It may feel at times that cinema is increasingly becoming a "producer's medium", where the illusion of quality before profits has long-since evaporated and creatives are merely ticking corporate boxes; just look at how unshakably dominant the franchise model is on the box office. Like TV ten years ago, directors are just a cog in the machine, rather than the operator.
But that's not entirely true. There's hordes of filmmakers out there who are still managing to push boundaries and construct exciting or challenging films. Just as the 2010s have offered up a wide range of amazing movies in spite of a lot of dreck, so too have there been many great directors bringing us consistently great movies.
Here are the twenty greatest directors of the decade so far, from newcomers who've exploded onto the scene in the past six years to others who've been working in cinema for longer than most people reading this will have been alive.
Of course, there's plenty of good filmmakers who missed out on the list thanks to a muddled output in the 2010s - Duncan Jones made one knock-out and one dud, while Woody Allen's embodying of hit-and-miss makes him hard to back - so there's sure to be a lot of debate. Head to the comments at the end to let us know who you think should have been on here.
20. J.J. Abrams
2010s Films: Super 8, Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Upcoming Projects: None announced
It would probably be enough to just point out how J.J. Abrams made a Star Wars movie in the face of massive hype and even bigger cynicism and call this entry a day. The Force Awakens may not be the best film ever or even in the series, but what J.J. achieved, creating something that was at once rooted in adoration of the originals yet still had a clear eye to the future, was the best we could have ever hopedd from Episode VII.
That's Abrams real skill; the ability to adopt and advance styles, something that was shown in his Star Trek reboot (and to a lesser extent its sequel) and Super 8, which adopted Spielbergian Americana and threw in genuine horror (and maintined proper emotional heft).