Ever since it’s inception in the Ishiro Honda’s 1954 film ‘Gojira’, filmmakers and audiences alike have marveled at the fictional monster. The enormous, destructive, prehistoric sea monster has been depicted to be awakened by nuclear radiation. With the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings still fresh in the consciousness, the monster was conceived as a metaphor for nuclear weapons.
Gojira now more famously known as Godzilla has been depicted in a total of 31 films in the last 6 decades. Many filmmakers have tried to capture the monster as Honda once did, but only few have succeeded. Various films have portrayed Godzilla in different ways. Some have portrayed Godzilla to be an anti-hero or even a monster defending humanity. Here’s the list top Godzilla films ever. You can watch some of these best Godzilla movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. King Kong vs Godzilla (1964)
Thats right, two of your favourite fictional monsters going toe to toe. King Kong vs Godzilla is a 1964 science fiction film which was also the third film in the Godzilla franchise. A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla. All hell breaks loose. It is literally the Clash of the titans once the two monsters step it up to each other. Of course now the visuals look dated, and the monster suits are laughable. But despite all that ‘King Kong vs Gozilla’ is fun and entertaining. Decent performances from the cast involved.
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09. Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1974)
If the enormous and destructive Godzilla wasn’t enough, we have Apelike aliens building a robotic Godzilla to destroy Japan. The real Godzilla now has to face a more advanced and stronger version of itself. Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla is a 1974 science fiction film directed by Jun Fukuda. As you would expect, the film is action packed and comparatively more gory and brutal. What elevates the film is the addition of MechaGodzilla, a more dangerous and destructive monster playing the antagonist. It helps develop the character of the real Godzilla who automatically becomes a more heroic character. The score in the film is a positive aspect.
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08. Godzilla vs Biollante (1989)
Godzilla vs Biollante is a 1989 film produced and distributed by Toho. A scientist creates a biological creature by combining the cells of a rose with that of Godzilla. Many different groups of people will stop nothing to get their hands on these cells. Godzilla vs Biollante has a darker tone than most of the films in the franchise. Godzilla’s appearance in the film is very impressive comparatively too. The visuals as well as special effects all boast with an improved look. The film is also violent, probable the most violent of the lot with a lot bloody scenes involved. The score in the film is dark and haunting, complementing the tone of the film perfectly.
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07. Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991)
Godzilla vs King Ghidorah is the 18th film in the Godzilla franchise and was released in the year 1991. The film follows some time traveller’s from the 23rd Century who attempts to prevent the mutation of Godzilla. The attempts result in the creation of a three-headed dragon that terrorizes Japan.
There are plot holes in the story which the film suffers from. There are some things which do not make sense. But once you can look past that, ‘Godzilla vs King Ghidorah’ is a total mayhem. The battle scenes and destruction of the city are amazingly executed(for that time) and will leave you gasping for air. It consists of a lot of twists and turns and is far more complicated than the other films in the franchise. With its fantastic music and the entertainment it provides, Godzilla’s matchup with the three-headed dragon is a must watch.
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6. Godzilla (2014)
The latest Big Budget depiction of Godzilla was released in 2014, co produced and distributed by Warner Brothers. The film directed by Gareth Edwards was a commercial and critical success, which prompted Toho to make a reboot of their own. The film follows the rise of the ancient behemoth Godzilla to fight against the monstrous creatures classified as MUTO.
After the disappointment of the 1998 Godzilla, Hollywood had to redeem itself in concern with the lizard monster. Edward’s ‘Godzilla’ however is a fantastic homage and is a feast to the eyes. The film remains loyal to the origins of the story unlike the 1998 film and fans of the original will not be disappointed. The film drags a little in the middle and there’s too much screen time for the humans, but apart from that, it is fantastic entertainment.
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5. Shin Godzilla (2016)
The latest Godzilla film in the franchise and rekindling between the sea monster and the Toho production company. After the success of 2014’s Godzilla, Toho was prompted to revive their sea monster back to the screen. After an accident occurs in Tokyo Bay’s Aqua Line, Godzilla is back to destroy his favourite city in the whole wide world, Tokyo. Shin Godzilla(or also known as Godzilla Resurgence) is a fast paced film, action packed with little time to waste. The gigantic monster is well captured in special effects with both its size and grandeur. The film is also filled with political irony and satire of the Japanese government and bureaucracy.
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4. Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
When an American nuclear submarine goes missing in the North Pacific, Admiral Tachibana is certain it is the work of Godzilla. The three guardian monsters – King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Baragon – are being awakened to defend Japan from Godzilla. Soon enough, monsters are roaming freely around Japan and mayhem is right around the corner. The film is dark in its done and the feel can be very reminiscent of the original ‘Gojira’. The battle scenes, especially the ones at night are well done in special effects. The music in the film different to all other films in the franchise. Rather than the traditional orchestra score, the film opts for a more new age/electronic music to accompany the visuals.
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3. Godzilla vs Destroyah (1995)
It is discovered that Godzilla has developed a bright flaming glow, indicating that his nuclear energy is growing out of control. A horde of lethal creatures formed from a combination of Godzilla’s cell and the Oxygen Destroyer. Godzilla is going through a nuclear meltdown which can destroy the world, and military must stop the creatures.
Godzilla vs Destroyah is captivating and unique from start to finish. It is a worthy and fitting film to conclude the chapter of the second Godzilla series. The film contains heart warming moments which is quiet rare for a ‘G-movie’. The strong plot, performances and special effects are believable and moving. It should leave you with a lump in the throat once the series ends.
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2. Mothura vs Godzilla (1964)
After a developer with his huge machines suck dry a part of the ocean to build luxury condos, a giant egg washes up on the shore. Godzilla’s rest is disrupted and the monster returns to destroy Japan. A Mothra has to fight Godzilla in order to protect her offsprings. Often considered to be one of the greatest Godzilla films ever to be made, Mothra vs Godzilla is powerful in every aspect. It probably has the most memorable score in the history of Godzilla movies and it is a perfect companion to the visuals. The story is entertaining and gripping from start to finish. All characters in the film are very likeable as well as relatable. The film also boasts some nice balanced and colourful photography which is pleasing to the eye.
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1. Godzilla (1954)
It would be extremely unfair to not top the list with the original, the one that started it all. But let me make it clear that I’m not putting it on top simply because it is the ‘original’. It’s here on its own merit. American nuclear weapons testings has resulted in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast. Japan is thrown into panic as several ships have been sunk or destroyed and chaos seems to be around the corner. One night, ‘Gojira’ steps onshore and begins to destroy anything that stands on his way.
Ishiro Honda’s Godzilla is by far the most captivating and powerful film on the list. The film is intense and nail-biting from start to finish . Despite it’s now dated visuals, it still manages to keep you at the edge of the seat. The casting in the film is top-notch, and every actor brings their ‘A game. 6 decades later, the film is still considered a classic and sits top in the list of ‘recommendations for Godzilla films’ or even ‘Monster films’.
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