Famous Directors and their Famous Movies

It seems like there are only seven or eight famous movie directors. I was always getting them confused with one another, so I made this handy chart. Not every film from that director is listed below. I only included movie titles I recognized.

             
 
J.J. Abrams

J.J. Abrams is also a well-known writer, also responsible for television and motion-picture dramas such as LOST and Cloverfield. He specializes in stories with an unexpected angle or perspective.

Star Trek Into Darkness
Super 8
Star Trek
Mission Impossible III


Woody Allen

Woody Allen rivals Steven Speilberg in the number of films he has directed. His films tend to be New York based dramas which he writes himself. Probably would win more Oscars if he seemed to care about them.

Blue Jasmine
To Rome with Love
Midnight in Paris
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Whatever Works
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Match Point
Small Time Crooks
Sweet and Lowdown
Deconstructing Harry
Everyone Says I Love You
Mighty Aphrodite
Bullets Over Broadway
Manhattan Murder Mystery
Stardust Memories
Interiors
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Radio Days
Hannah and Her Sisters
Zelig
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
Manhattan
Annie Hallwon Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director
Love and Death
Sleeper
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask
Bananas
Take the Money and Run
What's Up, Tiger Lily?

Wes Andersen

Wes Andersen creates independent movies and fascinating characters like no one else. Casts the Wilson brothers and Bill Murray.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Moonrise Kingdom
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Darjeeling Limited
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
The Royal Tenenbaums
Rushmore
Bottle Rocket

Judd Apatow

The suddenly white-hot comedy writer/producer. Discovered Seth Rogan and Jay Baruchel.

This is 40
Funny People
Knocked Up
The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks is an unstoppable director of epic comedies. The only comedy director on this list, he is not afraid of putting a stupid gag into a script.

Dracula - Dead and Loving It
Robin Hood - Men in Tights
Life Stinks
Spaceballs
History of the World Part I
High Anxiety
Silent Movie
Young Frankenstein
Blazing Saddles
The Producers


Tim Burton

Known for directing dark animated features, Batman and Johnny Depp.

Frankenweenie
Dark Shadows
Alice in Wonderland
Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Big Fish
Planet of the Apes
Sleepy Hollow
Mars Attacks!
Ed Wood
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Batman Returns
Edward Scissorhands
Batman
Beetlejuice
Pee-wee's Big Adventure
Vincent

John Carpenter

Well known for horror films and groundbreaking special-effects.

The Ward
Ghosts of Mars
Vampires
Escape From L.A.
In the Mouth of Madness
Village of the Damned
They Live
Prince Of Darkness
Big Trouble in Little China
Starman
Christine
The Thing
Escape from New York
The Fog
Halloween
Assault on Precinct 13
Dark Star

James Cameron

James Cameron directed Terminator 2, which is a pretty damn good film. Famous for outlandish special effects and unbelievable budgets.

Avatar 2
Battle Angel
Avatar
Titanic won Oscar for best picture
True Lies
Terminator 2 - Judgment Day
The Abyss
Aliens
The Terminator

Joel and Ethan Coen

Brilliant crime-based dramas with fascinating characters, themes of greed and an ace comic thread.

Inside Llewyn Davis
True Grit
A Serious Man
Burn After Reading
No Country for Old Menwon Oscar for best picture
Paris, I Love You
Intolerable Cruelty
The Ladykillers
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
The Big Lebowski
Fargo
The Man Who Wasn't There
The Hudsucker Proxy
Barton Fink
Miller's Crossing
Raising Arizona
Blood Simple



Francis Ford Coppola

Best known for the Godfather movies.

Twixt
Tetro
Youth Without Youth
The Rainmaker
Jack
Bram Stoker's Dracula
The Godfather, Part III
New York Stories
Tucker - The Man and His Dream
Peggy Sue Got Married
Captain EO
The Cotton Club
Rumble Fish
The Outsiders
One From The Heart
Apocalypse Now
The Godfather, Part IIwon Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director
The Conversation
The Godfatherwon Oscar for best picture

David Cronenberg

An ace at bringing ugly and difficult-to-visualize scenes to the big screen.

