My current (Nov 2018) Steve McQueen study made me wonder if his Hunger is the strongest debut of the 21st century. There were many great debuts in 1999 (Being John Malkovich, Virgin Suicides, American Beauty) and many of our great filmmakers today made a film or two before their breakout (Chazelle, Nolan)– Ari Aster’s Hereditary is right there in the discussion

am i missing any? i think the three in bold below (victoria, hunger, and amores perros) may be the strongest

adding Kogonada’s Columbus (2017) to the list and after one viewing I think it’s the single greatest debut of the 21st century

ari aster- hereditary (2018)
kogonada- columbus (2017)
greta gerwig- lady bird (2017)
jordan peele- get out (2017)
sebastian schipper – victoria (2015)
dan gilroy – nightcrawler (2014)
sean durkin – martha marcy may marlene (2011)
richard ayoade- submarine (2010)
xavier dolan- i killed my mother (2009)
cary fukunaga – sin nombre (2009)
charlie kaufman- synecdoche, new york (2008)
steve mcqueen- hunger (2008)  
tony gilroy – michael clayton (2007)
jeff nichols – shotgun stories (2007)
dayton and faris – little miss sunshine (2006)
florian henckel von donnersmarck- the lives of others (2006)
joachim trier- reprise (2006)
bennett miller – capote (2005)
joe wright – pride & prejudice (2005)
richard kelly- donnie darko (2001)
kenneth lonergan- you can count on me (2000)
jonathan glazer – sexy beast (2000)
alejandro inarritu – amores perros (2000)