Posted by: ckckred | October 20, 2013

Who Is The Best Director Working Today?

The three that I most admire currently are Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coen brothers, and Michael Haneke.

andersonPaul Thomas Anderson is a genius in my opinion and every movie that he has made is great.  He brings out amazing performances in actors like Daniel Day-Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix, and even Adam Sandler.  Not to mention be provides an acute portrayal on lofty subjects without resorting to manipulation or sentiment.


The Coen brothers also provide a wry look at society.  Their movie combine an in-depth look at deeply flawed characters while utilizing dark and often bizarre humor.  Not to mention they’re masters of many genres from westerns to musicals.


Michael Haneke is also one of my favorites.  I saw my first Haneke film, Amour, a bit over a year ago.  Since then, I’ve also seen CachéThe White RibbonThe Piano Teacher, and Funny Games (1997).  All of them are takes on the sadism and brutality of humanity.  A Haneke movie isn’t for everyone, but his films thrill me like few others.  Also, I actually got to meet him and get his autograph.

But who would you pick?


  1. Great post, Spielberg would have to be on the list as well as Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola.

    • Thanks!. I’d love to say Francis Ford Coppola (he’s in my top 3 of all time), but he hasn’t done anything great for a while :-(. The other two are very good choices though.

  2. If you’re only talking about the current generation of directors, I’d need to reflect on it very carefully. If we’re just talking about directors still making films, it’d probably between Scorsese and Lynch for me (though Lynch is possibly not making films anymore?)

    • Thanks for the comment. I mostly focused on director’s of the current generation. I would throw Scorsese and Lynch there in the mix though.

      I heard that Lynch was trying to pursue a Ronnie Rocket movie. Hope that comes through.

  3. All good names. Wes Anderson has to be up there, too. And Jeff Nichols. And a bunch of others.

    • Thanks for the comment. Both two strong choices I can’t disagree with.

      • Oh. I don’t know how I managed to omit Alphonso Cuaron. Like I said in my review of Gravity, that dude might be my favorite director.

  4. For me I’d probably say Tarantino. I’ve never seen anything from the first guy you mentioned though. I want to see Haneke’s Amour!

    Though I’ve only seen 1 film from Wes Anderson and the Coen brothers, I was really impressed by Moonrise Kingdom & No Country For Old Men, can’t wait for their next films!

    • Thanks for the comment. Try checking out some work from PTA and Haneke, as well as more from Wes Anderson and the Coens. They have some outstanding films.

  5. I dig you’re style, man. Not only is De Niro you’re favourite actors but The Coens and PTA would be my choices for directors too. I’d also give David Lynch a shout.

    • Thanks! The Coens and PTA always make great stuff. I would have said Lynch, but he hasn’t done a film in a while. I heard he’s working on a Ronnie Rocket script he’s been making for decades. Hope that comes through.

  6. Scorsese has to be up there for me, and I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave but Hunger and Shame were amazing so I’d probably sling Steve McQueen in there too.

    • Thanks for the comment. I would have said Scorsese, but I tried focusing on the younger generation. I’ve only seen Hunger from McQueen and thought it was great. I’m trying to see 12 Years a Slave within the next week.

  7. I’m not as familiar with Haneke, but the other two are some great choices. As for myself, I really have no clue who I’d consider the BEST, but my current favorite would probably be Zack Snyder. Yeah, that’s right, lol. I just love his signature style and general campy approach to film. 😛

    • Thanks for the comment. Try checking out Haneke’s work, he’s got some great films.

  8. Like a few others, I’d give Lynch a nod though it’s been years since his last theatrical piece (INLAND EMPIRE from 2006). If I had the cash, I’d sit in on one of his transcendental meditation sessions.

    • Thanks for the comment. I would have mentioned Lynch, though it’s been years since his last movie. Hope he goes through with Ronnie Rocket.

  9. I’d say Alfonso Cuarón. Just wish he made more movies, and faster.

    • Thanks for the comment. Cuaron is a great choice.

      • I second Michael about Cuarón, he’s definitely more ‘quality over quantity’ kind of guy. My other faves are Michael Mann, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan and after having seen 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen is definitely one to watch!!

