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Greatest Modern Movie Directors: 3 Directors Who Stand Out From the Rest

By    |   Tuesday, 05 May 2015 08:36 PM

Today's greatest modern movie directors take the best of modern technology, talented actors, and intriguing scripts to make movies that will become classics over time.

Here's a look at the three modern movie directors who stand out from the rest.

1. Christopher Nolan

While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences appears to have trouble recognizing his work (much to fans' chagrin), Christopher Nolan is loved by critics and moviegoers and hailed by many as one of the greatest directors working today.

Nolan burst onto the scene in 2000 with his mind-bending, memory-lapse crime thriller "Memento," and directed the Al Pacino-Robin Williams' crime thriller "Insomnia" before revolutionizing the superhero genre with "Dark Knight" trilogy.

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Taking a gritty, real world approach to the origin story and eventual rise of Batman/Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Nolan's "Batman Begins" (2005) paved the way to monstrous success of "The Dark Knight" (2008) — where the Caped Crusader faced off against the Joker (Heath Ledger, in a frightening, posthumous-Oscar-winning performance).

Audiences ranked the movie No. 4 on IMDb's list of the 250 greatest films of all time. "The Dark Knight" was also a huge commercial hit, earning more than $1 billion in ticket sales worldwide, reported Box Office Mojo. The final film in the trilogy, "The Dark Knight Rises," was an even bigger hit, also topping the $1 billion mark across the globe.

Not limiting himself to superhero movies, Nolan traveled inside the complexities of the subconscious mind with the blockbuster "Inception" (2010); most recently, he expanded his horizons to the farthest reaches of outer space to examine wormholes, black holes, and the notion of love transcending the boundaries of space and time with "Interstellar."

“He’s the pre-eminent blockbuster auteur of our time, a fiercely rational puzzle-maker and problem-solver; the Mies van der Rohe of Hollywood,” wrote Robbie Collin of The Telegraph on Nolan and “Interstellar.”

“He prefers shooting on film to digital cameras, and strives to achieve special effects on set rather than at a computer-graphics workstation.”

2. Steven Spielberg

If Spielberg has proven anything in his illustrious, four decades-plus career as a director, no film genre is off limits. From the horror thriller "Jaws" (1975) and four "Indiana Jones" adventures, to the alien adventure "E.T. the Extraterrestrial" (1982) and "Jurassic Park" (1993), Spielberg's work was already legendary before his epic Holocaust drama "Schindler's List" (1993) catapulted his career into the stratosphere — and earned him the first of his two directing Oscars.

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Since that time, Spielberg has alternated between sci-fi, adventure, drama, and war films, directing such modern classics as "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), "Minority Report" (2002), "The Adventures of Tintin" (2011), and "War Horse" (2011).

His most recent effort was the critically acclaimed audience hit "Lincoln" (2012), which earned a four-star review from Roger Ebert and a Best Actor Oscar for Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln.

3. Clint Eastwood

With Oscar and  Director's Guild of America Award nominations for his 2014 Chris Kyle biopic "American Sniper," Eastwood has proven at age 84 that you're never too old to direct.

Since his critically acclaimed directorial debut with the thriller "Play Misty for Me" in 1971, he's won two Best Director Oscars (for 1992's "Unforgiven" and 2004's "Million Dollar Baby) and two Oscars for producing the same films.

Eastwood, who was well-established as an actor before he took up the director's mantle, has helmed 37 films in all. He's tackled several genres in the process, from Westerns, crime thrillers, mysteries, action adventures, war films, and, in 2014, the musical biopic "Jersey Boys."

Vote Now: Which of These Actors Stands the Test of Time?

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Today's greatest modern movie directors take the best of modern technology, talented actors, and intriguing scripts to make movies that will become classics over time. Here's a look at the three modern movie directors who stand out from the rest.
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2015-36-05
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 08:36 PM
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