This took me a while to think about. Being such an avid film fan picking a few favorite directors is quite the task Anyways here are my favorite directors.
Favorite Films "Pulp Fiction,"Reservoir Dogs","Kill Bill Vol 1"
Ever since I saw Pulp Fiction when I was 13 Tarantino has been my favorite director. What I like so much about Tarantino is how well he writes his dialogue which is kind of a lost art form now-a-days. 3 of his films are in my top 10 of all time and pretty much everything he has done is a masterpiece.
Favorite Films "The Departed", "Goodfellas","Taxi Driver"
Sure Scorcese is a bit one-dimensional but he has a knack for crime dramas. No one makes Crime Drams as enthralling and just plain wonderful as Scorcese does. He has had misfires with other genres("The Age Of Innocence,"The Aviator") untill "Shutter Island" proved Scorcese can take risks and prevail.
Favorite Films "The 40-Year Old Virgin","Knocked Up"
Judd Apatow is not just a spectacular director who is responsible for some of the finest comedies of the past 5 or so years but he also writes and produces. Apatow is a comic genius and he has pretty much pioneered modern comedy films.
Favorite Films "Memento", "The Dark Knight", "Batman Begins"
Christopher Nolan who is one of the best storytellers to come along in a long time. In his relatively short career he has already rescurrected a dead franchise(Batman) and brought us one of the most mind-bending and just flat out fantastic films of the past 10 years ("Memento"). I think Nolan will be going down with the legends of films by the time his career is over.
Favorite Films "Clerks" "Dogma", "Zack and A Miri Make A Porno"
Kevin Smith gets a lot of hate around the film industry. Sure his brand of comedy is vulgar and crude but it is also razor-sharp and hysterical. With the exception of "Jersey Girl" Smith is pretty much always on top of his game and always bring unique comedy to the table.
Favorite Films "Sin City","Planet Terror", "Desperado"
Yes I understand Rodriguez has made a lot of shit kids films like the "Spy Kids" Franchise but If you throw those films away he is one of my favorite directors. "Sin City" is my 2nd favorite film of all time and it was the film that was the gateway for me into his work. Rodriguez is a visonary and one of the most underrated directors in Hollywood right now.
Honorable Mentions Ridley Scott,Steven Speilberg,Clint Eastwood,Guy Ritchie,Zack Snyder