The Best Movie: The Sixth Sense
The Rest: Lady in the Water, Signs, The Happening, The Village, The Last Airbender
Technically, M. Night Shyamalan has two pretty solid movies: The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. In that respect, he isn't an exact fit for this list, but given the heap of garbage he subsequently molded into the shape of five film reels while pretending they were something we might enjoy, it feels like a disservice not to include him.
The real success of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable was due to the surprise endings. M. Night Shyamalan did a spectacular job of creating a sensation people hadn't felt in a movie theater since the advent of the Internet. Given the rampant spoilers splashed across every corner of social media, being surprised by a movie is itself surprising, and we were all charmed by his ability to do it.
Unfortunately, after two movies, M. Night Shyamalan ran out of good surprises. Instead of bowing out gracefully or trying to make movies that hinged on something other than one unexpected element, he stubbornly continued to drive his only plot device into the ground. It's easy to picture him looking around his living room while trying to come up with script ideas and landing on various objects that he could use as a reveal. "Oooh, water. Water is the surprise! No, plants! Plants and water, two movies! I am very good at this."
Getty "Yes! Elevators! No one take that one, I called it."
The real shame is that all of his movies have some moments of great directing in them, which was the reason everyone was so excited early on about the prospects of his career. But he's so insistent on strapping a stupid twist ending to each of his films that he ruins everything he touches.
The Best Movie: Rush Hour
The Rest: The Family Man, After the Sunset, X-Men: The Last Stand, Tower Heist
It's always gratifying when people outside of the fictional world of the Star Wars universe are still saddled with a name fitting to who they are. "Ratner" can't help but leave your mouth like an expletive.
Of everyone on this list, I'm absolutely shocked that anyone keeps asking Brett Ratner to make movies. Aside from being a generally unlikable person, his only good film is essentially a remake of 48 Hrs. plus a language barrier (I'm not counting Money Talks, even though it was made before Rush Hour, because I'm not entirely sure Brett Ratner knows they're different movies). Rush Hour was a box office hit, not because of anything Brett Ratner actually did, but because of Chris Tucker's mouth and Jackie Chan's weaponized body.
From that singular success, Ratner launched an entire career as a director where not one person in charge of writing his checks ever stopped and said, "Hold on, you're really bad at this." But he is, he is bad at this, yet Hollywood keeps throwing jobs at him: X-Men: The Last Stand is an insulting end to an otherwise great trilogy, The Family Man is full of such cloying tripe that it looks like it was created by an alien guessing at human emotion after watching a week's worth of the Oxygen channel, and Tower Heist just seems like a cruel trick to get a bunch of fading stars into the same room so that audiences could bid them farewell from cultural relevance.
Ratner consistently craps out terrible movies and then does his best during interviews in between to remind the world why he deserves to be hated on both a professional and a moral level. Yet somehow his movies keep earning money. He could have disappeared into obscurity after the first Rush Hour, but ticket sales never stopped and now he's certain that he deserves everything he has.
Getty I challenge anyone to find a picture of Brett Ratner where he doesn't look like an asshole.
Brett Ratner is the number one entry on this list because as intolerable as his success is, it's really your fault. All of that sweaty, coked up, outspoken self-confidence is your fault, because you went to see The Last Stand more than once and then you bought the DVD just to round out your X-Men collection. You must have, because I sure didn't do it. I don't know. Maybe this is all just a twist ending where plants are making it happen or something. That would be just perfect.