We have entered the Top Ten of my personal list of the 25 Greatest Directors working today. If you have missed the three previous posts covering #s 25-11, they can be found here:
Let’s get to the Top Ten, shall we?
10. Guillermo del Toro
Mr. del Toro has emerged as perhaps the most exciting sci-fi/fantasy director working today. Among his credits: Blade II, the best of the franchise and the two Hellboy pics, both rock solid genre pieces. In 2006, del Toro directed the visual masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth and he just put out Pacific Rim. He’s the fanboy auteur of the moment…. or at least one of two (see #7).
9. David O. Russell
Russell started out as an indie director in the 90s with Spanking the Monkey and Flirting with Disaster. He’s gone on to direct some high-quality pics including Three Kings, The Fighter, and Silver Linings Playbook.
8. Paul Thomas Anderson
Other than Pulp Fiction, I would maintain that 1997’s Boogie Nights is the best film of the past twenty years. His level of quality has maintained since with 1999’s Magnolia, 2002’s Punch Drunk Love, and 2007’s There Will Be Blood with an electric performance from Daniel Day-Lewis. Was last year’s The Master a bit of a letdown? I thought so, but PTA is a master regardless.
7. JJ Abrams
He was known mostly for television shows such as “Alias” and “Lost”, but then Abrams branched into film in a huge way with the third Mission: Impossible in 2006. This led to Abrams taking over the Star Trek franchise to great effect. 2011’s Super 8 was a very well-done Spielberg homage. And now… JJ will take over another franchise in 2015. If you don’t know which one… you should.
6. The Coen Brothers
For nearly thirty years, the Coens have been putting out quality picture after quality picture and doing it their way. Blood Simple. Raising Arizona. Miller’s Crossing. Barton Fink. The Hudsucker Proxy. Fargo. The Big Lebowski. O Brother Where Art Thou? The Man Who Wasn’t There. No Country for Old Men. Burn After Reading. True Grit. Their latest, Inside Llewyn Davis (out this fall), is already garnering Oscar buzz.
One more post to go and I’ll reveal my Top 5 best directors very soon!