Even the most hardcore cinephiles could never deny the influence IMDb had on their taste at some point of time in their lives. IMDb is not the benchmark of great cinema but there’s no denying the fact that some of the most highly rated films on the site are absolute classics. And to have a significant number of movies on the site’s famous top 250 list shows a director’s consistency on a critical aspect and popular appeal. Let’s take a look at the list of top 12 directors with the most number of movies in IMDb top 250.
12. Ridley Scott: 3
Movies: ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Alien’, ‘Gladiator’
Ridley Scott hasn’t been the most consistent director but his best films have been nothing short of classics. Scott’s films are known for their epic settings, atmospheric style and distinctive visual aesthetics. Period dramas and Science fictions have been his arena but his other ventures have also received immense critical acclaim with films like ‘Thelma and Louise’ and ‘Hannibal’ being regarded as cult classics of its genre. But its his most renowned works- ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Alien’ and ‘Gladiator’- that sealed the deal for places on IMDb’s top 250 lists.
11. Akira Kurosawa: 4
Movies: ‘Seven Samurai’, ‘Rashomon’, ‘Yojimbo’, ‘Ikiru’, ‘Ran’
The great Japanese auteur revolutionised nearly every aspect of cinema and turned into the form as we know it today. Akira Kurosawa is one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of cinema. His work significantly changed various aspects of the medium, technically and in storytelling style. Kurosawa influenced countless filmmakers from across the globe and his revered oeuvre continues to inspire and touch movie buffs despite the cultural barriers of Asian Cinema. While there are a few glaring omissions, some of his most acclaimed works, including ‘Rashomon’ which was highly innovative with its unusual narrative structure and ‘Seven Samurai’, feature on the list.
8. Billy Wilder: 5
Movies: ‘Sunset Boulevard’, ‘Double Indemnity’, ‘ Some Like it Hot’, ‘The Apartment’, ‘Witness For the Prosecution’,
Perhaps there’s no cinephile who does not consider at least one Billy Wilder film a masterpiece. There was something so wild, crazy and energetic about Wilder’s films that just made them so accessible and popular. He had a knack of crafting interesting plots with intelligent characters and memorably hilarious dialogues. ‘Sunset Boulevard’ is as addictive and fresh today as it must have been back in the day. ‘Double Indemnity’ is a flat out masterpiece while ‘Some Like it Hot’, ‘The Apartment’, ‘Witness For the Prosecution’ further display his astonishing range as a filmmaker.
8. Quentin Tarantino: 5
Movies: ‘Inglorious Basterds, ‘Kill Bill: Vol. 1′, Django Unchained’, ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Reservoir Dogs’
Could we ever ignore this man? Quentin Tarantino is a man who has fun with the medium. His cinema is so full of verve and exuberance. If Scorsese brings naturalism to violence, Tarantino romanticises the same. His films don’t work on strong thematic aspects but just pure entertainment with great writing, delectable soundtrack and quirky dialogues. Quentin Tarantino knows the pulse of his audience which makes him one of the most popular filmmakers of all time and so it wouldn’t surprise many when you see that 5 of his films- ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Inglorious Basterds’, ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Kill Bill: Vol. 1’- feature on IMDb’s top 250 list. While his work in the 90s received immense critical acclaim, his later films score more on popularity of his style which is pretty much the substance in his films.
8. Charlie Chaplin: 5
Movies: ‘City Lights’, ‘The Great Dictator’, ‘The Kid’, ‘Modern Times’, ‘The Gold Rush’
His name was Charles Spencer Chaplin. He taught the world love and humanity and almost single-handedly changed the language of cinema. Chaplin was born to change the world and his famous on-screen persona remains the most iconic ever in cinema history. ‘City Lights’ might just be the saddest comedy ever made and ‘The Great Dictator’ remains a timeless political satire. ‘The Kid’, ‘Modern Times’ and ‘The Gold Rush’ remain revolutionary works and serve as a testament to the comic genius of the man. And if these works hadn’t featured on the most popular film website on the internet, then there is certainly something wrong with the world!
8. Sergio Leone: 5
Movies: ‘A Fistful of Dollars’, ‘For a Few Dollars More’, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, ‘Once Upon a Time in the West, ‘Once Upon a Time in America’
The undisputed master of Spaghetti Westerns, Sergio Leone has made some of the most iconic crime dramas of all time. His inimitable style is characterised by long shots and exquisite use of silence that capture the heart of the actor’s emotions and pulls you into the film. Leone took on the western genre from where Sam Peckinpah left and gave us some of the most memorable classics, reinventing and polishing the genre. While the iconic ‘Dollars’ trilogy remains a landmark achievement in filmmaking and revolutionised the western genre, his later works, ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ continue to be rated among the greatest films ever made.
4. Alfred Hitchcock: 6
Movies: Rear Window, Psycho, North by Northwest, Vertigo, Rebecca, Dial M for Murder
Is there anyone who hates this man? Alfred Hitchcock is where it all began. The man has given birth to a genre that has now become the mainstay of popular cinema. Hitchcock might just be the most popular filmmaker ever lived. A young generation of cinephiles today, which includes me, would find his films trite and maybe outdated. But to understand the genius of this man, one would have to go back in time when not every film was stuffed with convoluted plot-twists. His camera work was fascinating and resembled a gaze which played well with the voyeuristic nature of his films. 6 of his greatest films feature on the list as his work continues to inspire and change cinema in ways that astound us.
4. Steven Spielberg: 6
Movies: ‘Schindler’s List, ‘Jaws’, ‘Raiders’ of the Lost Ark, ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’
This shouldn’t come off as a surprise at all. Yes, we are talking about the man who made ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’, E.T’, ‘Jaws’. We are talking about the man who made our childhood. Nobody in the history of cinema could blend art and entertainment with the awe-inspiring magic and sweeping humanity of Steven Spielberg. His films transcend cultures across the globe and unite the human race. The man defined blockbuster filmmaking early in his career and would later take on serious subjects that dealt with global issues. More than 5 of his films feature in IMDb’s top 250 list and all of them belong to different genres. With a score of 8.9, ‘Schindler’s List’ remains his highest rated movie on the site while ‘Jaws’, ‘Raiders’ of the Lost Ark, ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ have cemented their place on the bigger list.
4. Hayao Miyazaki: 6
Movies: ‘Spirited Away’, ‘Castle in the Sky’, ‘My Neighbour Totoro’, ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’, ‘Princess Mononke’, ‘Nausicaa of the Valley Wind’
Arguably the greatest animation director in cinema history, Hayao Miyazaki has crafted some of the most endearing works of cinematic art. The astonishing artistic depth in his films coupled with a profound sense of humanity make his cinema very universal. His films are thematically rich and explore deeply human themes including feminism, love and pacifism. He creates a strong sense of empathy with his characters who are often very strong yet so humanly flawed within. With the release of his last film, ‘The Wind Rises’, in 2016 Miyazaki announced his retirement from the scene but there is no doubt that his work will live on for the ages and he remains one of the most celebrated names on the most popular movie website on the internet.
2. Martin Scorsese: 7
Movies: ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Raging Bull’, ‘Goodfellas’, Casino’, ‘The Departed’, ‘Shutter Island’, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’,
This man changed my perceptions of what cinema could be. Martin Scorsese might not have been an auteur in the conventional sense in that he rarely wrote his stuff but his command over the medium was felt in every frame of his films. As one of cinema’s most prolific filmmakers, Scorsese has ventured into many kinds of cinema and has had his fair share of success and failures but his greatest works remain timeless and he continues to amaze us with his passion and energy. His early masterpieces, ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Raging Bull’, ‘Goodfellas’ along with ‘Casino’, ‘The Departed’, ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, which are among his more acclaimed works of this century, feature on the IMDb top 250 list as his work continues to be admired, loved and cherished by cinephiles across the world.
2. Stanley Kubrick: 7
Movies: ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, ‘Barry Lyndon’, ‘Dr. Strangelove’, ‘A Clockwork Orange’, ‘Full Metal Jacket’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Paths of Glory’
The man himself. The messiah of cinema. It’s hard to think of this art form without Stanley Kubrick because this was a man who breathed cinema. His contribution remains unparalleled and his vision unmatched. Nobody ever challenged this art form with the fierce audacity and staggering vision of Stanley Kubrick. Every single film was a world in itself. Every single film was a different genre. None of his films were appreciated during its time but decades later, generations of cinephiles began to appreciate the sheer eccentricity of his work and are today widely celebrated as among the finest works of cinematic art ever produced. 7 of his 13 films, ‘Dr. Strangelove’, ‘A Clockwork Orange’, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, ‘Full metal Jacket’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Barry Lyndon’, ‘Paths of Glory’, all path breaking in its genres, feature on IMDb’s top 250 list and that itself says a lot about the man’s resounding impact on movie buffs across the world.
1. Christopher Nolan: 8
Movies: ‘Inception’, ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Interstellar’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘The Prestige’, ‘Memento’, ‘Dunkirk’
For a good chunk of modern cinephiles, the man in the image above is god. For some though he is the most overrated contemporary filmmaker. However, let’s not deny the impact this man has had on mainstream cinema. Right from his early indie days to the glorious blockbuster ventures, Christopher Nolan has barely missed a note. His vision is inspiring. His consistency is astonishing. Nolan finds the right blend of Kubrick and Spielberg in his cinema while managing to keep his own touch distinctive and instantly recognisable. His ability to entertain and stimulate the viewers’ senses has made him the most universally admired and loved filmmaker and so it wouldn’t come off as a surprise when I say that 7 of his 9 films – ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Inception’, The Dark Knight, ‘Interstellar’, ‘Memento’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘The Prestige’ – feature on IMDb’s top 250 list.