Entertainment

The Best Directors of the 2000s  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Vote up film directors based only on their work released between 2000 and 2009

The best directors of the 2000s rank among some of the greatest living directors and most among the best directors of all time. These talented filmmakers have brought the world ten years of extraordinary cinema including blockbusters, art films, instant classics, fright fests, and naturally, Academy Award winners. From the Lord of the Rings trilogy to Kill Bill 1 and 2 to the Dark Knight trilogy (lots of series in the oughts...) and beyond, the best movies of the '00s were often helmed by these great directors of the decade. Between 2000 and 2009, Steven Spielberg put out catch Me If You Can and Munich, Joel and Ethan Coen had O Brother, Where Art Thou? and No Country for Old Men, and Christopher Nolan had Memento and Inception in addition to the Batman franchise.

These top directors of the '00s are are no slouches, and their filmographies show it. If you don't see your favorite director of the decade on the list, make sure to add them and see if others share your point of view.
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list ordered by
1
Christopher Nolan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Memento (00), Insomnia (02), Batman Begins (05)
Memento (00), Insomnia (02), Batman Begins (05), The Prestige (06), The Dark Knight (08)
2
Martin Scorsese is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Gangs of New York (02), The Aviator (04), The Departed (06)
Gangs of New York (02), The Aviator (04), The Departed (06)
3
Quentin Tarantino is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Kill Bill Vol. 1 (03), Kill Bill Vol. 2 (04), Death Proof (07)
Kill Bill Vol. 1 (03), Kill Bill Vol. 2 (04), Death Proof (07), Inglourious Basterds (09)
4
Peter Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (01), The Two Towers (02), The Return of the King (03)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (01), The Two Towers (02), The Return of the King (03), King Kong (05), The Lovely Bones (09)
5
Steven Spielberg is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
A.I. (01), Minority Report (02), Catch Me If You Can (02)
A.I. (01), Minority Report (02), Catch Me If You Can (02), The Terminal (04), War of the Worlds (05), Munich (05), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (08)
6
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Space Cowboys (00), Blood Work (02), Mystic River (03)
Space Cowboys (00), Blood Work (02), Mystic River (03), Million Dollar Baby (04), Flags of Our Fathers (06), Letters from Iwo Jima (06), Changeling (08), Gran Torino (08), Invictus (09)
7
Ridley Scott is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator
Gladiator (00), Hannibal (01), Black Hawk Down (01), Matchstick Men (03), Kingdom of Heaven (05), A Good Year (06), American Gangster (07), Body of Lies (08)
8
Ang Lee is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (00), Hulk (03) Brokeback Mountain (05)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (00), Hulk (03) Brokeback Mountain (05), Lust, Caution (07), Taking Woodstock (09)
9
David Fincher is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Fight Club, Seven, Being John Malkovich
Panic Room (02), Zodiac (07), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (08)
10
Paul Thomas Anderson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Punch-Drunk Love (02), There Will Be Blood (07)
Punch-Drunk Love (02), There Will Be Blood (07)
11
Joel & Ethan Coen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Joel & Ethan Coen O Brother, Where Art Thou? (00), The Man Who Wasn't There (01)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (00), The Man Who Wasn't There (01), The Ladykillers (04), No Country for Old Men (07), Burn After Reading (08), A Serious Man (09)
12
Guillermo del Toro is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Ibetolis added The Devil's Backbone (01), Blade II (02), Hellboy (04)
The Devil's Backbone (01), Blade II (02), Hellboy (04), Pan's Labyrinth (06), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (08)
13
Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Apollo 13, American Graffiti, A Beautiful Mind
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (00), A Beautiful Mind (01), The Missing (03), Cinderella Man (05), The Da Vinci Code (06), Frost/Nixon (08), Angels & Demons (09)
14
Wes Anderson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Ibetolis added The Royal Tenenbaums (01), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (04), The Darjeeling Limited (07)
The Royal Tenenbaums (01), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (04), The Darjeeling Limited (07), Fantastic Mr. Fox (09)
15
David Lynch is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Ibetolis added Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead
Mulholland Drive (01), Rabbits (02), Inland Empire (06), 42 One Dream Rush (09)
16
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Jeff Martinez added Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands
17
Brad Bird is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
The Incredibles (04), Ratatouille (07)
The Incredibles (04), Ratatouille (07)
18
Ruben Östlund is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Mollevangsvagen added Force Majeure, Involuntary, Play
19
Darren Aronofsky is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
jarment26 added Requiem for a Dream (00), The Fountain (06), The Wrestler (08)
Requiem for a Dream (00), The Fountain (06), The Wrestler (08)
20
Hayao Miyazaki is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
levalex88 added Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke
21
Kathryn Bigelow is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
The Hurt Locker, Point Break, Zero Dark Thirty
K-19: The Widowmaker (02), The Hurt Locker (08)
22
Edgar Wright is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Shaun of the Dead (04), Hot Fuzz (07)
23
J.J. Abrams is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
jarment26 added Mission: Impossible III (06), Star Trek (09)
Mission: Impossible III (06), Star Trek (09)
24
Sam Mendes is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
American Beauty, Skyfall, Road to Perdition
25
Danny Boyle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Directors of the 2000s
Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire