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Movies So Good It's Hard to Believe They're Directorial Debuts

Feature length directorial debut films that started careers on a high note. How were these directors this good right at the beginning?
1,344 users · 2,300 views
avg. score: 17 of 65 (26%)
required scores: 1, 8, 13, 17, 25 

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1
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
2
12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Angry Men (1957)
3
Akira (1988)
Akira (1988)
4
American Beauty (1999)
American Beauty (1999)
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5
Attack the Block (2011)
Attack the Block (2011)
6
Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)
Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)
7
The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970)
The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970)
8
Blood Simple (1984)
Blood Simple (1984)
9
Body Heat (1981)
Body Heat (1981)
10
Bone Tomahawk (2015)
Bone Tomahawk (2015)
11
A Bronx Tale (1993)
A Bronx Tale (1993)
12
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
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13
Carnival of Souls (1962)
Carnival of Souls (1962)
14
Citizen Kane (1941)
Citizen Kane (1941)
15
Closely Watched Trains (1966)
Closely Watched Trains (1966)
16
Cronos (1993)
Cronos (1993)
17
Dances With Wolves (1990)
Dances With Wolves (1990)
18
District 9 (2009)
District 9 (2009)
19
Easy Rider (1969)
Easy Rider (1969)
20
Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
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21
Ex Machina (2015)
Ex Machina (2015)
22
Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)
Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)
23
Finding Nemo (2003)
Finding Nemo (2003)
24
The Full Monty (1997)
The Full Monty (1997)
25
Gattaca (1997)
Gattaca (1997)
26
Get Carter (1971)
Get Carter (1971)
27
Get Out (2017)
Get Out (2017)
28
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
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29
The Guard (2011)
The Guard (2011)
30
Heathers (1988)
Heathers (1988)
31
Hereditary (2018)
Hereditary (2018)
32
The Hired Hand (1971)
The Hired Hand (1971)
33
In Bruges (2008)
In Bruges (2008)
34
John Wick (2014)
John Wick (2014)
35
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
36
Lady Bird (2017)
Lady Bird (2017)
37
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
38
Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
39
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
40
Molly's Game (2017)
Molly's Game (2017)
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