Rarely has there been such a divisive filmmaker as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder. The man at the helm of successful adaptations such as 300 and Man of Steel has often been praised for his fan service yet has rarely struck critical acclaim, with many critics and cinephiles considering him the sort of filmmaker who is all style and no substance.
Having initially made his name in advertising and the direction of music videos, Snyder has embraced the fantasy, thriller, horror and animation genres across his eight feature filmography, and it’s those eight pictures that we shall be ranking from worst to best in this edition of Ranked.
From worst to best…
8. Justice League (2017)
To describe the DC/Warner Bros. release Justice League as divisive would be an understatement – the movie was rated incredibly low in our review and even featured on our 10 Worst Films of 2017 list despite many claiming it to be a step in the right direction for a studio struggling to course correct Snyder’s darker and more serious vision for the DCEU – but to class it as a Snyder film would, at this stage, be a disservice to the director whose work was chopped, changed, re-shot and then mangled back together for what would come to be of the ultimate silver screen DC superhero team-up.
The CG was shoddy, likely owing to the re-shoots that were reportedly going on until very close to the film’s release and of course Moustache Gate (Henry Cavill’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout moustache having to be removed in the edit due to contractual obligations with Paramount at the time), and the story didn’t seem to have any real stakes or drama. Visually it was like watching a Frankenstein’s Monster of a movie with shot after shot seemingly worked on by entirely different film crews. In the end, even a few funny quips here and there and a movie-stealing role for Aquaman ahead of his standalone debut couldn’t save Justice League from its decisions to wipe out half of Wonder Woman’s home Themyscira and relegate the now vitally important superhero into a background role. Ultimately, it would be unfair to rank this film as anywhere other than the bottom of the list because it can’t truly be classed as Snyder release, with the filmmaker himself stating since its release. Bottom of the barrel as far as Snyder goes, and arguably not his fault, is Justice League.
7. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010)
Zack Snyder’s foray into animation wasn’t all that successful. The critics dismissed the picture’s sensational animation and audiences were about as uninterested as they possibly could be, despite the piece being adapted from a hugely successful series of fantasy books and having the backing of Warner Bros.
It’s not that this film was necessarily bad, it’s more that Zack Snyder’s name isn’t so grandly associated with it as is the case with the rest of the movies on this list (for better or worse), nor is it at all memorable.
Via the process of elimination, number 7 on this list… The Owls of Ga’Hoole.