Ranking the best superhero movies of all time
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Lot of people ranking Days of Future Past above First Class, so there must be something I'm overlooking about Days of Future Past.  One of the things I really disliked about it was how incredibly powerful they made the future Sentinels; every one of them was more powerful than almost every mutant.  I far prefer the idea from the comic that while they could trash a bunch of them, there were just so many of them that they eventually got overwhelmed.

I REALLY loved the origin stories showed in First Class.  The retro feel was fun, Kevin Bacon was great as Sebastian Shaw, the Magneto origin was fantastic (this might be part of my own bias since he's my favorite super-villain), and that ending battle with the battleships was just completely awesome.  What is it about Days of Future Past people love so much?

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11 minutes ago, fantastic_four said:

Why do you like Winter Soldier so much more than Civil War?

The espionage and action were so masterfully crafted together, along with Cap being this bigger-than-life image for someone that would give his all to protect the innocents. When he gives that speech at the SHIELD HQ about Hydra being imbedded with regular agents, it is all I ever dreamed of in seeing Captain America come to life.

 

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The two films I've agonized over the longest are Iron Man vs. Avengers.  Avengers is more consistently enjoyable throughout the film, but that first hour of Iron Man is absolutely spectacular.  It's the last hour focusing on Iron Monger that's hum-drum at best, but the whole streak of Stark getting captured, creating the suit, saving those people in that Middle Eastern village, and then fighting with the jets may be THE most enjoyable sequence in any superhero film.

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3 minutes ago, fantastic_four said:

What is it about Days of Future Past people love so much?

- One of the most solid Hugh Jackman representations of Logan/Wolverine before the final Logan movie.

- A fantastic portrayal of Quicksilver, including an incredible scene that tops anything one could have expected.

- Bishop, Blink, Warpath, Sunspot battling side-by-side against an unstoppable force, but giving their all like we see in the X-Men comics.

- Jennifer Lawrence portraying Mystique in a way she had completely pulled off yet in First Class, and lost her way in Apocalypse. Deadly, determined, and unforgiving!

The list goes on and on.

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13 minutes ago, Bosco685 said:

The espionage and action were so masterfully crafted together, along with Cap being this bigger-than-life image for someone that would give his all to protect the innocents. When he gives that speech at the SHIELD HQ about Hydra being imbedded with regular agents, it is all I ever dreamed of in seeing Captain America come to life.

 

I haven't seen it since it was in the theatre so I probably need to see it again.  I remember really enjoying it but not finding it as fun as the Civil War airport battle or as viscerally compelling as the idea of Iron Man fighting Winter Soldier for killing his father.  The whole political angle of Civil War is extremely thought-provoking, too.  I generally enjoyed Civil War in the comics, but I never understood the idea of publicly revealing every hero's secret identity.  Yes, I get the accountability they were going for, but they really need to put every friend and family member in mortal danger every moment of their lives?  Just acting like a police force that only deploys when ordered to seems enough, revealing your secret identity always seemed like a bad idea, so I was really glad when the film ditched that idea.

Edited by fantastic_four
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Oh, one other thing to note about my list--my own personal list of favorite films is very different from the one I listed, and I tried to list films in the order that I thought they were objectively best.  For example the Daredevil film is in my personal top ten, but I'm aware of how bad some parts of it are.  Doesn't matter, I love the character and I love a lot of the things Mark Steven Johnson did with the film, particularly the soundtrack which might be the best of ANY superhero film.

In the list in my original post I weighed my own opinion against critical opinions as well.  But critical opinions can often be swayed by factors that don't make something a necessarily great film, so in no way was critical acclaim my primary ranking factor.  The two best examples of this are Wonder Woman and Black Panther--both were fine films, but both got a bit more acclaim than they deserve for being a great superhero film because most critics are ho-hum on superhero films to begin with and gave a lot of problems from those two films a pass for their social significance.

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6 minutes ago, fantastic_four said:

I haven't seen it since it was in the theatre so I probably need to see it again.  I remember really enjoying it but not finding it as fun as the Civil War airport battle or as viscerally compelling as the idea of Iron Man fighting Winter Soldier for killing his father.  The whole political angle of Civil War is extremely thought-provoking, too.  I generally enjoyed Civil War in the comics, but I never understood the idea of publicly revealing every hero's secret identity.  Yes, I get the accountability they were going for, but they really need to put every friend and family member in mortal danger every moment of their lives?  Just acting like a police force that only deploys when ordered too seems enough, revealing your secret identity always seemed like a bad idea, so I was really glad when the film ditched that idea.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed Civil War.

I just felt like that magic in Winter Soldier with a limited hero cast got lost due to the screen getting packed with supers. Though I loved that ending when Cap shows up to free his Secret Avengers from their holding cells. Once again, Cap keeps his promise and is always there for those that he needs to protect.

Edited by Bosco685
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10 minutes ago, Bosco685 said:

- A fantastic portrayal of Quicksilver, including an incredible scene that tops anything one could have expected.

- Bishop, Blink, Warpath, Sunspot battling side-by-side against an unstoppable force, but giving their all like we see in the X-Men comics.

The Quicksilver sequence is one of the best in any superhero film.  A close and similar second is the Nightcrawler sequence from the opening of X2.  Both of those may be Bryan Singer's best work ever (outside of the Usual Suspects).

I get what you're saying about that Sentinel fight at the end, but I HATE that sequence.  The entire time it goes on all I can think about is how any of them could possibly do ANYTHING about those overly-powerful Sentinels.

