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Every Superhero Movie Ever Made, Ranked

Maximus Rex
Maximus Rex Pulchritudo in Conspectu RegisThe EmpreyanMembers Posts: 6,355 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 2015 in Lights, Camera, Action!

by Marc Benardin

August 5, 2015


Surely, you've noticed that Hollywood is in thrall to the superhero. You can't throw a mask without hitting a person with a person in a mask. So, as we wind down a summer movie season chockablock with with comic-inspired crusaders-the Fantastic Four reboot closes the door and turns off the lights on August 7-it felt like the right time to survey the field and rank some 🤬 .

Some clarifications before we get into it. This just movies based on comic books, because that would include movies like A) Ghost World and Art School Confidential, which are basically just movies, and B) rule out films like The Incredibles, which original works and are still amazing. And the hero needs to be legitimately super-either they need super powers or wear a cape. (So, sorry Judge Dredd.) And, finally, to make this list, there needed to be a legit theatrical release, or we be drowned by 🤬 direct-to-video sequels.

So here we go.


25. Iron Man 3 (2013)

Two things: The Mandarin reveal (maybe 2013's best movie moment) and Tony as John Rockford, solving cases without the suit like a shaggy-dog '70s private 🤬 .

24. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

One terrific scene-Quicksilver, anyone?-surrounded by not entirely-successful movie in which no characters changed, and for the most part, stand around watching stuff happen to other people. Literally: Ellen Page's Kitty Pryde just stands there grimacing for the entire flick.


23. Batman Begins (2005)

Warner Bros' trusted Nolan who never made a film to this scope, to reboot the studios Caped Crusader after the disastrous Batman & Robin. And he did so many things right casting (Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson; the design of the Batmobile) that we can forgive the ones he did wrong (Katie Holms, the Batvoice). That Warner is even in the comic book movie game is this guy's fault.

22. Ant-Man (2015)

Not every Marvel needs to be about the end of the world, despite well, the plots of every other Marvel movie. This heist-comedy flicks at global security threats in such a way that you don't even think the filmmakers buy it-but it doesn't matter. Director Peyton Reed (picking up where Edgar Wright left off gives us a human-sized story about a speck-sized hero, (Paul Rudd, charming the hell out of everything) who just wants to be a better man. Even if that includes grand larceny.


21. X-Men (2000)

And one in the game at all can be traced back to Bryan Singer's X-Men, which took Marvels mutants incredibly serious as both drama and metaphor. And is you look deep into the credits, you'll see Kevin Feige-Marvel's Cinematic Universe mastermind-listed as associate producer.


20. Thor (2011)

Sure Chris Hemsworth arms do a quite a bit of heavy lifting, but Thor works because the center conflict is so clear: Two immature brothers competing for their father's love. One has a hammer.


19. Big Hero 6 (2014)

All the derring-do of Marvel meets the heart-and the first-act tragedy-of Pixar

18. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

The highs are a bit higher than in the first film, but the lows are a bit lower. (Hawkeye's Farm Interlude?) More than that, though, this is just suffering from just being a sequel-so much of what made the first film work was the sheer improbability of it existing in the first place. As the old saying goes, how do you keep them on the farm after they've seen Paris.

17. The Rocketeer (1991)

So sweet and aw-shucks earnest it could almost give you cavities, The Rocketeer-about a barnstorming pilot who finds a secret government jetpack is also the rip-roaring kind of adventure that they don't make anymore.


16. X-Men: First Class (2011)

Realizing that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were a little too long in the tooth to play Professor X and Magneto as action stars-and Hugh Jack couldn't get into that kind of shape forever-Fox decided to flash back to their formative years. The casting was spot on-catching Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence as their were on the rise-and juxtaposing mutant rights with Civil Rights was super-smart.


  • Maximus Rex
    Maximus Rex Pulchritudo in Conspectu Regis The EmpreyanMembers Posts: 6,355 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015

    15. Chronicle (2012)

    Wanna see how someone becomes a supervillain? Boom. Josh Trank's out of nowhere hit is also one of the few movies to make the found-footage conceit work in its favor, and not just feel like a gimmick.


