Film has always been a medium that captivates audiences and inspires passionate discussion. However, in recent years, there has been a rise of a particular breed of movie fans who are commonly known as “film bros.” These individuals are known for their love of arthouse cinema, their pretentiousness, and their tendency to dismiss anything mainstream or popular. They often idolize a select group of directors whom they believe to be the epitome of cinematic genius.
Lucky for us, they also love to hang out in internet forums and share their opinions. Here are 12 film bro-approved directors for you to look into before your next movie marathon.
1. Bong Joon-ho
Bong Joon-ho has been making movies for more than twenty years now, but his ascendance to legend status came in 2019 with his film Parasite. Like many of his other works, Parasite takes a satirical look at class relations in modern Korea through a genre film framework.
But none of the fans of Bong mentioned Parasite, instead highlighting his monster movie The Host and serial killer film Memories of Murder as their favorites in his filmography.
2. Quentin Tarantino
Unsurprisingly, Quentin Tarantino received several mentions. But almost none of the respondents could agree on which violent and brilliantly written movie of the director was his best. One said Django Unchained, another said Inglourious Basterds, a third said Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and the iconic Pulp Fiction only received one vote.
Perhaps most shocking was that the only film in Tarantino’s filmography was his feature debut Reservoir Dogs.
3. David Fincher
David Fincher was also well agreed upon as a favorite director for many respondents, and unlike Tarantino, there was much more agreement on Fincher’s best film: Se7en. But even then, several respondents highlighted that they were naming him as their favorite “for consistency of the overall body of work” and “literally every other movie [besides Se7en] he's made.”
Fincher’s penchant for a stable camera seems to have led to great filmography.
4. David Lynch
Not to be confused with “the other David,” David Lynch has been making features since the 1970s (and shorts since the 1960s). Many commenters agreed upon him as a favorite film bro.
So, it makes sense, too, that the two films mentioned most, Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet highlight the director’s surreal, visually stunning, and atmospheric style. However, one fan suggested The Elephant Man as an accessible entry point into the sometimes enigmatic filmmaker’s work.
5. Paul Thomas Anderson
Like David Lynch, one user (whose comment received significant upvotes) named Paul Thomas Anderson their favorite director and There Will Be Blood as their favorite of his films but suggested Boogie Nights to those unfamiliar with his work. It’s a suggestion that makes sense as some of PTA’s work, including There Will Be Blood, can be incredibly formal and seem to lack humor, even though he’s clearly capable of delivering chaotic fun in movies like Boogie Nights and Inherent Vice.
6. Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan pulled off a nearly impossible task when he made The Dark Knight. He made a Batman movie that’s equally a Christopher Nolan movie. It’s a film that perfectly highlights the filmmaker’s skill for deftly combining big ideas with big action scenes that augment instead of distract from the ideas.
That said, none of the respondents to the thread named The Dark Knight as their favorite from Nolan, instead calling out Interstellar, Inception, and Dunkirk, which just goes to show the filmmakers’ range.
7. Hayao Miyazaki
The only director of animated films widely agreed upon, Hayao Miyazaki was voted one of the greatest directors of all time by many. One respondent called the filmmaker “the animation king,” while another highlighted that he “revolutionized the anime industry.”
Within the filmmaker's often environmentally and spiritually conscious films, users called out two films in particular: Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.
8. Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa was the only director without films made in the 21st century to receive significant support. Kurosawa’s stories about mythic heroes clearly still resonate today as two of his most well-agreed-upon films were Seven Samurai and Sanjuro.
9. Denis Villeneuve
Many respondents were enthusiastic about their love for Canadian director Denis Villeneuve. One called the director “brilliant,” while another said that he is the “best director of this generation, in my opinion.”
It’s not surprising that the filmmaker behind movies like Dune and Blade Runner 2049 received such emphatic support, but what was surprising was one user highlighting his 2010 Arabic and French language film Incendies.
10. Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle received several mentions and many upvotes, with one user highlighting that he’s “one of the greatest genre-hopping directors” calling out his work in “horror (28 Days Later), sci-fi (Sunshine), drama (Slumdog Millionaire), thriller (Shallow Grave), and comedy (Trainspotting).”
I don’t know if I agree that Trainspotting is a comedy, but I do count Boyle among my favorite filmmakers as well so I won’t argue with it.
11. Coen Brothers
Making the list are the Coen Brothers with acclaimed works such as Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998), and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). One fan says, “I loved seeing O Brother Where Art Thou. It is my favorite Coen Bros movie as well.”
12. Steven Spielberg
Spielberg is hailed as the King of Hollywood. He’s known for open-hearted and diverse iconic films such as E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The BFG (2016), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), and so many more.
“Spielberg for me,” says one fan.
This thread inspired this post.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Kyle Logan is a film and television critic and general pop culture writer who has written for Alternative Press, Cultured Vultures, Film Stories, Looper, and more. Kyle is particularly interested in horror and animation, as well as genre films written and directed by queer people and women. Along with writing, Kyle organizes a Queer Film Challenge on Letterboxd.