The Superhero Movies worth watching

This is a little guide I made to all of the Superhero movies, both live-action and animated that are actually good. Not in order of favorite to least favorite or vice versa.

List items

  • Unfortunately overshadowed by its sequel nowadays, Batman Begins really does need more love. Yes, the Dark Knight is better, but this is still a great film, and if you are to see The Dark Knight Rises, this film here is necessary viewing. Also, this movie is one of the only times I have ever found Ras al Ghul awesome.

  • Do I really even need to say why this one makes the list?

  • The awesome (and I really mean awesome I saw this one just recently) conclusion to the Dark Knight Saga. Nice and long, three costumed characters on the screen together (yay!), and a pitch-perfect ending that included more than a few things I was not expecting, the Dark Knight Rises makes Nolan's trilogy the first Superhero movie series that is good from beginning to end.

  • An excellent Superman movie, even if we never did get to hear Zod say his classic line, which was a disappointment. We also probably could have done without the scene of Superman floating with his arms outstretched and a bright light shining behind him (come on, trust your audience more), but besides those two nit-picks it was excellent, and also boasts the absolute best battles of any live action movie on this list, no ifs, ands, or buts.

  • Rivals the Avengers below as the absolute funniest comic book movie ever made, and is really just a grand old time. I kind of wish Ronan's design had stayed green rather than be arbitrarily made black and red, but that one little quibble aside, this is not just another winner for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's one of their absolute biggest winners.

  • The funniest comic book movie I have ever seen. Easily. And that's saying a lot. Great action and all-around characterization too.

  • Topping or even adequately matching the first Avengers movie is definitely a task, but I think that Age of Ultron manages it rather well. Not only do I love the new look for Black Widow and the overall action (Hulkbuster Iron Man Vs. Hulk being of course the highlight of the film), but the story was legitimately good, I felt. Ultron as voiced by James Spader was a good villain, even if they maybe rushed through his disillusionment with humanity a little too quickly. I also didn't like how he was both nerfed and inconsistent, but overall, Ultron's portrayal was good, and again, that's owing much to James Spader. And of course, the rest of the cast is good, including the newcomers (the Vision being my personal favorite of those, both in design and characterization). So all in all, another excellent MCU film, and in fact one of the better ones I'd say.

  • I was extremely skeptical of this one when it first came out. Casting that punk from the awful Fantastic Four movies as Captain America? And no Nazis, which I saw as blatant censorship? I practically went into this one kicking and screaming. Perhaps its fitting then that I got something way better then what I had been expecting. Chris Evans here is (quite thankfully) completely unrecognizable from his turn as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four films, and it was a good, fun movie all around, with it thankfully not coming off as too GI Joe (as I had feared). In the end I would actually say it was the best of Marvel's 2011 movies...

  • Previews and early reviews both paint this film in a favorable light, and now that I've seen it for myself I can indeed say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has scored yet another winner. Not to mention how this film in particular has long-term consequences for the MCU as a whole, and more then most of the other entries in the canon feels like it truly matters in the grand scheme of things.

  • Not only do Chris Evans and RDJ nail it again in their respective roles, but Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland steal the show as two of my favorite superheroes.

  • Just saw this one and it did not disappoint. Featuring a nice look at the tortured soul that is Bruce Banner and also the ever-satisfying sight of the Hulk tearing through military goons, this was another good entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, also being (along with Iron Man) one of the films that started the whole thing.

  • Hilarious and giving us a version of Tony Stark that I almost wish the comics would use more often (as opposed to, you know, the self-righteous ass-hole from Civil War onward), this film also, along with the Incredible Hulk, kickstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

  • Though (as everyone has probably already told you by now) not as good as the first Iron Man movie, I still found Iron Man 2 to be enjoyable, as it retains a lot of what made the first film great, including just being funny. Plus, we finally got a live action War Machine. And Black Widow. Her too.

  • Though not my favorite movie on this list, it was still good, not to mention it makes the Iron Man movies the second superhero movie trilogy to be good from start to finish.

  • Another solid entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's line of movies, even if it wasn't quite as well-received as Iron Man or Captain America. Still, it was a good movie, and, like the Iron Man movies, is actually pretty funny.

  • My uncle was unimpressed, but I personally enjoyed it the two times I saw it and much like the first Thor movie it had a surprisingly good sense of humor. I only wish Sif and the Warriors Three had done more. They really got the short end of the stick.

  • Yet another winner from the MCU, and also (along with the 2002 Spider-Man movie) proof that even films that have been in Development Hell for years still have a shot of seeing the light of day. The visuals in Ant Man are very well done and really make this film a particularly nice piece of eye-candy. Ant Man's costume is one of the best of it's kind, and his fight scenes (especially his fight with Falcon) were fun and well done. The humor was also mostly solid, minus a few bits that (for me at least) went too far into the campy direction. My only other criticisms would be that I felt Lang's daughter had some lines of suspect quality, and the acting for that character in general was not up to par with the rest of the cast (and yes, I know it's a child actor, but still). I also didn't like the convoluted approach to the villain (he's Darren Cross as Yellowjacket looking vaguely like Ant Man III. Wha?). But otherwise, this was another great MCU film that made me like Ant Man a heck of a lot more. I also loved the Spider-Man reference they snuck in. So there is that.

  • The definitive Spider-Man origin movie, even if Spidey really did need to crack some one-liners. But that minor gripe aside, this film is a classic, and one of the first major, well-done superhero movies. The fact that this film spent A LONG time in development hell only to come out so strong is also noteworthy. Williem Dafoe does a great job as both the sympathetic and outwardly amiable Norman Osborn, and the gleefully sinister (and delightfully grandiose) Green Goblin. Some people didn't like his redesign, but I actually thought it was pretty spiff. And really, this film just did a great job rendering not just Spider-Man's origin but also just capturing the fundamentals of his character and his world, everyone from Aunt May and Mary Jane to J Jonah Jameson, who I would say the film could have used even more of. Something the sequels rectified.

  • Far and away the best Spider-Man film. Easily. Doctor Octopus is second only to the Green Goblin as Spider-Man's arch-foe, so its cool to see him get his dues here. Besides that, this movie like the first one captures the core essence and fundamentals of Spider-Man (and his angst) so well, and had some great action scenes to boot. I will admit, these two films (and their video game tie-ins) being a major part of my childhood probably influences my love of them, but I feel that that nostalgia aside, there's still a lot to love and a lot to recommend with these two films. And, at risk of losing my credibility, I'd even argue they rival the Dark Knight Saga in quality. But hey, Spider-Man's my favorite, and these are the best Spider-Man movies. So what can I say?

  • Because the aforementioned original Spider-Man film, which is only a decade old as of this writing, I was VERY miffed to learn that we were getting the origin story AGAIN. So, much like Captain America, I was not expecting to enjoy it, or perhaps more accurately, I WAS expecting to enjoy it, but also not see it as any less redundant. So then I got to see it on opening day (it was my sister's birthday) and was I proven right? Yeah, pretty much. But the good news though is that that means I still enjoyed it. I just don't think we needed to go through the bloody origin again, even though Martin Sheen did a fine job as Uncle Ben. Also, I will say that Andrew Garfield is for the most part a better Spider-Man/Peter Parker then Tobey Maguire is, and Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy is also way more entertaining then Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane. So all in all, even though we're retreading old ground, its still a good film.

  • Ignoring for a moment that we in the States had to wait an extra two weeks for this movie and also the rather polarizing critical reception, this is shaping up to be another good Spider-Man movie. Despite it's seeming similarities to the much maligned Spider-Man 3, I'd say this is ultimately a much better film, some clutter and seeming plot holes aside (as well as being in need of some fine-tuning elsewhere). I will admit to preferring the original movie trilogy's versions of the Goblins to this new one though.

  • The original X-Men film and still one of the greats, even if it does show its age just a little bit with some of the special effects. But that's OK. Its still a great movie, and a strong beginning for the (mostly good) X-Men film franchise.

  • Easily the best of the X-Men movies bar none (at least before Days of Future Past came along). Wolverine going into a berserker rage on Stryker's goons, his fight with Lady Deathstrike (a character I have NEVER liked except here), Brian Cox as Stryker, Magneto's escape from prison, Rogue/Iceman romance (WAY better then Rogue/Gambit in my mind) and best of all, my favorite X-Man gets his movie debut: Nightcrawler.

  • Despite the admittedly bizarre choice of X-Men roster (Havok showing up several decades before his brother, wha?) I still enjoyed this movie. Fassbender in particular kills it, and it also made Azazel a more awesome character than he was in the comics. Wasn't sold on Kevin Bacon's Sebastian Shaw, I'll admit, but at least he got his just desserts in the end.

  • Well, I have to admit, I think this may just be my new second favorite of the X-Men Movies. Scratch that, I'd say it's firmly tied with X-Men 2 as the best. With a pretty emotional and gripping story, some awesome action, and a very satisfying ending, there's a lot to love about this movie. Definitely leaves me with a couple questions though, which I won't mention here at risk of spoiling anything.

  • Don't let it's polarizing critical reception fool you; this film is another good X-Men film, an overabundance of characters not withstanding.

  • Deadpool done right, and a movie Colossus whose role actually feels substantial. And Morena Baccarin. Need I say more?

  • This is the movie that actually pretty much redefined Blade's character. After this movie the comic book version, once campy and egotistical, became the stoic, all black wearing badass that he was in this movie. Ignore the kind of unnecessary sequels. I've finally gotten around to seeing this movie, and I think I can say I was not disappointed. Definitely a lot more "adult" then the average superhero film though.

  • For the longest time I had no interest in this film whatsoever. Then I actually got around to seeing it and, lo and behold, I liked it. So much so that I saw it twice. Ron Perlman does a great job as Hellboy and I also loved Abe Sapien. I'd probably also say Kroenen is now one of my favorite villains, except his being a nazi prevents such a statement. Still, a good movie all around, and one of many great action movies to come out of the early 2000s in general.

  • Okay, so the live action turtles of 1990 maybe look a bit goofy 25 years later, but even so, I actually do consider this a decent Turtles movie in it's own right, and if you're a fan of the Turtles (as I am), I say give this movie a viewing, and don't let it's age deter you. You'd probably be better off ignoring the sequels though, especially the god-awful second one from 1993.

  • Considering he's had his comic book appearances and in his sub-par sequels got pretty much turned into a poor man's Iron Man, I think it's probably fair to consider Robocop a superhero in his own right, especially since I consider Judge Dredd to be thus. And therefore, the original Robocop movie is definitely worthy of being on this list. Most definitely NOT one for the kiddies though, so just a little something to keep in mind.

  • While it's being rated PG-13 caused many to cry foul, I personally liked the reboot well enough, and feel that it did actually hit some of the same chords as the original. While I might be convinced to admit that the original is still the superior film, I nevertheless judge the 2014 Robocop film to be a worthy (and successful) reboot.

  • Far, far superior to the Sylvester Stallone film, Dredd does a good job of capturing the world of Mega City One on the silver screen, and Karl Urban does a good job portraying the merciless masked man himself. Note potential viewers that this is a VERY dark, violent, and grisly film and is not for the faint of heart, kids, or the squeamish. But for those who are fans of Judge Dredd, I recommend this film wholeheartedly.

  • Some cried foul at the creative liberties taken with this film, and others complained about the maybe somewhat heavy-handed political messages, but I myself greatly enjoyed this movie. Hugo Weaving's V is an awesome character and the story to me was a good and interesting one. And seeing V single-handedly wipe out a small army of what are basically British Gestapo was incredibly satisfying.

  • The classic Batman movie, and one that many still consider to be the definitive one and the best. I don't come from that school of thought (I'm definitely a Nolanverse fan) but its still a fine Batman movie, largely thanks to Jack Nicholson's Joker who (perhaps unsurprisingly) steals the show.

  • This is a very polarizing movie, but I liked it well enough. I think most people could probably guess what the biggest reason for that is (though, I will also say that I prefer both Anne Hathaway and the Arkham Games' take on the character).

  • Finally got around to seeing this one. And I will say that it's actually a pretty good Superman movie. Much as I lament the decision to keep the underwear on the front, I do think that Christopher Reeve does a good job portraying both Superman and Clark Kent and in the case of the latter really does a great job at humanizing him and making him endearing in his efforts to win Lois Lane's heart. Yes, the special effects are poor, but given that this movie is 35 years old as of this writing that's something I'm willing to forgive. Be warned potential viewers though that this movie is long at a little over two hours and does show it's age a little bit (especially where the effects are concerned, as noted above). But despite that, I still think this is a very good Superman movie, and it does actually make me like Superman a lot more.

  • Admittedly not the best DC Animated Original Movie, but also not the worst either. This is an Ok-ish film and, honestly, is way better then half of the live action Superman films.

  • I loved the original All-Star Superman story, so its probably not surprising that I wound up enjoying the animated adaptation. While the story probably would have translated better into a short animated mini-series, the film isn't terrible, and actually has a scene in it near the end that I really wish had been included in the original story.

  • Also containing short films featuring the Spectre, Jonah Hex, and Green Arrow, this is a nice collection showcasing a good variety of DC characters. The Spectre and Jonah Hex shorts are my personal favorites.

  • A fun (if not also short) animated movie that serves to show why Batman and Superman (especially when voiced by Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly respectively) are a nigh unstoppable duo.

  • Necessary viewing for anyone claiming to be a fan of Batman the Animated Series. With a cool original villain and a nice rendition of the DCAU Batman's origins, this is one of the best non-Nolanverse Batman films out there. Plus, less censorship then the show. Yay!

  • Forget the anti-climactic series finale: THIS is the true finale of Batman Beyond. Do yourself a favor and watch the uncensored version.

  • Probably my favorite non-Nolanverse Batman film. I'm a total Jason Todd fanboy, so its no surprise that I took to this one. And it didn't disappoint. Not one bit. John DiMaggio is to date the only voice actor for the Joker that I've seen who is an even remotely acceptable replacement for Mark Hamill.

  • Another excellent animated Batman movie. And unlike the original story's horrendously bad art, looking at this isn't painful to my eyes.

  • The first part of the animated adaptation of the epic Dark Knight Returns story. Much like the animated film version of Batman Year One it is a very faithful adaptation of one of the better Frank Millar stories out there and again, has animation that is leaps and bounds better than the art in the actual comics. And as awesome as the legendary Batman-Superman fight in Part 2 is, I must say that Batman's beating the living crap out of the Mutant Leader was a joy to watch. Batman does not mess around.

  • The melancholic second part of the Dark Knight Returns adaptation, showing us how the darkness and corruption of the future is by no means exclusive to Gotham, and with the idiot populace having forced their Justice League into retirement, there's no one left to stop the world from spiraling further into chaos...except for one man. And yes, the Batman Vs. Superman fight was awesome. Seeing Batman in powered armor beating up an utterly pathetic version of Superman is extremely fun to watch. The really grisly deaths of the Joker and one of his goons, less so.

  • "NOBODY SCREWS THE WALL!"

    Honestly that above line alone makes this film worth a look in my opinion, as does the absolutely awesome fight between Batman and the Suicide Squad. The plot's nothing intricate or masterfully crafted, but is a good action film, and the villains had some decent team dynamics. And as always, Kevin Conroy proves why he is the one true animated Batman. And for anyone who loves the Arkhamverse as much I do, the movie's being set there makes it even better.

  • Until when or if we get a good live action Wonder Woman movie (unlikely) this is all we've got. Good thing then that its actually a good Wonder Woman movie.

  • While having little in common with the current Green Lantern universe as written by Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard, and Peter Tomasi, this is still an OK Green Lantern movie, and I wouldn't be surprised if some people liked this film better then the recent live action Green Lantern movie.

  • A good adaptation of a great DC story, even if they did have to cut out an awful lot.

  • If you ever wanted to take the Crime Syndicate seriously as villains, this is the movie to watch.

  • The last thing the late and great Dwayne McDuffie ever wrote, it is a nice adaptation of a good story that I honestly prefer to the original story in some ways. Like for instance replacing the overrated and overused Ras al Ghul with Vandal Savage.

  • Just got a good review from Comicvine and I've seen some impressive looking clips that back it up. Deathstroke shouldn't have died, but beyond that, it looks like another winner from the DC Animated Original movie crew.

  • Talk about your action set-pieces. This film is a must-see for anyone looking for some no-holds barred butt-kicking, and the humor in it is pretty good too barring a few jokes that just fell flat. Mostly though this was a good movie, with just enough outside of the action to make it another winner for the DC animated films. They sure turned Captain Marvel/Shazam into a jerk though.

  • Yes, okay, it's a short film, not an actual movie, but it also features Catwoman in my favorite of her costumes by far poledancing. What's not to love?

  • For my money the superior half of the "Hulk Vs" short films, this animated piece is also one of Nolan North's first ever times voicing Deadpool, setting the stage for many other instances in the future. I didn't really like how they visually represented the Hulk, but seeing him go ape-s***t on Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike (two of my least favorite X-Men villains) was incredibly satisfying. As was his punting Sabertooth into the air with a single hit.

  • While I am by and large not a fan of Marvel's animated films, I found the adaptation of the Planet Hulk story to be decent enough. Honestly what this movie kind of proves is that Marvel should do animated movies based off of good comic stories of theirs more often. Especially considering how DC long ago proved that such films can be quite good when done right.

  • Basically a motion comic, but a damn good motion comic. The writing is a much higher quality then what you get out of the average comic book, and Loki is portrayed as equal parts sympathetic and monstrous. Sif is kind of b*** though.

  • While it bears almost no resemblance to it's source material, I'd actually argue that for once the film is better for it, given how incredibly minor the Big Hero 6 team is in 616. And the movie we get is a genuinely good and emotional one. And yes, Baymax is great. Lot of fantastic visuals too. In all, a good movie, even if it does perhaps feel like it's a Disney movie first and a Marvel movie second. It's still a great Superhero movie.

  • Here's a great superhero movie with entirely original superheroes! And honestly, I think this is probably the single best superhero movie featuring entirely original characters rather than pre-existing Marvel, DC, or third-party comic book characters. Also one of the better Pixar movies in my opinion.

  • Another original superhero movie, or in this case supervillain who becomes a superhero. While it doesn't hold a candle to the Incredibles or Big Hero 6, it's still a decent movie in it's own right and one of the better Dreamworks films I'd argue, even if barring Will Ferrell as the lead character the celebrity voice cast is overall a bit hit-or-miss.