The Best Superhero Films of All Time

A ranking of the best superhero films, including the critic consensus, as well as my general opinion.

note: I use MRQE for the critic ratings.

I have determined the order through combining my personal view and the critics view.

List is a work in progress
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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.)
“ Easily the best Superhero film of all time, one of the most intelligent blockbusters ever made, and possibly the best film of the decade. One of the things that makes this film worthy of being called a classic, is how it works on a much deeper level. It delves into a study of our post 9/11 society, and the security world we now live in, while escalating into nihilism. The execution of this film is impeccable, and Heath Ledger's mesmerizing performance is legendary.

Critic Rating - 89
Personal Rating - 1st

Another interesting note, I recently discovered that this is one of the top 100 highest rated films of all time - http://www.mrqe.com/lists/100_best_films/mrqes-100-best-ranked-films ” - jake haynes
 
2.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane. (164 mins.)
“ A truly epic masterpiece. This is possibly the most emotionally powerful film on the list, the scale is monumental, and it is brutally accurate to the situation in our current American society. This film is very relevant to our times, it is about America, and where we will be if things don't change.

Critic Rating - 80
Personal Rating - 2nd

Tied with Avengers for the 2nd highest rated superhero film on RT ” - jake haynes
 
3.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. (132 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ Just got back from seeing this. Honestly, there isn't a thing I would change. It's too hard to mention all of the things that blew me away. Just an incredible film. One of the best I've seen in a long time. ” - jake haynes
 
4.
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
“ This superhero film started it all, and remains one of the best to this day. It is exciting, witty, and has a lot of charm, while featuring what is seemingly the perfect cast.

MOS is going to have a hard time topping this, but so far, I think it might have a chance.


Critic Rating - 85
Personal Rating - 5th


note: Mario Puzo, writer of the Godfather, my favorite film of all time, helped co-write Superman. ” - jake haynes
 
5.
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
“ This is the first film that comes to mind when you think of a superhero film. It also features what many superhero films lack, heart. This is the definitive Spider-Man film.

Critic Rating - 83
Personal rating - 4th ” - jake haynes
 
6.
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.)
“ The movie that started one of the best trilogies of all time. This is the movie that wiped away the memories of Batman and Robin that still haunted us all. It is a phenomenal origin story that showed how much depth a superhero film could have.

Critic rating - 81
Personal Rating - 3rd ” - jake haynes
 
7.
The Avengers (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity. (143 mins.)
Director: Joss Whedon
“ The Avengers fully assemble in this explosive adventure. Seeing every character come together so flawlessly was incredible. Excluding Spider-Man 2, this is the best Marvel film yet.

Critic Rating - 79
Personal Rating -

Tied with TDKR for the 2nd highest rated superhero film on RT ” - jake haynes
 
8.
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
“ Critic Rating - 78 ” - jake haynes
 
9.
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
“ Critic Rating - 78 ” - jake haynes
 
10.
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
“ Critic Rating - 74 ” - jake haynes
 
11.
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
“ Critic Rating - 76 ” - jake haynes
 
12.
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
“ Critic Rating - 74 ” - jake haynes
 
13.
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
“ Critic Rating - 73 ” - jake haynes
 
14.
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
“ Critic Rating - 70 ” - jake haynes
 
15.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains newfound, spider-like powers and ventures out to solve the mystery of his parent's mysterious death. (136 mins.)
Director: Marc Webb
“ Critic Rating - 67 ” - jake haynes
 
16.
X-Men (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Two mutants come to a private academy for their kind whose resident superhero team must oppose a terrorist organization with similar powers. (104 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ Critic Rating - 72 ” - jake haynes
 
17.
Superman Returns (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Superman reappears after a long absence, but is challenged by an old foe who uses Kryptonian technology for world domination. (154 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ Critic Rating - 73 ” - jake haynes
 
18.
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
“ Critic Rating - 70 ” - jake haynes
 
19.
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
“ Critic Rating - 70 ” - jake haynes
 
20.
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
“ Critic Rating - 69 ” - jake haynes
 
21.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures. (120 mins.)
“ Critic Rating - 72 ” - jake haynes
 
22.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Bruce Banner, a scientist on the run from the U.S. Government, must find a cure for the monster he emerges whenever he loses his temper. (112 mins.)
Director: Louis Leterrier
“ Critic Rating - 68 ” - jake haynes
 
23.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a "Super-Soldier serum". But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization. (124 mins.)
Director: Joe Johnston
“ Critic Rating - 68 ” - jake haynes
 
24.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier's former ally, Magneto. (104 mins.)
Director: Brett Ratner
“ Critic Rating - 63 ” - jake haynes
 
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.)
“ Critic Rating - 69 ” - jake haynes
 
26.
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
“ Critic Rating - 62 ” - jake haynes
 
27.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
With the world now aware of his identity as Iron Man, Tony Stark must contend with both his declining health and a vengeful mad man with ties to his father's legacy. (124 mins.)
Director: Jon Favreau
“ Critic Rating - 64 ” - jake haynes
 
28.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A strange black entity from another world bonds with Peter Parker and causes inner turmoil as he contends with new villains, temptations, and revenge. (139 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ Critic Rating - 63 ” - jake haynes
 
29.
Daredevil (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
A man blinded by toxic waste which also enhanced his remaining senses fights crime as an acrobatic martial arts superhero. (103 mins.)
“ Critic Rating - 55 ” - jake haynes
 
30.
Batman Forever (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Batman must battle Two-Face and The Riddler with help from an amorous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin. (121 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
“ Critic Rating - 48 ” - jake haynes
 
31.
The Punisher (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
An undercover FBI agent becomes a vigilante assassin and sets out to unleash his wrath upon the corrupt businessman who slaughtered his entire family at a reunion. (124 mins.)
“ Critic Rating - 50 ” - jake haynes
 
32.
Batman: The Movie (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The Dynamic Duo faces four supervillains who plan to hold the world for ransom with the help of a secret invention that instantly dehydrates people. (105 mins.)
“ Critic Rating - 63 ” - jake haynes
 
33.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
The Fantastic Four learn that they aren't the only super-powered beings in the universe when they square off against the powerful Silver Surfer and the planet-eating Galactus. (92 mins.)
Director: Tim Story
“ Critic Rating - 54 ” - jake haynes
 
34.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A look at Wolverine's early life, in particular his time with the government squad Team X and the impact it will have on his later years. (107 mins.)
Director: Gavin Hood
“ Critic Rating - 54 ” - jake haynes
 
35.
Fantastic Four (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A group of astronauts gain superpowers after a cosmic radiation exposure and must use them to oppose the plans of their enemy, Doctor Victor Von Doom. (106 mins.)
Director: Tim Story
“ Critic Rating - 49 ” - jake haynes
 
36.
Green Lantern (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Reckless test pilot Hal Jordan is granted an alien ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers that inducts him into an intergalactic police force, the Green Lantern Corps. (114 mins.)
Director: Martin Campbell
“ Critic Rating - 44 ” - jake haynes
 
37.
Superman III (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
Synthetic kryptonite laced with tobacco tar splits Superman in two: good Clark Kent and bad Man of Steel. (125 mins.)
Director: Richard Lester
“ Critic Rating - 48 ” - jake haynes
 
38.
Punisher: War Zone (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
After hunting down and killing hundreds of violent criminals, Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, faces his most deadly foe yet: Jigsaw. (103 mins.)
Director: Lexi Alexander
“ Critic Rating - 45 ” - jake haynes
 
39.
Ghost Rider (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze gives up his soul to become a hellblazing vigilante, to fight against power hungry Blackheart, the son of the devil himself. (114 mins.)
“ Critic Rating - 45 ” - jake haynes
 
40.
Elektra (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
Elektra the warrior survives a near-death experience, becomes an assassin-for-hire, and tries to protect her two latest targets, a single father and his young daughter, from a group of supernatural assassins. (97 mins.)
Director: Rob Bowman
“ Critic Rating - 42 ” - jake haynes
 
41.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  
As Johnny Blaze hides out in Eastern Europe, he is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form. (96 mins.)
Director: Neveldine, Taylor
“ Critic Rating - 35 ” - jake haynes
 
42.
Catwoman (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  
A shy woman, endowed with the speed, reflexes, and senses of a cat, walks a thin line between criminal and hero, even as a detective doggedly pursues her, fascinated by both of her personas. (104 mins.)
Director: Pitof
“ Critic Rating - 35 ” - jake haynes
 
43.
Batman & Robin (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  
Batman and Robin try to keep their relationship together even as they must stop Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy from freezing Gotham City. (125 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
“ This falls in the so bad it's good area... until you see Batman use the door of a rocket to surf the sky back to Gotham. This is the point where you know you are in for a movie so bad that it is one of the worst movies ever. Luckily, the puns make it fun to laugh at, and save it from being the lowest on the list.

Critic Rating - 35 ” - jake haynes
 
44.
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  
The Man of Steel crusades for nuclear disarmament and meets Lex Luthor's latest creation, Nuclear Man. (90 mins.)
Director: Sidney J. Furie
“ This film is awful, and is one of the lowest rated films ever for good reason.
Critic Rating - 27 ” - jake haynes