Edited by fantastic_four
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37 minutes ago, fantastic_four said:

the Magneto origin was fantastic (this might be part of my own bias since he's my favorite super-villain)

Come to think of it this probably is my own personal bias towards First Class.  Fox had originally planned a Magneto solo film, but they eventually scrapped that, took the best ideas from the screenplay, and put them into First Class.  So the sequence with Shaw killing his mom, the plot of him learning to use his powers, him hunting Shaw down, ultimately killing Shaw and taking his signature anti-Xavier helmet from him, and then going on to form the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants probably appeals more to me than the average person who doesn't like Magneto quite as much.

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ARGH, I forgot the Matrix movies.  doh!  Those are absolutely, positively superhero films.  I liked the third film Revolutions the least, yet that Neo vs. Agent Smith fight was the best Superman fight, i.e. two invulnerable guys who can fly going at it, we had ever seen up to that point.  I'm pretty sure Matrix and Reloaded fit in somewhere in the bottom half of my list.

Reloaded reminds me of Iron Man in that it has a significant amount of really hum-drum parts, but the entire sequence from the multiple Smiths battle, through the Merovingian encounter, through the battle with the Merovingian's men, through the highway chase sequence is THE best action sequence of ANY film, EVER.  :applause:

Edited by fantastic_four
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12 minutes ago, AnthonyTheAbyss said:

Why do people keep overlooking Hellboy and the Matrix in the superhero movie discussion(shrug).  Both are visually stunning.

 

***Yes, the Matrix is a superhero movie:sumo: (or is it?).

I mentioned Hellboy and Hellboy 2.

Ohhh - you said 'people'. Not 'unhinged, deranged curmudgeons'.

:insane:

Edited by Bosco685
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24 minutes ago, Bosco685 said:

I mentioned Hellboy and Hellboy 2.

Ohhh - you said 'people'. Not 'unhinged, deranged curmudgeons'.

:insane:

I specifically ignored your list because it was "deranged"lol...

- The Incredibles at #32 is ridiculous.  That's a top 10 movie.

- A History of Violence is not a superhero movie (a better Viggo movie to replace that is Eastern Promises)

- Cudos for having the Crow on your list but that's not a top 10 movie (I'd have more respect if you put Beetlejuice or Edward Scissorhands)

 

***But :applause: for the having Hellboy on your list:bigsmile:

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5 minutes ago, AnthonyTheAbyss said:

I specifically ignored your list because it was "deranged"lol...

- The Incredibles at #32 is ridiculous.  That's a top 10 movie.

- A History of Violence is not a superhero movie (a better Viggo movie to replace that is Eastern Promises)

- Cudos for having the Crow on your list but that's not a top 10 movie (I'd have more respect if you put Beetlejuice or Edward Scissorhands)

 

***But :applause: for the having Hellboy on your list:bigsmile:

A History of Violence is a comic book movie. A very strange independent (that's putting it lightly) , but still a qualifier for this list.

As far as list placement, that's the challenge with these things. Depending on when you are crafting the list, the rank shifts.

At least I had The Incredibles on there. Love that movie.

Edited by Bosco685
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23 hours ago, fantastic_four said:

I've done this on and off over the years, but in trying to decide how Black Panther rates against other films it's time to put more thought into it.  How do the best superhero films of all time stack up against each other?  I'm interested in feedback in my current ranks or seeing your own rankings.

I expect to shuffle the order beyond the top four in the near future, but for now here's where I'm at:

  1. The Dark Knight
  2. Spider-Man 2
  3. Batman Begins
  4. Logan
  5. Iron Man
  6. Avengers 
  7. Captain America: Civil War
  8. The Dark Knight Rises
  9. Black Panther
  10. X-Men: First Class
  11. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  12. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  13. Superman
  14. Thor: Ragnarok
  15. Deadpool
  16. The Incredibles
  17. Spider-Man
  18. Watchmen
  19. Wonder Woman
  20. Batman Returns
  21. Superman II
  22. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  23. Guardians of the Galaxy
  24. Batman
  25. Unbreakable

As Unbreakable exists within the same timeline/universe as Split, I would think it should be on your list of top 25.

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2 minutes ago, Diamonddave said:

As Unbreakable exists within the same timeline/universe as Split, I would think it should be on your list of top 25.

Haven't seen it yet...the two freeloaders in my sig line have sucked up most of my free time the past two years.  I wanted to watch it this past weekend but ended up with no time after seeing Black Panther.  I didn't even realize it was related to Unbreakable until a month or two ago.

Also haven't seen Guardians 2 yet (I bought the disc months ago but haven't watched it yet), but other than that I think I've seen every major superhero film.

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2 hours ago, AnthonyTheAbyss said:

***Yes, the Matrix is a superhero movie:sumo: (or is it?).

It definitely is.  You don't know it is throughout most of the film, but by the end when Neo is breaking all the barriers you realize it definitely is, right up to him zooming straight up into the sky Superman-style in the final scene.  I'm not sure where to place it yet because it never occurred to me before today to compare it to the Marvel and DC films...could go anywhere from 5 to 20.

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My Baker's Dozen!

Logan(The gold standard).

The Crow (very underated movie)
Superman Christopher Reeve 1978(there will never ever be a Superman like Reeve).


Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Dark Knight
Batman Begins
Iron Man
Captain America: Civil War
The Dark Knight Rises
Black Panther
Deadpool
Guardians of the Galaxy
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1(1990)

Edited by ComicConnoisseur
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