Superheroes have become one of the biggest staples in the movie theaters expanding what a superhero movie even means. While some might see superhero movies as totally played out and formulaic, these hero films stand out like shining diamonds showing why people love these stories. Each movie on this list is amazing in its own right and adds to the rich legacy of hero films.
Sky High is a colorful and campy adventure that really captures the philosophy of suphero movies, without being based on any comic. The movie plays with tropes in a fun way and has a lot of interesting super-powers on display, since they set out to make characters whose powers sucked.
X-Men: Days Of Future Past
This film is the culmination of what made the X-men films amazing. The thrilling picture brought in the broody side, lots of nostalgia and enough new for it not to feel like a retread. The Quicksilver scene in this movie alone elevates Days of the Future Past above many others for perfectly capturing the spirit of what a speedster is with its fun style. There was a clear reason that this version of Quicksilver found themselves in Wanda Vision and it’s clear in how much fun they have. This picture has most of the cast at their best getting to show off why their character rules, how powerful they are and what they believe in. It’s fantastic, exciting, and well worth anyone’s time.
Very few Batman movies manage to be fun. Batman Ninja isn’t deep or self-serious. The animated feature asks – what if Batman was a Ninja in an anime? The answer is exactly as exciting as you think that would be. The result is great, the action is really fun, everything worked perfectly in sync. The animation makes the movement feel fluid and does the characters and their incredible designs justice. Simply put, Batman Ninja kicks ass.
Deadpool 2 is a superhero comedy masterclass. The previous cast is elevated by solidifying their jokes and sense of humor, their powers are fun and it’s a good time. Everyone really manages to embody their characters in a way that gives them each a flavor of uniqueness while supporting comedy frontman Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool. The movie will make most laugh from start to finish while feeling like a comic book and we’ll that’s everything fans wanted from it. Plus, Negasonic and her girlfriend are cute and they steal the show whenever they’re on screen.
This is the crown jewel of superhero films. In many ways it’s what a superhero movie is and would become. You can see here where the paths would diverge in tones and what superheroes were supposed to mean to audience’s. Its train scene is so iconic that it still plays rent-free in the heads of millions. The Spider-Man sequel created the perfect image of the superhero as the hero of the community. If you mess with spiderman you mess with New York and that’s beautiful. Then you add a great villain and solid acting and you have an all-time classic on your hand that sets a bar that hero movies want to reach.
Thor: Ragnarok is like putting on this exciting mixtape where from start to finish every song is a banger. Hela is easily the coolest villain in the MCU. The action is directed perfectly and it’s clear perfection in the Marvel formula. This very much takes everything good about Marvel movies and puts them into one vibrant package.
The LEGO Batman Movie
Superheroes have been around for a long time and Lego Batman utilises that history to make a perfect kids movie. It activates the imagination and brings together multiple generations of family to have fun while focusing on giving the kids something new to love. The film also pulls from new and old and is the best version of Batman on screen. It’s easy to be cynical about a movie about Lego versions of popular merchandise but this is a fun movie that doesn’t pretend its audience has no clue what a Batman is. This is well-paced, funny, charming and such an overall good time that you’d be hard-pressed to find people who wouldn’t enjoy this on some level.
This film is undeniably a phenomenon. In the deluge of superhero media, no other film has had the cultural impact of Black Panther. Its succesful execution on what makes Afro-Futurism so exciting caused a wave of new and old being told. The characters feel exciting and fresh, presenting conflicts in solidarity and revolution. This movie stands pretty firmly on its own, even if you take away the Marvel paint and stands as an epic fable for a new generation.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Into the Spiderverse has the best animation in the business. There is no movie more visually delightful frame by frame than this film, leaning into the comic book-y style hard enough that other movies seem plain. All this is done while still making sense and not lingering too long to explain the weirdness. Things just happen and are the way they are and it makes the story freaking work. Spiderverse takes a character everyone loves and turns spider-man into a heroic figure who anyone could be rather than being one special person. Miles is such a great protagonist that it’s hard to go back to other versions of spider-man. Simply put this is a perfect superhero movie.
Harley Quinn & The Birds Of Prey
This film is a masterpiece and one of the best action films that exist. Jokes pretty much always land while each being flavored expertly in a way that makes perfect sense for that character and could not be delivered by any of the others. The film is so good at establishing its cast with solid backstories and motivations, in spite of the short run times. Black Mask wants control, Renee wants to stop evil, Black Canary doesn’t want to die like her mom, Huntress wants revenge, Harley wants to become a new self. These are all captured excellently. The excellent direction means that this big collection of characters still manages to be coherent. The soundtrack is killer and the movie is front to back an amazing time.