  10. Nice choices. For me, and for right now it’s Ron Howard, Wes Anderson, and Chris Nolan

    • Thanks! Nice picks!

  11. Without a doubt it is Paul Anderson. Those Resident Evil movies are amazing.

  12. Nice list. I will just throw in some other names that people have already mentioned: Wes Anderson, Steve McQueen, and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained was an absolute masterpiece).

    I also think Lee Daniels has to be on any list of truly original and talented up-and-coming directors. Also, I know that Lars Von Trier is a controversial filmmaker, but he is supremely talented. And Nicholas Winding Refn needs a shout-out as well.

    I am looking forward to reading some more of your stuff!

    • Thanks! Nice picks!

  13. Well I’m a P T Anderson devotee – in fact I devoted an entire post to him s couple of months back! – so I’m very glad to see him on your list. But like Jacob, I’d put Wes Anderson and Steve McQueen right up there too. But… I’d need to start watching more non-US/British films… as we’re way to focussed on that. For example, Pawel Pawlikowski, who just won best director at the LondonFilm Festival is a brilliant talent. And I love Park Chan Wook.

    • Thanks! PTA is a great director, Inherent Vice is my most anticipated movie of next year.

  14. It’s a tossup between Paul Thomas Anderson and Darren Aronofsky for me.

    • Nice picks! Aronofsky’s a great director, one of the best working today.

  15. Man, you didn’t list “Benny’s Video” on your Haneke list; let that be the next movie you watch! If you like Haneke it’s a must see. 🙂

    This question is close to impossible to answer; every director listed on these comments are uber talented. There are no right or wrong answers here. Different directors are great for different reasons.

    For me a few of my favorites are:

    Aja Alexandre for horror.

    Michael Mann for his excellent framework.

    Christopher Nolan for his vision and courage at pushing film to new heights.

    James Cameron for his vivid imagination and strict attention to detail.

    The Farrelly Brothers for delivering some of the funniest comedies in the history of Cinema.

    And then the mentions of Haneke, Scorsese, Spielberg, Tarantino, Zack Snyder and every other director listed above are spectacular, as well.

    Good topic for a blog entry; next to impossible to list only one favorite. 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment. Nice picks. Got to watch Benny’s Video.

  16. Loved your article. Michael Haneke is for me a unique visionary who delivers. Many times I scratch my head with those directors who are considered amazing but I don’t get their message. Not with Haneke. He’s intellectual, artistic, and compassionate. I love him.

    • Thanks! Haneke’s a genius. I know some people find his work perplexing, but I think he’s a phenomenal director.

  17. Difficult question as there are some many great ones out there. I guess I’d say either Werner Herzog or Quentin Tarantino.

    • Thanks for the comment. Both great choices, though I have somehow never seen a Werner Herzog movie. I have Aguirre on my Netflix queue, looks like I’ll have to check it out soon.

  18. Good list! I would definitely say that Tarantino and Nolan are both damn fine directors.

    • Thanks! Both twp great choices.

  19. Nolan may have the most going for him right now. He’d be near top of my list, Ron Howard is also there he always delivers something solid. And although he hasn’t directed enough to really be in the running for a list like this, Ben Affleck is on his way if he keeps up the quality of what he’s done already.

    • Nice picks!

  20. Nice post. I think PT Anderson, the Coens and Tarantino for me, simply because I look forward to their releases more than anyone else’s.

    I would also throw out a couple of names not mentioned yet in the comments as they have directed some of my favourite films of recent years – Alejandro González Iñárritu because of 21 Grams, Biutiful and Amores Perros and Jacques Audiard (for The Beat That My Heart Skipped and A Prophet…I haven’t seen Rust and Bone yet).

    • Thanks! Nice picks, I will see anything by PTA, the Coens, and Tarantino.

  21. Godard is still the best filmmaking in the world if you ask me.

    Paul Thomas Anderson is my favourite however; I think you know how much I love The Master.

    • Thanks for the comment. I haven’t seen any of Godard’s recent movies, but he’s undoubtedly one of cinema’s brightest directors. And I’m in full agreement with PTA, I’ve seen The Master a few times, each viewing loving the movie even more.

Leave a Reply to Thomas Ostrowski Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: