The Avocado’s Favorite Film Director – RESULTS!

“All film directors, whether famous or obscure, regard themselves as misunderstood or underrated. Because of that, they all lie. They’re obliged to overstate their own importance.” – Francois Truffaut

Maybe that’s true when talking to film directors, but is it true when we talk about film directors? You decide for yourselves, Austin Freaks!

Because here he is, everyone! The Avocado’s Favorite Director….RON HOWARD!


Yes, it’s been a real Cinderella (Man) story here as Howard came from only three votes in the first round to net the coveted 127th place in our hearts.

Anyway, now that we’ve settled all that, we move on to the important stuff.


The man who made Ernst Lubitsch feel that uncertain feeling…showed Sergio Leone the good, the bad, and the ugly… gave Mel Brooks High Anxiety…went haywire on Steven Soderbergh….and spirited Hayao Miyazaki away…

….The Master of Suspense and sending you into a frenzy…




The guy who showed Peter Bogdanovich his last picture show…made Barry Jenkins need medicine for melancholy…sent Tim Burton back to Sleepy Hollow…trapped John Carpenter in the mouth of madness…showed Martin Scorsese these were mean streets indeed….and drove Alfred Hitchcock Psycho….

….a director who ran the course and had his share of dreams…


Akira-Kurosawa 2


The towering figure who tore up the moth diaries of Mary Harron…trapped Mike Nichols in the bird cage….drove Charles Chaplin out of the limelight…showed Sidney Lumet he wasn’t fail-safe…taught us Quentin Tarantino wasn’t death proof…and kicked Kurosawa to the curb like a stray dog….

….an auteur who everyone here took quite the shining to….




Drum roll please…

…these brothers made Damien Chazelle the first man to go down…ruined Greta Gerwig’s nights and weekends…forced Werner Herzog to live in the cave of forgotten dreams…got double indemnity from what they did to Billy Wilder…threw Steven Spielberg off their bridge of spies…took out Alfred Hitchcock as part of a family plot….and made Stanley Kubrick keep his eyes wide shut…

….the directors who showed us this contest was no country for old men…that they had true grit….that they were capable of intolerable cruelty….that no matter how “far” they’d “go,” they’d always be able to tell us the ballad of Buster Scruggs and other tales of the American Frontier…

…The Favorite Film Directors of the Avocado…in 2020…by one vote….


'A Serious Man' film photocall at the Rome International Film Festival, Rome, Italy - 22 Oct 2009

Well, that’s it everybody! Thanks for playing along, everyone. It was a nail biter to the very end. For the curious, I’ve compiled the following list of our contestants based on when they went out, their seeding, the number of points they scored, and so on.

The Avocado’s Top 128 Film Directors
  1. Joel & Ethan Coen
  2. Stanley Kubrick 
  3. Akira Kurosawa
  4. Alfred Hitchcock
  5. Martin Scorsese
  6. Hayao Miyazaki
  7. Steven Spielberg
  8. Quentin Tarantino
  9. Wes Anderson
  10. David Fincher
  11. Orson Welles
  12. John Carpenter
  13. Ridley Scott
  14. Steven Soderbergh
  15. Billy Wilder
  16. Sidney Lumet
  17. David Lynch
  18. Alfonso Cuaròn
  19. Guillermo Del Toro
  20. Mel Brooks
  21. Paul Thomas Anderson
  22. Taika Waititi
  23. Christopher Nolan
  24. Francis Ford Coppola
  25. Spike Lee
  26. Fritz Lang
  27. James Cameron
  28. Tim Burton
  29. John Huston
  30. Kathryn Bigelow
  31. Werner Herzog
  32. Charles Chaplin
  33. Rob Reiner
  34. Rian Johnson
  35. Peter Jackson
  36. Sam Raimi
  37. George Miller
  38. Frank Capra
  39. David Cronenberg
  40. Richard Linklater
  41. Penny Marshall
  42. Jonathan Demme
  43. Robert Altman
  44. Denis Villeneuve
  45. Darren Aronofsky
  46. Bong Joon-Ho
  47. Edgar Wright
  48. John Ford
  49. Spike Jonze
  50. Brian De Palma
  51. Buster Keaton
  52. Sergio Leone
  53. Ang Lee
  54. Christopher Guest
  55. Terry Gilliam
  56. F. W. Murnau
  57. Michel Gondry
  58. Amy Heckerling
  59. Jordan Peele
  60. Miloš Forman
  61. Barry Jenkins
  62. Greta Gerwig
  63. Alex Garland
  64. Mike Nichols
  65. Pedro Almodóvar
  66. George Lucas
  67. Ingmar Bergman
  68. Lana & Lily Wachowski
  69. George Romero
  70. David Lean
  71. Robert Zemeckis
  72. Brad Bird
  73. Clint Eastwood
  74. John McTiernan
  75. Michael Curtiz
  76. Peter Weir
  77. Carol Reed
  78. Andrei Tarkovsky
  79. Danny Boyle
  80. Elia Kazan
  81. Yorgos Lanthimos
  82. Georges Méliès
  83. Paul Verhoeven
  84. Phil Lord & Chris Miller
  85. Federico Fellini
  86. Sarah Polley
  87. Ryan Coogler
  88. Jim Jarmusch
  89. Takashi Miike
  90. Alexander Payne
  91. Isao Takahata
  92. Ari Aster
  93. Joe Dante
  94. Michael Mann
  95. Carl Reiner
  96. Joe Johnston
  97. Preston Sturges
  98. Woody Allen
  99. John Waters
  100. Terrence Malick
  101. Wong Kar-Wai
  102. Howard Hawks
  103. Todd Haynes
  104. Ava DuVernay
  105. Roman Polanski
  106. Carl Theodor Dreyer
  107. Lars Von Trier
  108. Ken Russell
  109. Patty Jenkins
  110. James Mangold
  111. Luis Buñuel
  112. Sofia Coppola
  113. Charles Laughton
  114. Jean-Luc Godard
  115. Armando Iannucci
  116. Kenneth Branagh
  117. Duncan Jones
  118. John Landis
  119. Cameron Crowe
  120. John Cassavetes
  121. Peter Bogdanovich
  122. Steve McQueen
  123. Ernst Lubitsch
  124. Mary Harron
  125. Nicolas Winding Refn
  126. Walter Hill
  127. Ron Howard
  128. Damien Chazelle

I know, I know, I’m so proud that George Lucas turned out to be our 66th favorite director as well. The memes write themselves.

While I know you’re all supremely satisfied with how this all shook out, feel free to pop off in the comments. Do you love the Coens more than life itself? Who you think should have won? Got any ideas or suggestions for future tournaments? Looking for directions? Wondering what a movie is?

One question I know I can answer is how happy I was to see people get involved and make their voices heard about the hundreds of dynamic artists whose work we got to debate these past couple weeks. I hope you all had as much fun as I did making it.

I can think of no better nor more insightful words on the art of film directing to leave you on than this quote.

“I mean Joel talks to the actors more than I do and I probably do production stuff more than he does.” – Ethan Coen