Film The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked  

Ranker Film
373 votes 44 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!

list ordered by

1
15 0
Ex Machina is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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
12 0
Get Out is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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
11 0
Deadpool is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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
11 0
10 Cloverfield Lane is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

5
10 0
Hereditary is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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
7 0
The Cabin in the Woods is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

7
12 1
Lady Bird is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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
6 0
Molly's Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

9
6 0
Pitch Perfect is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

10
12 3
Eighth Grade is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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.

11
10 2
Don Jon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

12
11 3
John Wick is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

13
12 4
This Is the End is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

14
9 2
Coco is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

15
7 1
Night Comes On is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

16
8 2
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Nig... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

17
9 3
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Dan Gilroy Nightcrawler is a 2014 American neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal who starts shooting footage in Los Angeles and ...more

18
9 3
The Babadook is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

19
6 1
The Lego Batman Movie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

20
9 4
Despicable Me is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud Despicable Me is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy film directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud. When a mastermind (Steve Carell) uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand ...more

21
8 4
Fruitvale Station is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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
7 3
Kung Fu Panda 2 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

23
7 3
Lion is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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
5 1
Blockers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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
4 0
Bad Words is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

26
4 0
Moana is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
starwarssuperfan added 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

27
4 0
The Gift is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

28
3 0
Martha Marcy May Marlene is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

29
6 4
Attack the Block is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

30
3 1
The Way, Way Back is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

31
3 1
Mama is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Andres Muschietti Mama is a 2013 horror film written by Neil Cross, Andres Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti and directed by Andres Muschietti.

32
2 0
Monsters is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

33
5 4
I'm Still Here is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Casey Affleck I'm Still Here is a 2010 documentary film directed by Casey Affleck.

34
5 4
Kubo and the Two Strings is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Travis Knight Kubo and the Two Strings is a 2016 American 3D stop-motion action fantasy film directed and produced by Travis Knight. The film revolves around Kubo, a young boy who wields a magical shamisen ...more

35
4 3
The Adjustment Bureau is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

36
2 1
The Greatest Showman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

37
2 1
Sorry to Bother You is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

38
2 1
Pitch Perfect 2 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Elizabeth Banks Pitch Perfect 2 is an upcoming music and comedy film written by Kay Cannon.

39
2 1
The Witch is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
Robert Eggers The Witch (stylized as The VVitch, subtitled A New-England Folktale) is a 2015 historical period supernatural horror film written and directed by Robert Eggers in his directorial debut and stars ...more

40
2 1
Maleficent is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

41
2 1
Frozen is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

42
2 1
Dear White People is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

43
2 2
Bone Tomahawk is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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.

44
2 2
The One I Love is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

45
2 2
10 Years is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

46
1 1
Afternoon Delight is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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.

47
2 3
The Edge of Seventeen is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

48
1 2
12 Strong is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

49
1 2
The Human Centipede (First Seq... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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

50
1 2
Snow White and the Huntsman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Directorial Debuts Since 2010, Ranked
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