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Added by Stehako on 23 Jun 2009 05:31
2265 Views 6 Comments

Top Future Directing Greats (2009 Edition)

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Rating: List Type:
Average listal rating (195 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
a. Chungking Express (1994)
b. In the Mood for Love (2000)
c. 2046 (2004)
d. The Lady From Shanghai (2010)

Colorful, dark, and bright. Futuristic, old, and current.
Stehako's rating:
a. GoldenEye (1995)
b. The Mask/Legend of Zorro (1998, 2005)
c. Beyond Borders (2003)
d. Casino Royale (2006)
e. Edge of Darkness (2009)
f. The Green Lantern (2011)

He's flooded his resume with decent action films and with one great Bond outing.
Stehako's rating:
a. Grizzly Man (2005)
b. The Wild Blue Yonder (2006)
c. Rescue Dawn (2007)
d. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)
e. My Son, My Son, What Ye Done? (2010)
f. The Piano Tuner (2011)

A different type of filmmaker and documentarian. His style is gritty, realistic (of course) but still unbelievable. Yeah, it doesn't make sense.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (38 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
a. Monsoon Wedding (2001)
b. Vanity Fair (2004)
c. The Namesake (2007)
d. Amelia (2009)
e. Shantaram (2010)

Mostly films directed toward women; but still fine filmmaking. The cameras are controlled and the characters are not. 'Amelia' looks like a great a biopic.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (37 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 0
a. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
b. Nacho Libre (2006)
c. Gentlemen Broncos (2009)

Comedies without the slapstick, filled with memorable lines, dancing and singing.
Stehako's rating:
a. Billy Elliot (2000)
b. The Hours (2002)
c. The Reader (2008)
d. Hellfire Club (2009)

Pristine films that will make you laugh, think, and cry, if you're a woman, because that's who seems to be his target audience. I can still appreciate and enjoy the films however.
Stehako's rating:
a. Badlands (1973)
b. Days of Heaven (1978)
c. The Thin Red Line (1998)
d. The New World (2005)
e. The Tree of Life (2009)

Clearly he doesn't dole out a solid film ever few years. It's tough to put the director of "Days of Heaven" in this list instead of "MAAD" but damn it he needs more movies! 'Tree of Life' sounds terribly interesting... he could come back with a winner in this one.
Stehako's rating:
a. The Virgin Suicides (1999)
b. Lost in Translation (2003)
c. Marie Antionette (2006)
d. Somewhere (2010)

Character driven and wordy - no, playful and dark - no, graceful and simple... whatever it is, she's good at it. I'd hate to point it out, but you can see how few women there are on the lists; so it's refreshing to see a solid young female director - even if she had a head start.

Stehako's rating:
a. Election (1999)
b. About Schmidt (2002)
c. Sideways (2004)
d. Fork in the Road (2010)
e. The Descendants (2011)

He brings simplicity to a new level and really lets the actors make the movie; but his subtle techniques are still noticed.
Stehako's rating:
a. My Life as a Dog (1987)
b. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)
c. The Cider House Rules (1999)
d. Chocolat (2000)
e. The Hoax (2007)
f. Dear John (2009)
g. Rain in Spain (2010)

Another oldie who needs one more film to up his status. I can't consider any of his films great at this point.
Stehako's rating:
a. An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
b. The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
c. Proof of Life (2000)
d. Ray (2004)
e. Love Ranch (2009)
f. The Woman Next Door (2009)

He's been around for a while and really just needs one or two more solid films to move up into the "MAAD" list.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (250 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
b. Face/Off (1997)
c. Mission: Impossible II (2000)
d. Windtalkers (2002)
e. Paycheck (2003)
f. Red Cliff I & II (2008, 2009)
g. Rainbow Six (2011)
h. The Sicilian Clan (2011)

He was the go-to action director but lately has spent a lot of time on the 'Red Cliff' saga, and Americans are probably wanting a return soon.
Stehako's rating:
a. Cop Land (1997)
b. Girl, Interrupted (1999)
c. Identity (2003)
d. Walk the Line (2005)
e. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
f. Untitled Project (2010)

