10 Famous Directors Who Have Made Only One Good Movie

5. Todd Phillips

Another comedy director who shot into Hollywood with a slew of financially successful films like “The Hangover,” Todd Phillips was a pretty big name for awhile, but that doesn’t mean he was a great creator of work. After “Old School” (2003) he continued to make a few comedies that weren’t received well at all, like “Starsky & Hutch” (2004) and “School for Scoundrels” (2006) before making what will be his best film, “The Hangover” in 2009.

But after the enormous success that the film had, it brought on two pretty awful sequels that got worse and worse, simply repeating things we already have seen. With other titles like “Due Date” (2010) and the recent film “War Dogs” in 2016, it seemed that Phillips would simply remain as a director who continued to get work, and would bring in some sort of crowd because they could slap on “Director of The Hangover” on all of his other film’s posters.

Never reaching the success that came with “The Hangover,” again he remains as one of the top directors, and especially one of the popular ones who hasn’t put out another good film, but all that could change with his latest film “Joker” that comes out in 2019.


4. Paul W.S. Anderson


Paul W.S. Anderson, not to be confused with Paul Thomas Anderson, is a director who’s found consistent work in making pretty terrible films. Never being a critical darling but finding minor cult followings, and larger fanbases in his video game films, is someone who would be easy to label as never making a good film in his whole career, but that’d be a little wrong.

Though not loved, but seen as a pretty great science fiction horror thriller, his 1997 project “Event Horizon” was successful and still deemed as a good viewing. But since 1997, he’s put out pretty abysmal work, pretty much nonstop sequels to the Resident Evil series.

And as the years continue and we get another unasked-for Resident Evil film, they only get worse in all aspects. Acting, plot, effects, they all fall flat and so has Anderson’s career as nothing notable has really come from him, and probably never will.


3. Roland Emmerich

Independence Day (1996)

One on the largest names in action filmmaking is Roland Emmerich, almost single-handedly bringing back some sort of meaning to action films, and especially the importance of the summer blockbuster film. With his massively successful 1996 film “Independence Day,” Emmerich’s cache shot up really quick and his big-budget films wouldn’t stop coming, and wouldn’t stop disappointing.

From “Godzilla” to the recent sequel to “Independence Day,” his films haven’t been met with much acclaim, or really the box office returns that the first film garnered. Films consisting of catastrophic events, and even harking off conspiracy theories and old Mayan calendars like “2012” (2009), Emmerich is simply in the Michael Bay category of directors who just know how to pull a crowd, but not critical love from the press. One of the biggest directors of the last decade, he’s yet to return to the acclaim that his first “Independence Day” received, which leaves him at number 3 on this list.


2. Michael Bay

Speaking of Michael Bay, here he is! Coming in at number 2 on the list, Bay might actually be one of the most hated directors for many. Huge, flashy, self-indulgent films have become Bay’s namesake, but he has at least made some decent films, and also some of the worst from the last 10 years.

Coming from a music video background, Bay really made his breakthrough in 1995 with the release of “Bad Boys” starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The film’s big action scenes and lighthearted comedy banter went over well with crowds and even with some reviewers, and shot him further up the ladder and into the director’s chair for the rest of his career.

Following “Bad Boys” with films like “Armageddon,” “Bad Boys II” and “The Island,” Bay really solidified himself as a box office powerhouse. But until his 2007 film “Transformers,” people didn’t know the power he brought to the summertime box office boom. With a budget of almost $1 billion and having made back about three times of the film’s cost, it was an insanely profitable film, but also well created and far less CGI-filled than the films that would later follow in the series.


1. Uwe Boll


Considered one of the worst directors of all time, Uwe Boll is the most deserving director to get the first spot on this list. Starting his career with strange after-school-esque films on guns and high school, to doing video game movies, Boll quickly became a creator of trash. With monstrous movie bombs like “Bloodrayne,” “House of the Dead” and “Alone in the Dark,” it’s easy to think it’d be impossible for him to even create a decent film.

But in 2009, he released a film called “Rampage,” a film about a man in a small town who snaps and goes on a killing spree. Violent and controversial, it is is actually a shockingly well-made film and remains Boll’s only film that shows some form of competency. Not an amazing film, obviously, it is one of the few that have actually have gotten decent reviews, and one of the few that is watchable and not in a so bad it’s good sort of way.