Superhero Movies

by Ludwig_von_Mises | created - 04 Sep 2011 | updated - 04 Sep 2011 | Public

These are the superhero movies I've seen, from best to worst. The order may not be entirely accurate, for it has been many a year since I have viewed them, preferring to focus on serious movies than ludicrous ones (ie. everything after #15 on this list, and everything beforehand in part).

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1. Spider-Man (2002)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

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.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe, James Franco

Votes: 603,349 | Gross: $403.71M

2. Kick-Ass (2010)

R | 117 min | Action, Comedy

66 Metascore

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.

Director: Matthew Vaughn | Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloë Grace Moretz, Garrett M. Brown

Votes: 476,443 | Gross: $48.07M

3. Batman Begins (2005)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

70 Metascore

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.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe, Liam Neeson

Votes: 1,116,875 | Gross: $206.85M

4. X2 (2003)

PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

68 Metascore

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.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen

Votes: 453,753 | Gross: $214.95M

5. Batman (1989)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure

69 Metascore

The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl

Votes: 297,224 | Gross: $251.19M

6. Superman (1978)

PG | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

86 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando

Votes: 140,032 | Gross: $134.22M

7. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

83 Metascore

Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina, James Franco

Votes: 466,526 | Gross: $373.59M

8. Batman: The Movie (1966)

PG | 105 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

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.

Director: Leslie H. Martinson | Stars: Adam West, Burt Ward, Lee Meriwether, Cesar Romero

Votes: 26,139

9. Iron Man (2008)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

79 Metascore

After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.

Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges

Votes: 784,033 | Gross: $318.41M

10. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

PG-13 | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

61 Metascore

Bruce Banner, a scientist on the run from the U.S. Government, must find a cure for the monster he turns into, whenever he loses his temper.

Director: Louis Leterrier | Stars: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt

Votes: 363,995 | Gross: $134.52M

11. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

78 Metascore

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.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Alexander

Votes: 227,816 | Gross: $75.75M

12. Watchmen (2009)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

56 Metascore

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.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman

Votes: 429,671 | Gross: $107.51M

13. The Dark Knight (2008)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

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.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Votes: 1,911,673 | Gross: $534.86M

14. Superman II (1980)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth.

Directors: Richard Lester, Richard Donner | Stars: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Ned Beatty

Votes: 85,492 | Gross: $108.19M

15. The Mask (1994)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy

56 Metascore

Bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss is transformed into a manic superhero when he wears a mysterious mask.

Director: Chuck Russell | Stars: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert, Peter Greene

Votes: 295,685 | Gross: $119.94M

16. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

PG-13 | 139 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

A strange black entity from another world bonds with Peter Parker and causes inner turmoil as he contends with new villains, temptations, and revenge.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Topher Grace, Thomas Haden Church

Votes: 430,095 | Gross: $336.53M

17. Superman III (1983)

PG | 125 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

Synthetic kryptonite laced with tar splits Superman in two: good Clark Kent and bad Man of Steel.

Director: Richard Lester | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Margot Kidder, Jackie Cooper

Votes: 55,999 | Gross: $59.95M

18. X-Men (2000)

PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

Two mutants come to a private academy for their kind whose resident superhero team must oppose a terrorist organization with similar powers.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen

Votes: 506,275 | Gross: $157.30M

19. Hulk (2003)

PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Sci-Fi

54 Metascore

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.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas

Votes: 229,478 | Gross: $132.18M

20. Hellboy (2004)

PG-13 | 122 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

72 Metascore

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.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, Selma Blair, John Hurt

Votes: 270,344 | Gross: $59.62M

21. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

PG | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Family

22 Metascore

The Man of Steel crusades for nuclear disarmament and meets Lex Luthor's latest creation, Nuclear Man.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Jackie Cooper

Votes: 36,949 | Gross: $15.68M

22. Superman Returns (2006)

PG-13 | 154 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

72 Metascore

Superman reappears after a long absence, but is challenged by an old foe who uses Kryptonian technology for world domination.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden

Votes: 253,513 | Gross: $200.08M

23. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

40 Metascore

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.

Director: Gavin Hood | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Danny Huston

Votes: 409,518 | Gross: $179.88M

24. Iron Man 2 (2010)

PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

57 Metascore

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.

Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle

Votes: 594,334 | Gross: $312.43M

25. Fantastic Four (I) (2005)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Family

40 Metascore

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.

Director: Tim Story | Stars: Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, Jessica Alba

Votes: 285,803 | Gross: $154.70M

26. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

58 Metascore

An all-out war looms when the discovery of a cure for mutations draws a line between the followers of Charles Xavier and those of Magneto.

Director: Brett Ratner | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen

Votes: 426,641 | Gross: $234.36M

27. Punisher: War Zone (2008)

R | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

30 Metascore

Frank Castle, the ex-military man whose family was killed by criminals, who became a vigilante known as the Punisher, goes after a whole mob family and gets everyone except enforcer Billy ... See full summary »

Director: Lexi Alexander | Stars: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz, Doug Hutchison

Votes: 54,178 | Gross: $7.95M

28. Batman Forever (1995)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

51 Metascore

Batman must battle former district attorney Harvey Dent, who is now Two-Face and Edward Nygma, The Riddler with help from an amorous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman

Votes: 209,686 | Gross: $184.03M

29. Batman & Robin (1997)

PG-13 | 125 min | Action, Sci-Fi

28 Metascore

Batman and Robin try to keep their relationship together even as they must stop Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy from freezing Gotham City.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell, Uma Thurman

Votes: 207,458 | Gross: $107.33M

30. Sky High (2005)

PG | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

62 Metascore

Set in an era where superheroes are commonly known and accepted, young William Stronghold, the son of the Commander and Jetstream, tries to find a balance between being a normal teenager and an extraordinary being.

Director: Mike Mitchell | Stars: Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Michael Angarano, Danielle Panabaker

Votes: 68,311 | Gross: $63.95M

31. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

PG | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

45 Metascore

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.

Director: Tim Story | Stars: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis

Votes: 228,801 | Gross: $131.92M

32. Hancock (2008)

PG-13 | 92 min | Action, Crime, Drama

49 Metascore

Hancock is a superhero whose ill considered behavior regularly causes damage in the millions. He changes when the person he saves helps him improve his public image.

Director: Peter Berg | Stars: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Jae Head

Votes: 387,850 | Gross: $227.95M

33. Jonah Hex (2010)

PG-13 | 81 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

33 Metascore

The U.S. military makes a scarred bounty hunter with warrants on his own head an offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom, he must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth.

Director: Jimmy Hayward | Stars: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender

Votes: 49,579 | Gross: $10.54M

34. Zoom (2006)

PG | 83 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

26 Metascore

Former superhero Jack is called back to work to transform an unlikely group of ragtag kids into superheroes at a private academy.

Director: Peter Hewitt | Stars: Tim Allen, Courteney Cox, Chevy Chase, Spencer Breslin

Votes: 16,493 | Gross: $11.63M

35. Unbreakable (2000)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

A man learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright, Spencer Treat Clark

Votes: 291,487 | Gross: $95.01M