Haven't defined this guy yet, I think he'll just take whatever people give him and he puts it to good use.
Stehako's rating:
a. Desperado (1995)
b. Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
c. Sin City (2005)
d. Shorts (2009)
e. Machete (2010)
f. Sin City 2 (2011)
g. The Jetsons (2012)
h. Sin City 3 (2012)

He's very good half of the time. Gritty desperados (see above) and glammy children (Spy Kids Trilogy and upcoming 'Shorts' and 'Jetsons') are his specialty - interesting range.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (132 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
a. Monster’s Ball (2001)
b. Finding Neverland (2004)
c. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
d. The Kite Runner (2007)
e. Quantum of Solace (2008)
f. World War Z (2010)
g. Disconnect (2011)

He brings every movie down to a slower pace (he even had the gall to revamp Bond again); but fine tunes the films to still make them entertaining.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (70 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
a. Secrets & Lies (1996)
b. Topsy-Turvy (1999)
c. Vera Drake (2004)
d. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
e. Untitled Project (2010)

The guy who brings British actors to America, and we're all thankful for it. He know how to do the weird, sad, and the happy - I can't wait to see what he does next.
Stehako's rating:
a. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
b. Dave Chapelle’s Block Party (2006)
c. Be Kind, Rewind (2008)
d. The Green Hornet (2010)
e. Master of Space and Time (2011)

They have been low-key but full of beauty and originality. It will be interesting to see what he does with a super-hero film.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (122 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0
a. Into the West (1992)
b. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
c. Donnie Brasco (1997)
d. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
e. The Elfstones of Shannara (2010)
f. The Prince of Persia (2010)

Newell has dabbled into various genres and has several successful films to prove he's worth giving anything a try.
Stehako's rating:
a. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
b. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
c. Step Brothers (2008)
d. Worst Friends (2011)
e. Channel 3 Billion (2011)

McKay and Ferrell have created a hell of a team, making dumb yet funny films and a Web site.
Stehako's rating:
a. Three Kings (1999)
b. I Heart Huckabees (2004)
c. Nailed (2010)
d. The Fighter (2011)
e. The H-Man Cometh (2012)

Past the hysterical freak-out at a probably deserving Lilly Tomlin his screen tactics have shown unique cleverness and wit in otherwise generic genres.
Stehako's rating:
a. Thank You For Smoking (2005)
b. Juno (2007)
c. Up in the Air (2009)
d. Whispers in Bedlam (2011)

He hasn't created himself a unique directing style yet; but the last two films he's done were enjoyable and successful.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (105 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
a. Beavis and Butthead Do America (1996)
b. Office Space (1999)
c. Extract (2009)

He's had more success on TV, but really only one failure on the big screen (Idiocracy), although the first 10 minutes is worth watching.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (34 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 0
a. Clay Pigeons (1998)
b. Shanghai Knights (2003)
c. Wedding Crashers (2005)
d. Fred Claus (2007)
e. The Flash (2011)
f. Helium (2011)

Dobkin is going the Jon Favreau route - small-time comedies, a Christmas movie, and an upcoming super hero film.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (244 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
a. Made (2001)
b. Elf (2003)
c. Iron Man (2008)
d. Iron Man 2 (2010)
e. Neanderthals (2011)

Favreau is creating quite a resume for himself in acting, producing, writing and directing. He's emulating Hitchcock's cameos but with larger parts... and needs about thirty more films to be mentioned in the same breath otherwise.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (383 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
a. Sense and Sensibility (1995)
b. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
c. Hulk (2003)
d. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
e. Taking Woodstock (2009)
f. Life of Pi (2011)

He can make any genre work, but he's had as many misses as hits.
Stehako's rating:
a. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)
b. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
c. Children of Men (2006)
d. A Boy and His Shoe (2010)

He made the best 'Potter' film and made one of the best post-apocalyptic films ever (I'm not usually a fan of them)... could have done without the final scene in 'Tambien'
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (394 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
a. To Die For (1995)
b. Good Will Hunting (1997)
c. Finding Forrester (2000)
d. Elephant (2003)
e. Milk (2008)
f. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (2010)

