best movies The Best Movies Directed by the Star  

Ranker Film
Originally by
27.8k votes 2.1k voters 92.2k views 80 items Embed

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.
list ordered by

1
1,048 288
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Braveheart Mel Gibson Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

The Best Movies Directed by Women The Best Jewish Poets of All Time

2
517 307
Citizen Kane is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Citizen Kane Orson Welles Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film produced by, co-written by, directed by and starring Orson Welles. The picture was Welles's first feature film. The film was nominated for Academy ...more

3
856 243
Gran Torino is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Gran Torino Clint Eastwood Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Christopher Carley, Bee Vang and Ahney Her. This was Eastwood's ...more

4
710 217
Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner Dances with Wolves is a 1990 American epic western film directed, produced by, and starring Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake and tells ...more

5
801 180
Unforgiven is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Unforgiven Clint Eastwood Unforgiven is a 1992 American Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood with a screenplay written by David Webb Peoples. The film portrays William Munny, an aging outlaw and killer ...more

6
497 265
Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
PeteBoyle added Reservoir Dogs Quentin Tarantino Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars ...more

7
512 208
The Outlaw Josey Wales is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
The Outlaw Josey Wales Clint Eastwood The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 American revisionist Western film set during and after the American Civil War. It was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood, with Chief Dan George, Sondra ...more

8
594 254
Million Dollar Baby is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Million Dollar Baby Clint Eastwood Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint Eastwood, and starring Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman. This film is about an ...more

9
546 223
Sling Blade is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Sling Blade Billy Bob Thornton Sling Blade is a 1996 American drama film set in rural Arkansas, written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, who also stars in the lead role. It tells the story of a man named Karl Childers with ...more

10
273 356
Annie Hall is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Annie Hall Woody Allen Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy directed by Woody Allen from a screenplay he co-wrote with Marshall Brickman. Produced by Allen's manager, Charles H. Joffe, the film stars Allen as ...more

11
384 294
Argo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Argo Ben Affleck Argo is a 2012 American political thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. The film is adapted from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez's book The Master of Disguise and Joshuah ...more

12
494 278
Rambo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Rambo Sylvester Stallone Rambo is a 2008 American-German independent action film directed, co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone reprising his famous role as Cold War/Vietnam veteran John Rambo. It is the fourth ...more

13
222 234
City Lights is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
City Lights Charlie Chaplin City Lights is a 1931 American romantic comedy film written by, directed by, and starring Charlie Chaplin. The story follows the misadventures of Chaplin's Tramp as he falls in love with a blind ...more

14
342 216
Easy Rider: The Ride Back is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Easy Rider Dennis Hopper, Dustin Rikert Easy Rider is a 1969 American road movie written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern, produced by Fonda and directed by Hopper. It tells the story of two bikers who travel through ...more

15
381 156
Pale Rider is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Pale Rider Clint Eastwood Pale Rider is a 1985 American western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also stars in the lead role. This movie bears a striking similarity to the classic Western Shane, as well ...more

The Best Star Trek Movies 21 Most Annoyingly Over-Used Movie Trailer Songs

16
254 208
The Great Dictator is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
The Great Dictator Charlie Chaplin The Great Dictator is a 1940 American satirical political comedy-drama film starring, written, produced, scored, and directed by Charlie Chaplin, following the tradition of many of his other ...more

17
300 225
A Bronx Tale is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
A Bronx Tale Robert De Niro A Bronx Tale is a 1993 American crime drama film set in the Bronx during the turbulent era of the 1960s. It was the directorial debut of Robert De Niro that follows a young Italian-American ...more

18
241 138
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
wiabux added Of Mice and Men Gary Sinise Of Mice and Men is a 1992 film based on John Steinbeck's novella of the same name. Directed and produced by Gary Sinise, the film features Sinise as George Milton alongside John Malkovich as ...more

19
136 235
Henry V is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
wiabux added Henry V 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

20
282 217
The Town is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
The Town Ben Affleck The Town is a 2010 American crime drama film starring, co-written and directed by Ben Affleck adapted from Chuck Hogan's novel Prince of Thieves. The film opened in theaters in the United States ...more

21
337 318
Tropic Thunder is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Tropic Thunder Ben Stiller Tropic Thunder is a 2008 American action satire comedy film written, produced and directed by Ben Stiller.

