Film Directors The Most Overrated Directors of All Time  

Ranker Film
Originally by
33.1k votes 2.3k voters 22.8k 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
840 221
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
639 338
M. Night Shyamalan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable

3
483 102
Lena Dunham is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Tiny Furniture, Creative Nonfiction

4
466 184
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
515 326
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
501 449
George Lucas is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
200 55
Chris Weitz is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added American Pie, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Antz

8
354 336
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
373 264
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
260 254
Lars von Trier is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia

11
214 113
Eli Roth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Cabin Fever, Hostel, Knock Knock

12
197 98
Roland Emmerich is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Independence Day, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow

13
262 232
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
307 279
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
322 306
Oliver Stone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Platoon, Scarface, JFK

16
180 80
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
273 159
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters

18
248 344
Darren Aronofsky is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Fountain

19
293 303
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
198 142
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
128 81
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
139 72
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
148 79
Nicolas Cage is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Sonny

24
90 50
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
223 157
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
109 42
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
440 385
James Cameron is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Titanic, Avatar, Terminator 2: Judgment Day

28
302 402
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
104 41
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
145 228
Terrence Malick is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life, Badlands

31
156 143
Warren Beatty is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Bulworth, Heaven Can Wait, Reds

32
184 255
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
350 578
Quentin Tarantino is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Volume 1

34
180 175
John Waters is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Hairspray, Hairspray, Cry-Baby

35
102 69
Alexander Payne is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Election, Sideways, Jurassic Park III

36
181 225
Joss Whedon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
WarrenMitchell added The Avengers, Toy Story, The Cabin in the Woods

37
136 203
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 29
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
70 42
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
103 63
Jason Reitman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Juno, Ghostbusters II, Up in the Air

41
86 47
Mike Leigh is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Secrets & Lies, Naked, Topsy Turvy

42
98 55
Ben Stiller is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Zoolander, Tropic Thunder, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

43
68 32
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
85 56
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
238 575
Christopher Nolan is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
levalex88 added The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

46
70 38
Claude Lanzmann is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Shoah, Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie, Sobibór

47
71 37
James Franco is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added The Disaster Artist, As I Lay Dying, The Broken Tower

48
130 105
Jon Favreau is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Iron Man 2

49
63 51
Colin Trevorrow is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Overrated Directors of All Time
muybueno16 added Safety Not Guaranteed, Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World

50
70 42
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.