Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%
Metacritic Score: 56
The fact that Watchmen (2009) is the first of two Zack Snyder features in the article – an article that could potentially contain every one of his films – should say a lot about the divide between how fans and casual audiences view the director's efforts versus the critical response.
Snyder's style carried him safely through his first few features, the Dawn Of The Dead (2004) remake where he was testing the waters and finding a niche, and 300 (2007), where the soft focus, lens flare, desaturated colour palettes and super slow-mo action sequences he is now known for came to the fore. But by the time Watchmen rolled around, critics had cottoned on to the Snyder trappings, and were no longer impressed by what they considered to be cheap and sensationalist techniques designed to distract from a lack of substance.
The main criticism, however, was actually one of the film's greatest strengths: It tacks extremely close to the source material, Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins' limited comic series Watchmen (1986-87). It is the perfect Watchmen film, and while critics, a certain section of the fanbase and its 18 rating moaned the film towards an overall loss at the global box office, it found a second life on home media, securing an unprecedented $150 million in US sales alone and achieving instant cult status.