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The latest iteration of the 60-year-old franchise is in capable hands. Gareth Edwards' "Godzilla" is a pleasingly paced 3-D spectacle that pays chilling homage to the artful legacy of the original 1954 film -- Ishiro Honda's "Gojira" -- while emerging as its own prodigious monster movie. While the predictable sequel has not yet been confirmed, one thing is clear: Edwards' version of "Godzilla" remains the ultimate monster movie. The legacy has been upheld. "Godzilla," a Warner Bros. release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence.



1. King Kong (1933)- This was one of the first giant monster movies ever made. Gorillas had only been discovered a few decades before, and these fierce, human-like apes inspired a slew of gorilla movies like Mighty Joe Young

 2. Godzilla (1954, Japanese version)- Godzilla is an atomic monster who erupts from the sea to destroy Tokyo. Unlike later Godzilla movies, with their rubbery and friendly kaiju, this one is dark and terrifying.

 3. Them! (1954)- Them! is perhaps the best-known atomic monster movie in the United States. It's about how radiation from atomic bombs causes ants to grow to enormous sizes. 

4. Kronos (1957)- A less-remembered giant monster movie from the 1950s is Kronos, which is actually about something that is more like a giant robot. Kronos is sent to Earth from another world, whose resources have dried up. Its job is to consume all of Earth's resources and bring them back to the aliens.

5. Gamara vs. Monster X (1970)- Gamera the flying turtle made his first appearance in a 1965 movie, over the years, he became known as the "good" kaiju who protects children. By the time this movie comes out, he's well-established as the good guy, and spends a lot of his time rescuing kids — like in this movie. 

6. Jurassic Park (1993)- The United States finally made its comeback with this amazing movie about de-extincted dinosaurs. It was scary as hell to watch the T-Rex chasing humans around. No cities were destroyed — but the giant monster genre was back on the American side of the Pacific.

7. Cloverfield (2008)- Cloverfield is a monster movie that's full of references to a real-life disaster that destroyed a city: the 9/11 attacks. We follow a group of young New Yorkers through the carnage, as they film everything on a new digital camera. Genuinely terrifying.

 8. The Host (2006)- This satirical Korean film is about how toxic dumping in the Seoul harbor spawns a giant monster who looks like nothing you've ever seen in a kaiju before. But this is a giant monster who looks so cool that he influenced many monsters who came after (including Cloverfield and some of the kaiju in Pacific Rim).

 9. Pacific Rim (2013) Pacific Rim pits giant robots against giant monsters, and the result is a highly entertaining ride. Guillermo Del Toro even dedicated the film to the late Ishiro Honda, who directed the original 1954 Godzilla (aka Gojira).

 10. Q (1982)- The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, a winged, dragon-like, female lizard, decides to take up residence in the art-deco spire of the Chrysler Building, taking frequent jaunts in the midday sun to devour various hapless New Yorkers.

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