He's made some decent films, but he's some terrible films like 'Gerry' and 'Last Days' that put such a sour taste in my mouth, I can only hope he doesn't try those types of films again.
Stehako's rating:
a. Delicatessen (1992)
b. The City of Lost Children (1995)
c. Alien: Resurrection (1997)
d. Amelie (2001)
e. A Very Long Engagement (2004)
f. Micmacs a tire-Larigot (2010)

The fourth filmmaker to direct an 'Alien' film and yet another completely different filming style. He gives his movies an intense detail unmatched and his foreign-tongue actors are as easy to follow and love as any English speaking actor.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (171 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
a. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
b. Moulin Rouge! (2001)
c. Australia (2008)
d. The Great Gatsby (2011)

Like Jonze, Luhrmann brings his music-video style to his features and they're materialized brilliantly. My only complaint is he doesn't do enough films.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (509 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
a. Clerks I & II (1994, 2006)
b. Mallrats (1995)
c. Chasing Amy (1997)
d. Dogma (1999)
e. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
f. Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)
g. A Couple of Dicks (2010)
h. Red State (2010)
i. Hit Somebody (2011)

He's done more good films than anyone else on this list; but they're all only good - I can't consider any of them great.
Stehako's rating:
a. Toy Story 1 & 2 (1995, 1999)
b. A Bug’s Life (1998)
c. Cars (2006)
d. Toy Story 3 (2010) - Co-Directing

The third Pixar genius helped launch CG in shorts and features.
Stehako's rating:
a. City of God (2002)
b. The Constant Gardner (2005)
c. Love's Labours Lost (2010)

'City of God' is one of the more brilliant international films of the decade and his follow-up solid but I hope 'Blindness' was only a hick-up.
Stehako's rating:
a. Road Trip (2000)
b. Old School (2003)
c. Starsky & Hutch (2004)
d. The Hangover (2009)
e. The Chadster (2010)
f. Murray at Large (2011)
g. Man-Witch (2011)

He's made average comedies into gold by knowing how to direct his talent and giving the audience more than just a point-shoot-laugh.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (388 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
a. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
b. Snatch (2000)
b. Revolver (2005)
d. RocknRolla (2008)
e. Sherlock Holmes (2009)
f. Gamekeeper (2010)

With only a few films on his resume Ritchie has developed a recognizable style that have some people complaining about the similarities - but I want more and look forward to his version of 'Holmes'
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (636 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
a. The Evil Dead II (1987)
b. The Quick and the Dead (1995)
c. A Simple Plan (1998)
d. For Love of the Game (1999)
e. Spider-Man Trilogy (2002, 2004, 2007)
f. Spider-Man 4 (2011)

The first half of his career was outrageous gore zombie films, then he randomly did "For Love of the Game" and now he's all about the Spider-Man franchise.
Stehako's rating:
a. The Man Without a Face (1993)
b. Braveheart (1995)
c. The Passion of the Christ (2004)
d. Apocalypto (2006)
e. The Drowner (2011)

His directing efforts have proven he's as good behind the camera than in front. Too bad Hollywood hates him now.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (269 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
a. Being John Malkovich (1999)
b. Adaptation. (2002)
c. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

He created some awesome music videos (Beastie Boys' 'Sabatoge' for example) earlier in his career and has translated that style into two very solid films and is finishing up another promising spectacle.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (193 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 0
a. Austin Powers Trilogy (1997, 1999, 2002)
b. Mystery, Alaska (1999)
c. Meet the Parents/Fockers (2000, 2004)
d. Dinner for Schmucks (2010)
e. Renaissance Men (2011)

Created possibly the funniest trilogy of all time and was in the middle of creating another hilarious trilogy until he dropped out of "Meet the Little Focker"
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (1735 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
a. Reality Bites (1994)
b. The Cable Guy (1996)
c. Zoolander (2001)
d. Tropic Thunder (2008)
e. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2010)
f. Help Me Spread Goodness (2011)

