There's nothing like the first time. Before filmmakers become jaded or hardened from years spent inside Hollywood's unforgiving, rigorous machine, they all start off as hungry artists who just want a chance to make art. Which, most of the time, results in their debut movies being unique and uncompromising. Granted, that doesn't always make the movies any good—keep in mind, hacks like Ed Wood, Uwe Boll, and, yes, even Tyler Perry were once big-screen rookies.

When a freshman's introductory flick effectively showcases his or her natural and undeniable chops, though, it's all the more exciting. All of the auteurs included on our list of 10 directors who have never made a bad movie, for instance, broke into the industry with, well, very good movies—namely, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Christopher Nolan.

But do the first-time efforts from those A-list filmmakers rank within our countdown of The 30 Greatest Directorial Debuts? The answer may surprise you.

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Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone), Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1), Ross Scarano (@RossScarano), Greg Topscher (@gtopscher), and Jennifer M. Wood (@j_m_wood)