Comic book superhero movies have exploded recently, bridging the gap between comic book geeks and the popular girls at the cool table. Nothing is better than an epic superhero knocking some villains around. However, not all of the movies are super. They wind up being just masked trailers portraying exciting films. But when the masks are taken off, the unimpressive and unimaginative films are left in the dust. Here is a list of the ten best and ten worst superhero movies of all time.
10. Kick Ass (2010)
Kick Ass, well, kicked major ass. This was the superhero movie based on a comic book that not many people knew about beforehand. The story is actually based on a comic book fan that becomes a real-life superhero–sans the actual super powers. Stories like this were only read about on the Internet before the movie was made, which made the concept relatively new to many viewers. With this storyline, writers had the potential to go one of two ways; either make it a comedy or a true story of heroism and overcoming adversity. The writers took the heroism route which created a large fan base for the film. Here’s something you probably did not know–the film was co-produced by Matthew Vaughn and Brad Pitt.
9. The Incredibles (2004)
The Incredibles was touted as the best film of 2004 by many critics and received two well-deserved Academy Awards. The movie focused on a family of super-powered heroes that were suppressed in real society and unable to publically use their powers by law. However, as the father of this family, Bob, begins to secretly get re-involved with the superhero life, he encounters danger, which requires his super family to attempt a rescue mission. Pixar really created a gem, with this one.
8. Iron Man (2008)
Tony Stark made his big screen debut in 2008 and surprised critics by ranking number one at the box office for its opening weekend, grossing more than $98 million dollars. The movie was well polished and Robert Downey Jr. gave a noteworthy performance in the film. The movie was very well received, still retaining an average of 91 out of a 100 as voted by over 850,000 on Rotten Tomatoes.
7. Superman The Movie (1978)
This 1978 gem delves into the origin of Superman (origin superhero movies for the win!). The only thing keeping this movie at #7 instead of higher on this list is the limitation of special effects available at the time. Don’t get me wrong; the movie was the best of its time period at creating impressive visual sequences. But, those sequences have since been demolished in today’s digital world, making them less impressive nowadays. Big names such as Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, and Christopher Reeve play their roles well in the movie, with Christopher Reeve portraying a role that would later define his career, as well as Clark Kent’s.
6. Batman (1989)
While Tim Burton’s masterpiece is inferior to the Christopher Nolan trilogy, the 1989 portrayal of Batman is still noteworthy and well deserves a place in the top 10. Jack Nicholson portrayed a more mischevious and playfully dangerous side of the Joker, while Michael Keaton did more than hold his own as Batman. It was truly a “duel of the freaks.”
5. The Avengers (2012)
Scarlett Johansson in a skin tight suit…Avengers, unite! The film was the fastest film ever to gross $1 billion dollars at the box office. If you were like me, you were very skeptical of this movie from day one, due to the hardships created from squeezing too many superheroes into one film. However, Marvel did an unbelievable job bringing this film together in a way that pleasantly avoided cheesy cliché. Action sequences and special effects in this film were particularly impressive.
4. Batman Begins (2005)
The origin and creation of Batman as we know it today. This is the film that started the Batman craze that we see now. In Christian Bale’s first portrayal of Batman, he captures the darker and realistic tone that Christopher Nolan intended for the film. The epic feel was also majorly attributed to the score of the film, which was composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.
3. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 2 is THE Spider-man movie to see. While I do think directors should have found a better leading lady than Kirsten Dunst, they did hit the nail on the head by casting Tobey Maguire as Spidey. Maguire did a great job reprising his Spider-man role in this second installment. Also, this film won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
2. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Christopher Nolan’s third and final installment of his Batman trilogy left viewers in awe and hoping for more. The film follows a Batman vs. Bane storyline, and shows the faking of Batman’s death in a noble and respectable way. The film also paves the way for Joseph Gordon-Levitt to portray Robin as John Blake, as he is the one who has inherited the Batcave.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
There are four Batman movies on this list for a reason; Batman is the most humanistic portrayal of a superhero, which is what viewers want to see. The film is a classic Batman versus the Joker storyline. With Heath Ledger’s last living performance, he portrayed the Joker in a way that no other actor has been able to do so. The Joker was portrayed as a psychotic and chaotic character, as opposed to his usual clown show portrayal. The film is THE best Batman movie ever made.
The Ten Worst Superhero films of all Time
10. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
The biggest mistake of the Fantastic Four movies were the casting choices. Chris Evans is a terrible actor, at best. Jessica Alba is only eye-candy and has no impressive acting performances to my knowledge. Ioan Gruffudd reminds me too much of Marc Anthony (Google it). When 3 of the 4 are not so fantastic, maybe this film was pre-ordained to be a poor film.
9. Hulk (2003)
Easily the worst Hulk movie and casting choice, ever made. Eric Bana’s portrayal of the green monster is unimpressive, to say the least. The film was boring and uneventful. No thank you, giant green guy, I’ll take the reboot over this.
8. Elektra (2005)
Again, it all comes down to casting. Coming fresh off of 2004’s 13 Going On 30, Jennifer Garner should not have been even considered for this role. Don’t get me wrong; Jennifer Garner as a good actress. However, she doesn’t fit the part–she’s too nice and not really the type of Elektra 15 year old boys had pictured in their minds.
7. Catwoman (2004)
Halle Berry in a skin tight Catwoman suit had the makings of every comic book fan’s dreams. However, the Catwoman suit was the only memorable thing about this film. Catwoman was supposed to be a sexy, strong, flirtatious and mysterious character. Halle Berry only nailed one of those attributes.
6. Captain America (1990)
The 1990 attempt to bring Captain America to the big screen currently holds a 3.0/10 rating from over 6000 users on imdb.com….OUCH! B-movie actor and awful costume design for the Red Skull…No, Thank You.
5. X-men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
The movie had the potential to be so much more than it was. The best way to describe this movie is lackluster. While there was nothing truly wrong with the film or the actors in it, it just failed to impress.
4. The Punisher: War Zone (2008)
While I thought the original reboot of The Punisher with Tom Jane and John Travolta was awesomely done, this movie felt like it was just there to try and reap the money from the comic book craze. Ray Stevenson, who has a recurring role on this season’s Dexter, should be ashamed of this project.
3. Fantastic Four (2005)
The first attempt to bring the Fab 4 to the big screen was just as bad as the sequel, so why is it number 3 on my bad list? Because–it was the basis of disappointment for the sequel, yet they literally changed none of the formula. Same actors, same bad acting, same cheesiness. Just , overall, bad.
2. The Green Lantern (2011)
Ryan Reynolds should have stayed with the Van Wilder series, although this movie was so laughable it was almost like a Van Wilder sequel. It was corny, cheesy, boring,and I was wondering if I should walk out of the theatre or endure the pain (Full disclosure: I walked out).
1. Batman & Robin (1997)
No surprise here-the worst superhero movie of all time is clearly Batman & Robin. This is an embarrassment of a movie. George Clooney…as Batman?? WHAT??? Arnold Schwarzenegger…as Mr. Freeze?? WHAT??? Uma Thurman was the only actor onboard who actually possessed any talent and it showed in her performance. But, Poison Ivy wasn’t enough to keep the movie off this list and the movie will forever remain the worst Batman movie of all time.
Agree? Disagree? Want to add movies of your own? Hit us in the Comments section!