With Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League and new zombie movie, Army of the Dead, just around the corner, now seems the perfect time to look back at his directorial work. Below are the movies of Zack Snyder, ranked from worst to best.
8. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Snyder’s semi-sequel to Man of Steel made an attempt to introduce us to the DCEU’s Batman, played by Ben Affleck. Affleck offers up a good performance and Henry Cavill is still good as Superman, but the script is what lets the film down. Although Jesse Eisenberg should’ve been a good choice for Lex Luthor, he doesn’t get a chance to prove himself. Because of the terrible amount of storylines jammed into the film, it feels terribly bloated. And, because of the dreadful and infamous ‘Martha’ moment, the serious tone and intention of the film is lost.
7. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
Legend of the Guardians is a sort of animated Lord of the Rings adventure tale, but starring a bunch of owls. Now, it’s not as good as Lord of the Rings, but it has some charm to it. Like the owls are pretty cute. And Hugo Weaving provides one of the voices. Hey, wasn’t he in Lord of the Rings? David Wenham, too? The comparisons are clearly endless.
6. Justice League
Maybe it’s not fair to consider this film within the rankings. The Avengers’ Joss Whedon was brought into to finish this film and Snyder had very little say over the final product. DC’s big team-up movie did little success – critical or box-office wise. Although Wonder Woman and Aquaman are doing well within the DCEU as standalones, Warner Bros’ attempt at bringing everyone together didn’t go as planned. With a weak villain and poor use of some of its leads, the Snyder Cut doesn’t have too much to beat.
5. Sucker Punch
Although met with much negativity upon release, Snyder’s first stab at an original concept really isn’t as terrible as everyone makes it out to be. Now, I’m not saying it’s amazing but Snyder offers a lot of stylised action and has a great cast behind him. Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Jena Malone, Jon Hamm and Oscar Isaac are just some of the names involved. It’s a rather niche take on a fantasy film and won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s worth seeking out.
4. Man of Steel
Anything starring Michael Shannon is usually already a win and Man of Steel is no exception. Shannon gets to pit his take on General Zod against Cavill’s first stab at Superman and the two do a great job together. Even though Snyder spends more time than he should with flashbacks, the action-packed finale more than makes up for it. Rivalling the finale is the fascinating opening sequence set on Krypton. Utilising technology not available for the original Superman movies, Snyder gets to show us a stunning alien planet with Jor-El (Russell Crowe) as our guide.
Offering a more adult version of a superhero movie, Snyder delivers yet another polarising film. Watchmen is set in an alternate Earth and tells the story of a group of superheroes investigating the death of one of their own. Starring a cast of (then) nobodies, it was risky move but again, Snyder finds his cast more than up for the task. Jackie Earle Haley stuns in his performance as Rorschach. Billy Crudup introduces the world to Doctor Manhattan. And even Jeffrey Dean Morgan gets to have some fun with his role as The Comedian.
2. Dawn of the Dead
Serving as a remake of George A. Romero’s zombie classic, Snyder’s version was originally met with scepticism. However, upon release, Dawn of the Dead attracted great reviews. This was helped in no part by Snyder’s distinct direction and a solid script by James Gunn. Perhaps the most iconic moment in the film is also it’s most disturbing. And it features what can only be described as a zombie baby.
300 is the perfect action movie. It’s brutal and bloody and often very over-the-top. But it’s a lot of fun and includes a lot of famous pop culture moments. Boasting an impressive new visual style and great action, it has all the hallmarks of a Zack Snyder film. Yet it remains his best. Other than the action, it’s also worth watching for Michael Fassbender and Lena Headey in some of their earlier roles.