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—— Unforgettable: Season 2

Great Directors (2010)



Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 482

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Movie Info

Ten of the world's great filmmakers discuss their art, their influences and their creative motivations in this documentary. In Great Directors, Angela Ismailos chats with a handful of talented and influential movie directors, among them Bernardo Bertolucci, Catherine Breillat, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, Todd Haynes, Richard Linklater, Ken Loach, David Lynch, John Sayles, and Agnès Varda. Along with discussing the particulars of their work (often illustrated by relevant film clips), the


Documentary, Television

Nov 8, 2011


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All Critics (36) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (13) | DVD (1)

Though her choice of interview subjects is so random and the discourse so broad that this 2009 documentary never really arrives anywhere... it delights from start to finish and then evaporates.

January 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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A pleasing if not surprising sampler of apercus, bon mots and clips.

January 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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Ismailos' 10 mini-profiles might have been better used as DVD extras or a cablecast introduction to an individual director's movie. It's not too late.

July 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Rarely have clips from so many good and great movies been put to such dull use.

July 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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The number of interviewees makes the film a signpost survey, more meaningful to film- study newbies than veterans.

July 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
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This is a meat-and-potatoes espionage yarn that passes by quickly enough and meets the requirement of making us try to guess: Who is Salt?

July 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Comment (1)
Dallas Morning News
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You'd learn more just watching one of their films.

March 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

In the end, The Great Directors is neither a manual nor a toolkit, but a miscellany that needs to be a monograph.

March 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

This is one of the best movies ever about film directors.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

It's flawed, but it beats the veiled promo films we usually get about the inner workings of cinematic creation.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

A better title for Great Directors would be Good Directors Who Returned My Calls.

August 6, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Standing unabashedly on the shoulders of giants, Angela Ismailos pays free-association homage to her favorite filmmakers in this engaging but scatter-shot documentary.

August 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

If she dearly loves these filmmakers, or some of their films, it's too hard to tell.

July 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The chore is to blank out Greek filmmaker Angela Ismailos's clueless, indulgent voiceover and moony on-camera presence...

July 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Angela Ismailos's breezy Great Directors is like eavesdropping on the best bits of her candid and casual conversations with her personal favorite filmmakers

July 11, 2010 Full Review Source:

Great Directors doesn't tell you a lot about its great directors, but as a roadmap on how to live artfully, it's rather inspiring.

July 9, 2010 Full Review Source: The Simon
The Simon

Audience Reviews for Great Directors

No disrespect to Anela Ismailos, but how could anyone interview the likes of David Lynch and John Sayles and Catherine Breillat and not have an interesting documentary?
April 1, 2012
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

For the record, great is too loaded a word when it comes to labeling filmmakers and is prone to cause arguments and wars. Let's just agree that the directors included in this informal documentary from Angela Ismailos are all iconoclasts, each with their own distinctive point of view. Along these same lines, the documentary is refreshingly more interested in failure than success, allowing for a clear headed discussion of politics and sex in film. If David Lynch had not failed with "Dune," then his career would have turned out very differently and the film world would be that much poorer, as he rues not having creative control on that film. The wild card here is Liliana Cavani whose films I am mostly unfamiliar with. I really liked "Ripley's Game" starring John Malkovich. Of "The Night Porter," I disagree that people disliked it because the main character is a Nazi and a villain. Rather, it is because the film is ambiguous about him in a sadomasochist kind of way. Plus, I am still not even remotely interested in seeing "The Queen."

The thing to remember here is that whenever somebody says they were the first to put something on film, somebody almost always got there before them. For example, this documentary brings up a fascinating looking 1982 documentary called "Room 666" which features interviews with directors of the time and is incredibly available on DVD. Even with the newsmagazine format of "Great Directors," Ismailos would have been better off learning something from her captivating subjects and stayed behind the camera, so as not to take away any attention from them.
October 20, 2012
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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