Great or Overrated? (Volume 6: Directors)
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The next volume is finally here. OK, it was only yesterday that I posted the last one, but doesn't it feel so much longer. It's now time to judge some of the "great" movie directors. Simply rate them as "great" or "overrated." Feel free to add to the list and have fun.

*I have added some films of interest for each director as a point of reference. I did not intend to be comprehensive nor am I offering opinions about the films. I am just trying to offer some examples of their "best" and some of their less critically acclaimed films.
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1. Board Game: Alfred Hitchcock: The Unexplained [Average Rating:6.52 Unranked]
Charles Rayburn
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Alfred Hitchcock: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films:
Vertigo, Psycho, North by Northwest, Rear Window plus countless others.

Lesser Films:
Frenzy, Family Plot

Great. His body of work and number of "classics" almost makes it hard to argue against him. Psycho, Notorious, and Vertigo alone would probably qualify as great in my book.
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2. Board Game: Classic Warlord [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:4393]
Charles Rayburn
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Francis Ford Coppola: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films:
Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now

Lesser Films:
Jack; Tucker: A Man and His Dream

Overrated. I just don't know that the first two Godfather films and Apocalype Now are enough. He has just made too many run of the mill films to be considered "great."

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3. Board Game: Spartacus [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:5047]
Charles Rayburn
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Stanley Kubrick: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films:

2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining

Lesser Films: Spartacus, Eyes Wide Shut, Barry Lyndon

Great. Kubrick is my favorite director overall. There is not really any of his films that I don't like at least somewhat, and 2001 and Strangelove are two of my all time favorites.
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4. Board Game: Pulp City [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Charles Rayburn
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Quentin Tarantino: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films:

Pulp Fictions, Reservoir Dogs

Lesser Films:

Jackie Brown, Death Proof

Overrated. This is an interesting decision for me. I like everything that Tarantino has directed, but I am still not convinced that is a "great" director. He is so hyped that it is hard to say that he is not overrated.
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5. Board Game: M*A*S*H Game [Average Rating:4.08 Unranked]
Charles Rayburn
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Robert Altman: Great or Overrated?

Notewothy Films:

Nashville, M.A.S.H., The Player, Gosford Park, McCabe and Mrs. Miller

Lesser Films. Ready to Wear, Popeye, Beyond Therapy

Overrated. I am a huge Altman fan, but he is a lot like the Neil Young of directing. He can make some incredible films, but he can make some real stinkers as well. I definitely think he hits more than he misses, but his penchant for directing some garbage keeps him from hitting the great mark.
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6. Board Game: Stagecoach [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Charles Rayburn
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John Ford: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films:

The Searchers, Stagecoach, The Quiet Man The Grapes of Wrath
Lesser Films:

How Green was My Valley, Wagon Master and a vast amount of leser known films

Overrated. The man directed a ton of movies, so any of his lesser known films are not being held against him. I am strictly looking at his supposed "great movies." I just don't think any of them are all that "great." I just never could get into the vast majority of Ford's films.
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7. Board Game: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial [Average Rating:3.64 Overall Rank:15030]
Charles Rayburn
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Steven Spielberg: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films:
Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Raiders of the Lost Ark

Lesser Films:

Always, The Color Purple, Duel, A.I.


Overrated (slightly). The film snob in me says that I am supposed to scoff at Spielberg and his sentimental tendecies and popular films; however, I can't ignore talent, and though he is probably slightly overrated, he is not the no-talent hack that some would lead you to believe.
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8. Board Game: Taxi Driver [Average Rating:5.36 Unranked]
Charles Rayburn
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Martin Scorsese: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films:

Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Departed


Lesser Films:

Age of Innocence, Boxcar Bertha, Kundun, The Color of Money

Overrated. I love Mean Streets and have a growing appreciation for Taxi Driver, but Raging Bull and many of Scorsese's classics just leave me feeling blah. I like and respect him, but I think he might be a little overrated.
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9. Board Game: Goldrush [Average Rating:4.96 Unranked]
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The Coen Brothers: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films:

Fargo, Raising Arizona, No Country for Old Men, Miller's Crossing


Lesser Films:

The Lady Killers, Intolerable Cruelty, The Man Who Wasn't There

Great. Yeah, I know their body of work is not that large, and they have a couple of stinkers, The Lady Killers in particular, but the guys who created Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, and Miller's Crossing have to be great in my book.
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10. Board Game: Alien [Average Rating:5.38 Overall Rank:13099]
Charles Rayburn
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Ridley Scott: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films:

Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Thelma and Louise

Lesser Films:

G.I. Jane, White Squall, Legend

Overrated (sort of). I don't know that Scott's reputation is as high as many on this list, but I don't think he is great. He made a couple of great films (Alien and Blade Runner), but some of his other "great" movies are just OK (Thelma and Louise and Gladiator).
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11. Board Game: Royal Palace [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1049]
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Wes Anderson

Great. I'm sure many will disagree.
 
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12. Board Game: New America [Average Rating:5.38 Unranked]
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Terrence Mallick

Great, brilliant and underrated.
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13. Board Game: Xenophon: 10,000 Against Persia [Average Rating:6.44 Unranked]
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Majid Majidi

Great and mostly unknown.
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14. Board Game: Seven Samurai Skirmish [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
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Akira Kurosawa

Great. Hands down
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15. Board Game: Twin Peaks Murder Mystery Game [Average Rating:4.26 Unranked]
Amanda Miller
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David Lynch

Obviously, a favorite of mine. Many people feel he is overrated and "weird for the sake of being weird". I completely disagree.

His cinematography is stunning, he is always innovative, and he can capture deep emotion on film and with music like very few other directors can.

Blue Velvet
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Lost Highway
Mullholland Drive
The Straight Story
The Elephant Man
Eraserhead
Inland Empire

and of course, TWIN PEAKS and On the Air...he is simply, fantastic.
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16. Board Game: Lost in Space [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Sofia Coppola

Terribly overrated. Marie Antoinette was unbearable
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17. Board Game: Hitler's War [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:3764]
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Charlie Chaplin

Great.
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18. Board Game: Woody Foot [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Woody Allen

Good, but overrated.
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19. Board Game: Happy Days [Average Rating:4.53 Overall Rank:14524]
Erik D
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Ron Howard

Notable films, for better or worse: Cocoon, Apollo 13, Dr. Suess's How Jim Carrey Raped the Grinch, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man

Lesser films, for better or worse: Backdraft, The Da Vinci Code, Ransom, Parenthood, Far and Away, Willow

Great or Overrated? Overrated. Howard comes across as emotionally manipulative and a bit of a hack. His films are like big-budget Hallmark Movies of the Week. Watch Cinderella Man again--even the dirt is squeaky-clean.
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20. Board Game: Platoon [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:8100]
John Di Ponio
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Oliver Stone: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films: Alexander, Natural Born Killers, Platoon, Wall Street

Lesser Known: Any Given Sunday, JFK, The Doors


Great, in my opinion. Oliver seems to get the most out of his direction to make the characters dynamic and believable to the storyline even in a lot of his lesser known films!
 
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21. Board Game: Frankenstein [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
David Reed
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Mel Brooks: Great or Underrated?

Hits: The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie

Middling: High Anxiety, History of the World, Part One, To Be or Not To Be

Lesser Films: Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Dracula: Dead and Loving It

In my estimation, Mel Brooks is neither Great nor Overrated. He's good, and, in some cases, brilliant. But, like Francis Ford Coppola, he's been coasting on his reputation for a long time.
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22. Board Game: Brazil [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Mike Cooper
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Terry Gilliam: Great or Overrated?

Noteworthy Films:
Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas

Lesser Films:
Time Bandits, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King

Great. Gilliam's attention to detail and his choice of vehicles are his strengths. While his films may not be for everybody, if you're a fan of some of his films, you'll probably like most of his others.
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23. Board Game: Casablanca [Average Rating:4.97 Unranked]
David Reed
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Michael Curtiz: Great or Overrated?

Notable films: Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca, White Christmas, Yankee Doodle Dandy, We're No Angels

Like most directors of his era, he directed a lot of pictures - some were not so hot.

Still, in my opinion, Michael Curtiz is easily in the ranks of the great directors.
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24. Board Game: Henry V [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:10701]
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Kenneth Branagh: Great or Overrated?

Notable Hits: Henry V, Dead Again, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet

Notable Misses: Mary Shelley's Fankenstein, Peter's Friends

For my money, the hits listed above are enough to put him in the great category, but things have been a bit lean recently.
 
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25. Board Game: It's A Wonderful Life [Average Rating:4.04 Unranked]
David Reed
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Frank Capra: Great or Overrated?

Notable films: It's a Wonderful Life, Arsenic and Old Lace, Why We Fight, Meet John Doe, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, You Can't Take It with You, Lost Horizon, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, It Happened One Night

Based on this body of work, I would classify him as one of the great directors of all time.
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