TOP TEN SUPERHERO MOVIES OF ALL TIME by CHUCK CURRY – CLICK ON TO OUR ENTERTAINMENT TODAY AND BEYOND RADIO PODCAST TO HEAR THE AUDIO VERSION! LISTEN NOW
10. BATMAN RETURNS- More a Tim Burton movie than a pure Batman film, Returns has poetic beauty and a sadness as it focuses on three oddball characters in Catwoman, the Penguin and Batman. While some people knocked Danny Devito here, I thought his take on the penguin was terrific.
9. IRON MAN- Robert Downey Jr. was the only special effect the film needed. A very entertaining origin movie with its only flaw being the adversarial showdown which wasn’t overly exciting.
8. BATMAN- Kudos to Tim Burton for putting the first serious Batman on film. Keaton was cool, Nicholson a blast and Danny Elfman’s score is one of the best in movie history. Flawed in storytelling but enough great stuff in it to make it a must see!
7. SUPERMAN- The very first epic undertaking of a superhero by a studio. Christopher Reeve was born to play the man of steel and Richard Donner will always have his place in movie history with this film. Widely regarded by other filmmakers as the way this genre should be done!
6. SUPERMAN 2- Even better than the original as it features a terrific storyline and a great villain in Terrence Stamp as General Zod! Really a great movie!
5. SPIDERMAN- Very enjoyable origin story. Tobey McGuire was a perfect fit for Peter Parker and director Sam Raimi proved he’s is one of Hollywood’s very best talents behind the camera.
3. UNBREAKABLE- M. Night Shylaman certainly had his mojo going strong when he made this film, perhaps creating the most original, and unique origin superhero story ever put on film. Certainly underappreciated by the masses, although many movie buffs regard it as a classic and I’m in that camp. “THEY CALL ME MR. GLASS”
2. BATMAN BEGINS- Chris Nolan was a godsend when Warner Bros handed him this dead in the water franchise. This was the first Batman movie with a fully realized story and Christian Bale was the right actor to pull it off. I loved the new Batmobile. Highly entertaining!
1. DARK KNIGHT- The most ambitious adult oriented film ever made featuring a superhero character. Stunning it in its intensityand featuring a legendary performance by Heath Ledger as the Joker. A tad bit too long but still a tremendous achievement!
My All Time Top 20 Best Super Hero Films
By Michael Cooper Co-Host Entertainment Today and Beyond Radio Show
Inspired by this year’s crop of summer gems, on the current edition of our Radio Show, following our review of Pineapple Express, we use rare clips in our detailed review of our top ten Live Action Superhero movies of all time. LISTEN NOW
Of course, one thing led to another and all of a sudden I had a top 20 list. So here you go. Let me know what you think and feel free to post your own favorites. I’m interested in what you think so please sign in and make a comment at the bottom of this column or email us: chuck@entertainmenttodayandbeyond.
#20 Fantastic Four2, 2007 – Tim Story just doesn’t get Superhero movies. He took the greatest story ever told by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and turned it into mediocre fodder at best. With that said I’m not leaving a movie with the Silver Surfer out of my top 20!
#19 Mystery Men, 1999 – based on the comic book by Bob Burden. It is really a funny spoof on The Watchmen starring Ben Stiller, William Macey, Greg Kinnear, Hank Azaria, Geoffrey Rush, Eddie Izzard, Janeane Garofalo. Pee Wee Herman and the most unique entertainer in history, Tom Waits.
#18 Daredevil (The Director’s Cut), 2003 – this version tells a much better story than the Theatrical release. Jon Favreau is taken right out of the pages of the comic book, playing Foggy Nelson. He’s also Happy Hogan in Iron Man.
#17 The Incredible Hulk, 2008 – the spirit of the original Bruce Banner from the 1960’s was recaptured along with an homage to the 1970’s TV show. A great battle scene with the Abomination saves this movie from the fate of its predecessor.
#16 Spiderman 3, 2007 – just a mess of a movie but the battle scene between Green Goblin Jr. and Spiderman, along with the transformation of the Sand Man, is worth the price of admission. Of course, Peter Parker’s dancing makes you want a refund.
#15 Batman, 1989 – this film gets credit for re-establishing the second coming of the Superhero genre after the tragically lame Superman 3 and 4 threatened to end it forever.
#14 X–Men, 2000 – this movie brought about the third and final rebirth of the Superhero movie after a quick death at the hands of Batman and Robin. Bryan Singer got everybody excited about heroes again and brought the 1960’s Marvel heroes into the 21st century.
#13 Batman Returns, 1992 – Tim Burton meets Frank Miller’s Dark Knight. Tim gets his chance to finally make the Batman movie he wanted to and we’re treated to Danny Devito’s best role ever!
#12 The Matrix, 1999 – this Superhero movie was revolutionary, from the storyline through the landmark special effects. Seeing Keanu Reeves pull off his Superman impression at the end of this one is sensational. (That makes him the third Reeves to pull off the part).
#11 RoboCop, 1987 – I can make a great argument that the movie that really brought the Superhero film back after Superman 4 was this Paul Verhoven masterpiece which still holds up 20 years later. In fact, talk of a remake of this movie is like saying – let’s re-imagine Citizen Kane.
#10 Spiderman, 2002 – thank God for Sam Rami – he restored Spiderman to the greatness he deserves. This was a well crafted first effort with a stellar cast.
#9 Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2, 2003-2004 – Quentin Tarantino’s superhero movie is a beauty. I liked the way he broke it up like a two-part comic book. The music, the cast, and the reverse telling of the story is revolutionary.
#8 X-Men 2, 2003 – Bryan Singer made a memorable film and, after Spiderman, he had to. You don’t realize what a great job he did until you see the mess of garbage that X-Men 3 is in the hands of hack, Brett Ratner.
#7 Iron Man, 2008 – once again a director who loves a good comic book. Jon Favreau’s casting was perfect and you really believe Iron Man could exist.
#6 Batman Begins, 2005 – A cast of Englishmen playing Americans is always interesting. What a way to recover from the Joel Schumacher mess of Batman 3 and 4. The music alone was worth the price of admission.
#5 Hell Boy ( The Director’s Cut), 2004– I still don’t know how this movie ever got made but I’m sure glad it did. Ron Perlman is Hell Boy and the story is a thing of beauty.
3 Superman, 1978 – Richard Donner did what nobody had done before – make a great Superhero A-list movie. This is the standard bearer for all Superhero films.
#2 Unbreakable, 2000 – M Knight captured the essence of the Superhero origin and explains the dynamics of heroes and villains in this masterpiece of a movie.
#1 Spiderman 2, 2004 – If I could direct a comic book movie this is what I would want it to look like. Great story – great casting – and the battle scene between Doc Ock and Spiderman is the best action scene in CGI movie history.