Top 10: Best Superhero Movies

Logan, the supposed last effort by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, has been in theaters long enough for many moviegoers to see.  Not surprisingly, the film has received almost universal praise from both critics and fans.  With that in mind, here’s a look at the best superhero movies to ever come to the big screen.  There is a SPOILER ALERT in effect so tread lightly.  Without further ado, here are some honorable mentions:

Honorable Mentions

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Although there are some plot holes in the third movie of the Dark Knight Trilogy (such as how Batman got back to Gotham in time to stop the time bomb), The Dark Knight Rises is full of the well-written and memorable characters we’ve come to know from Christopher Nolan movies.  Tom Hardy gives a memorable performance as Bane while Nolan gives the back-breaker the intelligence and back story to fit in perfectly to the realistic and grounded feel of the Dark Knight Trilogy.  The film is full of great set pieces including the destruction of the local football stadium.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 87%

Metacritic Score: 78

MovieBabble Score: B+

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image via Google Play

Superman (1978)

The film that made superhero movies cool, Superman is filled with memorable performances, especially from Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman.  Although the reversing of time by rotating the Earth the opposite direction in order for Superman to save Lois Lane has lost its luster over time, I feel as if the ending works well in context of the rest of the film, even if the laws of physics were misrepresented.  Superman was created in a time where we did not want our superhero movies to be wrapped up in realism and and seriousness.  Above all things, Superman made us smile while bringing us the best Superman to date (Sorry Henry Cavill).

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 93%

Metacritic Score: 86

MovieBabble Score: B+

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image via ThoughtCo.com

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

A movie that improves upon the original in almost every way, Spider-Man 2 takes the web-slinger to a whole new level.  However, what really takes this movie to the top is Alfred Molina’s portrayal of Doc Ock.  Doc Ock is the rare villain that you can sympathize with as he continues to terrorize the city.  The film is also full of great action set pieces (most notably Spider-Man stopping the runaway train) and set a new standard for special effects.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 93%

Metacritic Score: 83

MovieBabble Score: B+

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image via Yahoo

Iron Man (2008)  

The movie that everyone needs to thank for the success of MCU, Marvel Studios took a chance casting Robert Downey Jr. as the title  character and it paid off in spades.  The origin of Iron Man is so compelling and plays really well in the post-Iraq War hysteria of 2008.  Despite having robots fighting throughout the Los Angeles area, Iron Man finds a way to feel grounded and, above all, very fun with RDJ quipping with the best of them.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 94%

Metacritic Score: 79

MovieBabble Score: B+

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image via YouTube

X-Men: First Class (2011)

The X-Men franchise was practically dead after X-Men: The Last Stand came out in 2006.  However, with impeccable casting of James McAvoy as Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr, the X-Men franchise came roaring back to life with a fun twist on the Cuban Missile Crisis and is packed with raw emotion, most notably from Erik Lensherr/Magneto as we see his beginnings in a Nazi concentration camp and (my personal favorite scene) as he turns a satellite as he’s full of emotion after Charles helps him to remember a beautiful moment from his childhood.  X-Men: First Class is emotional, fun, and action packed.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 86%

Metacritic Score: 65

MovieBabble Score: A-

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image via Hero Complex

Now that we’ve covered the best of the rest, here’s the 10 best superhero movies of all time:

#10: Batman (1989) 

1989’s Batman could be the first the first incarnation of “fanboy hysteria” as it was the most anticipated comic book movie yet at the time.  Tim Burton’s signature directing style (which has definitely wavered recently) is a perfect match for Batman’s dark nature and is a welcomed change of pace from the campy Adam West Batman series.  Jack Nicholson was also the perfect casting for the Joker and truly shines, giving the film an extra bite that truly makes it iconic.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 72%

Metacritic Score: 69

MovieBabble Score: A-

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image via Batman Wiki

#9: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

No one had any idea what the hell Guardians of the Galaxy was before the movie came out in 2014.  But James Gunn along with the undeniable fun cast led by Chris Pratt brought enough heart and humor to make Guardians of the Galaxy an instant hit.  While the movie does suffer from a typical lack-luster MCU villain in Ronan, the Guardians themselves are so magnetic and hilarious that you as the viewer could care less.  Plus, the film that made Chris Pratt a leading man in Hollywood should most certainly be thanked.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 91%

Metacritic Score: 76

MovieBabble Score: A-

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image via MCU Wiki

#8: Batman Begins (2005)

After the disasters that were the Joel Schumacher directed Batman movies (Batman Forever, Batman and Robin), Christopher Nolan directed the next attempt at the Dark Knight, bringing it back to its grounded, gritty roots.  With Christian Bale as the caped crusader, Batman Begins ditches the campy tone of previous movies and gives audiences the best origin story of one of the most famous comic book characters ever, including the best portrayal of Bruce’s parents’ death.  Although it takes approximately an hour for the actual character of Batman to show up, you as the viewer are completely sucked into the development of Bruce Wayne as a character.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 84%

Metacritic Score: 70

MovieBabble Score: A-

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image via Forbes

#7: The Incredibles (2004)

Easily the best Fantastic Four movie to ever be brought to film, The Incredibles is also easily one of the best Pixar movies and it is a crime that it will take until 2018 for there to be a sequel.  While the film is definitely the most violent Pixar film to date, it keeps its charm by being super fun and witty.  Each member of the family is given a chance to shine and be memorable.  Brad Bird does a fantastic job directed the film and took animation to new heights.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 97%

Metacritic Score: 90

MovieBabble Score: A-

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image via Rotoscopers

#6: Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) 

