1. Sam Mendes' "American Beauty"
2. Kevin Smith's "Clerks"
Kevin Smith shot "Clerks" in 1994 for $27,575, and the movie went on to make $3 million in theaters. So it's arguable that Smith's frugality is what launched him into the big leagues.
3. Sofia Coppola's "The Virgin Suicides"
4. Steven Spielberg's "Duel"
5. Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs"
6. Kathryn Bigelow's "The Loveless"
7. Mel Brooks' "The Producers"
8. Rob Reiner's "This Is Spinal Tap"
9. Gabourey Sidibe In "Precious"
Gabourey Sidibe's very first movie was "Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire" in 2009. Her performance was praised by virtually every critic, but Roger Ebert put it best when he said, "The film is a tribute to Sidibe's ability to engage our empathy. Her work is still another demonstration of the mystery of some actors, who evoke feelings in ways beyond words and techniques." She was nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA, and a Critics Choice Award.