Hollywood Directors Who Are Highly Critical of Streaming Services

Hollywood Directors Who Are Highly Critical of Streaming Services
Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

To say that streaming services have redefined what’s it like watching movies and TV shows might be an understatement. Having a streaming service on your smartphone is just like calling your Spectrum customer service. Both offer great convenience.  While streaming services continue to offer tremendous advantages to casual viewers, that doesn’t mean they are safe from critics and naysayers. Even people within the film industry have gone on to criticize streaming services for putting cinema on the back burner.  


The remarks range from mere skepticism to outright rejection. We’ve compiled a list of high-profile storytellers who have been highly critical of streaming services. Let’s begin.  

Patty Jenkins  


Jenkins is no stranger to the cinema world. She’s helmed multiple drama series and films including Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman). That said, she’s not a fan of streaming services, going as far as calling the content on these web-based platforms “fake.” 


Jenkins does not see streaming services “as a model for establishing legendary greatness.” She prefaced the statement by saying that she doesn’t hear or read about the movies put out by streaming services. One might wonder if streaming services are the reason for Wonder Woman 1984’s poor performance at the Box Office.  


According to Jenkins, that is exactly why the sequel to the 2017 hit bombed at the Box Office. It is worth mentioning here that Warner Bros released the movie on HBO Max and in cinemas simultaneously, but it failed to replicate the success of the prequel.  

Martin Scorsese  


Before we reveal what Scorsese said about streaming services, let’s just appreciate the man’s greatness as a filmmaker. The 78-year-old has given us classics like “Taxi Driver,” “Goodfellas,” and “Shutter Island” to name a few. With that being said, Scorsese sees streaming services as eroding the purity of cinema and allowing talent to profit from them.  

While Jenkins reserved her comments to three or four sentences, Scorsese wrote a full-length essay on the many sins of streaming services. He has criticized the model on which these online platforms operate. However, he does admit that streaming services ensure easy and quick distribution of movies to an astronomical number of viewers.  


“The Irishman” director continues to lambast streaming services for devaluating the art of cinema. Speaking of The Irishman, the movie made over $30 million for Netflix from U.S. accounts in addition to the $5.4 million it collected from international accounts. So yeah, Scorsese’s partnership with Netflix did pay off.  

Steven Spielberg  

We can’t thank Steve enough for what he has done for the film industry. The man is responsible for creating some of the most iconic movies of all time. “Back to the Future,” “Jurassic Park,” “Jaws,” “Indiana Jones,” – you name it. Spielberg is a living legend and deserves all the praise for his storytelling and cinematography.  


Spielberg is also one of the many people who are extremely vocal about the effects of streaming services on cinema. The “Schindler’s List” helmer doesn’t see movies released via streaming services as being worthy of Oscar glory. Ouch! His jab was a dig at Netflix production Roma. By the way, the movie ended up winning multiple Oscars


According to Spielberg, streaming platforms threaten the very existence of movie theaters. To preserve the legacy of the cinema, he believes you should go watch new releases in theaters instead of gluing yourselves to your smartphone screens. He does have a point though. Streaming services have affected cinema’s business revenues.  

Christopher Nolan  


Nolan is arguably one of the best directors of this generation. He is known for his excellent cinematography skills. Also, the soundtracks he selects for his films in collaboration with the maestro himself, Hans Zimmer, are astounding. “Interstellar,” “The Dark Knight Trilogy” – the list goes on.  


Nolan is also no one to shy away from brandishing his criticism of streaming services. He has gone on record against HBO Max, labeling it the “worst streaming service.

His jab came after Warner Bros announced they would release Nolan-directed “Tenet” on HBO Max and in theaters simultaneously.  


The 51-year-old said he failed to understand why the studio would make such a decision since it would bring in bad numbers for the film. What he said did prove to be true as Tenet flopped in the U.S. It grossed a worldwide total of $363.7 million. Nolan’s prior work “Dunkirk” grossed $526.9 million.  

Do you agree with what these top directors had to say about streaming services? Are streaming services a threat to the cinema industry? Can the creators strike a balance? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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