By Joey Magidson
For a filmmaker, it’s rare to make a real impact with your debut feature. Most of the time, you begin your career with a calling-card movie or a work that doesn’t fully express your true talent. There are, however, certain instances when a director is able to wow audiences and leave his or her mark on the film world right from the get-go.
This year, we’ve seen Benh Zeitlin make his debut with a film that many absolutely love in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Zeitlin’s freshman feature has been mentioned as one of the top debuts by a filmmaker in some time, so that got me thinking: What are the 10 best of all time?
Of course, there’s some level of subjectivity to this kind of a list. If I were strictly going off of my personal favorite debuts, people such as Judd Apatow, Darren Aronofsky, Mel Brooks and Kevin Smith would be high up on my own Top 10. For the purposes of this list, though, I’m putting as much of my individual preference aside as possible. Below you’ll find 10 of the great directorial debuts of all time.