Superhero movies. Love them or hate them, it’s impossible to question their popularity or understate their impact on popular culture. But, what are the best superhero movies of all time?
It’s a question that’s almost impossible to answer. Especially for a genre that has been reinvented and reimagined in so many different ways. However, with that being said, here is our list of the top 10 best superhero movies of all time.
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Despite a few reboots of the Superman franchise featuring Henry Cavill and Brandon Routh as the eponymous hero – for many Christopher Reeve will always be the archetypical Superman. Reeve brings a level of class to the role and Superman II is arguably one of the best in the franchise.
It is Superman II where Lois Lane finally learns that Superman and Clark Kent are the same person. This happens in an iconic moment in movie history where Clark Kent stumbles and his hand falls into a fire but is unharmed by the flames. Christopher Reeve’s acting in the scene is a masterclass in how to communicate a range of emotions through body language alone.
Although it is often the subject of ridicule, we like how Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent disguise is simply a pair of glasses. But, it is the personality of the character and his mental attitude that separates Superman the hero from Clark Kent the journalist.
Add into the mix Terence Stamp as a very quotable General Zod and Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor and you have a great cast and an engaging storyline. Who of which combines a love story with an alien invasion and a battle with the ghosts of Superman’s past and his destiny as a hero.
As fans of the graphic novel, we were sceptical. It’s a very complex storyline and ever since the comic was released there have been many attempts to make it into a movie, but all failed. In 2005 however, Warner Bros. hired Zack Snyder, hot from the success of 300, to direct.
We think he did a pretty good job. The Watchmen movie stays true to the core storyline of the graphic novel. Also, we particularly liked Jackie Earle Haley’s embodiment of Rorschach and Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl II.
Although it’s a relatively small role, Carla Gugino delivers an excellent and compelling Sally Jupiter. This is very true to the original and Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Comedian is as gritty as you would want it to be. Like the comic, the film is dark and gritty incredibly gripping.
We think it’s fair to say that Pixar has yet to make a bad movie. The Incredibles is no exception. It’s got to be one of the best-animated superhero movies.
The story picks up in a world where superheroes are trying to integrate into normal society. This is after their glory days have expired and the public have become tired of footing the damages bills.
However, there are still evil masterminds at work and the growing threat prompts husband and wife due Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl to come out of retirement. But, now they have three children – Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack – who also have their own unique powers. The story is original and the amination absolutely incredible.
It’s also worth mentioning the 2018 sequel which is well worth a watch. Also, although there was a 14-year gap between the release dates, it’s only about 14 seconds in the movie’s timeline between original and sequel.
As one of the Avengers, the Thor character has made appearances in 8 films in the franchise. Including three movies dedicated to his storyline. Of all three – that is Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and Thor: Ragnarok. For those keeping score – Ragnarok is our favourite.
The soundtrack and presentation of the movie take on an almost 80s quality. Not a million miles from productions like Stranger Things. Which is really pleasing to the ears and eyes. We think the best part of Thor: Ragnarok is that this is the movie where Thor’s character comes into his own.
Chris Hemsworth creates the perfect hero-bimbo in a way that is not seen in the previous Thor movies. But, really deepens the character and makes him more lovable. As well as paving the way for a more engaging array of characters when Thor sits amongst the other Avengers in the wider storyline.
Alongside, Chris Hemsworth, there is a star-studded supporting cast. All of whom deliver first-class performances.
With Gal Gadot as the title character and key roles from both Robin Wright and Chris Pine – Wonder Woman was always going to be good. Under the directorship of Patty Jenkins, it is nothing short of brilliant.
The daughter of Queen Hippolyta, Diana is raised on a hidden island paradise which is home to the Amazons – female warriors created by the Olympian gods to protect mankind. It is explained that the god Ares became jealous of mankind and attempted to destroy them.
However, when the other gods tried to stop Ares, he killed all of them but Zeus, who used the last effort of his power to wound Ares. As well as force him to retreat whilst creating the Amazon’s secret weapon, the God Killer.
The tranquillity of the Island is not destined to last. When a US fighter pilot is shot down and crash lands on the island, he explains to the Amazons that the First World War is raging beyond the boundaries of their secluded world. Prompting Diana to leave the island in pursuit of Ares who she believes must surely be behind the global war – going into battle as Wonder Woman.
It’s a fascinating story. Full of plot twists and high action and Gal Gadot is the perfect actor to bring the character to life.
Blade is a Dhampir, a human with vampire strengths who spends his time fighting against vampires in order to protect humans.
The story is subversive and much darker than the classic Marvel film adaptations. With Wesley Snipes as the title character bringing cool darkness and uncompromising violence to the role.
The commercial success of the 1998 original led to it grossing over $131.2 million worldwide. It nspiring a cult following as well as multiple sequels.
It was the start of Marvel’s movie adaptation success and led to the company’s dominance of the box office in the 21st century.
Spider-Man is one of just a handful of heroes that has undergone multiple facelifts and re-births throughout his life.
The first feature-length attempts were animated movies in the late 1970s with Nicholas Hammond in the title role. Since then, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland have all donned the web slinger’s iconic blue and red.
However, in our view, it’s the first live-action iteration of Spiderman in 2002 that still holds up as the classic. Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker is awkward and nerdy, battling with the loss of his parents and his Uncle Ben. This iteration of Peter informs Maguire’s excellent representation of Spider-Man. As he discovers his powers and grows into the role of hero un-mentored.
Throw into the mix of great performances from Hollywood heavyweights Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco and you have an enjoyable movie. Including that iconic upside-down, masked kiss in the rain with MJ.
What happens when a music-loving orphan is abducted by aliens just moments after the death of his mother? The answer, you’ll be surprised to note, is a joyful, hilarious, and engaging movie. With one of the greatest soundtracks of the 2010s.
Peter Quill is the classic underdog human making his way as an intergalactic thief relying on a couple of nifty gadgets, his 1988 Walkman loaded with an awesome 80s mixtape, and the legend of a name he has given himself – ‘Starlord’. Through a series of mishaps, Quill finds himself teaming up with an unlikely crew of misfits.
Guardians of the Galaxy is arguably one of the best superhero comedy movies. Especially ones that are more family-friendly.
Deadpool is probably our favourite hero franchise. It’s rude, full of foul language, gratuitous violence, sex, and some of the most hilarious writing you’ve ever heard.
Ryan Reynolds is constantly breaking the 4th wall and making sarcastic comments directly to the audience. Cracking jokes about the production value of the movie and insulting the other characters.
This is superhero satire at its best. In our opinion, Deadpool is one of the best superhero movies of all time. It’s certainly one of the best superhero movies on Netflix.
This might not be the kind of movie you watch with your parents, but it’s guaranteed to have you in stitches!
Our answer to the question ‘what is the best superhero movie of all time?’ is Batman: The Dark Knight.
The second film in this generation of Batman features Christian Bale as the main man, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, and Aaron Eckhart. However, the show was stolen by Heath Ledger as the Joker, in what would be one of his final roles before his tragic death.
The Dark Knight is full of twists and turns. Just as you think the story is tying up, the whole thing is broken wide open. The movie is gripping throughout and despite its longer format, there is not a moment where it feels bloated or over-long.
So there you have it – our top 10 best superhero movies of all time. Trying to decide what is the best superhero movie actually proved to be quite a difficult task. However, we’re pretty satisfied that what we have here is arguably the best superhero movies ever!
If you’re looking for more classics – Black Panther, the original Michael Keaton Batman movies, all of the original Supermans, the Avengers Movies, Suicide Squad and the Justice League movies are all worth watching.
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