Top 10 Directors Current list

Here’s my annual stab at listing and ranking the best directors on the planet. Usually I look at the last 10 years’ worth of work with a heavy emphasis on even more recent work in the last 3-5 years. I am a massive believer in the auteur theory so I take into account not only who directed great films but the level of personal visual style and reoccurring themes.

  1. Iñárritu – The back to back masterpieces in 2014 (birdman) and 2015 (the revenant) are impossible for anyone else on this last to match. His visual stamp is all over these two wonderful films.
  2. Wes Anderson– Wes has my #1 film from 2012 and #2 from 2014 (grand budapest might actually be better than moonrise).
  3. Chazelle– What else can you say? Whiplash is a top 5 of the year-level film from 2014 and now we have just a giant Masterpiece this year in a really down year for cinema. How can you not at least put him at #3?
  4. Cuaron– Another slot in the top 4 for a Mexican master auteur. Can’t wait for roma (expected 2017 release that is filming now)
  5. Linklater- 4 archiveable films this decade with 2 masterpieces and another top 10 addition this year with everybody wants some!!.
  6. Nolan- Nolan is superb but his last 5 years can’t compare with the directors above him here.
  7. CoenHail Caesar was an archiveable film but a big disappointment. Still, the Coen brothers are in no jeopardy of falling off this list with Inside Llewyn Davis, no country for old men, and a serious man all in the last decade
  8. PT Anderson– Still have inherent vice as a (relatively) bad taste in my mouth. I’m going to watch it again soon.
  9. Fincher– Fincher is usually pretty prolific. 9 archiveable films since and including seven in 1995. Hopefully he’ll have something in 2017 or 2018 (more likely).
  10. Malick- Malick is really tough to rank on this list. He’s on it because of tree of life and nearly off it because of to the wonder and knight of cups. I have both of those in the archives and stronger than their metacritic scores but still- they weren’t amongst the best 20 or so films of 2012 and 2015 and that’s surely disappointing.

Honorable Mention

  • Tarantino- Chazelle takes QT’s spot on this list from last year
  • Lanthimos- Lanthimos is a new name here. He proved dogtooth was no fluke with the lobster. He’s not on that level yet but he’s a creator of his own world like Lynch, Tarantino and Wes.
  • McQueen– like many others on this list 2013 seems like a long time ago
  • Villeneuve- back to back brilliant years with Sicario and Arrival. His career resume doesn’t have near the chops of the other names on this list but that’s a hell of a very recent 1-2 punch
  • Baumbach– is probably #15 on this list just ahead of O. Russell, Haneke, Scorsese and a few others