5. The Lost Boys – Joel Schumacher
Schumacher isn’t the worst director on this list. In fact, he’s made a few decent films like The Client, Phone Booth and Falling Down. But his films are so inconsistent that it’s impossible to know whether his next feature will be well received or panned by everyone (his next film after the decent A Time to Kill was Batman and Robin, probably the worst superhero movie of all time.
The Lost Boys is arguably Schumacher’s best film. In the movie, a mother and her two sons move to a small Northern California town and encounter a group of vampires. It’s smart, fun, nicely written and has stellar performances from the youngsters. The film is also among the best examples of vampires that aren’t cringe-worthy and laughable.
4. The Rock – Michael Bay
Michael Bay has become synonymous with hated but high-grossing. His movies are riddled with clichés, minimal plots, one-dimensional characters and things blowing up every few minutes.
There’s the Transformers films, which started out okay but grew worse by the sequel while still managing to make bucket-loads of cash. There’s one-off films that favour explosions and camera angles over everything else, like Armageddon and Bad Boys 2. But despite his films, Bay started out relatively okay. His first film was Bad Boys, which wasn’t great but wasn’t that bad, either.
Then he made The Rock. In the movie, rogue Marine Corps kidnap 83 hostages and threaten to bomb San Francisco with nerve gas unless they get paid $100 million. It’s up to an ex-con and a chemical weapons specialist to stop them. The movie is thrilling, fast-paced and makes great use of its actors. To this day, Michael Bay has not made a single film on the same level as The Rock.
3. The Enemy Below – Dick Powell
In The Enemy Below, a German U-Boat clashes with an American destroyer. Rather than lean on one side, the film portrays the captains of both vessels as they try to destroy and outsmart each other. This isn’t just Dick Powell’s best film as a director; it’s also one of the best naval warfare films of all time. Sadly, it’s Powell’s only good film.
Powell had a stellar career as an actor. He starred in dozens of films, and was the very first actor to portray the hard-boiled detective, Philip Marlowe, on film. However, his time as a director was less than ideal, with the above exception. Among his films is the unremarkable Split Second, the visually astounding but otherwise mediocre The Hunters and The Conqueror (John Wayne’s worst acting role and one of the worst films ever made).
2. Kalifornia – Dominic Sena
Dominic Sena’s debut feature is also his best. In Kalifornia, a graduate student heads cross-country with his girlfriend and two others to explore sites of serial killer murders. However, one of the two people joining them is a serial killer. Kalifornia is well-written, well-directed and has a remarkable performance from Brad Pitt.
Sena has only made 5 films (he’s mostly a music video director). However, everything except Kalifornia is atrocious. There’s Season of the Witch (another career low for Nicholas Cage), Whiteout (incredibly predictable and unpredictably bland), Gone in 60 Seconds (an insipid remake of an average film) and Swordfish (notable for Halle Berry’s first nude scene and nothing else). Sena is a director who should stick to what he knows best: music videos.
1. The Sixth Sense – M. Night Shyamalan
Shyamalan’s third film, The Sixth Sense, is arguably his best (but Unbreakable is almost as good). It tells the story of a boy who sees ghosts and is getting help from a psychologist who is also trying to move on with his life. This was the first of many Shyamalan films with plot twists; something that ended up being a joke in later movies.
Shyamalan started out in a very promising way. He made The Sixth Sense, Unbreakabale and Signs, all great films you can watch repeatedly. But then came The Village. After that, his films steadily grew worse, culminating in two of the most despicable movies of all time: The Last Airbender and After Earth. He started to redeem himself with The Visit, but only time will tell if Shyamal will stop being a joke.
Author Bio: Fredrick is a copywriter-cum-scriptwriter with a passion for the macabre. When he’s not watching movies, he’s reading Lovecraftian novels and devouring manga.