Most Accomplished ACTIVE Directors (2010 Edition)
8.71. Martin Scorsese
2009 Rank: #1
a. Mean Streets (1973)
Well, he's basically the greatest thing to ever happen to film, in my eyes, and his upcoming projects sound like they're in the ballpark of amazing.
The delayed 'Shutter Island' is coming out this year plus with 'The Irishman' Marty is finally re-teaming with De Niro in a two-film project with the superb screenwriter, Eric Roth.
There are also the projects with DiCaprio and the recently announced 'Hugo Cabret' with Sacha Baron Cohen and Sir Kingsley along with John Logan writing.
8.12. Steven Spielberg
2009 Rank: #2
a. The Sugarland Express (1974)
Spielberg tackles more adventure (Tintin), history (War Horse), and science fiction (Interstellar) in upcoming films. Plus we possibly get to see a rare Spielberg biopic (Lincoln) by 2012.
8.63. Joel And Ethan Coen
2009 Rank: #8
a. Blood Simple (1984)
The Coens will direct their fourth film in as many years and with a cast that includes old pals Bridges and Brolin plus a Coen debut by Matt Damon along with the brothers' writing and the unparalleled cinematography of Roger Deakons, 'True Grit' will be their fourth instant classic in as many years.
84. Ridley Scott
2009 Rank: #6
a. Alien (1979)
Scott is directing yet another film with his favorite actor, Russell Crowe, and looks to be getting back to his earlier classics in with a couple of prequels to the 'Alien' saga.
7.35. Robert Zemeckis
2009 Rank: #3
a. Back to the Future Trilogy (1985, 1989, 1990)
Always innovative with a near-perfect track record. His last couple attempts (Beowulf and A Christmas Carol) were less than stellar but I still have confidence in Bobby Z!
7.56. James Cameron
2009 Rank: #11
a. The Terminator 1 & 2 (1984, 1991)
With a twelve year gap Cam is back on the map, and not very quietly, with a repeat of setting the all-time box office record. He's got an original project coming and sequel to the aforementioned record breaker.
8.27. Sidney Lumet
2009 Rank: #13
a. 12 Angry Men (1957)
He's made many classics and unlike many directors from the seventies who are still going after it, Lumet seems to be nearly as sharp as he was in the glory days.
7.48. Mike Nichols
2009 Rank: #12
a. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Longevity is a key to greatness and Nichols is making a bold statement by continuing to dole out superb projects and riling the best talent out there.
5.99. Peter Farrelly
AND Bobby Farrelly
2009 Rank: #5
The brothers were at the top of their game for over a decade, but after a miss with 'The Ringer' and the good-for-most-other-comedy-directors film, 'The Heartbreak Kid' they are in great need of a hit. With Del Toro, Penn, and Carrey leading the 'Three Stooges' film, I have to imagine that's the ticket.
6.910. Ron Howard
2009 Rank: #4
a. Splash (1984)
After so many years of creating quality family fair mixed with critical delights, Howard looks to continue with upcoming films that include Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Connolly, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin James, Michael Shannon, Helen Mirren, Queen Latifah, and Joe Gordon-Levitt. Interesting mix for sure.
8.611. David Lynch
2009 Rank: #35
a. Eraserhead (1976)
His dream-drenched films all require multiple viewings and for good reason, let's hope 'Snootworld' will do the same.
8.312. Paul Thomas Anderson
2009 Rank: #33
a. Cigarettes & Coffee (1993)
He may not release films often but he does they are a treat, plus he managed to make Mark Wahlberg and Julianne Moore look like actors.
7.813. Woody Allen
2009 Rank: #20
a. Bananas (1971)
He's had as many misses as hits, but a director makes a film every other year, they can still create quite a filmography. I like the settings of his upcoming films, Paris and London, instead of his normal New York City.
7.114. Spike Lee
2009 Rank: #17
a. Do the Right Thing (1989)
They're usually a little racial-centric but innovative filmmaking nonetheless. I think I'd get a kick out of his version of James Brown's life.
7.715. Michael Mann
2009 Rank: #26
a. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Mann is a man's director, and he proved it yet again in his last film. He's also managed to direct some of the best actors around, like Hoffman in the upcoming 'Lucky'.
7.616. Brian De Palma
2009 Rank: #16
a. Phantom of the Paradise (1975)
He's remaking one of his first films and directing some 'Stranglers', I am in hopes he'll get his groove back after a few disappointing years.
8.117. Wes Anderson
2009 Rank: #39
a. Bottle Rocket (1996)
He's had a much shorter career than the fellas in the top ten, but he's also gone six-for-six in films made, and he recently helped make stop-motion animation cool again. I suppose it goes along with all his retro-cool films that combine old and new, whether it's in the music, costumes, language, or sets.
8.318. Quentin Tarantino
2009 Rank: #19
a. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
'Basterds' brought back the confidence I had in the prolific director before 'Deathproof'. Apparently he's going back to the 'Kill Bill' saga. I love those films, but I would love to see completely new ideas from him more.
8.319. Tim Burton
2009 Rank: #7
a. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
His films have always been either very dark or saturated with color, and it looks like this trend will continue with the upcoming 'Addams Family' and 'Alice' remakes, respectively.
7.920. Terry Gilliam
2009 Rank: #24
a. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Thankfully his films have gotten stranger, crazier, and more beautiful over the years. While 'Quest' is still my favorite, Gilliam seems to be getting back as a filmmaker in his old age.
8.421. Francis Ford Coppola
2009 Rank: #9
a. Finian’s Rainbow (1968)
I'm not sure why his last two films made so little money with such a small reception. They were both original and very creative. They may not be classics he made in the seventies, but he's still doling out quality stuff.
8.522. Christopher Nolan
2009 Rank: #15
a. Memento (2000)
Well, I said it last year and with knowing a bit more about the film, I'll say it again, 'Inception' could quite possibly be one of my favorite films of all time. I can't wait, damn it!
8.523. Clint Eastwood
2009 Rank: #30
a. Sudden Impact (1983)
In a surprising turn, Eastwood has become one of my favorite directors in recent years. He has directed four films in the last three years and they've all been superb. His upcoming films, 'Hoover' starring DiCaprio and 'The Herafter' starring Matt Damon, look to be onpar with his A+ work.
8.424. David Fincher
2009 Rank: #18
a. Alien 3 (1992)
He's tackled several genres in his relatively short career, and he's successfully added his own style to each one. It looks like he'll continue this with a film about recent history in "The Social Network"
7.325. Oliver Stone
2009 Rank: #19
a. Platoon (1986)
He's lost his touch a bit, but at least he's going in new directions, with the upcoming documentary 'Border' and... well that's about it. His other two films coming up are a sequel to his classic 'Wall Street' and a film about Vietnam (Pinkville)
7.926. Danny Boyle
2009 Rank: #21
a. Trainspotting (1996)
Boyle finally got the attention he deserves, but to me it was only average for the well-performing director. While it may sound long, '127 Hours' looks like another modern classic.
7.127. Steven Soderbergh
2009 Rank: -- Debut from #1 on 'Future Directing Greats'
a. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
Each film is an experiment and about half of them work with the general public. So that means out of his four upcoming projects people will like two of them. Perhaps the one with Ray Winstone as Marc Antony... probably not, hahaha
7.728. Peter Jackson
2009 Rank: #22
a. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
'Bones' was lovely and proved he can delve even farther from 'The Rings' trilogy, which he'll continue to do with two other upcoming projects that seem to gain argument of him being quite dynamic.
729. Cameron Crowe
2009 Rank: #29
a. Say Anything… (1989)
Damon seems to be working with all the greats and all the great bands seem to be the stars of many documentaries in the last few years.
6.630. Edward Zwick
2009 Rank: #46
a. About Last Night… (1986)
He combines action with heart and is able to put together quite an ensemble each time.
6.531. Barry Levinson
2009 Rank: #23
a. Diner (1982)
His dramas have a touch of comedy and his comedies will make you think. 'Lick' seems to be taking forever to get to the theatre, but it sounds like it's worth the wait.
832. Milos Forman
2009 Rank: #31
a. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Not formulaic and not sweet, but his films are still affective with little effects. The wait for 'Walk' seems worthwhile, after seeing it performed on stage.
