Why Do Good Directors Go Bad? – Nostalgia Critic

From M. Night to George Lucas, it’s time to find out how darling directors turn in dismal disasters. Why do good directors go bad?

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. You either die a good director or live to become the Shyamalan

    • Shyamalan made a pact with the Devil for 3 great movies. With “The 6 Sense” and “Unbreakable” he already made two, now he is taking his time to make the last one. It’s probably the one he mentioned in “Lady in the Water”

    • That or be like Orson Welles and have your first movie be the absolutely best one.

    • Walker went bad as a director. Too preachy. Every joke will cost you a message shoved down your throat. And giving opinions that are all over the internet as if they’re his own is pretty oblivious.

    • That best creators gradually lost tough isn’t nothing new, as TV series what run too long do this same. But Shyamalan is more Lucas style director.. its earliest work are good because were prepared whole life and have help from more experienced people who help new artist. But then they have status of legends and push from publishers to do work on what they aren’t exactly prepared.

    • or live as an internet critic and judge directors from the sidelines!

  2. ThatManWithTheHeadband12

    I’m glad Coppola got in there in the examples of directors because he and John Hughes were made pretty big examples back before NC originally ended

  3. Star Wars Prequels are awesome.

    Ehm what is exactly wrong with Mars Attacks, Dark Shadows and Alice in wonderland ?

    • The Mysterious M

      Well…he did an entire Nostalgia Critic on Alice in Wonderland.

    • I can’t agree with the Prequels but I like the other ones.

    • There perfect.,,.

    • Alice in Wonderland made 1 billion and 25 million dollars, I can’t imagine it being considered a failure.

      • He is talking about Alice in Wonderland being a failure critically.

        • With numbers like that it must have pleased a far share of its viewers. It was probably just ahead of its time. I didn’t like it that much, myself, but there must have been something extraordinary about it.

          • No it wasn’t. That was in fact scraped project of American McGee Alice (what still is ached of its time and it is from 2000’t) adaptation redesigned under Disney franchise. Clearly we see two director style with carefully designed characters and poor ass scenerie. Many people come on it with hopes but were disappointed, even if it is technically decent movie.

          • But it made a billion dollars. That’s a lot of people liking it.

          • A successful film is not necessarily a good one, artistically or otherwise… and in many cases, the success of a movie is largely because of the previous films that made the director famous in the first place. I am a big fan of Tim Burton’s early work, but somewhere in the 2000s his movies seem to have lost their magic – not all of them are necessarily bad, but they lack something his early ones had. If you repeat the same formula too often, you might still get financially successful movies, but eventually it gets old. Of course, one of the problem is that many directors become famous with one innovative and unique movie – but afterwards they are doomed to repeat this success – and either they do the same thing again – in which case it likely stops being innovative and unique – or they do something different, which might become a failure because people were expecting something more like the first one. It’s difficult to find a middle ground, I’d think.

          • Transformers movies made a lot of money. Money doesn’t show quality of movies

          • When gauging how good a movie is, at some point, the opinions of the masses have to be considered, when their numbers are so high. Although there is some objective criteria, film criticism is not a science.

    • The Incredible Machine

      George Lucas’ two first films are masterpieces and tell me that he is, or was, seriously talented. Though I feel people are too harsh on the prequels. They speak of them as if they were on the level of Showgirls, or Battlefield Earth. They’re all decent but flawed films.

      • Third also wasn’t that bad if you replace mentally Ewocs with Wookies.

        • George Lucas’ first two films? Those are THX 1138 and American Graffitti. I admit I have not seen them, but obviously, they are nowhere near as well-known as his Star Wars films. If you are talking about Star Wars… well, in this case his first two films are actually Episode IV and I, because he did not direct V and VI! He did not even write them, at least not alone. Today, many people see this as the main reason V and VI are what they are. And really, Ep I is a pretty awful movie, at least that is my opinion. And no, not just an awful Star Wars movie.

    • Mars Attacks is awesome.

