Do you pay attention to the director and/or screenwriter of movies?

Earlier tonight I was talking with my baby sister, who is oddly stoked about the upcoming BATMAN/SUPERMAN flick; I think it’s her love for Ben Affleck, which I attribute to a head injury she sustained in 1998. Anyway, though I am a long-time comics fan, i’m not interested in seeing this movie–partly because I was profoundly bored by MAN OF STEEL, but mostly because, with the exception of 300, every movie of his I’ve seen has left me unhappy. I keep trackof things like that, you see. I always want to know the name of the directors and screenwriters of movies, because they’re a much better predictor for whether I’ll enjoy a movie than the subject, theme, lead actors, or even the amount of clothing Amanda Seyfried is wearing.

But maybe that’s just me. What about you guys? How much does a movie’s director and/or screenwriters affect your choice to see a movie?

There are a few directors, where I’ll go see most any movie they make.

Screenwriters not so much, expect maybe Charlie Kaufman.

Kaufman is someone whose movies I seek out.

Directors I largely use to know whom to avoid. Snyder and Peter Jackson top the list. And it was not LORD OF THE RINGS that pushed PJ onto “must skip” list.

I do pay attention to directors, but except maybe for Woody Allen I don’t see movies based solely on their being the director.

Charlie Kaufman is the only screenwriter who’s become a household name, and I’ll watch anything of his. I can’t think of any other screenwriters off the top of my head.

There are several screenwriters I’d seek out a movie by them, such as Nora Ephron (sadly passed), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (also passed), Aaron Sorkin, Amy Heckerling, etc. A couple of those are also directors. And among directors there’s Whit Stillman, Woody Allen, Paul Feig, Judd Apatow and a whole lot more.

I think I’ve only looked for Paul Thomas Anderson as a director but he is also the writer and producer of his movies so they’ve got the whole PTA package going on.

I notice Judd Apatow as a director, whereas I don’t generally notice other directors, because I guess I am a 36 year old white person who likes comedies so really I can’t avoid him.

Otherwise I am not in tune with writers or screenwriters.

I mentioned Allen but then said I didn’t know any other writers besides Kaufman! Just to clarify, I was talking about screenwriters who were only that and not also directors. Although hasn’t Kaufman started taking a turn at directing too?

Would Joss Whedon count?

The director is the single greatst factor behind my decision to se a movi. As far as I’m concerned, the director *is *the movie; everyone else - writers, actors, etc. - are the support staff.

If pressed, I might be able to identify if someone is a director. Screenwriters, probably not. I think the only one I actively avoid is M. Night Shamalamadingdong because for the most part, I’ve thought his movies were stupid.

I rarely go to movies, and when I do, I’m looking for a couple of hours of entertainment and escape. I’m not interested in messages or subtle uses of light or camera angle or whatever - I just want to be told a story that doesn’t reek of stupidity. Guess that’s why I rarely go…

About a third of the movies I see in the theater are by writers and directors I’m not all that familiar with, so it’s a bit of a priority for me. I don’t think I’ve seen a new Spielberg movie since AI; he’s kind of fallen off my must-see list. I used to see all the Coen brothers movies, but slacked off after the mediocre The Ladykillers.

I definitely do, although I’m not as familiar with the newer ones as I should be. If I’d realized that Damon Lindelof had co-written the screenplay for Tomorrowland with Brad Bird I wouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. His role in creating Prometheus and Lost would’ve clued me in.

But I’m a credit-reader. And not just to see any clever gags they throw in, or for after-credit scenes.

LOL - for the win!

Some directors I am drawn to: Ron Howard, Penny Marshall, Garry Marshall, and Rob Reiner.

I haven’t paid much attention to screenwriters before. Who is this Charlie Kaufman? Never heard of him. Looking up his screenwriting works list (, I have not seen any of those. Maybe I need to start paying attention to screenwriters.

Me too. The whole theater has emptied out and I’m still there, reading (scanning) the credits. My wife and kids know the drill, they’re there with me too.

I like to see where the filming locations are, and what the soundtrack was, and more.

