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Added by Stehako on 17 Feb 2016 04:03
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Top Future Directing Greats (2016 Edition)

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The 8th Edition of this list

defining the careers of very good directors who have great potential to be among the greats...
(Created by and in the opinion of Stephen H Koontz)

This list includes directors who...
-- Have at least three successful films finished and, preferably, have at least one promising film on the way
-- Have directed full-length features for at least five years.

The more completed quality films (Rated 7/10 or higher) combined with promising films the director has on deck, the higher their rank.

Italicized title indicates unreleased film
Bold title indicates favorite film

Where did some directors move to?


Those who MOVED UP to Most Accomplished ACTIVE Directors 2016:
ADAM MCKAY
SPIKE JONZE
SOFIA COPPOLA
JASON REITMAN

Those who are OUT of the list:
Fernando Mereilles
- The director of one of my all-time favorite films (City of God), hasn't come close to such brilliance since.
James Mangold - The director who gave us 'Walk the Line' and the remake of '3:10 to Yuma' needs a critical/box office hit.


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Rating: List Type:



2015 Rank: #22 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2014 Rank: #27 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2013 Rank: #30 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2012 Rank: #36 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Arrested Development (TV: 2004 - 2005)
b. The Office (TV: 2005 - 2011)
c. Nurse Jackie (TV: 2009 - 2010)
d. Bridesmaids (2011)
e. The Heat (2013)
f. Spy (2015)
g. Ghostbusters (2016)
h. Wish List (2018)


2015 Rank: #50 (Debut)
2014 Rank: #25 on Best Up & Coming Directors

2013 Rank: #26 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2012 Rank: #35 on Best Up & Coming Directors

a. Touching the Void (2003)
b. State of Play (2009)
c. Marley (2012)
d. Black Sea (2015)
e. 11.22.63 (TV: 2016)

2015 Rank: #47
2014 Rank: #50

2013 Rank: #50
2012 Rank: #44
2011 Rank: #32
2010 Rank: #37
2009 Rank: #47

a. Monsoon Wedding (2001)
b. The Namesake (2007)
c. Amelia (2009)
d. The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2013)
e. Queen of Katwe (2016)





2015 Rank: #28 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2014 Rank: #41 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. CRAZY (2006)
b. The Young Victoria (2009)
c. Cafe de Flore (2011)
d. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
e. Wild (2014)
f. Demolition (2016)
e. Big Little Lies (TV: 2017)
f. Sharp Objects (TV: 2018)

2015 Rank: #46
2014 Rank: #46
2013 Rank: #46 (Debut)
2012 Rank: #21 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #39 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: --
2009 Rank: --

a. Half Nelson (2006)
b. Sugar (2009)
c. In Treatment (TV: 2009)
d. It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010)
e. Mississippi Grind (2015)

2015 Rank: #45 (Debut)
2014 Rank: #21 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2013 Rank: #21 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2012 Rank: #28 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2011 Rank: #33 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2010 Rank: #34 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2009 Rank: #28 on Best Up & Coming Directors

a. The Matador (2005)
b. The Hunting Party (2007)
c. Dom Hemingway (2014)
d. Girls (2012 - 2016)




2015 Rank: #8 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2014 Rank: OUT
2013 Rank: OUT
2012 Rank: OUT
2011 Rank: #32 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #46 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: #38 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Man on Wire (2008)
b. Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980 (2009)
c. Project NIM (2011)
d. The Theory of Everything (2014)
e. The Night Of (TV: 2016)
f. The Mercy (2017)

and Jay Duplass



2015 Rank: #49
2014 Rank: #49

2013 Rank: #18 on Best Up and Coming Directors
2012 Rank: #37 on Best Up and Coming Directors
2011 Rank: #20 on Best Up and Coming Directors
2010 Rank: #24 on Best Up and Coming Directors
2009 Rank: #41 on Best Up and Coming Directors

a. The Puffy Chair (2005)
b. Baghead (2008)
c. Cyrus (2010)
d. Jeff Who Lives at Home (2012)
e. Togetherness (TV: 2015 - 2016)

2015 Rank: #44
2014 Rank: #43
2013 Rank: #41
2012 Rank: #40
2011 Rank: #39
2010 Rank: #41
2009 Rank: #45

a. Billy Elliot (2000)
b. The Hours (2002)
c. The Reader (2008)
d. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)
e. Trash (2014)
f. The Crown (TV: 2016)




2015 Rank: #13 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2015 Rank: #13 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2014 Rank: #28 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2013 Rank: #45 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Incendies (2011)
b. Prisoners (2013)
c. Enemy (2014)
d. Sicario (2015)
e. Arrival (2016)
f. Untitled Blade Runner Project (2018)


