The Godzilla Movies You Should See
Gojira: Easily the best of the series, and also the grimmest. The nuclear undertones here really make the movie.
Godzilla Mothra King Ghidorah: All-Out Monsters Attack: A Millenium-era film, and one that treats Godzilla as a serious threat; it helps that it has some of the cleverest filmmaking of the series, and a strong score to go with it.
Mothra Vs. Godzilla (aka Godzilla Vs. The Thing): Probably one of the most lighthearted and lavish Godzilla movies, this can be a surprisingly funny mockery of consumerism.
Godzilla: Final Wars: Toho’s “final” Godzilla movie, and a hilarious blowout of a flick that marks one of the few points in the series where the humans are actually interesting enough to matter.
The Return Of Godzilla: Forget Godzilla 1985: The Japanese cut is far better; darker in tone, and just serious enough to work.
The Godzilla Movies So Bad They’re Good
Godzilla 2000: Normally I’d recommend avoiding the American cuts of a Godzilla movie, but first of all, the Japanese version is kind of “eh” as these things go, and secondly, the American dub team, left to their own devices, went for broke. They fill the dialogue with incidental jokes and puns, and it helps that the dub is actually pretty good; it matches the lip movements well and they don’t change the plot. It’s the Platonic ideal of a “cheesy Godzilla movie” as a result.
Godzilla Vs. Megalon: Famed, far and wide, as a trainwreck that MST3K took down, and for excellent reason. The script was a patchwork, Jet Jaguar was obviously created by a child (and is a shameless knockoff of Ultraman), and for various reasons, the American cuts (yes, there are several) are even worse. It’s a mess, but it’s a hilarious mess.
Godzilla Vs. Hedorah: What happens when a Godzilla movie gets pretentious? Hilarity, that’s what. Yoshimitsu Banno tried to make a Godzilla movie that reflected the New Wave of Japanese cinema at the time, and it… well, it has the virtue of being novel. And it just got a Blu-Ray release!
King Kong Vs. Godzilla: This movie is the source of this GIF:
And this one:
Really, do you need anything else?