Special Report

The Best Movies Directed by Actors

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

47. Fences (2016)
> Composite index score: 2.41
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (103,038 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 75% (36,321 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92% (270 reviews)
> Directed by: Denzel Washington
> Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson

Denzel Washington’s third directorial feature adapts a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by August Wilson, who also penned the script. Set in the 1950s, it centers around the struggles of an embittered working-class father (Washington). Co-star Viola Davis won an Academy Award for her supporting performance as family matriarch Rose Maxson.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

46. First They Killed My Father (2017)
> Composite index score: 2.41
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (17,217 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 80% (2,399 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 87% (71 reviews)
> Directed by: Angelina Jolie
> Starring: Sareum Srey Moch, Phoeung Kompheak, Sveng Socheata

Angelina Jolie continues to explore sociopolitical issues with this historical biopic about the life of former Cambodian child soldier Loung Ung. It culls from Ung’s own memoir and chronicles her experiences under the rule of a brutal communist regime. “A sincere attempt to paint a portrait of a country gone mad,” wrote critic Rafer Guzman for Newsday.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

45. That Thing You Do! (1996)
> Composite index score: 2.41
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10 (65,296 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 78% (126,552 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (59 reviews)
> Directed by: Tom Hanks
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Liv Tyler, Charlize Theron

The directorial feature debut from Tom Hanks follows a small town band as they ride out the success of a hit single. Hanks himself plays their manager, who helps them navigate a pre-Beatles pop landscape. Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger composed the title track, which reached #41 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Source: Courtesy of L'Atelier d'Images

44. The Way (2010)
> Composite index score: 2.42
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (31,762 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 83% (13,529 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 83% (100 reviews)
> Directed by: Emilio Estevez
> Starring: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger

Once a major film star, Emilio Estevez refashioned himself as a working director for the latter part of his career. He enlisted real-life father Martin Sheen for this heartfelt dramedy, in which a man (Sheen) attempts the pilgrimage that claimed the life of his son (Estevez). It was a role specifically written with Sheen in mind.

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

43. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
> Composite index score: 2.42
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (39,815 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (33,748 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 85% (149 reviews)
> Directed by: Tommy Lee Jones
> Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam

Tommy Lee Jones puts his unique spin on the neo-Western genre with this border-crossing adventure drama. He directs and stars as rancher Pete Perkins, who embarks on a perilous journey to bury his dead friend in Mexico. It won for Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

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