733. Paul Verhoeven
2009 Rank: #27
a. The Fourth Man (1983)
He certainly likes to surprise the audience in his films, whether it's briefly exposing a female's privates, creating a needless coed gang shower or brutally spraying a topless dame with water, he's always in the mood to shock... maybe he's perverted too?
5.434. Peter Segal
2009 Rank: #41
a. Tommy Boy (1995)
They're not cerebral comedies but they can certainly make you laugh seem to be focused on entertaining the mass. 'Dirty Old Men' might do the same and reunite Nicholson and Freeman.
5.635. Amy Heckerling
2009 Rank: #43
a. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
The only female director on the list is thankfully still going at it, even after the lack of audience for her latest project. Perhaps she'll gain them back with the popular theme of vampires in her next.
6.536. Wolfgang Petersen
2009 Rank: #45
a. Das Boot (1981)
From the tight shots in 'Das Boot' to the epic scale of 'Troy', Petersen seems to have great range, which is fitting for his upcoming project, 'A Spell for Chameleon'.
8.237. Roman Polanski
2009 Rank: #37
a. Cul-de-Sac (1966)
Wanted and desired, but also hated. Polanski proved he can still make a film with 'The Pianist' and eight years later it looks like he'll try it again with 'Ghost Writer'.
6.838. Tony Scott
2009 Rank: #38
a. Top Gun (1986)
The younger less-serious brother of Ridley, goes for action, quick quips, and big stars, and he does it every couple of years. you could say he is... 'Unstoppable'? Let's hope.
7.339. Peter Weir
2009 Rank: #42
a. Gallipoli (1981)
It's been a while but it looks like he'll pick up where he left off, with a strong story and impressive cast in 'The Way Back'.
7.240. Jonathan Demme
2009 Rank: #44
a. Something Wild (1986)
I've always wanted to see a film about Bob Marley, and I don't Demme being the one to do it.
6.441. Frank Oz
2009 Rank: #34
a. The Dark Crystal (1982)
Hopefully Oz will start up a new project soon so he doesn't get kicked off the list. We need more 'scoundrels' type of films!
7.542. Richard Linklater
2009 Rank: #32
a. Dazed and Confused (1993)
It's now ten years into his enormous project and I'm getting excited about it with each season.
6.643. Harold Ramis
2009 Rank: #14
a. Caddyshack (1980)
I'm not sure if it would have been funny in the 80s nad 90s, when Ramis was on his game, but 'Year One' was a huge disappointment and has left me wondering happened to this great writer/director.
6.744. Richard Donner
2009 Rank: #25
a. The Omen (1976)
He's covered the police force, Christmas, gambling, and conspiracies, now he'll roll that all up into his film about government.
7.545. Guy Ritchie
2009 Rank: -- Debut from #17 on "Future Directing Greats"
a. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Ritchie is now on this list after making five damn fine films, all with mumbling, gunplay, and skipping film frames. I like what he did with 'Holmes' and look forward to the sequel that just may co-star Danile Day-Lewis.
6.746. Ron Clements
2009 Rank: #36
a. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
If you're wondering why 'Princess' felt like the great animated Disney films from decades before, it's because it was directed by this dude. But I felt like the film was trying too hard and it fell short of being as great as his earlier work.
847. Robert Redford
2009 Rank: #47
a. Ordinary People (1980)
He's been very busy in the last decade, but now I'd like to see him come out with some decent stuff (At least better than 'Lions for Lambs;)
748. Bryan Singer
2009 Rank: #28
a. The Usual Suspects (1995)
I like his versions of popular superheroes but I'd really like to move on from Wolverine, buddy. C'mon we don't need a sequel to an off-shoot of a trilogy.
8.149. David Cronenberg
2009 Rank: #49
a. Scanners (1981)
He's mastered the dark and mysterious future and he dominated the 80s. Now he seems more content to deal with more generic imagery mixed in with dark topics... and Viggo stark naked fighting Russians.
7.150. Stephen Frears
2009 Rank: #48
a. The Hit (1984)
'Cheri' (2009) wasn't bad but it certainly was a disappointment, bringing Frears to the bottom of the list.
Let's hope his next project coming out this year (with the very lovely Gemma Arterton) is a lot better.
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