1. Alfonso Cuarón - The first movie that introduced us to Alfonso Cuarón was Y Tu Mamá También it was a gritty movie about two young guys going on a road trip. He had made two films before that including A Little Princess and Great Expectations with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke. But after the success of Y Tu Mama Tambien he would go on to direct the third Harry Potter film The Prisoner of Azkaban. While at the time it seemed like an odd choice it turned out to be a good fit but it would be his only stint in the Harry Potter universe. Next up was one of our favorite movies the dystopian sci-fi movie Children of Men. Children of Men did get two Oscar nominations for screenplay and cinematography. It was a brilliant movie full of suspense and the more you watch it the more details you pick up. The movie that won him the Oscar for Best Director Gravity a survival tale about an astronaut stuck in space. The movie was shot in 3D and was a technical master piece.
2. Alejandro González Iñárritu - We first became aware of Iñárritu after the movie Amores Perros. A movie about people's live that intersect in Mexico City. Each come from different walks of life and each has a tragic tale to tell. It is one of my favorite movies to come out of Mexico. He then went on to direct two other movies about peoples lives that connect. First was 21 Grams that got Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro Oscar nominations then Babel that got a Best Picture nomination. It was his latest film Birdman that finally broke through and won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. What seemed like a gimmicky movie made to look like it was shot all in one take turned out to be an interesting look inside a man going mad. It was one of our favorite movies of 2014.
3. Guillermo del Toro- Dabbling in dark and horror films del Toro has taken a different path to the top. After getting attention for some horror films like Crono, Mimic, and The Devils Backbone he went on to direct the comic book sequel Blade 2. Seen as a success he went on to direct another comic book movie Hellboy which was very well received. This success let him get creative with the fantasy tale Pan's Labyrinth which garnered 3 Oscar nominations including a screenplay nod for del Toro. Pan's Labyrinth takes place during the Spanish civil war and follows a girl who is forced to move when her mom remarries a army general. The movie took place in both the real world and a fantasy world where the girl tried to complete challenges. The movie feels like a modern fairy tale that's not quite for kids. Del Toro then revisited the Hellboy universe in Hellboy 2 and then went on to direct the massive action film Pacific Rim. Pacific Rim took a long time to develop but the movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters went on to do massive business internationally. Del Toro also keeps busy by writing and working on his TV show The Strain. He is constantly announcing new movies he is working currently has around 5 movies in development.
4. Robert Rodriguez - While not technically Mexican by birth his movie making takes a lot from his Mexican heritage especially Mexican grindhouse films. Rodriguez burst on the world stage at Sundance with his low budget actioner El Mariachi. He went on to essentially do an American remake with Desperado starring Antonio Bandares. Those movies established Rodriguez as someone who could direct an engrossing film on a modest budget. He would shock everyone again with the bloody From Dusk Till Dawn that had George Clooney fighting vampires. What started off as outlaws on the run turned into one of the bloodiest and most fun vampire movies. Rodriguez then took a strange turn and went on to make the kids film Spy Kids. He has jumped back and forth between kids movies (Spy Kids 2, 3, and Sharkboy and Lava Girl) and grindhouse flicks (Planet Terror and Machete). He has had an interesting career so far and we look forward to see what he brings in the future.