20 directors who hate their own films, from David Lynch to Michael Bay

Jack Shepherd and Jacob Stolworthy
·1-min read
Clockwise from top right: American History X, Batman and Robin, Babylon AD, and Fantastic Four
Clockwise from top right: American History X, Batman and Robin, Babylon AD, and Fantastic Four

There's no denying that making a film is difficult.

Not only does getting a story from script to screen cost millions (at least, those with well-known actors do), but it also requires both cast and crew to devote years to a singular project.

Despite filmmaking being a labour of love, there are still occasions when a director – the person who arguably spends the most amount of time working on a film – can dislike the final results.

The majority of cases stem from studio interference: when filmmakers have to make changes to their work due to creative differences with the financiers.

Other common causes for dissatisfaction are when directors are rushed into a project (mainly sequels), they regret an early artistic decision, or – as in Steven Soderbergh’s case – they knew 15 minutes in that there would be a problem but continued anyway.

Below are 20 directors who dislike their own films, including David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick and multiple Alan Smithee examples (where a director disowns their film and uses the pseudonym Alan Smithee).

Click through the gallery below to start

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