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All 7 Zack Snyder Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

28 August 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Cara McWilliam-Richardson

Zack Snyder is a divisive and polarising filmmaker. His ambitious action sequences and big budget effects are often praised, but more often than not he is seen as favouring style over substance. Whether you are a fan of his films, or whether you cannot stand them – Zack Snyder certainly has his own individual flairs, favoured techniques, and unique visual style.

Zack Snyder is perhaps best known by his attitude to visuals. He has a highly stylised approach to action, and likes to make his films as over the top and fantastical as possible. He has often stated that he wants to remind the audience that they are watching a film, and that is why he favours a far-fetched slant over a realistic one.

Zack Snyder has so far, only directed one original film. All of his other films have been adaptations of prior material. Usually, Snyder uses this material in a way that leans heavily on visual appeal, rather than the story. Snyder has a propensity for awe inducing shots, and spectacle, but what are some other trademarks that typically make up a Snyder film?

Illusory Storytelling – Snyder always wants the emphasis to be on the fact that the audience is watching a fictional tale. He tries to make his shots as ironic as possible, and plays on the visuals of a film, pushing them to the extreme.

Darkness – Snyder likes to explore the darker side of his characters, and often gives his characters extra emotional turmoil to explore. He also favours darker lighting, tones, and colour palettes.

Speed Ramping – In order to showcase the action and violence, Snyder often speeds up and slows down his films. When the speed is reduced, it is used to change the camera’s perspective. This places the audience’s focus purely on the action-packed moments, ensuring that they do not miss anything.

To date, Zack Snyder has directed seven films. His next directorial project is Justice League, which is due for release later this year. The following list looks at his directorial work to date.

 

7. Sucker Punch (2011)

Sucker Punch (2011)

Sucker Punch is Snyder’s first, and thus far only, film which is based upon an original concept. Snyder co-wrote the screenplay, about a young woman who is committed to a mental institution. In order to cope, the woman imagines the institution as a brothel. She also creates another level of fantasy in her mind, where the all the women are fierce warriors, as they try to collect items to escape the institution.

The concept of the film is highly ambitious, but the confusing plot unravels reasonably quickly, eventually falling apart. The plot is not the only aspect of Sucker Punch which has been met with confusion and criticism.

Sucker Punch is one of Snyder’s most highly criticised films. It underperformed at the box office, and received negative reviews from critics. Sucker Punch is probably the film that most showcases both Snyder’s worst and best qualities as a filmmaker.

On the positive side, Sucker Punch is a visual treat. The visuals are incredibly impressive, awe inducing and hyper stylised. The soundtrack is pretty awesome too. If the quality of all of the elements of the film, were the same quality as those two elements, then Sucker Punch would be an amazing film. Sadly, that is not the case.

Unfortunately, Sucker Punch suffers from its over emphasis on visuals. In this way, all other aspects of the film are underdeveloped, poor and cannot match up. Sucker Punch is still considered as one of Snyder’s poorest and worst films to date.

 

6. Man of Steel (2013)

superman man of steel

The film that started the DC Extended Universe, is one of Snyder’s weaker films. It was not the first time that Snyder had taken on a comic movie adaptation, but in a lot of ways, it is perhaps the least successful. Man of Steel was a box office success, earning a worldwide box office revenue of $668 million, but it received mixed reviews and remains divisive among fans.

The main criticism levelled at Man of Steel, is that Snyder has misunderstood fundamental characters and in doing so, has misrepresented what those characters stand for. The film is also lambasted for being badly written, and too long. Throw in an ending which still provokes debate, and Man of Steel is a bit of a misfire from the Director.

Still, there is definitely the usual Snyder trademarks here – there is plenty of massive action and spectacle. In particular, the last act which sees Metropolis reduced to near ruins. There are also the darker, more emotional moments that Snyder favours over lighter fare.

Man of Steel may not be for everyone, but there is some merit that can be found in it – many argue that Snyder has created a new incarnation of a beloved character, that is more suitable for this generation. But its overall divisiveness, and fundamental flaws, makes Man of Steel lower on this list.

 

5. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice

Although Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, is Snyder’s most successful film to date, in terms of the box office revenue. It is also one of his most critically panned films. It may have made just over $832 million at the worldwide box office, but it also opened to mostly critical reviews, and continues to be seen as one of the worst superhero films of all time.

It is the second instalment in the DC Extended Universe, and follows on from Man of Steel. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the first live action film to feature both Batman and Superman together, and its announcement was met with much anticipation. Snyder took inspiration from Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns,’ and stated that he hoped to make a darker, more adult superhero film.

Generally, the writing, pacing and tone are the main points of criticism. With many feeling that the film is disjointed, plodding and makes a mess of the central characters. However, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did find some favour amongst audiences, who praised the visuals and action sequences. There are some particularly awesome shots in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and there is enough to engage the audience.

Snyder continues to demonstrate his trademark directing style with this film. And with Justice League due for release later this year, it is yet to be seen how his next foray into the superhero genre will be received.

 

 

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  • oscarstan

    Ranked from “crime against humanity” to “awful”.

    • colonelkurtz

      This guy gets it. If I see Zack Snyder attached to any film I know it’s going downhill.

    • Watchmen is good though

  • feast for

    Makes sense though I think BvS is worse than Sucker Punch, the rest I take them, with 300 it’s funny they criticize it for innacuracy when it is actually quite functional since the narrator is not present in the last day and it’s obviously changing stuff to raise the morale, that is one of the things I like the most about 300, how it shows a tale to great effect, a thing the sequel lacks…

    • Jad Wiś

      we don’t talk about the sequel. it does not exist. at. all.

  • Madhuresh Prasanna Venugopal

    I personally applaud Sucker Punch no matter the lackluster writing and a worse lead and feel it’s a film with a lot to learn from. A pity that Snyder himself learned nothing from it, neither the good nor the bad.

  • Gurparkash Singh Sohi

    Love the fact that Watchmen is number 1. That movie is underrated af. I still would have put 300 at first and Watchmen at second, but still.

  • Nick Botton

    Damn, seems like he’s a pretty bad director huh.

  • Lucas Corsi

    What a overrated director,for me he just did 300,and is not that great.

  • Cristian Andrés Muñoz Levill

    From worst to passable.

  • Jacob Lyon Goddard

    Watchmen was a travesty.

    • X Y

      Why?

  • X Y

    *I don’t get everyone’s problem with Watchmen…

  • Why did people hate Zack so much? I get that u may not like his films but from that to complete hate him, why? I admire this dude persistence lol. I think Watchmen is super underrated and it’s one of my favorite films of all time (Also, i really enjoy BvS… Yes, i enjoy BvS.)