Film The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked  

Ranker Film
321 votes 43 voters 52 items

List Rules Only feature film directorial debuts.

While it may be surprising, some of the best films released since 2010 were directorial debuts. Sure, every famous director has their first film, but how many of these first films turn out to be some of the best movies of their time? Well, there are actually quite a few recent directorial debuts that stand up to top films from seasoned directors. In fact, you may not even realize some of the movies here were the directors' first crack at directing. 

From hit action flicks to hilarious comedies, these first-time directors have brought us some great movies since 2010. Moreover, you may notice a number of these debuts come from established actors like Joseph Gordon-Levitt with Don Jon, as well as Jordan Peele with his hit horror film, Get Out. Even the ever-popular Deadpool was a directorial debut. Of all these great films, which do you think are the best directorial debut movies since 2010? 

Take a look at the list below and vote up your favorites from these first-time directors. You may even find one of your favorites!

1
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Ex Machina is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Ex Machina Alex Garland Ex Machina is a 2015 independent science fiction psychological thriller film directed by Alex Garland. A young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) is selected to participate in a ground-breaking ...more

2
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Get Out is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Get Out Jordan Peele Get Out is a 2017 satirical horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. A young African American man visits his white girlfriend's family estate where he learns that many of its residents, ...more

3
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Deadpool is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Deadpool Tim MIller Deadpool is a 2016 American superhero film directed by Tim Miller, based on the Marvel Comics character. After being given mutant abilities with a scarred physical appearance, Wade Wilson (Ryan ...more

4
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10 Cloverfield Lane is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
10 Cloverfield Lane Dan Trachtenberg 10 Cloverfield Lane is a 2016 American science fiction psychological thriller film directed by Dan Trachtenberg. The film was developed from a script titled The Cellar, but under production by ...more

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Hereditary is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Hereditary Ari Aster Hereditary is a 2018 American horror film directed by Ari Aster. As an overwhelming terror takes over their household, the Graham family's peaceful existence is ripped apart, forcing their ...more

6
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Night Comes On is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Night Comes On Jordana Spiro Night Comes On is a 2018 drama film directed by Jordana Spiro. Released from juvenile detention on the eve of her 18th birthday, Angel LaMere (Dominique Fishback) embarks on a journey with her ...more

7
11 1
Lady Bird is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Lady Bird Greta Gerwig Lady Bird is a 2017 American comedy-drama film directed by Greta Gerwig. The adventures of a young woman (Saoirse Ronan) living in Northern California for a year.

8
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The Cabin in the Woods is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
The Cabin in the Woods Drew Goddard The Cabin in the Woods is a 2012 American horror comedy film directed by Drew Goddard in his directorial debut, produced by Joss Whedon, and written by Whedon and Goddard. The film stars Kristen ...more

9
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The Lego Batman Movie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
The Lego Batman Movie Chris McKay The Lego Batman Movie is a 2017 3D computer-animated superhero comedy film directed by Chris McKay. A cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne (Will Arnett) must deal with the usual suspects as they plan to ...more

10
10 1
Don Jon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Don Jon Joseph Gordon-Levitt Don Jon is a 2013 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Produced by Ram Bergman and Nicolas Chartier, the film stars Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett ...more

11
11 3
Eighth Grade is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Eighth Grade Bo Burnham Eighth Grade is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Bo Burnham. An eighth grader (Elsie Fisher) struggles to finish her last week of classes before embarking for high school.

12
8 1
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Nig... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Ana Lily Amirpour A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a 2014 American film directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. Tagged as "The first Iranian vampire Western", it was chosen to show in the "Next" ...more

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John Wick is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
John Wick Chad Stahelski, David Leitch John Wick is a 2014 American action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. Starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean ...more

14
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This Is the End is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
This Is the End Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen The comedy "This is the End" follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling ...more

15
8 2
Coco is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Coco Lee Unkrich Coco is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy adventure film directed by Lee Unkrich. Aspiring musician Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Hector (Gael ...more

16
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Pitch Perfect is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Pitch Perfect Jason Moore Pitch Perfect is a 2012 American musical comedy film directed by Jason Moore. Featuring an ensemble cast, including Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Ester ...more

17
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Molly's Game is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Molly's Game Aaron Sorkin Molly's Game is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. Based on the memoir by Molly Bloom, the film tells the true story of an Olympic-class skier (Jessica Chastain) ...more

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8 3
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Nightcrawler Dan Gilroy Nightcrawler is a 2014 American neo-noir crime thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a thief who starts shooting footage of ...more

19
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The Babadook is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
The Babadook Jennifer Kent The Babadook is a 2014 Australian psychological horror film, written and directed by Jennifer Kent, in which a woman and her son are tormented by a "boogie-man" type monster. The film ...more

20
8 4
Despicable Me is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Despicable Me Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud Despicable Me is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy film directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud. When a criminal mastermind (Steve Carell) uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a ...more

21
7 4
Fruitvale Station is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Fruitvale Station Ryan Coogler Fruitvale Station is a 2013 American biographical drama film directed by Ryan Coogler, based on true events. The story of Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, ...more

22
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Kung Fu Panda 2 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Kung Fu Panda 2 Jennifer Yuh Nelson Kung Fu Panda 2 is a 2011 3D American computer-animated action comedy-drama martial arts film, directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, produced by DreamWorks Animation, and distributed by Paramount ...more

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Lion is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Lion Garth Davis Lion is a 2016 Australian-American-British drama film directed by Garth Davis and written by Luke Davies, based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. Brierley (Dev Patel), ...more

