Directors work with actors, cinematographers, editors, and craftspeople to bring the script to the screen. From sets and props to pace and expression, the director determines the detail of every scene. The final edit of the film is rarely up to the director — the studio has final cut. Directors also may lack veto power over product placement. Directors in these rankings worked on at least two top-grossing films since 2002.

Pick a time period: YTD | 1-year | 3-year | 5-year | 10-year | Since 2002
directors | The more smoking, the higher the score
1Baz Luhrmann478110
2Morten Tyldum357210
3Shane Black338110
4Joel Coen332110
Ethan Coen332110
5George Clooney323111
6Lee Daniels286111
7Antoine Fuqua281110
8Steven Spielberg269320
9Brian Helgeland267110
10Michael Bay232110
11Theodore Melfi231210
12Josh Boone210110
13John Pogue161110
14Tate Taylor155111
15John Crowley150110
16Jeff Nichols127110
17Stephen Frears125220
18Peter Jackson120220
19Angelina Jolie106110
20Bryan Singer102320
21Bill Pohlad97110
22Robert Zemeckis93110
23Marc Webb86111
24Dexter Fletcher84110
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Film data driven by Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down!, a project of Breathe California