film directors The Most Overrated Directors of All Time  

Ranker Film
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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.

list ordered by

1
723 181
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
566 270
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
377 70
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
406 155
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
455 262
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
438 364
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
166 42
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
311 281
Kevin Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Kevin Smith Clerks, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

9
318 215
Seth MacFarlane is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
WarrenMitchell added Seth MacFarlane Ted, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Movie 43

10
276 222
Judd Apatow is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Judd Apatow Superbad, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin

11
170 76
Roland Emmerich is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Roland Emmerich Independence Day, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow

12
223 225
Lars von Trier is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Lars von Trier Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

13
237 200
Baz Luhrmann is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Baz Luhrmann Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby, Romeo + Juliet

14
174 88
Eli Roth is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Eli Roth Cabin Fever, Hostel, Knock Knock

Child Actors Who Tragically Died Young

15
292 266
Oliver Stone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Oliver Stone Platoon, Scarface, JFK

16
148 60
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
216 303
Darren Aronofsky is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Darren Aronofsky Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Fountain

18
257 261
Sofia Coppola is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Sofia Coppola Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette

19
109 57
Todd Phillips is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
176 122
Nora Ephron is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Nora Ephron When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail

21
193 130
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Woody Allen Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters

The Worst Movie Directors of All Time

22
174 113
J.J. Abrams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added J.J. Abrams Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Armageddon

23
70 34
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
121 48
Paul Feig is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
MartyMJJ777 added Paul Feig Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, Bad Teacher

25
114 63
Nicolas Cage is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Nicolas Cage Sonny

26
92 27
Michel Hazanavicius is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Michel Hazanavicius The Artist, The Artist, OSS 117: Cairo

27
396 334
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 32
Paul Weitz is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Paul Weitz American Pie, Antz, About a Boy

The Greatest Directors in Movie History

29
163 144
John Waters is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
John Waters Hairspray, Hairspray, Cry-Baby

30
164 218
Kathryn Bigelow is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
gschwayze added Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker, Point Break, Zero Dark Thirty

31
254 352
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Tim Burton Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands

32
88 52
Alexander Payne is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Alexander Payne Election, Sideways, Jurassic Park III

33
302 513
Quentin Tarantino is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Quentin Tarantino Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Volume 1

34
125 183
Jean-Luc Godard is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Jean-Luc Godard Breathless, Pierrot le Fou, Band of Outsiders

35
70 23
Olivier Dahan is listed (or ranked) 35 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

The Best TV Shows That Lasted 10+ Seasons

36
155 194
Joss Whedon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
WarrenMitchell added Joss Whedon The Avengers, Toy Story, The Cabin in the Woods

37
126 129
Warren Beatty is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Warren Beatty Bulworth, Heaven Can Wait, Reds

38
77 36
Mike Leigh is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Mike Leigh Secrets & Lies, Naked, Topsy Turvy

39
127 208
Terrence Malick is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Terrence Malick The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life, Badlands

40
88 51
Jason Reitman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Jason Reitman Juno, Ghostbusters II, Up in the Air

41
62 25
Olivier Assayas is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Olivier Assayas Carlos, Paris^! je t'aime, Demonlover

42
65 28
Claude Lanzmann is listed (or ranked) 42 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

The Best Insults from Harry Potter

43
218 509
Christopher Nolan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
levalex88 added Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

44
115 79
Jon Favreau is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Jon Favreau Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Iron Man 2

45
68 32
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
75 38
Ben Stiller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Ben Stiller Zoolander, Tropic Thunder, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

47
53 44
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
113 124
Pedro Almodóvar is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Pedro Almodóvar The Skin I Live In, Bad Education, All About My Mother

49
61 42
Guy Ritchie is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Guy Ritchie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch

50
142 240
Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Ron Howard Apollo 13, American Graffiti, A Beautiful Mind