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      Yes, Doug goes on and on about how bad the prequels are. You can’t tell it by their box office. They’re all among the twenty highest grossing movies ever made.

      • As I wrote above, financial success does not equal quality movies. In fact, often it is just the other way around… There are A LOT of really horrible, but successful movies out there.

      • Transformers, Spiderman 3, Pirates 4, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull all made a lot of money. Box office tells nothing about movie quality

    • If you ever watched even one episode of the original Dark Shadows you’d know what’s wrong with it.

  4. I feel like a cult of one saying this but, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a Tim Burton movie that I actually like. I mean, I don’t HATE all of his work, but it just doesn’t appeal to me and often feels…ugly to me.

    Ironically one of the few of his movies that like better than most is Alice in Wonderland. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel like it’s an essentially bad movie, but I at least found certain elements of it interesting.

    • I like Burton’s most simplistic, fairytaleish stuff. I like Edward Scissorhands, I adore Nightmare Before Christmas, and I think his take on Sweeney Todd is his only artistically successful adaptation. Beyond that, meh. Beetlejuice is okay, Batman has some interesting stuff in it but doesn’t really work (No matter how much Doug fawns over it), Alice is dreadful, The Corpse Bride is mediocre. I haven’t seen Ed Wood or Big Fish yet, which a lot of people feel are his best films, so I’ll hold off on judging them until I’ve seen them. I will not do the same for Dark Shadows, Sleepy Hollow, or Planet Of The Apes.

  5. Doug, shouldn’t the Wachowskis be in the “comeback” or “hit and miss” category? I mean The Matrix sequels are divisive depending on which theory you subscribe to (Personally I think the obvious is being missed by a lot of people about the Matrix having subdivisions and I have to agree with the idea that Neo isn’t the one. It’s Smith), but they also made Cloud Atlas and Sense8. By the look of things they seem to have a pretty decent record.

    • The Mysterious M

      Matrix: Okay, but has aged horribly
      Matrix Reloaded: Meh
      Matrix Revolutions: …bad
      Speed Racer: … Bad
      Cloud Atlas: Did anyone actually see that?
      Jupiter Ascending: Bad and is starting to gain a following as “so bad, it’s good”

      • Cloud Atlas is pretty goddamn awesome, actually. It’s by no means an easy watch, and some of the make-up effects aren’t that great, but it is legitimately epic.

      • Cloud Atlas has my highest recommendation man! You probably won’t be able to sit through it all in one sitting though. You may also need to rewatch some parts so make sure you have your remote ready at all times. It worth when it is all over though.

      • Speed Racer is a great, yet misunderstood, film.

        Cloud Atlas was good and got some praise when it came out. It wasn’t reviled. It was just hit or miss with who it resonated.

      • Man, I absolutely love their version of Speed Racer. It is a wonderful candy-colored ball of ridiculousness.

      • The Wachowskis are a very special case, I believe. Yes, Matrix was a big success, but maybe that’s just what caused the disappointment over their next movies. I don’t know if they ever intentionally made something for a mainstream audience, but mostly their films aren’t. Now I have not seen all of them and I also don’t like all of them, but I think Matrix Reloaded is a pretty fucking amazing movie, at least as good as the first one – but much less accessible. The first Matrix had a pretty straight-forward storyline which was easy enough to follow despite all the crazy stuff that was going on – and it had the big advantage that in the beginning, the protagonist did not have a clue about it, just as the audience, which allowed for extensive explanations that did not appear to be out of place. The second one, while having extensive and visually impressive action sequences, does have a plot that is more difficult to follow and requires a lot more thought and interpretation to be understood correctly, in my opinion. It’s understandable that a lot of people were put off by it.
        Now the third one is a different thing, unfortunately… as much as I have come to like the second one in time (when I first saw it, I did not understand and thus, not like it), this never happened for the third. It does have some interesting stuff going on, but most of it is not resolved properly and most of it is dominated by the visually impressive, but plot-wise worthless battle for Zion.

        Oh, and I actually like Cloud Atlas.

