Oscars - Best Director
John Ford claimed, "Most of the good things in pictures happen by accident." Luck is probably one factor, but judgment, vision, discipline and genius play their part too.
We present this collection as evidence, a map of brilliant fictions held together by filmmakers of the first order.
Musical2016128 minsDirector: Damien Chazelle
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone channel old-school Hollywood glamour in this bright and playful romantic musical from director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash).
Historical drama2010113 minsDirector: Tom Hooper
Oscar-winning tale of the relationship between King George VI (Colin Firth) and the Australian speech therapist who treated his stammer.
Drama2008120 minsDirector: Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle’s crowdpleaser, based around the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, won the Oscar for best picture.
War2008131 minsDirector: Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow won the Best Director Academy Award in 2010 for this visceral, thrilling story of an American maverick bomb disarmer in Iraq.
War1930133 minsDirector: Lewis Milestone
Lewis Milestone's pioneering, Oscar®-winning film is one of the most powerful films about the consequences of war
Drama1945101 minsDirector: Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder’s still searing film about alcoholism remains one of only two films to have won the Best Picture Oscar and the top prize at Cannes Film Festival.
Comedy1963121 minsDirector: Tony Richardson
Tony Richardson's raucous and innovative adaptation of Henry Fielding’s classic novel was the winner of four Academy Awards.
Drama2018135 minsDirector: Spike Lee
Spike Lee's stunning crime drama tells the stranger-than-fiction true story of an African-American police officer who infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s.
Drama2016111 minsDirector: Barry Jenkins
Winner of the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture (eventually!), Barry Jenkins’ intoxicating drama follows the furtive life of a gay black boy through 80s Miami.
Biopic2018133 minsDirector: Adam McKay
Christian Bale is the infamous Dick Cheney, in Adam ‘The Big Short’ McKay’s exuberant and acrid satire.
Drama2015129 minsDirector: Thomas McCarthy
The Best Picture winner at the 2016 Oscars is a searing account of Boston Globe journalists' uncovering of the Catholic Church child abuse scandal.
Science Fiction2016116 minsDirector: Denis Villeneuve
Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner star as the humans who make first contact with extra-terrestrial visitors in this richly textured sci-fi from director Denis Villeneuve.
Drama2016137 minsDirector: Kenneth Lonergan
Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams shine in this devastating, Oscar-winning drama from Kenneth Lonergan about a man’s painful hometown return.
Thriller2015118 minsDirector: Lenny Abrahamson
Brie Larson’s Oscar-winning performance is the beating heart of Lenny Abrahamson’s extraordinarily moving drama.
War2016139 minsDirector: Mel Gibson
Andrew Garfield stars in Mel Gibson’s visceral war film, telling the extraordinary story of the soldier who saved 75 lives in one of WWII’s bloodiest battles.
Drama2007158 minsDirector: Paul Thomas Anderson
Daniel Day-Lewis' Oscar-winning performance as a ruthless oil baron bestrides Paul Thomas Anderson's towering 21st-century classic.
Drama201293 minsDirector: Benh Zeitlin
Set in a Deep South delta, Zeitlin’s feature debut takes a child’s eye view of poverty, adult apathy and ecological crisis. Hallucinatory fare
Drama1988163 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese
Scorsese’s visually arresting interpretation of the life of Christ, featuring Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel and David Bowie.
Biopic2004152 minsDirector: Taylor Hackford
Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for his extraordinary performance as Ray Charles, in a film that revived the potency of the musical biopic.
Drama2006103 minsDirector: Stephen Frears
Helen Mirren won as Oscar for her performance as the enduring monarch who comes under scrutiny following the death of Princess Diana.
Drama2004120 minsDirector: Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh’s acclaimed story of a selfless woman who performs unlawful abortions in 1950s Britain; both an affecting drama and vital social history.
Drama1992112 minsDirector: Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan's acclaimed 1992 drama-mystery tells the story of Fergus (Stephen Rea), who looks after the lover (Jaye Davidson) of a British soldier he once knew. But what is Dil hiding?
Horror1960109 minsDirector: Alfred Hitchcock
Blood! Blood! Hitchcock’s masterpiece was his most successful film; a sensation in its time that continues to terrify.
Thriller1954112 minsDirector: Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock’s masterly thriller stars James Stewart as an invalided photographer who spots something fishy outside his rear window.
Crime1946102 minsDirector: Robert Siodmak
Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner star in Robert Siodmak’s gritty and muscular film noir, adapted from Hemingway’s short story.
Thriller194896 minsDirector: Carol Reed
Carol Reed’s Graham Greene adaptation tells the dark but touching story of a young child’s relationship to his friendly, complicated butler.
Drama1958117 minsDirector: Jack Clayton
Jack Clayton directs this romantic, love-triangle drama featuring Simone Signoret in an Oscar-winning performance.
Crime1944108 minsDirector: Billy Wilder
Barbara Stanwyck is the housewife who dupes an insurance salesman into a devious murder plot, in this giant of American cinema - the archetypal Film Noir.
Crime1994154 minsDirector: Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino’s crackling crime classic still retains its swagger as one of the great American films of recent decades.
2012127 minsDirector: Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or-winner, about an octogenarian couple trying to cope when a stroke leaves the wife partly paralysed and speechless.