The best superhero moviesby guisreis | created - 30 Aug 2013 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public
Films about supervillains - without superheroes or with them only as minor characters - have also been incuded in the list. Movies about characters from comic books and graphic novels which I do not consider as superhero movies have not (even those I liked): Constantine, Sin City, Barb Wire, Flash Gordon, The Punisher (2004), Son of the Mask, Jonah Hex, and Andy Warhol's Batman Dracula, for example.
Many non superhero movies portray characters making impossible actions. Therefore, it is not always easy to define a superhero film. I tried to consider it as a movie in which at least one character has obviously superpowers (and uses them for good or for evil) or is a masked vigilante (necessarily disguised). There are here all the superhero movies I have watched and given as a rate at least 7.
In this list, there are films from USA, Australia, Canada, UK, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, France, Spain, Germany (in co-production with Czech Republic, USA or UK), Russia, Denmark, India, Chile, Mexico, Japan and even Bermuda.
A list of the worst superhero films can also be accessed in the link. An encopassing list of much more than 100 superhero films from best to worst can be made by adding the movies from the other list, from the last until the first, to this list (whithout the special mentions). I have not watched the movies from this other list yet.
See also: Comics live action films not about superheroes ******** The superhero movies with the best costumes ******** The worst costumes in superhero movies ******** Superhero TV shows and cartoons I love(d) ******** Favourite villains in superhero films ******** Batvillains in the movies: from worst to best ******** Mutants in X-Men movies ******** The superheroes that best represent the "American way"
I'd also like to add "A new dawn" ("Новая заря"), from Oleg Gazmanov: https://youtu.be/kQJm2d6IBsQ
I'd also like to add funny Czech video "Batgirl vs. Supergirl", with Andrea Březovičová as Batgirl and Karolína Krézlová as Supergirl: https://youtu.be/RH2FN4gSzcY
I'd also like to add funny and campy music video "Rise, weirdo army", written and directed by Francis K.: https://youtu.be/NnxjFh0Rxww
I would like to add short Porta dos Fundos: Superamigos: http://bit.ly/2t0rmLx There is also this other campy short spoof from the same crew: https://www.facebook.com/247962661966966/posts/2169731473123399/ I'd add as a honorable mention the trailer "Chapolin - O Filme", which is revisionist and much less funny than Chapulín TV series, but is a nice homage anyway: https://youtu.be/VJCfp6mFd3U
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1. Joker (2019)
R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.
Votes: 798,645 | Gross: $335.45M
The most important supervillain has a perfect dramatic biographic movie I did not imagine that DC Heroes would ever allow to be made. Deep, shocking, sometimes quite sad, very well developed, it shows a credible and socially serious backgrounded path of an outcast in an individualistic capitalist ill society towards sociopathy. It is the most realistic film ever made for a superhero universe. Not only the existence of the Joker, but also dangerous Gotham and the murder of the Waynes make much more sense now than in the usual simplistic moralist explanations. Superb movie! Amazing Joachin Phoenix!
2. Watchmen (2009)
R | 162 min | Action, Drama, Mystery
In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.
Votes: 485,417 | Gross: $107.51M
Wow! Astonishing story, complex characters, great visual effects properly used, nice esthetic, interesting alternative history! People with superpowers woud probably behave in that way. Everything here is perfect for a superhero film.
3. V for Vendetta (2005)
R | 132 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of "V", plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.
Votes: 997,552 | Gross: $70.51M
An Orwellian tribute.
4. The Assailant (2009)
R | 94 min | Action, Biography, Drama
Based on the life of a legendary capoeira fighter from Bahia, "Besouro" spins a fantastic tale of a young Brazilian man of African descent in search of his mission.
Although nobody describes it this way, it is obviously a superhero movie: a guy gets superpowers and fights against oppressors. It's a fantastic film which deserves to be better known in all the World. You can watch its international theatrical trailer here: http://youtu.be/ghmo7_5A8U8 You can also see its official website, in Portuguese: www.besouroofilme.com.br
5. Superman (1978)
PG | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.
Votes: 154,665 | Gross: $134.22M
The quintessence of a superhero movie! Thanks for all, Christopher Reeve!
6. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.
Votes: 645,321 | Gross: $233.92M
For a fan of X-Men movies, this one is no less than awesome. The original Trilogy meets "First Class" and "Origins: Wolverine" in a quite smart sci-fi action film. Besides opposing bigotry, as usual, this seventh movie from the celebrated franchise also adds the important idea that no one is inherently bad and that sometimes someone who made a mistake only needs some help.
7. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
PG-13 | 164 min | Action, Adventure
Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.
Votes: 1,463,834 | Gross: $448.14M
The trilogy deserves all the popular acclaim.
8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
PG | 117 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
Teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man of his reality, crossing his path with five counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat for all realities.
Votes: 319,582 | Gross: $190.24M
9. The Dark Knight (2008)
PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.
Votes: 2,213,807 | Gross: $534.86M
10. X-Men (2000)
PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In a world where mutants (evolved super-powered humans) exist and are discriminated against, two groups form for an inevitable clash: the supremacist Brotherhood, and the pacifist X-Men.
Votes: 557,586 | Gross: $157.30M
Very interesting social and political background.
11. X-Men: First Class (2011)
PG-13 | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the 1960s, superpowered humans Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr work together to find others like them, but Erik's vengeful pursuit of an ambitious mutant who ruined his life causes a schism to divide them.
Votes: 632,302 | Gross: $146.41M
One of the best movies from this excellent franchise. It has the same spirit of the first X-Men film, which was a little absent in the other two movies from the original trilogy and in the two previous Wolverine films.
12. The Portuguese Falcon (2015)
106 min | Action, Comedy, History
Follows Portugal's first fascist superhero: the ultra patriotic Captain Falcon!
A Portuguese fascist vintage superhero! Hilarious parody of both superhero films and of Portuguese fascist regime led by Salazar. Extremely ironic and smart, and visually sophisticated. Forget Marvel, forget DC. Portuguese superhero "Capitain Falcon" is a vintage hero such as "Rocketeer" and "Spirit", but fights crime in the years of fascist regime led by Salazar... supporting it! The movie strongly reminded me the not well known France-USA comedy "Mr. Freedom", from 1969, due to its high level of mock and politicization in a parody of both superheroes and conservatism, but is is even better, as it has been able to keep a nice pace, playing with absurd situations without missing the point. If it weren't campy, a comparison with "Watchmen" would also be appropriated. Hilarious, ironic and smart Portuguese film, strongly recommended! It is also visually sophisticated and has a nice soundtrack. Overacting is in the precise level required for a spoof like this. The grotesque evil represented in the movie by everything that is progressive increases the level of irony to the top. The relation between the fascist superhero and his sidekick, Puto Perdiz (Partridge Kid, but a much funnier name in Portuguese), and the nemesis represented by April Captains (what a great idea! their symbol is a carnation flower!) assure lots of laughs.
14. Super (I) (2010)
R | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
After his wife falls under the influence of a drug dealer, an everyday guy transforms himself into Crimson Bolt, a superhero with the best intentions, but lacking in heroic skills.
Votes: 73,198 | Gross: $0.32M
The best film showing what would happen if real people became superheroes.
15. Defendor (2009)
R | 101 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Arthur Poppington, a regular man who adopts a superhero persona, known as "Defendor", combs the city streets at night, in search of his archenemy, Captain Industry.
Votes: 35,003 | Gross: $0.04M
While "Super" presents what would happen if real people became superheroes, "Defendor" shows what kind of people would decide to be a masked vigilante. Excellent and underrated film!
16. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
After Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains newfound, spider-like powers and ventures out to save the city from the machinations of a mysterious reptilian foe.
Votes: 546,176 | Gross: $262.03M
I like the previous series of Spiderman films, especially the second of them, but the reboot brought a much deeper character than that obsessive fan of Mary Jane.
17. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008)
TV-PG | 42 min | Short, Comedy, Musical
An aspiring supervillain must balance his career and his pursuit of a beautiful do-gooder.
A very funny musical, in which the villain is the main character. Just check it out: [link]http://drhorrible.com[/link].
18. City of Scars (2010 Video)
30 min | Short, Action, Crime
Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum and kills the parents of a young boy as he killed the parents of Batman in the past. Determined to take revenge, Batman fights against anyone that tries to ... See full summary »
Perhaps this is the truest Batman film ever made. There is a perfect representation of Batman: the costume according to the comics (no armor! Batman needs mobility), the good acting of Kevin Porter, the dark atmosphere, the superhero as both a martial artist and a skilled detective... Showing the intimacy of the Joker was also astonishing. Besides that, it was also extremely nice to see bat-villains and other characters who have never appeared in any of Batman's feature length movies. Why did we need an independent low-budget short film to have a dark knight similar to the comics? Why the big producers never do that? I prefer "City of Scars" than the more famous (and also nice) "Batman: Dead End". You can watch this great short fan film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nCcdec8WdM
19. The Magic Behind the Cape (2001 Video)
24 min | Documentary, Short
The story of the development of the visual effects used in the first Christopher Reeve Superman film.