    • I’d also say that the Wachowskis are a case where they really needed to find their right niche. A lot of their feature length films get a lot of flack because they try to pack a shit-ton of content (plot or otherwise) into too short of a running time. But, as you mentioned with Sense8, they seem made for television, where they can have the screen time to tell big, complex stories and wax philosophical if they so desire.

      • that what i felt was wrong with Jupiter (and the fact she was constantly kidnap and rescue) is that they wanted to tell this grand opera of a story with only a few hours running time so it felt crunch. For instance the sister character who was just to give exposition wasn’t really necessary. they did have good action sequence and if you cut all the words out of the film and just put music in it. It make a great music video.

      • I think it’s definitely true the medium helps them out with Sense8, which I consider their best work so far and the only thing they’ve made that makes me exited and enthusiastic about them, however I also think some credit should go to their co-writer J Michael Straczynski, who also wrote for Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5 and is the reason I have a lot of faith that Sense8 is actually going somewhere and isn’t going to fall apart under the weight of its own plotting.

  6. The Mysterious M

    I don’t think the problem really lies in the directors. Don’t get me wrong, they do some bad films. I think the problem is really in the studios.

    Studios when directors make their first movies: Okay, you can make this move. But we’re gonna be watching you closely. And you’re gonna have a lot of restrictions.

    Studios after directors become famous and well-known: Sure. Do whatever the hell you want. We’ll gladly support this movie. You have no restrictions whatsoever.

    • I have a huge feeling The Force Awakens was heavily under supervision from Disney. There’s an article saying JJ Abrams was scared to show the initial rough cut of the film to Disney execs.

      I also think Batman Begins was also under the same looking glass from WB after Batman and Robin since it really felt “safe”, but The Dark Knight felt like such a different movie with Nolan having more creative control which worked better in it’s favor.

      Not sure what happened with The Dark Knight Rises as it kinda lacked the umph of The Dark Knight.

      • Inception. Seriously, I think that Nolan put a lot of energy into that film and didn’t have much left when he went to work on DKR. Also, while I myself figured that Bane was the obvious choice for the villain of the third film, I get the feeling that he really didn’t know what to do with the character, and so he defaulted to plot elements from the first two films to carry the story; the result – at least to me – was that it felt like we were just retreading the same old ground.

      • Tim Burton is the example I was thinking off. Look at Batman ’89 and Batman Returns. Stylistically, they’re almost two completely different movies.

  7. This is why, I tell people to see Red Eye. How do you forget that Wes Craven made that? And The People Under The Stairs. Besides, he was far from going downhill.

    • I agree. Craven is a unique case among horror directors, he managed to stay relevant through the decades. Red eye, people under the stairs… he even managed to do “Music of the heart”, not my type of movie, but apparently he suceeded. Shocker and The serpent and the rainbow are two movies that i really like too.

  8. Imagine if Lucas had 100% control over Star Wars in 1977. We would be talking about “That awful Star Wars movie by the guy who did American Grafitti.”

    Now it’s “That awful Star Wars Prequel Trilogy by the guy who did the original Star Wars Trilogy.”

    Great editorial like always, Doug. Shymalan month should be very interesting this year.

  9. Shyamalan only had two good films: 6th Sense and Unbreakable. After that, it all went to crap.

    George Lucas: He directed THX 1138, American Graffiti and the original Star Wars before he had an entire 22 year break from directing The Phantom Menace. Hell, he only co-wrote Return of the Jedi and had the least to do with Empire Strikes Back before The Force Awakens came around.

    Tim Burton: It seems like it’s less of his animated works and more of his non animated works that have gone back.

    Wachoski Bros: I only remember their work of the Matrix, but really nothing else.

    • Now we know why Empire was so good. 😛

    • I’m such a great fan of Lucas and. Burton that I don’t see nor care about any imperfections at all.,,.

