When you hear the words “great filmmaker," chances are that a few names come to mind without hesitation: Joel and Ethan Coen, David Fincher, and Steven Spielberg, amongst others. But aside from having directed several motion picture classics each, those guys also share the not-so-positive characteristic of having also made some stinkers.

For the Coen brothers, there's the ho-hum Tom Hanks comedy The Ladykillers. And how about Fincher? Though it’s by no means awful, Alien3 is certainly a negative mark on his record. As for Spielberg, he has Hook, 1941, and The Lost World: Jurassic Park all tainting his legacy. Yes, even inarguable greatness doesn’t mean the occasional slip-up is out of the question. But for those rare cases of spotless excellence, the respective filmmakers’ steadfastness is quite remarkable.

Take Christopher Nolan, for example; already seven victories deep (including, most recently, The Dark Knight and Inception), the English-American blockbuster king is back this weekend with The Dark Knight Rises, a legitimate knockout that, despite some narrative clunkiness (more on that in our full review Friday), achieves an astounding cinematic scope and several moments of crushing emotion. Batman fans need not worry—the Caped Crusader’s Nolan-delivered swan song is superb.

With The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan easily solidifies a spot on our list of 10 Directors Who’ve Never Made A Bad Movie. A few of the other nine names may surprise you.

Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)

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