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The Movies Directed By Michael Bay, Ranked

We unleash Bayhem by ranking the films of Hollywood’s showiest auteur.
Michael Bay
By  · Published on December 30th, 2019

10. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Dark Of The Moon

Bay does not care what you think or say. He only cares if you spend your money on him or not. As much as we may scream and holler about the atrocity that was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, we still showed up and handed him all of our cash. That means, we’re rewarded with a sequel. Continuing the trend of the previous two films, Transformers: Dark of the Moon looks to our past to reveal the great Cybertron conspiracy that has been orchestrating our lives from the shadows. In their race to the moon, America’s triumph over the Soviets was less about symbolic Cold War grandstanding, and more of a severely critical chase to acquire alien technology. Stanley Kubrick, eat your heart out. The film is silly and populated with bizarre performances from some of your favorite Coen Brothers alumni and at least one Vulcan happily descending into self-referential parody. The film might not change any minds, but at least it delivers on the Bayhem by decimating Chicago into a heap of rubble and Autobot bodyparts. (Brad Gullickson)

9. 6 Underground (2019)


I don’t know what inspired Bay to create this movie, but I like to pretend that he wanted to make a live-action reboot of Team America: World Police without the satire. That’s essentially what this movie is, and someone at Netflix thought it was a good idea to let Bay proceed without a supervisor to keep him in check. What we get here is pure unrestrained Bayhem as cars race through sacred Italian landmarks and bad guys get impaled by flying objects. Muse songs keep playing. The action only lets up briefly to allow the characters to discuss the difference between being intimate and fucking before all hell breaks loose again. 6 Underground has as much disregard for subtly and good taste as it does for common logic, and it’s all the more entertaining as a result. Ryan Reynolds also stars, and he’s clearly having a blast. (Kieran Fisher)

8. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)


Michael Bay’s last good film failed to connect with audiences (although it did end its theatrical run at an otherwise nice $69 million) due mostly to political labels both real and imagined, but it’s more than deserving of your time. It’s an action movie detailing the events of the infamous attack on the US embassy in Libya in 2012, and it wisely keeps its political players and administrators mostly at the periphery — this is the story of the men who fought to defend the embassy, the ones below the pay grade of knowing the whats and the whys of it all, and to that end it’s a tale of American heroism in the face of violent threats. Agree or don’t with the bigger picture, but there’s no denying the visceral nature of the action that Bay delivers. Viewers become one with these guys, and after being immersed in their lives and personalities the film throws them and us into a devastating and electrifying firefight delivering big thrills and drama. it stars cool dudes like James Badge Dale, Max Martini, David Denman, and a shirtless John Krasinski too, so what are you waiting for, go watch it! (Rob Hunter)

7. Bad Boys II (2003)

Bad Boys

After dominating the box office with The Rock, Armageddon, and uh…Pearl Harbor, MBay returned to the characters that launched his cinematic career — Detectives Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) — but this time, he brought blockbuster confidence in the form of an outrageous budget ($130 million). For that kind of cash, Bay could spin his camera in an infinite loop, and at times it feels like he does. Excess, baby. That’s why we’re here. Bad Boys II is an apocalyptic, rupturing cyst of excess, and when it goes off, I happily slather its gnarly bath all over my body. Is the film too long? Probably. Is the comedy as on point as the original? Naw. Is it non-stop chaos and action with corpses literally littering freeways? Hell yes it is. (Brad Gullickson)

6. The Island (2005)

The Island

When people talk about the “most Michael Bay” movie being something like the abysmal 6 Underground (2019) I get it, but I would also argue that The Island is more deserving of the label. It’s big, it’s cheesy, things explode for no good reason, no one acts like a believable human being, etc — but all of these things work here anyway. The story gleefully rips off both 1979’s The Clonus Horror and Michael Marshall Smith’s 1996 novel Spares, but it’s such smart/dumb fun that it’s hard to fault it. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson play childlike clones who escape their captivity into the real world, and both are having a blast playing idiots as an abundance of carnage and silliness unfolds around them. It’s nonsensical, the action sequences are elaborate in their mayhem, and the finale is the kind of hokey Bay lives for. It may be one of only two box-office bombs from Bay, but it’s also big, dumb fun done right. (Rob Hunter)

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.