ByD.J. Nichols, writer at
Cinephile and Hip-Hop lover. Unapologetic DC fan. Let's talk. You can follow me on Twitter @DJNickelz92
D.J. Nichols

The recently released Get Out is a significant film, not just because it's impressed audiences and critics, but also because it was directed by Jordan Peele, a first-time director who is most famous for costarring in the hilarious sketch comedy series Key & Peele. So let's take a look at actors who've who nailed their directorial debuts, starting with Peele himself.

6. Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Again, I want to praise Jordan Peele for his incredible turn behind the camera. When is the last time we saw an actor known for his comedy direct a horror film? Peele's debut has received near-unanimous praise; not only is this a great film, but it's the kind of film that lends itself to multiple viewings to look for things you missed.

Get Out is already the most thrilling movie of 2017, and if you've seen it you know why. The film is socially relevant and deals with topics such as racism in a very creative and fair way. Not only that, but it is a horror/thriller where the protagonist is not an idiot. Fans are absolutely looking forward to what Jordan Peele directs next.

5. Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs)

Though this may be a bit controversial, since Quentin Tarantino has all but given up acting (other than the occasional cameo in his own films), I maintain that he belongs on the list.

Reservoir Dogs is a classic noir-style crime. From the very start of the film, we see Tarantino's razor-sharp dialogue on display and it never lets up. Reservoir Dogs will definitely be a film that we'll have to throw in the vault before nuclear war wipes us all out.

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4. Ralph Fiennes (Coriolanus)

In 2011 Voldemort himself, Ralph Fiennes, decided to adapt Shakespeare for his directorial debut with Coriolanus. This film interestingly used the old classic dialogue, but in a modern setting — and NOT ONCE does it feel out of place or campy.

Coriolanus is one of the most unique movies I've ever seen. Both Fiennes and Gerard Butler turn in unbelievable performances as sworn enemies. If you enjoy a great Shakespearean story, this is definitely one to see.

3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of those actors we've grown up with. He's been a mainstay in Hollywood his whole life, and as the years have gone by, he's only gotten more enjoyable to watch.

With Don Jon, JGL reached a whole new level. Not only did he direct this film, but he wrote it as well. He's become one of the most well-rounded artists in Hollywood, and he can always be counted on to put in good work.

2. Sophia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides)

Most people who saw The Godfather Part III probably didn't expect great things from director Francis Ford Coppola's daughter. Her performance was maligned by critics, and — while the movie had many other issues — she took plenty of blame for messing up one of the greatest sagas in film history.

Fortunately, Sophia Coppola proved her detractors wrong by directing The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation; the latter earned her an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and a nomination for Best Director. Her next film, The Beguiled, opens June 23, 2017.

1. Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)

With the number-one slot, I had to go with the current Dark Knight, Ben Affleck. Gone Baby Gone was a surprise to us all, as it officially marked the beginning of Affleck's resurgence in Hollywood after years of bad publicity. The performances that he gets out of the cast are so grounded and organic that watching this movie feels especially immersive.

I also have love for this movie because Casey Affleck's character has an incredible moral dilemma after a certain reveal that is so well captured. It's a movie that shows how foggy someone's morality can get when they truly believe they are right. Gone Baby Gone is the kind of film that sticks with you long after you watch it.

Was there anybody I left off the list? Let me know in the comments!


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