Maps to the Stars
Cosmopolis
A Dangerous Method
Eastern Promises
A History of Violence
Eastern Promises
eXistenZ
Crash
M. Butterfly
Naked Lunch
Dead Ringers
The Fly
The Dead Zone
Videodrome
Scanners
Fast Company

Cameron Crowe

Champion of fun romantic comedies and drama.

We Bought a Zoo
Elizabethtown
Vanilla Sky
Almost Famous
Jerry Maguire
Singles
Say Anything

Brian De Palma

Master of stylized action movies.

Passion
The Black Dahlia
Redacted
Femme Fatale
Mission To Mars
Snake Eyes
Mission Impossible
Carlito's Way
Raising Cain
The Bonfire of the Vanities
Casualties of War
The Untouchables
Body Double
Scarface
Blow Out
Dressed to Kill
Carrie
Obsession
The Wedding Party
Sisters


Clint Eastwood

Having Clint Eastwood direct your film is the shortest path to an Oscar nomination.

J. Edgar
Hereafter
Invictus
Gran Torino
Changeling
Letters from Iwo Jima
Flags of Our Fathers
Million Dollar Babywon Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director
Mystic River
True Crime
The Bridges of Madison County
Unforgivenwon Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director


Bobby and Peter Farrelly

Some directors refuse to put fart jokes in their movies. The Farrelly brothers are not those directors.

Dumb and Dumber To
Movie 43
Three Stooges
Hall Pass
The Heartbreak Kid
Fever Pitch
Stuck On You
Shallow Hal
Me, Myself & Irene
There's Something About Mary
Kingpin
Dumb and Dumber


Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson, like all successful directors has proven that his own vision and ideas are good enough to believe in.

He is not afraid of taking large financial risks. May have made $200 million dollars on a single movie.

Seven Nights
Apocalypto
The Passion of the Christ
Braveheartwon Oscar for best picture
The Man Without a Face


 
Alfred Hitchcock

Master of Suspense. His movies seem to hold their entertainment and monetary value for many decades.

Frenzy
The Birds
Psycho
North By Northwest
Vertigo
The Wrong Man
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Rope
To Catch a Thief
Rear Window
Dial M for Murder
Notorious
Suspicion
Spellbound
Lifeboat
Shadow of a Doubt
Rebeccawon Oscar for best picture
Sabotage
Saboteur
The 39 Steps


Ron Howard

Ron Howard is responsible for a string of commercial and culturally successful movies.

I've seen most of his movies. I think most Americans have seen most of his movies.

Jay-Z: Made in America
Rush
The Dilemma
Angels & Demons
Frost/Nixon
The Da Vinci Code
Cinderella Man
The Missing
A Beautiful Mindwon Oscar for best picture
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
EdTV
Ransom
Apollo 13
Far and Away
Backdraft
Parenthood
Willow
Gung Ho
Cocoon
Splash


John Hughes

John Hughes made eight really good movies. He defined and changed American life in the eighties.

He is like George Lucas without ILM.

Curly Sue
Uncle Buck
She's Having a Baby
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Weird Science
The Breakfast Club
Sixteen Candles


Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson is the guy who did the Lord of the Rings movies. As if you could forget. He probably lives in fear that he will never again get to do something as epic.

The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun
The Hobbit There and Back Again
The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey
The Lovely Bones
King Kong
LOTR: The Return of the Kingwon Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director
LOTR: The Two Towers
LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Frighteners
Heavenly Creatures
Dead Alive
Bad Taste


Spike Jonze

Spike Jonze specializes in filming the unfilmable.

Also, music videos.

Her
Where the Wild Things Are
Adaptation
Being John Malkovich


Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick would be the master of suspense if we hadn't already given that title to Hitchcock. He made very good, epic movies.

Eyes Wide Shut
Full Metal Jacket
The Shining
A Clockwork Orange
2001 - A Space Odyssey
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Lolita
Barry Lyndon
Spartacus
Paths of Glory


Ang Lee

Born in Taiwan. He is a good bet for a Best Picture Oscar in the next five years.

Life of PiTaking Woodstock
Brokeback Mountainwon Oscar for best director
Hulk
Lust, Caution
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The Ice Storm
Sense & Sensibility
Eat Drink Man Woman

Spike Lee

Spike Lee's movies feature epic and well-wrtten characters and (always?) deal with race relations.

Inside Man 2
Old Boy
Red Hook Summer
Miracle at St Anna
When the Levees Broke - A Requiem In Four Acts
Inside Man
She Hate Me
25th Hour
The Original Kings of Comedy
Summer of Sam
Clockers
Crooklyn
Malcolm X
Jungle Fever
Mo' Better Blues
Do the Right Thing
School Daze
She's Gotta Have It


George Lucas

George Lucas is probably the most well-rounded movie-maker on this list. He founded at least five entertainment companies and loves to be on the cutting edge of technology.

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars
American Graffiti
THX 1138


Sidney Lumet

Sindey Lumet is known for political and judical thrillers.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
The Verdict
Deathtrap
The Wiz
Network
Dog Day Afternoon
Murder on the Orient Express
Serpico
The Pawnbroker
Long Day's Journey Into Night


Leo McCarey

Leo McCarey directed about 110 films.

An Affair to Remember
The Bells of St. Mary's
Going My Way won Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director
The Awful Truthwon Oscar for best director
Make Way for Tomorrow
Duck Soup


Michael Moore

Michael Moore is probably the most famous living documentary filmmaker. He has more experience getting behind the scenes than Borat.

Capitalism: A Love Story

Sicko
Fahrenheit 9/11
Bowling for Columbine
Canadian Bacon
Roger & Me


Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols directed a bunch of different movies which you have heard of.

Charlie Wilson's War
Closer
Primary Colors
Wit
The Birdcage
Wolf
Regarding Henry
Postcards from the Edge
Working Girl
Biloxi Blues
Silkwood
Carnal Knowledge
Catch-22
The Graduate
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Christopher Nolan

Comic Con's favorite movie director, he specializes in mind and time-bending special effects and terse movie titles.

Makes action movies.

The Dark Knight Rises
Inception
The Dark Knight
The Prestige
Batman Begins
Insomnia
Memento
Following


Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski has had an infamous and terrible life story featuring Nazis, the Mansons and statutory rape.

D
Venus in Fur
Carnage
The Ghost Writer
Oliver Twist
The Pianistwon Oscar for best director
The Ninth Gate
Frantic
Pirates
Tess
Chinatown
The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me but Your Teeth Are in My Neck
Rosemary's Baby


Sam Raimi

I know Sam Raimi because of Evil Dead and Spider-Man.

He strikes me as a guy who would be happy making $100,000 films as long as he kept getting to make them.

Oz: The Great and Powerful
Drag Me to Hell
Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man
The Gift
For Love of the Game
A Simple Plan
The Quick and the Dead
Army of Darkness
Darkman
Evil Dead II
The Evil Dead


Guy Ritchie

An English director who excels at Crime Caper action and an interwoven storyline.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Sherlock Holmes
RocknRolla
Revolver
Swept Away
Snatch
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
The Hard Case


 
George Romero

George Romero is the king of Zombie movies.

Diary of the Dead

Land of the Dead
Monkey Shines
Day of the Dead
Creepshow
Dawn of the Dead
The Crazies
Night of the Living Dead


Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese can celebrate his very solid and steady body of successful films.

Silence
The Wolf of Wall Street
Sinatra
Hugo Cabaret
Shutter Island [Blu-ray]
The Departed won Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director
The Aviator
Gangs of New York
Casino
Cape Fear
GoodFellas
New York Stories
The Last Temptation of Christ
The Color of Money
After Hours
Raging Bull
Taxi Driver

M. Night Shyamalan

May someday escape his reputation for a twist ending.

Like Woody Allen, M. Night Shyamalan obviously doesn't want to make the same kind of movies that other people are capeable of making.

After Earth
The Last Airbender
The Happening
Lady in the Water
The Village
Signs
Unbreakable
The Sixth Sense


Zack Snyder

Executive producers love Zack Snyder. He has been very successful at translating stylized works onto the big screen.

Superman: Man of Steel
Sucker Punch
Watchmen
300
Dawn of the Dead

Steven Soderbergh

The Colorist.

