Ranking the best superhero movies of all time
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129 posts in this topic

On 12/20/2021 at 12:33 PM, fantastic_four said:

If you can't already tell I do that there's nothing really to discuss.  (shrug)  Which is generally true with you, anyway, given your penchant for ad hominems.

:roflmao:

Yes. I am so biased I can't help but watch all these comic book and other films. Never do I base it on the quality of a production. You nailed it!

:shiftyeyes:

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On 12/20/2021 at 9:47 PM, Bosco685 said:

I disagree!

You need to take into consideration all the time finally applied to Cyborg, Barry and even in the case of Ryan Choi (The Atom) with the brief buildups. How you would say 'objectively' it was not a great superhero film unfortunately conveys your objective influences leading to such a subjective viewpoint.

But everyone has their favorites and not-so-favorites. And that is okay.

how about a poll with all the top 30 films and lets see the scores?

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On 12/20/2021 at 1:29 PM, JasonTodd69 said:

how about a poll with all the top 30 films and lets see the scores?

We have done polls in the past for films such as Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Which was interesting in itself as the louder individuals (not my opinion Mr. Ad Hominems :shy: ) that swore nobody could enjoy these movie then were adamant to ensure the votes were low. As the votes came in, 1.0's started popping up in the end.

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BvS_CGC_poll.png.1a86861c5d5b8f04aaa54951fc331561.png

Shill accounts were somewhat easy to setup at the time. Though your IP address would get you caught (some found that out).

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On 12/20/2021 at 11:39 PM, Bosco685 said:

We have done polls in the past for films such as Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Which was interesting in itself as the louder individuals (not my opinion Mr. Ad Hominems :shy: ) that swore nobody could enjoy these movie then were adamant to ensure the votes were low. As the votes came in, 1.0's started popping up in the end.

MoS_CGC_poll.png.f3eb5e5ca380d9d3e50766b20c9e2942.png

BvS_CGC_poll.png.1a86861c5d5b8f04aaa54951fc331561.png

Shill accounts were somewhat easy to setup at the time. Though your IP address would get you caught (some found that out).

damn how do these people even have this much free time that they even make shill accounts to vote for a movie. 

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On 12/20/2021 at 1:47 PM, Bosco685 said:

@JasonTodd69 you would be surprised how motivated some are to prove their favorites must be the best of the best

It got so we had multiple threads covering each of those movies with some making their threads about how bad the films were and others noting the opposite.

Which is why in this section the community tries to encourage keeping as much discussion about one film in the same thread. BVS had 5-6 threads going at the same time.

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On 12/20/2021 at 11:48 PM, Bosco685 said:

It got so we had multiple threads covering each of those movies with some making their threads about how bad the films were and others noting the opposite.

Which is why in this section the community tries to encourage keeping as much discussion about one film in the same thread. BVS had 5-6 threads going at the same time.

honestly I like bvs and watchmen. I dont know why people hate these two soo much

Edited by JasonTodd69
typo
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On 12/20/2021 at 1:55 PM, JasonTodd69 said:

honestly I like bvs and watchmen. I dont know why people hate these two soo much

Not to worry. They will post 'objectively recognized as bad' and that is then their mindset fact.

But then they fail to realize it is actually their subjective view on things, as it is very much influenced by their personal feelings and preferences.

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On 12/20/2021 at 3:45 PM, Larryw7 said:

I might be wrong, but the critics seemed to be kind to the Snyder cut of JL. I know that most fans love it, and I consider it to be one of the greatest superhero films.

They did. But with @fantastic_four proclaiming with his ad hominem proclaiming I'm known for my 'penchant for ad hominems' I didn't want to upset him further with details.

RT_ZSJL.PNG.4b63a674cad222640d040d5451009258.PNG

:shy:

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On 12/20/2021 at 3:45 PM, Larryw7 said:

I might be wrong, but the critics seemed to be kind to the Snyder cut of JL.

Relative to the previous Justice League and most DC films--absolutely.  Relative to virtually any film on my list--WELL below them.

The Suicide Squad is far better than Snyder's Justice League.  That's as a film, not in terms of content covered.  Justice League has a FAR deeper well to draw from, so I absolutely see why many if not most fans would prefer Snyder's Justice League to The Suicide Squad.  And that's particularly true if you weren't already a Snyder fanboy like me.

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On 12/20/2021 at 10:59 AM, fantastic_four said:

I last updated this in early 2019, so now that people are starting to go to theaters again it's time to work the new films into the list and give the whole thing some thought, so I've been doing that for quite a bit since I saw No Way Home on Friday.  Mostly kept it the same but worked Endgame, Joker, Far From Home, and No Way Home in.  I also moved Infinity War ahead of the 2012 Avengers film.

The new addition I feel the worst about is Joker for multiple reasons, and I suspect I could easily move it up OR down ten spots upon further analysis of the film.  One reason I'm torn on that film is that it's not exactly a superhero movie since there's no real hero anywhere in it, at least one who actively fills that role during the film.  Bruce is in it, but he's a kid.  I had a particularly hard time ranking it because I really don't like the film and have only seen it once, but I do recognize that Joaquin was amazing in it.  I almost put it in the top ten, but there's one reason I didn't--the cultural significance of the film as a portrait of mental illness is SERIOUSLY eroded by the unreliability of Joker as a narrator.  What's real in that film?  It could range from complete fantasy to pretty close to the way things happened.  All we know for sure is that Fleck definitely isn't tell the whole truth so I don't know what to believe about the details of his life, the ways he dealt with his life, or ways he suffered.

I may also adjust No Way Home's position after re-watching it and Spider-Man 2 over the coming weeks--but I doubt it.  There's nothing universal to heroism in it the way there is in Iron Man, Logan, Batman Begins, or Spider-Man 2 that I've identified yet, but maybe I'll see more after more viewings.  And it doesn't even touch Dark Knight as a masterpiece, but that's fine, NOTHING touches the perfection of that film.  I'm not totally sure No Way Home is actually better than Infinity War and could bump Infinity War above it--which is high praise for No Way Home coming from me given that I've seen Infinity War 10+ times and it's absolutely one of my favorite films--but Infinity War has more flaws than I've found so far in No Way Home, so for now I think No Way Home is better.

I gave quite a bit of thought to Black Widow, Shang-Chi, and The Suicide Squad, but I don't think any of them crack this list.  Those three DEFINITELY aren't in the top 30, but if I ever think the list below out to 40 I suspect Black Widow and The Suicide Squad would fit in the 35 to 40 range.

  1. The Dark Knight
  2. Spider-Man 2
  3. Batman Begins
  4. Logan
  5. Iron Man
  6. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  7. Avengers: Infinity War
  8. Avengers 
  9. Captain America: Civil War
  10. Avengers: Endgame
  11. Black Panther
  12. The Dark Knight Rises
  13. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  14. The Matrix
  15. Joker
  16. X-Men: First Class
  17. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  18. Superman
  19. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  20. Thor: Ragnarok
  21. Deadpool
  22. The Incredibles
  23. Spider-Man
  24. Watchmen
  25. Captain Marvel
  26. Wonder Woman
  27. Batman Returns
  28. Superman II
  29. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  30. Guardians of the Galaxy
  31. Batman
  32. The Matrix Reloaded
  33. Deadpool 2
  34. Unbreakable

 

First, Merry Christmas! I like your list, most of the first 20 I have seen, and I wouldn't argue much about how you ranked them. My comment is about Joker. I understand completely your feelings about the movie, which is the most recent watch for me, and I had pretty strong feelings about it. I did like it and I did think it was well executed, well acted, absorbing, meaning once I started I was glued to it until the end, but I understand your ambivalence about rating it. A good friend of mine liked the movie but doesn't think of it as a superhero movie, to him its a straight up portrayal of mental illness. I do consider it a superhero movie, because the overlap with the Batman world is not superficial, even if everything was finally a delusion(?), that delusion is central to building the Joker character, and he is presented as a kind of "anti-hero", he is also in his way fighting injustices, of a kind, a world full of hypocrites. I'm not sure if I am allowed spoilers here so I'll leave it at that. But the fluidity of his world, where we can't really be sure what has happened vs what he imagines has happened, etc, imo had to be baked in to the movie to make it convincing.

