Last Updated on 16 September 2023

I searched the Internet for lists of the best or greatest movie directors of all time. Criteria included the directors being ranked, including from all countries, and the lists created by groups, not individuals. Some lists were made by groups of critics or film reviewers, others were based on general public voting (like Ranker.com).

I took the 34 lists I found and added all their content into a spreadsheet, noting the rank of every film. I experimented with different formulas, trying to balance the value of being ranked high on any list and being included on the most lists. I ended up averaging the rankings each movie got (there were 348 that were on at least 2 lists) and dividing that average by the number of lists that movie was on. The lowest score meant a high ranking average on many lists.

The movies that were on the most lists (out of 34):

  • Martin Scorsese – all 34 lists!
  • Steven Spielberg – 31 lists
  • Stanley Kubrick – 28 lists
  • Francis Ford Coppola – 28 lists
  • Alfred Hitchcock – 27 lists
  • Quentin Tarantino – 23 lists
  • Woody Allen – 22 lists
  • David Lynch – 21 lists
  • Akira Kurosawa – 20 lists
  • Billy Wilder – 20 lists
  • Tim Burton – 20 lists

Here are links to the lists I used along with dates the lists were created:

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