100 Greatest Film Directors

In my opinion, these are the 100 best directors of all time.
Quiz by TDubz
Last updated: September 9, 2015
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First submittedSeptember 8, 2015
Times taken2,375
Average score52.0%
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Based more on overall careers than individual achievements.
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1. A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining
Stanley Kubrick
2. Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, The Departed
Martin Scorsese
3. Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill
Quentin Tarantino
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan
Steven Spielberg
5. Fight Club, Seven, The Social Network
David Fincher
6. Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona
Coen Brothers
7. Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Roshomon
Akira Kurosawa
8. Memento, The Dark Knight, Inception
Christopher Nolan
9. Alien, Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down
Ridley Scott
10. Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Royal Tenenbaums
Wes Anderson
11. 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon
Sidney Lumet
12. The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sixteen Candles
John Hughes
13. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, Man on the Moon
Milos Forman
14. Platoon, Wall Street, Born on the Fourth of July
Oliver Stone
15. Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Cast Away
Robert Zemeckis
16. Titanic, Terminator, Avatar
James Cameron
17. The Usual Suspects, X-Men, Valkyrie
Bryan Singer
18. The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Dead Alive
Peter Jackson
19. Ocean's Eleven, Traffic, Magic Mike
Stephen Soderbergh
20. Psycho, Rebecca, North By Northwest
Alfred Hitchcock
21. Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein
Mel Brooks
22. Batman, Ed Wood, Beetlejuice
Tim Burton
23. Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago
David Lean
24. Annie Hall, Sleeper, Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen
25. The Pianist, Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby
Roman Polanski
26. The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me
Rob Reiner
27. Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Parenthood
Ron Howard
28. The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Red Badge of Courage
John Huston
29. Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, Magnolia
Paul Thomas Anderson
30. Halloween, They Live, Escape from New York
John Carpenter
31. Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Coming to America
John Landis
32. Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours
Danny Boyle
33. Glory, Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai
Edward Zwick
34. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King
Terry Gilliam
35. Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Her
Spike Jonze
36. The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Bram Stoker's Dracula
Francis Ford Coppola
37. Die Hard, Last Action Hero, Predator
John McTiernan
38. Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Vacation
Harold Ramis
39. Stripes, Ghostbusters, Meatballs
Ivan Reitman
40. Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Blade II
Guillermo del Toro
41. Scarface, Carlito's Way, Mission: Impossible
Brian De Palma
42. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi
Ang Lee
43. The Great Dictator, City Lights, The Gold Rush
Charlie Chaplin
44. Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Wrestler
Darren Aronofsky
45. Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Sherlock Holmes
Guy Ritchie
46. Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven
Clint Eastwood
47. Before Sunrise, Dazed and Confused, Boyhood
Richard Linklater
48. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life, It Happened One Night
Frank Capra
49. Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness, Spider-Man 2
Sam Raimi
50. Blue Velvet, Elephant Man, Eraserhead
David Lynch
51. The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate
Jonathan Demme
52. Singles, Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire
Cameron Crowe
53. The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile
Frank Darabont
54. Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, 25th Hour
Spike Lee
55. Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, The Apartment
Billy Wilder
56. American Beauty, Jarhead, Skyfall
Sam Mendes
57. Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, I Heart Huckabees
David O. Russell
58. A Fistful of Dollars, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West
Sergio Leone
59. True Romance, Days of Thunder, Top Gun
Tony Scott
60. Home Alone, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Mrs. Doubtfire
Chris Columbus
61. Citizen Kane, Chimes at Midnight
Orson Welles
62. The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, Treasure Island
Victor Fleming
63. Tootsie, Three Days of the Condor, They Shoot Horses Don't They?
Sydney Pollack
64. Heat, The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider
Michael Mann
65. The Exorcist, The French Connection
William Friedkin
66. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Slaughterhouse Five
George Roy Hill
67. Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Edgar Wright
68. Birdman, 21 Grams, Babel
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
69. The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Brad Bird
70. Leon the Professional, The Fifth Element, Lucy
Luc Besson
71. Gravity, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men
Alfonso Cuaron
72. The Bourne Ultimatum, Captain Phillips, United 93
Paul Greengrass
73. Straight Outta Compton, Friday, Law Abiding Citizen
F. Gary Gray
74. Superman, The Omen, Lethal Weapon
Richard Donner
75. In the Heat of the Night, The Hurricane, Moonstruck
Norman Jewison
76. Chaplin, Gandhi, A Chorus Line
Richard Attenborough
77. All the President's Men, Sophie's Choice, The Pelican Brief
Alan J. Pakula
78. Prisoners, The Enemy, Sicario
Denis Villeneuve
79. Marathon Man, Midnight Cowboy, Sunday Bloody Sunday
John Schlesinger
80. The Talented Mr. Ripley, The English Patient, Cold Mountain
Anthony Minghella
81. Up in the Air, Juno, Thank You for Smoking
Jason Reitman
82. Gone Baby Gone, The Town, Argo
Ben Affleck
83. Hard Boiled, Face/Off, Mission: Impossible II
John Woo
84. Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska
Alexander Payne
85. Antichrist, Melancholia, Nymphomaniac
Lars von Trier
86. Clerks, Dogma, Mallrats
Kevin Smith
87. The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Birdcage
Mike Nichols
88. The Fly, A History of Violence, Scanners
David Cronenberg
89. A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, The Hills Have Eyes
Wes Craven
90. The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life
Terrence Malick
91. Amour, The White Ribbon, Funny Games
Michael Haneke
92. Capote, Moneyball, Foxcatcher
Bennett Miller
93. Bugsy, Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam
Barry Levinson
94. Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service
Matthew Vaughn
95. Point Break, The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty
Kathryn Bigelow
96. The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow, Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Doug Liman
97. Guardians of the Galaxy, Super, Slither
James Gunn
98. Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek
J.J. Abrams
99. Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc.
Lee Unkrich
100. Jacob's Ladder, Fatal Attraction, 9 1/2 Weeks
Adrian Lyne
Level 69
Sep 8, 2015
Very enjoyable quiz. Could we have some more time, please?
Level 57
Sep 9, 2015
Extended to 12 minutes!
Level 54
Feb 6, 2019
I know this is just your opinion, but how can there be a greatest directors list without Tarkovski, Fellini, Almodovar, Bunuel, Bergman, Eisenstein, Kusturica? Try watching some of their movies if you haven't yet, I hope it will open you some new horizons :)
Level 69
Apr 20, 2020
+Elia Kazan!!!
Level 82
Sep 11, 2020
You have an odd opinion. You have Affleck on here but not Ford, and Mann at 63. My biggest complaints.
Level 28
Oct 20, 2020
Misspelled Steven Soderbergh
Level 61
May 2, 2022
Very America-centric