Coming up with a list of the 5 Best Giant Robot Movies is not an easy task. By the very nature of their subject matter (i.e., giant robots) these movies are all awesome in their own special way. Our ambivalence about robots is only multiplied when you make them giant robots: after all, a robot arm that rivets car frames isn't all that threatening, unless you are a human auto worker. However, make that robot arm huge and arm it with nukes and night vision, and you've got a real, though not very mobile, threat.
Unfortunately, we can't list every giant robot ever made because there are just too darn many. So, as a public service to you, we've whittled them down to our top 5 Giant Robot flicks. Enjoy, Will Robinson!
- "Iron Giant" This one is a no-brainer. Directed by Brad Bird ("The Simpsons," "The Incredibles",) this little seen film suffered at the bungling hands of the Warner Brothers marketing machine, and never really found a broad audience. This animated tale of a—wait for it—giant robot is heartfelt, action-packed, and features great voice acting from none other than a pre-"Chronicles of Riddick" Vin Diesel. A must see.
- "The Transformers: The Movie" Now, the live-action films have their proponents, and in all fairness they do feature giant robots doing spectacular CGI giant robot stuff like transforming into cars and destroying aircraft carriers. In other words, they make stuff blow up real good. Still, we prefer the 1986 animated version for pure robotic action. Voiced by a star-studded cast including Orson Welles, Leonard Nimoy, and, err, Judd Nelson, this version hews much closer to the mythos created by the TV show. Unfortunately, it does not feature Megan Fox.
- "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla" There have been no less than five features dealing with the eternal conflict between Godzilla and his mechanical doppelganger, and with good reason. It's Godzilla fighting a giant robot Godzilla. This kind of stuff writes itself. Imagine the pitch meeting at Tojo Films: "Okay, for our next Godzilla film, Godzilla will fight a robot Godzilla." Instant green light. We're gonna go with the original 1974 version, because we love the rubber suit Godzilla, but any of them will scratch your itch for watching a big mech wreck Tokyo.
- "The Day the Earth Stood Still" Not, we repeat, not the Keanu Reeves version. Stay far, far away from that train wreck. No, we're talking the original 1951 version, filmed in glorious black and white and featuring one of the most iconic giant robots ever to grace the silver screen: Gort, a ill-tempered robot with a laser beam eye that he uses to devastating effect against hundreds of extras dressed as army men. As protector of the creepy alien Klaatu, he's here on Earth to encourage humans to make peace with each other. How does he set about accomplishing that task? By totally disintegrating everything that stands in his way. Apparently, he is unfamiliar with Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.
- "The Matrix" Remember that scene where the sentinels are after the Nebuchadnezzar, and our heroes have to power down the engines and hope that the giant squid-like 'bots pass them by? Pure tension. These bad boys mean business, and later in the movie when they corner the ship, they prove conclusively that their metal tentacles would not make for good calamari.