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The Best Directorial Debuts of 2019

Updated December 30, 2019 132 votes 32 voters 1.1k views25 items

With the long list of movies from 2019 comes a few directorial debuts as well, and some great debuts at that. In fact, you likely enjoyed some of these movies without even considering it was the director's first crack at a blockbuster film. Believe it or not, the films to follow were the all the directors' first movies—some of which had strong opening weekends at the box office and were even met with a positive response from critics. At the very least, none of them will find their movies on a list of the worst film debuts this year.

As you can imagine, starring in a film is one thing, but directing a movie is a completely different story. Be that as it may, the first-time directors here didn't fold at the challenge and ended up doing quite the job, perhaps even making some of 2019's best films.

Check out all the 2019 directorial debut's below and vote up the films you liked most. Of course, you can also vote films down if you think they weren't quite up to snuff. 

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  • 1
    The Wind
    21
    4

    The Wind

    Caitlin Gerard Ashley Zukerman Julia Goldani Telles Miles Anderson

    Released2019

    Directed byEmma Tammi

    The Wind is a 2018 American supernatural western horror film directed by Emma Tammi. A... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    The Peanut Butter Falcon
    8
    0

    The Peanut Butter Falcon

    Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson

    Released2019

    Directed byTyler Nilson, Mike Schwartz

    The Peanut Butter Falcon is a 2019 American adventure film directed and written by Tyler... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    The Last Black Man in San Francisco
    8
    1

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco

    Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors

    Released2019

    Directed byJoe Talbot

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a 2019 American drama film, directed by Joe Talbot. A... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Booksmart
    9
    5

    Booksmart

    Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein

    Released2019

    Directed byOlivia Wilde

    Booksmart is a 2019 American comedy film directed by Olivia Wilde. On the eve of their high... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Good Boys
    5
    2

    Good Boys

    Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams

    Released2019

    Directed byGene Stupnitsky

    Good Boys is a 2019 American comedy film co-written and directed by Gene Stupnitsky. After... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Teen Spirit
    8
    8

    Teen Spirit

    Elle Fanning, Rebecca Hall

    Released2019

    Directed byMax Minghella

    Teen Spirit is a 2018 American-British musical drama film directed by Max Minghella. With... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Unicorn Store
    5
    5

    Unicorn Store

    Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released2019

    Directed byBrie Larson

    Unicorn Store is a 2019 comedy film directed and co-produced by Brie Larson. Kit (Brie Larson)... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Spies in Disguise
    1
    0

    Spies in Disguise

    Will Smith, Tom Holland

    Released2019

    Directed byNick Bruno, Troy Quane

    Spies in Disguise is a 2019 American 3D computer-animated spy and buddy comedy film directed... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    The Hole in the Ground
    4
    8

    The Hole in the Ground

    Seána Kerslake, James Cosmo

    Released2019

    Directed byLee Cronin

    The Hole in the Ground is a 2019 Irish horror thriller film, directed by Lee Cronin. An... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Native Son
    2
    2

    Native Son

    Ashton Sanders, Margaret Qualley

    Released2019

    Directed byRashid Johnson

    Native Son is a 2019 American drama film directed by Rashid Johnson, based on the novel by... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Annabelle Comes Home
    2
    2

    Annabelle Comes Home

    Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman

    Released2019

    Directed byGary Dauberman

    Annabelle Comes Home is a 2019 American supernatural horror film directed by Gary Duaberman,... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Berserk
    2
    2

    Berserk

    James Roday, Erin Moriarty

    Released2019

    Directed byRhys Wakefield

    Berserk is a 2019 Australian thriller film directed by Rhys Wakefield. When three characters... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Thriller
    0
    2

    Thriller

    Jessica Allain, Tequan Richmond

    Released2019

    Directed byDallas Jackson

    Thriller is a 2018 American slasher film directed by Dallas Jackson. A clique of South Central... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    The Proposal
    The Proposal is a 2018 American documentary film directed by Jill Magid. The Proposal is the... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    The Tomorrow Man
    2
    2

    The Tomorrow Man

    John Lithgow, Blythe Danner

    Released2019

    Directed byNoble Jones

    The Tomorrow Man is a 2019 American drama film, written and directed by Noble Jones. A man... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Changeland
    0
    0

    Changeland

    Seth Green, Randy Orton

    Released2019

    Directed bySeth Green

    Changeland is a 2019 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Seth Green. While... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Share
    0
    0

    Share

    Rhianne Barreto, Charlie Plummer

    Released2019

    Directed byPippa Bianco

    Share is a 2019 drama film, written and directed by Pippa Bianco, based upon Bianco's short... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Luz
    2
    2

    Luz

    Luana Velis, Johannes Benecke

    Released2019

    Directed byTilman Singer

    Luz is a 2018 German horror film directed by Tilman Singer. A young cab driver, Luz (Luana... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Low Tide
    1
    1

    Low Tide

    Keean Johnson, Jaeden Martell

    Released2019

    Directed byKevin McMullin

    Low Tide is a 2019 American drama film, written and directed by Kevin McMullin. Three... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Brittany Runs a Marathon
    1
    0

    Brittany Runs a Marathon

    Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins

    Released2019

    Directed byPaul Downs Colaizzo

    Brittany Runs a Marathon is a 2019 American comedy film directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo. A... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Burn
    1
    0

    Burn

    Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Suki Waterhouse

    Released2019

    Directed byMike Gan

    Burn is a 2019 American thriller film directed by Mike Gan. When a gas station is held at... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Running with the Devil
    2
    0

    Running with the Devil

    Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne

    Released2019

    Directed byJason Cabell

    Running with the Devil is a 2019 American action thriller film written and directed by Jason... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    The Sound of Silence
    1
    0

    The Sound of Silence

    Peter Sarsgaard, Rashida Jones

    Released2019

    Directed byMichael Tyburski

    The Sound of Silence is a 2019 American drama film directed by Michael Tyburski. Peter Lucian... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Paradise Hills
    1
    0

    Paradise Hills

    Emma Roberts, Danielle Macdonald

    Released2019

    Directed byAlice Waddington

    Paradise Hills is a 2019 fantasy drama film directed by Alice Waddington. Uma (Emma Roberts)... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Burning Cane
    0
    0

    Burning Cane

    Wendell Pierce, Karen Kaia Livers

    Released2019

    Directed byPhillip Youmans

    Burning Cane is a 2019 American drama film directed by Phillip Youmans. An aging mother... more on Wikipedia