Action filmmakers

by larryzanders | created - 3 weeks ago | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

My favorite directors (both indie and studio) who mostly do badass action films

1. John Woo

Director | Ying hung boon sik

Born in southern China, John Woo grew up in Hong Kong, where he began his film career as an assistant director in 1969, working for Shaw Brothers Studios. He directed his first feature in 1973 and has been a prolific director ever since, working in a wide variety of genres before A Better Tomorrow ...

2. John McTiernan

Director | Die Hard

John McTiernan was born on January 8, 1951 in Albany, New York, USA as John Campbell McTiernan Jr. He is a director and producer, known for Die Hard (1988), Predator (1987) and Last Action Hero (1993). He has been married to Gail Sistrunk since 2012. He was previously married to Kate Harrington, ...

3. Sam Peckinpah

Writer | The Wild Bunch

"If they move", commands stern-eyed William Holden, "kill 'em". So begins The Wild Bunch (1969), Sam Peckinpah's bloody, high-body-count eulogy to the mythologized Old West. "Pouring new wine into the bottle of the Western, Peckinpah explodes the bottle", observed critic Pauline Kael. That ...

4. Quentin Tarantino

Writer | Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old.

In January of...

5. 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...

6. Robert Rodriguez

Producer | El mariachi

Robert Anthony Rodriguez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, USA, to Rebecca (Villegas), a nurse, and Cecilio G. Rodríguez, a salesman. His family is of Mexican descent.

Of all the people to be amazed by the images of John Carpenter's 1981 sci-fi parable, Escape from New York (1981), none ...

7. Luc Besson

Writer | The Fifth Element

Luc Besson spent the first years of his life following his parents, scuba diving instructors, around the world. His early life was entirely aquatic. He already showed amazing creativity as a youth, writing early drafts of The Big Blue (1988) and The Fifth Element (1997), as an adolescent bored in ...

8. Michael Bay

Special_effects | You on Kazoo

9. 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, ...

10. Mark L. Lester

Director | Firestarter

Director, writer and producer Mark L. Lester has created high-action films throughout his career, including some of the world's biggest box office draws. His directorial expertise has garnered praise for such films as Arnold Schwarzenegger's box-office mega-hit Commando (1985), Stephen King's ...

11. Brian De Palma

Director | Dressed to Kill

Brian De Palma is the son of a surgeon. He studied physics but at the same time felt his dedication for the movies and made some short films. After seven independent productions he had his first success with Sisters (1972) and his voyeuristic style. Restlessly he worked on big projects with the ...

12. Sylvester Stallone

Actor | Rocky

This athletically built, dark-haired American actor/screenwriter/director may never be mentioned by old-school film critics in the same breath as, say, Richard Burton or Alec Guinness; however, movie fans worldwide have been flocking to see Stallone's films for over 30 years, making "Sly" one of ...

13. Timothy Woodward Jr.

Director | The Final Wish

Timothy Woodward Jr. was born October 15, 1983 in Georgetown, SC. His love for film began early when he saw his first theatrical film. Woodward began his career acting in television series, but in recent years has moved primarily behind the camera. He cut his directing teeth on music videos and ...

14. Chad Stahelski

Director | John Wick

He came from a kick-boxing background; he entered the film field as a stunt performer at the age of 24. Before that, he worked as an instructor at the Inosanto Martial Arts Academy in California, teaching Jeet Kune Do/Jun Fan. After doing numerous roles in low budget martial art movies like Mission...

15. Chad Law

Writer | Daylight's End

Born and raised in the small town of Farmland, Indiana, Chad is the oldest child of Ed and Nancy Law. His love for film started at a very early age when his father began taking him to genre films such as "Stephen King's Silver Bullet", "The Lost Boys" and "Big Trouble in Little China". After ...

16. Roel Reiné

Director | Michiel de Ruyter

Roel Reine was born in The Netherlands, and with his first theatrical feature 'The Delivery' he won The Golden Calf for Best Director (the Dutch equivalent to an Academy Award). In 2005 Roel Reine has moved to Los Angeles and has directed now an impressive slate of 16 feature films for studios like...

17. Steven C. Miller

Director | Marauders

Steven C. Miller was born in Decatur, Ga. His love for film began early when his father bought him a VHS video camera. Miller started off small with multiple music videos and short films. In 2005 Miller attended and graduated Full Sail University.

In 2005, immediately after graduating film school at...

18. RZA

Soundtrack | The Man with the Iron Fists

RZA was born on July 5, 1969 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Robert Fitzgerald Diggs. He has been married to Talani Rabb since August 29, 2009. He was previously married to Eboni Mills.

