Zack Snyder Movies Ranked: From Worst to Best

We rank all of Zack Snyder’s movies, from the worst to the best, all the way from Dawn of the Dead to Rebel Moon.

Last Updated on April 30, 2024

Is there any current director who is more controversial than Zack Snyder? It’s wild how divisive a figure he is, with his fans nearly cult-like in their devotion, while his detractors are just as fervent. Here at JoBlo, we’ve always been ardent supporters, even if we haven’t unquestioningly praised all of his films. Thus, we thought it would be interesting to do an all-around ranking of his films (although we’ve left the animated Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole off the list). So, without further ado, here’s our ranking from worst to best.

Sucker Punch, director's cut, Zack Snyder

Sucker Punch (2011)

I’ll admit to not knowing precisely what Snyder was trying to pull off when I saw this movie in 2011. It remains the most obscure of his live-action films. It is a tough nut to crack, being that it’s a fantastical, hyper-surrealistic fantasy centred around a woman’s flight into fantasy as she’s committed to a mental asylum. It has many classic Zack Snyder hallmarks, and I’m sure some of his most devoted fans consider it underrated. He has teased doing a Snyder cut that would emphasize the musical elements toned down by the studio, so it’s possible that cut might be an improvement. But, for me, this is his least successful film.

Zack Snyder reveals that the unfinished anime series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas features a Rebel Moon character

Army of the Dead (2021)

I’m not sure any zombie movie needs to be 150 minutes, but Snyder wanted to make an epic for his first Netflix flick, and he did. While it was (predictably) slammed by his detractors, the action in the film is intense, and Dave Bautista is a great lead. It’s worth noting that Fallout star Ella Purnell got her start fighting zombies in this one, and it did manage to spawn a pretty fun heist film follow-up, Army of Thieves

Rebel Moon, R-rated, director's cut

Rebel Moon (2023 / 2024)

This one comes with a caveat, as I think the two “Snyder Cuts” coming this summer will make this a much better sci-fi epic than the PG-13 version we got. I’m counting this as one movie, although I must admit that I found the first installment, Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire, much more compelling than Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver, which I wasn’t crazy about. Hopefully, the “Snyder Cut” makes a significant difference, so when it comes out we’ll revisit this list.

Zack Snyder's Justice League, Digital release

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

To some, this comic book movie remains director Zack Snyder’s ultimate achievement, as it was infamously taken out of his hands and largely reshot by the now cancelled Joss Whedon, which has since gone down as one of the worst decisions in modern studio history. “Restore the Snyder Cut” became a movement, especially during the early days of the pandemic when, let’s face it, none of us had anything better to do. While I liked the Snyder Cut, I would be curious to see what he would have delivered had he not been removed from the project initially, as there’s no way he intended to give Warner Bros a four-hour movie. I can’t help but think a slightly punchier version would be an improvement, although it’s a million times better than the horrible Whedon version.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Interestingly, last week, we published a poll asking readers what their favourite movie of his was, and it was one of our most popular polls in a while. Shockingly, the winner (by a landslide) was this, a movie whose reception was so controversial that, in many ways, it cost Snyder his place in the DC Extended Universe. It’s cool to see a film go from being universally loathed to loved, but likely the fact that the three-hour “Snyder Cut” is so much better played a role in its enhanced reputation among fans. We all agree on two things: the score is incredible, and Ben Affleck is one heck of a good Batman, no matter what anyone says.

Man of Steel (2013)

Speaking of good casting, Henry Cavill’s treatment by WB has to go down as one of the most inexplicable studio decisions on record, as he was a great Superman (easily the best since Christopher Reeve). Many fans didn’t like Snyder’s darker treatment of the character, which ended with an infamously violent climax that saw the Man of Steel kill Michael Shannon’s General Zod. Still, I maintain that the people wanting a happy-go-lucky Superman in the vein of Richard Donner are misguided. Bryan Singer tried this with Superman Returns, and audiences stayed away. Maybe James Gunn will have better luck as he scraps the DCEU and builds his own universe, but in my opinion, Snyder is the only director (so far) to nail a modern Superman movie.

Watchmen (2009)

Fans eagerly anticipated Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Alan Moore’s iconic graphic novel, but its box office (and critical) reception was underwhelming. Time has been kind to Snyder’s well-cast adaption, with Jackie Earle Haley a standout as Rorschach. My only issue is that Snyder uses too many needle drops, with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” during the Nite Owl/ Silk Spectre II love scene being particularly silly. Nevertheless, it’s about as good of a big-screen adaptation of Moore’s work as we ever could have expected. 

JoBlo's own Lance Vlcek picks the Best Scene from the 2004 Zack Snyder / James Gunn remake of Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Like many, I was dead set against a remake of George A. Romero’s classic zombie flick, but Snyder (working from a screenplay by James Gunn) made himself a director of note when he nailed the adaptation, which was his feature film debut. It’s incredibly well-cast and possibly his most propulsive movie to date, with it holding up as one of the better modern zombie flicks, with the highly nihilistic ending being one that will stick with you for a while after.

300, TV series, Zack Snyder

300 (2007)

What else could it be? While some believe 300 hasn’t aged particularly well, with the then cutting-edge technology seeming quaint seventeen years later, it was massive when this came out in 2007. It made Gerard Butler a star, put Michael Fassbender on the map, and turned a whole new generation onto the work of Frank Miller. It also proved there was a massive audience for R-rated fantasy epics, paving the way for HBO’s Game of Thrones

What do you think of our rankings? Let us know in the comments!

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