    The Bling Ring, The Virgin Suicides, Lick the Star

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  48. 48
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    ranked low on reranks & added by laaaarrge The Mist, Buried Alive, The Shawshank Redemption

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  49. 49
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks The Winslow Boy, Lost Masterpieces of Pornography, Things Change

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  50. 50
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    added by wiabux United 93, Resurrected, Bloody Sunday

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