This is not a surprise — Scorcese is one of America’s best directors, and Goodfellas is one of his best films. The vote was very close: Pulp Fiction came in second with seven votes, one off the lead.
Andy will publish commentary later, but to me, at quick glance, it looks like David Lynch and the Coen brothers both suffered a fate similar to Phillip Roth in the Times poll. The Lynch vote was split between three films, with Blue Velvet and Mulholland Dr. each receiving four; the Coens landed in third (tied) with Miller’s Crossing (6 votes) and fourth (tied) with Fargo (5 votes). Lebowski and Barton Fink landed some votes as well. Does this mean that the Coen brothers are the best director(s) of the past 25 years? I think that’s fair. Scorcese, Tarantino, and Spielberg have made quite a few movies in the past quarter-century, but it’s pretty clear in all three cases that one particular film towers about the rest. This is far from the case with the Coen brothers.
At any rate, congratulations all around.