In reverse chronological order
  1. Lenny Abrahamson - Room (2015)
    I liked Room fine, but if there was anything holding it back from being a great film, it was the direction. Such a bold turn halfway through the story required a great finesse that wasn't there, and so the audience was left on their ass with a climax that actually wasn't. Compare to the more deliberate off-structure turns in Psycho and Full Metal Jacket and the more graceful in No Country for Old Men.
  2. Adam McKay - The Big Short (2015)
    There’s a trend in directing that if you don’t have an actual style you just shoot it like faux documentary and pepper in lots of mid-shot quick half zooms. I am so over the mid-shot quick half zoom. Someone needs to make a supercut of this very shitty technique.
  3. Morten Tyldum - The Imitation Game (2014)
  4. Michel Havanivicius - The Artist (2011)
    Has any Best Picture winner ever been as immediately and utterly forgotten as The Artist?
  5. Alexander Payne - The Descendants (2011)
    Why so many nominations for plain, normal movies?
  6. Lee Daniels - Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (2009)
    Precious was sloppy. Remember the scene where we spin around Precious's head with scenes of inspiration superimposed on the walls around her? It was...silly. Don't mistake a compelling story and great performances for good direction.
  7. Jason Reitman - Up in the Air (2009)
    Holdover love from Juno? (Which while also not worthy of a nomination, at least had some style.)
  8. Paul Haggis - Crash (2005)
    Lets go one more year back just to include this one.