2015 Rank: #43 (Debut)
2014 Rank: #11 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2013 Rank: #16 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2012 Rank: #24 on Best Up & Coming Directors

a. Capote (2005)
b. Moneyball (2011)
c. Foxcatcher (2014)
d. A Christmas Carol (2018)

2015 Rank: #40
2014 Rank: #42
2013 Rank: #47
2012 Rank: #43 (Debut)
2011 Rank: --
2010 Rank: --
2009 Rank: --

a. Dead Man (1995)
b. Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
c. Broken Flowers (2005)
d. Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)
e. Gimme Danger (2016)

2015 Rank: #39 (Debut)
2014 Rank: #23 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2013 Rank: #40 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2012 Rank: #44 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2011 Rank: -OUT-
2010 Rank: #48 on Best Up & Coming Directors
2009 Rank: #13 on Best Up & Coming Directors

a. Love Actually (2003)
b. Pirate Radio (2009)
c. About Time (2013)

2015 Rank: #36
2014 Rank: #37
2013 Rank: #35
2012 Rank: #38 (Debut)
2011 Rank: #11 on "Best Up-and-Coming Directors" List
2010 Rank: #14 on "Best Up-and-Coming Directors" List
2009 Rank: --

a. Layer Cake (2004)
b. Stardust (2007)
c. Kick-Ass (2010)
d. X-Men: First Class (2011)
e. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
f. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2018)

2015 Rank: #42
2014 Rank: #47
2013 Rank: #49 (Debut)
2012 Rank: #4 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #25 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #26 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: #19 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. The Proposition (2006)
b. The Road (2009)
c. Lawless (2012)
d. Triple Nine (2016)

2015 Rank: #41
2014 Rank: #44
2013 Rank: #10 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2012 Rank: #15 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #23 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #22 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: --

a. Point Break (1991)
b. Strange Days (1995)
c. The Hurt Locker (2009)
d. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
e. Untitled Project (2017)

2015 Rank: #38
2014 Rank: #40 (Debut)
2013 Rank: #9 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2012 Rank: #12 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #4 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #3 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: #8 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Undeclared (TV: 2001)
b. Superbad (2007)
c. Adventureland (2009)
d. Paul (2011)
e. Clear History (2013)
f. Keeping Up with the Jones (2016)

2015 Rank: #29
2014 Rank: #27
2013 Rank: #28
2012 Rank: #33
2011 Rank: #18
2010 Rank: #23
2009 Rank: #36

a. Finding Neverland (2004)
b. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
c. The Kite Runner (2007)
d. Quantum of Solace (2008)
e. Machine Gun Preacher (2011)
f. World War Z (2013)
g. All I See is You (2016)

2015 Rank: #37
2014 Rank: #39
2013 Rank: #43 (Debut)
2012 Rank: #20 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #30 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: --
2009 Rank: --

a. The Damned United (2009)
b. The King's Speech (2010)
c. Les Miserables (2012)
d. The Danish Girl (2015)
e. Practical Cats (2018)

2015 Rank: #31
2014 Rank: #35
2013 Rank: #33
2012 Rank: #35
2011 Rank: #37
2010 Rank: #43
2009 Rank: #28

a. Clay Pigeons (1998)
b. Shanghai Knights (2003)
c. Wedding Crashers (2005)
d. The Change-Up (2011)
e. The Judge (2014)

2015 Rank: #32
2014 Rank: #32
2013 Rank: #29
2012 Rank: #29
2011 Rank: #20
2010 Rank: #24 (Debut)
2009 Rank: --

a. The Parent Trap (1998)
b. Something's Gotta Give (2003)
c. The Holiday (2006)
d. It's Complicated (2009)
e. The Intern (2015)

2015 Rank: #34
2014 Rank: #1 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2013 Rank: #2 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2012 Rank: #8 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #5 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #18 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: #42 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Control (2007)
b. The American (2010)
c. A Most Wanted Man (2014)
d. Life (2015)

2015 Rank: #27
2014 Rank: #28
2013 Rank: #30
2012 Rank: #30
2011 Rank: #17
2010 Rank: #27
2009 Rank: #9 on Up & Coming Directors List

a. Chicago (2002)
b. Memoires of a Geisha (2005)
c. Nine (2009)
d. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
e. Into the Woods (2014)
f. Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

2015 Rank: #33
2014 Rank: #38
2013 Rank: #38
2012 Rank: OUT
2011 Rank: #43
2010 Rank: #47
2009 Rank: #46

a. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
b. Nacho Libre (2006)
c. Gentlemen Broncos (2009)
d. Don Verdean: Biblical Archeologist (2015)
e. Masterminds (2016)

