With the amount of studio interference that plagues movies, it’s understandable that directors want more control over their movies, allowing them to fully show their vision. One way to do this is to take on the scriptwriting tasks themselves rather than relying on someone else.

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There are times when it works incredibly well, and Quentin Tarantino is a prime example. His films would not be the same if he did not write the dialogue himself. Other times, the results are far from brilliant: the talents needed to be a great director don’t always translate into a good screenwriter.

ten Duncan Jones’ spiritual successor to Moon proves he’s not as good a writer as he is a director

sam rockwell in the moon

Duncan Jones is remembered by most people as the guy who made the miserable Warcraft movie. While this film was a failure, it cannot be fully blamed for it. Games have too many stories to tell in a single movie and are best served as a TV show. It was a doomed film.

Mute, on the other hand, rests only at his feet. As successor to Moon, Jones’ best film, it lacks any narrative fluidity. The plot is confused, losing the intimate experience that made Moon so good.

9 Neill Blomkamp is more of an idea guy who needs someone to help turn ideas into a finished product.

Jodie Foster in Elysée

Neill Blomkampf himself would probably admit that writing is the weakest part of his toolbox. Going around Chappie, he admitted that Elysium was not as good as it should have been. He says the script wasn’t there and the story wasn’t fully developed. It’s rare for someone to admit this level of fault, but they were always present in Chappie.

It’s a shame because the design of his costumes and his special effects are there. A movie directed by him with a skilled screenwriter could be an absolute classic.

8 Nicolas Winding Refn struggles to create likeable characters when he writes

Ryan Gosling in Drive

Nicolas Winding Refn’s most famous work is Drive, an incredible movie that showed just how fantastic an actor Ryan Gosling is. His performance mixed with the staging of Refn created magic.

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Few directors can capture such a sense of realism with the brutal moments in their films. The way he shot the car chase at the start of the movie was also excellent. The problem is that the two follow-up films he wrote lacked a key element present in Drive: there are no sympathetic characters at all. Everyone in Only god forgives is a horrible person, which makes the movie almost impossible to enjoy.

7 Zack Snyder Makes Visually Stunning Movies With Incredible Fight Sequences And Should Stick With That

Baby Doll vs. Giant Samurai in Sucker Punch

Few directors have mastered action sequences like Zack Snyder. No one has visually captured Superman on the big screen as well as he. The battle between Superman and Faora is always a highlight for the entire DCEU. Even his poorly received films like Sucker Punch had sprawling battle scenes that were breathtaking.

The problem with Snyder is that he thinks he’s a better writer than he actually is. He tries to introduce these sprawling themes but never delivers any of them. Army of the dead, his most recent effort, is a prime example of his attempt to make a movie smarter than it is.

6 Rob Zombie is an underrated director, but he can’t draw a cohesive film

Halloween - Rob Zombie

Considering the seriousness of many of his films, many would mistakenly think Rob Zombie is awful as both a writer and a director. On the contrary, his sense of horror is actually quite good. He knows how to paint a grotesque picture and understands the genre quite well. lords of salem is a visually stunning film of its kind.

The problem is, his films have inconsistent plots that never make any sense. His remake of Halloween is a perfect example. The decisions he made with the character were horrific all around, aside from the brutality of the murders.

5 George Lucas is a master of the world who cannot write believable dialogue

Jar Jar Binks in front of the Senate

Few writers are as good at building a world as George Lucas. The world of Star wars is vast and filled with fantastic traditions, even for the smallest things. That said, every writer has their weaknesses; and for George, it’s dialogue.

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The prequels showed that in their entirety, namely the horrific romantic dialogue between Padmé and Anakin. His movies were always at their best when he helped create the story and let someone else write the script. This freed up time for him to tackle the excellent lightsaber fights of the two trilogies.

4 There’s a reason Josh Trank’s most beloved movie was written by Max Landis.


Only one film needs to be mentioned when talking about Josh Trank’s background as a writer, and his The Fantastic Four. He can blame Fox whatever he wants, but his name is still on the script. There are so many confusing decisions in the story, especially what was done with Dr. Doom, that it’s hard to see why anyone would want him to rewrite.

On the other side of the coin, the Chronicle is a well-made movie that makes the look of found images work very well. Even his most recent Capone the film was well done, proving that he always has the good one behind the camera.

3 Peter Jackson doesn’t write a compelling story when he doesn’t adapt someone else’s work

Some will object to Peter Jackson’s slander, but the point is that the films of the man have almost exclusively been films made from adapted material. No one can take away the greatness of the Lord of the Rings and in a lesser extent, The Hobbit. They all gave him a framework and allowed him to focus on what he does exceptionally well, leading. Not many people can touch him as a director.

That said, Deadly Engines showed how imperfect his scripts can be. It was an ambitious venture and a cool concept that lacked a strong narrative.

2 Spike Lee overloads movies he writes with too many subplots

Everyone knows what a movie written by Spike Lee will be about. Almost all of his films revolve around race in one way or another. This has led to great movies like Malcolm X, He has a game, and Do the right thing.

The problem isn’t so much its purpose as its need to inject movies with an abundance of subplots. They can drastically slow down his movies, making it a chore. Compare that with Inside man and The 25th hour, two well-wrapped and incredibly well-directed films written by someone else.

1 Robert Rodriguez is allowed to relax his directorial muscle more when he’s not writing

battle angel alita

Robert Rodriguez tends to have two formulas when it comes to writing a movie. Either he takes the G-rated road where he goes endlessly Spy on children movies, or his movies always look very dark and gritty.

There are times that have worked, as is the case with the fantastic City of sin or even one of his previous films, Desperado. He doesn’t bring much variation, unlike his directing style. Both Faculty and Alita feel so out of the mold for a Robert Rodriguez film. No one should be categorized for making only a certain type of movie.

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