Movie Reviews

All 10 Sniper Movies, Ranked Worst To Best

Summary

  • The
    Sniper
    franchise distinguishes itself through high-stakes sniper missions, contributing to its lasting appeal in the action genre.
  • Some
    Sniper
    installments strike a balance between captivating portrayals of jungle warfare, tense sniping sequences, and evolving character dynamics, while others suffer from formulaic elements and undeveloped characters.
  • The franchise explores themes of legacy, personal sacrifice, familial relationships, and interpersonal dynamics, adding complexity and emotional depth to the established narrative.



The Sniper franchise has proven to be a remarkably enduring series, but not all of its installments have had the same impact. Following the character Master Gunnery Sergeant Tom Beckett, portrayed by Tom Berenger, the franchise distinguishes itself with high-stakes sniper missions set across various global landscapes. This consistent focus on the intense and perilous world of sniping has granted the series a unique niche within the action genre, contributing to its lasting appeal.

The enduring charm of the Sniper franchise rests on multiple factors. Despite criticisms of its formulaic elements and undeveloped characters, the Sniper series strikes a balance between captivating portrayals of jungle warfare, tense sniping sequences, and evolving character dynamics. As a result, the Sniper franchise has carved out a distinctive name for itself, alluring audiences with its blend of suspense and tactical intrigue — though such strengths work better in some Sniper installments than others.


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10 Sniper: Reloaded (2011)

A Poor Plot Prevents Its New Perspective From Shining

Sniper: Reloaded deviates from the well-known Thomas Beckett story to center on his son, Marine Sgt. Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins), who is looking into the murder of his partner. While the film has fantastic visceral action sequences, it is easily the weakest entry in the franchise. Even with Billy Zane’s return as Richard Miller, its biggest flaws include a flimsy plot and lackluster execution.


Despite this, Sniper: Reloaded offers a fresh viewpoint to the Sniper series, with a personal quest for justice set against a backdrop of big guns and military intrigue. It adds a layer of complexity to the established narrative, exploring themes of legacy and personal sacrifice. The movie also ends with a scene that shows the continuation of the series as Miller, satisfied with Beckett’s success, offers the younger sniper a job in Special Operations. This led to the obvious team-up movie with his not-dead father a few years later.

9 Sniper: Ghost Shooter (2016)

Relies Too Heavily On Familiar Tropes & Plot Developments

Billy Zane, Dennis Haysbert and Chad Michael Collins in Sniper_ Ghost Shooter


Sniper: Ghost Shooter pits two of the best snipers in the business — Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins) and Miller (Billy Zane) — against the deadly terrorist sniper Ravshan Gazakov (Velislav Pavlov). Similar to other titles in the franchise, the film is chock-full of intense action sequences. Sniper: Ghost Shooter enhances the franchise by putting elite snipers in the face of a cunning foe, which adds suspense and complexity to the established story.

Unfortunately, the film’s reliance on familiar tropes and predictable plot developments prevent it from ranking higher among Sniper‘s installments, as its approach is both formulaic and predictable. The movie does go a long way in questioning the idea of snipers in the world today, and the indoctrination of people on both sides of the political spectrum. It takes Brandon’s often reluctant stance on being a sniper and adds some hubris to it before finally settling in on a non-stop action-packed thrill ride.


8 Sniper: Legacy (2014)

Its Bait-And-Switch Plot Brings Down An Otherwise Deep Story

Tom Berenger and Chad Michael Collins in Sniper_ Legacy's poster

Sniper: Legacy, the fifth installment in the Sniper series, centers on the deaths of military leaders and follows Brandon Beckett’s search for the person who caused them. The film has been praised for exploring familial relationships, which adds emotional depth to the story that wasn’t present in earlier chapters.

Its bait-and-switch plot, however, came across as manipulative, leading to an overly complicated script. It also brings back Tom Berenger, who it turns out is still alive but being held captive. Despite its complex plot, Sniper: Legacy enriches the series by delving into interpersonal relationships and offering unexpected twists.


The film’s attempt to blend emotional moments with intricate plot dynamics provides a unique flavor, even if the complexity prevents it from being better. Despite that, bringing back Berenger and having the father-son moments gave this edition something that most of the other movies in the franchise couldn’t compete with.

7 Sniper: Rogue Mission (2022)

Fails To Live Up To An Intriguing Premise

The ninth film in the Sniper series, Sniper: Rogue Mission, showcases CIA sniper Brandon Beckett teaming up with unconventional allies — National Security Agent Zero and the enigmatic Lady Death — as they investigate a federal agent involved in human trafficking. Due in large part to its humorous tone, the film fails to live up to the intriguing premise it sets up.


Even though the movie mainly focuses on its high-octane action scenes, the slower plot is made even worse by its lackluster acting, especially since it misses out on the chemistry between Berenger and Zane. Sniper: Rogue Mission‘s forgettable narrative prevents it from being a standout in the series, even though the on-screen chemistry between its main characters is refreshing at times. The movie also struggles with the pacing, as it flips from tragic moments to comic moments, making it hard to remain invested in the drama surrounding the action.

6 Sniper: Assassin’s End (2000)

Thrilling Action Can’t Make Up For Its Lack Of Originality

Sayaka Akimoto as Lady Death holding a large sniper rifle in Sniper_ Assassin's End


Sniper: Assassin’s End once again follows Special Ops Sniper Brandon Beckett, played by Chad Michael Collins, and his father, Sniper Master Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Beckett, as they hunt for a corrupt operative within the government.

Criticized for its lack of originality, Sniper: Assassin’s End fails to break free from the formulaic elements of the franchise, limiting its potential to stand out as a unique addition, even though it adds a new layer of complexity and action. The movie, despite its familial and suspenseful elements, falls short of delivering a fresh and innovative storyline within the established Sniper narrative.

However, there is one thing that makes the movie fun to watch and that is the Yakuza-trained sniper named Lady Death (Sayaka Akimoto). Alas, the fact that the movie only gave her a few minutes to really shine seems like a lost opportunity. It also seemed weird to ignore the shadow task force the last film introduced to go back to the father-son reunion again.


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5 Sniper: Ultimate Kill (2017)

An Entertaining & Engaging Story With Some Flaws

Billy Zane, Tom Berenger and Chad Michael Collins strike action poses while a building explodes and helicopters flyin Sniper Ultimate Kill

Sniper: Ultimate Kill, the seventh chapter in the series, follows DEA agent Kate Estrada and sniper Brandon Beckett as they tackle a Colombian drug lord and his hired assassin, El Diablo. Praised for its slick production and credible character portrayals, the film delivers a straightforward, engaging story with occasional surprises. Its script can be predictable and slow at times, but its simplicity can be fun from an entertainment perspective.


Despite some accuracy issues when it comes to military tactics and technical things, the film is an enjoyable and humorous ride with great sarcastic commentary. It’s not the best Sniper movie, but it’s memorable enough to make the top five. The biggest downfall when it comes to this movie in the Sniper franchise is a lost opportunity with the cast. This is the first time that Tom Berenger, Billy Zane, and Chad Michael Collins all appear in the franchise together, but the three actors never team up on a mission.

4 Sniper: G.R.I.T. – Global Response & Intelligence Team (2023)

Emotional Depth & Compelling Action Breathes Life Into The Franchise

chad michael collins as brandon beckett in sniper grit

Sniper: G.R.I.T. proves a respectable follow-up that adds genuine value to the franchise. The plot centers on a recently formed CIA offshoot, the Global Response & Intelligence Team (G.R.I.T.), as they combat a terrorist threat.


Although G.R.I.T. has received some negative feedback, the storyline offers stronger emotional depth by revealing deeper backstories for franchise characters. The consistent tone wins out despite the film’s sporadic CGI violence. Director Oliver Thompson breathes life back into the series with a story that may not be revolutionary but has interesting sniper kills and compelling action.

This film hit on the 30th anniversary of the Sniper franchise and provided a rebound after the previous movie, Sniper: Rogue Mission disappointed many of the franchise’s fans. The one downfall is a lack of action until the end, but, for long-time fans, there is a lot here to love.

3 Sniper 3 (2004)

A Well-Crafted Script & Strong Performances Elevate The Film

Tom Berenger as Tom Beckett in Sniper 3's poster


Sniper 3 navigates the challenges faced by Thomas Beckett, now a Marine adjusting to life after the events of Sniper 2. The film is praised for Tom Berenger and Byron Mann’s strong performances, with both stars managing to elevate the production despite its low budget.

The narrative takes Beckett on a personal mission to eliminate a former friend who saved his life before he seemingly died in Vietnam. This friend has since turned into a drug and weapons trafficker known as “King Cobra.” The film explores the dark history of Beckett’s past missions and unveils a conspiracy within the CIA.

Despite its low budget, the combination of a well-crafted script and strong performances sets Sniper 3 apart, landing it among the best of the franchise. Mann turns in some great action moments with his martial arts skills as NSA asset Detective Quan, and he has great chemistry with Berenger here. The film also ends with an incredible kill to top things off.


2 Sniper 2 (2002)

Heart-Pounding Action, An Engaging Story, & Solid Acting Make For A Thrill Ride

Tom Berenger's Beckett in the crosshairs in Sniper 2

Sniper 2 follows Marine sniper Thomas Beckett as he teams up with death-row sniper Jake Cole (Bokeem Woodbine) and an underground resistance member to assassinate a Serbian general. As Beckett and Cole navigate challenges and orchestrate a daring escape post-assassination, the film’s strengths lie in its ability to maintain suspense and deliver heart-pounding action sequences, offering a thrill ride all around.


While the film is praised for its script, acting, and gripping plot, it has also been criticized for technical flaws, such as linguistic inaccuracies. Despite its low budget, Sniper 2 impresses with its engaging story, solid performances, and intense action sequences. However, while there are problems with the movie, it is not a film that takes itself seriously and sets out to deliver a fun, action-packed ride, which is all most fans of the franchise want to begin with. It mostly repeats the first film, ending it with a great sniper vs sniper battle.

1 Sniper (1993)

A Distinct Narrative With Many Strengths

The original Sniper movie follows Master Gunnery Sergeant Tom Beckett (Tom Berenger) and inexperienced sharpshooter Richard Miller (Billy Zane) on a mission in Panama. Sniper has been praised for its competent direction, engaging plot, and strong performances, especially by Tom Berenger and Billy Zane. The film also boasts great tension and powerful depictions of violence.


While there are some underdeveloped characters and formulaic elements, the movie’s portrayal of jungle warfare and the chemistry between the lead characters make up for any flaws. The film, in a switch from other action movies of the era, is almost more about regret and doubt than it is about going out and killing as many people as possible. This does make it a little slow, but makes it a smart movie. The distinct narrative — especially for its time — set Sniper apart, establishing it as the best installment in the Sniper franchise.

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