Hollywood directors who just aren't good at their craft

shrug You’re entitled to your opinion, and when it comes to matters of art there is certainly a large amount of personal preference and subjective interpretation as to what is considered ‘good entertainment’. But from any objective standard, I think the films are clumsily constructed, sloppily plotted, and the characterization about as deep as the movie posters in the lobby. If I had turned in a screenplay like that in my scriptwriting class I would have gotten a C+ at best.


Kinda makes me wonder how many $100 million+ movies would have gotten a similar grade, and how many A+ grades would have bombed utterly.
The Trek reboots are indeed pretty damn terrible.

Agreed, but your claim that the Star Trek reboots aren’t good by any critical standard doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

If you say so. I find the plots to be a sloppy mess than is dealt with by arbitrarily invoking transparent McGuffins like ‘red matter fixes all problems’ or ‘we’ll take blood from the genetic supersoldier Khan to magically bring Kirk back to life’. These are exactly the type of ridiculous plot mechanics that films like Galaxy Quest or Adaptation exist to mock.


I’ll second Christopher Nolan. Those Batman movies were boring. And Batman was my favorite superhero growing up. I wanted to like them, but bleh.

Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. They always work together because the directorial duties of films like Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie is just too much for one man to take on.

Woody Allen took a few films to figure out directing. Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex was his first film where the directing wasn’t awkward (even if the script was bad), and since Love and Death, he’s had his craft down.

On the other hand, if you ever wondered what Shakespeare would look like filmed as a Duran Duran video, he was your boy.

Re: Christopher Nolan, yeah I never liked his Batman movies, but Inception, Momento, and especially The Prestige are masterpieces.

I thought of the worst movies I’ve seen, a list which usually starts with Envy. Barry Levinson directed that. Looking at his filmography, there are a bunch of darn good movies in a variety of genres on there, but far too many ‘worst ever’ ones, too. Toys and Sphere along with Envy are all truly terrible, and he’s responsible for Robin Williams never growing up.

Levinson first skill is as a screenwriter and because of that, his best movies as a director are generally realistic and dialogue-driven. However, when he ventures outside his wheelhouse (e.g., Toys and Sphere), the results usually aren’t pretty. Also, I don’t he’s ever really recovered from the failure of Toys. For some reason, that movie took a lot out of him.

Thanks for posting this, because I was beginning to think it was just me.

I had no idea what was happening in the action sequences of any of his Batman movies. “Is Batman fighting somebody? Who just hit Batman? Or was that Batman hitting a bad guy? Is Batman even IN this scene?” Then I had no idea what was happening in Inception’s big action setpieces. I could see what was happening, but I had no clue who was who, or whether this was good or bad for the main characters.

The guy is a talented director, but he shouldn’t be doing action movies.

How is Nolan on this list? I mean he might not be great like a lot of people think, but compared to people like Tyler Perry, Seltzer and Friedburg, Raja Gosnell, Robert Rodriguez, Courtney Solomon, and Uwe Boll the man is a genius. Although, to be fair to Uwe Boll, most of his movies are independent and done on a pretty shoestring budget.

Because he’s a director of action movies who can’t direct action sequences.

I wouldn’t really consider him a director of action movies. Thrillers, yes. Even the batman movies were a lot more thriller than action. But even if that’s true, he is overall a good director, in terms of the movies he makes, performances he gets out of actors, shot choices, etc. I’m not saying it’s not a valid criticism, because it absolutely is, but the OP asked for hack directors, and Nolan is definitely not a hack. Particularly when you compare him to some of the directors I’ve listed, who have never really shown any directorial merit, in any area. Nolan’s bad at action sequences. Tyler Perry can’t film a two shot.

You’re criticizing the script, even after it’s been pointed out to you that Abrams didn’t write it.

You also seem to be confusing critical reception with your opinion. Rotten Tomatoes scores are, in my opinion, anyway, an accurate measure of critical reception. Star Trek (2009) has a 90+%. Ted, which you cite as one of many “comedic crowd pleasers which are still outstanding films on a critical level” has a 68%, which is good, sure, but not as good as ST’s score.

You then go on to attempt to explain ST’s score by chalking it up to the built in fan base of the franchise. Well, maybe film critics are overwhelmingly Trekkies, I guess that could be. Confusingly, though, other films in the chain are notorious mutts-- Nemesis comes in at 37%, for example. So that’s not it, either.

Personally, I did not enjoy Star Trek much, but it clearly did well with both the critics and at the box office, which are not the calling cards of a bad director. I think the film was fairly true to the original material, which is, as you admit, ridiculous.

Yeah, you said that already. Do you have some examples of particularly bad sequences you can share? They’d have to be really bad to sink the entire film. Personally, I think he cuts away too often, and I remember the first time Batman fought with Bane looking slow, but those things are not enough for me to say Nolan’s bad at his job.

Abrams may not have a writing or story credit, but the credited writers (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) are the creative team he has worked with since Alias and Fringe, and his comments make it clear that he has substantial creative input into story and character development. Regardless of what popular opinion may be–even that of professional critics–his creative direction and cinematographic sensibility is crap, in my opinion based upon objective evaluation of the character evolution, plot resolution, coherence of staging and action, et cetera. You may differ, and that is your opinion, but I think he is one of the worst directors regularly getting work directing major motion pictures today.


Paul WS Anderson: Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon, Alien vs Predator, the Resident Evil series (starring his wife Milla Jovovich), Death Race, The Three Musketeers (also starring his wife).

Seems that his only real talent is marrying Milla Jovovich.

Event Horizon wasn’t bad, but if that’s your high point…

Isn’t the joke that the WS stands for “Will Suck”?

That’s all fine and inarguable. (Your opinion is not something to debate.) Your assertion that his movies aren’t good “by any critical standard” is clearly false, though, in that the “critical standard” of “reviews by movie critics” ranks the movies very highly.

So there is clearly a critical standard by which the movies are considered quite good. I’d even go further and say that how well a movie is received by critics as the most common meaning of critical standard.

Perhaps you meant to use a different term.

Because this is the internet. Everyone is a special snowflake who is above the unwashed masses, and whatever the plebs like is absolute garbage. The brilliance of the netizens is that they see what the rubes do not. For example, did you know that Jessica Alba is hideous? It’s the pointy elbows.

Threads like these allow people to assert their special snowflake status. Other such threads are “Who is considered beautiful but you don’t find attractive?” and “What great bands do you think are overrated?”

The SDMB is an excellent source of these types of threads and responses, but it is by no means limited to the SDMB. It’s an internet thing.