I have seen pretty much every superhero movie Hollywood has thrown at us, and I realized the more I saw these movies it became apparent to me which movies I would put in My Top 10. This inspired me to do a Top 10 Superhero Movies List! So, here it is folks My Top 10 Superhero Movies! Enjoy!
10. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was not a perfect movie by any means, (I’m looking at you Bane) but it did manage to wrap up Batman and Bruce Wayne’s (Christian Bale) story in a fitting way, along with taking the story full circle, allowing Bruce to hang up the cape and Bat ears for good, so he can enjoy retirement and give John Blake (Joseph Gordon Levitt) the responsibility of being the new protector of Gotham. There were some bright spots, Anne Hathaway was a pretty good Catwoman and Tom Hardy was a pretty good villain as Bane despite his ridiculous voice. Gary Oldman was fantastic as James Gordon in this, as he was in the previous two films. He is in my opinion the best Commissioner Gordon we have had on screen to date. I put this film at number 10 because I think there are better superhero movies that deserve to be higher on the list, but despite its flaws, it still is one of the best superhero movies.
9. Man of Steel (2013)
The second try at a reboot of Superman since the failed 2006 “Superman Returns,” which I happened to enjoy, divided a lot of fans. There were some who loved this new take on Superman and there were those who said “Superman isn’t supposed to be dark and brooding, this may have worked for Chris Nolan’s Batman, but it doesn’t work for Superman.” I understand both those perspectives, but I will argue that this version of Superman isn’t dark and brooding, rather the world he inhabits is dark and uncertain. There is a lot of hope in this film, we see it through a flashback when Clark is using his powers to save a bus full of classmates from drowning in a river, and when Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent) tells Clark as a teenager “…You just have to decide what kind of a man you want to grow up to be, Clark; because whoever that man is, good character or bad, he’s… He’s gonna change the world.” This shows that Clark’s adoptive father, believes Clark is destined for greatness, despite the fact people may not accept him for who he really is. The thing that this movie got right was showing how Clark (Kal-El) is for all intents and purposes a “lonely god” figure. No one understands him, except his adoptive parents Martha and Jonathan Kent and he has a hard time coming to terms with his powers. Kal-El is trying to find his place on this earth, and is an outcast in this world, because of his powers. This movie accurately shows how the world would react to discovering that a godly alien is living among them, they freak out! Fortunately, they do eventually accept him, because he protects them from Zod and his minions.
8. Spider-man 2 (2004)
I was a huge fan of Spider-man growing up, I used to have a subscription to Ultimate Spider-man when I was a freshman in high school, and when they released Spider-man, I was ecstatic and I loved it. Naturally, when I heard a sequel was in the works, I was very excited.Fortunately I was not disappointed, I thought that Alfred Molina was a great choice to play Otto Octavius (Doc Ock) and I was excited to see where they took Harry Osborn’s (James Franco) character after he sees Spider-man with his father’s dead body and believes he is responsible for his death. The film centers around Harry resenting Peter for taking pictures of Spider-man, believing him to be responsible for his father’s death, leading to Harry and Peter’s friendship becoming strained. I know a lot of people complained about Peter losing his Spider powers for a little bit of the movie, but I attributed that to him being stressed out and unable to balance his school/work/personal life with being Spider-man. This film has some great action scenes and set pieces that still look awesome now (I watched this again, about a month ago). The direction by Sam Raimi was great and the score by Danny Elfman was incredible. I have seen the two new Amazing Spider-man films, but I have not been that impressed, they just feel so rushed and some characters aren’t fleshed out enough and I feel like Marc Webb and Sony need to learn from their mistakes, to make a better Spider-man film.
7. The Avengers (2012)
The Joss Whedon directed Marvel superhero team up film was a box office success and pleased a lot of Marvel fans and superhero movie fans. This movie was so great because it embraced the fact of how ridiculous it was that a super soldier (Chris Evans), a scientist who turns into a big green monster (Mark Ruffalo), a billionaire who uses an armored suit to fight bad guys (Robert Downey Jr.), two assassins, one who is a skilled martial artist and weapons expert (Scarlett Johansson) and one who is skilled with a bow and arrow (Jeremy Renner) and a demigod who controls thunder (Chris Hemsworth) would team up to stop another demigod Loki (Tom Hiddleston). These superheroes are a group of misfits who somehow manage after squabbling with each other to work as a cohesive unit that is pretty formidable. Joss Whedon from his experience working in TV with “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” and “Firefly” is very good at dealing with multiple characters and making them relevant to the overall story. In this film universe I understood why two assassins would be helpful against an alien invasion led by a vengeful demigod, Loki. Everyone had their own skills and abilities to bring to the table. The Avengers was just so damn entertaining for a superhero film because the action was great and most of the characters were already introduced and fleshed out in their own solo films. Seeing how good this film was makes me very excited for “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
The second Marvel film about the super soldier superhero Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, was one of the most anticipated movies of the 2014 summer movie season. The film sees the return of Chris Evans as the iconic superhero, and at this point he owns the role, he IS Captain America. Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson also return as S.H.I.E.L.D. director, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Natasha Romanov (Black Widow) respectively. The film introduces Robert Redford (Alexander Pierce ) and Anthony Mackie (Falcon) and they are welcome additions to the Marvel film universe. The film takes place after the events of “The Avengers,” and S.H.I.E.L.D. and the rest of the world is dealing with the aftermath of the events of “The Battle of New York.” Chris Evans is fantastic as Captain America and we finally get to see a showcase of his abilities and just how badass he really is. Cap has been working with S.H.I.E.L.D. since the events of “The Avengers” and butts heads with Nick Fury over his methods of protecting Americans and the rest of the world. You can understand why Cap disagrees with Nick Fury’s methods of trying to protect everyone on Earth. Cap believes Fury is using fear to keep people safe but Fury argues that things have changed since “New York,” and that they need to do whatever is necessary to protect the earth from any threat. The film is great at showing the different sides of patriotism, and how Cap represents the idealism of America, believing in truth, justice, honor and the American way. There is a lot of symbolism in this film and it’s great to see a film showing the consequences of blindly trusting or following someone, or some idea. The Winter Soldier isn’t your typical superhero film, it’s more of a spy thriller akin to “The Bourne Identity,” which just happens to have a superhero (Captain America) in it. Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford all give great performances in this movie. Henry Jackman provides the score for the movie, and it is awesome. Jackman’s music really captures the mood of the film and it keeps you engaged while watching the movie. The Russo brothers directed this film, and apparently they had never directed an action film before making this movie. I was astounded when I heard this because the action scenes are so well shot and choreographed. Bring on Captain America 3.
5. Iron Man (2008)
The movie that put Marvel on the map, starring Robert Downey Junior as Tony Stark, an arms dealer who decides to create an armored and weaponized suit to destroy his own company’s weapons when he discovers they are being sold overseas to terrorists. Robert Downey Junior was perfectly cast as Tony Stark, he has the charm, appeal, attitude, and comedic timing to play this iconic character turned superhero. Jeff Bridges was well cast as Obadiah Stane, Stark’s second in command, and the main villain of the film. Terrance Howard is great as Lt. Colonel James Rhodes, Tony’s best friend, and it’s unfortunate he did not get to play War Machine in the Iron Man sequel. This film had great action, a great story and great characters, putting it at number 5 in my top ten list.
4. Batman Begins (2005)
The Christopher Nolan reboot, saw Christian Bale take on the role of Bruce Wayne (Batman) in Batman Begins. Christian Bale does a great job at playing this character who years after his parents were murdered in a robbery is trying figure out what his purpose is and what to do with his life. We finally get to see how Bruce Wayne BECOMES Batman. He spends several years abroad and ends up in a prison in Bhutan. He is visited in prison and recruited by Liam Neeson (Henri Ducard) who believes he can offer him the answer to what he seeks. Henri trains Bruce to embrace and conquer his fear (bats) and learn to use his surroundings and theatricality and deception through the use of smoke powder and other methods to stop criminals. Ducard tries to induct Bruce into The League of Shadows, an organization designed to deal out justice and whose ultimate plan is to destroy Gotham city, which has become corrupt and is beyond saving. The film has a great cast, including Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow, Gary Oldman as Sgt. James Gordon, Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard/Ra’s Al Ghul, and Tom Wilkinson as Carmine Falcone. Hans Zimmer provides the score for the film, and it is just magnificent. This film is a great origin story for Batman, and we finally get to see Bruce Wayne become Batman and get an understanding of why he becomes Batman.
3. X-Men First Class (2011)
This semi-reboot of the X-Men film franchise is directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kickass). The film takes place in 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis and centers around the relationship between a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) , who is a very powerful telepath and a young Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender), who has the ability to control metal and how they became enemies, Charles later forming The X-Men and Erik later forming The Brotherhood of Mutants. Charles, Raven (Mystique) and Erik join a secret division of the CIA and meet Hank McCoy (Beast) a young man with a genius level intellect who also has abnormally large feet and amazing agility. Charles and Erik use a machine designed by Hank to locate mutants to recruit and train to stop Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), a mutant who has the ability to absorb energy. Shaw plans on starting a nuclear war between Russia and The U.S. wiping out all of mankind, leaving only the mutants to rule the planet. There is a subplot of Shaw being responsible for killing Erik’s mother during World War II, so Erik Lensherr wants to exact revenge and plans to kill Shaw. First Class has an engaging story, a fantastic cast, including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Nicholas Hoult, and Jennifer Lawrence, and a fantastic score by Henry Jackman. X-Men First Class is a great origin story for The X-Men, and a great explanation for the circumstances of how and why Charles and Erik became enemies. Simply put, they have their own philosophical views on humanity. Charles believes mutants and humans can co-exist, while Erik believes mutants are the next stage in evolution and that humans will try to kill them because they will never accept them. X-Men First Class is a great superhero film and that’s why I have decided to put it at number 3 on my top ten list. Even Irish Magneto couldn’t ruin this film.
2. X-Men Days of Future Past (2014)
Bryan Singer returns to the director’s chair, to film a movie that brings the casts from X-Men and X-Men First Class together in an amazing time travel tale. Taking place during two different timelines, 2023, a dystopian future where mutants are hunted by robots called sentinels, and 1973, where the scientist, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) responsible for creating the sentinels is trying to convince Congress that the United States needs to stop the mutants with his sentinel program. Luckily, the film does not have trouble balancing the two timelines and some characters get limited screen time as a result. Days of Future Past sees the return of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier/Professor X, Ian McKellan as Erik Lensherr/Magneto, Halle Berry as Storm, Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat, Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake/Iceman, James McAvoy as a young Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as a young Magneto, Nicholas Hoult as a young Hank McCoy/Beast, and Jennifer Lawrence as a young Mystique. Peter Dinklage joins the cast as Bolivar Trask, and Evan Peters joins the cast as Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver, who both give great performances. Bryan Singer does an incredible job directing in his return to the popular X-Men franchise. There are some great action scenes, comedic scenes, and some touching character scenes. John Ottman returns to score the film and he does a good enough job, but I do miss Henry Jackman, his score for First Class was unbelievable. X-Men Days of Future Past is a fantastic superhero film, that deserves to be compared to The Avengers, The Winter Soldier and The Dark Knight, and that’s why I put it at number 2 on my top ten list.
I really enjoyed X-Men Days of Future Past, but I couldn’t put it at number one, that spot is reserved for none other than…
1. The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan returns to direct the second film in his Batman trilogy, in arguably the best superhero movie ever made. Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne/Batman and gives a great performance and this time he has to go up against The Joker (Heath Ledger), a terrorist who just wants to cause chaos. Ledger just disappears into this role and really steals the movie, sorry Christian. Gary Oldman returns as Lt. Gordon and eventually becomes Commissioner Gordon, and he just nails it, he is such an amazing actor. Along with Heath Ledger as The Joker, we have Aaron Ekhart as DA Harvey Dent/Two Face, and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, and all of them give great performances. Hans Zimmer returns to score the film and he does not disappoint, he does an amazing job scoring this film. The film has some very famous scenes, the bank robbery scene comes to mind, which is such a great way to open the film. *SPOILER WARNING*, the ending with Batman choosing to take the blame for Harvey/Two Face’s death and become a fugitive is another great scene. The Dark Knight just set the bar very high for the standard of superhero films and that’s why I believe it deserves the number one spot in my top ten list. What say you? Do you agree with my list? Do you disagree with my list? What are your top 10 favorite superhero films? Let me know in the comments.