Tonight, 2019 comes to an end and also concludes another decade. This past decade saw quite a variety of new Godzilla movies hit the silver screen and we even saw the King of Monsters make his Netflix debut in anime films! The last 10 years proved interest in giant monster / Kaiju movies are still at an all-time high - with related properties such as Pacific Rim and Rampage taking advantage of the hype as well. This post outlines our top picks for the best Godzilla films to have released over the last decade - ranked based on our own critical opinions, regardless necessarily of box office performance or overall fan reaction. Due to this, we encourage you to submit your OWN list in the comments section below! The list is ordered in descending order - so our least favorites are listed first, with our top pick at the end.
#5 - Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2018)
The first anime Godzilla film to debut on Netflix involved a plot which saw the human race escape Earth after Godzilla wreaks havoc upon the planet. Thousands of years later, they return from space to destroy the giant monster and reclaim their home. The concept in general was intriguing and hype for the animated project increased exponentially as its streaming date drew near. However, despite the intention by directors Kobun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita, the film fell short of expectations. The Godzilla introduced was essentially a giant plant (No, Biollante was not even referenced) and followed the unorthodox approach to re-inventing Godzilla as a force of nature. The attempt at reinvention left fans scratching their heads, confused and resentful of the concept. Although some praised the film for its originality, many felt the pacing, development and overall experience was rather boring.
#4 - Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (2018)
The sequel to Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters cranked things up a notch. The plot outline for the Planet of the Monsters sequel involved Haruo and his allies who encounter a mysterious aboriginal tribe who were descendants of the humans who had been left behind on Earth 20,000 years prior. They eventually uncover a mechanized city-sized fortress formed from the long-lost anti-Godzilla weapon called Mechagodzilla. Yeah, they brought back Mecha-G - which is why the sequel ranks higher on our list. Although pacing wise and overall experience still fell below expectations, at least we got some added fan service in the resurrection of Mechagodzilla.
#3 - Shin-Gojira (Shin Godzilla) (2016)
The controversial Shin-Gojira was actually a very well done Godzilla movie by our standards. Directors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi really pushed the envelop with Shin Godzilla - bringing Gojira back to his roots - a symbolic representation of man's abuse of power and abomination of natural resources. The film was a visual spectacle as well and it was even nominated for 11 Japanese academy awards, including Best Picture. Hideaki Anno won Kinema Junpo's Best Screenwriter Award and Shin Godzilla was ranked a Top 2016 Film as well.
A sequel was one time considered, but Toho decided to scrap it in favor of building a massive Godzilla cinematic universe instead. As disappointed as we were to hear this news - we remain hopeful that Shin-Gojira will see the silver screen at least one more time in the next decade.
#2 - Godzilla (2014)
The film which kickstarted the Monsterverse and propelled Godzilla higher than he had ever been in Hollywood before - Gareth Edwards' rendition of Godzilla in 2014 set the stage for what would become one of the best adaptations of the King of Monsters we will ever see. With Gareth's unique eye for realism and being a Godzilla fan at heart himself, Godzilla (2014) put Godzilla on the map and made average movie-goers who might not have been G-Fans prior, obsessed with the Monster King. Unfortunately despite a relatively well-executed Godzilla movie, fans and critics took issue with the use of Bryan Cranston's character (who died way too soon) and the lack of actual Monster footage and fight scenes. Regardless, Godzilla '14 was a fresh take, big budget attempt at modernizing a timeless Japanese icon for western audiences and it succeeded in doing just that. Not only did it draw attention to the relatively dormant movie franchise at the time, but it also birthed a massive cinematic universe which also gave us a remastered King Kong in Kong: Skull Island.
This film is also the reason this website was created in the first place as well - so it will always hold a very special place in our hearts. Godzilla-Movies was born as a refuge for G-Fans around the globe who wished to learn more about the Hollywood re-invention and discuss all things Godzilla with other fans across North America and beyond. Since then, the site has become one of the top Godzilla sites and forums on the net! Without Godzilla (2014), we would likely have never grown to the size we are now.
#1 - Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters (2019)
Those who complained about the lack of Monster action in Gareth Edwards' Godzilla (2014) were silenced pretty quickly when Michael Dougherty took the wheel on Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters. The sequel to Godzilla '14 and third Monsterverse installment switched gears and cranked up the chaos - introducing 3 additional iconic Toho Monsters to the mix. Rodan, Mothra and the mighty King Ghidorah were all given ample screentime to make up for the lack of screentime the MUTO and Godzilla received in its prequel. Not only that - Dougherty made sure there was plenty of fan service - bringing back many of the original Monsters' trademark sounds and theme songs. Godzilla himself received design upgrades to make him look more like the 1954 original and the Human characters were not as bland or easily forgettable as the ones in Edwards' film. Not to mention - Burning Godzilla - Hell yeah.
Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters easily ranks at the top of our list for its improved approach, extreme fan service, respect of source material, usage of themes and soundtracks, pacing, plot development and characters. All around - KOTM is a Godzilla movie you can watch over and over and over again and never get bored by - it is exactly what the fans wanted and although box office numbers may not have shared the same enthusiasm as us hard core fans, it remains one of the most true Americanized Godzilla films to ever be released - an instant classic by all accounts.
Although 2019 ends this past decade of Godzilla, the next decade will begin with the titular title Godzilla vs. Kong arriving in theaters November - hopefully kicking off another decade full of Godzilla movies!
Agree with our list and how we ranked each film? Disagree? Either way - sound off in the comments and let us know!
Happy New Year, G-Fans! Here's to another amazing decade of geeking out over our favorite movie Monster!
If you are a fan of Godzilla and are looking for an exclusive online community to share your passion and engage with other die-hard Godzilla fans, look no further! Join in the Godzilla Movies forum - a dedicated community of Godzilla movie and Monsterverse fans!
This article was written By Chris and published on 2019-12-31 14:24:09
More about upcoming Godzilla movies
Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters is the sequel to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla (2014) and is being directed by Michael Dougherty. The film will introduce Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah and more monsters to the Warner Brothers / Legendary Monsterverse cinematic universe. For information on Godzilla 2's cast, plot, release date and to download the film's official movie posters, please visit the Godzilla: King of the Monsters about page here!
Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) is the sequel to Michael Dougherty's Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters and will be the fourth and final installment in the Monsterverse movie quadrilogy. It will also bridge both the Godzilla movies and Kong: Skull Island by bringing Godzilla and Kong face-to-face for an epic match-up. To learn more about Godzilla vs. Kong, check out the Godzilla vs. Kong about page here!
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With the release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and eventually Godzilla vs. Kong, now is a great time to represent Godzilla and expand your Godzilla memorabilia collection. Check out some products below and click here for even more options!