Comic book movies remain some of the most acclaimed and beloved films of our time. Far from being merely popcorn blockbusters, they can challenge us and introduce new themes, while also being visually stunning and highly entertaining. But with the vast number of superhero films available, what are the best superhero movies?
Among the most acclaimed and defining films of the genre are three cornerstone pieces that shift the way we think about superhero movies: Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. The Dark Knight is celebrated for its nuanced storytelling and thought-provoking themes, exploring the psychology of evil and the moral ambiguity between Batman and the Joker. The film grossed over one billion dollars at the box office and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, making it one of the most commercially successful superhero films of all time.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has produced a wide range of superhero films, with some of the most popular being Iron Man, Avengers, Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Each film has pushed the boundaries of the genre, crafting compelling stories and exploring a wide range of themes. All of the films in the MCU have become immensely popular with audiences and critics, proving that superheroes can be entertaining and meaningful at the same time.
Another series of films that stand out are the X-Men films. While the films have some inconsistencies between them, the X-Men films have explored themes of prejudice and alienation, making them particularly relevant and poignant. In addition, the films have also embraced diversity in their cast, tackling racism and sexism in subtle and powerful ways.
Among the stand-alone films, there are some that stand out. The Disney / Pixar film The Incredibles is a treasured animated film that explores the joys and struggles of family life while featuring some truly unique superhero powers. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a groundbreaking animated film that introduces a brilliant new character while non-linearly exploring an original universe. Finally, Deadpool is a unique film that walks the blurry line between touching and outrageous, making it an unforgettable experience.
The DC films have often been criticized for lacking the spark and edge of Marvel films, but there have been some true gems too. Wonder Woman is a spectacular origin story that introduces an iconic character and shows her joined by Steve Trevor in her mission to save the world. Aquaman is a visually stunning epic that reinvigorates the character and introduces him as the ruler of the seas. Finally, Shazam is a delightful family comedy that at times has moments of powerful resonance.
The Animation Revolution
In recent years, animated films have become a popular and powerful genre in their own right. Fantastic films such as The LEGO Batman Movie and Big Hero 6 provide a different perspective on the superhero genre, showcasing the powers of a hero while also staying true to the magic and comedy that animation can bring. The Incredibles 2 is a fantastic sequel that builds on the original while also exploring fatherhood and family dynamics in a unique way.
The True Gems
There are some unusual films that have become cult classic superhero films. Kick-Ass and its sequel are twisted explorations of the superhero genre, while presenting unique and exciting stories. The Deadpool films blend laughter with action and adventure in a unique way, with the most recent film being an R-Rated musical. Finally, The Dark Knight Rises is an exciting and thrilling finale to the trilogy, showcasing themes of hope and redemption in an exciting way.
The future of superhero films looks bright, as there are several films in development from both Marvel and DC. Fans are eagerly anticipating films such as The Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman 1984, as well as a host of films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We are sure to be entertained and surprised as new films continue to explore the possibilities of the genre.