    • I actually think that Shyamalan was never a great director to begin with…just a decent one who had a good idea for his first two movies. But I think that both the 6th Sense and Unbreakable would have been better if they had directed by someone else. Because when all is said and done, it is all about the twist. Once you know it, you might watch those movies a second time, but then never again. At least I have never rewatched them (I didn’t even bother to watch Unbreakable a second time). They both doesn’t have the quality something like Shawshanks Redemption has, which is a movie I can watch again and again, because as good as the twist is, the characters are so compelling that I don’t care that I already know what will happen in the end.

      With George Lucas I have the feeling that you’ll find the answer if you look into with whom he was working together. He is a guy with great ideas but again, when it comes to directing – well, let’s put it this way, he has directed only seven movies in his career, only two can be considered good, and those were early in his career so most likely the studio was keeping a close eye on what he did. True, he was involved in Indiana Jones, but he was working with Steven Spielberg, who is on the short list of being one of the best directors of all time. The talent of George Lucas was never in directing, he is a visionary, and he should be praised for that and not his questionable abilities as a director.

      Tim Burton always had a style over substance approach. Which is great if you like his style, not so great if you don’t. I actually love his strange aesthetic, though it can get old if you watch too much of his work in a row. In any case, I would put him on the list of directors who “disappointed”, because his overall body of work is still strong, despite some missteps in-between. His bad movies didn’t even come in a row, if he does something like Planet of the Apes, the next movie is something along the line of big fish. He is, all in all, a perfectly fine middling director, who even embellishes his bad movies with his distinctive style.

      The Wachoski siblings were overpraised for Matrix. Matrix was back then a visually compelling movie, but it is also one which doesn’t really hold up anymore.

      All in all I think the real problem is that movie making is a group effort. We usually assume that the director has done something right when it works out, but you never knew what happened behind the scenes. And yet we tend to praise a director to the heavens if he manages to deliver one or two good movies. In truth you shouldn’t consider anyone a good director unless he has worked successfully on at least four or five different projects with a different team behind him.

      • Yes, I agree, some of those mentioned were never *really* good directors in the first place – they were just lucky to get it right once or twice early in their careers. It’s not so much that they went downhill – more like they had a single peak.

  10. disembodiedvoiceofreason

    How do you mention Tim Burton and not mention Beetlejuice? That movie is a classic.

    • Or his most recent movie Big Eyes. Seriously it’s really good. Hell it BARELY even seems like it was made by Tim at all.

      • The good ones are often not the successful ones – just BECAUSE they are different from what he (and other directors) usually does. The tenth movie with the obvious “Tim Burton Style” might get the large audience which only knows the two, three films he is best known for, but that does not mean it is necessarily as good as one where he actually does something different.

  11. He has to review Pitch Perfect next month! Seriously!

  12. Wait, Contact was a bad movie?

    I would of used Mars Needs Moms as a good example.

    • anonexistentuser

      Yeah, I was under the impression that Contact was considered at least a minor classic. It does have that awesome mirror shot; that’s gotta be worth something.

    • yeah at the time it came out, most people liked it. they just felt it was a cope out to have the alien take the form of the dad at the end.

    • I liked Contact…not a movie I would watch multiple times and I think it could have been a little bit more streamlined, but all in all it was creative and thought-provoking.

  13. Even John Lasseter, the founder of Pixar, had a downfall with Cars 2.
    The only director I saw who hadn’t had a critical bomb is Hayao Miyazaki. Every one of his films are fantastic. Even his worst one, Howl’s Moving Castle, is still a critical hit. Whenever he feels like he’s run out of ideas he tries to retire, but often returns with gold like Spirited Away. He’s now officially retired but says he might come back.

    • ThatManWithTheHeadband12

      Steve Jobs founded Pixar with Ed Catmull

      • Steve jobs was more of an investor, when it came to quality of films though, it was definitely John Lasseter who was responsible for Pixar’s first few great films

    • Miyazaki’s directorial debut when he still directed Lupin the Third, “The Castle of Cagliostro”, was panned. Audiences hated his “different look” at the Lupin the Third characters. It’s aged well but at the time it was disliked.

    • I wouldn’t agree there…Miyazaki didn’t have an outright bad movie (let’s ignore Pom Poko here because he didn’t direct it), but one of the reason why all of his movies are so high rated is because they are mostly only watched by people who are fans of his from the get go and very ready to forgive his weaknesses.

  14. I think what helped Shyamalan come back was when he directed Wayward Pines. Me and my mom watched that show, and even after I quit watching when the first dumbass twist was revealed, I still saw a bit from the stuff my mom watched, and… Well, despite the dumb twists, there was still enough there to keep you wanting to watch more. I think the guy just needed to take a step back to help him get his head back on straight.

  15. George Lucas is a genius. He gave us the Star Wars franchise, which forever changed the way we look at movies. M. Night Shyamalan gave us a couple of hits, but an ocean of misses since Signs, and he seems to be getting back into the game with The Visit, but that is yet to be seen with his next project.

    The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy helped make the Original Trilogy better, because it made the Star Wars Universe bigger and more massive outside the extended universe comics, novels, and video games at the time. It gave a backstory, and explains why we should care about what’s going on, and why the Rebellion wants to bring down the Empire. Also, not everyone on the planet despises the Prequel Trilogy. There are fans out their dressed as Darth Maul, Clone Troopers, Padme, and so on. The movies made it big at the box office, people collected the merchandise, and there is a new generation of Star Wars fans.

    To this very day, I am still in shock to know that Francis Ford Coppola directed the movie Jack, and it’s the only Coppola I’ve seen in theaters. Weird, I know.

    • Lucas is no doubt a genius and possibly the single person with the biggest influence on film as we know it today in the last 50 years or more – he is just not a genius director or writer.

  16. Minion of Yahtzee

    This kind of seems to be the strategy of Quinton Tarantino if this quote from him is accurate. “I don’t believe you should stay onstage until people are begging you to get off. I like the idea of leaving them wanting a bit more. I do think directing is a young man’s game, and I like the idea of an umbilical cord connection from my first to my last movie. I’m not trying to ridicule anyone who thinks differently, but I want to go out while I’m still hard. … I like that I will leave a 10-film filmography, and so I’ve got two more to go after this. It’s not etched in stone, but that is the plan. If I get to the 10th, do a good job and don’t screw it up, well that sounds like a good way to end the old career. If, later on, I come across a good movie, I won’t not do it just because I said I wouldn’t. But 10 and done, leaving them wanting more — that sounds right.” Make of that what you will.

    • Wow. Really? Ten movies and that’s it?

    • I believe that when I see it. But that reminds me… we just had kind of the same thing happening here in Germany where one of the most successful and influential TV entertainers of the last 20 years ended his career before he turned 50 – something he had actually announced back in the 90s when he was just starting. Given how many former TV stars now do everything just to stay on the air, no matter how embarrassing, it was probably the best he could do, before his own career went downhill. Though some expect him to return in a few years… we’ll see, I guess.

  17. I think the topic could also apply to the Nostalgia Critic. At least to me it has felt hit or miss since he came back from retirement [Demo Reel]. The show got bigger, longer, flashier and with an established cast. There have been some hits like Nicholas Cage month and the Man of Steel crossover. However it also has felt like at times it tries too hard to make something big rather than funny, slam a point rather than bring it up, and even covering things that aren’t nostalgic.

    I’ll be fair in that I can see Doug wanting to try new things, improve on whatever he cans and a problem or so from the copyright claims brought by using clips or music.

    I suppose to me to some degree it also matters being true to oneself. Artists can influence and stir emotions in people, at the same time I think artists can also feel forced to please audiences which can also turn into them phoning their work or trying too hard. I remember a point Kyle from Brows held High brought about speaking to a crowd or speaking to an individual. Some work doesn’t get recognition until years later, sometimes the time isn’t right or that crowd isn’t there.

    In the end I stand by the quote saying Great directors don’t make movies to address a cause or please audiences, the best directors make the movies for themselves. However, I also agree sometimes you have to push yourself and kill your baby in order to come with a work that can transcend.

    • IMO, he came back weak with Timothy Green but then quickly hit his stride, making excellent review after excellent review all the way until around Swan Princess, and then being reasonably hit or meh until Forest Warrior. Since then there’ve been one or two decent ones like Demolition Man or returning to form with Top 11’s and the Commercial special, but honestly its all been mediocre to crap since then.

      Doug, take a break. Don’t let your reliance on Youtube handicap your reviewing style, because this clipless junk is the same sort of stuff you were doing with Demo Reel, and surprisingly people still would rather see you do classic NC or at least Next Gen Season 1 critic rather than pure skits with no direct recap and riffing.

      • Considering he decided to not retire, I don’t think he’s going he’s just going to take a break because a single relatively minor setback.

        I also don’t think the clipless style has anything to do with YouTube. For one thing, I highly doubt the copyright robots would be able to accurately detect theater-cam footage… The algorithm is flawed enough as it is, catching the wrong content IDs on the wrong stuff.

        It thought “Just an Illusion” by Imagination (which I used for my review of the Zoroak episode of Pokemon) was “Remind Me” by Royksopp (known for being in the Gieco cavemen airport commercial) and it was later hit by another content ID claim (most likely a manual one though) that said it was a Micheal Jackson song that I can’t remember the name of that I SOMEHOW failed to contest (if it was manual, it was because Sony Music Entertainment is obviously bribing YouTube so they can steal money from content creators just like Universal, Fox, Viacom and several others) several times before I pulled it because I re-uploaded it to Zippcast.

        The content ID robot is even known to put content IDs on people’s voices and 100% original works.

  18. I honestly don’t think Lucas was really that good to begin with. The only SW movies he had full control over were Episodes I, II, III and IV, not to mention he even rewrote episodes II and III because of the backlash against Jar Jar.

    I admit I don’t know how much better episodes II and III would have been, but if they were any better I’d wager they’d only have been marginally as such.

    Sure the guy had a great creative vision and amazing ideas, but he messed up in the execution, which is literally the most important part.

    • I mean at least in Episode IV’s case it was decent, but something similar could be said for what we ultimately saw in Episode III.

    • Roberto González

      Lucas also directed THX 1138 and American Graffitti, the first one is pretty weird but ri siy and the second one is a very nice movie. I don’t think the prequels are so terrible. They have some good ideas in them and decent visuals.

      • Like I said, he screwed up in the execution.

      • And he did both of the early in his career, at a stage at which you can bet the studio kept a close eye on him. Movie making is a group effort, which is the reason why I think a director needs at least five good projects under his belt before he can be considered “good”.

  19. Why the heck I can’t see a video player window? Someone can explain?

  20. Mars Attacks was rad! Screw you!

    I kid, but that movie is a ton of fun. It’s bad, but it’s being exactly what it wants to be.

  21. Please abandon this shitty video hoster. I’d love to watch your new uploads but they just don’t stream in realtime and don’t even allow for proper pre-loading. Fuck this.

  22. A very insightful perspective this Nostalgia Critic has. Looking forward to the upcoming craziness I am. Actually watch a Shamalyn movie someday I must. Know how to spell Shamalyn I do not.

    Broke my brain The Force Awakens did. Talk like Yoda for the foreseeable future I must. Aware I am not as funny as I think I am…I am not. Ignore the exasperated groans of all who know me I do.

  23. I’m so sick of Doug sniffing his own ass. This is a 14 minute video saying nothing.

  24. I actually love Mars Attacks from Tim Burton. Its a fun movie

  25. Directors need to be allowed to do their own thing by the studio, BUT they also need someone they can trust to give them good advice and serve as a “dumb idea” filter.

    • It’s always the combination of all the people involved that determines the quality of the end product. Sure, some have more influence than others, but I guess you just have to be lucky.

  26. No one is perfect.
    The end.

    There, I saved you about 14 minutes of video.

    • It’s true, but it’s also about expectations and pressure. If someone makes one great and successful movie he is expected to repeat that over and over, and if he doesn’t, many people are disappointed and say he has lost his edge or something. Some are lucky to do more than one successful movie and a few even keep on making reasonably good movies and a few great ones from time to time… but that is obviously the exception.

      I also believe none of us can really understand how it feels to have delivered such a successful movie… no matter what comes afterwards, I’m sure everything will have changed and many people are suddenly trying to get their piece of the cake. I bet this can be pretty demanding and certainly become too much for some.

  27. I blame Rick McCallum for how bad the prequels were. Back during the original trilogy, Lucas was surrounded by colleagues such as Francis Ford Coppola and Stephen Spielberg who weren’t afraid to tell him “That idea is shit. Try this instead.”. When McCallum became Lucas’s producer, he surrounded Lucas with a bunch of ass-kissers who were afraid to tell Lucas their honest opinion.

  28. Wait, wait…timeout!

    Am I the only one who noticed him claim the Coen had a “string of bad movies”…?

    Uhm…when exactly did this happen, and what movies exactly are we talking about?

    • Edit: Meant to say the “Coen brothers”

      • I believe he’s referring to their work in the early 2000’s: The Man Who wasn’t There, Intolerable Cruelty, The Ladykillers and Paris, je t’aime.

        • Roberto González

          The Man Who Wasnt There was brilliant. París je t’aime really doesnt count cause it’s a collaborative effort and Coens’ segment was ok as far as I remember. So in my opinion the only flawed films they made were Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty. They have written some mediocre ones but most of what they have directed is pretty good. I didn’t love Burn After Reading but I wouldnt count it as bad.

          • I was really wondering what he meant…though I suppose Intolerable Cruelty would count as maybe – not up to their usual standard, I guess?

            Still, I really can’t see it being fair to claim the Coen brothers had a “string of bad movies” at any point. Everyone has their favorites and least favorites. Some millenials think “The Hudsucker Proxy” is “stupid” after realizing it’s the same directors of “No Country for Old Men”. While I think Hudsucker was genius and No Country was good, but severely over-rated.

            At worst, the Coen’s have an occasional mediocre film.

  29. regarding Scorsese and Spielberg: I love War of the Worlds and Shutter Island, and both were huge hits. But yes, Gangs of New York and Crystal Skull are fair game.

    I’m glad Doug likes Bridge of Spies and Hugo, too.

    • Crystal Skull got positive reviews from most critics. Roger Ebert even said “If you liked the other Indiana Jones movies, you will like this one, and that if you did not, there is no talking to you.”

    • He also liked The Martian and Midnight in Paris, judging from this list! Always nice when I hear Doug’s thoughts on recent films. (I also found out that he really liked Blue Jasmine and the Wolf of Wall Street too).

    • I liked Contact, Shutter Island and War of the Worlds. Why would you list them as bad films?

      • They weren’t popular and dwindle at some points.

        In Contact, people got pissed at the twist.

        I suppose Shutter Island was more of a middle of the road movie.

        War of the Worlds’ basement portion was SLOW, and the more realistic depiction warranted a less happy ending for the main character. [I mean the son was build up to die for his recklessness].

        • I like Shutter Island, though if you know some similar movies you can pretty early guess what it’s building up to. But I don’t think one can say it is directed badly… Crystal Skull really is not great, but I guess people would have been more forgiving if it had not been an Indiana Jones Movie… and a different ending could have saved a lot – same goes for War of the Worlds… I really did not like it when I saw it, but I agree with Vonter, the son actually dying would have made for a more believable story and possibly a better movie.

      • Shutter Island could have been good but it’s a movie where avoiding the twist would be more surprising than integrating one. I was able to spot that twist quite early which shows that it was simply too predictable. Once you spot the twist, the rest is boring, because all suspense is gone and because all scenes are designed to lead up to that twist. And even if you didn’t spot it, the twist is not new. There are endless ways to make a twist and than Scorsese only came up with that?

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