Worst of the Worst. The WORST Action Directors.

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Barry Sonnenfeld
Director, Men in Black
Barry Sonnenfeld was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from New York University of Film School in 1978. He started work as director of photography on the Oscar-nominated In Our Water. Then Joel Coen and Ethan Coen hired him for Blood Simple.. This film began his collaboration with the Coen Bros....
Thunder Levin
Writer, Sharknado
Thunder Levin was born and raised in New York City, graduated from Hunter College High School, and received a BFA in Film from NYU before moving to Los Angeles at age 23. His father Michael was an award-winning journalist before retiring from WCBS radio. His mother Glenis was an immigrant from Liverpool...
Art Camacho
Award-winning action film Director/Fight choreographer/stunt performer Art Camacho has a vast experience in the entertainment industry. He is in production of Final Payback 2, a sequel to one of his successful action films, and in development of a Latino Vampire film called "The Crossing". Camacho recently...
Leigh Scott
Director, Transmorphers
With more than two dozen feature films under his belt, Leigh Scott has been working as a professional writer, director, producer, editor, and cinematographer in the film industry for nearly twenty years. He attended USC's prestigious School of Cinema-Television. While in school he obtained an internship working for Roger Corman's "Concorde Pictures"...
Roland Emmerich
Roland Emmerich is a German film director of blockbuster films like The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla, Independence Day and The Patriot. Before fame, he originally wanted to be a production designer, but decided to be a director, after watching the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Emmerich began his career in his native Germany...
“ People don't want to OBSERVE the action with helicopter shots, Roland. People want to FEEL the action. Not to mention that when everything is pretty much CGI it all feels like a damn videogame. People don't want that.

Again, observing the action: this is the worst thing an action director can do. ” - Miles_Jones
Uwe Boll
Producer, Postal
As a child, he produced a number of short films on Super 8 and video before beginning his studies as a film director in Munich and Vienna. He also studied literature and economics in Cologne and Siegen. Uwe graduated from university in 1995 with a doctorate in literature. From 1995-2000, he was a producer and director with Taunus Film-Produktions GmbH...
“ He tried, he failed. And he keeps failing. ” - Miles_Jones
Phillip Noyce
Director, Salt
Born in the Australian outback town of Griffith, New South Wales, Phillip Noyce moved to Sydney with his family at the age of 12. As a teenager, he was introduced to underground films produced on shoestring budgets as well as mainstream American movies. He was 18 when he made his first film, the 15-minute...
Brett Ratner
Producer, The Revenant
Brett Ratner is one of Hollywood's most successful filmmakers. His diverse films resonate with audiences worldwide and, as director, his films have grossed over $2 billion at the global box office. Brett began his career directing music videos before making his feature directorial debut at 26 years old with the action comedy hit Money Talks...
Producer, Supernatural
Dean Semler
Cinematographer, Dances with Wolves
“ Great DP though. ” - Miles_Jones
Lee Tamahori
Director, Die Another Day
Beginning as a commercial artist and photographer, he joined the New Zealand film industry in the late 1970s as a boom operator. He became an assistant director a decade later. Making international award-winning commercials for 10 years, he has also directed several TV series. His first feature film, Once Were Warriors, won the PEN First Book Award.
Anthony Hickox
Director, Waxwork
Anthony (Tony), started as a club promoter in London in the early eighties and financed his first short 'rock-a-bye baby' by holding an event at Le'quipe Anglaise, where all the door money went to finance the film. In fact, when it was finished it was the clubs owner Shariffi who showed it to producer Micheal White (Rocky horror show) who was so impressed...
Joseph Kahn
Director, Torque
Roger Christian
Academy Award winner Roger Christian has had an extensive film career. He won an Academy Award for set decoration on director George Lucas's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, which began a long collaboration between the filmmakers. Christian subsequently worked with Lucas on Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi and was hand-picked by Lucas to direct the second unit on the recent Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace...
Kevin Reynolds
Describing his childhood as that of a typical Air Force brat and the oldest of 2 brothers and a sister, Kevin Reynolds graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a B.A. and then a J.D. (law degree) in the early 1970s. His father was a tenured psychology professor and University vice-president...
Timur Bekmambetov
Director, Wanted
Timur Bekmambetov is a Russian-Kazakh film director known for vampire franchise Night Watch and Day Watch. He was born Timur Nuruakhitovich Bekmambetov on June 25, 1961, in Guryev, Soviet Union (now Atyrau, Kazakhstan). His father, Nuruakhit Bekmambetov, is a manager at Guryev Energy company; his mother...
Richard Schenkman
Richard Schenkman writes, directs and produces feature films, among other things. His first film was The Pompatus of Love, which he wrote with Jon Cryer and Adam Oliensis. A festival favorite, it enjoyed a successful theatrical release in 1995. He then directed the action/drama October 22 for Nu Image/Millennium Films...
