Moviedom’s main ape makes his first theater appearance since Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake with
, a 1970s-set adventure starring Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson who travel to the King’s home to confirm his mythic existence. The thrill of seeing mammoths trashing cities and vulnerable public transit dates back to the movie-going experience’s earliest decades, which we cover in this week’s gallery of 24 Fresh giant monster films! Kong: Skull Island
(2014, 74%) Godzilla
With just enough human drama to anchor the sweeping spectacle of giant monsters smashing everything in sight, Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla satisfyingly restores the franchise’s fire-breathing glory.
(2008, 77%) Cloverfield
A sort of Blair Witch Project crossed with Godzilla, Cloverfield is economically paced, stylistically clever, and filled with scares.
(2013, 71%) Pacific Rim
It may sport more style than substance, but Pacific Rim is a solid modern creature feature bolstered by fantastical imagery and an irresistible sense of fun.
(1933, 98%) King Kong
King Kong explores the soul of a monster — making audiences scream and cry throughout the film — in large part due to Kong’s breakthrough special effects.
(2005, 84%) King Kong
Featuring state-of-the-art special effects, terrific performances, and a majestic sense of spectacle, Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong is a potent epic that’s faithful to the spirit of the 1933 original.
(1993, 93%) Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park is a spectacle of special effects and life-like animatronics, with some of Spielberg’s best sequences of sustained awe and sheer terror since Jaws.
(2015, 71%) Jurassic World
Jurassic World can’t match the original for sheer inventiveness and impact, but it works in its own right as an entertaining — and visually dazzling — popcorn thriller.
(1984, 97%) Ghostbusters
An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray’s hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns.
(2007, 73%) The Mist
Frank Darabont’s impressive camerawork and politically incisive script make The Mist a truly frightening experience.
(1954, 93%) Godzilla
More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.
(2016, 84%) Shin Godzilla
Offers a refreshingly low-fi — and altogether entertaining — return to the monster’s classic creature-feature roots.
(2011, 82%) Trollhunter
Trollhunter is a mockumentary with an appropriate level of creeping dread, but one that also benefits from generous helpings of dry wit.
(2010, 72%) Monsters
It doesn’t quite live up to its intriguing premise, but Monsters is a surprising blend of alien-invasion tropes, political themes, and relationship drama.
(2009, 78%) Big Man Japan
Hitoshi Matsumoto’s indescribably odd mockumentary is undeniably inspired.
(1958, 75%) Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
Drunken socialite goes on town rampage after radiation from witnessing a UFO landing causes her to grow to 15.24 meters.
(1957, 80%) 20 Million Miles To Earth
Ymir, a big-ass reptiloid from outer space, crashes into the ocean and ascends the water to wreak havoc on land.
(1961, 73%) Mothra
Toho’s third monster (and first female) creation, an insect pupae found on a nuclear island who mutates into a moth on a rampage to recover her eggs and friends.
(1964, 90%) Mothra vs Godzilla
Mothra, the sensitive queen of Toho, joins forces with mankind to deal with a heel turn from Godzilla.
(1971, 64%) Godzilla vs Hedorah
The eco-leaning Godzilla series gets pointed with monster Hedorah, a sludgy ooze that feeds off of Japan’s considerable pollution.
(1974, 67%) Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla
Godzilla has met the enemy and it is he, after apes from space unleash the mechanical lizard to conquer the planet!
(1956, 70%) Rodan
After creating the giant monster genre as we know it with Godzilla, studio Toho followed up with this pterodactyl menace.
(1949, 95%) Mighty Joe Young
King Kong filmmakers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack filled the 29 years between the original and Godzilla vs. King Kong with Joe, a most sensitive take on the ape amok movie.
(1953, 94%) The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms
An atomic bomb explosion in the Arctic Circle, possibly the worst possible way to search for Captain America’s frozen body, resurrects a Rhedosaurus who, similar to , makes his way to New York to level the city with some mid-century twerking.
Norm of the North
(1969, 71%) Destroy All Monsters
A classic kaiju battle royale featuring Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra among many others.