From 300 To JUSTICE LEAGUE: Every Zack Snyder Comic Book Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

From 300 To JUSTICE LEAGUE: Every Zack Snyder Comic Book Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

While Zack Snyder has moved on from the DC Extended Universe, and comic book movies in general, he made a huge impact on the genre and we're looking back at that and ranking his films from worst to best.

Feature Opinion
By JoshWilding - Apr 26, 2023 01:04 PM EST
Filed Under: Justice League

Zack Snyder is a somewhat divisive filmmaker, with his unique style making his movies the stuff of legend in the eyes of some and downright unwatchable to others. No matter where you sit on that scale, there's no denying that the director has made some incredible contributions to Hollywood and, more specifically, the comic book movie genre.

Even before he was tasked with taking charge of the DCEU, Snyder had helmed 300 and Watchmen, two game-changing efforts that adapted titles we never thought would be brought to the big screen. 

From there, he took the helm of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice before things got...complicated...with Justice League. Ahead of this weekend's "Full Circle" event, we're now taking a look back at Snyder's contributions to this genre, ranking them from worst to best. 

To check that out, simply click on the "Next" button below to find out which of these movies we put at #1!
 

(Dis)Honourable Mention: Justice League

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The 2017 theatrical cut of Justice League was wrestled out of Snyder's hands and given to Joss Whedon. The Avengers helmer was only supposed to write new scenes for reshoots but ultimately stepped behind the camera to direct those, allegedly making the cast's life a hell in the process. 

Many of Snyder's ideas and scenes remained, while he was also the only credited director on the DCEU crossover.

Despite that, we think it would be unfair to include this version of Justice League here as it isn't truly a representation of the filmmaker's work in the comic book movie realm. In fact, it ranks among the genre's worst efforts. 
 

5. Man of Steel

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Many of you will be unhappy that Man of Steel isn't ranked higher, but outside of some stellar visuals and an exciting Krypton-set opening, we'd argue this origin story made a lot of mistakes with Superman. 

The destruction of Metropolis and the hero's decision to kill General Zod are high up on the list, but so too is the fact Clark Kent didn't become a superhero until he was in his 30s! Throw in the fact he essentially let his father die, and this story was definitely lacking, particularly with how it handled the emergence of Superman. 

There's plenty to love about this CG-heavy effort, but it simply doesn't sit up there with some of Snyder's better movies. 
 

4. 300

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This ultra-violent big screen adaptation of Frank Miller's beloved comic book was where Snyder established his visual style. It wasn't to everyone's liking, but it's hard to think of another historical epic like this that's as striking as it is thrilling. 

300 featured moments that have become nothing short of iconic. The "This is Sparta!" scene is among them, of course, but it was the edge-of-your-seat action that really established Snyder as someone who could take a comic book and actually bring it to life on screen. 

If we're being honest, the script was a little OTT in places and the acting wasn't always perfect; despite that, it's a movie which is still worth revisiting. 
 

3. Zack Snyder's Justice League

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Leaps and bounds better than the theatrical cut of Justice League, Zack Snyder's Justice League was a victory for the filmmaker and his fans. 

The four-hour spectacle still had some problems - Superman being dead for such a large chunk of the movie did it no favours - but everything from that massive final battle to the sequel teases added by Snyder during one final round of reshoots left DC Comics fans with a smile on their face. 

Do we wish the filmmaker was given the chance to make his sequels? Honestly, it was hard to watch this director's cut and not hope they become a reality in some form, especially based on what Snyder has since revealed about where this story was heading.
 

2. Watchmen

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Say what you will about Snyder's decision to ditch the giant squid and that bizarre sex scene set to "Hallelujah," but for any fan of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, this movie was a very special experience. 

Essentially a shot-for-shot adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel, it brought a story to the screen that many had argued could never be adapted. Snyder proved the doubters wrong but, as expected, Watchmen struggled to find an audience due to its graphic, and often weird, story. 

Still, we have nothing but good things to say about this movie, particularly when it comes to its cast, visuals, and pulse-pounding soundtrack. 
 

1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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This is going to be controversial, isn't it? Look, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made some mistakes and boasted a lot of odd creative decisions, but we still believe it stands out as Snyder's best comic book movie. 

Why? Well, if you can put Jesse Eisenberg's weird Lex Luthor and the whole "Martha" thing to one side for a moment, this blockbuster delivered the epic battle between the Dark Knight and Man of Tomorrow we'd spent years dreaming about seeing on screen. 

Throw in the fact that Wonder Woman was thrown into the mix, and Batman v Superman was pretty damn great...even if that Doomsday design sucked. 
 

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Taonrey
Taonrey - 4/26/2023, 2:00 PM
I didn't look at the author but I knew it was josh once I realized BVS was number 1.
DrReedRichards
DrReedRichards - 4/26/2023, 2:05 PM
@Taonrey -

I didn't look at #1, but I knew it was BvS once I realized Josh was the author.
RolandD
RolandD - 4/26/2023, 3:14 PM
@DrReedRichards @Taonrey - I didn’t look at the author but I knew it was Josh because of the headline.
Arthorious
Arthorious - 4/26/2023, 3:25 PM
@RolandD - I knew it Josh because it's another list
RolandD
RolandD - 4/26/2023, 3:59 PM
@Arthorious - Well, that’s what I meant. 😉
Winston19
Winston19 - 4/26/2023, 2:04 PM
Pretty much everything you criticize about Man of Steel happened in BVS.
defenderofthefaith
defenderofthefaith - 4/26/2023, 2:04 PM
To me Batman vs Superman is the worst
AnthonyVonGeek
AnthonyVonGeek - 4/26/2023, 2:06 PM
While I enjoy the directing visual style of Snyder I wasn’t a big fan of his ideas for DC. That being said my favorite movie of his will always be the Dawn Of The Dead remake.
CorndogBurglar
CorndogBurglar - 4/26/2023, 3:14 PM
@AnthonyVonGeek - Agreed!

Snyder is good at adapting self contained stories.

300, Dawn of the Dead, and Watchmen are his best projects in my opinion. In that order.

300 is damn near perfect. Dawn of the Dead was awesome. And 300 was about as good as you can make a Watchmen movie. All movies that were already pre-existing stories that he remade or adapted.

It's when his imagination is allowed to run wild that he starts making stinkers. But even though Sucker Punch and Army of the Dead are pretty bad movies I still enjoy them as guilty pleasures.

I even loved Man of Steel. It's BvS and Justice League that ruined it all.

Whether you loved or hated MoS, at least it left the DCU in a healthy position to move forward. Most of its problems can easily be explained away as it being an inexperienced Superman on his first adventure. (Aside from Johnathan Kent. That was just bad.)

But 10 minutes into BvS we see Superman smash a terrorist through a brick wall doing 100 mph, most likely liquefying him, and we instantly know what we're getting for the rest of the movie. Murderous Superheroes that don't care about saving lives.
Arthorious
Arthorious - 4/26/2023, 3:27 PM
@CorndogBurglar - Agreed I feel like he excels in self-contained stories and when he has someone who can reign him in.
mountainman
mountainman - 4/26/2023, 2:07 PM
Troll article to get clicks. Classic Wilding. A better order:

1) Watchmen
2) Man of Steel
3) 300
4) ZSJL
5) BvS

JFerguson
JFerguson - 4/26/2023, 2:09 PM
BvS trailers were hype. Even those Turkish airlines promos were pretty immersive.
I like the design of Snyder's Gotham too. Unfortunately, everything else in the movie was boring, messy, and shit
ObserverIO
ObserverIO - 4/26/2023, 2:10 PM
1. Watchmen.
2. 300.
3. Man of Steel.
4. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
5. Justice League/ Zack Snyder's Justice League.
J619SD
J619SD - 4/26/2023, 2:10 PM
These guys should put Snyder on Payroll as many clicks as he has given them.
TJJones96
TJJones96 - 4/26/2023, 2:14 PM
How about not talking about this man and his wack movies everyday
Spawnnn
Spawnnn - 4/26/2023, 2:17 PM
I had one of the craziest big screen experiences with 300. Like by the middle of the movie the whole audience was adrenaline pumped and cheered towards the screen. No one has seen a movie like this and this type of action before. It was thrilling.



mountainman
mountainman - 4/26/2023, 2:19 PM
@Spawnnn - I saw the movie while on mushrooms and it was an excellent experience. Not up there with The Matrix and a few others, but it certainly was a visual treat.
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