WatchMojo.com's FAVORITE Directors.by Harlem_Nights | created - 11 Feb 2016 | updated - 11 Feb 2016 | Public
1. Michael Bay
Producer | Armageddon
A graduate of Wesleyan University, Michael Bay spent his 20s working on advertisements and music videos. His first projects after film school were in the music video business. He created music videos for Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Lionel Richie, Wilson Phillips, Donny Osmond and Divinyls. His work won...
2. Tony Scott
Producer | Domino
Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. As a result of his father's career in the British...
3. Ridley Scott
Producer | The Martian
Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...
5. Rob Cohen
Director | DragonHeart
Rob Cohen is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. One of the 1970's "baby moguls", he built a thriving career as a producer, before concentrating full time on directing from the 1990's, with high adrenaline action blockbusters such as xXx (2002) and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (...
Writer | Dunkirk
Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear, storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.
7. George Lucas
Writer | Star Wars
George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Thomas Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional racecar ...
Producer | Schindler's List
One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...
9. Simon West
Director | Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Simon West is a British born and Hollywood based film director and producer. His films include CON AIR starring Nicholas Cage, "THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER" starring John Travolta and "LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER" starring Angelina Jolie. West is the only live action director ever whose first three 3 films ...
11. Stephen Sommers
Producer | G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Stephen Sommers was born on March 20, 1962 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota, he attended St. John's University and the University of Seville in Spain. Afterward, Sommers spent the next four years performing as an actor in theater groups and managing rock bands throughout ...
12. Roland Emmerich
Writer | Independence Day
Roland Emmerich is a German film director and producer of blockbuster films like The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Godzilla (1998), Independence Day (1996) and The Patriot (2000). Before fame, he originally wanted to be a production designer, but decided to be a director, after watching the original ...
15. Roger Donaldson
Director | The World's Fastest Indian
Roger Donaldson was born on November 15, 1945 in Ballarat, Australia. He is a director and producer, known for The World's Fastest Indian (2005), Species (1995) and Cocktail (1988). He is married to Marliese Schneider. He was previously married to Susan Hockley.
Director | Das Boot
This director seems to shine most when making movies that can best be described as part action movies/part disaster movies.
Beginning with Outbreak (1995) about the outbreak of a killer virus. This film had shades of an Irwin Allen disaster movie, The Swarm (1978), about the outbreak of killer bees....
17. Robert Zemeckis
Writer | Back to the Future
A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone (1984), 1941 (1979)) and special effect ...
18. Joe Carnahan
Writer | Narc
Joe Carnahan is an American film director and screenwriter. He was born in Michigan in 1969, and was raised in California. He attended Fairfield High School in Fairfield, California. He graduated in 1987, at the age of 18. He first attended the San Francisco State University, and later transferred ...
20. Barry Sonnenfeld
Director | Men in Black
Barry Sonnenfeld was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from New York University of Film School in 1978. He started work as director of photography on the Oscar-nominated In Our Water (1982). Then Joel Coen and Ethan Coen hired him for Blood Simple (1984). This film began his ...
21. Gore Verbinski
Director | Rango
Gore Verbinski, one of American cinema's most inventive directors who was a punk-rock guitarist as a teenager and had to sell his guitar to buy his first camera, is now the director of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) which made the industry record for highest opening weekend of ...
Producer | Lady in the Water
Born in Puducherry, India, and raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is a film director, screenwriter, producer, and occasional actor, known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots.
He is the son of Jayalakshmi, a Tamil ...
23. David Fincher
Director | Se7en
David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials...
24. Richard Donner
Director | Superman
Richard Donner was born on April 24, 1930 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard D. Schwartzberg. He is a director and producer, known for Superman (1978), Ladyhawke (1985) and Lethal Weapon (1987). He has been married to Lauren Shuler Donner since November 27, 1986.
25. Oliver Stone
Producer | JFK
Oliver Stone has become known as a master of controversial subjects and a legendary film maker. His films are filled with a variety of film angles and styles, he pushes his actors to give Oscar-worthy performances, and despite his failures, has always returned to success.
William Oliver Stone was ...
26. Tom Shadyac
Director | The Nutty Professor
Tom Shadyac moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and, at age 24, became the youngest staff joke writer ever for comedian Bob Hope. Shadyac received his master's degree in film from UCLA in 1989 after completing the critically acclaimed short, Tom, Dick and Harry. He then worked on movies-of-the-week, ...
27. Jay Roach
Director | Trumbo
Jay Roach was born on June 14, 1957 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA as Mathew Jay Roach. He is a producer and director, known for Trumbo (2015), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) and Blown Away (1994). He has been married to Susanna Hoffs since April 17, 1993. They have two ...
28. Edward Zwick
Producer | Thirtysomething
Edward Zwick is well-known for his heroic movies that include Glory (1989), and the breathtaking works of art that include Legends of the Fall (1994). Zwick has also been known for his thoughtfulness as a director, and for his record of working with television series and other films as a producer.
31. Mimi Leder
Director | On the Basis of Sex
Mimi Leder was born on January 26, 1952 in New York City, New York, USA as Miriam Leder. She is a producer and director, known for On the Basis of Sex (2018), The Leftovers (2014) and Deep Impact (1998). She is married to Gary Werntz. They have one child.
32. Antoine Fuqua
Producer | The Magnificent Seven
Antoine Fuqua is an American film director, known for his work in the film Training Day as well as The Replacement Killers, Tears of the Sun, King Arthur, Shooter, Brooklyn's Finest, Olympus Has Fallen and The Equalizer.
He has directed music videos for such artists as Arrested Development, Prince, ...
33. Lee Daniels
Producer | Precious
Lee Daniels gave his parents an early Christmas present when he entered the world on December 24, 1959; unfortunately, the Philadelphia native was to have a difficult relationship with his police officer father who later reacted violently to his son's sexuality. Despite the brutality of his ...