Film Directors The Most Overrated Directors of All Time  

Ranker Film
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30.4k votes 2.1k voters 21.5k views 169 items

List Rules Vote up the film directors who aren't quite worth the hype

List of the most overacted directors in the film industry of all times. Often the success, both critically and financially, of a movie rests on the director’s head. Directors are responsible for the film angles, the actor’s performances, and the editing of a movie. When a movie does well,people praise the director. However, some directors have earned far too much praise for their mediocre work. Many of the overrated directors on this list made a few amazing movies that are often put on the best films lists, but then made many more average to bad movies. These directors rested on their famous name,rather than their talents.

Some of the filmmakers on this list focus too much on pretentious abstract themes, while others use too many “homages” instead of originality. Directors like Michael Bay and James Cameron make the highest-grossing films that are big and loud, but not very critically beloved.Other directors like Hitchcock have an impressive amount of great films, but far more flops under their belts.

Who are the most overrated directors of all time? This list features directors who are well-known but don’t often make quality films. Whether they started out as an amazing director and started to make bad films or was more famous for the things in front of the camera, these directors aren’t as great as they’re built up to be.

1
781 198
Michael Bay is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Michael Bay Transformers, Armageddon, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

2
602 298
M. Night Shyamalan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
M. Night Shyamalan The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable

3
432 85
Lena Dunham is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Lena Dunham Tiny Furniture, Creative Nonfiction

4
434 166
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Barbra Streisand Yentl, The Prince of Tides, The Mirror Has Two Faces

5
481 290
Spike Lee is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Spike Lee Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Love & Basketball

6
463 409
George Lucas is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
George Lucas Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

7
181 46
Chris Weitz is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Chris Weitz American Pie, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Antz

8
346 232
Seth MacFarlane is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
WarrenMitchell added Seth MacFarlane Ted, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Movie 43

9
334 310
Kevin Smith is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Kevin Smith Clerks, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

10
183 84
Roland Emmerich is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Roland Emmerich Independence Day, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow

11
242 238
Lars von Trier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Lars von Trier Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

12
288 247
Judd Apatow is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Judd Apatow Superbad, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin

13
189 100
Eli Roth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Eli Roth Cabin Fever, Hostel, Knock Knock

14
245 215
Baz Luhrmann is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Baz Luhrmann Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby, Romeo + Juliet

The Most Overrated Movies of All Time

15
307 285
Oliver Stone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Oliver Stone Platoon, Scarface, JFK

16
164 70
Zach Braff is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Zach Braff Garden State, Wish I Was Here

17
275 275
Sofia Coppola is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Sofia Coppola Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette

18
227 322
Darren Aronofsky is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Darren Aronofsky Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Fountain

19
233 141
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Woody Allen Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters

20
116 65
Todd Phillips is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Todd Phillips The Hangover, Old School, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

21
187 131
Nora Ephron is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Nora Ephron When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail

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22
131 69
Nicolas Cage is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Nicolas Cage Sonny

23
80 41
Victor Salva is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Victor Salva Jeepers Creepers, Powder, Jeepers Creepers 2

24
193 138
J.J. Abrams is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added J.J. Abrams Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Armageddon

25
129 58
Paul Feig is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
MartyMJJ777 added Paul Feig Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, Bad Teacher

26
101 35
Paul Weitz is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Paul Weitz American Pie, Antz, About a Boy

27
416 353
James Cameron is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
James Cameron Titanic, Avatar, Terminator 2: Judgment Day

28
94 33
Michel Hazanavicius is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Michel Hazanavicius The Artist, The Artist, OSS 117: Cairo

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29
169 232
Kathryn Bigelow is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
gschwayze added Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker, Point Break, Zero Dark Thirty

30
270 376
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Tim Burton Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands

31
167 159
John Waters is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
John Waters Hairspray, Hairspray, Cry-Baby

32
317 550
Quentin Tarantino is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Quentin Tarantino Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Volume 1

33
138 134
Warren Beatty is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Warren Beatty Bulworth, Heaven Can Wait, Reds

34
92 61
Alexander Payne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Alexander Payne Election, Sideways, Jurassic Park III

35
129 193
Jean-Luc Godard is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Jean-Luc Godard Breathless, Pierrot le Fou, Band of Outsiders

The Most Rewatchable Movies

36
72 26
Olivier Dahan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Olivier Dahan La Vie en rose, Crimson Rivers II: Angels of the Apocalypse, Grace of Monaco

37
162 207
Joss Whedon is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
WarrenMitchell added Joss Whedon The Avengers, Toy Story, The Cabin in the Woods

38
134 217
Terrence Malick is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Terrence Malick The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life, Badlands

39
95 56
Jason Reitman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Jason Reitman Juno, Ghostbusters II, Up in the Air

40
79 43
Mike Leigh is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Mike Leigh Secrets & Lies, Naked, Topsy Turvy

41
226 540
Christopher Nolan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
levalex88 added Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

42
63 29
Olivier Assayas is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Olivier Assayas Carlos, Paris^! je t'aime, Demonlover

The Most Overrated Actors of All Time

43
66 33
Claude Lanzmann is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Claude Lanzmann Shoah, Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie, Sobibór

44
82 47
Ben Stiller is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Ben Stiller Zoolander, Tropic Thunder, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

45
68 36
Roland Joffé is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Roland Joffé The Killing Fields, The Mission, Super Mario Bros.

46
121 93
Jon Favreau is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Jon Favreau Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Iron Man 2

47
57 47
Colin Trevorrow is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Colin Trevorrow Safety Not Guaranteed, Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World

48
70 48
Guy Ritchie is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Guy Ritchie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch

49
59 31
James Franco is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added James Franco The Disaster Artist, As I Lay Dying, The Broken Tower

50
130 113
Roman Polanski is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Roman Polanski Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, The Pianist