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The Best Directors of the '90s

Updated May 24, 2020 1.6k votes 254 voters 16.0k views30 items
List of the top directors of the 90s. Nothing is more in fashion now than nineties nostalgia. Well, these top directors of the 1990's are partly responsible for the entertainment greatness we saw during that decade. The nineties was an interesting time for actors turning into critically-acclaimed directors, as we saw with Tim Robbins (Bob Roberts), Robert Redford (Quiz Show), and Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven).
The 1990's was also the decade of Mike Leigh and the Cohen Brothers for those offbeat movie lovers. Spike Lee also crushed the 90's in the director chair with some of his finest efforts, including Malcolm X and Summer of Sam. The reign of M. Night Shyamalan also took off in the 1990's cinema landscape after The Sixth Sense grabbed audiences worldwide. Before the 21st century kicked in, we had classics like Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia and Silence of the Lambs, while Sam Mendes put up a scary mirror to the USA with his ode to the 90's in American Beauty.
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  • Steven Spielberg1
    79
    29

    Credits (Film)Jaws, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

    BirthplaceCincinnati, Ohio, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Hook (1991)
    Jurassic Park (1993)
    Schinder's List (1993)
    Amistad (1997)
    Saving Private Ryan (1998)

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  • Martin Scorsese2
    62
    22

    Credits (Film)Goodfellas, The Departed, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Gangs of New York

    BirthplaceNew York City, USA, New York

    NationalityUnited States of America

    GoodFellas (1990)
    Cape Fear (1991)
    The Age of Innocence (1993)
    Casino (1995)
    Kundun (1997)
    Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

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  • Quentin Tarantino3

    Credits (Film)Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Volume 1, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained

    BirthplaceTennessee, Knoxville, Great Smoky Mountains, United States of America, United States

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Reservoir Dogs (1992)
    Pulp Fiction (1994)
    Four Rooms (1995)
    Jackie Brown (1997)

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  • Joel & Ethan Cohen4
    Miller's Crossing (1990)
    Barton Fink (1991)
    The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
    Fargo (1996)
    The Big Lebowski (1998)
  • James Cameron5
    56
    28

    Credits (Film)Titanic, Avatar, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Terminator, Aliens

    BirthplaceKapuskasing, Canada

    NationalityCanada

    Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
    True Lies (1994)
    Titanic (1997)

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  • Ridley Scott6
    46
    31

    Credits (Film)Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Prometheus

    BirthplaceNorth East England, Eurasia, South Shields, United Kingdom, Tyne and Wear

    NationalityEngland

    Thelma & Louise (1991)
    1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)
    White Squall (1996)
    G.I. Jane (1997)
  • Tim Burton7
    42
    28

    Tim Burton

    Age: 62

    Credits (Film)Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Batman Returns

    BirthplaceBurbank, California, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Edward Scissorhands (1990)
    Batman Returns (1992)
    Ed Wood (1994)
    Mars Attacks! (1996)
    Sleepy Hollow (1999)

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  • Clint Eastwood8
    50
    39

    Credits (Film)Good, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry, Million Dollar Baby, Back to the Future Part II

    BirthplaceCalifornia, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    White Hunter Black Heart (1990)
    The Rookie (1990)
    Unforgiven (1992)
    A Perfect World (1993)
    The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
    Absolute Power (1997)
    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
    True Crime (1999)

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  • Frank Darabont9
    26
    14

    Credits (Film)The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, King Kong, The Mist, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

    BirthplaceMontbéliard, France

    NationalityFrance, United States of America, Hungary

    The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    The Green Mile (1999)

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  • Jonathan Demme10
    33
    26

    Jonathan Demme

    Age: 76

    Credits (Film)The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Adaptation, That Thing You Do!, Devil in a Blue Dress

    BirthplaceBaldwin, New York, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    Cousin Bobby (1992)
    Philadelphia (1993)
    The Complex Sessions (1994)
    Beloved (1998)
  • Spike Lee11
    42
    38

    Spike Lee

    Age: 63

    Credits (Film)Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Love & Basketball, He Got Game, Inside Man

    BirthplaceAtlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Mo' Better Blues (1990)
    Jungle Fever (1991)
    Malcolm X (1992)
    Crooklyn (1994)
    Clockers (1995)
    Lumiere and Company (1995)
    Get on the Bus (1996)
    Girl 6 (1996)
    4 Little Girls (1997)
    He Got Game (1998)
    Freak (1998)
    Summer of Sam (1999)

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  • Chris Columbus12
    10
    0

    Credits (Film)The Goonies, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Gremlins, Home Alone

    BirthplaceSpangler, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

  • M. Night Shyamalan13

    Credits (Film)The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable, The Village, The Last Airbender

    BirthplaceMahé, India, India

    NationalityIndia, United States of America

    Praying with Anger (1992)
    Wide Awake (1998)
    The Sixth Sense (1999)

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  • Roger Allers14
    19
    13

    Credits (Film)The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New Groove

    BirthplaceRye, New York

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Beauty and the Beast (1991)

    Aladdin (1992)

    The Lion King (1994)

  • George Lucas15
    10
    1

    Credits (Film)Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi, Men in Black

    BirthplaceModesto, California, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • Kevin Smith16
    29
    28

    Credits (Film)Clerks, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Chasing Amy, Daredevil

    BirthplaceRed Bank, New Jersey, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Clerks (1994)

    Mallrats (1995)

    Chasing Amy (1997)

    Dogma (1999)

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  • Gus Van Sant17
    25
    22

    Credits (Film)Good Will Hunting, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Milk, Finding Forrester, To Die For

    BirthplaceLouisville metropolitan area, Kentucky, Area code 502, Jefferson County, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    My Own Private Idaho (1991)
    Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)
    To Die For (1995)
    Good Will Hunting (1997)
    Psycho (1998)

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  • Peter Weir18
    19
    18

    Peter Weir

    Age: 75

    Credits (Film)Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Witness, Gallipoli

    BirthplaceSydney, Australia

    NationalityAustralia

    Green Card (1990)
    Fearless (1993)
    The Truman Show (1998)
  • Sam Mendes19
    21
    22

    Sam Mendes

    Age: 54

    Credits (Film)American Beauty, Skyfall, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road

    BirthplaceSouth East England, Eurasia, Reading, United Kingdom, England

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    Cabaret (1993)
    Company (1996)
    American Beauty (1999)
  • Kenneth Branagh20
    17
    16

    Credits (Film)Thor, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Thor: The Dark World, Chariots of Fire, Henry V

    BirthplaceBelfast, United Kingdom

    NationalityNorthern Ireland, United Kingdom

    Dead Again (1991)
    Peter's Friends (1992)
    Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
    Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)
    Hamlet (1996)
     

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  • Wes Anderson21
    14
    14

    Credits (Film)Moonrise Kingdom, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Bottle Rocket (1996)

    Rushmore (1998)

  • Lars von Trier22
    21
    25

    Credits (Film)Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia, Antichrist, Breaking the Waves

    BirthplaceKongens Lyngby, Denmark

    NationalityDenmark

    Europa (1991)
    Breaking the Waves (1996)
    The Idiots (1998)

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  • Mike Nichols23
    12
    14

    Credits (Film)The Graduate, The Birdcage, Working Girl, Charlie Wilson's War, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    BirthplaceBerlin, Germany

    NationalityUnited States of America, Germany

    Died age 83 (1981-2014)

    Postcards from the Edge (1990)
    Regarding Henry (1991)
    Wolf (1994)
    The Birdcage (1996)
    Primary Colors (1998)

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  • Robert Redford24
    16
    22

    Credits (Film)Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men, Out of Africa

    BirthplaceSanta Monica, California, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    A River Runs Through It (1992)
    Quiz Show (1994)
    The Horse Whisperer (1998)

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  • Abel Ferrara25
    12
    19

    Credits (Film)Bad Lieutenant, King of New York, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Dangerous Game, Body Snatchers

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    King of New York (1990)
    Bad Lieutenant (1992)
    Body Snatchers (1993)
    Dangerous Game (1993)
    The Addiction (1995)
    Mylène Farmer: California (1996)
    The Funeral (1996)
    The Blackout (1997)
    Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground (1997)
    New Rose Hotel (1998)