Entertainment The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules The best directors currently living.

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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list ordered by
1
1,848 636
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Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Departed
2
1,753 832
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E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Schindler's List
3
1,781 830
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Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds
4
1,233 614
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The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now
5
1,146 578
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Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski
6
1,857 647
Christopher Nolan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins
7
1,189 510
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Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
8
1,167 678
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Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino
9
1,033 504
Ridley Scott is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked
Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator
10
891 528
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Mullholland Drive, Elephant Man, Blue Velvet
11
849 448
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The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia
12
937 684
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Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Avatar Avatar 2
13
808 630
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Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns
14
795 420
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Moonrise Kingdom, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums
15
711 551
Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked
Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind
16
576 220
Ethan Coen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked
StacyWolfe added The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, Fargo
17
749 506
Peter Jackson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked
The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
18
603 360
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Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit
19
792 705
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Annie Hall, Midnight in Paris, To Rome
20
468 190
Guillermo del Toro is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked
Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim
21
513 354
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Scarface, Carrie, The Untouchables
22
532 382
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Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs
23
567 458
Roman Polanski is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked
Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, The Pianist
24
503 332
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Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York
25
550 483
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Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark