It’s only been one full month into 2016, and we’re already getting started on the superhero film onslaught that awaits. Starting with Deadpool, and ending with Doctor Strange, there are a total of eight comic book flicks this year – and the numbers are only increasing over the next few years. Truly it is the golden age of Superhero films. So, as a minor countdown to the first flick of this genre this year (one about a certain merc with a mouth) I have decided to compose my personal top 15 greatest superhero films. I should note that the only requirement for this list is that the films must involve a superhero, regardless if they are a comic book movie or not (sorry Scott Pilgrim and others, you don’t make the cake!). The other day we went through 15-11 (which can be found here), but now we move on to the next five!
10 – Batman Begins
After the disaster that was Batman & Robin, the Caped Crusader appeared to be a toxic franchise for several years. That was, until Christopher Nolan came onto the scene and made his name bringing the Dark Knight back into the shadows. As Gotham City is littered with a fantastic cast, Nolan brings back the sophistication and brooding atmosphere of Batman, all the while updating the origin and world for a modern audience.
Best Moment: When the Batman summons a swarm of bats to his aid.
9 – X2
It’s a shame the famous leather-clad gang of X-Men, one of the biggest superhero franchises out there, reached its peak so early in 2003. Nevertheless, Bryan Singer kicks up the tension and politics that define these characters by tenfold. With genuine stakes, interesting twists, and an intelligent script to hold it together, X2 shows just what heights these films can achieve with the right focus and direction.
Best Moment: The first five minutes in the White House – what a hook!
8 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Like X2 over X-Men, Captain America: The Winter Soldier shows a significant leap of quality from the first to second films. Anchoring the film in modern political tensions (with the comic book veil, of course), the Russo Brothers craft this film more like a spy thriller than a superhero adventure. Even with a whole Marvel Cinematic Universe, post-Avengers as well, to juggle, the film works independently and as a jigsaw piece to the Disney cash cow. With the Russos returning for Civil War which is expected to come out soon, there may be another Cap film on this list in the future.
Best Moment: The Winter Soldier and Captain America ‘heart-to-heart’ at the climax of the film for sure.
7 – Batman
Yes, if you saw the last article, you would know the first proper Batman film would be on this list. While Nolan brought back the shadow, Burton was the one to cast the Dark Knight in them to begin with. Powerfully atmospheric and wonderfully Burton, Batman is brought to film in Frank Miller-esque style as he prowls the Gotham backdrop. Including Jack Nicholson’s zany Joker, a jackhammer of a main theme by Danny Elfman and some early Burton, Batman holds up as a comic book flick standard.
Best Moment: ‘Who are you?’ ‘I’m Batman!’
6 – Iron Man
When Iron Man came out in 2008, it had a lot of money riding on it. As Marvel Studios’ introduction for audiences to the inevitable Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film would make or break the upcoming franchise. Well, not only did it make the Franchise, it also still stands as one of its finest. Updating Iron man in costume and concept for a tech-savvy world, Iron Man was the perect superhero for the 21st Century. It also helped turn Robert Downey Jr. into one of the biggest comeback actors of all time! Not bad, Iron Man, not bad.
Best Moment: When Iron Man confronts the Ten Rings henchmen and forges some tin-can action.
Now onto the top five!