Top Directors 2010-2013

by hagennelson | created - 14 Dec 2013 | updated - 15 Dec 2013 | Public

1. Christopher Nolan

Writer | Dunkirk

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear, storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.

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Inception The Dark Knight Rises

2. David Yates

Director | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

David Yates was born on October 8, 1963 in St. Helens, Merseyside, England. He is a director and producer, known for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) and The Legend of Tarzan (2016).

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

3. Zack Snyder

Producer | Wonder Woman

Zachary Edward "Zack" Snyder (born March 1, 1966) is an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter, best known for action and science fiction films. Snyder made his feature film debut with the 2004 remake Dawn of the Dead and has gone on to be known for his comic book movies and ...

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Sucker Punch Man of Steel

4. Matthew Vaughn

Producer | Kick-Ass

Matthew Vaughn is an English film producer and director. He is known for producing such films as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000) and for directing the crime thriller, Layer Cake (2004), the fantasy epic, Stardust (2007), the superhero comedy, Kick-Ass (2010), and the ...

Kick-Ass X-Men: First Class

5. David O. Russell

Writer | American Hustle

David Owen Russell is an American film writer, director, and producer, known for a cinema of intense, tragi-comedic characters whose love of life can surpass dark circumstances faced in very specific worlds. His films address such themes as mental illness as stigma or hope; invention of self and ...

The Fighter Silver Linings Playbook American Hustle

6. Peter Jackson

Producer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

7. Martin Scorsese

Director | Taxi Driver

Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...

Shutter Island Hugo The Wolf of Wall Street

8. Marc Forster

Producer | World War Z

Marc Forster is a German-born filmmaker and screenwriter. He is best known for directing the films Monster's Ball (2001), Finding Neverland (2004), Stay (2005), Stranger than Fiction (2006), The Kite Runner (2007), Quantum of Solace (2008), and World War Z (2013).

His breakthrough film was Monster's...

Machine Gun Preacher World War Z

9. Chris Renaud

Actor | Despicable Me 2

Director Chris Renaud has established himself as a heavyweight in the world of animation following the phenomenal box office success of recent movies Despicable Me (2010), Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2012) and Despicable Me 2 (2013). Along with Pierre Coffin and Eric Guillon, he also co-created the ...

Despicable Me The Lorax Despicable Me 2

10. Joss Whedon

Writer | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon is the middle of five brothers - his younger brothers are Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon. Both his father, Tom Whedon and his grandfather, John Whedon were successful television writers. Joss' mother, Lee Stearns, was a history teacher and she also wrote novels as Lee Whedon. Whedon was ...

The Avengers Much Ado About Nothing

11. Paul Feig

Producer | Freaks and Geeks

Paul Feig was born on September 17, 1962 in Mount Clemens, Michigan, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for Freaks and Geeks (1999), The Heat (2013) and Spy (2015). He has been married to Laurie Karon since September 23, 1994.

Bridesmaids The Heat

12. Nicolas Winding Refn

Writer | The Neon Demon

Writer, director, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1970, to Anders Refn, a film director and editor, and Vibeke Winding (née Tuxen), a cinematographer. Just before he turned 11, in 1981, he moved to New York with his parents, where he lived out his teen years. ...

Drive Only God Forgives

13. Joe Johnston

Director | Captain America: The First Avenger

Joe Johnston was born on May 13, 1950 in Austin, Texas, USA as Joseph Eggleston Johnston II. He is a director, known for Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and The Rocketeer (1991).

The Wolfman Captain America: The First Avenger

14. Louis Leterrier

Director | The Incredible Hulk

Louis Leterrier was born on June 17, 1973 in Paris, France. He is a director and producer, known for The Incredible Hulk (2008), Unleashed (2005) and The Transporter (2002).

Clash of the Titans Now You See Me

15. Steve McQueen

Director | 12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen was born on October 9, 1969 in London, England as Steve Rodney McQueen. He is a director and writer, known for 12 Years a Slave (2013), Shame (2011) and Hunger (2008). He is married to Bianca Stigter. They have two children.

Shame 12 Years a Slave

16. Francis Lawrence

Director | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Francis Lawrence was born on March 26, 1971 in Vienna, Austria. He is a director and producer, known for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), Constantine (2005) and I Am Legend (2007).

