Definitive Movie of Directors: A Roundup of Movies That Best Describes Their Style Part 2

We had so much fun rounding up the list of directors with their definitive movie that we feel it should warrant another edition with a new set of directors.

Much the same with the first edition, we have put up a list of Directors and name one definitive movie that they were a part of. This criteria is definitely a wide one thus we will narrow it down further:

  • Director has greater than 2 movies under his/her belt
  • Only 1 definitive movie is chosen per director

The list is not ranked and are randomly listed so as not to confuse. Let’s check them out:

Director: Ron Howard

Definitive movie: Apollo 13

IMDB rating: 7.6

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%

Defining point:

Ron Howard is another director that we have had a hard time in choosing the definitive movie for him with a lot of great movies under his belt. As hard as it may seem, we had to choose only one, and we chose Apollo 13. We chose it because of its slow but with an exciting pace going on towards the climax, which is probably a trademark of Ron Howard.

Other Notable movies: Robert Langdon trilogy, Ransom


Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Definitive movie: Split

IMDB rating: 7.3

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 77%

Defining point:

He rose to fame in directing terrifying horror movies, but we wanted to choose one movie that is more suspenseful and action-packed. With his Split movie, it greatly showcased the “brain-wrenching” plot that is ever present on most of his movies. The plot of this movie is really an interesting one that made us glued every time we watch it, and M. Night Shyamalan brought it to high levels.

Other Notable movies: The Sixth Sense, Glass

Director: Steven Spielberg

Definitive movie: Schindler’s List

IMDB rating: 8.9

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%

Defining point:

Sometimes we ask ourselves why are we doing this because we really are having a hard time choosing just one movie that defines a director. That question has been clearly emphasized for Steven Spielberg, who has a very long list of great movies under his belt. But again, we had to choose one and we choose Schindler’s List. The portrayal of each character was well defined and the drama as well as the emotion was totally on point with this one.

Other Notable movies: Lincoln, Minority Report

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Definitive movie: Contact

IMDB rating: 7.4

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 64%

Defining point:

We so love Back to the Future and Forrest Gump, and even all the other movies directed by Robert Zemeckis. However, Contact is one of the best sci-fi / alien life movies that we have ever seen. Given the great plot of the movie, the performances by Jodie Forster provided a believable curiousness of what’s in store outside Earth. We are actually believing the quote “The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space” because of this movie.

Other Notable movies: Back to the Future Trilogy, Forrest Gump

Director: James Cameron

Definitive movie: True Lies

IMDB rating: 7.2

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 70%

Defining point:

Before the sci-fi blockbuster movie Avatar, James Cameron made a lot of exciting action movies, and we truly believe he is at his best in doing that. True Lies provided that action-packed punch which was further emphasized with the jaw-dropping Jet plane scene.

Other Notable movies: The Terminator, Aliens

Director: Sofia Coppola

Definitive movie: Lost in Translation

IMDB rating: 7.7

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%

Defining point:

Having a surname Coppola and venturing in directing movies would be a very tough act, but it could be at an advantage as well. Sofia Coppola took that advantage and honed her skills and made her own directing style. Her defining movie is Lost in Translation which stars Bill Murray and a very young Scarlet Johansson, which then she made a great chemistry onscreen out of that odd pairing.

Other Notable movies: The Virgin Suicides, A very Murray Christmas

Director: Spike Lee

Definitive movie: He Got Game

IMDB rating: 6.9

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 81%

Defining point:

Spike Lee is one of the revolutionary directors that has a distinct style – angst-y, grit and grind, and shots right through the heart. He Got Game showcased that style for him because even if it is a sports-themed movie, the emotion and all that other stuff was so emphasized you really think basketball is more than just.

Other Notable movies: Summer of Sam, 25th Hour

Director: Danny Boyle

Definitive movie: Trainspotting

IMDB rating: 8.1

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%

Defining point:

Danny Boyle = Trainspotting. All his other movies are just icings on the cake, cherries on top, or whatever you may call it. It is an absolute masterpiece and you really cannot take off Trainspotting from Danny Boyle’s name no matter what he does.

Other Notable movies: Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours

Director: Guy Ritchie

Definitive movie: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

IMDB rating: 8.2

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 75%

Defining point:

Known for his fast paced gangster movies, Guy Ritchie is best on action scenes / violent acts with fast paced cinematography. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels put more from it by adding witty humour.

Other Notable movies: Snatch, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Director: Joel Coen

Definitive movie: The Big Lebowski

IMDB rating: 8.1

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 82%

Defining point:

We could have written the Coen brothers here but due to the directing credits as a limitation, we settled for Joel Coen. As a director, he directed fascinating movies and on top of them is the Big Lebowski, and no one will forget Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of “The Dude”.

Other Notable movies: Fargo, Intolerable Cruelty

Director: Tim Burton

Definitive movie: Mars Attacks!

IMDB rating: 6.3

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 54%

Defining point:

The eccentric brilliance of Tim Burton’s directing is so unique, no one could probably emulate it. When you see one of his movies, you’ll truly recognize it is of Tim Burton’s (probably the costumes? Music? Sequences?). Mars Attacks! may not be a critical and commercial success, but it is so fun you can watch again and again – a truly Tim Burton trademark.

Other Notable movies: Edward Scissorhands, Batman

Director: Joel Schumacher

Definitive movie: Phonebooth

IMDB rating: 7

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 82%

Defining point:

Let’s face it – Joel Schumacher is not the darling of the critics, but that doesn’t stop him from making movies in his own style. Phonebooth was an exceptionally exciting movie that will keep you glued all throughout in which Joel Schumacher made in his own phased-in style.

Other Notable movies: 8mm, The number 23

Directors give life to a brilliant screenplay and writing so they are really important for making movies. It’s a great thing we have lots of great directors so we can fully enjoy great films.

So, as cliché as it may seem, you just have to sit back, relax and watch a movie!