Steven Andrew Soderbergh (born January 14, 1963) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, and editor. An early pioneer of modern independent cinema, Soderbergh is an acclaimed and prolific filmmaker.
Soderbergh's directorial breakthrough—indie drama Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)—lifted him into the public spotlight as a notable presence in the film industry. At 26, Soderbergh became the youngest solo director to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival which garnered the film worldwide commercial success, among numerous accolades. His breakthrough saw him to Hollywood where he directed crime comedy Out of Sight (1998); biopic Erin Brockovich (2000) and crime drama film Traffic (2000), the latter winning him the Academy Award for Best Director. He found further popular and critical success with the Ocean's trilogy and film franchise (2001–18); Contagion (2011); Magic Mike (2012); Side Effects (2013); Logan Lucky (2017); and Unsane (2018). Despite his film career spanning a multitude of genres, his cinematic niche centers on psychological, crime, and heist thrillers. His films have grossed over US$2.2 billion worldwide and garnered nine Oscar nominations, winning seven.
Soderbergh's films often revolve around familiar concepts often used for big-budget Hollywood movies but with an avant-garde arthouse approach to them. They center on the themes of shifting personal identities, vengeance, sexuality, morality, and the human condition. His feature films retain distinctive cinematography as a result of his liberal use of avant-garde cinema coupled with unconventional film and camera formats. Many of Soderbergh's films are anchored by multi-dimensional storylines with plot twists, nonlinear storytelling, experimental sequencing, suspenseful soundscapes, and third-person vantage points.