This list wasn't thought as including documentaries, but this one and the next, both in "Superman - The Movie" DVD, are so good that they changed my mind.
20. Making 'Superman': Filming the Legend (2001 Video)
31 min | Documentary, Short
Excellent documentary (see above).
21. Kryptonite (2015)
80 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
An Argentinian adaptation of the Justice League series.
Brilliant alternative version of Justice League, in underground Argentina! The movie is extremely smart, is developed from a brilliant idea, and has numerous references to the famous superheroes from DC spectators need to pay attention not to lose any of them. If those superpowerful guys had not been born in the United States but in a poor area near Buenos Aires, they would be antiheroes from Nafta Super Gang, who rob banks and help the poor (is that less heroic than Justice League? or perhaps more?...), and are enemies of another gang led by a bald gangster (Lex, off course) and fight corrupt Bonaerense police where bad guys like Crown (amazing Joker portrayed by always brilliant comedian Capusotto) and Turtle Head (Doomsday) work. The superheroes represented are Flash, Wonder Woman (amazing idea and outcome!), Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Superman, Batman and Martian Manhunter. Not only their clothes, jewelry, tattoos and hairstyle, but also their backgrounds are references to original superheroes in a very entertaining way, some of them combined with unique innovations. Although the film is more realistic than most superhero films, and that they mention more than show their superpowers, these are real and appear when they need them.
22. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012 Video)
PG-13 | 76 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
Batman has not been seen for ten years. A new breed of criminal ravages Gotham City, forcing 55-year-old Bruce Wayne back into the cape and cowl. But, does he still have what it takes to fight crime in a new era?
Very nice animation about the future of Batman, 10 years after retirement. Retirement? It is very amusing to see what happened to many DC characters in the future, such as Harvey Dent, the Joker, Jimmy Olsen, and Lana Lang. Both the screenplay and the animation work are awesome.
23. Superlopez (2018)
108 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Juan López, an ordinary and anonymous office worker, decides to expose his superpowers to turn into the first Spanish superhero: Superlópez.
Absolutely hilarious Spanish Superman spoof. Just ignore users' bad ratings and reviews; they are nonsense.
24. Griff the Invisible (2010)
PG-13 | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Griff, office worker by day, superhero by night, has his world turned upside down when he meets Melody, a beautiful young scientist who shares his passion for the impossible.
Like Canadian "Defendor", Australian "Griff the invisible" is a very innovative and smart film showing what kind of people would want to be a masked vigilante. It is also visually very interesting, as there is a clear choice of strong colors. The weird couple formed by Griff and beautiful Melody is very captivating. The film is hard to define inside or outside the label "superhero movie", harder than "Defendor" or "Super" or "Special" or "Birdman", as it is on the border, but I decided to include it in the top of this list instead of in the honorable mentions below.
25. Superman II (1980)
PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth.
Votes: 95,293 | Gross: $108.19M
The Phantom Zone trio is comin' to town! Very nice film but I still mention that many Kryptonian powers shown do not belong to Superman myth, such as teleknesis.
26. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius.
Votes: 527,192 | Gross: $373.59M
27. Batman (1989)
PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure
The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being Jack Napier, a criminal who becomes the clownishly homicidal Joker.
Votes: 328,576 | Gross: $251.19M
The best of Batman's films until Nolan's trilogy. Jack Nicholson was amazing as the Joker, even better than Ledger, who acted perfectly as a supervillain, but differently of what I expect from the arch-nemesis of the masked knight.
28. Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006 Video)
PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Romance
Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth.
I don't think that "The Richard Donner Cut" is better than the final original version of "Superman II", in spite of incorporating footage directed by him. Though, the story is very similar in both and, obviously, this version is also very nice.
29. Superman Returns (2006)
PG-13 | 154 min | Action, Sci-Fi
Superman returns to Earth after spending five years in space examining his homeworld Krypton. But he finds things have changed while he was gone, and he must once again prove himself important to the world.
