The Five Godzilla Movies That Got Their Claws in Me

hello world!
Brandy Brown
| December 9, 2023
hello world!

So, I am a pretty new convert to the Godzilla Monsterverse. I have always been a fan of silly monster movies, being a huge fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. MST3K was my first foray into giant monsters. And yes, because of this, I saw many silly things. 

Fast forward to 2019, when massive Godzilla fan Dan Morris moved in. He showed me that Godzilla wasn’t just silly monsters. It’s also silly ALIENS! He started me off easy with the Legendary films, which, for a Godzilla newbie like me, were a bit more palatable. 

I then bought him a massive box set of a bunch of Godzilla movies, and we slowly watched through many of the Japanese films created by Toho. Some of them are a little slow, but most of them are so incredibly good. And then I had my moment of confusion. Is Godzilla good or bad? WHO KNOWS? In some movies, he stomps the hell out of everything just because he wants to, and in some, he is a savior. There are so many iterations of Godzilla that it can leave your head spinning. So, let me help a little by giving you some of my favorites to get you started down the path of big lizard love.

2019 Godzilla King of the Monsters: This one is the one that cemented my love of Godzilla. There is just something about this film that makes me care about the monsters and the humans that are helping Godzilla. In the film, eco-terrorists release King Ghidorah, who awakens other Titans across the world to wipe out the humans. Godzilla, with the help of Mothra and Monarch, must reclaim his title as King of the Monsters to save humanity and bring order back to the Titans. 

2023 Godzilla Minus One: This one is still in theaters for another week (it has been extended), and it is AMAZING. This one is a Toho release and is in Japanese, but that never took me out of the experience. The characters are fantastic, and I was rooting for the humans and Godzilla, so it was tough for me. This was a monster movie with a heart. I laughed and cried. It was so well written. It takes place in post-war Japan, and they must contend with a new threat of a giant monster created by the atomic bomb. You can read more of our thoughts on the movie here.

2014 Godzilla: Most of the characters in this film are pretty flat, but I will always love Serizawa, and Bryan Cranston’s character was great. The monster action was loud and crazy but epic when seen on a big screen. Godzilla saves the world from humping MUTOs. 

1954 Godzilla: The original Toho film is a must. This is a man in a Godzilla suit instead of CGI. Godzilla creates chaos and destroys ships off Odo Island, leading scientists to develop ways to kill him because the army and navy cannot stop him as he heads to Tokyo. Serizawa creates an oxygen destroyer and must be convinced to use it to stop Gojira. 

2016 Shin Godzilla: I know this one is highly rated, but it’s just creepy, haha. It is still good, but Yeesh Godzilla looks horrifying. It’s still a must, though. Godzilla emulates a major Tsunami, causing havoc across Japan as he comes ashore and evolves. It also points to the Government’s inability to handle the problem. Read more about what Tom thought of Shin Godzilla here.  

There are so many Godzilla movies (37, to be exact), and you can easily find lists and rankings. My list is by no means a list for the purists but more of a list of what might hook people who know nothing about this franchise. As a newb, I would steer clear of the movies with Baby Godzilla until Godzilla as a franchise has its claws in you (those can be rough, ha). There are several movies that I now love. Godzilla vs Gigan 1972 has aliens that are actually cockroaches…super gross, but I love this movie. Godzilla vs Biollante 1985 is a good one as well. I can sometimes have a hard time when Godzilla turns out to be the bad guy, but I’ve also learned to enjoy those movies for what they are. 

As an endnote, make sure you check out the music for Godzilla. It always gives me goosebumps. 

And the remake of Blue Oyster Cult Song- Godzilla (such a banger). 

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