2015 Rank: #30
2014 Rank: #29
2013 Rank: #34
2012 Rank: #37
2011 Rank: #40
2010 Rank: #45
2009 Rank: #8

a. Hellboy I (2004)
b. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
c. Hellboy II (2008)
d. Pacific Rim (2013)
e. Crimson Peak (2015)
f. The Shape of Water (2017)



2015 Rank: #5 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2014 Rank: #7 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2013 Rank: #14 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2012 Rank: #19 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #15 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #19 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: #26 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
b. Up (2009)
c. Inside Out (2015)

2015 Rank: #28
2014 Rank: #36 (Debut)
2013 Rank: #1 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2012 Rank: #3 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #10 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #20 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: #27 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
b. The Town (2010)
c. Argo (2012)
d. Live by Night (2017)

2015 Rank: #25
2014 Rank: #30
2013 Rank: #31
2012 Rank: #36
2011 Rank: #22
2010 Rank: #31
2009 Rank: #27

a. Made (2001)
b. Elf (2003)
c. Iron Man (2008)
d. Iron Man 2 (2010)
e. Cowboys and Aliens (2011)
f. Chef (2014)
g. The Jungle Book (2016)

2015 Rank: #23
2014 Rank: #12
2013 Rank: #16
2012 Rank: #18
2011 Rank: #3 on Up & Coming Directors List
2010 Rank: #7 on Up & Coming Directors List
2009 Rank: #4 on Up & Coming Directors List

a. 300 (2007)
b. Watchmen (2009)
c. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)
d. Man of Steel (2013)
e. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
f. The Justice League: Part One (2017)
g. The Justice League: Part Two (2019)

2015 Rank: #22
2014 Rank: #23
2013 Rank: #21
2012 Rank: #23
2011 Rank: #12
2010 Rank: #32
2009 Rank: #20

a. Toy Story (1995)
b. A Bug’s Life (1998)
c. Toy Story 2 (1999)
c. Cars (2006)
d. Cars 2 (2011)
e. Toy Story 4 (2018)

2015 Rank: #24
2014 Rank: #22
2013 Rank: #24
2012 Rank: #26 (Debut)
2011 Rank: #35 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #25 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: #22 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
b. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
c. Leatherheads (2008)
d. The Ides of March (2011)
e. The Monuments Men (2014)
f. Suburbicon (2017)



2015 Rank: #19 (Debut)
2014 Rank: --
2013 Rank: --
2012 Rank: --
2011 Rank: --
2010 Rank: --
2009 Rank: --

a. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
b. Powaqqatsi (1988)
c. Naqoyqatsi (2002)
d. Visitors (2014)
2015 Rank: #20
2014 Rank: #26
2013 Rank: #25
2012 Rank: #27
2011 Rank: #27
2010 Rank: #42
2009 Rank: #35

a. Secrets & Lies (1996)
b. Topsy-Turvy (1999)
c. Vera Drake (2004)
d. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
e. Another Year (2010)
f. Mr. Turner (2014)

2015 Rank: #21
2014 Rank: #31
2013 Rank: #36 (Debut)
2012 Rank: #17 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #36 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #42 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: #21 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Brick (2005)
b. The Brothers Bloom (2009)
c. Breaking Bad (TV: 2011 - 2013)
c. Looper (2012)
d. Star Wars: Episode XIII (2017)

2015 Rank: #17
2014 Rank: #24
2013 Rank: #27
2012 Rank: #31
2011 Rank: #26
2010 Rank: #33
2009 Rank: #50

a. Chungking Express (1994)
b. In the Mood for Love (2000)
c. 2046 (2004)
e. The Grandmaster (2013)
f. Blossoms (2017)

2015 Rank: #16
2014 Rank: #19
2013 Rank: #23
2012 Rank: #25
2011 Rank: #13
2010 Rank: #12
2009 Rank: #2

a. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
b. United 93 (2006)
c. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
d. Green Zone (2010)
e. Captain Phillips (2013)
f. Jason Bourne (2016)

2015 Rank: #15
2014 Rank: #18
2013 Rank: #18
2012 Rank: #21
2011 Rank: #35 (Debut)
2010 Rank: #4 on Up & Coming Directors List
2009 Rank: --

a. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
b. Hot Fuzz (2007)
c. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
d. The World's End (2013)
e. Baby Driver (2017)