24
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Blockers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Blockers Kay Cannon Blockers is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Kay Cannon. When three parents stumble upon their daughters’ pact to lose their virginity at prom, they launch a covert one-night operation to ...more

25
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The Gift is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
The Gift Joel Edgerton The Gift is a 2015 American-Australian psychological horror-thriller film written, co-produced, and directed by Joel Edgerton in his directorial debut. The film stars Jason Bateman and Rebecca ...more

26
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Bad Words is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Bad Words Jason Bateman Bad Words is a 2013 American black comedy film directed by Jason Bateman and written by Andrew Dodge. Marking Bateman's directorial debut, the film stars Bateman as a middle-aged eighth grade ...more

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Moana is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
starwarssuperfan added Moana Ron Clements, John Musker Moana is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy-adventure film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. With the help of a demigod (Dwayne Johnson), Moana (Auli'i Cravalho), the ...more

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The Way, Way Back is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
The Way, Way Back Jim Rash, Nat Faxon The Way, Way Back is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash in their directorial debut. The film stars Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison ...more

29
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Kubo and the Two Strings is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Kubo and the Two Strings Travis Knight

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Martha Marcy May Marlene is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Martha Marcy May Marlene Sean Durkin Martha Marcy May Marlene is a 2011 American drama thriller film written and directed by Sean Durkin, and starring Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson, and Hugh Dancy. The plot focuses on ...more

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Pitch Perfect 2 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Pitch Perfect 2 Elizabeth Banks Pitch Perfect 2 is an upcoming music and comedy film written by Kay Cannon.

32
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Sorry to Bother You is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Sorry to Bother You Boots Riley Sorry to Bother You is a 2018 American sci-fi fantasy comedy film directed by Boots Riley. In an alternate reality of Oakland, California, a young African-American telemarketer (Lakeith ...more

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Dear White People is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Dear White People Justin Simien Dear White People is a 2014 American satirical comedy-drama film written and directed by Justin Simien. The film focuses on black students attending a college in America and stars Tyler James ...more

34
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Frozen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Frozen Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee Frozen is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy–comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 53rd animated feature in the ...more

35
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Attack the Block is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Attack the Block Joe Cornish Attack the Block is a 2011 British science fiction comedy film. The film was written and directed by Joe Cornish and stars Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Nick Frost and Luke Treadaway. Attack the ...more

36
2 1
The One I Love is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
The One I Love Charlie McDowell The One I Love is a 2014 American romantic dramedy film, directed by Charlie McDowell and starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss. The film had its world premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival ...more

37
2 1
Bone Tomahawk is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Bone Tomahawk S. Craig Zahler Bone Tomahawk is a 2015 American Western horror film directed by S. Craig Zahler. Four men set out in the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers.

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2 1
Mama is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Mama Andres Muschietti Mama is a 2013 horror film written by Neil Cross, Andres Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti and directed by Andres Muschietti.

39
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10 Years is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
10 Years Jamie Linden 10 Years is a 2011 American romantic comedy drama film directed by Jamie Linden in his directorial debut. The film stars with an ensemble cast including Channing Tatum, Justin Long, Kate Mara, ...more

40
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Afternoon Delight is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Afternoon Delight Jill Soloway Afternoon Delight is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Jill Soloway. The film stars Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, and Jane Lynch.

41
1 0
Monsters is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Monsters Gareth Edwards Monsters is a 2010 British science fiction monster film written and directed by Gareth Edwards in his feature film directorial debut. Edwards also served as the cinematographer, production ...more

42
4 4
I'm Still Here is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
I'm Still Here Casey Affleck I'm Still Here is a 2010 documentary film directed by Casey Affleck.

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The Adjustment Bureau is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
The Adjustment Bureau George Nolfi The Adjustment Bureau is a 2011 American romantic science fiction thriller film loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story, "Adjustment Team". The film was written and directed by ...more

44
2 2
The Edge of Seventeen is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
The Edge of Seventeen Kelly Fremon Craig The Edge of Seventeen (originally titled Besties) is a 2016 American comedy-drama film directed and written by Kelly Fremon Craig. The film stars Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Hayden ...more

45
1 1
Sausage Party is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Sausage Party Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon Sausage Party is a 2016 American adult computer-animated comedy thriller film directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon and written by Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. ...more

46
1 1
The Human Centipede (First Seq... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
The Human Centipede (First Sequence) Tom Six "Outside the more outré work of Takashi Miike and David Cronenberg, you won’t have seen anything quite like Dutch avant-garde artist Tom Six’s totally bizarre off-the-wall oddity. ...more

47
1 1
12 Strong is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
12 Strong Nicolai Fuglsig 12 Strong (also known as 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers) is a 2018 American war drama film directed by Nicolai Fuglsig. Following the September 11 attacks, Task ...more

48
1 1
The Greatest Showman is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
The Greatest Showman Michael Gracey The Greatest Showman is a 2017 American biographical musical drama film directed by Michael Gracey. American showman P. T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) becomes the founder of the circus that became the ...more

49
1 1
Maleficent is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Maleficent Robert Stromberg Maleficent is a 2014 American dark fantasy film directed by Robert Stromberg, loosely inspired by the fairy tale by Charles Perrault. A vengeful fairy (Angelina Jolie) is driven to curse an ...more

50
1 1
Snow White and the Huntsman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Snow White and the Huntsman Rupert Sanders Snow White and the Huntsman is a 2012 American dark fantasy action film based on the German fairy tale "Snow White" compiled by the Brothers Grimm. In the film's retelling of the tale, ...more