What I liked about Joker, same for Logan, and to me what made them compelling movies is that they took their characters seriously and that they succeeded as tragedy.  Hardest thing to do in a superhero movie, imo, is tragedy, albeit its there in some of the origin stories, Spidey and Uncle Ben, Batman and his parents, etc, but once they are superheroes, the tragic mode is usually neglected or assumed as part of the persona or guise, but rarely realized as the main dramatic vehicle. I agree with Logan in the top 5, in some ways its in a league of its own, as to me it was presented as a tragedy, and I thought it was profound. 2c

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On 12/25/2021 at 12:26 PM, crassus said:

My comment is about Joker. I understand completely your feelings about the movie, which is the most recent watch for me, and I had pretty strong feelings about it. I did like it and I did think it was well executed, well acted, absorbing, meaning once I started I was glued to it until the end, but I understand your ambivalence about rating it. A good friend of mine liked the movie but doesn't think of it as a superhero movie, to him its a straight up portrayal of mental illness. I do consider it a superhero movie, because the overlap with the Batman world is not superficial, even if everything was finally a delusion(?), that delusion is central to building the Joker character, and he is presented as a kind of "anti-hero", he is also in his way fighting injustices, of a kind, a world full of hypocrites.

On it's face, definitely.  But then there's that last scene where he's talking to the therapist in the insane asylum that makes us question whether the whole film was a lie/dream, an exaggeration of the way things happened that is partially or perhaps even fully a fiction woven by Fleck.  I left that film wondering that, and then later saw an interview with the director Todd Phillips where he confirmed that's EXACTLY what the film is.  He specifically referenced the panels below from Killing Joke as his inspiration for the film where Joker references that he can't even remember what made him who he is, so he prefers to just invent his past as he goes.

I'm completely fine with that being the story Phillips was telling, but it significantly impacts the film's message and importance.  If the whole thing is Fleck just spinning a romanticized tale of who he is then it ISN'T the compelling portrayal of mental illness we would otherwise take it as on its face.  Still an entertaining film for some, albeit not me, but nothing we should look at as an important portrayal of mental illness.  And from what I can tell most people don't even realize this, including most critics.  My girlfriend hates superhero films, but she did enjoy Joker for the same reason your friend did.  I told her about the Phillips quote about Killing Joke, showed her the panels below--and she replied "that can't be what he meant, that's dumb."  And I suspect that would be the reason many people's opinions of the film would flip if they fully realized what Phillips was doing.

7txvuqvi8qr11.jpg?auto=webp&s=ada848c279

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On 12/26/2021 at 10:14 AM, fantastic_four said:

On it's face, definitely.  But then there's that last scene where he's talking to the therapist in the insane asylum that makes us question whether the whole film was a lie/dream, an exaggeration of the way things happened that is partially or perhaps even fully a fiction woven by Fleck.  I left that film wondering that, and then later saw an interview with the director Todd Phillips where he confirmed that's EXACTLY what the film is.  He specifically referenced the panels below from Killing Joke as his inspiration for the film where Joker references that he can't even remember what made him who he is, so he prefers to just invent his past as he goes.

I'm completely fine with that being the story Phillips was telling, but it significantly impacts the film's message and importance.  If the whole thing is Fleck just spinning a romanticized tale of who he is then it ISN'T the compelling portrayal of mental illness we would otherwise take it as on its face.  Still an entertaining film for some, albeit not me, but nothing we should look at as an important portrayal of mental illness.  And from what I can tell most people don't even realize this, including most critics.  My girlfriend hates superhero films, but she did enjoy Joker for the same reason your friend did.  I told her about the Phillips quote about Killing Joke, showed her the panels below--and she replied "that can't be what he meant, that's dumb."  And I suspect that would be the reason many people's opinions of the film would flip if they fully realized what Phillips was doing.

