With the release of Iron Man 3 this weekend and The Wolverine and Man of Steel both later this summer, I thought I would make a list of my top ten favorite superhero films. This was actually a lot harder than I expected because of all of the sequels and such, it was really hard to find an order that I felt good about it! There are still some superhero films that I should probably see (Watchmen and Kick-Ass to name a couple) if you’re wondering why something isn’t on here. Anyways, here it is, and go ahead and tell me what your favorite superhero film is in the comments below!
10. Spider-Man (2002)
Director: Sam Raimi
After The Amazing Spider-Man came out last summer, I wanted to completely erase Raimi’s trilogy from my mind. However, I shouldn’t judge the whole trilogy off of the third movie. The first two were actually good movies and I put the first one on this list because it really kicked off the idea of the modern superhero. Although Tobey Maguire is definitely not one of my favorite actors and he probably wasn’t best suited for the role of Peter Parker, I still really liked these movies. It was one of the first actual superhero movies I remember watching and I gotta give it credit for kindling my superhero obsession!
9. Iron Man (2008)
Director: Jon Favreau
I have to be honest, Iron Man isn’t one of my favorite superheros. I don’t know why, I can’t really put my finger on it, but I gotta admit this was a good movie and Robert Downey Jr. is perfect for this role. He is pretty much the reason that Iron Man is on this list. Well, that, and the fact that he is one of the Avengers. I don’t know, don’t shoot me, I just never got into the Iron Man craze! I’m still willing to acknowledge that this was a great superhero movie though.
8. Thor (2011)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
This was just a really cool movie. I really liked the balance of the Norse world combined with the modern world along with Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Awesome casting again by Marvel. The lovely Natalie Portman always elevates my opinion of a movie also. This movie just proves that Thor can be awesome on his own and doesn’t need to stand by the other Avengers for support. I walked away from this movie a huge fan of Thor whereas before I was indifferent to the character
7. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Director: Joe Johnston
Captain America is probably my favorite superhero, and this movie was my favorite Marvel film next to The Avengers. It might have to do with the time period it takes place in because I just love the look of the 1940’s in film. Steve Rogers is just such a badass to me, not just because he loves fighting Nazis, but because he was so desperate to make a difference even when he didn’t have the muscle to. He already had the mindset of a superhero before he was made into one. I love this movie and it got me really pumped for the release of The Avengers the following May and I’m even more pumped for the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier next year.
6. The Incredibles (2004)
Director: Brad Bird
It’s the only movie on this list to not be derived from a comic book, and it’s probably one of my favorite Pixar films! That’s saying a lot because Pixar is really good at churning out awesome kids movies. The characters are great, the story is great, the script is great. This movie just proved that a superhero can be animated and still be just as awesome as a live-action one. It was a really quirky and fun take on the superhero genre and one that has remained among my favorites almost ten years later.
5. Batman Begins (2005)
Director: Christopher Nolan
All three of Nolan’s Batman films made it into the top five here, with Batman Begins ranking lowest out of them not because it was the “worst” one of them, but because choosing a favorite out of the three is like asking a parent which of their children is their favorite. It was super hard to choose an order and this one ranked just slightly lower because it was really the foundation of the other two. It’s super important because of course it tells us the origins of Batman and who Bruce Wayne is and of course, it’s setting us up for the other two films which are even more awesome as they get into the thick of the story.
4. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Director: Marc Webb
To me this movie went above and beyond Raimi’s trilogy and was just better in so many ways. For one, Andrew Garfield made a great Peter Parker and really fit who the comic book character really is. There was also just the perfect amount of humor thrown in to keeps things fun and light-hearted all while providing plenty of action. The appearance of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy was also perfect to me and the chemistry between her and Garfield was very well played. With promises to stay truer to the comics then the other Spider-Man movies, this movie has made me very excited for the sequels to come and also the appearance of Spider-Man in the next Avengers movie!
3. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Director: Christopher Nolan
Nolan did an awesome job in all three movies of not just making a great Batman movie, but making a great movie in general. From the acting to the script to the cinematography, all three of the movies in his Batman trilogy can stand alone and still be an awesome film. That’s really what sets Nolan’s films apart from the other movies on this list. The Dark Knight Rises was an epic ending to the trilogy and really did a good job of bringing all elements of the story together in creating a satisfying finale that does just what it’s supposed to; conclude the story. Of course I was sad to see it come to an end, but happy that it was done with such style and was able to live up to the hype of the whole series.
2. The Avengers (2012)
Director: Joss Whedon
Second on my list, The Avengers was awesome in so many ways, but mainly because it showed us that anything is possible in the superhero world, and that includes bringing together different heroes from different worlds. All of the actors do an amazing job bringing their characters to life and making us believe the relationships between them, which would have been very tricky to do when you make a giant cross-over film. Nothing short of action-packed, we become enthralled in this fantasy world that Whedon has given us. I mean, what’s better than a film about a superhero? A film about six superheros, of course!
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
Director: Christopher Nolan
The Dark Knight takes the top spot for best superhero movie for me because as I said before, Nolan’s gift is being able to create not just an awesome superhero movie, but a great film as well. It was also my favorite of the trilogy for one reason….Heath Ledger. No one can argue that his performance as the Joker was pure brilliance. He is easily probably my favorite villain in any movie because he was just so bone-chillingly evil, showing us that “some men just want to watch the world burn”. The story is awesome, putting us smack dab in the bleakness of Gotham City and really revealed to us just how dark a superhero movie can get. Nolan went beyond the boundaries that had been set by others to create, in my opinion, the best superhero movie to date.