Top Ten Killer Directors.


Anyone who reads through my movie ramblings is going to notice there are certain directors who I compare just about everything to. Names that pop up, movies, styles...so I figured it was about time I lay out some of my ground work. And so, I give you the badasses behind the badass movies; my top ten killer directors:

10. Steven Spielberg.
"I dream for a living." 

Why we love him: his extensive imagination, his timeless characters, his elaborate worlds.
Classics: Indiana Jones (1981-89), Jussassic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1993).

9. Christopher Nolan. 
"I think audiences get too comfortable and familiar in today's movies. They believe everything they're hearing and seeing. I like to shake that up."

Why we love him: his mindfucks. 
Classics: Memento (2000), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010).

8. Francis Ford Coppola. 
"My film is not a movie; it's not about Vietnam. It is Vietnam."

Why we love him: his epics, his movies we can't refuse.  
Classics: The Godfather (1972), Apocalypse Now (1979).

7. The Wachowski Brothers. 
"One of the things we had talked about...was an idea that I believe philosophy and religion and mathematics all try to answer. Which is a reconciling between a natural world and another world that is perceived by our intellect."

Why we love them: the way they have us leaving the theater wondering what the fuck just happened. 
Classics: Bound (1996), The Matrix (1999).

6. Martin Scorsese.
"Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out."

Why we love him: his command of suspense, the powerful way he wields silence.
Classics: Taxi Driver (1976), Goodfellas (1990), The Departed (2006), Shutter Island (2010).

5. The Coen Brothers.
"He does most of the typing." "Yeah, I usually type, because I type better. It's incredibly informal. I mean, us writing is basically just us sitting around in a room, moping for hours." 

Why we love them: their black humor, their lovable characters, their absurd sense of reality.
Classics: Blood Simple (1984), Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998). 

4. Stanley Kubrick.
"A film is--or should be--more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings."

Why we love him: his twisted imagination, his ability to make us cringe at humanity.
Classics: Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964), 2001: Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971).

3. Guy Ritchie.
"I like death. I'm a big fan of it."

You can't whisper the words British Gangster without Guy Ritchie popping up behind the corner ready to shank you with his sharp wit and uncanny timing. Americans, yes, we have our mafia films, but when it comes to the gritty, low-life, criminal underworld, there is really no competing with Guy Ritchie. Oh, we've tried, Smokin' Aces (2006) was a valiant attempt to hijack the British Gangster. But there's nothing quite like the original. Sure, Guy Ritchie's American highlights mainly involve his doomed marriage with Madonna and his Hollywoodian apology to Sherlock Holmes--but to me, he'll always be the guy who fed people to pigs, drew up the most memorable boxing match since Rocky went at it, and made Brad Pitt unintelligible. It's also worth it to mention that Guy Ritchie preserves the integrity of the "guy film" by keeping the women and love interests out of it (something American films can't seem to grasp), and he has some of the best action movie soundtracks out there. 
Classics: Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Snatch (2000), Revolver (2005).

2. Robert Rodregiuez.
"Don't give me any money, don't give me any people, but give freedom, and I'll give you a movie that looks gigantic."

Robert Rodregiuez is a filmmaker's filmmaker. He's been a long time inspiration to aspiring writers and directors and gives back plenty to the community, even going so far as to write a book for people starting off in the business. He has humble beginnings himself--his first film, El Mariachi (1992), breaths low-budget Indifilm. And yet, it was soon clear that Rodregiuez was a little too brilliant to keep in the backrow, and thanks to little more than his expansive imagination and his slavish devotion to the absurd and explosive, he made it to the professional world. His success story is the one every budding writer/director wants, but his talent is all his own and completely unmistakable. Plus, he's BFFs with Quentin Tarantino. And together...well. It's the best romance since 007 and Aston Martin.
Classics: El Mariachi (1992), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Machete (2010).

1. Quentin Tarantino.
"I don't believe in elitism. I don't think the audience is this dumb person lower than me. I am the audience."

Some claim he's too overrated, he's too violent, he's just plain too weird. Well. I'm here to say he's God among directors. Overstatement? Perhaps, but fuck it. The thing is, he has something that comes through in everyone one of his movies, and it's passion. If there's one thing you can say about this man, it's that he loves what he does, and he won't stop doing it until the day he dies. He's the ultimate filmgeek (not film nerd) and wields his knowledge of every movie ever made in crafting his own films, while adding that unique and distinct Tarantino touch. His dialogue drips with suspense--at one moment, petty, but slowly climbing until the tension is unbearable (best example: watch Christopher Walken's racist little bit in True Romance (1993). You will not be disappointed). His fight scenes are intense, elaborate, but always in character and always aesthetically fantastic (Uma Thurman vs. The Crazy 88s). His sense of humor, his fantastic characters, his addictive soundtracks, his way to pick the perfect actors for the perfect roles even if they've been inactive for some 20 years...love it or loathe it, a Tarantino movie is always a Tarantino movie. In short, he is one badass motherfucker
Classics: Everything He's Ever Done.

Honorable mentions: I wanted to include Frank Miller...except he's directed all of one movie. Okay, two, but I never saw The Spirit (2008) even though I kept meaning too because Samuel L. Jackson looked like one BAMF pimp. In any case, he's much more a comic book man than a director, though I would love to see him bring his work to life more often on the big screen. I throw out another honorable mention for Kathryn Bigelow, just because I think it's really fucking depressing that we have no awesome women directors who do action flicks. Granted, I still have to see Hurt Locker (2008), but...you know. People claimed it was good. And stuff.

Anyone else I'm leaving out? I'm a sucker for new movie knowledge, throw some badass director's names my way and I'll check them out.


  1. Scorsese! Scorsese! Scorsese! There are directors I like, but I don't see myself describing Sam Mendes or Stphen Daldry as a "bad asses".

  2. Scorsese is definitely an extraordinary badass! And I will have to agree with you on those fronts, I'm definitely all about Sam Mendes--Road To Perdition is hands down one of my favorite movies of all time. Stephen Daldry I have to claim I don't know so much about...I did really like The Reader and I remember enjoying Billy Elliot, but for the life of me I can't remember why. I think that one warrants a rewatch.

  3. Fincher! Mainly because of Fight Club (Greatest film ever!) but also because of Se7en, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and other films that are also fucking mental and amazing and good

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