Cream of the Crop
Comic book movies are a special breed of story. Looking at this list, they offer an endless variety of tones and themes. They can be as deep and dark or lighthearted as the filmmaker desires. What’s a superhero movie review site without a list ranking the best. Below is ours.
10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians was a standout being the first comic book movie/space-opera. Perfectly cast, funny, full of action with a stand out soundtrack the movie was truly a breath of fresh air. The visual effects and voice work done on Groot and Rocket Raccoon were stellar and really made the movie.
9. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Chris Nolan is the only director with three movies on this list which says a lot. Rises wasn’t as good as the previous two, but Bane and Catwoman were great additions to franchise. It would have been higher on the list had they decided to do a more literal robin interpretation or left the character out of the movie all together. I wasn’t to thrilled about the uncertainty of the ending either. Everything else was top-notch.
8. Ironman (2008)
Of course Robert Downey Jr. breakout, witty performance made the first Ironman movie a memorable one. Ironman also served as the springboard for the Marvel Cinematic Universe with would go on to spawn countless other Superhero epics.
7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
The second entry in Captain America’s saga was an interesting one. It was a spy/thriller/comic book movie. It saw Cap more acclimated to his modern day setting going on espionage missions for shield. It also successfully introduced fan favorite characters like the Winter Soldier and the Falcon and had Nick Fury’s most memorable scene to date. Luckily, I also got to work as an extra on it Cleveland set during filming.
6. Sin City (2005)
Sin City is a movie that is really all about the effects and actor performances. Shot predominantly on green screen, director Robert Rodriguez was left with lots of room to be creative. I loved the motif of black and white with pops of color. Characters like Marv (Mickey Rourke), Kevin (Elijah Wood) and Dwight (Clive Owen) were true standouts.
5. Watchmen (2009)
The Watchmen is slightly divisive. There are those that feel that it doesn’t even come close to measuring up to the acclaimed graphic novel. I think it was fantastic. It had a lot of the same visual effects that made 300 so interesting, a great story and a perfect cast. Performances by Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian leapt off the screen.
4. 300 (2007)
The toughest movie ever made; while not a superhero movie, 300 was based on Frank Miller’s 1998 graphic novel. So much action; so much slow-mo; so many quotables. Gerard Butler and Rodrigo Santoro did most of the heavy lifting on a cast full of great actors; some of which would go on to have enormous careers. This movie is so memorable and began Zack Snyder’s mean streak of bombastic blockbusters. Too bad he didn’t direct the sequel too.
3. Batman Begins (2005)
The first entry in Chris Nolan’s trilogy of Batman films set the tone for the many dark and gritty takes on comic book characters that would follow. It was a refreshing and more fleshed-out interpretation on Batman’s origin. Armed with a masterful director, a skilled lead actor and a spectacular supporting cast, there was know way this could be anything but great.
2. Avengers (2012)
Avengers was extremely anticipated due to it being the first time characters from separate movie franchises would come together to make one big mega superhero movie. Marvel Studios didn’t disappoint with its flag ship film. Joss Whedon showed off his skills at juggling an ensemble cast. Not the deepest movie, but definitely one of the funnest on this list.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
This was the perfect storm of a phenomenal director pitting the worlds greatest detective against two of his most infamous foes. Heath Ledger was stellar as the clown prince of crime. He really stole the show with his endless barrage of quotable lines and memorable moments. Arron Eckhart was perfect in his grotesque portrayal for Harvey Dent/Two-Face. From start to finish, this what we all hope for every time we step into the theatre to see a new comic book movie.