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All of Zack Snyder’s movies, ranked from worst to best

Zack Snyder remains one of the most talked-about directors in Hollywood. After taking on DC’s most iconic properties, he dominates Netflix with pictures like Army of the Dead and, more recently, Rebel Moon.

Snyder has more than a fair share of devoted fans and haters, but that has only made him more relevant in the film industry. And so, as he continues to go big in cinema with Rebel Moon, DT ranks all of Zack Snyder’s movies from worst to best.

9. Sucker Punch (2011)

The cast of "Sucker Punch."
Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

Sucker Punch centers around an abused young woman sent to a psychiatric hospital, where she immerses herself in multiple fantasy worlds as she tries to escape. Basically a female version of 300, this film dishes out a lot of stunning moments of ultra-violence as the scantily-clad heroines fight for freedom.

This film was meant to be an extreme critique of misogyny towards women, but the version that was shown in theaters didn’t give this impression. On top of that, the theatrical cut put a greater emphasis on action over its characters to attract audiences, only to make Sucker Punch a controversial and overlooked part of Snyder’s filmography. Hopefully, the director will get to share his intended cut of the film before long.

8. Army of the Dead (2021)

The zombie Athena in "Army of the Dead."
Netflix / Netflix

Pretty much a zombified Aliens meets Ocean’s Eleven, Army of the Dead follows a team of mercenaries who plan a casino heist in Las Vegas years after it has become overrun by zombies. It’s a wild film that pays homage to decades of zombie media, all while putting a new spin on the genre by making the undead walkers an organized society.

Doing this opens the door for social commentary on issues of racism, xenophobia, and immigration. The film also displays a bold new addition to Snyder’s style of filmmaking, as its many blurry shots create a dreamlike atmosphere not usually seen in action movies.

7. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010)

An owl flying through the rain in "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole."
Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

Based on Kathryn Lasky’s fantasy book series, this animated film follows a young barn owl who sets out to find the Guardians of Ga’Hoole to help fight against the evil Metal Beak and his army of Pure Ones.

Having been very much forgotten by audiences since its release, The Owls of Ga’Hoole remains an underrated gem. Immersing the audience in an epic fantasy with breathtaking animation and a dark story, this film sets itself apart from the many other computer-generated films marketed towards children.

6. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Sarah Polley in "Dawn of the Dead" (2004).
Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures

In Snyder’s directorial debut, a group of people take refuge in an abandoned shopping when a zombie apocalypse ravages the outside world. In the midst of the modern zombie trend, Dawn of the Dead reinvigorated George A. Romero’s original zombie movie horror classic by turning it into a thrilling and action-packed gorefest.

The film doesn’t put as much emphasis on social commentary as its predecessor, but it still brings dark and gritty realism to its vision of a dying world.

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

Batman in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."
Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

After his battle with General Zod rocked the world, the Man of Steel faces off against the Dark Knight as the evil Lex Luthor pits them both in a clash of titans and ideals. Such a convoluted story doesn’t make a perfect landing, especially as it is weighed down trying to build up the DC Extended Universe.

Despite its flaws, Batman v Superman presents an emotional and thought-provoking tale that deconstructs the superhero genre, all while delivering spectacular action and terrific performances, particularly from Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, and Gal Gadot. Also, audiences who had hoped for a more coherent story should watch the longer “Ultimate Edition,” which fills in the plot holes left in the theatrical cut.

4. 300 (2006)

Leonidas and his army in "300."
Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

Though this wasn’t Snyder’s first film, 300 very much put him on the map. Adapting Frank Miller’s comic of the same name, this film tells a fictionalized account of the Battle of Thermopylae, in which King Leonidas leads a small Spartan army against the invading forces of the Persian King Xerxes.

This film is certainly over-the-top, but it effectively introduced audiences to Snyder’s unique style with its hypermasculine imagery, heart-pounding action, and slow-mo camera shots.

3. Man of Steel (2013)

Henry Cavill as Superman looking serious during a fight in "Man of Steel."
Image via Warner Bros. / Image via Warner Bros.

Years after escaping the destruction of his home planet, Clark Kent must embrace his alien origins and fight to protect Earth from General Zod and his band of evil Kryptonians. This film had much to compete against, as Richard Donner’s classic duology set a high standard for Superman media.

Many people are still divided on the film’s darker take on the titular hero and some questionable plot points, such as Pa Kent’s death and Supes snapping Zod’s neck. Nevertheless, Man of Steel brings a fresh dose of realism to the Blue Boy Scout that helped revitalize the character for the modern era. It also presents some stunning action scenes that laid the groundwork for the DCEU’s distinct visual style.

2. Watchmen (2009)

Doctor Manhattan in "Watchmen" (2009).
Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

Set in a world where masked vigilantes have shaped human history, Watchmen follows the titular team as they discover a vast conspiracy that has killed one of their own as the world nears nuclear war. The film took some creative liberties in bringing Watchmen to the big screen (most notably with its final act), but much of it looks like it was taken straight from the pages of Alan Moore’s groundbreaking comic. The director’s cut only does more justice to the source material by filling in the blanks in such a layered adaptation.

In an age when superheroes dominate pop culture, this cult classic paints a scathing and subversive picture of costumed crime fighters and the ramifications they’d have in the real world. Even Christopher Nolan went on to say that this film was “ahead of its time.” Also, people don’t give enough credit to the cast’s outstanding performances, specifically those by Jackie Earle Haley and Billy Crudup.

1. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Darkseid sitting on his throne in "Zack Snyder's Justice League."
Courtesy of HBO Max/Warner Media / Courtesy of HBO Max/Warner Media

Following Superman’s sacrifice to defeat Doomsday, Batman gathers a team of super-powered metahumans to defeat the alien invaders from Apokolips. While most comic book movies may now look and feel the same, Snyder’s four-hour film is a triumphant superhero epic the likes of which the world had never seen before.

Yes, this movie is longer than it needed to be, but every scene displays the care and passion that was put into making what could’ve been a generic blockbuster into a mythical opus worthy of the Justice League. This film may not complete the story Snyder intended to tell, but it sure leaves his saga off on a high note.

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Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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