It is Thursday, but with school starting, this was as early as I could get this list done. I still listened to the Top 10 Show on Tuesday, but life has been too busy since. Now I have a chance and I liked this topic so I want to get my list done. The topic? Top 10 Directorial Debut Movies.
Matt Knost was 100% right. This was the craziest list to put together because there were so many choices. It is way too broad a topic that could have been for each decade. Man it was tough going through all these movies and trying to organize them in a list. The honorary mentions are going to be way over the top.
Much like Matt and John, I eliminated all the animated movies from the possibilities.
#10. Sin City. Frank Miller debuted as the director of the amazingly stylish comic book adaptation starring Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Elijah Woods, Rosario Dawson, and Michael Clarke Duncan. The black and white, splashed with red and yellow was beautiful to look at, despite one of the most violent films around. Sin City was a great success and worked at translating the exact splash pages from the comics to the screen.
#9. Cabin in the Woods. Drew Goddard is the first time director of the great horror movie, Cabin in the Woods. It was one of the most creative uses of the trope of the creepy cabin in the woods. Great humor, exciting action and wonderful creatures, we get Chris Hemsworth before he was Thor. This caught me off guard and I loved the movie.
#8. 12 Angry Men. Sydney Lumet’s classic film about the deliberations of a jury that just can’t find an answer to a court case. The movie was filmed basically in one room and was a complete masterful character story that looked at racism, anger, personal issues among a lot more. Henry Fonda was in the cast of this great ensemble. You would never believe something like this could be as compelling as it was.
#7. Hoosiers. The story of the small Indiana town whose high school basketball team was now being coached by a failed college coach, played by Gene Hackman. Hackman is a Bobby Knight-type coach whose bad temper and attitude rubs most of the town the wrong way. However, the team responds to his style and winds up at the state tournament. It is a great true story and is an emotional powerhouse.
#6. Fruitville Station. This was a powerful debut movie from the mind of Ryan Coogler. The true story of a young man named Oscar, played brilliantly by Michael B. Jordan. Oscar is trying to clean up his life, but he winds up in train station in conflict with the police. The situation becomes horrible as a tragedy strikes the station. Jordan is amazing and the film is astounding. Coogler knocked this one out of the park and he translated this into a great Creed and Black Panther films.
#5. Deadpool. Tim Miller’s first film is the unbeleivable Merc with a Mouth. Deadpool was down and out after the character’s appearance in X-Men Origins, but Ryan Reynolds never gave up. Tim Miller was an unexpected choice to direct, but he does a fantastic job on this. We got the best version of the character, as well as the best version of Colossus, far and away. It is funny and the relationship between Wade and Vanessa made this film almost a rom-com. It was released on Valentine’s Day and it really fit. Love Deadpool.
#4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The pairing of the Monty Python duo, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, put together the best Monty Python movie ever and one of the funniest films ever. They did not have much money to film Holy Grail, but the ensemble cast really took it onto themselves and they were brilliant. So many amazing quotes including “It’s just a flesh wound” or “I’m not dead yet.”
#3. Reservoir Dogs. Quentin Tarantino’s first movie really showed what Tarantino was capable of doing. The violence, the dialogue, the humor. I had not seen Reservoir Dogs for years and just recently saw the film. It was great and I found the whole story awesome. One of my favorite crime stories. The group of criminals who tried to set up this heist that fell apart because of someone inside their group. Fabulous.
#2. The Shawshank Redemption. Based on a Steven King short story, The Shawshank Redemption was not much of a success when it first came out and it took a while for Frank Durabont’s movie to find its audience. But once it did, everyone can admit that this is one of the best movies made. The relationship between Andy Dufresne and Red carried the film and the terrible things that happened led to an ending filled with hope and life. Truly a masterful film.
#1. This is Spinal Tap. I was so happy to see this make Matt’s list so high because as soon as I saw it on the Wikipedia list that I was going through, I knew which film would be my number one. Rob Reiner’s classic mockumentary of the loudest band ever, Spinal Tap. This was so great that Spinal Tap, a fictional rock band featuring Michael McKeon, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest, became a real rock band with a couple of real albums and tours. Satire at its finest. It was so well done that there were real rock bands who thought they were satirizing them with some of the scenes because they claimed that things like what happened to Spinal Tap had happened to them. Turn it up to 11 and enjoy yourself! Tap into the future!
Honorable Mentions: Geez, there are so many. Just to touch on a few…Chad Staholski’s John Wick, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, Josh Trank’s Chronicle, Dave McCary’s Brigsby Bear, James Bobin’s The Muppets, Serenity from Joss Whedon, Jordan Peele’s great debut with Get Out, George Miller’s Mad Max, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, David M. Evans’s The Sandlot, Gary Ross’s Pleasantville, Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching, 10 Cloverfield Lane by Dan Trachtenberg, Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone, Allen Coulter’s Hollywoodland, and Zombieland by Ruben Fleischer. I have never seen Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane but it is considered the greatest movie of all time by many.