From his fantastic directorial debut to the controversial Justice League movie that still bears his name, we rank every Snyder movie from worst to best. And, yes, here we include both the original theatrical version of Justice League and the Snyder Cut, for the sake of comparison.
8) Sucker Punch Once described as "oppressive, sexist and offensive," Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch was both a critical and commercial failure. It's probably best left forgotten among Snyder's bigger and better comic book adaptations, although it's worth noting that Sucker Punch does have a handful of good performances—particularly one from Oscar Isaac, whose charming and creepy character could be seen as a precursor to his Ex Machina tech bro villain.
7) Justice League At this point, we know that the utter failure of Justice League is not Snyder's fault. In fact, it might not even be fair to include the original Justice League on a ranking of Snyder-directed films. But, I'm going to keep it on this list to provide a comparison to the Snyder Cut of the film, which Warner Bros. eventually released after years of fan outrage over the theatrical version of the film.
6) Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
5) Watchmen Though Watchmen isn't Snyder's worst film, it certainly is his most disappointing. His adaptation of the greatest comic book story of all time seems to have only a surface-level understanding of its source material. In 2 hours and 47 minutes Snyder's Watchmen hardly justifies its own existence—a faithful adaption on paper that fails in capturing any of the humanity, complexity or subversive spirit of Alan Moore's comics. However, Snyder brilliantly brings to life the iconic imagery of Dave Gibbons's artwork. The opening scene set to Bob Dylan's "Times They Are a-Changin" is masterful, effortless cinematic worldbuilding.
4) 300 Snyder's breakout success inspired an entire generation of dudes quoting Leonidas at the gym. For what it lacks in any actual substance, 300 more than makes up in absolutely stunning action. The film defined Snyder's visual style, bringing Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's comics to life like a beautiful, violent, moving oil painting. However, it's impossible to watch this today and ignore the story's inherent fascism, racism, and other problematic elements.
3) Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Snyder deserves credit for attempting to differentiate the DC superhero universe stylistically and thematically from the massively successful Marvel formula. Dawn of Justice is a grim slog, but there are moments of sheer action brilliance, like the incredible desert fight scene, which represents what Snyder does best. It's a perfect example of Snyder putting everything into his filmmaking to make it bigger, louder, more badass. That's the thing about Snyder: He never gives up on his films, not for a moment.
3) Zack Snyder's Justice League It is truly hard to believe that the Snyder Cut actually happened. You have to give the guy credit for seeing this thing through, for giving his vision of the film to his legions of fans. And, perhaps more importantly, Snyder deserves a standing ovation for proving Warner Bros. and Joss Whedon wrong and making an infinitely better film than the version that was released in theaters. Zack Snyder's Justice League is not perfect. It's too long, it's overwrought, it drags with exposition, there are too many backstories and unresolved threads. But, as a whole, it's a good superhero movie with moments of true brilliance—most of which did not appear in the original release. Take for example the incredible expanded opening scene in Themyscira or pretty much the entire revamped climactic battle that lasts for a solid hour-and-a-half. This film is Snyder through and through—it is a testament to his desire to go big, to entertain. A number of the characters who were unjustly cut (or diminished) in the theatrical version finally get their due. Snyder removed that incredibly bad random Russian family from the final battle. To maintain your sanity over the course of four hours, I suggest watching it in installments. But, definitely watch Zack Snyder's Justice League, it's worth it.
2) Man of Steel In hindsight, Man of Steel isn't nearly as bad as it's remembered. It often gets lumped into the other DC universe failures, but there's a lot to love in Snyder's first Superman film. Like Dawn of Justice, the visual style is masterful and Henry Cavill is the most perfect Superman since Christopher Reeve. Snyder took big swings literally and figuratively. He's trying to hit a home run with practically every scene. And even if they didn't all workout, this remains a spectacular achievement of the 2010s superhero gold rush.
1) Dawn of the Dead Snyder's directorial debut remains his best film to date. His remake of George Romero's 1978 classic is somehow even more twisted and terrifying than the original. It's enough to make you wish he'd stuck to horror rather than pivoting almost immediately to comic book adaptations. The good news is, if his upcoming Netflix zombie epic is anything like his Dawn of the Dead remake, it might kick off an exciting new era in the genre. While his Dawn of the Dead might not have the brilliant social commentary of the original (or of Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, which came out two years prior), it fully understands the tone, tension, humor, and overall appeal of a zombie movie.
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