Umm, AI's ending is not a tacked on happy ending. It's a depressingly bleak ending. It's supremely fatalistic. David gets to recreate a perfect day that is as artificial as he is, and then he dies. He doesn't live happily ever after. And he abandons Teddy. If he was imprinted with Monica, Teddy was equally imprinted with him.
Also, the ending is so Kubick it hurts. 2000 years in the future, humanity has caused it's own extinction via destroying their environment, and are succeeded by a race of super advanced AI. An AI that is searching for it's creator as David searched for his. But all that they find is an artificial link, and through which they create an artificial glimpse into that past. David is an artifact, an object, and our successors learn as much from him and his simulation as we learn about ancient hominids by looking at arrowheads and cave paintings.
It's way more nuanced than you give it credit for.
Plus, these are voted on and tabulated. Basically, they got a bunch of people together, voted and here are the results. Don't draw any "definitive" or "objective" results other than that.
I've seen all of them except for The Conformist and Gandhi. Its a pretty solid list.
For anyone bitching about why certain movies are not or are included, or why they are ranked in a certain order, well that's what happens when you get a bunch of people to vote on a list of movies. Depending on how the votes are weighted and tabulated, the outcome really doesn't reflect an infallible ranking. If you haven't realized the flaws in the democratic system of voting, you haven't been paying attention.
Instead of being incensed and seeking validation for your opinions of what you think is your personal best directed movie, look at it as a list of movies that you should consider watching to gain a well rounded knowledge of cinema.
The Hudsucker Proxy is so underrated, and I am certain it is underseen as well. I am certain that the screwball comedy aspect is off-putting to most, but damn if it isn't charming. Newman, Robbins and Leigh are all terrific, Deakins cinematography is astounding, the editing is fantastic, the set design is straight out of Metropolis and Brazil, the visual gags are hilarious and the "You know, for kids" hula hoop scene is probably the Coen's greatest single scene.
Don't you think that the mockumentary style with unmotivated and sloppy whip pans and distracting zooms can be considered to be very ordinary now? That "style", or more precisely lack thereof, has been played. It takes far more planning, stronger sense of technique, far more confidence and directorial ability to make create something as composed and deliberate as Spotlight as the pseudo run and gun, improv style of The Big Short.
But besides, its not one or the other. There is no freaking way it was directed better than The Martian, Ex Machina, Carol, Hateful Eight, Sicario, Phoenix or Bridge of Spies.
The Big Short was directed so poorly. How the hell is Adam McKay nominated for best director over Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott? That is pure bullshit.
His schizophrenic camera zooms and pans are completely unmotivated by the narrative. His jerky camera movements are an indication of how little confidence he had in telling the story and keeping interest. Compare that to Spotlight -- elegant, thoughtful camera direction that helps heighten the emotion of the scene, reveal the inner lives of the characters, or just stay the fuck out of the way and let the actors breathe.
McKay's compositions and framing blow, the editing is shitty, tonally the movie is a mess, there's way too many characters that are impossible to connect with -- its 100% literally the worst directed oscar nominated movie that I've ever seen. You'd think this was made by the guy who directed a bunch of Will Ferrell movies.