Originally Posted by ilovemovies
I don't get how you can say you he's not a good director when you liked half of the movies he's done. And even in the bottom half, you gave one of the movies a 6, which means you must think the movie has SOME good qualities that you think it's so-so, in the middle rather than outright mediocrity/awfulness.
Rather, you find him on and off. Exactly down the middle, since you like half of his work and dislike half of his work.
Some bad movies are well-directed, some good movies are not well-directed. Some movies are inhibited by poor direction but have other elements working for them like a great performance or story or cinematography or score, etc. There isn't a 1:1 correlation between a movie's quality and a director's talent or skill.
Memento is a great movie and Nolan's direction is totally decent if unexceptional (it's the script that makes it sing), Insomnia is also pretty well-directed if I recall correctly. His "direction" of The Prestige, and especially The Dark Knight and Inception is largely abysmal, often ruining what might otherwise be interesting. I think he's pretty inept and to be reductive but brief, "covers action" rather than "directs movies." That none of his movies are terrible, some are fine, and one I even love doesn't mean I must think he's a good director.
He's bad at eliciting strong performances even from very talented actors, he's bad at staging and blocking and filming scenes, he's bad at establishing and maintaining tone and pacing, he's bad at human drama and emotion, he's bad at line editing, thus he's a bad director. You don't have to be making all 2/10 Pauly Shore movies to be incompetent.