This Top 20 is presented by new writer and all round movie buff Grif O’ The Wisp.
11. Jason Reitman
Movies: Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air.
Coming Up: Whispers in Bedlam. (just announced)
Why he makes the list: His father, Ivan Reitman, was a comedy director first and Jason has followed in these footsteps but is showing a real talent for character development as well. A skewed sense of humor has helped his movies become more than flash in the pan successes.
12. Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Movies: Amélie / The City of Lost Children / A Very Long Engagement / Micmacs.
Coming Up: TBA
Why he makes the list: Hailing from France Jeunet’s films are colorful masterpieces of the weird and the strange. Almost expressionist in his leaning Jeunet’s films are like paintings with a splash of color here and a dot of another there. Breathtaking to watch.
13. Julie Taymor
Movies: Across the Universe / Frida / Titus.
Coming Up: The Tempest
Why he makes the list: A second woman on the list Taymor has shown a taste for twisting the past into something new and fun. She plays with stage inspired scripts and music in a way that no other director working does all with a visual flair.
14. Kevin MacDonald
Movies: The Last King of Scotland / State of Play / Touching the Void.
Coming Up: The Eagle with Channing Tatum.
Why he makes the list: Plays with politics in his movies but in different genres. Thrillers and Dramas are fair game, metaphorical historical pieces coming up. McDonald definitely has something to say and says it well.
15. Martin McDonagh
Movies: In Bruges, Six Shooter.
Coming Up: TBA
Why he makes the list: Already having had a more than successful run writing and directing for the stage McDonagh has recently moved to film – with excellent results. A touch of excellent dialogue and a knowledge of show don’t tell helps his body of work rise above the pack.
16. Matthew Vaughn
Movies: Layer Cake, Stardust, Kick Ass
Coming Up: X-Men: First Class
Why he makes the list: A new recruit to the realm of geekdom Vaughn works in the fantasy and superhero genres. His films are fun, funny and slick. He knows when to show the violence and when to hold back and doesn’t really show any fear as to what he shows on screen.
17. Neil Marshall
Movies: The Descent / Dog Soldiers / Doomsday / Centurion
Coming Up: Sacrilege
Why he makes the list: He broke onto the scene with a wholly original horror film with strong female characters. His follow-up, Doomsday, failed to live up to the same levels but he has kept writing and a new period piece is in the works. High hopes.
18. Paul Thomas Anderson
Movies: There Will Be Blood / Magnolia / Boogie Nights
Coming Up: Untitled religious project with Reese Witherspoon, Jeremy Renner and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Why he makes the list: A critical darling Anderson has always walked the line between indy and Hollywood. He gets very good performances from the actors and has worked with some excellent actors as a result. Drama is his forte but he doesn’t shy away from the violence when the story calls for it.
19. Rian Johnson
Movies: Brick / The Brothers Bloom
Coming Up: Looper with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis
Why he makes the list: With two films to his name Rian has turned heads by toying with genres. He first placed a film noir in a high school and then made a con movie into a dramedy. Both films had impressively intricate plots. What’s next?
20. Terry Gilliam
Movies: Monty Python and the Holy Grail / Life of Brian / Brazil, etc, etc.
Coming Up: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Why he makes the list: Having started with the comedy troop “Monty Python” Gilliam’s career has spanned several decades and yet he still puts out some of the most original and mind bending films every year. Never achieving blockbuster type fame he has built a strong, loyal fanbase.