Broke onto the big time with Sex, Lies and Videotape. Now known for Traffic and the Ocean's Eleven franchise.

Side-Effects
Magic Mike
Haywire
The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregs
The Informant!
The Girlfriend Experience
Che Part Two
Che Part One
Ocean's Thirteen
The Good German
Ocean's Twelve
Ocean's Eleven
Trafficwon Oscar for best director
Erin Brockovich
The Limey
Kafka
sex, lies, and videotape


Steven Speilberg

Regarded as the best director.

Invented the summer blockbuster with Jaws.

Has never done a mob movie.

Indiana Jones 5
Robopocalipse
Lincoln
The Adventures of Tin Tin
War Horse
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Munich
War of the Worlds
The Terminal
Catch Me If You Can
Minority Report
A.I.
Saving Private Ryanwon Oscar for best director
Amistad
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Schindler's List won Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director
Jurassic Park
Hook
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
Empire of the Sun
Always
The Color Purple
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Twilight Zone - The Movie
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
1941
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Jaws
Duel


Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone is the King of Historical Dramas. He has pretty much made a movie about everything that happened in the 60s.

Savages
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

W.
World Trade Center
Alexander
Any Given Sunday
U Turn
Nixon
Natural Born Killers
Heaven & Earth
JFK
The Doors
Born on the Fourth of July won Oscar for best director
Talk Radio
Wall Street
Platoon won Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director
Salvador


Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino emerged as the director who had the nerve to put calculated violence and disturbing events on film.

Django Unchained
Kill Bill v.3
Inglourious Basterds
Death Proof
Kill Bill - Volume Two
Kill Bill - Volume One
Jackie Brown
Four Rooms
Pulp Fiction
Reservoir Dogs


Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott is an absolutely dependable action-heavy hit-maker. Even the worst of his movies is worth your money.

I'd love to see him do a Terminator movie.

The Counselor
Prometheus
Robin Hood
Body of Lies
American Gangster
A Good Year
Kingdom of Heaven
Matchstick Men
Black Hawk Down
Hannibal
Gladiator
G.I. Jane
1492: Conquest of Paradise
Thelma & Louise
Black Rain
Legend
Blade Runner
Alien
The Duellists


Gus Van Sant

Creates experience movies often involving one main title character.

Promised Land
Restless
Milk
Paranoid Park
Paris, Je T'Aime
Last Days
Elephant
Gerry
Finding Forrester
Psycho
Good Will Hunting
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
My Own Private Idaho
Drugstore Cowboy

Andy and Lana Wachowski

The Matrix directors.

Masters of the fight sequence.

Jupiter Ascending
Cloud Atlas
Cobalt Neural 9
Speed Racer
The Matrix Revolutions
The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix
Bound

Peter Weir

Australian Director with a history of characters in a foreign setting.

The Way Back
Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World
The Truman Show
Fearless
Green Card
Dead Poets Society
The Mosquito Coast
Witness
The Year of Living Dangerously
Gallipoli

Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder probably won more Oscars than anyone else on this list (6).

Made comedies and dramas.

The Apartmentwon Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director
Some Like It Hot
Witness For the Prosecution
The Seven Year Itch
Stalag 17
Ace in the Hole
Sunset Boulevard
The Lost Weekendwon Oscar for best picture won Oscar for best director
Double Indemnity
Five Graves to Cairo


John Woo

John Woo is the face of Hong Kong action movies and was the first to survive a move to Hollywood production.

When in doubt: shootout.

Reign Of Assassins
Red Cliff International Version - Part I & Part II

Paycheck
Windtalkers
Mission Impossible II
Face/Off
Broken Arrow
Hard Target
Hard Boiled
The Killer
A Better Tomorrow II
A Better Tomorrow


Robert Zemeckis

Among the best at fully integrating cutting edge effects in a movie, is becoming the superstar of modern 3-D films.

Flight
Disney's A Christmas Carol
Beowulf
The Polar Express
Cast Away
What Lies Beneath
Contact
Forrest Gumpwon Oscar for best director won Oscar for best picture
Death Becomes Her
Back to the Future Part III
Back to the Future Part II
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Back to the Future
Romancing the Stone
Used Cars
I Wanna Hold Your Hand

 

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