7txvuqvi8qr11.jpg?auto=webp&s=ada848c279

I wasn't aware of that either, although I can't really say it changes how I felt about the film, even if the whole story is a Joker delusion it was a really great delusion, and I'm not sure it necessarily disqualifies it as a portrayal of mental illness. I think part of the problem is that the movie is shot (as I realize it has to be) from a third person omniscient perspective, so we are looking for the objective story and treating it as such by reflex (i.e what the camera shows us is what really happens etc). If it was entirely that, the one true objective view of it, it would also disqualify it as the Joker seems hardly capable of objective thought and one would assume his memories were very selective, or a mix of real and fantasy. In other words a Joker history could never be an academic "objective" history to begin with, a tenuous and fragile relationship with reality is part of the definition of (some) mental illness. And of course even if at the end he had said that it was his true and exact story nobody would have any reason to believe him anyway. 

For me, all our pasts are a mix of some fact and some selective memory and some wish fulfillment. Sure, I do assume there is a real past there, somewhere, but when I think of all the things I'm probably forgetting, and all the things that happened to me that I would never have remembered anyway, that is a lot of stuff left out of the story, and if it was all there, somehow, you could probably make multiple stories out of all our pasts, depending upon the perspective. I'm a historian, so I can say from a professional standpoint that the history of Nations and peoples or decades or eras or whatever is always a mix of fact and delusion, fact and fancy, fact and wish fulfillment, history and myth go together, "this is how I want to remember it because I feel better about it this way...etc..." not quite multiple choice in the Joker's sense, but the director leaving us guessing whether the whole story is bull doesn't necessarily disqualify it from having a profound quality to it...nor does it mean that it may not have been, in the end, some of his real history. 

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i couldn't find a thread devoted to BATMAN BEGINS, but having just re-watched it, i personally think it is one of the best superhero films ever made, if not the best one. it's still incredibly influential on everything that has come since, in both the dcu and mcu, in terms of its tone, style, and storytelling. absolutely fantastic film.

i also noticed that the actor who played king geoffrey in GOT was in batman begins as a little kid. 

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On 7/5/2022 at 11:45 PM, alexgross.com said:

i couldn't find a thread devoted to BATMAN BEGINS, but having just re-watched it, i personally think it is one of the best superhero films ever made, if not the best one. it's still incredibly influential on everything that has come since, in both the dcu and mcu, in terms of its tone, style, and storytelling. absolutely fantastic film.

i also noticed that the actor who played king geoffrey in GOT was in batman begins as a little kid. 

Obviously I agree since I've got it #3 on my all-time list, and that implicitly makes it the best origin film of all time.  And I obviously prefer Dark Knight since I rank it best ever.

I almost can't re-watch Begins enough.  I suppose re-watching anything more than once a week or month is a recipe for getting sick of it, but if a few months have passed I can EASILY get hooked by the first two Nolan films again.

I should probably weigh Into the Spider-Verse into my list.  For now I have no cartoons on it mostly because I'm fairly biased against them and think of them in a different category than live-action films, but that flick is almost certainly in the top 30.

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My top 20

  1. Batman Begins
  2. Captain America: the Winter Soldier
  3. The Dark Knight
  4. Zack Snyder's Justice League
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy
  6. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
  7. The Crow
  8. Iron Man
  9. Man of Steel
  10. Batman Returns
  11. Hellboy
  12. Logan
  13. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  14. The Avengers
  15. Black Panther
  16. The Punisher
  17. Thor
  18. Superman II
  19. Spider-man
  20. X2: X-Men United

The bottom 5. One is the worst 

  1. Thor: Ragnarok
  2. Captain America (1990)
  3. Batman and Robin
  4. Superman IV: the Quest for Peace
  5. Captain Marvel
Edited by D84
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