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9 Movies Like Sucker Punch | ScreenRant

Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch is a hyper-stylized action film told in a series of spectacular action set pieces created in the mind of the film's protagonist to cope with her troubling situation. The movie is a "sucker punch" deconstruction of similar material in film and video games, employing a dark subversion of expectations.

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There are a few films like it, but those that are all share similar traits: mind-bending ideas, stylized visuals, spectacular action, a dark atmosphere and tone, and often plenty of slow-motion. Some of the best directors around have made films of this brand, and they've done it exquisitely.

9 The Matrix (1999)

The film that made Keanu Reeves a household name, The Matrix (1999) revolutionized cinematic action to the point that every action director afterward was referencing or taking inspiration from the Wachowski's semi-superhero dystopian spectacle. Part of what makes it like Sucker Punch is clearly in how Zack Snyder was one of those directors.

A hacker falls down a rabbit hole of discovering that the world, as he knows it, is a simulation created by machines to keep the enslaved human race under control while their bodies are used to generate energy. Uniting with the resistance, "Neo" discovers his potential for incredible superpowers in the digital space. The concept delves into age-old philosophical "brain in a jar" theories.

8 Sin City (2005)

Based on Frank Miller's comic and directed by Miller himself along with Robert Rodriguez, this mostly black-and-white crime thriller is permeated by selective instances of color against its often CG backdrops. Dark, atmospheric, visually iconic, violent, and oozing with style, viewers could be forgiven for thinking Snyder directed it himself.

This gritty noir story follows several individuals struggling with conflicts involving street gangs, mercenaries, and police in the dark, corrupt realm of Basin City. Not to mention, it is stacked with an all-star cast including the likes of Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood, and Benicio del Toro.

7 Kill Bill: Volume 1 & 2 (2003-2004)

One of the biggest-budget Quentin Tarantino movies, his violent yet satirical classic is a staple of the action genre with its over-the-top brutality and utterly absurd martial arts choreography, bordering on parody at times, but no less entertaining or investing with its characters. Not to mention its "Volume 2" sequel, which nicely wraps up the story.

The two films revolve around an assassin, Uma Thurman's "the Bride", who awakes from a coma after an attempt to punish her for retiring from the underworld. She then embarks on a quest for vengeance after losing her child, setting out to kill her former partners in crime one by one.

6 Tron: Legacy (2010)

Joseph Kosinski’s sequel to Disney’s sci-fi classic Tron (1982) stands out for an absolutely incredible art style, set in a black world illuminated by neon highlights emphasizing the virtual nature of it all. Not since The Matrix has any film created such a viscerally beautiful way of telling the audience, "This is a digital world."

The setting of "the Grid" is dominated by stunning environments, tense yet deadly sports, and sentient programs living intelligently within the film's high-tech yet surreal setting. Here, a story is told referencing the original film, where the original protagonist's son enters this computer world and battles for his life. Critics were not fond of Tron: Legacy, but audiences resonated with it.

5 Underworld (2003)

Vampires and werewolves rarely triumph on film, but Len Wiseman's Underworld nailed both at the same time. With a mix of excellent digital and practical effects bringing its monsters to life, these two brands of thriller icons clash in a spectacular horror-action mix with its dark color pallet and brutally savage war.

In the grimy world of this gothic story, vampires and "lycans" battle for dominance in secret. Kate Beckinsale's Selene is one such vampire and the protagonist who falls in love with a human man caught in the middle of this conflict. When he is bitten by a werewolf, drama ensues, and this secret world in turmoil will never be the same.

4 Inception (2010)

Christopher Nolan films are often built on a unique and creative premise, typically involving time. Inception (2010) is perhaps the pinnacle example of this, experimenting with dreams as a tool through which Nolan tells a story while simultaneously wowing the audience with a mind-blowing concept told from different points of view.

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Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, an agent who specializes in literally planting ideas in the minds of their targets. Hoping to earn the right to return to the United States, he sets out on his most dangerous job yet, involving many "levels" of dreams and fascinating concepts about the worlds inside our own minds. Naturally, such a setting plays around with similar absurdity to Sucker Punch.

3 Minority Report (2002)

Steven Spielberg's penchant for science fiction rarely if ever wavers. In this sci-fi classic by the acclaimed director, Tom Cruise plays an agent for a law-enforcement organization that runs on "precogs" -- people who can see the future -- to predict imminent crimes like murder, and in turn, stop them before they can happen.

It is a deeply philosophical movie given its subject matter, tackling the subject of justice and pre-crime in a very thoughtful way without getting lost in the distracting spectacle of its almost surrealist far-future setting. Much like Sucker Punch, the incredibly distinctive tech-noir atmosphere of Minority Report is both creative and deeply stylistic.

2 300 (2007)

Before Sucker Punch, Zack Snyder's filmography included his acclaimed adaptation of Frank Miller’s historical fantasy comic, filmed on green-screen soundstages to create a fantastical and even dream-like aesthetic, as opposed to the on-location method popular among historical films at the time.

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300 (2007) tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae through the lens of Spartan campfire propaganda, portraying the titular three-dozen warriors as epic heroes battling monsters from far-away lands. The film embraces the imagery of the comic with the utmost reverence, reproducing beautiful panels with incredible authenticity.

1 Watchmen (2009)

Naturally, Zack Snyder's Watchmen (2009) has a lot in common with Sucker Punch for its deconstructive philosophy, but where Sucker Punch is all about video games and action in general, Snyder’s adaptation of Alan Moore’s most iconic work translates the deconstruction of superhero comics into a deconstruction of superhero films.

Armed with some of the most interesting and creative characters in this alternate history of costumed vigilantes, the movie follows an investigation into the death of a retired superhero, leading to the discovery of a grand and terrifying plot with moral considerations that have, for years, left fans of the comic discussing its meaning. It is no wonder it heavily influenced Snyder's Superman films.

NEXT: 10 Most Heroic Moments in Zack Snyder's Justice League Trilogy

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