This is the film that has every major studio rushing to create an extended cinematic universe.  While the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still very profitable, many were still skeptical that a massive team-up movie of superheroes could be done well.  The Avengers does an incredible job of making every character feel important while also not feeling jumbled and messy (a trait that the DC Extended Universe is still solving).  The Avengers is undeniably fun and utilizes the best villain Marvel has used to date in Loki.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 92%

Metacritic Score: 69

MovieBabble Score: A

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image via Collider

#5: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Civil War does an even better job of making every character shine than the Avengers with practically double the characters involved.  The movie does a great job of basically being an Avengers movie but feeling predominantly a Captain America story.  Civil War has arguably the best action scene ever with the airport scene while also having a ton of emotion.  Each hero involved is most definitely going for blood and you can really feel the anger in each character.  Unlike Batman V Superman (which has striking similarities to this film), Civil War tackles mature themes while also keeping some levity and fun involved.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 90%

Metacritic Score: 75

MovieBabble Score: A

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image via Den of Geek

 

#4: Deadpool (2016)

This may come as somewhat of a surprise to some, but Deadpool uses its hard R-rating to its benefit and makes fun of every superhero trope along the way.  Some actors were born to be a character, and Ryan Reynolds was undoubtedly born to play Deadpool.  He had worked so hard on this project for over a decade and we finally saw it pay off and become the highest grossing R-rated movie of all-time.  Deadpool is hysterical, cracking dick jokes and fourth wall breaking quips for the entirety of its run time in the most stylized of manners.  Deadpool holds nothing back and is one of the best examples of letting creativity run wild, a trait that is certainly missing in many of today’s superhero movies.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 84%

Metacritic Score: 65

MovieBabble Score: A+

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image via Forbes

#3: Logan (2017)

Upon more repeat viewings, Logan may find itself at the top of this list before all is said and done.  Logan acts more like an indie character drama that just so happens to have superheroes in it.  Each character (especially Logan himself) has clear motivations and a great character arc, leading to possibly the most emotional final act of a superhero movie to date, led primarily by the tears that come with X-23 comforting a dying Logan.  Patrick Stewart is out of control as Charles Xavier, giving an unbelievable final performance in a supporting role.  Director James Mangold deserves a ton of credit for creating such a different superhero movie that may spur change to the genre as a whole.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 92%

Metacritic Score: 77

MovieBabble Score: A+

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image via IndieWire

*To read my full review of Logan, please click here.

#2: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) 

One thing I’ve always admired about the MCU was how every movie, while having a distinct Marvel tone, is a different genre.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier is as much a spy thriller as it is a superhero movie and is a stark contrast from the retro prestige film that was Captain America: The First Avenger.  It also has some of the best villains that Marvel has brought to screen to date in both The Winter Soldier and Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce.  The Russo Brothers directed this movie to perfection, creating memorable action sequences such as Cap fighting multiple people inside an elevator as well as the opening set piece on a ship while showcasing some amazing hand-to-hand combat.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 89%

Metacritic Score: 70

MovieBabble Score: A+

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image via Collider

#1: The Dark Knight (2008)  

No surprise here.  The Dark Knight obviously contains the award-winning performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker which has been discussed like crazy.  But The Dark Knight succeeds also as a crime drama.  Christopher Nolan perfectly captures the essence of Batman in this film while creating iconic scene after iconic scene.  The Dark Knight is one of the best studies of the goodness of humanity and is not afraid to tackle other heady themes.  It explores all these ideas while also having a bad-ass superhero which is why The Dark Knight transcends the superhero genre and is great when studying it solely from a classic film perspective.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 94%

Metacritic Score: 82

MovieBabble Score: A+

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image via MovieWeb

That’s the list! Thanks so much for reading!  What did you think of the list? Are there any movies that you think I missed or were too high or too low?  Comment and let me know what you think!

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to like, share, and subscribe.

What movie topic should I discuss next?  Whether it’s old or new, the choice is up to you!

Nick Kush

A current college, Nick founded MovieBabble in October of 2016 in order to grow his own movie knowledge as well as share his thoughts with others in a streamlined fashion. As MovieBabble continues to grow, Nick hopes to one day become a reputable critic that many turn to first for a quality movie review.

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11 Responses

  1. chattykerry says:

    Thank you for following my blog – really looking forward to watching Dr, Strange. Love the cast list.
    I think you need to do a sci-fi review of recent movies just for me and the other geeks! 😆

  2. Strangely enough, none of the Hulk movies made it to your list. Can’t imagine why. . .

  3. Awesome list. Glad to see some love for Dark Knight Rises too. It seems like that movie is cool to hate on these days. Just because there are some holes doesn’t make it bad. I personally feel it’s a fantastic and emotional caper for Nolan’s trilogy. We don’t get to see that kind of finality to things that often anymore.

    First Class is a nice pick. I think if I made a list like this, Days of Future Past and X2 would probably appear in my Top 10 as well.

    Love your blog! Thanks for the follow. Can’t wait to read more from you!

  4. Great list I think most of these are great movies. I personally hate Dark Knight Rises not only because of it’s flaws but because of how bad it is as a follow up to The Dark Knight. I love First Class but I feel that DOFP is a more enjoyable movie. I actually think if I made this list I would have Batman Begins as my number 1. I think the movie is brilliant. Love the Incredibles too. Great work with the Rankings

    • MovieBabble says:

      Thanks so much! I think Dark Knight Rises gets a bad wrap because of sky high expectation after the Dark Knight. It’s perfectly enjoyable in its own right if you ask me!

      • I personally feel as though it was just poorly made with a story that had too many holes in it. I am also not a fan of how TDK ends either. I think the movie is great but the final scene set up something that does not make sense. I could probably write my thesis on why I do not hold the movies in as high regard as everyone else. Though the internet may try and kill me for that haha

      • MovieBabble says:

        Hahaha very true!

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