    14. Spider-Man (2002)

    As with been told time and time again, with great power comes great responsibility. But there should also be some fun-and that's what Sam Raimi's take on Marvel's biggest hero delivered. Swinging through Manhattan has to be a stone-cold blast.


    13. Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014)

    If you're gonna to take a comic book flick that's also a '70sesque political thriller, you could do far worse than put Robert Redford at the center of it. The end gets too shooty-shooty-punchy-explodey, but there are some smart reveals and terrific character moves along the way.


    12. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

    Remember when we said that no other movie looks like a Guillermo del Toro movie? This is the most Guillermo del Toro-est movie ever. The man's imagination is an international treasure.


    11. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

    There is not a whiff of irony anywhere near this movie-and coming after Iron Man, which used irony and sarcasm like a cologne, that's saying something and given this is the story of a man who is chosen to be America's super-soldier because he's unfailing good, straight is the only way to play it.


    10. Superman II (1980)

    Like the Stones said, you can't always get what you want (giving up your powers to live a life with Lois Lane), but if you try sometimes, you'll find, you get what you need (your powers back and to beat the 🤬 out of General Zod).

    9. X2: X-Men United (2003)

    Bryan Singer really stepped his game up with this sequel: his tentative handling of action in X-Men gave way to sure confidence. The metaphors at the center of the X-Men-mutants are social outcasts are a proxy for whichever marginalized group you prefer-were sharper. And there was an operatic tragedy at work, sadly, wouldn't get paid off.


    8. The Avengers (2012)

    Lots of people have pointed out the various plot conveniences of Joss Whedon's box-office behemoth. (Why does Loki need Hawkeye, anyway?) Thing is, none of it mattered because The Avengers was the culmination of every comic book nerd's dream. Also, super-fun.

    7. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

    If The Avengers was super-fan, this one is super-duper fun. I still don't know what Peter Quill wants or why Ronan is called "The Accuser" or for that matter, what the movie is about. And I also don't care. Perfect synthesis of mood and humor.


    6. Iron Man (2008)

    Here's the thing about Iron Man: This film lives and dies on Robert Downey Jr's shoulders. The entire second act of the movie is just him, in his garage, building a thing. No bad guy, no conflict; just the sheer joy of watching RDJ will himself into being a movie star again.

    5. The Matrix (1999)

    The Wachowskis wanted to create a kung-fu Superman, and wouldn't you know it, they absolutely did. Pure mythic invention.

    4. Superman (1978)

    We all believed a man can fly. And, for the first time, we understood how Superman made everybody believe that he was Clark Kent, thanks to the great-granddaddy of casting master strokes, Christopher Reeve.

    3. The Dark Knight (2008)

    The first movie to understand that The Joker isn't a character as we know characters. He doesn't want anything, besides chaos. He doesn't need anything, besides the warm glow of an explosion at his back. He is the elemental trickster 🤬 , which makes him the perfect Batman villain. He's a thing that you can beat punching.

    2. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

    Nuff said.

    1. The Incredibles

    Not only did writer-director Brad Bird make the best Fantastic Four movie thus far, he also made the best James Bond movie in 20 years. All while telling a searing story of a couple in the throes of a mid-life crises, wrapped in a film ostensibly for children. This film is not just art, but high art.
  • vagrant-718
    vagrant-718 Members Posts: 4,569 ✭✭✭✭✭
    All type of 🤬 wrong with this list:
    No Blade 2
    Matrix shouldn't be on the list
    Winter Soldier way better than first Cap Movie
    Way too many xmen movies on the list
  • illestni99ainne
    illestni99ainne I let ur gal suck me off from da back and ur moms giv me cornrows on my crack cuz Im nasty like that Members Posts: 5,365 ✭✭✭✭✭
    All type of 🤬 wrong with this list:
    No Blade 2
    Matrix shouldn't be on the list
    Winter Soldier way better than first Cap Movie
    Way too many xmen movies on the list

    If you click the link its a way longer list. But yeah I agree blade 2 should be higher on the list.
  • Maximus Rex
    Maximus Rex Pulchritudo in Conspectu Regis The EmpreyanMembers Posts: 6,355 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    All type of 🤬 wrong with this list: No Blade 2

    You didn't click the link. Blade II comes in at #60.
    Matrix shouldn't be on the list

    When you think about it, they could be superheros.
    Winter Soldier way better than first Cap Movie

    That's what I'm trippin' off of. Marc Benardin isn't just some random entertainment journalist film critic dude. Dude often sits on Kevin Smith's Fatman on Batman podcast and like a lot of us, he grew up reading the source material and has intimate knowledge of it, added in his knowledge of film industry, this list is some straight up "what the 🤬 🤬 ?

    Not only is Winter Solider not in the top five, but Captain America: The First Avenger is ranked above it, along with Superman II, Superman, and X2. I can see the first two Superman movies being in the top 15 or top 25, but in the top 10? Really bruh? and no way in hell is X2 better than Winter Solider.

    Way too many xmen movies on the list

    Actually it's too many X movies in the top 25. In total there are 113 movies on the list and with the exception of the first X-Men movie, the others should be ranked lower. A glaring oversight on this list is Blade. Blade should be in the definitely in the top 25, the top 15, or the top 10 just of the strength of what the film means to the superhero movie genre. Bernardin left off those superhero serials from the '40's.
  • playmaker88
    playmaker88 Boy, I tell you that's vision Like Tony Romo when he hitting Witten Members Posts: 67,905 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The new superman >>> all the old ones looking back those 🤬 were cheesy as 🤬 .. foh with the nostalgia
  • Beta
    Beta #FastFamily Members Posts: 65,596 ✭✭✭✭✭
    list is doo doo
  • The Month of August
    The Month of August Members Posts: 42 ✭✭
    How do they have Super on the list but not Defendor?
  • iron man1
    iron man1 Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist Avengers TowerMembers Posts: 29,989 ✭✭✭✭✭
    How you have Xmen 1 and 2 on this list but, not the gawd Blade that made it all possible for there to be not only to be a successful movie but also an R rated one? 🤬 this list
  • Mister B.
    Mister B. Still the Devil's #1 Advocate. Come on out that box! Members, Writer Posts: 16,172 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This list is so flawed...

    Blade gets 🤬 on so badly. I didn't even see where the other two were.

    SM3 better than TDK? Where they do that at?

    I love the Incredibles too, but #1....nah. Top 6 sure.

    And yeah, there are waaaay too many X-Men movies in the Top 25. Why the Keaton-Nicholson Batman isn't Top 10 says 🤬 this list altogether.
  • vagrant-718
    vagrant-718 Members Posts: 4,569 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    All type of 🤬 wrong with this list:
    No Blade 2
    Matrix shouldn't be on the list
    Winter Soldier way better than first Cap Movie
    Way too many xmen movies on the list

    If you click the link its a way longer list. But yeah I agree blade 2 should be higher on the list.

    Click the link and the full list even worse

    The 2nd power ranger movie was not better than the first
    tmnt 3 was the worse turtles movie
    always felt thomas jane punisher was better than warzone
    both ghost rider movies ranked higher than they should

    but now i see the article on on playboy website, they dont know 🤬
  • usmarin3
    usmarin3 Members Posts: 38,013 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    lol at Spiderman 2

    Winter Soldier is easily top 5 and Blade 2 should be higher
  • Melanin_Enriched
    Melanin_Enriched Your favorite basketball-american gentleman Members Posts: 22,868 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Why the 🤬 is chronicle so high?
  • kingofbama205
    kingofbama205 Members Posts: 2,341 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This is some 🤬
  • bscoop
    bscoop Members Posts: 478 ✭✭✭
    No Amazing Spider-Man.....

    Toby >>>> Garfield

    Boom 🤬
  • Dave2one6
    Dave2one6 Members Posts: 1,669 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2015
    this list is out of 🤬 order.
    avengers, man.