Roel Reiné
Director, Death Race 2
Roel Reine was born in The Netherlands, and with his first theatrical feature 'The Delivery' he won The Golden Calf for Best Director (the Dutch equivalent to an Academy Award). In 2005 Roel Reine has moved to Los Angeles and has directed now an impressive slate of 16 feature films for studios like Universal...
Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer, Death Race
Paul W.S. Anderson gained a fair bit of notoriety in his native England when he directed the ultra-violent Shopping (which he also wrote), starring Jude Law and Sean Pertwee in a story about thieves who steal by ramming a car into storefronts. The film was banned in some cinemas in England, and became a direct-to-video slightly edited release in the United States...
Director, Belle's War
mink was born in London, England. He moved to Los Angeles with his parents when he was eight. He attended local high school in Los Angeles and then went on to photography school in Santa Barbara. Upon graduation from college he returned to Los Angeles and got a job as a runner at the Disney Studios...
Mark Neveldine
Camera and Electrical Department, Crank
Colin Strause
Visual Effects, X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Colin Strause grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Colin and his brother Greg Strause began experimenting with visual effects in their early teens. In 1995, he moved to Los Angeles and started working on the special effects for The X-Files. From there he moved on to big-budget hits such as The Nutty Professor...
Greg Strause
Visual Effects, Galaxy Quest
Greg Strause grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Greg and his brother Colin Strause began experimenting with visual effects in their early teens. In 1995, Greg moved to Los Angeles and started working on the special effects for The X-Files. From there he moved on to big-budget hits such as The Nutty Professor...
Visual Effects, Alien: Resurrection
Gérard Pirès
Director, Taxi
Tim Story
Director, Fantastic Four
Timothy Kevin Story was born on March 13, 1970 in Los Angeles, California. Attended Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California with jazz pianist Eric Reed and actresses Regina King and Nia Long. Graduated from USC film school.
John Hyams
Beginning his career in the fine arts, John Hyams graduated from Syracuse University's School of Visual and Performing Arts, earning top awards in painting and sculpture. Hyams exhibited and sold work in Los Angeles and New York before turning his attention to film. In 1997 Hyams wrote, directed, and...
John Gray
John Gray was born in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He is a writer, director and producer, known for Reckless (2014) White Irish Drinkers (2010), Ghost Whisperer (2005), The Hunley (1999) Martin and Lewis, and Helter Skelter. He was the youngest recipient ever of an American Film Institute Independant Filmmaker Grant. He has been married to Melissa Jo Peltier since April 29,2006. He has a daughter.
Don E. FauntLeRoy
Cinematographer, Jeepers Creepers
Don E. FauntLeRoy was accepted into the American Society of Cinematographers, with only 7 years experience as a Director of Photography. His rise has been swift, and his reputation as one of the most talented young cinematographers, rapid. Don's major break came in 1994, when he was given the opportunity of shooting David L. Wolper' epic mini-series...
Michael Oblowitz
Director, The Traveler
Michael Oblowitz is a South African filmmaker who has directed and produced a number of critically acclaimed movies and videos. Born in Cape Town, he is a Fine Arts and Philosophy graduate of the University of Cape Town and holds an M.A. in Film from Columbia University. He was involved in New York's No Wave subculture...
Sam Firstenberg
Director, American Ninja
Since 1980 Sam Firstenberg has been in the independent filmmaking field. Directing 22 theatrical feature films since completing his graduate studies in film at Loyola Marymount University. One More Chance, starring Kirstie Alley, won prizes in major film festivals and sparked the beginning of his career as a director...
Pierre Morel
Director, Taken
Jon Favreau
Producer, Iron Man
Initially an indie film favorite, actor Jon Favreau has progressed to strong mainstream visibility into the millennium and, after nearly two decades in the business, is still enjoying character stardom as well as earning notice as a writer/producer/director. The amiable, husky-framed actor with the tight...
Simon West
Director, Con Air
Sheldon Lettich
Writer, Max
His latest movie is Max, which he co-wrote with his long-time friend, Boaz Yakin. The movie was directed by Boaz and produced by MGM. It was released nationwide in the USA by Warner Brothers on June 26th, 2015, and by the end of the summer had grossed $43 million. The novelization sold over 100,000 copies. A sequel is in post-production
Tom Dey
Director, Shanghai Noon
Tom Dey, born in New England, graduated from Brown University in 1987, and then went to study film in Paris at the Centre des Etudes Critiques. In 1990 he moved to Los Angeles and began attending the American Film Institute (AFI). He became a writer for American Cinematographer magazine. He graduated from AFI in 1993...
Kevin Donovan
Director, The Tuxedo
Filmmaker Kevin Donovan, whose commercials and music videos have garnered international recognition, made his feature film directing debut in 2002 with the Dreamworks action comedy The Tuxedo starring Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt. The film has grossed over $100 million dollars to date, and is a favorite among young Kung Fu aficionados...
Paul Hunter
Paul Hunter's inventive style has arguably elevated the standard of music video production. Having worked with celebrated musical artists including Jennifer Lopez, Lenny Kravitz, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, D'Angelo, Courtney Love, Marilyn Manson, 'Sean 'P.Diddy' Combs', Mariah Carey...
