Top 50 Superhero Movies Of All Time
We asked you to vote for your favourite superhero movies of all time, and here are the results
Do you really want to let this man in?
Welcome to Earth’s mightiest cinema heroes. We asked you to vote for your favourite superhero movies of all time, and just over 5,000 of you responded with your top fives.
Now the results are in, and here is the Titanic Top 50 Countdown!
As we mentioned in the original call to arms post, there are always going to be some grey areas when it comes to defining exactly what constitutes a superhero movies, but all of these fulfill an at-least-two-ticks-out-of-three criteria as far as we’re concerned, and hey, you voted for them, so don’t moan at us. If you you personally don’t think a film should have been included, but ignore it, move all the other films up a place. Which would let the current number 51 into the top fifty – and considering that’s The Phantom with Billy Zane, think very carefully about whether it’s something you really want to do…
50 Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Cast: Tobey Maguire (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane Watson), James Franco (Harry Osborn), Thomas Haden Church (Flint Marko/The Sandman)
In 1977, The Fonz strapped on a pair of waterskis and made a credibility-slaying leap over a shark. 30 years later Peter Parker takes style tips from My Chemical Romance and in the space of a few emo-fringed dance moves manages to turn the wall-crawling franchise to parody. Guess that’s what happens when goo from outer space turns you bad…
Spider-Man 3 may have been predictably lucrative at the box office, but – some breathtaking special effects aside – it manages to sully the good name of its predecessors. Falling into the trap of thinking bigger is better (and that all you need to create a darker tone is a black suit), this third outing struggles so much under the weight of its own excessive plot and action that you never get a chance to invest in the story. It feels like a movie written by committee, with Sandman introduced for Sam Raimi’s benefit, and the ever-popular Venom there to keep the fans happy. While both baddies would make worthy Spidey foes in separate films, here neither has enough room to manoeuvre or to develop the pathos that made Doc Ock a cut above the average movie villain.
49 Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (2007)
Director: Tim Story
Cast: Ioan Gruffudd (Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic), Chris Evans (Johnny Storm/The Human Torch), Michael Chiklis (Ben Grimm/The Thing), Jessica Alba (Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman)
Although the voting in this poll would tend to suggest otherwise, at the time this sequel came out, everybody was claiming it as superior to the original, mainly thanks to a chrome bloke on a surfboard. The Silver Surfer is one of comics’ most enigmatic and eye-pleasing icons, so when he first appears, you may find yourself muttering, “Aw, that’s cool!” with the Human Torch.
This screw-browed philosopher’s an odd fit with our heroes, though, who exist in a brightly-coloured sitcom world of banter and Looney Tunes sight gags. That might explain why the back-story of Norrin Radd and his world-consuming master Galactus (who’s earmarked Earth for dinner) is so under-explored. Or maybe they were saving it for a Silver Surfer film…
As before, Chris Evans’s incorrigible Johnny Storm steals the show, with some wittily self-referential lines about sponsorship – a “having your cake and eating it” nod to the franchise’s omnipresent product placement. There’s some likeably goofy business with the Four swapping powers, and a showdown at the London Eye that makes you feel like waving a small Union Jack flag.
Julian McMahon’s Dr Doom is an irrelevance, Jessica Alba still has the charisma of a wet sock, and the ending is an almighty anticlimax. But at least, unlike many blockbusters, Rise never outstays its welcome. It’s certainly less disappointing than Spider-Man 3 – despite a scene in which Mr Fantastic vies with Peter Parker for the Most Embarrassing Superhero Dance award.
48 The Punisher (2004)
Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Cast: Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (Joan), Thomas Jane (Frank Castle/The Punisher), John Travolta (Howard Saint)
The omens aren’t good. The budget was a paltry 30 million bucks; the only star is Travolta at a stage in his career when he’d appear in any old toot; and director Hensleigh previously scripted the universally-derided Saint movie. The final result, though, can happily be filed under “better than it has any right to be”.
Jane plays Frank Castle, an undercover cop. During a sting in which Castle is involved, one of crime boss Howard Saint’s sons is killed. Saint (Travolta) is not happy, and nor is his wife, who shows all the humanity of Lady Macbeth. The result is that Castle’s family is slaughtered, before he is shot in the chest from close range and then blown up.
Somehow, miraculously, he survives. And if you thought Saint was miffed before, wait ’til you see Castle as a revenge-fuelled vigilante.
Okay, so it’s a pretty formulaic revenge flick. In the ’80s, it would have been Stallone or Arnie, maybe Bruce (or, God help us, Dolph!). And it would have been piss-poor. But this delivers, albeit in a cheap and cheerful fashion. Maybe it’s the influences – Mad Max and Sergio Leone – that turn it into an urban Western, and an enjoyable one at that. There’s much more humour than expected, and although it boasts an 18 certificate, it’s not awash with gratuitous gun-porn and blood. There’s even something sweet about the fact that Castle looks like he’s just wearing a skanky old Punisher t-shirt he bought at the local Walmart a few years back.
47 The Return Of Captain Invincible (1984)
Director: Philippe Mora
Cast: Alan Arkin (Captain Invincible), Christopher Lee (Mr Midnight), Kate Fitzpatrick (Patty Patria)
The film that inspired Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog… erm, possibly. Actually we have no proof Joss Whedon has ever seen it, but as it’s the only other superhero musical we can think of, we’d like to think it was an inspiration.
A wonderfully silly, unashamedly over-the-top Australian movie about a war time superhero who retires to Australia and becomes an alcoholic after being accused of being a Nazi sympathiser, it features songs with lyrics by Rocky Horror’s Richard O’Brien (“There are pushers and hoodlums of great dedication/That without hesitation supply medication/One minute you’re a looker that looked, And the next you’re a hooker that’s hooked”) and Christopher Lee as a singing supervillain (“Between the sheets is lovely/with a dizzy blonde and a popular bubbly”). Utter insanity.
46 Batman Forever (1995)
Director: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Val Kilmer (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Chris O’Donnell (Dick Grayson/Robin), Tommy Lee Jones (Harvey Dent/Two Face) Jim Carrey (The Riddler)
Batman Returns didn’t make enough cash for the studio’s liking, so the third movie moved into the mainstream instead. Director Schumacher ditched the dark in favour of an over-the-top plot, exaggerated characters, terrible puns that harkens back to ’60s Batman and Day-Glo colour schemes (thankfully the Bat-nipples were kept in check, before blossoming big time in Batman And Robin). The big-name cast – Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman and Chris O’Donnell – say their lines and collect their paychecks. The film isn’t without its charms (Carey is a fantastic Riddler and Jones’ Two Face is a decent interpretation) although Kilmer’s Batman is stiff to the point of rigor mortis. And why’s it called Batman Forever? It’d make sense if it were the fourth film, in a weak, punning kind of way.
Tags: Batman, Batman Begins, Batman Forever, Blade, Blade II, Captain America, Captain America: The First Avenger, Daredevil, Darkman, Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, Green Lantern, Hancock, Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Hulk, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Kick-Ass, Megamind, Mystery Men, Sky High, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Supergirl, Superman, Superman 2, Superman 3, Superman Returns, Superman The Movie, The Crow, The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk, The Incredibles, The Punisher, The Return Of Captain Invincible, The Rocketeer, The Shadow, Thor, Unbreakable, Vampires, Wanted, Watchmen, Wolverine, X-Men, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2