Tim Burton. I just love his style, it's so dark yet there is a lot of light shining through his films as well. His underlying themes of passion, imagination, perserverance and determination really show. At least to me.
MArtin Scorsese. I was SO happy when he FINALLY won his Oscar this year, I jumped up and down screaming "FINALLY!!!" hubby had to quiet me down before I woke up the kid. Haha.
Seriously, he's a legend. Goodfellas?? Gangs of New York?? Even the Departed....he's a genius. His style can be a little annoying...he tends to have a great start....gets a little slooooww in the the middle...and then, the end..just leaves ya with your mouth open. Great director.
Then, Steven Soderberg. I just like the way his films look. They have this dreamy feeling, rich color....like a dream from the 70's. Out of sight..Ocean's Eleven. I just like the films. There's this scene in OE...where Andy GArcia gets into the elevator, and turns around against this rich, red background....I went into the movie not knowing who the director was, but, the second I saw that...I know it was Soderberg.
Hayao Miyazaki. All of his films have this sense of wonder. There is a hopefulness and lack of cynicism that is refreshing. I've been watching them since the early 90's and they are some of my favorite movies.
Burton - Fun, quirky, dark, scary, funny, bad-***. I mean, even if one of his movies isn't a great story it's still great. I even love Mars Attacks.
Spielberg - Taking War of the Worlds, Minority Report and A.I. out of the equation, one can argue that Spielberg is possibly the greatest director EVER. I mean Indiana Jones, E.T., Saving Private Ryan, Schindlers List, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Close Encouters and Amistad. Plus he can make it fun with movies like Catch Me If You Can.
Peter Jackson - Okay, so how can you not like the man who made Lord of the Rings. You can kind of forgive him for King Kong, even though I liked it. And take another look at The Frighteners. Not the greatest movie, but you can see glimpses of brilliance there. And definately check out Heavenly Creatures. Great movie.
James Cameron - How soon we forget. Before he sold his soul to make Titanic, let's not forget he directed some of the best movies of the 80's and 90's. The Abyss, Aliens, Terminator 1 and 2, and True Lies.
Ron Howard - Even though most didn't like The DaVinci Code, I thought it was great. Throw in A Beautiful Mind, Parenthood, Splash, Apollo 13, Backdraft and Willow ... and WOW!!! And yet, with all that he's still underrated.
George Lucas - While not a great "Director" per-se, he did direct the original Star Wars but then had the mind to pass on the next two movies so he could work more on producing the movies. IF ONLY he had done that with the prequel trilogy. He did however redeem himself on Revenge of the Sith. And if you look at pre-Star Wars and watch THX 1138 and American Grafitti, you can see that he does have a great eye.
I quite like Quentin Tarantino. His movies are violent (that's not why) and the use of it is exactly what would take place in such situations. I love the music selections in his movies and I am riveted to almost every one of them, even though in the past I've really not enjoyed violence in movies. I especially love Pulp Fiction.
I also LOVE Woody Allen. He is pure genius. From Annie Hall to Manhattan Murder Mystery, they are all smart, funny and really interesting to watch.
I only have Woody Allen on my favorite directors list. Spielberg is a definite plus on any title, but I haven't had many favorite movie moments from his films. Tim Burton, Edgar Wright, Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant, and Quentin Tarantino are good too. Park-Chan Wook (Korean) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (French) are my picks for foreign.
Unfortunately, as these things go, directors aren't remembered as much as actors. I've fallen into the trap as well.
STEVEN SPIELBERG -- While not all of his films are favorites, there's something about his filmmaking stle that makes me see everything he does, no matter the subject matter. And that's no small accomplishment!
GEORGE LUCAS -- Okay so I really didn't like his most recent two directing efforts (just despised attack of the clones), and while he doesn't have a lot of films on his directing belt, he's a man who has great vision and ideas and I wouldn't miss anything he puts his name on because I know it'll be worth my while in some way or another and this has to be the most badly structured sentence I ever wrote.
BRAD BIRD -- The Iron Giant and The Incredibles are 2 of my favorite films of all time and that's enough to make me watch whatever he does.
HAYAO MIYAZAKI -- Everything he does is pure magic.
TIM BURTON -- Just like Spielberg, I'll watch anything he does regardless of how bad it is because I know there will be something amazing and unique about the film.
JOHN LASSETER & ANDREW STANTON -- Both John and Andrew put everything they got into making the best picture they can possibly make. I'll watch anything they do, whether on their own or together.
ROBERT ZEMECKIS -- He's directed some of my favorite films (Back to the Future, Roger Rabbit, Contact, Forrest Gump) but he's also put out some that I really don't care for (Cast Away, What Lies Beneath, THE POLAR EXPRESS)... but I still like the guy and have hope for Beowulf.