Film Directors The Most Overrated Directors of All Time  

Ranker Film
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33.9k votes 2.4k voters 23.6k 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.

list ordered by

1
872 231
Michael Bay is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Transformers, Armageddon, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

2
662 353
M. Night Shyamalan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable

3
503 110
Lena Dunham is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Tiny Furniture, Creative Nonfiction

4
476 194
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Yentl, The Prince of Tides, The Mirror Has Two Faces

5
531 337
Spike Lee is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Love & Basketball

6
209 56
Chris Weitz is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added American Pie, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Antz

7
519 466
George Lucas is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

8
364 347
Kevin Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Clerks, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

9
382 274
Seth MacFarlane is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
WarrenMitchell added Ted, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Movie 43

10
206 101
Roland Emmerich is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Independence Day, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow

11
267 264
Lars von Trier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

12
223 118
Eli Roth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Cabin Fever, Hostel, Knock Knock

13
270 239
Baz Luhrmann is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby, Romeo + Juliet

14
312 288
Judd Apatow is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Superbad, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin

15
327 319
Oliver Stone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Platoon, Scarface, JFK

16
183 85
Zach Braff is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Garden State, Wish I Was Here

17
253 356
Darren Aronofsky is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Fountain

18
283 173
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters

19
296 314
Sofia Coppola is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette

20
199 146
Nora Ephron is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail

21
133 84
Todd Phillips is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added The Hangover, Old School, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

22
144 75
Paul Feig is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
MartyMJJ777 added Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, Bad Teacher

23
155 85
Nicolas Cage is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Sonny

24
91 55
Victor Salva is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Jeepers Creepers, Powder, Jeepers Creepers 2

25
230 173
J.J. Abrams is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Armageddon

26
113 44
Paul Weitz is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added American Pie, Antz, About a Boy

27
448 401
James Cameron is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Titanic, Avatar, Terminator 2: Judgment Day

28
307 417
Tim Burton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands

29
105 43
Michel Hazanavicius is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added The Artist, The Artist, OSS 117: Cairo

30
159 145
Warren Beatty is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Bulworth, Heaven Can Wait, Reds

31
146 236
Terrence Malick is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life, Badlands

32
188 263
Kathryn Bigelow is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
gschwayze added The Hurt Locker, Point Break, Zero Dark Thirty

33
182 179
John Waters is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Hairspray, Hairspray, Cry-Baby

34
355 602
Quentin Tarantino is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Volume 1

35
189 232
Joss Whedon is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
WarrenMitchell added The Avengers, Toy Story, The Cabin in the Woods

36
102 74
Alexander Payne is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Election, Sideways, Jurassic Park III

37
136 209
Jean-Luc Godard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Breathless, Pierrot le Fou, Band of Outsiders

38
77 31
Olivier Dahan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added La Vie en rose, Crimson Rivers II: Angels of the Apocalypse, Grace of Monaco

39
72 46
The Wachowski brothers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Bound, Speed Racer, The Animatrix

40
87 48
Mike Leigh is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Secrets & Lies, Naked, Topsy Turvy

41
103 61
Ben Stiller is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Zoolander, Tropic Thunder, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

42
103 67
Jason Reitman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Juno, Ghostbusters II, Up in the Air

43
70 33
Olivier Assayas is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Carlos, Paris, je t'aime

44
89 57
Guy Ritchie is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch

45
75 38
James Franco is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added The Disaster Artist, As I Lay Dying, The Broken Tower

46
243 588
Christopher Nolan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
levalex88 added The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

47
71 39
Claude Lanzmann is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Shoah, Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie, Sobibór

48
65 52
Colin Trevorrow is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Safety Not Guaranteed, Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World

49
133 107
Jon Favreau is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Iron Man 2

50
70 44
Roland Joffé is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added The Killing Fields, The Mission, Super Mario Bros.