With Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar already being praised as his finest work in a strong lineage of directed feature films, a question arose amongst the office editorial staff: Is Christopher Nolan the best director in this day and age? If not, then whose name is emblazoned on the folding chair throne of the king of directors? From Nolan’s recent box office hits, including the Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, it would appear he’d be the heavy favorite. But Scorsese, Joel Coen, and David Fincher could also be argued as the best around with their recent accolades for silver screen successes.
So we decided to take the argument one step further and agglomerate every movie over the past decade by the top directors in the movie industry. Because of their unique “Tomatometer” rating system, we used Rotten Tomatoes as our source of rating. Their system is built by it’s staff first collecting online reviews from writers who are certified members of various writing guilds or film critic associations, then aggregating them together for a mean score. Essentially we took every movie each director in our pool of “top directors” has made in the past decade and averaged out their score based on their collective Tomatometer score.
To bring these stats to life, we’ve collaborated with visual agency Column Five and their visual data software arm, Visage to create and automate these reports. As you’ll see we’ve ranked each one of these directors from lowest average score all the way up to the top of the food chain and while some of the results are surprising, with exception to Marty Scorsese, a younger generation of directors have had more collective success over the past decade.
And so, the results are in and it looks as though the butt-chinned superstar of such box office gems such as Gigli, Daredevil and Reindeer Games makes much better, calculated decisions when it comes to directing. Of course, with only three movies under his belt, Affleck doesn’t have the sample size as the rest of the pack, so we’ll have to wait and see if the man “who was the bomb in Phantoms” has what it takes to wear a beret and puffy pants with the big boys. Wait, directors really dress like that, right?
Help a bro out, share this story with your friends:
11- Ron Howard
When not directing terrible adaptations of wretched Dan Brown novels, Ron Howard actually makes some respectable dramas. Oh, and Made in America didn’t do well? Who would have known Opie wouldn’t be the best director for a concert film about Jay Z’s music festival?
10- Clint Eastwood
For someone who’s about 138 years old and yells at chairs at Republican Conventions, Clint Eastwood certainly keeps busy. When most men his age are sucking on hard candy while listening to police scanners or dying, Clint is directing film adaptations of broadway musicals. Wait, what?
9- Ang Lee
You can’t blame Ang Lee for wanting to lighten things up with Taking Woodstock. You can blame Ang Lee for choosing deadpan comedian Dimitri Martin to be a leading man. Remember all those movies Steven Wright starred in? Exactly.
8- Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg had a good run. But he’s really been phoning it in for a while now. When an Indiana Jones film no Indian Jones fans liked is your second best film of the last decade, you should probably call it a day and simply keep making motion pictures about U.S. Presidents.
7- Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson is credited with resuscitating the career of Bill Murray with Rushmore and we all thank him for it. But in true Icarian fashion, Anderson flew too close to an overly saturated sun when he made Murray the star with Life Aquatic.
6- Quentin Tarantino
You know what you’re getting with a Quentin Tarantino film and it’s always good. Not always great. But aside from Death Proof, he’s been doing just fine. And his greatest move was not taking up co-directing duties on 2014’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. That may have lowered his score to Ron Howard territory.
5- Coen Brothers
We can’t help but notice that the lowest rated movies for Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, and the Coen Brothers all star Tom Hanks. You read it here first folks: This Tom Hanks character is box office poison.
4- Christopher Nolan
Very Subject to change. With only a handful of critics who’ve seen Interstellar, the current rating of 74% on the “Tomatometer” will without a doubt skyrocket Nolan up the rankings, but even a perfect score wouldn’t make him a contender against the all mighty Affleck. While Nolan’s work is undoubtably consistent (prestige aside), his newest film might be his golden goose to take him one step closer to the throne.
3- Martin Scorsese
Scorsese is in the HoF. He’s still just as relevant as he’s ever been. While some of his better works over the past decade can be attributed to documentaries, Marty’s keen eye is just as sharp as ever, earning five nominations at the Oscars, including one for best picture for his most recent film, The Wolf of Wall Street.
2- David Fincher
Benjiman, oh Benjiman. Without you’re strange little old man baby body, Fincher would’ve earned himself a score of 89.75. Although Fincher took a chance with The Curious Case of Benjiman Button, it fell a little short with the collective critics of Rotten Tomatoes, but if Fincher’s recent history says anything about his near future endeavors.
1- Ben Affleck
He’s the king. The irrefutable champion of the Best Director of the Past Decade Award. There’s no denying it. Opinion is opinion, but fact is fact. Now, you can make the argument most of the directors on this list have made double the amount of movies over the past ten years, but then how is Big Ben suppose to star in holiday favorites like Surviving Christmas or play Las Vegas bail bondsman, Jack Dupree in Smokin’ Aces? We can only sit back and wait to see what Ben the magnificent has up his sleeve for his next trick of Hollywood magic.
See our statistics: Google Sheets link