Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Ranking the Directors

A few days ago I re-watched Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and began thinking about how highly I've rated the vast majority of his films. I wondered exactly what ratings I'd given his movies so went through my reviews and calculated the average, thus combining two things I love; movies and statistics (I'm fun, I know). I then replicated this with Charlie Chaplin, the man who I consider to be my favourite film maker. Seeing as I'd already done these two, I thought I might as well go through my entire blog and work out the mean average mark I'd given directors. To be fair, I've created two categories, one for directors for whom I've reviewed more than three films and one group for those directors for whom I've reviewed exactly three films. Anything less than that has been ignored. The results surprised me as many of the directors who I consider my favourites, rank lower than those who I'd consider less important to me. Below are the two lists.

Park Chan-wook. 9.3 from five films. Park ranks as my favourite director in terms of average and is also amongst my favourites generally. His Oldboy is one of my favourite films of all time and his first American movie, Stoker, also impressed me last year, making my Top 10 of 2013 list.

Billy Wilder. 8.0 from four films. Twelve months ago I'd never seen a Billy Wilder film but now I count some of his films amongst my favourites. I was blown away by Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment and his average would have been much higher if I'd enjoyed Sabrina more. I can't wait to see more of his movies.

Quentin Tarantino 7.8 from ten films. There is only one Tarantino film which I haven't loved and if it wasn't for Death Proof, his average would probably be over 8. Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are 10/10 films for me.

Werner Herzog 7.6 from eight films. Had I split Herzog's documentaries and features, the result here would have been quite different. I much prefer the likes of Encounters at the End of the World to Aguirre.

Alfred Hitchcock 7.5 from thirteen films. I was a late convert to Hitchcock and with only thirteen films reviewed, I still have some way to go. I'm a bit surprised that my average is just 7.5 as I've rated Rope, Shadow of a Doubt and Psycho extremely highly. His average is let down by the likes of North by Northwest and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Martin Scorsese 7.4 from seven films. I'd class Scorsese as my favourite film director of all time so to be at just 7.4 is a little misleading. This is because I'm currently reviewing his films in order (the recent Wolf of Wall Street aside). Once the likes of Goodfellas and Raging Bull have been reviewed, his average will shoot right up.

Peter Jackson 7.3 from four films. I think The Lord of the Rings trilogy was brilliant but wasn't so keen on the first Hobbit and although the second was better, I'm yet to review it.

Steven Spielberg 7.2 from ten films. Generally speaking, the more recent the Spielberg film, the lower I'll have rated it. This wasn't the case with Lincoln but Tintin is no Schindler's List.

Ridley Scott 7.0 from five films. Alien is an outstanding movie but I'm not huge Blade Runner fan.

David Cronenberg 6.9 from eight films. I have a love/hate relationship with David Cronenberg. The Fly I love. Crash I hate. A Dangerous Method I love. A History of Violence I, well don't hate but don't love either.

Kim Ji-woon 6.8 from four films. Korea's Kim has made some incredible movies, perhaps none more so than I Saw the Devil. His American d├ębut, The Last Stand was a big let down but was at least directed with aplomb.

Charlie Chaplin 6.7 from forty-five films. I've reviewed more Chaplin films than most of the other names on this list combined but I find him languishing with just a 6.7 average. Although I love the guy more than any other man should love a man, some of his early films are poor, even to a huge Chaplin fan. The Kid, The Circus and City Lights are three of my favourite films however.

Sam Raimi 6.5 from six films. I loved Evil Dead when I saw it for the first time last year but I'm no huge fan of the Spider-Man trilogy and didn't enjoy Oz the Great and Powerful.

Steven Soderbergh 6.0 from four films. I thought that Side Effects was a good film but I'm not usually excited by a new Soderbergh movie.

Lars von Trier 5.5 from four films. Von Trier is a fascinating director whose films infuriate me. The 8/10 I gave Antichrist shows how poorly I've marked his other movies.

I've only reviewed three of the following directors movies.

Steve McQueen - 9.0
Michel Hazanavicius - 8.7
John Lasseter - 8.7
Christopher Nolan - 8.7
Sidney Lumet - 8.3
Wim Wenders - 8.3
The Coen Brothers - 8.0
Paul Thomas Anderson - 7.7
Shane Meadows - 7.0
Tim Burton - 6.7
Guillermo del Toro - 6.3
Paul Verhoeven - 6.3
Ivan Reitman - 6.0
James Whale - 6.0
Judd Apatow - 5.7
Tony Scott - 4.7

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  1. First, let me say as someone who loves North by Northwest how distressing it is to me to see that that film pulled Hitchcock's ranking down for you. I kid, but it is seriously a personal favorite of mine, a 10/10, if you will.

    A quick scan of reviews turns up Some Like it Hot as the fourth Billy Wilder. Good places to go with him next are The Lost Weekend, Ace in the Hole, and Stalag 17.

    1. Thanks, I'll check those three out asap. You're not the first to be surprised that I didn't love NxNW. I've been meaning to give it another watch and hope to find something I missed the first time around.

  2. Hah, very good idea, Tom. As you inspired me, I might do the same. It's interesting whether my ratings match general perception of my favorite director ))

    1. It surprised me to see the order but I haven't reviewed a lot of my favourite movies yet so that will explain some of the lower than expected averages.

  3. What an immaculate list. Park Chan-Wook is certainly one the best directors of the last decade. Billy Wilder is my favourite director from the Golden Era of Cinema. Tarantino, Hitchcock, Jackson, and Chaplin are also favourites of mine :) I'm going to make my list now! Great idea Tom!