The 10 Best Directors Of All Time, According To Reddit

The 10 Best Directors Of All Time, According To Reddit

There are plenty of acclaimed and celebrated movie directors out there, but only a certain few have truly put their stamp on the world of cinema over the years. These are the filmmakers who are often in the consideration of the greatest of all time.

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Obviously, the community of Reddit is willing to share their opinion on any topic, including one as difficult as naming the best movie director of all time. While Redditors failed to offer a very diverse group of filmmakers in terms of directors of color or female directors, the names put for are responsible for so many of the greatest movies of all time.

10 Billy Wilder

It is a true talent of a director to be able to jump between genres and play with different tones in their movies. This is something Billy Wilder excelled at as his movies all shared his sharp skills yet felt very different from one another.

From romantic comedies like The Apartment to intense noirs like Double Indemnity, Wilder’s list of classics is hugely impressive. Redditor jtr99 spoke to Wilder’s continued influence by claiming he helped to create “the very foundations of modern filmmaking.”

9 Sergio Leone

There are some directors who can be looked at for helping to create an entire movement in cinema and Sergio Leone certainly fits the category. Though he was not the only filmmaker to do so, Leone popularized the Spaghetti Western genre with his Dollars Trilogy.

Along with creating a look and style of Westerns that changed the genre forever and made stars out of the likes of Clint Eastwood, Leone is responsible for some of the most iconic movie moments of all time. Redditor jaybyrd570 pointed to “the first ten minutes of Once Upon a Time in the West” as particularly masterful.


8 Paul Thomas Anderson

While the Redditors mostly picked older directors with long and established careers, there were a few newer talents who some found worthy of consideration as the greatest of all time. Redditor TaoTeCha claims Paul Thomas Anderson “tops everyone” in their opinion.

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Anderson made his first feature film in 1996 but has since made a number of modern classics, from Boogie Nights to There Will Be Blood to The Master. His latest movie, Licorice Pizza, has also been praised as one of 2021’s best movies.

7 Ridley Scott

Looking at some of the names suggested as the greatest director of all time, it is a reminder of some of the incredible filmmaking careers that are still going strong. Ridley Scott is one example as he released two acclaimed movies in 2021, House of Gucci and The Last Duel.

Throughout his long career, Scott has made countless classics and popular movies, from Alien to Blade Runner to Gladiator. Redditor rcjack86 named Scott as the greatest director of all time and claimed they will “watch anything with that name on it.”

6 Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan is another fairly new director to be named among these many veterans. However, it is not entirely surprising to see him named by some as the greatest director of all time given the amount of love he receives in pockets of the online community.

While his Dark Knight trilogy cemented his legendary status among many fans, he has continuously made innovative and ambitious projects like Memento, Inception, and Dunkirk. Redditor childish_jalapenos praised the originality of his movies and claimed Nolan has “yet to put out a bad movie.”

5 George Miller

George Miller burst onto the screen with Mad Max, a hugely influential independent movie that sparked a long-running franchise. Nearly four decades later, Miller returned to the franchise to direct the wild and epic Mad Max: Fury Road. That accomplishment alone earns him consideration as the greatest of all time from some fans.

But beyond the Mad Max movies, Miller has also made some acclaimed family-friendly movies, including Babe: Pig in the City and Happy Feet. Redditor GoredonTheDestroyer insisted that any director that can pull that off “got my vote.”

4 Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is a filmmaker who seems to single-handedly defined movie-going for a particular generation. His engrossing adventures like ET, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park remain among the most entertaining movies of all time. Yet Spielberg also delivers powerful adult dramas like Schindler’s List, Munich, and Saving Private Ryan.

As Spielberg receives further acclaim for his version of West Side Story, his influence remains as strong as ever. Redditor PM_ME_A_HORSE suggested modern movies are still attempting to replicate Spielberg’s “visceral impact and sense of wonder.”

3 Akira Kurosawa

While Reddit’s choices for the best director of all time lack certain diversity, Akira Kurosawa was one international filmmaker who was suggested by many users. In fact, Kurosawa’s movies like Throne of Blood and Seven Samurai have influenced many of these other filmmakers.

RELATED: 10 Ways Akira Kurosawa Has Influenced Modern Blockbusters

The Japanese auteur created a number of masterpieces that transcended language and stood the test of time. One Redditor claimed Kurosawa’s movies “set a new standard in filmmaking” and the impact of his career cannot be denied.

2 Alfred Hitchcock

There are so many criteria someone could consider when thinking of the greatest director of all time. For Redditor urbanplowboy, in terms of “the most consistently inventive, successful, acclaimed and influential” director, they see Alfred Hitchcock as the obvious choice.

Hitchcock helped to define suspense in movies with his numerous classics. Vertigo, Psycho, North by Northwest and so many more movies made for the thrill rides of their era and he amassed an incredible legacy with filmmakers still trying to imitate his distinct style.

1 Stanley Kubrick

Naming the best anything of all time is a hard task. With the subjective nature of filmmaking, it is especially hard to pick one outstanding director above all others. One Redditor suggested their own personal “favorite” director is Stanley Kubrick who also happened to be named by many others.

When simply thinking of movies in general and the frames that come to mind, Kubrick might be responsible for more of them than any other director. From Dr. Strangelove to 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Shining to Full Metal Jacket, he has made one engrossing, challenging, and brilliant masterpiece after another.

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About The Author

Colin McCormick
(1902 Articles Published)

Colin McCormick is a Senior Writer with Screen Rant and has been a proud member of the team since 2019. In addition to his work as Screen Rant, Colin is also a writer of News, Feature and Review pieces at Game Rant. Colin has had a long passion and obsession with movies going back to the first time he saw The Lion King in theaters. Along with movies, Colin stays up-to-date on the latest must-see TV shows. While he loves to find interesting projects in any kind of genre, he has a special movie of crime stories that are infused with a little dark humor much like the work of his favorite author, Elmore Leonard.

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