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!
|Position||Title||Year||Characters||History||Storyline||Action||Style||FX||Setting||Soundtrack||Cast||After the Event||Score|
|1||The Dark Knight (Dir. Christopher Nolan)||2008||10||10||9||10||10||8||7||10||10||10||94|
|3||X-Men 2 (Dir. Bryan Singer)||2003||10||10||8||10||10|
|2||Guardians of the Galaxy (Dir. James Gunn)||2014||10||6||9||10||8||10||10||6||10||10|
|4||The Avengers Assemble (Dir. Joss Whedon)||2012||10||10||10||8||7||8||9||9||10||8||88|
|6||Big Hero 6 (Dir. Don Hall, Chris Williams)||2014||8||0||7|
|7||Spider-Man (Dir. Sam Raimi)||2002||7||10||8|
|5||Thor (Dir. Kenneth Branagh)||2011||7||7||10|
|8||Batman Begins (Dir. Christopher Nolan)||2005||10||10||9|
|9||X-Men (Dir. Bryan Singer)||2000||10||10||10|
|10||Iron Man (Dir. Jon Favreau)||2008||10||7||10|
|11||Avengers: Age of Ultron (Dir. Joss Whedon)||2015||10||10||10|
|12||Sin City (Dir. Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino)||2005||9||6||10|
|13||Spider-Man 2 (Dir. Sam Raimi)||2004||9||10||8|
|14||Blade (Dir. Stephen Norrington)||1998||8|
|15||Captain America: The Winter Soldier||2014||6|
|16||Kick-Ass (Dir. Matthew Vaughn)||2010||10||10|
|17||X-Men: First Class (Dir. Matthew Vaughn)||2011||10||10|
|18||Superman Returns (Dir. Bryan Singer)||2006||10||9|
|19||X-Men: Days of Future Past (Dir. Bryan Singer)||2014||10||10|
|20||Watchmen (Dir. Zack Snyder)||2009||10|
|21||V for Vendetta (Dir. James McTeigue)||2005||7||9|
|22||The Amazing Spider-Man (Dir. Marc Webb)||2012||10||8|
|23||The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Dir. Marc Webb)||2014||9||8|
|24||Unbreakable (Dir. M. Night Shyamalan)||2000||9||10|
|25||The Dark Knight Rises (Dir. Christopher Nolan)||2012||10||10|
|26||300 (Dir. Zack Snyder)||2006||7|
|26||Fantastic Four (Dir. Tim Story)||2005||8||6|
|27||Thor: The Dark World (Dir. Alan Taylor)||2013||6||10|
|28||Blade II (2002) Dir. Guillermo del Toro||2002||8|
|29||Ant-Man (Dir. Peyton Reed)||2015||5||8|
|30||Constantine (Dir. Francis Lawrence)||2005||7||9|
|31||Captain America: The First Avenger||2011||9|
|32||Spider-Man 3 (Dir. Sam Raimi)||2007||9||6|
|33||X-Men: The Last Stand (Dir. Brett Ratner)||2006||10||6|
|34||Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Dir. Tim Story)||2007||8||6|
|35||Iron Man 2 (Dir. Jon Favreau)||2010||10||10|
|38||The Punisher (Dir. Jonathan Hensleigh)||2004||8|
|39||The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Dir. Stephen Norrington)||2003||9||7|
|40||Iron Man 3 (Dir. Shane Black)||2013||10||10|
|41||X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Dir. Gavin Hood)||2009||10||7|
|44||Hellboy (Dir. Guillermo del Toro)||2004||6||9|
|43||Man of Steel (Dir. Zack Snyder)||2013||10||4|
|42||The Wolverine (Dir. James Mangold)||2013||10||7|
|45||Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Dir. Guillermo del Toro)||2008||6||9|
|46||300: Rise of an Empire (Dir. Noam Murro)||2014||7||5|
|47||Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Dir. Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor)||2011||6|
|48||Blade: Trinity ( Dir. David S. Goyer)||2004||8|
|49||Hulk (Dir. Ang Lee)||2003||6|
|50||Van Helsing (Dir. Stephen Sommers)||2004||6|
|51||The Incredible Hulk (Dir. Louis Leterrier)||2008||6|
|53||Green Lantern (Dir. Martin Campbell)||2011||5||4|
|54||Catwoman (Dir. Pitof)||2004||8||8|
|55||Daredevil (Dir. Mark Steven Johnson)||2003||5||5|
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…