The 50 Worst Superhero Movies

Before I begin this list let me preface by saying that this list is my personal opinions, and that if you are personally offended or insulted by my choices and/or views, then I extend my apologies. You don't need to read the list. But please don't waste comment-space going on an endless tirade of "What's wrong with you? That movie was great!" Or "Why isn't this movie here! I thought it sucked!" I say again, these are my own personal views. If you agree with my choices, then great. If not, well then I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

With all that out of the way, I present to you what are in my opinion the 50 worst superhero movies ever in descending order plus an honorable mention and one spot that is a tie between two equally bad films. To make my life easier, I am only counting live action movies (though honestly, I think most animated superhero movies have been decent to great).

List items

  • Year: 1997

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10%

    "You're not sending ME to the COOLER!"

    "Let's kick some ice!"

    "Are you feeling COLD Batman?"

    "What killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age!"

    And that should really be all the justification you need right there. In what should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody, the infamous fourth entry in the original Batman film franchise earns the number 1 spot. Honestly, I don't think I even need to say why this film belongs here, as I'm probably far from the first person to have put it at the top of a "Worst Superhero Movies ever" list. Apologies for being predictable, but come on. We all knew only this film could be number 1.

  • Year: 2005

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0%

    Tomatometer score says it all

  • Year: 1986

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%

    Easily the worst Marvel Comics movie of all time and one that I am still baffled ever got made. I mean at least with other turds they were starring characters who could in theory carry a good movie. But Howard the Duck? I mean come on. Who on Earth thought that character deserved a movie before Captain America and the Fantastic Four? Totally, completely unnecessary and Marvel's biggest embarrassment.

  • Year: 1978

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/a

    ...

    OK, I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but...COME ON.

  • Year: 2004

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 9%

    It was a tough call between this film, Howard the Duck, and Batman and Robin for the number 1 spot. Catwoman is my favorite female comic book character (usually anyway), and it's sad to see her so badly butchered. Much as I love Halle Barry she and Selina Kyle clearly ended up going as well together as fire and gasoline. To say nothing for the awful redesign of her much better comic book black costume, and having no mention of Batman whatsoever (or even Catwoman's alter-ego for that matter).

  • Year: 1985

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%

    Another total bomb starring a botched take on a good, strong female character. A case could be made that Red Sonja shouldn't be here because she's not really a superhero. But if we're counting Jonah Hex as a superhero, I don't see why we can't count Red Sonja as one.

    As to the movie itself, Schwarzenegger himself considers it the worst movie he was ever in. Even worse than Batman and Robin. That alone should tell you something. He even uses this film to punish his kids, allegedly. Oh, and it's been accused of homophobia and has won Razzies, in addition. What more do you need to know?

  • Year: 2005

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10%

    Hat trick! Now, I will admit that the premise of the movie actually ain't bad (Elektra choosing to protect an innocent man she can't bring herself to assassinate), but the execution is just...how do I put it? Beyond awful. I also suspect that this and Catwoman above are part of the reason why Hollywood has since shied away from having superhero movies with a female lead. News flash: the films didn't suck because the lead characters were women, they sucked because they weren't done well.

  • Year: 1984

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10%

    And now we're at four. Man, the ladies could use more love as far as the silver screen goes.

  • Year: 1997

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 12%

    Another turd involving a member of Superman's supporting cast that I also happen to like in the comics. Honestly I consider this one and Supergirl to be interchangeable for the number 6 and 7 spots. Much like with Catwoman and Elektra, it's rather silly to make a movie about a character who's a member of another character's supporting cast...and then never once mention that character. It's especially ridiculous with Steel when you remember that the whole point of the character is that he was inspired to become a superhero in the first place BY SUPERMAN.

  • Year: 1989

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28%

    Rounding out the Top 10, we have a Punisher movie...without the skull logo. That alone earns it a spot in the top 10, to say nothing for everything else the movie got wrong. It is by far the worst of the three Punisher movies, and that's saying quite a bit.

  • Year: 1998

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/a

    David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury. I mean, really. What more needs to be said?

