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My Top Directors of All-Time

Updated: September 1st, 2023

Reverting back to the top film per director system since I found it too hard to update before. I have a 5 feature film minimum for a director to qualify so just starting or slow-working contemporary geniuses will have to wait. Or I will have to wait.

For directors who primarily work in the short form and are unlikely or slow to make five features, I’ll make an exception on the condition that I’ve seen at least 10 of their features and shorts combined. If I’ve seen at least 5 feature films from a director, then their short films are excluded from the average rating or ranking.

Directors where I’ve seen 10+ of their films have…

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  • Rushmore

    1

  • Secrets & Lies

    2

  • Magnolia

    3

  • Dog Day Afternoon

    4

  • Barton Fink

    5

  • Le Bonheur

    6

  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

    7

  • Limelight

    8

  • Brazil

    9

  • Taxi Driver

    10

  • Stalker

    11

  • A Short Film About Killing

    12

  • Se7en

    13

  • Sunset Boulevard

    14

  • Persona

    15

  • Shame

    16

  • Whiplash

    17

  • Taxi

    18

  • The Lobster

    19

  • Charulata

    20

  • Badlands

    21

  • Adaptation.

    22

  • It's Such a Beautiful Day

    23

  • On the Waterfront

    24

  • Wings of Desire

    25

  • Harakiri

    26

  • Umberto D.

    27

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

    28

  • The White Ribbon

    29

  • Happy Together

    30

  • Claire's Knee

    31

  • Children of Men

    32

  • Memento

    33

  • You, the Living

    34

  • To Be or Not to Be

    35

  • PlayTime

    36

  • Before Midnight

    37

  • Triangle of Sadness

    38

  • Blow-Up

    39

  • Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

    40

  • Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

    41

  • Stroszek

    42

  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    43

  • The Earrings of Madame de...

    44

  • Culloden

    45

  • The Heiress

    46

  • Annie Hall

    47

  • Looper

    48

  • Do the Right Thing

    49

  • Rio Bravo

    50

  • Arrival

    51

  • Amadeus

    52

  • The Godfather: Part II

    53

  • Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

    54

  • A Separation

    55

  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    56

  • It's a Wonderful Life

    57

  • Pierrot le Fou

    58

  • Hiroshima Mon Amour

    59

  • Werckmeister Harmonies

    60

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    61

  • Nosferatu

    62

  • The 400 Blows

    63

  • Le Samouraï

    64

  • Opening Night

    65

  • Inglourious Basterds

    66

  • Murmur of the Heart

    67

  • The Player

    68

  • Midnight Cowboy

    69

  • The Passion of Joan of Arc

    70

  • Shaun of the Dead

    71

  • Diary of a Country Priest

    72

  • The Elephant Man

    73

  • The Wrestler

    74

  • Milk

    75

  • Dead Man

    76

  • Spencer

    77

  • Ariel

    78

  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    79

  • Close-Up

    80

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    81

  • Alien

    82

  • Amélie

    83

  • Ran

    84

  • The Naked Kiss

    85

  • Heat

    86

  • The Power of the Dog

    87

  • Stop Making Sense

    88

  • Metropolis

    89

  • The Sound of Music

    90

  • Brief Encounter

    91

  • American Beauty

    92

  • Rocco and His Brothers

    93

  • Distant Voices, Still Lives

    94

  • 8½

    95

  • My Winnipeg

    96

  • Memoria

    97

  • Sherlock, Jr.

    98

  • Citizen Kane

    99

  • Call Me by Your Name

    100