Added – For TV movies where they collapse the credits to half the screen so that the other half shows the next show or movie, or when the credits fly past at 95MPH: so annoying!

I have always noted the name of the director on a film. If someone has directed good films in the past, I will be much more likely to see his or her new one. It’s probably the most important factor in making my decision next to the reviews.

Writers, not so much. Most of the top directors write their own scripts, and even the best script can be ruined by bad direction.

Ultimately, it’s the director who’s responsible for the finished product. Actors and screenwriters nearly always do their best work when a good director gets involved.*

*The clearest example was a book several years ago that tried to track top film writers like Andrew Sarris did for directors in The American Cinema. The list was clear: when the writer worked with one of Sarris’s top directors, a great film was made. When they worked with anyone else, it was at best average, and all the top films screenwriters worked on were those where they had a top-notch director.

This is what I came to say. If I know Lindelof was involved, I got no interest.

Then again, there’s his opposite number: Lawrence Kasdan. The Big Chill, Body Heat, Empire Strikes Back, Silverado … guy knows how to write a script. Not everything he’s touched has been gold (“The Bodyguard” for instance) but when I see he wrote the script, I sit up and take notice.

Yes, I pay attention to these things for a few reasons. First, and most plainly, if you have a bad script or bad director, A-list talent, cinematography, etc. can’t fix them. Those two pieces are, by far, the most integral parts of what make a good film, one is the story the other is the story teller, and it’s like building a house on a bad foundation. To a certain extent a good director can correct a poor screenplay since he can have some rewrites, improvisation, elaboration, editting, pacing, etc. to improve it. But a bad director can often sink everything. The former is like having Morgan Freeman read the phone book, the latter is like having Siri read the Lord of the Rings.

More specifically, the writers and directors tend to have flavors and styles that may or may not fit what I personally enjoy. I may not notice how much I love or hate a director or a writer after one or two films, but I’ve found that my favorite films often have streaks of the same director or writer appearing multiple times. Sometimes they’re not even all that great, but there’s something particular about their style that appeals to me. For example, other than Alien 3, I’ve loved or at least really enjoyed every film by Fincher, even some that haven’t been as well received. OTOH, some directors that are widely loved are hit and miss for me, Kubrik being an obvious example, where I don’t dispute his talent and vision, it just doesn’t always land right for me.

And per the OP, I’m a fan of Zack Snyder; I’ve seen all of his films but Suckerpunch (which apparently is one that a lot of people hate). Yes, he definitely has some flaws in some of his direction and pacing, but the parts that work REALLY work for me and the parts that don’t just don’t miss as much as they do for other people. But at the same time, I totally get WHY those things that hit for me don’t work as well for others and the flaws are more glaring to them. I really enjoyed the vision of 300, it’s certainly not a great story, and the characters are flat, but it seems to me he was aiming to make archetypal characters, so it worked. And, frankly, I consider Watchmen and Man of Steel to be among the greatest comic book adaptations I’ve seen. I think Watchmen was nearly pitch-perfect (and for a property many thought was impossible to do at all), and I absolutely loved the undertones of Man of Steel, exploring a lot of aspects of the character and modernizing him in a way I really related to. As a result, I was psyched to learn he was directing BvS. But again, his direction is VERY stylized and it’s like asking the mainstream audience to appreciate a more niche genre of music, some will love it, some will hate it, some just won’t get it. So I totally get how he’s divisive, and while I was hopeful for stronger positive reactions to BvS from critics, it really isn’t outside of what I was expecting–some people LOVE it, some HATE it, many somewhere in between, many left kind of confused or pointing out exactly the strengths of his I love or the sorts of flaws I expect from him.

Hey, going by the director is one of the two reasons I saw “Monkeybone.”

(Mistakes were made.)

Eons ago I was a big Hal Ashby fan.

don’t know if Alejandro Jodorowski will make another film again - hope so.

I could go on, for, oh, another 20,000 words on this topic - maybe I’ll pace myself a little here lol.

Most definitely. If M. Night or Michael Bay’s names are attached, in any way, they don’t get my money.