The List: Top 10 Greatest Superhero Movies Of All Time

Ok guys, so two weeks ago I put up a poll asking for you guys to vote for what superhero film (live-action or animated) you think is the greatest of all time. Well, the votes are in, there was a lot of competition, but we do have a winner. So let's go over the top 10 shall we:

10. The Avengers/ Avengers Assemble

Yeah, don't be surprised when you see a lot of MCU films on this list. What is there to say about this film that hasn't been said before. It could have gone horribly wrong but didn't and the resulting box office smash solidified Marvel's Cinematic Universe as a fixture in cinema that's lasted a full decade and has seen 22 movies released. Of course, it wasn't guaranteed to be any good, Phase 1 of the MCU was before they'd really got a cohesive plan together for what they wanted the series to be and the films a notoriously up and down in terms of quality, plus nobody had tried such a big experiment before. But, like I said, I think it turned out alright.

9. Wonder Woman

Yeah, don't expect to see a lot of DCEU films on this list (sorry DC fans). Wonder Woman is somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to the DCEU, i.e. people actually liked it. And this was before Aquaman and Shazam came along, so this was even more surprising. A period piece with some excellent costume design and action set pieces, coupled with great performances from the cast and brilliant directing and not a Zack Snyder to be found (well, outside of a producers credit), meaning that the film was somewhat faithful to the comics version of the character and actually, you know, fun. Probably why it did so well.

8. Black Panther

Back to the MCU now, with a very unique film within the genre. Basically an Afrofuturist take of the superhero film genre, it tackled the arguement between interventionalist vs. isolationist foreign policy through the lense of a technologically advanced African culture. It saw yet another home run on the villain front for Marvel's Phase 3 and, hopefully, has put to bed the idea that a Hollywood film has to have a predominately white cast (this film having black actors in all but two major roles) in order to do well at the box office, currently sitting at number 10 in the highest grossing movies of all time, having taken $1.35 billion at the box office.

7. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Again, not much to say about this film that we haven't said before. One of the most fun superhero movies ever made, we follow the genesis of the MCU's most disfunctional family as they try to sell an Infinity Stone and have a dance off with one of the worst villains the MCU ever produced. But if we ignore Ronan, it's the main cast that make this one, taking a team that no-one outside of comics readers had ever heard of to being household names.

6. Avengers: Infinity War

Considering this film had 10 years and nearly 20 films worth of build to it, it had better well be in the top 10 best superhero films of all time. As far as films go, this has to be one of the most ambitious ever, the main character is a villain who wants to commit genocide on a universal scale, whilst his supporting cast is made up of already full fleshed out characters from every movie in the series so far (almost, but don't worry, Ant-Man does get his moment in the sequel), whilst also introducing new (if not quite as fleshed out) characters as well. And that's even before we get to talking about how they end the film with the villain winning. Safe to say, this film wouldn't have worked as a stand alone film and that's the beauty of it.

5. The Incredibles

Ok, let's take a break from the MCU, and from live-action heroics entirely, to talk about Pixar. They don't tend to do bad films (well, if we ignore that Cars 2 & 3 exist and that The Good Dinosaur wasn't, well, good, but anyway, off topic), so when they decided to turn their hand to doing a superhero movie back in the early 2000's, it wasn't really a surprise that it turned out to be excellent. Focusing on a family of superheroes trying to cope with life after superheros were banned and how they get dragged back into heroics due to the emergance of a new villain. Not only does the film have a perfect family dynamic and gives each family member powers to fit their role (Mr. Incredible being the Strong father-figure, Elasti-girl, as the mother, having to be super flexible to keep the family together, Violet wanting to literally becoming invisible and have a barrier around herself as a shy and insecure teenager, Dash being a hyperactive pre-teen and Jack-Jack being a completely unpredictable baby), but it also gives us one of the greatest animated villains of all time in Syndrome, with his accute self-awareness, tragic backstory, fanastic plan and penchant for the dramatic. Oh, and the sequel isn't bad either.

4. Logan

So, how do you kill off Wolverine? The Hugh Jackman version of the character had been around since the year 2000, being the star of the first X-Men trilogy, one of the sequels/ prequels (Days Of Future Past is really confusing for the timeline ok) and of 2 (not that great) solo outtings, but now, with the original team being replaced by a newer/ older (the X-Men films timeline is really confusing ok) version, it was time for the character that started it all to go. But how do you kill off Wolverine. Well, you give him an R-Rated send off with quite possibly the two most heartfelt performances in any superhero film courtesy of Jackman and Patrick Stewart and then you introduce the most important part of the Wolverine mythos that had yet to be part of the films in X-23. Even though the Fox X-Men films may be coming to a close now and they've had remarkable peaks and troughs in quality over the years, this film should stand as proof that when they were on form, the X-Men films could stand with the best of them.

3. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Top 3 now and we're back to animation. So, Into The Spider-Verse... ok, Spider-Man is my favourite and when it comes to the comics I think that all the endless cross-overs have screwed his over way too much and I don't like the Spider-Verse comic at all (apart from Spider-Gwen, love Spider-Gwen). But with all that said and done, this film is just special. The story is pretty standard, but the performances set it on fire. The animation is as close as you will ever get to seeing a comic brought to life and a legitimately (imo) works of art. The sheer number of characters they used without the film feeling cramped is a lesson that I hope we can send back in time so previous Spider-Man films can learn from it. Even the soundtrack is good and it's not the sort of music I would ever normally listen to. I could go on and on and on about how much I love this film, but we've got two films left to talk about, and though I'm sure everyone has guessed which two they are, we must move on.

2. The Dark Knight

The standard bearer for superhero films for the last 10 years and easily the best superhero film pre-MCU, the Nolan Batman trilogy are great examples of things all coming together, the right director, the right license, the right cast (I mean, these films had Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson and Tom Hardy in them at any given time), the right pretty much everything. But were it all shone the brightest was The Dark Knight. Nolan was never better as a Director (even Inception), the script was on point, the visuals stunning and the soundtrack incredible. Oh and they hired Heath Ledger to actually go crazy and method act The Joker (for which he got the first ever Superhero film acting Oscar). But, unfortunately, all of this couldn't help The Dark Knight keep hold of its number one spot.

1. Avengers: Endgame

It was inevitable. How do you end a film series 10 years and 22 films deep. Well, you kill off pretty much all of the characters but the ones you started with (plus a blue cyborg chick, a raccoon and a guy who can talk to ants), you do crazy time travel shenanigans and you top it all off with all of the fan service you can find and then some. Oh and you finish up all the character arcs and kill off a few old favourites. And then, to make things better, it isn't actually the end of said film series, which is nice.


Well, that's our list, as voted for by you guys. So, what do you guys think? Any films that you personally would have included? What's your favourite superhero film?

Anyway, since we did Best Superhero Films, I think our next course of action should be fairly clear... So stay tuned.

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6 Responses to The List: Top 10 Greatest Superhero Movies Of All Time

  1. The Atomic Punk says:

    The 1989 Batman directed by Tim Burton, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson didn’t crack the Top Ten?!?!? I get that expectations are high for superhero movies with the big budgets and heavy application of CGI and special effects. But, come on!

  2. JR19759 says:

    The Atomic Punk:
    The 1989 Batman directed by Tim Burton, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson didn’t crack the Top Ten?!?!?I get that expectations are high for superhero movies with the big budgets and heavy application of CGI and special effects.But, come on!

    Batman 1989 got 15th I believe. Captain America: Winter Soldier was 11 (only being 2 votes behind Avengers), Batman Begins, Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man 2 all beat Batman 1989 by one vote so they got 12/ 13/ 14 respectively. Nolan’s Batman completely overshadows Burton’s now-a-days.

  3. The Atomic Punk says:

    Christian Bale portrayed Batman in Nolan’s vision. But he was stiff and went through the motions. Michael Keaton was more playful and inventive as Bruce Wayne then went down to business Batman with a splash of Adam West.

    If Michael Keaton met Heath Ledger directed by … no reason for a director. They would have improvised the whole trilogy. The 1989 release launched the superhero movie / expanded universe genre with no doubt.

    Unfortunately, the sequels and subsequent Batman movies of the 1990s will probably be in the poll of the worst movies ever in any genre. Yeah, no thank you, Joel Schumacher . Then there is Ben Affleck who was impressive up until the point he became “Batmurderer.”

  4. Steve says:

    Also surprising in its absence is ‘Superman’ from 1978. Adding two cartoons to the list is an apples-and-oranges comparison as far as I’m concerned– they shouldn’t have been included.

  5. JR19759 says:

    @Steve- Nobody added Superman to the poll, so it’s not that much of a surprise that it didn’t make the list. And thank you for your opinion on the matter of having both animated and live-action films on the list. You are free to do your own polls and lists that seperate the two, I’d be very interested to see if the results (with obvious exceptions due to the seperation) are simular. I’d also be very interested as to why you feel they’re both so different that they cannot be compared. Surely, if we have to split them by the fact that one is live-action and one is computer animated (well, in the case of the two films on the list anyway), we should also therefore have seperated out the films that used predominately practical effects (pre-2000’s) and those that predominately used special effects (post-2000’s) considering that one is mostly made on a computer anyway, up to and including some characters and costumes.

  6. The Atomic Punk says:

    Also surprising in its absence is ‘Superman’ from 1978.Adding two cartoons to the list is an apples-and-oranges comparison as far as I’m concerned– they shouldn’t have been included.

    I was going to add Superman (1978) to the poll. However, the movie is a classic not just in the superhero genre. Then I also thought how it stands alongside its increasingly farcical sequels and other Superman movies (Superman Returns, Man of Steel, and Dawn of Justice). Christopher Reeves will always be Superman.

    As you can read with my passion and disappointment over Batman (1989), if Superman (1978) were in the poll, I would lose my PG-Rating. With respect, I am glad it was not in the poll at all. It is a special movie that I do not want to mar with trolling and flaming. Batman (1989)? Heck, yeah, I’m taking it to the mat!