Superhero movies are one of Hollywood’s most beloved genres, with new superhero films released every year to critical acclaim and box office success. Superheroes help us get through our day-to-day lives by giving us something to look up to and aspire towards, whether it’s an alien race or wealthy billionaire playboy philanthropist. Here are the best superhero movies of all time—so far! We’ll update this list as more great superhero movies come out over the years!
Before Marvel’s Cinematic Universe had released half a dozen films, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man franchise had three. Tobey Maguire played everyone’s favorite webhead for all three films and did an excellent job, but none could top Spider-Man 2 in terms of story or emotion. Plus, it introduced one of comics’ greatest villains: Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina). Spider Man is everything you want in a superhero movie: action-packed and heartwarming (with great jokes too). Plus, you’ll want to watch it over and over again because it’s just that good.
Iron Man (2008)
It’s not just that Robert Downey Jr. gave Marvel’s newest superhero such a winning personality, it’s that Iron Man was more than just a standalone character film. It was also Marvel’s big statement that they could do something on their own—and they were right! Critics were initially cynical, but Iron Man exceeded expectations and launched both an iconic franchise and a landmark new era in cinema. If we have you at awesome robot suit, then we don’t even need to mention Downey’s exceptional performance or director Jon Favreau’s ability to set up Tony Stark as one of our greatest superheroes ever. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for? Go watch it!
Batman Begins (2005)
Directed by Christopher Nolan, Batman Begins stars Christian Bale as a younger version of Bruce Wayne and Gotham City’s Dark Knight. Three villains that have become iconic since their introduction in earlier films – Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe), Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) and The Joker (Heath Ledger) – make appearances in what some fans consider to be one of the best superhero films ever made. Director Christopher Nolan told IGN he wanted to tell a story about why Batman exists. The reboot was so well received by fans, it would lead to sequels The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Directed by Bryan Singer, X-Men follows a group of mutant superheroes as they learn to accept and work with their abilities. The ensemble cast includes Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen and Famke Janssen. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards including best picture, but it won only for its makeup effects. The film spawned several sequels including X2 (2003) and Days of Future Past (2014).
Christopher Reeve is iconic as Superman, and he’s supported by a powerful, heartwarming performance from Marlon Brando. This film has aged well and may even be better now than it was when it first came out. It’s an easy choice for one of the best superhero movies. If you have never seen it before then make sure you check out Superman.
X2 – X Men United (2003)
While some may argue that Chris Evans was a better fit as Captain America in The Avengers (2012) than he was in his own movie, no one can deny how well made and fantastic The First Avenger really is. Evans brings all of his charm to Steve Rogers and makes it work beautifully, but it’s Hugo Weaving as Red Skull who really shines. He does a fantastic job as an evil Nazi who can also turn into dust, which is something that hasn’t been seen in a superhero movie before. Plus, the actor gives us one great villainous speech after another and leaves us wanting more.
Captain America – The First Avenger (2011)
After being subjected to an experimental serum that greatly increases his strength and speed, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers for U.S. government’s supersoldier program during World War II, a war in which he was previously banned from participating due to his poor health. This film is based on Captain America by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, which ran September 14, 1941-March 1, 1946.
Batman v Superman – Dawn of Justice (2016)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a 2016 American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. Directed by Zack Snyder, with a screenplay by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, it is a sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons , Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot.