50 Greatest Comic Book Movies

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1.
The Dark Knight (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
When the menace known as the Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice. (152 mins.)
“ The title is the giveaway. With Batman never mentioned, this is a mature crime thriller in which the Joker’s anarchy is instrumental in destroying a great man. In other words, as deep and profound as the best comic books. ” - elias_michelg
 
2.
Superman (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero. (143 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
“ The groundbreaker that proved the artistic and commercial mettle of big screen superheroes. Reeve remains the genre’s most perfect piece of casting. ” - elias_michelg
 
3.
Akira (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop. (124 mins.)
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
“ Obviously, a close fit to the source in tone and visuals. More importantly, the crossover hit that brought animé to a global audience. ” - elias_michelg
 
4.
A History of Violence (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core. (96 mins.)
“ A landmark in bringing critical acclaim and auteur sophistication to non-superhero comics. The film takes liberties with the original’s plot, but the result kick-started a late bloom for Cronenberg. ” - elias_michelg
 
5.
X-Men 2 (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The X-Men band together to find a mutant assassin who has made an attempt on the President's life, while the Mutant Academy is attacked by military forces. (134 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ Long cited as a high-point in the evolution of modern screen superheroism, Singer pulls off the tricky balance between multiplex mayhem and the comic’s thematic and character weight. ” - elias_michelg
 
6.
Sin City (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption. (124 mins.)
“ Innovative use of CGI turns the cinema screen into a moving recreation of Miller’s original panels that blurred the line between genres. It’s so faithful, Miller even directed parts of it. ” - elias_michelg
 
7.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius. (127 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ A full-on Marvel marvel, as Raimi goes for broke with berserk camerawork, without losing sight of the central dilemma. ” - elias_michelg
 
8.
Batman (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker. (126 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
“ A widely-watched and largely acclaimed blockbuster that ditched the campy appeal of the Adam West TV show for a weirder, more leftfield vibe. ” - elias_michelg
 
9.
When the Wind Blows (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A naive elderly British rural couple survive the initial onslaught of a nuclear war. (80 mins.)
“ Unlikely to be screened at Christmas, Murakami remains faithful to Briggs’ devastating, adult drama to demonstrate the power of the medium. ” - elias_michelg
 
10.
Kick-Ass (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a superhero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so. (117 mins.)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
“ Developed in parallel, comic and movie share a taste for bubblegum ultra-violence, sick laughs and unstoppable entertainment. ” - elias_michelg
 
11.
Flash Gordon (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth. (111 mins.)
Director: Mike Hodges
“ A deliberate riposte to George Lucas’ admission that Star Wars was inspired by Flash, this has panel-strip gusto in its bright colours and tongue-in-cheek tone. ” - elias_michelg
 
12.
Batman Begins (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
After training with his mentor, Batman begins his fight to free crime-ridden Gotham City from the corruption that Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it. (140 mins.)
“ A model in how to reboot a franchise and make it relevant for its times (in this case, post 9/11 paranoia). A trick, of course, that comics have been pulling off for years. ” - elias_michelg
 
13.
Ghost World (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives. (111 mins.)
Director: Terry Zwigoff
“ Comic connoisseur Zwigoff (he directed ace genre doc Crumb) nails the tone so convincingly that most people are unaware of its roots as a comic. ” - elias_michelg
 
14.
Superman II (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth. (127 mins.)
Director: Richard Lester
“ With the Zod storyline foreshadowed in the first Superman movie, this is a sequel that (regardless of behind-the-scenes turmoil) seamlessly follows on for that authentic comic-book feel. ” - elias_michelg
 
15.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart. (112 mins.)
Director: Edgar Wright
“ A faithful live-action rendering of O’Malley’s punky attitude and genre-hopping sass. ” - elias_michelg
 
16.
Spider-Man (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family. (121 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ The first comic-book movie for over a decade to top the year-end box office, chiefly because (webslingers aside) Raimi caught the wistful/ whiplash quality of the comic’s teenage kicks. ” - elias_michelg
 
17.
Oldboy (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days. (120 mins.)
Director: Chan-wook Park
“ Transposed to Korea, the film has become emblematic with that country’s cinema, but the dark, stark themes are very manga. ” - elias_michelg
 
18.
Blade (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires. (120 mins.)
“ A pumped-up actioner whose influence is only obvious in retrospect; as Marvel’s first real hit, it paved the way for X-Men, Spider-Man and the rest. ” - elias_michelg
 
19.
300 (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
King Leonidas of Sparta and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. (117 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
“ Taking his cue from Sin City, Snyder doesn’t see this as a movie adapted from a graphic novel, but a bunch of really big pages with actors on them. ” - elias_michelg
 
20.
Batman Returns (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda. (126 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
“ On the very cusp of OTT (a place later Schumacher films would merrily plunge into), this is still the Bat-movie that best captures how deviant Gotham City is. ” - elias_michelg
 
21.
Men in Black (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A police officer joins a secret organization that polices and monitors extraterrestrial interactions on Earth. (98 mins.)
“ Sonnenfeld eschewed Cunningham’s tone for easygoing laughs, but those eye-catching visuals still have panel-strip pizzazz. ” - elias_michelg
 
22.
Iron Man (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil. (126 mins.)
Director: Jon Favreau
“ Smartly updated with a War On Terror plotline, but faithful to Tony Stark’s playboy roots – it’s the most successful ‘fun’ superhero movie in recent years. ” - elias_michelg
 
23.
Road to Perdition (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman's son witnesses what his father does for a living. (117 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ A proper prestige pic and Oscar winner, which showed that comic-book movies needn’t be all about capes. ” - elias_michelg
 
24.
American Splendor (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar. (101 mins.)
“ A highly experimental marriage of fact and fiction that’s unusual compared to, say, Batman, but reflects the source superbly. ” - elias_michelg
 
25.
Hellboy (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness. (122 mins.)
“ Del Toro is arguably the only director who could have made this work, and his commitment to replicating Hellboy’s world-weary nobility pays off. Sequel’s ace, too. ” - elias_michelg
 
26.
Persepolis (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution. (96 mins.)
“ Inevitably, a close fit, and a film whose critical acclaim has helped to draw attention to the artistic power of drawings. ” - elias_michelg
 
27.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In 1962, the United States government enlists the help of Mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start World War III. (132 mins.)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
“ A faithfulness to the established X-Men canon pays off with strong character work and a geekgasm of in-jokes. ” - elias_michelg
 
28.
The Addams Family (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Con artists plan to fleece an eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long-lost uncle. (99 mins.)
“ Based more on the 1960s TV series than the comics, but Addams’ distinctive character designs and affectionate ghoulishness remain intact. ” - elias_michelg
 
29.
V for Vendetta (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of "V", plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman. (132 mins.)
Director: James McTeigue
“ Moore famously denounced this – and indeed every – version of his work, unhappy that V was a Bush-era freedom fighter rather than the original anarchist. But compared to most adaptations of Moore, it works fine as a stylised, pop-political actioner. ” - elias_michelg
 
30.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet. (117 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
“ The film only got made on condition Miyazaki adapted his own creation, so the original is faithful – but for many years western audiences got only incomprehensible re-edit Warriors Of The Wind. ” - elias_michelg
 
31.
Danger: Diabolik (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
International man of mystery Diabolik pulls heist after heist but European cops led by inspector Ginko and envious mobsters led by Ralph Valmont are closing-in on him. (105 mins.)
Director: Mario Bava
“ Lurid, camp and OTT, so pretty faithful to the source… although it says as much about Dino De Laurentiis’ taste for cinema, this being made concurrently with Barbarella. ” - elias_michelg
 
32.
Dick Tracy (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
The comic strip detective finds his life vastly complicated when Breathless Mahoney makes advances towards him while he is trying to battle Big Boy Caprice's united mob. (105 mins.)
Director: Warren Beatty
“ The story’s all over the place and the less said about Madonna, the better, but look at it. Made by one of the best crews ever assembled in Hollywood, the attention to detail in replicating Gould’s world is remarkable. ” - elias_michelg
 
33.
Barbarella (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Barbarella, an astronaut from the 41st century, sets out to find and stop the evil scientist Durand Durand, whose Positronic Ray threatens to bring evil back into the galaxy. (98 mins.)
Director: Roger Vadim
“ Despite Fonda’s willingness to shed clothes, the film has less boobs than the source – but nails the cheerful attitude to sex. ” - elias_michelg
 
34.
Watchmen (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it. (162 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
“ Talents as diverse as Terry Gilliam and Paul Greengrass said it couldn’t be adapted successfully. So Snyder went back to the source and aped it frame-by-frame. It’s a little too reverential. ” - elias_michelg
 
35.
The Rocketeer (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A young pilot stumbles onto a prototype jetpack that allows him to become a high flying masked hero. (108 mins.)
Director: Joe Johnston
“ A box-office flop, but one whose old-school charms continue to beguile those who track it down. ” - elias_michelg
 
36.
Heavy Metal (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A glowing green orb - which embodies ultimate evil - terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror. (86 mins.)
“ A mixed-bag, although the sheer variety alone replicates the sense of watching the magazine. ” - elias_michelg
 
37.
The Crow (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A man brutally murdered comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée's murder. (102 mins.)
Director: Alex Proyas
“ Between Proyas’ vivid visual style and the real-life pall of mortality hanging over the film, it captures a rare depth of feeling. ” - elias_michelg
 
38.
Fritz the Cat (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A hypocritical swinging college student cat raises hell in a satiric vision of various elements on the 1960s. (78 mins.)
Director: Ralph Bakshi
“ Denounced by Crumb, but it’s still closer to the artist’s work than to, say, Disney. ” - elias_michelg
 
39.
Hulk (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Bruce Banner, a genetics researcher with a tragic past, suffers an accident that causes him to transform into a raging green monster when he gets angry. (138 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
“ Lee’s art-house approach baffled many, but it’s a sincere attempt to treat the material with depth, and the innovative editing at least ensures it looks like a comic book. ” - elias_michelg
 
40.
Ichi the Killer (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of. (129 mins.)
Director: Takashi Miike
“ Notoriously bloody, and a hard watch even after being clipped by the censors. It’s probably the nearest art-house audiences have got to witnessing manga’s extremes. ” - elias_michelg
 
41.
Thor (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The powerful but arrogant god Thor is cast out of Asgard to live amongst humans in Midgard (Earth), where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders. (115 mins.)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
“ Branagh brings Shakespearean pomp and cheeky wit to make a decent, hammer-sized fist of things. ” - elias_michelg
 
42.
The Mask (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss is transformed into a manic superhero when he wears a mysterious mask. (101 mins.)
Director: Charles Russell
“ Copious CGI helps sell the actual mask, but really Carrey is pretty much a cartoon anyway. ” - elias_michelg
 
43.
Popeye (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
The adventures of the sailor man and his friends in the seaside town of Sweethaven. (114 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ Oft-derided, but the sheer oddness of Altman bringing his trademark technique to oversized cartoon-style sets is kind of endearing. ” - elias_michelg
 
44.
Constantine (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Supernatural detective John Constantine helps a policewoman prove her sister's death was not a suicide, but something more. (121 mins.)
“ Purists may wail, but full marks for trying something different in a decade dominated by superheroes. ” - elias_michelg
 
45.
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The life and misadventures of a family in contemporary Japan. (104 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
“ Ignoring the usual Ghibli style in favour of replicating Ishii's sparse, abstract designs, this couldn't be more faithful. ” - elias_michelg
 
46.
Annie (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A young orphan girl's adventures in finding a family that will take her. (126 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ With Aileen Quinn and a bald-capped Albert Finney dead ringers for the cartoons, this is surprisingly close. ” - elias_michelg
 
47.
Swamp Thing (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
After a violent incident with a special chemical, a research scientist is turned into a swamp plant monster. (91 mins.)
Director: Wes Craven
“ Craven's subversive sensibilities ensure that this is raw, corny, B-movie fun. ” - elias_michelg
 
48.
Tamara Drewe (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A young newspaper writer returns to her hometown in the English countryside, where her childhood home is being prepped for sale. (107 mins.)
Director: Stephen Frears
“ It might look scarcely more cinematic than a Sunday night TV movie, but Frears steals shots from the original with the same reverence shown by Zack Snyder. ” - elias_michelg
 
49.
30 Days of Night (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
After an Alaskan town is plunged into darkness for a month, it is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires. (113 mins.)
Director: David Slade
“ Niles had dabbled with selling the concept as a film before publication, so it's no surprise the story works. ” - elias_michelg
 
50.
Wanted (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A frustrated office worker learns that he is the son of a professional assassin, and that he shares his father's superhuman killing abilities. (110 mins.)
“ Nowhere near as dark as Millar's vision, but Bekmambetov wields a camera as freely as if he's scribbling with a pen. ” - elias_michelg