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The Most Overrated Directors of All Time

Updated November 15, 2019 35.8k votes 3.1k voters 28.5k views161 items

List RulesVote 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.

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    Noémie Lvovsky

    The French Kissers, 17 Girls
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    23
    16
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    Grigori Kozintsev

    Hamlet, King Lear
  • 78
    129
    164

    Ang Lee

    Brokeback Mountain, Hulk
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    Agnieszka Holland

    The Secret Garden, Three Colors: Blue
  • 80
    27
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    Zabou Breitman

    Gwendoline, The Man of My Life
  • 81
    28
    25
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    Rebecca Zlotowski

    Belle Epine, Belle Epine
  • 82
    27
    24
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    Dziga Vertov

    Man with a Movie Camera, Three Songs About Lenin
  • 83
    58
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    Joseph L. Mankiewicz

    All About Eve, The Philadelphia Story
  • 84
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    214
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    Joss Whedon

    The Avengers, Toy Story
  • 85
    39
    39
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    Nicolas Winding Refn

    Drive, Only God Forgives
  • 86
    82
    108
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    Spike Jonze

    Being John Malkovich, Adaptation
  • 87
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    28
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    Joann Sfar

    Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, Aya de Yopougon
  • 88
    38
    33
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    George Pal

    The Time Machine, H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds
  • 89
    115
    156

    Rob Reiner

    The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap
  • 90
    17
    8
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    James Wan

    Saw, The Conjuring
  • 91
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    Daniel Espinosa

    Safe House, Snabba cash - Livet deluxe
  • 92
    27
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    Gérard Oury

    The Sword and the Rose, The Mirror Has Two Faces
  • 93
    38
    50
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    Jerry Schatzberg

    The Panic in Needle Park, The Seduction of Joe Tynan
  • 94
    33
    34
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    Alejandro Jodorowsky

    El Topo, The Holy Mountain
  • 95
    28
    27
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    Ernst Lubitsch

    Ninotchka, The Shop Around the Corner
  • 96
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    István Szabó

    Being Julia, Albert Nobbs
  • 97
    26
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    Kornél Mundruczó

    Lost and Found - Six Glances of a Generation, Lost and Found - Six Glances of a Generation
  • 98
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    41
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    François Ozon

    8 Women, Swimming Pool
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    33
    40
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    Ivan Reitman

    Ghostbusters, National Lampoon's Animal House
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    227
    336

    Darren Aronofsky

    Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan
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List Rules: Vote up the film directors who aren't quite worth the hype