Entertainment

The Best Movies Directed by the Star  

Ranker Film
Originally by
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List Rules Movies must have been directed by the person starring in it.

The best movies directed by the star include some of the greatest films ever made. Many of the films listed here are considered some of the best movies of all time. From Orson Welles' eternal classic 'Citizen Kane' to Billy Bob Thornton's 'Sling Blade,' this list represents some of the finest examples of movies directed by the actor, or actress, who also starred in the film. Vote for the movies you think deserve the highest ranking, vote down any you don't like and be sure to rerank this list anyway you like - your reranks will affect the final tally.

Have any actors also won Academy Awards for directing a best picture they starred in? Yes, a handful have, and they are undoubtedly among some of the greatest directors in movie history: Clint Eastwood won for 'Unforgiven' and 'Million Dollar Baby,' Woody Allen won for 'Annie Hall' and was nominated for several other movies he also starred in ('Hannah and Her Sisters' and 'Broadway Danny Rose' come to mind immediately), and Warren Beatty won for 'Reds' in 1982. It can be done, but it's rare that it actually happens. Ask Ben Affleck. His film, 'Argo,' won Best Picture at the Oscars in 2013, but he failed to garner a Best Director nomination -- a truly egregious snub.

Several Academy Award winners for Best Picture are listed here, so hats off to the actor/directors who prove without a doubt that they are equally as talented behind, or in front of, the cameras.
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26
Tropic Thunder is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Ben Stiller
Tropic Thunder is a 2008 American action satire comedy film directed by Ben Stiller. Through a series of freak occurrences, a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become ...more
27
That Thing You Do! is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Tom Hanks
That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American musical comedy drama film written, directed by, and co-starring Tom Hanks. Set in the summer of 1964, the movie tells the story of the quick rise and fall ...more
28
Spaceballs is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
WarrenMitchell added Mel Brooks
Spaceballs is a 1987 American parody film co-written and directed by Mel Brooks and starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy and Rick Moranis. It also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, ...more
29
Henry V is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
wiabux added Kenneth Branagh
Henry V is a 1989 British drama film adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name about King Henry V of England. The film stars ...more
30
Star Trek III: The Search for ... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Leonard Nimoy
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is a 1984 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. The film is the third feature film of the Star Trek science fiction franchise and is ...more
31
Rocky III is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
WarrenMitchell added Sylvester Stallone
Rocky III is a 1982 American sports drama film directed by Sylvester Stallone, and the third film in the series. After winning the ultimate title and being the world champion, Rocky (Stallone) ...more
32
Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Spike Lee
Do the Right Thing is a 1989 American comedy-drama hood film produced, written, and directed by Spike Lee, who also played the part of Mookie in the film. Other members of the cast include Danny ...more
33
Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Tom Islava added Gene Kelly
Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical comedy film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds, and choreographed by Kelly and Donen. It ...more
34
Heartbreak Ridge is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Clint Eastwood
Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 American film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film also co-stars Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason, and Everett McGill. The ...more
35
A Perfect World is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Clint Eastwood
A Perfect World is a 1993 adventure drama film directed by Clint Eastwood, and starring Kevin Costner as an escaped convict who befriends a young boy, and ends up embarking on a road trip with ...more
36
Modern Times is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Charlie Chaplin
Modern Times is a 1936 comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin in which his iconic Little Tramp character struggles to survive in the modern, industrialized world. The film is a ...more
37
High Plains Drifter is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Clint Eastwood
High Plains Drifter is a 1973 American film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, written by Ernest Tidyman, and produced by Robert Daley for The Malpaso Company and Universal Studios. ...more
38
Much Ado About Nothing is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
NadiH added Kenneth Branagh
Much Ado About Nothing is a 1993 British/American romantic comedy film based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. It was adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh who ...more
39
The Apostle is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Robert Duvall
The Apostle is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Robert Duvall, who stars in the title role. John Beasley, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Bob Thornton, June Carter Cash, Miranda ...more
40
The Secret Life of Walter Mitt... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
motemaven added Ben Stiller
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a 2013 romantic adventure comedy-drama cult film directed by, produced by, and starring Ben Stiller. Gore Verbinski served as executive producer. This is the ...more
41
Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Trioxin245 added Kenneth Branagh
Hamlet is a 1996 Shakespearean tragedy film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars in the titular role as Prince ...more
42
This Is the End is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
PeteBoyle added Seth Rogen
This Is the End is a 2013 American disaster comedy film directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and an adaptation of their 2007 short film Jay and Seth versus the Apocalypse. After a series of ...more
43
Best in Show is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
LanaYoshii added Christopher Guest
Best in Show is a 2000 American improvisational comedy film written and directed by Christopher Guest. The film follows five entrants in a prestigious dog show and focuses on the slightly ...more
44
The Horse Whisperer is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
motemaven added Robert Redford
The Horse Whisperer is a 1998 American drama film directed by and starring Robert Redford, based on the 1995 novel The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. Redford plays the title role, a talented ...more
45
History of the World, Part I is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
sean-r-flanagan added Mel Brooks
History of the World, Part I is a 1981 comedy film written, produced, and directed by Mel Brooks. Brooks also stars in the film, playing five roles: Moses, Comicus the stand-up philosopher, ...more
46
Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Tom Islava added Roberto Benigni
Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who must employ his ...more
47
Play Misty for Me is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Clint Eastwood
Play Misty for Me is a 1971 American psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, in his directorial debut. Jessica Walter and Donna Mills co-star. The original music ...more
48
Garden State is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Zach Braff
Garden State is a 2004 comedy-drama film written and directed by Zach Braff and starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Ian Holm and Braff himself. The film centers on Andrew Largeman, a ...more
49
The Ides of March is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
George Clooney
The Ides of March is a 2011 American political drama film directed by George Clooney from a screenplay written by Clooney, along with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon. The film is an adaptation of ...more
50
The Gold Rush is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
PeteBoyle added Charlie Chaplin
The Gold Rush is a 1925 American silent comedy film written, produced, and directed by Charlie Chaplin. The film also stars Chaplin in his Little Tramp persona, Georgia Hale, Mack Swain, Tom ...more