There are so many fantastic superhero films that picking the best of the bunch might be challenging. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) are both enormous and expanding, and there is also a plethora of superhero films that exist outside of these two franchises. Of course, that’s where we come in. To make planning your next movie marathon a little less of a chore, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 superhero flicks of all time.
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2013)
The X-Men franchise is full of stories that highlight the misunderstood, mistreated and outnumbered nature of mutants. This is especially true in the original trilogy and X-Men: First Class, where they struggle to find acceptance in their own communities.
Days of Future Past takes this a step further by bringing back the stars from the original trilogy as well as several of the newer additions to the franchise. It also features a time-traveling storyline that sees the consciousness of 2023 Wolverine sent back to 1973, where the young Charles Xavier and Magneto create the X-Men.
The X-Men series isn’t always easy to follow, with retcons, time travel and continuity errors littering the timeline. However, here’s our best shot at making sense of it all.
2. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
When the Marvel universe’s most enigmatic foe, Thanos, assembles all six of the Infinity Stones to form his gauntlet, it’s up to the Avengers and their kin to save the day. At the most basic level, it’s up to Iron Man, Thor and Captain America to protect the Earth from the ravages of Thanos’ gauntlet while Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther work to thwart Thanos’ nefarious plans to turn all of reality into glass.
Along the way, the best of the rest make their appearance – from Scotland to Upstate New York to Wakanda. Among them is the star of the show, Vision, who proposes a daring feat in which he’ll display the coveted Infinity Stone albeit in an invisible manner that will be unavoidable. The only problem is that his henchmen, Midnight and Glaive, are not so good at keeping their hands off the most valuable prize in their sights.
3. X-Men: Apocalypse (2018)
X-Men: Apocalypse is the next primewire movie in the X-Men series and it hits theaters on May 27. It stars James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. The movie is a good attempt at fleshing out the X-Men team, with everyone getting a chance to shine and play a key role in preventing the world from ending. However, the film suffers from several major problems.
The biggest problem is that the film never seems to find its legs. It tends to feel like a mash-up of two movies, one of which is an unevenly paced coming-of-age story about a group of teenagers and the other of which is a really bland superhero movie.
4. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2017)
The sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a controversial and divisive release that introduced Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. But while some fans still resent the movie for its dark and overwrought storytelling, it’s an important step on the DC comic book universe’s journey toward the future.
In the comic books, Batman is a master tactician and analyst who can take down superheroes with cunning plans. But in the DC movies, his sloppy handling of those aspects leads to his character being less sympathetic than he should be.
5. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
As a rule, superhero movies tend to take themselves seriously, but the latest Marvel movie “Thor: Ragnarok” was able to bring a sense of humor back to the superhero genre. The film also pushed the boundaries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by taking the characters off their own planets, which was a bold move that paid off in spades.
It’s hard to overstate just how good Thor: Ragnarok is. Not only does it introduce a new Thor, but it also gives audiences a chance to see him as an arrogant comedic mess – a change that makes for a much more interesting character.