All the Zack Snyder Movies Ranked

All the Zack Snyder Movies Ranked

For nearly 15 years, Zack Snyder has been one of Hollywood’s most visually dynamic directors.  Recently, it has been popular to trash the “Zack Snyder movies” due to his failures among the DC Extended Universe.  It is not unlike how moviegoers deride the “Michael Bay movies” due to his increasingly disastrous Transformers films.  It is a shame because Zack Snyder has made some fantastic films throughout his young career.  His DCU films notwithstanding, his sullied reputation is totally unwarranted.  Sure, the world-over really dislikes what he did with Batman and the Justice League.  However, when you look at his body of work, you just know that another fantastic film must be imminent.  Here are all of Zack Snyder’s films ranked, from worst to first.

#8: Justice League (2017)

Zack Snyder may only be half to blame for Justice League’s failure, but it is a monumental failure nonetheless.  At the eleventh hour of shooting, Zack Snyder’s daughter tragically died by suicide.  Understandably, he left the project and Joss Whedon stepped in. However, this director shuffling, which admittedly could have caused some tonal issues, is not the film’s problem.  Everything else is.  DC decided to skip past all the standalone films that Marvel was so smart to have patience with.  Therefore, we have absolutely no context for Cyborg, The Flash, or Aquaman. None whatsoever. Also, the CGI in Justice League is astronomically terrible.  There are movies that were released twenty years ago that have better effects than Steppenwolf or the digitally removed Henry Cavill mustache.  One hopes this is not the end of the DCEU, because Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is by far the outbreak star of the franchise. Hopefully, the series continues simply for her character’s sake.

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#7: Sucker Punch (2011)

While Sucker Punch is a fantastically designed marvel, it is far too creepy to have much artistic merit.  The film follows the porcelain Babydoll, who has been institutionalized by her abusive stepfather.  What’s more, she delves into a fantasy world to help cope with her situation and dream of an escape.  Think of Pan’s Labyrinth if it were directed by a horny 12-year-old boy.  That isn’t hyperbole. Zack Snyder seems less than interested in giving us a coherent, interesting story.  He seems only focused on providing the audience with a cyberpunk, fantasy wet dream populated with barely legal screen sirens.  Sucker Punch is just an overblown, exploitative mess.

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#6:  Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

First of all, let’s begin by admitting that Batman V. Superman is not terrible.  The film actually has a lot of stuff to like in it.  Henry Cavill continues to be a solid Superman. Ben Affleck is actually decent as the battle-hardened, veteran Bruce Wayne.  Also, let us not forget that this is the film that introduced us to the magnetic Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. However, when all is said and done, everything just seemed to fall apart.  Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is irritating rather than menacing. Also, let us not forget that atrocious plot development of “Martha”. Have any of us seen anything so incredibly stupid in the world of superhero movies?  Doubtful!

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#5: Man of Steel (2013)

If you are a fan of Superman, then Man of Steel is definitely well done.  Henry Cavill looks and acts the part perfectly.  The backstory world-building on Krypton is interesting and exciting.  The dynamic on the Kent farm in Smallville is touching. Also, Michael Shannon kills it as General Zod.  However, when that climax comes on, it seems to go on forever. How many buildings must we see toppled before we have seen enough?  Seemingly Zack Snyder thought at least one more, over and over. Man of Steel is a good movie, and a solid one to build a DC Universe on.  Though, it needed a BIT more self-control during the action sequences.

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#4: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010)

With the possible exception of Gore Verbinski’s Rango, Zack Snyder actually made one of the most gorgeous animated movies of all time.  Based on the books The Guardians of Ga’Hoole, the film follows the adventures of a young kidnapped owl.  He was told of the mythical Guardians when he was a child. So when trouble comes, he believes the legends are true and seeks the Guardians out.  This film is awe-inspiring. The animation is so photo-realistic that is is almost frightening. Owls are majestic creatures in real life, so to see them dramatized with such precision is phenomenal.  Zack Snyder’s only animated film has Avatar levels of beauty and amazement.

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#3: Watchmen (2009)

Forget about all of the DCEU debacles, because Zack Snyder has made a fantastic superhero film with Watchmen.  The source graphic novel is considered one of the greatest graphic novels of all time.  Also, having the courage to be rated a strong R, the film tackles such adult themes as Nuclear Holocaust, vigilantism, sexual assault, hero worship, and world peace.  Zack Snyder created a rich tapestry of characters and themes that are pretty outstanding.  It could not have been easy. Watchmen includes a naked, blue, radioactive superman, a man with an ever-shifting Rorschach test on his face, and a dude who dresses like an owl.  However, Snyder perfectly crafts it’s 80s era setting, the effects, and the use of slow-motion really make Watchmen the adult-focused confection we all wanted.

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#2: Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Zack Snyder exploded onto the scene when he arrived with Dawn of the Dead in 2004.  Snyder must have been a fan of Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later… because he too went with the sprinting zombies.  Where Boyle’s film is desolate and dreary. Snyder’s is relentless, colorful, and even funny at times.  The film can be dissected all day, just as the George A. Romero 1978 original. Back then, cinephiles talked about how it was a depiction consumerism.  Well, Zack Snyder doesn’t have much time for that stuff. He just hits the ground running and gives us dangerous, vicious monsters closing in on a group of survivors.  It is one of the greatest pure zombie thrillers in years.

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#1: 300 (2006)

300 is definitely Zack Snyder’s greatest achievement to date.  Not only is it Snyder’s best, but it is the best sword-and-sandal epic since Gladiator.  Gerard Butler wasn’t a household name before this movie, but he sure was after.  He brought an intensity and ferocity to King Leonidas that was extraordinary. 300 plays like a slow-motion, drastically-violent ballet.  The way Zack Snyder oversaturated the palette and hyper-stylized the violence is unlike anything you have seen before or since.  This film is simply a work of art. It is incredibly exciting and a complete adrenaline dump, but if you freeze frame any moment from the film, it would be worthy of framing.

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