Water for Elephants The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

17. Chris Sanders

Writer | Lilo & Stitch

Born and raised in Colorado, Chris Sanders fell in love with animation at the age of ten after seeing Ward Kimball animated shorts on 'The Wonderful World of Disney'. He began drawing, and applied to CalArts after his grandmother told him about the animation program at the school. He majored in ...

How to Train Your Dragon The Croods

18. Lee Unkrich

Editor | Coco

Lee Unkrich is an Academy Award-winning director at Pixar Animation Studios. He most recently directed Disney.Pixar's critically-acclaimed "Coco", which received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Song.

As the director of Disney.Pixar's "Toy Story 3," Lee was also awarded an ...

Toy Story 3

19. Shane Black

Writer | Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Considered one of the pioneer screenwriters of the action genre, Black made his mark with his Lethal Weapon (1987) screenplay. He also collaborated on the story of the sequel, Lethal Weapon 2 (1989). Each successive script he turned in had a higher price attached it, from The Last Boy Scout (1991) ...

Iron Man 3

20. J.J. Abrams

Producer | Lost

Jeffrey Jacob Abrams was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, the son of TV producer parents. Abrams planned on going to dental school, but decided to study film at Sarah Lawrence College. At 15, he wrote the music for Don Dohler's Nightbeast (1982). In his senior year, he and Jill ...

Super 8 Star Trek Into Darkness

21. Justin Lin

Producer | Furious 6

Justin Lin is a Taiwanese-American film director whose films have grossed $2 billion worldwide. He is best known for his work on Better Luck Tomorrow, The Fast and the Furious 3-6 and Star Trek Beyond. He is also known for his work on television shows like Community and the second season of True ...

Fast Five Fast & Furious 6

22. James Wan

Writer | Saw

James Wan (born 26 February 1977) is an Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw (2004) and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2010)...

Insidious The Conjuring Insidious: Chapter 2

23. Todd Phillips

Producer | Joker

Todd Phillips was born on December 20, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Todd Bunzl. He is a producer and director, known for Joker (2019), Due Date (2010) and Old School (2003).

Due Date The Hangover Part II The Hangover Part III

24. Gore Verbinski

Director | Rango

Gore Verbinski, one of American cinema's most inventive directors who was a punk-rock guitarist as a teenager and had to sell his guitar to buy his first camera, is now the director of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) which made the industry record for highest opening weekend of ...

Rango The Lone Ranger

25. Michael Bay

Producer | Armageddon

A graduate of Wesleyan University, Michael Bay spent his 20s working on advertisements and music videos. His first projects after film school were in the music video business. He created music videos for Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Lionel Richie, Wilson Phillips, Donny Osmond and Divinyls. His work won...

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Pain & Gain

26. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

Robin Hood Prometheus The Counselor

27. Ben Affleck

Producer | Argo

American actor and filmmaker Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California, and was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His mother, Chris Anne (née Boldt), is a school teacher, and his father, Timothy Byers Affleck, is a social worker; the two are divorced. Ben has...

The Town Argo

28. Tom Hooper

Director | The Danish Girl

Tom Hooper was educated at one of England's most prestigious schools, Westminster. His first film, Runaway Dog, was made when he was 13 years old and shot on a Clockwork 16mm Bolex camera, using 100 feet of film. At age 18, he wrote, directed and produced the short film Painted Faces (1992), which ...

The King's Speech Les Miserables

29. Simon West

Director | Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Simon West was born in 1961 in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. He is a producer and director, known for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), The General's Daughter (1999) and The Mechanic (2011).

The Mechanic The Expendables 2 Stolen

30. David Fincher

Director | Se7en

David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials...

The Social Network The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

31. Woody Allen

Writer | Manhattan

Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Midnight in Paris To Rome with Love Blue Jasmine

32. Alexander Payne

Director | Nebraska

Director, producer and screenwriter Alexander Payne was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents, Peggy (Constantine) and George Payne, ran a Greek restaurant. His father is of Greek and German ancestry, and his mother is of Greek descent; the family name was originally Papadopoulos. He has two older ...

The Descendants Nebraska

33. Steven Soderbergh

Director | Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to ...

Contagion Haywire Magic Mike Side Effects

34. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

The Adventures of Tintin War Horse Lincoln



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