2015 Rank: #11
2014 Rank: #16
2013 Rank: #22
2012 Rank: #28
2011 Rank: #41 (Debut)
2010 Rank: --
2009 Rank: --

a. Breaking the Waves (1996)
b. Dancer in the Dark (2000)
c. Antichrist (2009)
d. Melancholia (2011)
e. Nymphomaniac: Vol. I & II (2014)
f. The House That Jack Built (2018)

2015 Rank: #26
2014 Rank: #34
2013 Rank: #40 (Debut)
2012 Rank: #4 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #1 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #2 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: #2 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Mission: Impossible III (2006)
b. Star Trek (2009)
c. Super 8 (2011)
d. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)



2015 Rank: #18
2014 Rank: #25
2013 Rank: #32 (Debut)
2012 Rank: #2 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: --
2010 Rank: --
2009 Rank: --

a. Bronson (2008)
b. Valhalla Rising (2009)
c. Drive (2011)
d. Only God Forgives (2013)
e. Neon Demon (2016)
f. Les Italiens (TV: 2018)

2015 Rank: #10
2014 Rank: #6
2013 Rank: #7
2012 Rank: #8
2011 Rank: #3
2010 Rank: #4
2009 Rank: #34

a. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
b. The Science of Sleep (2006)
c. Dave Chapelle’s Block Party (2006)
d. Be Kind, Rewind (2008)
e. Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? (2013)
f. Mood Indigo (2014)
g. Microbe & Gasoline (2016)

2015 Rank: #23
2014 Rank: #33 (Debut)
2013 Rank: #6 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2012 Rank: #13 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2011 Rank: #7 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2010 Rank: #1 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list
2009 Rank: --

a. The Squid and the Whale (2005)
b. Margot at the Wedding (2007)
c. Greenberg (2010)
d. Frances Ha (2013)
e. While We're Young (2015)
f. Mistress America (2015)
g. De Palma (2016)
h. Yeh Din Ka Kissa (2017)

2015 Rank: #7
2014 Rank: #11
2013 Rank: #12
2012 Rank: #14
2011 Rank: #15
2010 Rank: #17
2009 Rank: #11

a. Hero (2004)
b. House of Flying Daggers (2005)
c. Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2006)
d. Curse of the Golden Flower (2007)
e. The Flowers of War (2012)
f. The Great Wall (2016)

2015 Rank: #2
2014 Rank: #3
2013 Rank: #6
2012 Rank: #11
2011 Rank: #42
2010 Rank: #2 on Up & Coming Directors list
2009 Rank: #10 on 'Best Up-and-Coming Directors' list

a. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
b. Atonement (2007)
c. The Soloist (2009)
d. Hanna (2011)
e. Anna Karenina (2012)
f. Darkest Hour (2017)

2015 Rank: #14
2014 Rank: #15
2013 Rank: #15
2012 Rank: #15
2011 Rank: #34
2010 Rank: #46
2009 Rank: #10

a. The Iron Giant (1999)
b. The Incredibles (2004)
c. Ratatouille (2007)
d. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
e. Tomorrowland (2015)
f. 1906 (2019)

2015 Rank: #9
2014 Rank: #12
2013 Rank: #13
2012 Rank: #16
2011 Rank: #23
2010 Rank: #26
2009 Rank: #5

a. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
b. Knocked Up (2007)
c. Funny People (2009)
d. This is 40 (2012)
e. Trainwreck (2015)
f. Crashing (TV: 2017)

2015 Rank: #6
2014 Rank: #4
2013 Rank: #2
2012 Rank: #3
2011 Rank: #11
2010 Rank: #22
2009 Rank: #22

a. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
b. Moulin Rouge! (2001)
c. Australia (2008)
d. The Great Gatsby (2013)
e. The Get Down (TV: 2016)

2015 Rank: #3
2014 Rank: #2
2013 Rank: #5
2012 Rank: #9
2011 Rank: #21
2010 Rank: #25
2009 Rank: #25

a. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)
b. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
c. Children of Men (2006)
d. Gravity (2013)
e. Tales from the Hanging Head (2018)

2015 Rank: #5
2014 Rank: #8
2013 Rank: #8
2012 Rank: #7
2011 Rank: #10
2010 Rank: #16
2009 Rank: #4

a. A Bug’s Life (1998)
b. Finding Nemo (2003)
c. Wall-E (2008)
d. John Carter (2012)
e. Finding Dory (2016)

a. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
b. Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)
c. Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008)
d. Casino Jack and the United States of Money (2010)
e. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (2010)
f. Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place (2011)
g. Catching Hell (2011)
h. The Last Gladiators (2012)
i. Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (2012)
j. We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)
k. The Armstrong Lie (2014)
l. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)
m. Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (2015)
n. Sinatra: All or Nothing at All (2015)
o. Zero Days (2016)

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