19. David Leitch

Actor | Deadpool 2

David Leitch is a billion dollar film director, actor, stuntman, writer, producer, and stunt coordinator. He co-directed John Wick (2014) with Chad Stahelski, which he also served as producer. David directed Atomic Blonde (2017) starring Charlize Theron. David also directed the box office smash and...

20. Gareth Evans

Director | Serbuan Maut

Welsh born writer/director, in 2003 directed a short film "Samurai Monogatari" telling the tale of a Samurai waiting to be executed. The short was in Japanese language and starred students from Tokyo who were studying at Cardiff University at the time.

In 2003 he also graduated with an MA in ...

21. Michael Matteo Rossi

Producer | Chase

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Michael has extensively been involved in writing, producing and directing and actively been involved in film projects for the last few years. At 19, Michael went on to have his first short film, Our Lost Translation, screened at the LA Shorts Fest. After completing ...

22. Jeremy Saulnier

Cinematographer | Blue Ruin

Jeremy Saulnier has slyly defined a unique cinematic aesthetic that complements his idiosyncratic narrative premises. His sophomore feature, Blue Ruin (2013) a quirky, crime drama set in a pretty, but grimier part of suburban America was a festival darling and supplanted his name within the ...

23. Paul Verhoeven

Director | Zwartboek

Paul Verhoeven graduated from the University of Leiden, with a degree in math and physics. He entered the Royal Netherlands Navy, where he began his film career by making documentaries for the Navy and later for TV. In 1969, he directed the popular Dutch TV series, Floris (1969), about a medieval ...

24. Timo Tjahjanto

Director | V/H/S/2

Timo Tjahjanto is a director and writer, known for V/H/S/2 (2013), Killers (2014) and Headshot (2016).

25. Ethan Maniquis

Director | Machete

Ethan Maniquis is known for his work on Machete (2010), Sin City (2005) and Hands of Stone (2016).

26. Panos Cosmatos

Writer | Mandy

Panos Cosmatos is a writer and director, known for Mandy (2018), Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010) and Tombstone (1993).

27. Andrew Davis

Director | The Fugitive

Director/Producer/Writer) Andrew Davis is a filmmaker with a reputation for directing intelligent thrillers, most notably the Academy Award-nominated box-office hit The Fugitive (1993), starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. The film received seven Academy Award nominations including Best ...

28. Ted Kotcheff

Director | Weekend at Bernie's

William Theodore Kotcheff was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Bulgarian parents from Plovdiv. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. He began his professional career directing TV drama at age 24 at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, at the time ...

29. Sheldon Lettich

Writer | Max

Sheldon Lettich was born in New York City, but moved to California at a young age and grew up in the Los Angeles area. After graduation from high school he spent nearly four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as a radio operator in South Vietnam with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, and later with ...

30. Alex Proyas

Director | Dark City

Alex Proyas has moved effortlessly between helming TV commercials and music videos to feature films. Born to Greek parents in Egypt, Proyas relocated to Australia with his family when he was three years old. He began making films at age ten and went on to attend the Australian Film Television and ...

31. Brad Anderson

Director | Session 9

Brad Anderson was born in 1964 in Madison, Connecticut, USA. He is a director and producer, known for Session 9 (2001), The Machinist (2004) and Transsiberian (2008).

32. Stefano Sollima

Director | Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Stefano Sollima was born on May 4, 1966 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. He is a director and writer, known for Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018), Gomorra (2014) and Suburra (2015).

33. José Padilla

Camera_department | Growth

José Padilla is known for his work on Growth, Muscle Dragger and Camp Terror (2020).

34. Michael Mann

Producer | The Insider

A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch (1975). He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile (1979), in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release,...

35. Ric Roman Waugh

Writer | Felon

Ric Roman Waugh was born on February 20, 1968 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is known for his work on Felon (2008), Snitch (2013) and Shot Caller (2017). He has been married to Tanya Ballinger since September 24, 2005. They have two children.

36. Matthew Heineman

Director | A Private War

Matthew Heineman is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. The Sundance Film Festival called Heineman "one of the most talented and exciting documentary filmmakers working today", while Anne Thompson of Indiewire wrote that Heineman is a "respected and gifted filmmaker who ...

37. Brad Furman

Director | The Lincoln Lawyer

Brad Furman is a director and producer, known for The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), The Infiltrator (2016) and City of Lies (2018).

38. David Ayer

Writer | End of Watch

David Ayer is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. David Ayer was born in Champaign, Illinois and grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota, and Bethesda, Maryland, where he was kicked out of his house by his parents as a teenager. Ayer then lived with his cousin in Los Angeles, ...



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