8. Denis Villeneuve
Incendies (2010) – Sicario (2015) – Arrival (2016) – Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
A storyteller who moulds time and perspective, Denis Villeneuve may be the director of the decade. No other auteur has had such a clear throughline, distinct vision and unwavering quality to their work over ten years.
From dark-as-the-abyss dramas to percussive thrillers and beyond to sci-fi, nothing seems to phase Villeneuve. Next November, we get to see his take on Dune, which promises to be fascinating, perhaps even definitive.
The one to watch: Blade Runner 2049
Not just a belated sequel to a recognised IP, but an expansion of a distinct future world and its many mind-expanding concepts and implications. This is simply beautiful, spiritually healing sci-fi.
9. Taika Waititi
Boy (2010) – What We Do in the Shadows (2014) – Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) – Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – Jojo Rabbit (2019)
A mischievous maverick equally at home with home-grown indie comedy, deeply personal family dramedies and anarchic takes on Hollywood blockbusters, Taika Waititi stands out from the crowd.
One of the most prolific and versatile filmmakers of the 2010s, Waititi continually subverted expectations on every budget level. Waititi lept from grounded and distinctively accented dramas to delightfully playing with genre tropes and working with A-List casts.
The one to watch: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
One of the biggest-hearted films of the decade, this tale of a foster kid and his unwilling uncle on the run from social services has laughs, tears and a social conscience to boot.
Recommended for you: Jojo Rabbit (2019) Review
10. Ben Wheatley
Kill List (2011) – Sightseers (2012) – A Field in England (2013) – Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (2018)
Six movies in a decade makes Ben Wheatley the most prolific director on this list and while he’s moved outside of his British indie roots to work with big stars (Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, etc.) he’s never compromised on his dark-hearted vision.
There are laughs to be had in Wheatley’s films, but they’re almost always of the dark variety and he never seems adverse to showing society and its outcasts at their most contradictory. Next up is Wheatley’s surely unique take on Rebecca, which I’m sure he’ll make entirely his own.
The one to watch: Kill List
One of the most disturbing films of the decade, this trickles down your spine and never allows a sense of profound dread to dissipate. It’s a hitman movie, a psychological thriller and the strangest of horror movies presented in a single package.