Wayne Kramer
Director, Running Scared
Wayne Kramer was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He immigrated to the United States in 1986. His feature film breakthrough came in 2003, when he directed William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin and Maria Bello in "The Cooler." Baldwin went on to receive a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination, while both Baldwin and Bello received Golden Globe nominations...
George Gallo
Writer, Bad Boys
George Gallo moved from Mamaroneck, New York and relocated in Los Angeles in 1982. After 4 years, he got the film "Wise Guys" produced with Danny Devito and Joe Piscopo. The classic buddy/cops and robbers picture "Midnight Run" came next with Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. Then in 1990, he wrote and directed "29th Street" which Danny Aiello and Anthony LaPaglia...
Baltasar Kormákur
Producer, Everest
Baltasar Kormákur is an actor, producer and director whose work spans theater, movies and television. Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, he graduated as an actor from Iceland's National Academy of Fine Arts in 1990. He was immediately signed on by the National Theatre of Iceland, where he worked as one of the leading young performing artists until 1997...
Len Wiseman
Filmmaker Len Wiseman's career began through his work in the art department on the blockbuster hits like Godzilla, Men in Black, and Independence Day. His design talents soon got him behind the camera directing commercials for PlayStation, Time Warner, Oracle, Intel, and Activision, and quickly lead to work in music videos...
Zack Snyder
Director, 300
Zachary Edward "Zack" Snyder (born March 1, 1966) is an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter, best known for action and science fiction films. Snyder made his feature film debut with the 2004 remake Dawn of the Dead and has gone on to be known for his comic book movies and superhero films...
Pete Travis
Director, Dredd
Demian Lichtenstein
Demian has amassed a vast body of work in the music video industry since receiving his BFA from New York University in 1988, leading to his current status as a major up-and-comer in Feature Film Direction. Some past projects include directing Music Videos for Sting & Eric Clapton, Grandmaster Caz, Shabba Ranks...
Albert Pyun
Director, Cyborg
Few other directors have been the object of so much vituperation as Albert Pyun. Frequently compared with Edward D. Wood Jr., they both share a fascination with the bizarre. Pyun has a feel for the stylistic and hypnotic, changing the conventions of fiction and making each of his movies an extreme experience...
Robert Harmon
Director, The Hitcher
Robert Harmon attended film school at Boston University and worked for many years as a still photographer prior to embarking on a film career. Harmon worked as a still photographer on the movies "Roller Boogie," "Fade to Black," and "Hell Night." He was a second unit camera operator on "They Call Me Bruce?"...
Peter MacDonald
Camera and Electrical Department, Batman
Philippe Martinez
Producer, Harsh Times
From 1988 through 1990, Philippe Martinez was President of the famous Odeon Theater in Marseilles, one of the largest playhouses in Europe. At the end of 1990, deciding to focus on a career as a feature film producer, he moved to the United States, later becoming Chairman of the Board of distribution company Ulysses Entertainment as well with offices in Los Angeles, Paris and London...
Isaac Florentine
Worshiped by his fans for many years Isaac Florentine has built up his excellent reputation within the movie business. At first attracting the action movie fans, Isaac moved into the mainstream with New Line's release Undisputed II: Last man standing. The film received rave reviews not only for its groundbreaking fighting scenes but also for its complexity and dramatic qualities...
Peter Hyams
Director, 2010
Peter Hyams was born in New York on July 26, 1943, and attended Hunter College Elementary School. He studied art and music at the Art Students League and the High School of Music and Art as well as at Syracuse University, where he majored in music and art. Before he became a CBS News news anchor in...
John Moore
John Moore was born in Dundalk, Ireland in 1970, a small town situated about 60 miles from the country's capital Dublin. Moore attended a technical college in Dublin where he studied filmmaking and after completing the school he went on to direct and write a series of short films all produced in his native Ireland...
Stephen Sommers
Writer, The Mummy
Stephen Sommers was born on March 20, 1962 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota, he attended St. John's University and the University of Seville in Spain. Afterward, Sommers spent the next four years performing as an actor in theater groups and managing rock bands throughout Europe...
Joseph Zito
Producer, Lahzat harega
Joseph Zito is a well known action film director. Three of his movies--Missing in Action, Invasion U.S.A. and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter--each reached the #1 box office position of top grossing film in the country in their opening weeks of U.S. theatrical release. "Missing in Action" is Chuck Norris' most successful movie and...
Raymond Martino
Director, Da Vinci's War
Raymond is a veteran writer, director, and producer who has been in the industry for over 30 years. He was an actor back in the day while pursuing the above avenues. Now, the focus of his career has been behind the camera. As a writer, he has worked with everyone from Academy Award Winning producer...
Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro was born October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. Raised by his Catholic grandmother, del Toro developed an interest in filmmaking in his early teens. Later, he learned about makeup and effects from the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist) and worked on making his own short films...
Jerry P. Jacobs
Miscellaneous Crew, Divergent
Carl Rinsch
Director, 47 Ronin