Votes: 266,805 | Gross: $200.08M
It looks like a continuation of Christopher Reeve's series. That is a quality, not a problem! It is both a homage and a version with special effects which were not possible in the 80's. I also prefer Kevin Spacey's Luthor than the memorable villain portrayed by Gene Hackman.
30. Iron Man (2008)
PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.
Votes: 912,194 | Gross: $318.41M
The film made the superhero bigger than he was until that moment. Downey Jr. caught the spirit of the character!
31. Megamind (2010)
PG | 95 min | Animation, Action, Comedy
The supervillain Megamind finally defeats his nemesis, the superhero Metro Man. But without a hero, he loses all purpose and must find new meaning to his life.
Votes: 219,956 | Gross: $148.42M
The villain is the star here! How difficult is to be the the nemesis of the superhero! The plot follows partially the same idea of the short film about Dr. Horrible above.
32. Despicable Me (2010)
PG | 95 min | Animation, Comedy, Family
When a criminal mastermind uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, he finds their love is profoundly changing him for the better.
Votes: 486,700 | Gross: $251.51M
Another animation movie about supervillains (a banker included! nice!). Here there is no superhero to disturb the protagonist, but who said that villais are friends of each others? The challenge to the evil here is different from the one shown in "Dr. Horrible" and "Megamind".
33. The Incredibles (2004)
PG | 115 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world.
Votes: 636,466 | Gross: $261.44M
A super family: together they are unbeatable! Just like my daddy used to say.
34. Unbreakable (2000)
PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A man learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident.
Votes: 376,434 | Gross: $95.01M
Very innovative. It is a superhero movie although in most of the film you believe it is not. The whole story here corresponds to just the first ten or twenty minutes of other superhero movies. Excellent end.
35. The Mask (1994)
PG-13 | 101 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss is transformed into a manic superhero when he wears a mysterious mask.
Votes: 333,414 | Gross: $119.94M
A funny movie about a superhero with very cartoonish powers. Instead of a green ring, his powers are provided by a green mask.
36. Logan (2017)
R | 137 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
In a future where mutants are nearly extinct, an elderly and weary Logan leads a quiet life. But when Laura, a mutant child pursued by scientists, comes to him for help, he must get her to safety.
Votes: 616,769 | Gross: $226.28M
The best of Wolverine movies and by far the most violent of X-Men films. Very nice new characters. This is a good story, what unfortunately is becoming rare in Hollywood superhero flicks, either from Marvel or DC.
37. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier, transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a "Super-Soldier serum". But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization.
Votes: 715,251 | Gross: $176.65M
I don't like the character, but the film is well done. The screenplay is good and I liked a lot the way they made his costume for the movie (very nice!), mixing military uniform with classic (and ridiculous) stars-and-stripes suit.
38. Glass (2019)
PG-13 | 129 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.
Votes: 192,197 | Gross: $111.05M
The film gets better as it avances. Nice end for this great innovative trilogy.
39. Venom (2018)
PG-13 | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A failed reporter is bonded to an alien entity, one of many symbiotes who have invaded Earth. But the being takes a liking to Earth and decides to protect it.
Votes: 333,185 | Gross: $213.52M
Surprisingly good! Bad ratings for this movie are nonsense, particularly when many brainless films following always a very same formula are being pruduced and receive much higher ratings.
40. Shazam! (2019)
PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
A newly fostered young boy in search of his mother instead finds unexpected super powers and soon gains a powerful enemy.
Votes: 231,684 | Gross: $140.37M
Funny, entertaining, classic and innovative at once. Captain Marvel's film worked much better than I could expect.
41. Black Panther (2018)
PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
T'Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country's past.
Votes: 582,754 | Gross: $700.06M
Visually nice, well done, women and black performing important and interesting roles, nice characters.
42. Chronicle (2012)
PG-13 | 84 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.
Votes: 235,804 | Gross: $64.58M
Another innovative film. What would happen if teenagers got superpowers in real world?
43. Hancock (2008)
PG-13 | 92 min | Action, Fantasy
Hancock is a superhero whose ill-considered behavior regularly causes damage in the millions. He changes when the person he saves helps him improve his public image.
Votes: 433,058 | Gross: $227.95M
When a pariah has superpowers and a person denies his stigmatization.
44. X2: X-Men United (2003)
PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller