10. The Shawshank Redemption
Frank Darabont was not an amateur when he directed The Shawshank Redemption in 1994. He had worked for years as a screenwriter and had even directed a made for TV film prior to securing the rights to Stephen King's short story. Nothing he had done though hinted at what to expect from his first feature length film, which has become one of the most loved of all modern films. Despite barely making back its budget, and losing out on any important awards, The Shawshank Redemption became a fan favorite after being released on video and now of course, it's a favorite of many movie watchers, ranking number one on IMDB's top 250, and if nothing else, The Shawshank Redemption inspired dozens of Morgan Freeman voiceovers. Darabont has gone on to have a very successful career, directing films like The Green Mile and The Mist but for most viewers, he never got better than this quite remarkable debut.