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"The world still needs heroes, kid."
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November 04 2013

The Avengers makes The Guardian's top 10 superhero movies list. "In retrospect, you could also read the movie's teamwork premise as a metaphor for Whedon's own career-long problem with Hollywood: how to achieve a lasting result when everything threatens to be watered down by committee decision-making? Here, at last, he finally cracked it."

Here's my top 4: 4) Iron Man, 3)Captain America: the First Avenger, 2) Thor and 1)the Avengers. (If I have to think about further down the list, then probably #5 is X-men 2, and after that, I just stop counting pretty much --because nothing else much grabbed me (including Iron Man 2 and the Iron Man 3--Iron Man 3 I _really_ did not like). I'm not a fan of Nolan's Batman, nor of the old Superman movies with Christopher Reeve. and although I liked some others of these movies when the first came out, they don't hold up for me now. I think the series above, from Iron Man I to the Avengers, pretty much captures what superhero movies ought to be. But I recognize that my taste is considered strange by many people. Don't even know why I bother to express my opinion, except maybe to see if anyone anywhere agrees with me. (Sigh) I bet there are quite a few who would at least agree with me in rating the Avengers #1 --but the rest of my exact line-up might be less popular.
For me Dark Knight is one of my favourite movies. But Avengers *just* pipped it to #1 in "Comic Book" movies. As much as I love Batman, and Nolan's Batman in particular, I think Avengers is a better Comic Book movie.

But in movies in general Dark Knight is #1:)
For what it's worth, my take:
1. Avengers - ridiculously smart & fun
2. Incredibles - when Pixar gets it right, they get it right
3. Iron Man - Perfect casting and balance. Super, but grounded in reality. a Stark who is simultaneously egotistical & self-deprecating.
4. Dark Knight - Best villain ever
5. Spiderman 2 - The 1st Spiderman really brought some life into superhero movies, the 2nd is emotionally deeper and satisfying.
I don't have an order but my top 8 includes:

The Avengers
Dark Knight
Thor (1st movie, I haven't seen the second one but I plan to)
Blade 2
Iron Man (1st movie)
The Incredibles
Kick Ass

After these 8 I have no real preference. I watch other super hero movies but the ones I listed have a high re-watch value for me.
Personally, I would take X2 over Xmen and the first Iron Man over Iron Man 3 any day. I also would argue that Blade isnt really a superhero movie at all. And while I enjoy Burton's Batman, I really don't get putting it that high on a list like this.

My top Superhero movies would be #1: Kick-Ass, 2: The Dark Knight, 3: The Avengers, and 4: X-men 2, although Dark Knight and the Avengers can often change places depending on the mood.
My top 10 in the modern era, based on sheer enjoyment and quality. I haven't watched any of Burton and Schumacher's Batman films recently so I can't honestly rank them in here:

10. Blade
9. The Amazing Spider-Man
8. Spider-Man 2
7. X-Men
6. Blade II
5. The Dark Knight
4. X-Men 2
3. The Incredibles
2. Iron Man
1. The Avengers

Honorable mentions: The Wolverine and about 2 minutes of Deadpool in the Wolverine: Origins movie.

I think The Dark Knight is a beautifully done film, but not "enjoyable" in the way Avengers was enjoyable or Iron Man was enjoyable. It puts me in a funk because it's too intense for regular afternoon watching.

Does Unbreakable qualify as a superhero movie?

And I think Blade is a superhero movie. He's half human and half vampire, but how do we define "superhero"? If it's "people with special powers or abilities" then Blade definitely qualifies where you can argue that Batman does not because he's only human, though he is very well-trained. If we're talking about "movies where the protagonists are heroes" then I'd say Blade still qualifies.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2013-11-05 16:08 ]
I'd say Unbreakable can be considered a superhero movie. It's pretty much an Act 1 of a classic superhero origin story.
No particular order:

Iron Man
Hell Boy
Hell Boy II
Spider-Man II
The Incredibles
I would rank "Unbreakable" and "The Incredibles" at the top of the list because of what they say about superheroism. Nolan's movies had a real tendency to set up similar kinds of statements by raising questions, but then they fail abysmally to answer them in the last act, instead going all-out with the explosions and fistfights...

Avengers is good at what it does (getting all the superheroes to play nice) -- and it's got great comedy. Other than that it's not quite the best.
Also, I have to rank Hellboy II in there somewhere. I can't believe I forgot about Hellboy. Guillermo Del Toro is one of the best writers and directors when it comes to building expansive universes.
I've enjoyed the majority of the superhero movies of the past decade, partly being biased from being a Marvel comics fan, but that fact could have also made me all the more critical.
Avengers tops my list. As for others, I especially love Thor, Spider-Man 2, X-Men 2, and newcomers Iron Man 3 and Thor 2. Watchmen was great too. While not in my top 10, I also really enjoyed several movies which are often heavily criticized: Spidey 3, X-Men 3, XMOrigins:Wolverine and Daredevil.

But I really don't get the love and praise for the Dark Knight. It often seems to me like everyone has to think it's brilliant because Heath Ledger did such a great job and now he's dead. Yes, he did a great job, and so did Christian Bale. But the plot is riddled with flaws. For one, what's up with the Joker's raid on the party, Batman saving his girl and all the villains still being inside with a room full of innocent people, not being followed upon? And most of the characters beside Bats & Joker really don't shine - Maggie Gyllenhaal especially is awful. Two-Face looks are overdone to the point where he looks ridiculous.
I've heard many people say about the third movie that a lot of small things took them out of it. That's exactly what I thought of the second.
IMO, Batman Begins was MUCH better, and while not as good, Dark Knight Rises was an improvement over Dark Knight.
After reading comments I'd like to add Unbreakable and X-men 2 to my list.

Valentijn - While I agree with your comments about Dark Knight, for me it is still the best out of the trilogy because of Heath Ledger's performance. Heath's Joker more than made up for what I felt was the miscast of Maggie Gyllenhaal. I personally don't feel that Heath's death makes me love his performance more, but I can only speak for myself. I do think that it impactded the decision for him to receive an Academy Award for the performance, those awards are given for a variety of reasons and this was the last timefor him to be recognised for his work and he had many good performances during his career.

I like the first movie but I always get bored by all the action during the end, the third movie is my least favorite of that trilogy but it isn't awful by any means and I really did love Anne Hathaway's Catwoman.

While writing this I realize that I put Blade 1 on my list and it fails in the end due to the La Migra thing, but that only accounts for 10 minutes of the film and I really like the rest. Both Blade 1 & 2 had great vampire bad guys and great effects and engaging stories. I personally really enjoy them.

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