Film Directors The Most Overrated Directors of All Time  

Ranker Film
Originally by
31.6k votes 2.2k voters 22.1k 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
812 210
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
622 323
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
466 93
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
452 178
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
499 308
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
194 50
Chris Weitz is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Chris Weitz American Pie, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Antz

7
483 432
George Lucas is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
346 327
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
358 250
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
252 246
Lars von Trier is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Lars von Trier Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

11
189 93
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
204 107
Eli Roth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Eli Roth Cabin Fever, Hostel, Knock Knock

13
296 267
Judd Apatow is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Judd Apatow Superbad, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin

14
252 226
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

15
317 296
Oliver Stone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Oliver Stone Platoon, Scarface, JFK

16
174 76
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
287 289
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
237 331
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
253 148
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
193 136
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
123 72
Todd Phillips is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
139 73
Nicolas Cage is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Nicolas Cage Sonny

23
85 47
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
207 148
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
106 39
Paul Weitz is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Paul Weitz American Pie, Antz, About a Boy

26
101 36
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
136 66
Paul Feig is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
MartyMJJ777 added Paul Feig Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, Bad Teacher

28
425 367
James Cameron is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
James Cameron Titanic, Avatar, Terminator 2: Judgment Day

29
284 383
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Tim Burton Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands

30
177 240
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
146 138
Warren Beatty is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Warren Beatty Bulworth, Heaven Can Wait, Reds

32
172 167
John Waters is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
John Waters Hairspray, Hairspray, Cry-Baby

33
332 560
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
97 64
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
173 214
Joss Whedon is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
WarrenMitchell added Joss Whedon The Avengers, Toy Story, The Cabin in the Woods

36
75 27
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
131 197
Jean-Luc Godard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Jean-Luc Godard Breathless, Pierrot le Fou, Band of Outsiders

38
140 221
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
99 59
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
83 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
66 29
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

42
231 552
Christopher Nolan is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
levalex88 added Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

43
68 34
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
86 51
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
69 39
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
76 51
Guy Ritchie is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Guy Ritchie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch

47
123 99
Jon Favreau is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Jon Favreau Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Iron Man 2

48
59 49
Colin Trevorrow is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Colin Trevorrow Safety Not Guaranteed, Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World

49
63 34
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
53 47
Robert Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Robert Rodriguez Sin City, Kill Bill Volume 2, From Dusk till Dawn