The Most Critically Acclaimed Actor-Directed Movies

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The Most Critically Acclaimed Actor-Directed Movies

Actors have taken on various roles throughout the years within the film industry, one of which being directors. While the transition from actor to director has not always been a successful one, there have been some monumental successes. Many actors have showcased their directing abilities, stepping out of their Hollywood comfort zone and into the director’s chair. Here is a look at the most critically acclaimed actor-directed movies.

Robert Redford Directed Films

One of the most celebrated actors to make the successful transition to director is Robert Redford. Along with winning several awards for his acting, Redford also received awards for his directing. Some of his directed films include:

• Ordinary People – Starring Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore, this 1980 film tells the story of a dysfunctional family coping with tragedy. The film is an exploration on how grief and guilt can affect those who are close to a situation. It was a huge success, with Redford winning an Academy Award for his directing efforts.

• The Milagro Beanfield War – Released in 1988, this film follows a small community who finds themselves standing up to a powerful land baron. The film is full of adventure and romance, and also stars Redford in a small role. He was nominated for his direction at the 71st Academy Awards.

• A River Runs Through It – This 1992 drama starred Redford, Tom Skerritt, and Brad Pitt. It was a commercial success, and was praised for its effortless portrayal of the unique relationships between two brothers. Redford received the best Director and Best Picture nominations from the Academy, but lost out to Steven Spielberg.

Dustin Hoffman Directed Movies

Dustin Hoffman has established himself as an Academy Award-winning actor, and also as a director. His films include:

• Quartet – Starring Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and Tom Courtenay, Quartet tells a story of friendship and rivalry between four retired opera singers. It was a box office success and Hoffman was nominated for best director at the British Academy Film Awards.

• Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter – This 1979 film starred Hoffman and Meryl Streep, and follows the story of a mother and daughter experiencing a rocky relationship. It is a drama which deals with relationships and identity issues. Hoffman was nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for his direction of the movie.

• Mad City – This 1997 film stars Hoffman and John Travolta. The plot follows an ex-security guard who works in an art gallery and to demonstrate his plight, he steals a number of artifacts from the gallery and holds the visitors hostage. The movie was generally well received although at the box office it was not the success Hoffman had hoped for.

Mel Gibson Directed Movies

Mel Gibson has moved from one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs to one of its most accomplished directors. Some of his directed films include:

• Braveheart – This 1995 romantic war drama film was a huge success, and a key part of this was Gibson’s direction. It stars Gibson, Sophie Marceau and Catherine McCormack, and it follows the story of a Scottish rebellion against England. Gibson’s portrayal of William Wallace won him the Academy Award for Best Director.

• Apocalypto – This 2006 epic adventure drama follows the story of a Mayan man who is taken prisoner by a group of warriors. It was filmed almost entirely in the Mayan language, Yucatec, and it won international recognition. It stars Rudy Youngblood, Dalia Hernandez and Morris Birdyellowhead.

• The Passion of the Christ – This 2004 epic drama was Gibson’s directorial masterpiece. It follows the story of Jesus Christ and it stars Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern and Monica Bellucci. The movie gained worldwide praise for its production and attention to detail.

It is clear to see that many Hollywood stars have the talent and the drive to move from actor to director. The films discussed here are just a glimpse at the talent these actors have, and the success they have achieved in the directing world of films. It will be exciting to see where the next generation of actor-directors take us in the film industry.

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