0008: Best Modern Directors

  1. Baz Luhrmann - His work, in my eyes, is genius. He delivers art and beauty with more skill and excitement than anyone in the past ten years for me. Maybe this placement is hyperbole, let's see what the future holds.
  2. Joel Coen - The Coen Bros. create funny, sad, and deep films. With Fargo, Blood Simple, Miller's Crossing, The Big Lebowski, and Barton Fink, Joel Coen created several career's worth of wonderful, cerebral films.
  3. David Lynch - The king of weird subversion returned with Mulholland Drive, but his ouvre has always been praise worthy.
  4. Pedro Almodovar - Talk to Her and All About My Mother are enough by themselves to life him to this list...the rest of it ain't bad.
  5. Ang Lee - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a majoy event in my movie-going life. I even thought that his take on the Hulk was worthy of praise.
  6. Peter Jackson - Before The Lord of the Rings, there was Heavenly Creatures. This man has a serious gift for movie-making. His work is a career's worth already, and he's still got many years in him.
  7. Spike Jonze - Sure, it's only been two films, but they were whoppers. I love Being John Malkovich, I admire Adaptation., I think that Mr. Jonze is our most talented satirical director.
  8. Todd Haynes - See The Velvet Goldmine, then see Far from Heaven, then we can talk. Then you can go rent everything else he's done.
  9. Peter Weir - An underappreciated director who has made great films and continues to work hard. The Truman Show is one of the best of the 90's, and it's really thanks to Weir.
  10. Spike Lee - His passion always shows, and that is a very good thing. Do the Right Thing is one of the great films of the century, as well as the 80's.
  11. Hayao Miyazaki - He creates the best children's films in the world, but they are so much more than that. The term visual tapestry is thrown around so often, but it is truly deserved by every one of this genius' films.
  12. Wes Anderson - People like to label Anderson's films quirky, and I suppose they are. But I think that Anderson's visual style works so well with his choice of music and words that no matter how quirky his films get, the emotional tug is still present.
  13. Michael Mann - Sure, blame him for Miami Vice, but his visual flair and gloss have influenced an entire generation of filmmakers. His work in the 90's, with The Insider and The Last of the Mohicans being standouts, is wonderful, and his talent is terribly underappreciated.
  14. Quentin Tarantino - His style may be borrowed from countless directors before him, but Tarantino created two seminal 90's movies. His Pulp Fiction may prove to be his masterpiece, but Reservoir Dogs is a great film as well.
Author Comments: 

This includes every director who has made a film that has had a major cultural impact in the past twenty years. I'm not counting the 70's or anything before 1983. This list is based on modern work and modern work alone.

Honorable Mentions
Kar-Wai Wong - His In the Mood for Love is genius, but I need to see more.
Mira Nair - Loved Monsoon Wedding, haven't seen anything else.
Martin Scorcese - His modern work leaves much to be desired. I enjoy The King of Comedy, but I have to leave him off for now.
Steven Soderbergh - He actually probably belongs on this list, but I will need to give it more thought.
Darren Aronofsky - Requiem for a Dream and Pi are great, but I need to see if he can do it again.
Lars Von Trier - I adore Dancer in the Dark, but I need to see more of his work. There is no other director like him, and that is a serious compliment in this world of film.
P.T. Anderson - I haven't entirely bought into the hype, but I may yet.
Francois Ozon - His work is steady so far, but I'm not sure if it's him that dazzles me, or the actresses he chooses.

Petar Wear's movie "The Plumber" is one of the best movie what I have ever seen.

I think Peter Weir (not Wear).

I haven't seen The Plumber (but now I will), but I'm most pleased to see Peter Weir on this list. Definitely a director who deserves more attention.

Let's not forget that before HEAVENLY CREATURES, there was BAD TASTE and DEAD ALIVE. Two of the most underappreciated horror movies ever. And we MUST mention MEET THE FEEBLES.

your words on Wes Anderson's movies are very true. i think that the music really does make like the anderson movies From "Very Good" Too "Great"

a very mainstream list ... David Lynch, Peter Weir, and Almodóvar I can agree with ... the others are quite overrated commercial directors .. what about really great contemporary directors Hsiao-hsien Hou (Time to Live and the Time to Die), Abbas Kiarostami (Close-up), Béla Tarr (Sátantango), Atom Egoyan (Calendar), Robert Altman (Short Cuts), Jafir Panahi (The Circle), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Syndromes and a century), Hirokazu Kore-eda (After Life), Mike Leigh (Naked), Raoul Ruiz (Three Lives and Only One Death), Krzysztof Kieslowski (The Double Life of Veronique), Jia Zhangke (Unknown Pleasures), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Uzak)