For the first post in this series click here.
For the second post in this series click here.
My list of good bets -- with "good bet" meaning I could pick a random movie that they directed or wrote, according to the category I've placed them in, and there's a good chance I'll enjoy it. Also, film-makers with frequent good films, but not so many great films, or fewer good films but some really great films, can rank on this list.
Brian De Palma
The Coen Brothers
Paul W.S. Anderson -- Don't hate me.
The Wachowsi Brothers
Stanley Kubrick -- Is he a director or is he a writer/director? One of the key things I looked for in assigning people to the writer/director category is that they were essentially just directing their own screenplays (except John Huston who did everything willy-nilly).
I have to say I'm probably a bit better off betting on directors than writers -- De Palma, Singer, Carpenter, and Speilberg make for a large volume of quality films. However, there's a surprising amount of consistency amongst the writers too, if one bothers to really track them.
One additional reason people might normally assocaite directors with films is because people normally think of writer/directors as simply directors.
Amongst the writers, I do think there's a greater standard deviation in how I'll respond to their films. For the directors and writer/directors even the films that don't work so well for me I'll often enjoy watching once, but for the writers there will be films that just don't work for me. I take it this is due in part to the fact that directors control more aspects of the production than writers.