Superhero films are by and large the most popular titles in theaters around the world. So on this Labor Day, I wanted to have some fun and give you a list of my Top 10 Best Superhero Movies of All-Time. (This list was inspired by IGN’s recent top 25 best superhero films and will include some heavy spoilers)
#10 Black Panther
Stop typing that you predicted it. You didn’t.
It’s hard to talk about the best of Black Panther without mentioning Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger. I haven’t been this captivated by a comic-book villain since Heath Ledger’s Joker. You sympathize with Killmonger and while his methods are radical (which may actually be an understatement), his overall stance was right. The former hierarchies in Wakanda are just as much of an antagonist for T’Challa as Killmonger or even Klaue. All of this gives Black Panther a layer of complexity that not many superhero movies have, making it a unique film that stands out in its genre.
However, a CGI-heavy third act filled with terrible looking rhinos and questionable motivations by some of the side characters prevents this superhero movie from being any higher on my list.
#9 Batman Begins
With Top 10 lists like this comes the problem of leaving some fantastic movies off of the board.
No. Not that kind of “Fantastic”. Wait, what is Killmonger doing there?
I’m talking about superhero movies like Wonder Woman, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Tim Burton’s Batman. Even though these are indeed great films, they didn’t accomplish what Batman Begins accomplished.
Christopher Nolan took this hero, along with his rogues, and plopped him into our world. Bruce Wayne and Gotham City as a whole felt real. Movie-goers finally got to witness how Bruce Wayne becomes The Dark Knight and see real failure from Batman as he attempts to save Gotham from the mob.
The most impressive thing about Batman Begins is that Nolan didn’t even use A-grade rogues that casual viewers would recognize like Joker or Penguin for villains in his first film, instead featuring Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul.
Yes, there is a good chance that you’ll see Nolan back on this list later.
#8 Spider-Man: Homecoming
Deciding between this or Sam Raimi’s take in the web-head was a difficult choice for sure. Without Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, we most likely would have never had many of the movies on this list.
That being said, Spider-Man: Homecoming is something special in its own right. For a franchise that has been rebooted time and time again, Homecoming had no business being as good as it was.
Tom Holland has solidified himself as the definitive Spider-Man in my opinion. Tobey Maguire nailed the role of Peter Parker but his Spider-Man lacked the quips the character was famous for. Andrew Garfield’s take was the polar opposite.
Holland captures both aspects of the character perfectly. As a teenager in high school, this version of Spider-Man stands out as a hero with a potential to be one of the most powerful in the galaxy but his inexperience often gets in his way.
Like Black Panther, Homecoming benefits from a compelling villain in the form of Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes. Toomes, or The Vulture, was a terrifying antagonist for the inexperienced Parker.
Refreshing takes on characters along with a solid antagonist for a new hero makes Spider-Man: Homecoming the best outing for the wall-crawler yet.
#7 Thor Ragnarok
If you would have told me two years ago that a Thor film would crack my Top 10 superhero movies, I would have thought that you were insane. Or that I was insane. Either way, Thor: Ragnarok is a must watch for those who haven’t seen it.
First off, what a drastic change in tone. For the first 15 minutes, I honestly thought I was watching a Guardians of the Galaxy movie (guest-starring Thor).
Before Thor Ragnarok, I had no idea who Taika Waititi was. Now, he is one of my favorite directors in Hollywood.
We were rid of the boring Warriors Three and the overdramatic tone of the first two films. Instead, Waititi brought in a light-hearted approach and gave us a better look at Thor’s humanity than any other MCU film to date.
Throw Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, and Jeff Goldblum into this soft reboot and what you get is an amazing superhero movie.
Oh, and it also had the closest thing we’ll see to a live-action adaptation of Planet Hulk. No big deal.
#6 Iron Man
Ah, the movie that kickstarted the MCU. Like Batman Begins, Iron Man laid out the groundwork for the hero and the world around him. At the time, the hiring of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark was a risky decision but now I don’t see how anyone could have played the snarky tech genius any better.
We got to see Tony’s climb from a reckless weapons manufacturer into a hero that regrets his role in the world’s problems and fueled by a desire to fix them. Yes, the Mandarin tease didn’t live up to expectations but that isn’t this movie’s fault. The other complaint I usually see comes from a lackluster villain. Jeff Bridges’ Obadiah Stane could have certainly been better but he wasn’t a horrible antagonist for Stark in his first solo outing. I’ve definitely seen worse in this universe.
Yeah, I can go ahead and tell you Iron Man 2 isn’t in the top five.
Those are my Top 10-6 Superhero Movies of All-Time. If you want to see how my top five shakes out, we’ll be publishing that tomorrow.
Do you agree with my list so far? What are your Top 10 Superhero Movies? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow us here at The Nerd Stash for all of your nerdy news and needs!
Avid gamer and placeholder of what is now the worst selfie of all time. Mostly an Xbox/PS4 player but I have been known to destroy friendships in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.