More major mammoth monster movies to watch post Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

From Cloverfield to Godzilla, here are five high-profile giant monster movies to watch in the wake of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved /

Giant monsters ruled the box office back in the 1950s. The entire movie-making world had become obsessed with the idea of mutated creatures or aliens running amok through cities and towns. Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira) might be the best of that bunch, but you couldn't throw a rock during that decade without hitting something enormous, not that we'd recommend such brazen behavior.

Like any trend, that one faded giving way to smaller monsters, human psychopaths, supernatural threats and slashers. However, since the turn of the century there has been an interesting swing back to the biggest of baddies. With Legendary Pictures' MonsterVerse debuting the latest installment, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, you might be looking for more major monster mashes and we have some suggestions!


For many, Matt Reeves' Cloverfield signified the resurgence of the monster mayhem at the box office. Told through found footage and starring mostly unknown actors, the movie gave a literal ground-level approach to the age-old theme of a giant monster tearing a swathe through a major city. This time, a New York City going-away party filled with the usual 20-something drama got interrupted not by an awkward drunken argument, but by a huge creature taking a bite out of the Big Apple. It also happened to be shedding smaller monsters with their own appetites for destruction, leading to threats both macro and micro. Rob (Michael Stahl-David) did not let any of that stop him, though, as he and his friends traversed an increasingly destroyed Manhattan as they looked for the love of his life.

By keeping the focus on this tight group of people and placing an emotional, though irrational, mission at the center, Reeves and writer Drew Goddard (Cabin In The Woods) firmly planted this enormous story on the level of the common person. Plus, the monster designs look pretty darn good as do the disaster moments. In other words, Cloverfield still holds up nicely and helped pave the way for more giant monster films.

Pacific Rim

While Cloverfield showed that you could do big monsters on a small scale, Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Crimson Peak) went the opposite direction and embraced every big idea possible. In the world of Pacific Rim (2013), rifts in space-time had opened up releasing enormous monsters called Kaiju. The governments of the world built equally ginormous ways of protecting themselves in the forms of enormous walls, guns and fighting robots called Jaegers. Piloted by two people at the same time through a process called drifting, the robots threw down with the monsters the same way you may have played with your toys as a kid.

In many ways, Pacific Rim paved the way for the MonsterVerse. Legendary Pictures produced both which embraced the joys of kaiju battles. Rim also brought in an impressive cast that included Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and Ron Perlman, a move that the Kong and Godzilla films have been using as well.

tWhile the original receives plenty of earned praise, the 2018 sequel Pacific Rim: Uprising is also worth a watch. TV director and producer Stephen S. DeKnight (Angel, Daredevil) filled the director's chair in an outing starring John Boyega (Attack The Block, Star Wars), Scott Eastwood (Texas Chainsaw, Fast X) and Cailee Spaeny (Civil War, Alien: Romulus). Set a decade after the first installmen, this one deals with living up to family legacies, young people trying to change the world and, of course, huge robot-monster fights!


The giant monster trend proved so popular that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson got in on the action with his longtime collaborator Brad Peyton (Journey 2, San Andreas). Adding another layer of pop culture goodness to the proceedings, 2018's Rampage is also a video game adaptation. Arcade hoppers will remember this as the game where you would play as either a Godzilla or King Kong analog and punch the windows out of skyscrapers so you could eat the inhabitants or their goods. Since that might not make for the most thrilling of source materials, the filmmakers rained genetically manipulated materials from a space station down onto Earth that altered a few key animals including one albino ape overseen by Johnson's Special Forces officer/ primatologist character.

Far from the most revered giant monster film of the decade, this one does offer plenty of big battles and a charming cast that includes Johnson, Naoimie Harris, Malin Ackerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Joe Manganiello. It might also work for some viewers new to the genre as a gateway to the other films on the list.

Monster Hunter

Rampage might have been the first huge monster movie based on a video game, but it won't be the last. In 2020, Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Alien Vs. Predator) made sure of that when he directed Monster Hunter. Based on a Capcom franchise that started 20 years ago, the film followed Milla Jovovich's Artemis as she and her squad of Army Rangers got swept up in a desert storm that sent them to another world filled with killer creatures. Once there, Artemis met up with the man she later referred to as Hunter, played by Tony Jaa (The Protector, Ong Bak), and together they worked to not only survive, but get her get back home.

Along the way you go on a roller coaster ride featuring gnarly amalgamated monsters, cobbled-together weapons and armor from throughout history, some martial arts showdowns between Jaa and Jovovich, a few solid jokes, an anthropomorphic cat chef and the wildest hair you'll ever see on Ron Perlman. Monster Hunter also flips the usual kaiju film on its tail by moving the action away from our world and placing it elsewhere, but it still offers a fun ride that includes a bunch of people fighting a dragon with mystical weapons!


Godzilla Minus One. Image courtesy Toho International, Inc. /

While his Stateside counterpart has been taking on all manner of beast, the Godzilla of Japan has been holding his own as well. In 2016, Toho released a reboot of the character called Shin Godzilla. Co-directed by Shinji Higuchi and Hideaki Anno, the movie featured a new take on the kaiju created by nuclear experiments, though not the atom bomb. This time, the story featured an evolving Godzilla going through several phases of its life cycle while humans tried to find a way to stop it.

Toho did not stop there, though. Just last year the studio unleashed Godzilla Minus One, a legacy sequel of sorts from director Takashi Yamazaki who also wrote the script and worked on the effects. Taking place in a post-World War II Japan, this creature feature placed Godzilla firmly against humanity as he continued to represent the dark side of man's attempts to control nature. Minus One was not just a box office hit, it won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects and took home Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Lighting, Best Art Direction, Best Sound and Best Editing at the Japanese Academy Awards proving the point that Gojira did 70 years ago that horror and sci-fi can be expertly crafted ways of presenting important ideas as well as thrills and chills.

Next. MonsterVerse 101: Catching up with Kong and Godzilla movies before New Empire. MonsterVerse 101: Catching up with Kong and Godzilla movies before New Empire. dark