9 Directors Who Only Made One Good Movie

8. Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko)

donnie darko
Newmarket Films

It's incredibly difficult to summarise Donnie Darko or what made it so momentous. In short, it's a movie about a troubled teenager who begins seeing a man in a rabbit costume named Frank. Frank tells Donnie that the world is going to end in a month and subsequently manipulates him into committing a series of crimes. Renowned for its inky tone and mind-boggling plot, the movie was also jet-black funny and constantly built up an air of unease.

Three years later, Richard Kelly would release a Director's Cut for Donnie Darko, which was met with a divisive response. While the critics seemed to love it, audiences found that Kelly's twenty additional minutes seemed to miss what made the original so loved and instead removed a lot of the movie's mystery.

These fears weren't unfounded, as Kelly would go on to direct Southland Tales and The Box. Both of these movies were derided for their self-indulgence and incoherence, two things that Kelly seemed to just about find the balance in with his first movie.


The fourth best writer living in Bristol named Alexander Erting-Haynes. When not writing, found shamelessly gushing about Majora's Mask, The Office (UK) and Shaun of the Dead.