Obviously better known for his acting he's still proven his talents spread far beyond mugging for the screen.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (135 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
a. Hero (2004)
b. House of Flying Daggers (2005)
c. Curse of the Golden Flower (2007)
d. Amazing Tales: Three Guns (2010)
e. Thirteen Girls in Jinling City (2012)

He's directed some amazing fight scenes that are both action-packed and artful.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (208 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
a. The Iron Giant (1999)
b. The Incredibles (2004)
c. Ratatouille (2007)
d. 1906 (2012)

Another Pixar genius has the touch with a pen and character development.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (55 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 0
a. American Pie (1999)
b. About a Boy (2002)
c. In Good Company (2004)
d. Cirque du Freak (2010)
e. Meet the Little Focker (2011)
f. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (2012)

Weitz is finally getting noticed, because he's got quite a slate of films over the next few years.
Stehako's rating:
a. Hellboy I & II (2004, 2008)
b. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
c. The Hobbit (2011)
d. The Hobbit 2 (2012)

He's been busier as a producer but lately he's become well-known as a director, and his status will rise enormously when the Hobbit films are released.
Stehako's rating:
Average listal rating (308 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
a. American Beauty (1999)
b. Road to Perdition (2002)
c. Revolutionary Road (2008)
d. Away We Go (2009)
e. Middlemarch (2010)
f. Lost in Austen (2012)

He made Annette Benning crazy, Tom Hanks a bad-ass, and directed a sex scene for his wife, Kate Winslet.
Stehako's rating:
a. Pi (1998)
b. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
c. The Fountain (2006)
d. The Wrestler (2008)
e. RoboCop (2011)
f. The Hunt (2012)

Each film he's made has been wildly different than the last, and I'm guessing I will say the same when he remakes Verhoeven's "RoboCop"
Stehako's rating:
a. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
b. Knocked Up (2007)
c. Funny People (2009)
d. Five-Year Engagement (2011)

His input can be found on nearly half of the good comedies in the last decade and his two directing efforts are among the best comedies of the decade as well.
Stehako's rating:
a. A Bug’s Life (1998)
b. Finding Nemo (2003)
c. Wall-E (2008)
d. John Carter of Mars (2012)

One of the geniuses at Pixar has created some very memorable characters and animated scenes. We get to see how his talents will translate to live-action in "John Carter of Mars"
Stehako's rating:
a. 21 Grams (2003)
b. Babel (2006)
c. Biutiful (2009)
d. Saturn and the End of Days (2011)

In two films he's created his own distinct style and I image in it will continue to be perfected in "Biutiful" hopefully coming out this year.
Stehako's rating:
a. The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum (2004, 2007)
b. United 93 (2006)
c. Green Zone (2009)
d. They Marched Into Sunlight (2010)
e. Untitled Fourth Bourne Film (2011)

He helped improve the Bourne franchise and created the only good "9/11" film so far, and Green Zone looks like another "must-see".
Stehako's rating:
a. Out of Sight (1998)
b. Erin Brockovich (2000)
c. Traffic (2000)
d. Ocean’s Trilogy (2001, 2004, 2007)
e. Che (2008)
f. The Informant (2009)
g. The Girlfriend Experience (2009)
h. Cleo (2011)
i. Moneyball (2011)

If I dig "The Informant" than he is definitely going on the "MAAD" list in 2010.
Stehako's rating:

In order, these directors are ones who have made a few great films and ones who I think I have a chance to make my previous list "Most Accomplished Active Directors"


Directed at least 2 films that are either on my "Top 1,000 Greatest Films" list or have potential to be.
Obviously alive
Working on successful films for at least 5 years - Longevity is still important
Should have at least one project on the horizon

The listed films:
Only included films found in my "Greatest 1,000 Films of All Time" list
Bold films are my favorite from that director.
Italicized films are upcoming projects

Look for my next list...

Up and Coming Directors

and by the end of 2009 I will endure the insane task of listing the all-time greatest directors in my list entitled...

The All-Time Greatest Directors


Added to

3 votes
Yearly Best Active Directors List Collection (36 lists)
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Published 7 months, 3 weeks ago 1 comment

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