Best Directorial Debuts

by theclintdavis | created - 22 Feb 2019 | updated - 3 days ago | Public

Rookie filmmakers crushing it.

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1. A Star Is Born (2018)

R | 136 min | Drama, Music, Romance

88 Metascore

A musician helps a young singer find fame as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.

Director: Bradley Cooper | Stars: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Greg Grunberg

Votes: 355,499 | Gross: $215.29M

2. Animal Kingdom (2010)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama

83 Metascore

A seventeen-year-old navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.

Director: David Michôd | Stars: James Frecheville, Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton, Bryce Lindemann

Votes: 56,282 | Gross: $1.04M

3. Diva (1981)

R | 117 min | Music, Thriller

Two tapes, two Parisian mob killers, one corrupt policeman, an opera fan, a teenage thief, and the coolest philosopher ever filmed all twist their way through an intricate and stylish French-language thriller.

Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix | Stars: Wilhelmenia Fernandez, Frédéric Andréi, Richard Bohringer, Thuy An Luu

Votes: 12,493 | Gross: $0.11M

4. Badlands (1973)

PG | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

93 Metascore

An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates, Ramon Bieri

Votes: 69,683

5. Get Out (I) (2017)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

Director: Jordan Peele | Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener

Votes: 529,766 | Gross: $176.04M

6. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

PG | 96 min | Comedy

64 Metascore

A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home.

Director: Jared Hess | Stars: Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruell

Votes: 206,427 | Gross: $44.54M

7. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)

Approved | 89 min | Drama, Romance

A rebellious, hard-living factory worker juggles relationships with two women, one of whom is married to another man but pregnant with his child.

Director: Karel Reisz | Stars: Albert Finney, Shirley Anne Field, Rachel Roberts, Hylda Baker

Votes: 8,146

8. The Killing (1956)

Approved | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

91 Metascore

Crook Johnny Clay assembles a five-man team to plan and execute a daring racetrack robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 85,652

9. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of publishing tycoon Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 422,184 | Gross: $1.59M

10. The Bridge (I) (2006)

R | 94 min | Documentary, Drama

58 Metascore

Filmmakers use hidden cameras to capture the various suicide attempts at the Golden Gate Bridge - the world's most popular suicide destination. Interviews with the victims' loved ones describe their lives and mental health.

Director: Eric Steel | Stars: Eric Geleynse, Chris Brown, Susan Ginwalla, Caroline Pressley

Votes: 11,355 | Gross: $0.18M

11. A New Leaf (1971)

G | 102 min | Comedy, Romance

Henry Graham lives the life of a playboy. When his lawyer tells him one day that his lifestyle has consumed all his funds, he needs an idea to avoid climbing down the social ladder. So he intends to marry a rich woman and - murder her.

Director: Elaine May | Stars: Walter Matthau, Elaine May, Jack Weston, George Rose

Votes: 6,152

12. Toy Story 4 (2019)

G | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

84 Metascore

When a new toy called "Forky" joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.

Director: Josh Cooley | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale

Votes: 222,583 | Gross: $434.04M

13. Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

79 Metascore

Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.

Director: Malik Bendjelloul | Stars: Rodriguez, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore

Votes: 66,054 | Gross: $3.97M

14. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

G | 85 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

64 Metascore

The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser's redemption on Christmas Eve.

Director: Brian Henson | Stars: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson

Votes: 51,848 | Gross: $27.28M

15. The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

91 Metascore

A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.

Directors: Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, Christine Cynn | Stars: Anwar Congo, Herman Koto, Syamsul Arifin, Ibrahim Sinik

Votes: 36,653 | Gross: $0.49M

16. A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica (1992 Video)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary, Music

This DVD contains many never-seen-before interviews of Metal icons METALLICA, exploring the true lives of these larger-than-life heroes. The footage reveals how the biggest phenomena in the... See full summary »

Director: Adam Dubin | Stars: Metallica, Lou Brutus, Christopher Guest, Kirk Hammett

Votes: 1,277

17. Marty (1955)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A middle-aged butcher and a school teacher who have given up on the idea of love meet at a dance and fall for each other.

Director: Delbert Mann | Stars: Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti, Augusta Ciolli

Votes: 22,992

18. Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

72 Metascore

Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Votes: 250,287 | Gross: $184.21M

19. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

R | 107 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

Eddy persuades his three pals to pool money for a vital poker game against a powerful local mobster, Hatchet Harry. Eddy loses, after which Harry gives him a week to pay back 500,000 pounds.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham

Votes: 554,882 | Gross: $3.90M

20. Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

PG | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

89 Metascore

A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.

Director: Steven Zaillian | Stars: Joe Mantegna, Ben Kingsley, Max Pomeranc, Joan Allen

Votes: 39,214 | Gross: $7.27M

21. Dolemite (1975)

R | 90 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

67 Metascore

After he is released from jail, a pimp takes on the criminals and corrupt police officers who framed him in the first place.

Director: D'Urville Martin | Stars: Rudy Ray Moore, D'Urville Martin, Jerry Jones, Lady Reed

Votes: 5,849

22. The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

PG | 104 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

75 Metascore

A cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne must deal with the usual suspects as they plan to rule Gotham City, while discovering that he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick.

Director: Chris McKay | Stars: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes

Votes: 137,864 | Gross: $175.75M

23. Withnail & I (1987)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

In 1969, two substance-abusing, unemployed actors retreat to the countryside for a holiday that proves disastrous.

Director: Bruce Robinson | Stars: Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown

Votes: 42,140 | Gross: $1.54M

24. Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)

PG | 91 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

47 Metascore

When eccentric man-child Pee-wee Herman gets his beloved bike stolen in broad daylight, he sets out across the U.S. on the adventure of his life.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton, Diane Salinger

Votes: 51,337 | Gross: $40.90M

25. Promising Young Woman (2020)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who crossed her path.

Director: Emerald Fennell | Stars: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown

Votes: 125,984

26. Booksmart (2019)

R | 102 min | Comedy

84 Metascore

On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.

Director: Olivia Wilde | Stars: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Jason Sudeikis

Votes: 106,148 | Gross: $22.68M

27. Easy Rider (1969)

R | 95 min | Adventure, Drama

85 Metascore

Two bikers head from L.A. to New Orleans through the open country and desert lands, and along the way they meet a man who bridges a counter-culture gap of which they had been unaware.

Director: Dennis Hopper | Stars: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Antonio Mendoza

Votes: 105,450 | Gross: $41.73M

28. Luca (2021)

PG | 95 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

71 Metascore

On the Italian Riviera, an unlikely but strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human.

Director: Enrico Casarosa | Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Saverio Raimondo

Votes: 107,447



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