22
241 228
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Leonard Nimoy Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is a 1986 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth feature film based on Star Trek, and is a sequel to Star Trek III: The ...more

23
359 202
Rocky II is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Rocky II Sylvester Stallone Rocky II is a 1979 American film written and directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, that is the sequel to Rocky, a motion picture in which an unknown boxer had been given a chance to go ...more

24
155 114
Life of Brian is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Trioxin245 added Life of Brian Terry Jones Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film starring and written by the comedy group Monty Python, and directed by Jones. It tells the story of Brian ...more

25
316 193
Rocky Balboa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Bootsdad added Rocky Balboa Sylvester Stallone Rocky Balboa is the sixth installment in the Rocky franchise, written, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone who reprises his role as the title character. The sixth film in the Rocky ...more

26
193 133
Open Range is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Dbo878 added Open Range Kevin Costner Open Range is a 2003 American western film directed and co-produced by Kevin Costner, starring Robert Duvall and Costner, with Annette Bening and Michael Gambon appearing in supporting roles. ...more

27
204 139
Sudden Impact is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Bootsdad added Sudden Impact Clint Eastwood Sudden Impact is a 1983 American action film and the fourth film in the Dirty Harry series, directed by Clint Eastwood, and starring Eastwood and Sondra Locke. The film is notable for the ...more

28
225 195
That Thing You Do! is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
That Thing You Do! Tom Hanks 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

29
161 241
Do the Right Thing is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Do the Right Thing 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

The Best Movies Directed by Christopher Nolan Things You Should Know How to Do Before You Turn 30

30
148 201
Modern Times is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Modern Times 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

31
132 211
The Ides of March is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
The Ides of March 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

32
181 186
A Perfect World is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
A Perfect World Clint Eastwood A Perfect World is a 1993 adventure crime 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 ...more

33
177 179
Star Trek III: The Search for ... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock 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

34
130 200
The Apostle is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
The Apostle 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

35
149 70
Spaceballs is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
WarrenMitchell added Spaceballs 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

36
98 131
Much Ado About Nothing is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
NadiH added Much Ado About Nothing 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

37
140 87
Rocky III is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
WarrenMitchell added Rocky III Sylvester Stallone Rocky III, the third installment in the Rocky film series, is a 1982 American motion picture written and directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone as the title character. The movie features ...more

38
134 233
Garden State is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Garden State 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

39
127 60
Heartbreak Ridge is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Heartbreak Ridge Clint Eastwood Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 American war 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. ...more

40
130 151
The Secret Life of Walter Mitt... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
motemaven added The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 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
71 152
Pollock is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
wiabux added Pollock Ed Harris Pollock is a 2000 biography drama film written by Steven Naifeh, Gregory White Smith, Barbara Turner and Susan Emshwiller and directed by Ed Harris.

42
64 39
Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Tom Islava added Singin' in the Rain 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

43
142 201
This Is the End is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
PeteBoyle added This Is the End 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

The Best Movies Directed by Michael Bay The Best Cargo Pants Brands

44
108 66
High Plains Drifter is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
High Plains Drifter 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

45
92 121
Best in Show is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
LanaYoshii added Best in Show 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

46
74 101
Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Trioxin245 added Hamlet 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

47
36 46
Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Tom Islava added Life Is Beautiful 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

48
96 186
A Mighty Wind is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
A Mighty Wind Christopher Guest A Mighty Wind is a 2003 American mockumentary comedy-drama film about a folk music reunion concert in which three folk bands reunite for a television performance for the first time in decades. ...more

49
81 75
Play Misty for Me is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
Play Misty for Me 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

50
47 99
Chef is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Movies Directed by the Star
WarrenMitchell added Chef Jon Favreau Chef is a film in post-production phase to be released in 2014.