Superhero movies have become an integral part of modern pop culture nowadays. We’ve come a long way since the times when superhero stories were largely limited to comic books. Over time, the quality and also sheer quantity of superhero movies have kept increasing. Today, the comic book giants, DC and Marvel are spewing out superhero movies faster than ever, and the audience keep lapping them up. Because, let’s face it, we just love them.
In this article, we count down the 20 best superhero movies of all time. Of course, there will be a few inclusions and exclusions that you may not agree with. Feel free to comment your critique, opinions and suggestions in the comments section below! You can also choose to submit your own list articles here.
20. The Amazing Spiderman
Prequel stories have become a very common thing for many of the more popular superhero franchises. And this prequel story was one that did not disappoint. Andrew Garfield nailed it as both Peter Parker and Spiderman. It was overall a very solid movie that stayed true to the original storylines.
The original Batman movie was a superhit back in the day! It might seem a bit dated today. But putting Batman and the Joker together is always a recipe for success. The best part of the movie was probably Jack Nicholson’s joker, which stayed true to the genuine comic book character. The storyline was rather loose in parts, and that’s what’s keeping it from being even higher on our list.
18. The Incredibles
Enough of DC and Marvel, time for a Pixar movie. Surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be. The Incredibles was definitely a superhero movie. And it was brilliant, like most things Pixar dishes out. It will remain the only animated movie on our list, though.
The first movie of the long and wonderful X-Men franchise! X-Men have arguably been the jewel in the Marvel crown, be it the comics, the animated series or the movies. And the first instalment in the movie franchise started things off with a bang. And yes, we instantly fell in love with Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman as Professor Xavier, Magneto and Wolverine respectively.
16. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
This movie was surprisingly good. I say ‘surprisingly’ because the first Captain America movie was an absolute travesty. The Winter Soldier was significantly better, though. The pairing of Captain America and Black Widow worked really well. The movie was in many ways, signature Marvel, and definitely worth the watch.
15. Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 was intense, fast-paced and entertaining, and we loved it. It was everything you’d expect from a superhero movie, including some of the more clichéd aspects. But Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man did manage to save the girl, and not just once! Doc Oc gave him a real run for his money though, and it was one hell of a ride.
Marvel are real crowd pleasers. And with Avengers, they sure did please the crowd. It was an all-star team up, the likes of which we had not seen before. The Hulk and Iron Man kind of stole the show, though.
An alien army invading Earth trying to enslave humanity – of course we’ve seen that before. But we weren’t complaining. The movie was nothing, if not entertaining. The plot might have been a little thin, but Hulk smashing a God around like a wet towel was worth the watch.
13. X2: X-Men United
The second instalment of the X-Man franchise! It not only, lived up to the first one, but actually improved upon it. Back in 2003, it would’ve been unthinkable that this movie would not have even been in the top 10 of such a list, which just goes to show how much the genre has improved and matured over the last decade or so. X-Men United had us hooked from the beginning, with its intense and suspense-filled storyline. It saw the tensions between mutants and the general populace grow to new heights. And we just loved seeing the X-Men team up with Magneto.
12. Man Of Steel
Man Of Steel was just a visual feast. It was action-packed, and it was incessant. The origins story was really well done. And very importantly, it stayed true to the comic storylines. But once that was out of the way, it was just a demolition derby. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. In the end, the world’s strongest man did save mankind from the aliens – and in the process, probably destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars of public property. But apparently when it comes to Superman, that doesn’t really matter.
11. Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr was an instant phenomenon as the eccentric billionaire engineer Tony Stark, and of course, Iron Man. He was aided by a very competent script, and some outstanding CGI work. There’s something about these origin stories. And Iron Man’s was compelling and brilliant.
10. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Everyone loves a good time travel plot. Add to it the X-Men, and it gets even better. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, we see Wolverine travel to the past in an attempt to change the course of history, which hasn’t turned out well for either mutants or humans. Along the way, we get to see the alternate versions of our favourite characters, which was… simply fascinating! Overall, this movie provides a lot more twists and turns than most Marvel movies.
9. Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Some people might be surprised to see the second Avengers movie outrank the first one. But we feel it definitely deserves to. While the first one might have been the more fun movie, the second one had greater suspense, tension and overall the storyline had much greater depth to it. One of the biggest factors in a superhero movie is usually the villain. And Ultron provided one heck of a challenge. And yes, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch just made things so much better!
8. Doctor Strange
In parts, it felt like Batman Begins. In parts, it felt like Inception. Throughout the movie though, Doctor Strange felt awesome.
We got hyped about Doctor Strange as soon as we saw the first trailer. We felt right then that we might be in for something really special. And we were. An outstanding storyline, amazing special effects and pure magic! And yes, once again, we see the incredible pulling power of time travelling storylines. Benedict Cumberbatch was a natural fit as the somewhat narcissistic neurosurgeon Doctor Strange, although sometimes a bit too light as a superhero.
7. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Some of you would probably be extremely happy to see BvS here, while some of you would probably be absolutely disgusted. It received a lot of hate, mostly from critics. And we get that. We understand where it’s coming from. But it does its job as a comic book superhero movie very well.
One of the most controversial points about the movie was its extremely dark and morbid feel. Some hated it, some loved it. We found it awesome! Batman taking on Superman is not supposed to be a chick flick.
Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Doomsday – they were all on point! There were many iconic scenes in the movie, which will probably long be remembered. The worst part of the movie was undoubtedly the Lex Luthor. How on Earth does Jesse Eisenberg get to play Luthor? We’ll never know.
The X-Men series rarely disappoints, if ever. And we got to see that again with Logan. With its relatively sombre mood, the film depicting the last days of Wolverine and Professor Xavier is quite different from anything else Marvel has produced till date. It was real, emotional and intense. Logan was clearly passed his peak, and we got to see a side of him and the Professor that we hadn’t seen before. Backed by a brilliant storyline, it was a powerful farewell performance by Hugh Jackman. And we absolutely loved Logan’s daughter, Laura, played by Dafne Keen.
5. Batman Begins
Christopher Nolan’s epic Dark Knight Trilogy changed the entire landscape of superhero movies forever. And it all starts in 2005 with Batman Begins.
When it comes to origin stories, Batman offers more to work with than most superheroes. And it was depicted brilliantly, and quite true to the comics. It was also the first time we had seen the legendary Ra’s al Ghul character portrayed on the big screen. Christian Bale was outstanding as Batman, Michael Caine was the perfect Alfred, and with Christopher Nolan in charge, we got an amazing script as expected. And… we were just getting started.
4. V For Vendetta
This was not your typical superhero movie. Indeed, V was not your typical superhero – a freedom fighter looking to overthrow the totalitarian British establishment. Over the course of the movie, we begin to really identify with the mysterious V and his ambitions. And so does Evey Hammond, a girl V saved from a potentially fatal situation. V was often poetic, eccentric and extremely idealistic.
Very few superhero movies are anti-establishment in the way V For Vendetta is. In many ways, V is looking to be the hero by being the villain. And that makes the plot even more intriguing. And the Guy Fawkes mask actually adds to that feel.
3. X-Men: First Class
We have to say, we didn’t know what to expect when we heard the X-Men were getting a prequel series. But X-Men: First Class just blew us away. In this movie, we get to see the origins of the X-Men, as well as explore the backgrounds of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. Many people have described it as a bit of a bromance between the two. Indeed, this takes us back to a time when they were quite good friends. But even then, we get to see the clear ideological differences between the two that would later lead to them being sworn enemies. This was a movie with great depth, emotion and the action scenes were also a great watch.
2. The Dark Knight
This movie completely revolutionised the genre back in 2008. The second movie in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, The Dark Knight just raised the bar for all superhero movies to come. There really isn’t anything to say about this movie that hasn’t already been said. Heath Ledger’s joker was undoubtedly the best comic book villain we have ever seen on the big screen. Several dialogues from the movie are now part of popular culture. And it currently sits at No. 4 on IMDb’s Top 250 list. It very narrowly missed out on our No. 1 spot.
1. The Dark Knight Rises
And the best superhero movie of all time is The Dark Knight Rises. The third and final movie of Dark Knight Trilogy just edges out The Dark Knight. Once again, Nolan produced an absolute masterpiece to conclude his legendary, game-changing trilogy. The Dark Knight Rises had a mind-boggling storyline, with several intriguing subplots and twists and turns at every step. Once again, there were a whole host of dialogues that have eventually become part of everyday life. Bane was yet another amazing villain. And the final scene, at the Restaurant, has received some of the biggest cheers ever witnessed in movie halls across the world!
So there you have it, our list of the 20 best superhero movies of all time. Do let us know what you think in the comments section below. And share it with your friends and fellow fans!