10 Once-Great Directors Who’ve Lost Their Touch

Tim Burton
THE GOOD: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood
THE BAD: Mars Attacks!
THE UGLY: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows, Planet of the Apes

Where do you even start with Tim Burton? His debut feature, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, announced the arrival of a unique and distinctive stylist, but he’s seldom managed to match that style with compelling narratives, and he hasn’t made a thoroughly successful film since Ed Wood, which was, good God, nearly 20 years ago. (You guys can keep yelling out “Big Fish” if you want to, but I saw that movie, and you’re all delusional.) He’s just spinning his Goth wheels these days, finding pre-existing properties and turning his art designers loose on them — his penchant for remakes finally reaches its logical conclusion with his next picture, remake of his own early short Frankenweenie. Maybe that film will serve as his comeback, or at least as a reminder of a time when he was as interested in substance as style.