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It’s a debate for the ages, one which will never truly be decided, but we’re gonna have a stab at doing so in the fairest way possible – which is the best modern day comic book movie? We all know it’s The Dark Knight, but how to justify such a thing? So yes, the Hulk standalone movies haven’t hit the same heights – but is it enough to leave them out of the Top 50…? We say “modern day” but basically anything from 2000 onwards, as that’s when it all kicked off.

You may think this is exclusive to Marvel and DC but it’s not. Every Marvel and DC movie is considered and then any exceptional comic book movies from elsewhere are included, to show how it should be done. That way, we can still find the ultimate modern day comic book movie – if there’s anything you feel is missing then do let us know!

PositionTitleYearCharactersHistoryStorylineActionStyleFXSettingSoundtrackCastAfter the EventScore
1The Dark Knight (Dir. Christopher Nolan)20081010910108710101094
3X-Men 2 (Dir. Bryan Singer)2003101081010
2Guardians of the Galaxy (Dir. James Gunn)20141069108101061010
4The Avengers Assemble (Dir. Joss Whedon)20121010108789910888
6Big Hero 6 (Dir. Don Hall, Chris Williams)2014807
7Spider-Man (Dir. Sam Raimi)20027108
5Thor (Dir. Kenneth Branagh)20117710
8Batman Begins (Dir. Christopher Nolan)200510109
9X-Men (Dir. Bryan Singer)2000101010
10Iron Man (Dir. Jon Favreau)200810710
11Avengers: Age of Ultron (Dir. Joss Whedon)2015101010
12Sin City (Dir. Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino)20059610
13Spider-Man 2 (Dir. Sam Raimi)20049108
14Blade (Dir. Stephen Norrington)19988
15Captain America: The Winter Soldier20146
16Kick-Ass (Dir. Matthew Vaughn)20101010
17X-Men: First Class (Dir. Matthew Vaughn)20111010
18Superman Returns (Dir. Bryan Singer)2006109
19X-Men: Days of Future Past (Dir. Bryan Singer)20141010
20Watchmen (Dir. Zack Snyder)200910
21V for Vendetta (Dir. James McTeigue)200579
22The Amazing Spider-Man (Dir. Marc Webb)2012108
23The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Dir. Marc Webb)201498
24Unbreakable (Dir. M. Night Shyamalan)2000910
25The Dark Knight Rises (Dir. Christopher Nolan)20121010
26300 (Dir. Zack Snyder)20067
26Fantastic Four (Dir. Tim Story)200586
27Thor: The Dark World (Dir. Alan Taylor)2013610
28Blade II (2002) Dir. Guillermo del Toro20028
29Ant-Man (Dir. Peyton Reed)201558
30Constantine (Dir. Francis Lawrence)200579
31Captain America: The First Avenger20119
32Spider-Man 3 (Dir. Sam Raimi)200796
33X-Men: The Last Stand (Dir. Brett Ratner)2006106
34Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Dir. Tim Story)200786
35Iron Man 2 (Dir. Jon Favreau)20101010
38The Punisher (Dir. Jonathan Hensleigh)20048
39The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Dir. Stephen Norrington)200397
40Iron Man 3 (Dir. Shane Black)20131010
41X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Dir. Gavin Hood)2009107
44Ghost Rider200765
44Hellboy (Dir. Guillermo del Toro)200469
43Man of Steel (Dir. Zack Snyder)2013104
42The Wolverine (Dir. James Mangold)2013107
45Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Dir. Guillermo del Toro)200869
46300: Rise of an Empire (Dir. Noam Murro)201475
47Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Dir. Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor)20116
48Blade: Trinity ( Dir. David S. Goyer)20048
49Hulk (Dir. Ang Lee)20036
50Van Helsing (Dir. Stephen Sommers)20046
51The Incredible Hulk (Dir. Louis Leterrier)20086
53Green Lantern (Dir. Martin Campbell)201154
54Catwoman (Dir. Pitof)200488
55Daredevil (Dir. Mark Steven Johnson)200355

We have 10 categories to help us score them and we think it’s only fair that the best movies have helped influence what those categories are, let us explain…


On a personal level, what’s our thoughts towards the superhero or villain of the piece? Batman scores 10, he’s our fave. Thor, admittedly we thought was never going to look good in a modern setting. How wrong we were…


What is the legacy of the characters and stories before this film was produced? Here we consider previous movies in the series, previous versions by comparison and the hype going into it.


What’s the premise of the story? Is it ANOTHER Spiderman origin movie? Surely we’re done with that by now?!


If it’s gory, is it worth it? Realistic fight scenes or ones that deserve the POW! and BIFF! graphics? If the latter, maybe that’s a good thing?


Is this a different take on what’s gone before? A darker tone than previous? A great example would be Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, but Guardians of the Galaxy showed you could also make things bright and colourful.


Not just for those computer-animated baddies from outer space, but do the sets all suggest it was all shot in a studio? Do you feel like Ant-Man has literally shrunk or that Thanos is the real thing?



Goes hand in hand with style and we’ll reference the same movies – The Dark Knight and Guardians of the Galaxy. Both very different but the music accompanying both films were central to their success. Not all movies need a great soundtrack, but you can argue that all great movies have them.


Is Ben Affleck Batman? Daredevil? Or better sticking to just being Ben Affleck?

After the Event

What is the legacy of this movie? Has it become a cult classic? Did it pave the way for others? Or did the initial hype leave a bad smell? So many questions to be answered…

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