  • Year: 1993

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 3%

    I'm not sure how it was possible, but this god awful turd and butchering of the Robocop series managed to get a 3% on Rotten Tomatoes. Seriously. 3%. It's hard to get much worse than that. Really, I should probably have this one in the Top 10...

  • Year: 1979

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/a

    This one is especially heartbreaking because of how much of a Captain America fan I am. But really, one look at the abysmal redesign of the costume (and shield) should tell you everything you need to know about this stinker. To say nothing for the flagrant disregard for the source material. Really just one of many examples of how when it came to live action stuff, Marvel in the 70s and 80s really weren't trying.

  • Year: 1979

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/a

    And incredibly we got a sequel to the first turd. While they did at least improve the costume (not that that was hard to do), the film's story is really nothing special. How they got Christopher Lee for this is beyond me. A nice paycheck perhaps?

  • Year: 1990

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 7%

    And here's ANOTHER bad Captain America movie! Much like the Fantastic Four movie that came out at around the same time, this Captain America movie simply doesn't measure up in comparison to among others it's 2011 remake, and especially when it's got an Italian Red Skull of all things. But more to the point, it's obsolete, and honestly even on it's own merits it's not the best superhero movie. Again, Italian Red Skull. And a fairly weak rendition of Cap's costume, that too.

  • Year: 1987

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 12%

    Yeesh, Superman and his supporting cast sure have had a lot of bad films haven't they? Concerning the Man of Steel specifically this is definitely the worst of his many movies by far, and that's saying quite a bit. Honestly the rather corny sub-title says it all.

  • Year: 1993

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23%

    It says a lot about the poor quality of this film when even the Michael Bay interpretation of the Turtles outdoes this stinker.

  • Year: 1994

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33%

    More earnest then the second modern FF film and also the 2015 turd, but ultimately still much too outdated and just not able to measure up to any of Marvel's better films. They also tried to cram just a bit too much into one movie, to say nothing for how low-budget it was. They did get Doctor Doom's outfit done right though, which is more than can be said of the modern FF films. Ultimately though, the fact that this movie wasn't even released in theaters should tell you something.

  • Year: 2010

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 12%

    "Five coffins…thinking you might need eight"

    "CUT HIM DOWN!!!"

    That above exchange, and also the fact that this film could at least be called "laughably terrible" keeps it from reaching the top 10 or 15 when most would argue it absolutely deserves to be there. But for me the above films were even worse.

  • Year: 2005

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 17%

    Remember this one? No? Yeah, I don't think too many of us do, especially given how low-budget it was. And much like Howard the Duck you really find yourself wondering: why on Earth did this character warrant his own movie? And before Iron Man and a good Cap or Hulk movie no less?

  • Year: 1989

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 44%

    First Man-Thing, and now his DC counterpart. Granted, the first Swamp Thing movie had kind of a corny charm depending on who you ask, but this sequel is just plain bad (and kind of unnecessary too). Not helped by how the lovely lead actress of the first film didn't return for the sequel (though who can blame her?)

  • Year: 1996

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 12%

    Let's face it; none of the sequels to The Crow are any good. This one and Salvation are, to me, about equally bad and neither one is worth watching whether you liked the first film or not.

  • Year: 2000

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22%

    Again, the first two Crow sequels are tied in badness for me.

  • Year: 2015

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 9%

    Where to begin with this one? The fact that it's the fourth FF film to be a miserable failure? The fact that it's gotten the second lowest score on the Tomatometer out of any Marvel movie Rotten Tomatoes has ever reviewed? The fact that it was hyped so much and thus proved an especially biting disappointment? Well, certainly all of those things are egregious, but I think I'd also like to take the time to mention that the awesome trailer scene of the Thing dive-bombing onto a terrorist camp was completely cut from the film. Lame.

  • Year: 2007

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

    Most people consider this film to be a bit better than the first Fantastic Four film. I respectfully disagree. Butchering Silver Surfer by making it so that he became helpless just by getting knocked off his board, butchering Galactus by turning him into a giant cosmic cloud, and breaking their promise concerning Doctor Doom (assuring us he'd be better in the sequel when in if anything he was even worse) leads to one of the worst Marvel movies ever in my opinion. Tied with the 2015 FF film as far as I'm concerned.

  • Year: 2003

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%

    As my uncle so eloquently put it, this was two hours of his life he's not gonna get back. Too long, boasting a convoluted plot, no good villain, a Hulk Dog Poodle, and featuring a version of the Hulk who looks like Shrek and/or like he was made of silly putty, this is a very, very bad movie. Granted, Hulk did get in some good action scenes and also got to kill a poodle, but I'm afraid that that by itself is just not enough to save this film from being one of the absolute worst of all Marvel movies, and just comic book movies in general.

  • Year: 2005

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 46%

    Say what you will about the short-lived NBC series, but at least it actually did Constantine's character right. This film on the other hand has our British blonde anti-hero as...Keanu Reeves in Los Angeles. Sigh.

  • Year: 1995

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 17%

    Can't believe I missed this one the first time around. Miscasting Judge Dredd, showing us his face way too often, incredibly corny villains, and again casting Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd all combine to make this film a stinker. Do yourself a favor and see the Karl Urban film instead.

  • Year: 1995

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 39%

    Considering this is the film that first put nipples on the bat suit can you really be surprised? To say nothing for it's butchering Robin, Two-Face, and to a lesser extent, Riddler. Granted, it's better than it's sequel, but that's also not saying a whole lot. It's a tough call deciding which is worse between this one and Superman III.

  • Year: 1983

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 24%

    Honestly the poster for the movie kind of says it all. Barring one surprisingly good scene where Superman "confronts" his evil self, this film is a turd that marked the beginning of many, many bad movies starring either Superman or a (misrepresented) member of his supporting cast.

  • Year: 1991

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 32%

    Honestly, the sub-title alone tells you what you need to know. Also the fact that the Turtles do almost no fighting with their weapons. Lame.

  • Year: 2009

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

    Easily the worst of all the X-Men movies thus far. Most could probably readily guess one of the reasons for why I don't like this movie, as it tends to be a shared sentiment. But barring that there are plenty of other reasons why I don't like this film: Gambit cameo that went nowhere, bad plot, sub-par acting writing, and dialogue, and most of all horribly, HORRIBLY botching the reason why Wolverine has amnesia all make this a huge disappointment. And that's coming from someone who generally likes the X-Men films.

  • Year: 2007

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%

    Here's a question for you: how do you take the demonic Spirit of Vengeance with a flaming skull and motorcycle...and make him campy? Apparently the answer is this movie. Barring the always hot Eva Mendes this film really doesn't have much to recommend itself. I'm actually strongly considering ranking this film higher up. It's especially sad because I happen to like Ghost Rider.

  • Year: 2006

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

    More than anything else this particular film is just DULL. Poor/nonexistent plot, no good or particularly memorable action, and Superman getting his butt kicked by three petty thugs leads to a pretty underwhelming "return" for Superman. Also the kid who one minute can throw a piano across a room and the next can't free himself and his mother from a locked door. And the shameless Jesus allegory, that too. Granted, Man of Steel also had that last one, but it's still a better movie then this flop.

  • Year: 2016

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0%

    A phoned in superhero movie that fails for all manner of reasons, not least of which set-up for sequels and a would-be franchise that the movie doesn't earn, an overly and needlessly secretive mother for our hero, and just all in all feeling like it was made by people who weren't passionate about making it. I mean, say what you will about a lot of other bad movies on this list, but at least many of them felt like they had a particular vision, even if it wasn't a good one. This movie just feels very (again), phoned in. Well, at least the hero's costume was cool.

  • Year: 1977

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/a

    The really sad thing about this one is that it could have been to Spider-Man what the Christopher Reeve Superman movies were to Superman, namely a good and classic movie from the 1970s. Instead, it was basically a pilot for a (very) bad live action Spider-Man show that even Stan Lee admitted to not liking. Ah well, at least they got the costume mostly right.

  • Year: 2005

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%

    Let's see...horribly botched one of my favorite comic book villains? Check. Made the Thing shorter than Mr. Fantastic? Check. Uneven acting all around? Check. Granted, they executed the FF's origin story competently enough, but considering everything I listed above that was ultimately just not enough.

  • Year: 1997

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 18%

    While it does actually capture both the costume and origin fairly faithfully, the overall execution of the movie is, well, not good.

  • Year: 2008

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%

    Another stinker starring Frank Castle. Ray Stevenson certainly nails the look of the Punisher down perfectly and his costume was pretty well done, but just about everything else about this movie is a mess. The apparent thought process here (or lack thereof) was that the "best" way to make the Punisher franchise better was to just crank up the insane, over-the-top, excessive violence from the 2004 film several more levels. Somehow I don't think we'll be seeing another attempt at the Punisher after this and the two previous disappointments.

  • Year: 2008

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 14%

    This one was pretty badly mauled by the critics, but it did at least retain those nice Sin-City esque visuals, as well as Eva Mendes in a skin-tight black leather suit. But alas, not even all that eye-candy can save this film, especially when they saw fit to dress Sam Jackson up in a Nazi suit. Shame too. It could have been much better, but then that's also true of quite a few of the films on this list isn't it?

  • Year: 1951

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: ?

    Cheesy, dated, and obsolete, I'm sorry to say that the very first superhero movie has pretty much nothing to recommend itself. But, unlike a lot of the above films, it has an excuse: it was 1951.

  • Year: 1996

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 42%

    This movie fails for me for two major reasons: one, the movie made the very ill advised decision to not redesign the costume when it really needs to at least get rid of the underwear on the front. Second, the fact that the Phantom chooses to pass up CATHERINE ZETA-JONES when she's into him for a whiny, annoying, useless damsel in distress character who ultimately doesn't even return his affections, makes him look like a complete idiot. Why superheroes keep passing up hot, badass, and sexy action heroines for useless damsels in distress and civilian girlfriends is a mystery to me.

  • Year: 2016

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%

    Margot Robbie and Will Smith are well cast as Harley Quinn and Deadshot, respectively, and the characters are represented reasonably well apart from Harley's terrible design. However, the rest of the movie is kind of boring/uninteresting at best, and a mess at worst. And yeah, Jared Leto's Joker isn't good.

  • Year: 1966

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: ?

    Call me humorless if you want, but there is no way in hell I am ever viewing the Adam West camp as anything other than self-parody that is outdone by the much better and funnier Lego Batman games (and also Batman: The Brave and the Bold). And my less than high opinion of the Adam West Batman stuff goes for this film as well, even if I will at least admit that Julie Newmar did make for one sexy Catwoman. But really, the Bat-Shark repellent people. It is only because this film isn't really meant to be taken seriously to begin with and does actually have it's own following that I'm not ranking it higher up, despite common sense demanding that I do so. It did ensure Batman was a joke to most people for the next twenty plus years, after all.

  • Year: 2004

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%

    A lot of people actually really like this movie, to the point that I've been criticized for bashing it in the past. Good for them, because I respectfully disagree. While I will at least acknowledge that this is probably the best of the three Punisher movies that is still not "good" by any definition of the word that I am familiar with. Ultimately Thomas Jane may have been able to kind of sort of play the part, but he just doesn't look it. Punisher to me should look like a really scary guy who also looks like he's been to a war and back. And Thomas Jane just doesn't look like that, being too much of a pretty boy who also just gave blank stares way too often to be intimidating. Also, like it's reboot from four years later, it suffers from being a little TOO violent (and yes, it's possible to be that, even for a Punisher film).

    It's pretty sad how Hollywood has failed spectacularly to do a good movie for such an easy to write character no less than three separate times. They really needed Christopher Nolan to do a Punisher movie, because clearly no one else knows how to do this character right.

  • Year: 2003

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 17%

    Much as I love Sean Connery, even he can't save this rather convoluted and silly film from being well…convoluted and silly. And it's worth mentioning he actually retired after this movie. Hmm...

  • Year: 2004

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 25%

    This particular film is near the bottom of the list because unlike most of the others, which were to varying degrees straight up awful and/or insulting, Blade Trinity was merely unnecessary. Wesley Snipes remains a good Blade and the action is of course one of the trilogies' main selling points, but beyond that this film just feels like too much more of what we got in the first two films and ultimately just feels again, unnecessary.

  • Year: 2012

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 18%

    Given that it got even harsher reviews than it's predecessor, most would be surprised that I ranked it so low. But for me personally, I actually found this reboot disguised as a sequel to be superior to the campy first film, given that it attempted a darker tone and made Ghost Rider more of a badass than he was in film number one. But of course, the effects do feel somewhat low-budget at times, the story's pretty lacking, and Cage's performance is overall moreso, so I guess it's not surprising that people were largely against this one. Oh well.

  • Year: 2011

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%

    There are a couple of reasons why this movie doesn't do it for me, but I think I'll single out the big one, which is the protagonist actually caring about and mourning the death of a woman who raped him. Yeah.

  • Year: 1990

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31%

    While a competent enough dumb action movie, that it is that at all is rather disappointing given that the first film actually did have a heart and an interesting story, and it's sad to see that be pretty much forgotten and ignored in favor of just having more gun scenes. I get that the man himself is mostly a machine, but even so, the film could have still done well to have had a heart.

  • Year: 2018

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%

    While Tom Hardy is perfectly cast in the role of Eddie Brock/Venom, trying to do Venom without any Spider-Man influence or connection whatsoever, just doesn't work. The whole premise of Venom is that he's a dark reflection of Spider-Man, who got his symbiote FROM Spider-Man, and is also motivated in large part from his hatred of Spider-Man. Taking all of that way undermines the premise of the character, and in turn makes him a more generic and less unique anti-hero then he was before. The plot's not exactly great either.

  • Year: 2007

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

    Probably shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, who's only objection might be that it's not higher on the list. Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually got a much harsher critical response overall, but really this film is inferior. While it did boast a good soundtrack and visuals and some solid action scenes, not to mention more feats for Raimiverse Spider-Man and the coolness of New Goblin, other than those few good points the film ultimately has very little to recommend itself and is a very disappointing end to the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. I'd go over the specific reasons, but I think they've all been pretty well covered at this point. Just see "How Spider-Man 3 should have ended" and you'll see what I mean.

  • Year: 2011

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 26%

    I actually don't despise this movie the way everyone else does. Having said that, it's a...problematic film, to put it generously. But if nothing else, Reynolds and Strong are perfect in their designated roles.

  • Year: 2014

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22%

    An honorable mention. While not as unwatchably awful as a Michael Bay directed TMNT movie easily could be, it's still not really a great film. Again, it's not unwatchable or terrible, but it's not a great movie either.

  • Year: 2016

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

    And here's the sequel, my opinions of which basically reflect my attitudes towards the first film, and thus I regard them as tied.

  • Year: 2011

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%

    An honorable mention. Not as unwatchably awful as many of the other superhero. movies, but still really not good by any stretch. At least they got Kato more or less right.

  • Year: 2014

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%

    An honorable mention. While there are things about TASM 2 that I like, particularly the costume, the score, the action and visuals and the performances of Garfield and Stone, there's also a LOT that is wrong with this movie; a badly underdeveloped take on Electro, a needlessly convoluted "Harry Osborn is sick and dying" sub-plot that is in no way in improvement to the character, trying to cram WAY too many disparate plot threads into a single movie, and the complete abandoning of Peter's quest to find his uncle's killer in favor of a poorly handled "Peter tries to figure out the truth about his parents" sub-plot. And yes, the excess of set-up for movies that will now never get made is also a problem. It's not the worst Spider-Man movie (I still consider Spider-Man 3 and the 70s Spider-Man movie to be that), but it's definitely a deeply flawed and problematic film all the same.

  • Year: 2006

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

    And so, rounding out the 50 worst as another honorable mention and the technical best of the garbage heap, the third X-Men movie. While Ian McKellen as Magneto did about as well here as he did in the previous two films, and Kelsey Grammer as Beast was good casting, the movie's handling of the Dark Phoenix saga was less than stellar, as was the abysmal inclusions of Juggernaut and especially Angel and Psylocke. Oh, and there was no Nightcrawler. Nuts to that.