Top 5: Superhero Movies

This week’s Top 5 Friday category was chosen by @BSchwarz95, give that page a follow!

In honor of the release of Doctor Strange (you can read my official review for that right here), we’re going to take a look back at our favorite superhero films ever, and celebrate the comic book genre that has exploded in the last decade. Here, is my list of the Top 5 Superhero Films:

5) Captain America: Civil War2016 has sucked for movies, but there are definitely some great ones, some diamonds in the rough, and Civil War is one of them. When all else fails, you can count on Disney to bring you excitement, laughs, and quality stories, and this film did all of that and more. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has existed since 2008, and since that release of Iron Man, 14 films have allowed this saga to grow and grow. Using the momentum that they’ve created with these now beloved characters, Marvel got them to fight each other, giving us a spectacle that we’ve never seen before. What I love best about this film is that it’s hard to pick a side between Captain American and Iron Man; we completely understand and side with both of them – they’re both heroes and they’re both villains. Plus, when you have 12+ superheroes in one film, and they all fight each other in a single scene, what more can you ask for? Well, you could ask for a great story behind it, too, and you’ll get one.

4) Man of Steel. Say what you will about Zack Snyder‘s films, but his emphasis on action coupled with the screenwriting gravitas of Christopher Nolan gives us one hell of a superhero origin story. Not only does this have some of the most epic visuals and sequences in superhero film history, but the character is just as monumental. Where Batman v Superman failed, this film excelled with the character of Superman. I’m not saying that this is perfect movie, since there are some convenient occurences and some cheesy lines of dialogue, but I would have to be nitpicky in order to pick this film apart; the movie treats Superman (and Clark Kent) with such care, and I love the nonlinear narrative structure that we are offered in order to understand why this alien feels like he belongs here – and why he is happy fighting against his own kind for the betterment of the human race. As a whole, it’s just one of the most gratifying superhero films that I’ve seen, and I really hope DC gets their act together and makes at least one more film worth watching.

3) Spider-Man 2. Sequels are hardly as good as the original, but when they are, they are leagues better in every way. The Godfather Part II, The Empire Strikes Back, Terminator 2, Aliens, X2and this film (along with my #2 and #1 picks) are sequels that far outshine the first installment because they take the same character to new heights and deliver the fun action, captivating story, and compelling character that we already know and love. In this film, Peter Parker loses Mary Jane to another man, flunks out of his class, gets fired from his job, loses his ability to shoot webs, has his best friend trying to hunt down and kill his alterego, has Aunt May upset with his confession of being responsible for Uncle Ben’s death, and has a new villain threatening to destroy New York City… if that’s not raising the stakes, then I don’t know what is. The plot is always moving forward and is never predictable, this is the best Spider-Man film ever made, and I doubt even Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming could top this next July

2) The Dark KnightWhat many people consider to be the best superhero movie, and even one of the greatest movies ever released, is this sequel to 2005’s Batman BeginsWhat Nolan did with the character of  Bruce Wayne in that film was actually define his character, and focus on him rather than the flashing lights, grotesque aesthetic, or nipple-armor from the original four Batman films. Putting an emphasis on story rather than spectacle was the smart movie, and it worked out because that film led to two sequels being made, allowing this trilogy to become one of the most beloved film sagas of all time. This film did a very similar thing as Spider-Man 2 did in deepening the character by raising the stakes. The Joker is Batman’s greatest foe for a reason, and it’s because they’re so alike in so many ways: they are the same person, but on opposite sides of morality. It’s a beautiful hatred that they share, and one of them wouldn’t be possible without the other in this story. This is the film that introduced Christopher Nolan as one of the finest directors working today, which he has proven that again and again since then.

1) Captain America: The Winter SoldierYou know that when in the first 20 minutes of a movie, if your least favorite superhero becomes your absolute favorite superhero, you have a good movie on your hands, and that’s exactly what this film did for me. Captain America was the most stuck-up and throwaway-able people in The Avengersand he wasn’t even likable or relatable in the least bit. Here, he becomes a fantastic hero, and an amazing character in general. We finally see how Steve Rogers is reacting to missing 70 years of the world, and this film becomes a character study because of it: he is hurt, alone, and lost in a world that he doesn’t belong it. Then, to make things worse, the organization that he invested himself in has become evil, and something from his past comes back to haunt him in terrifying ways. This does all that Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight does and more, and the way that it connect itself to the other films in the MCU is not only cohesive, but impressive, and the events of this film shake the entire Universe to it’s core. It’s definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it- and especially if you’ve seen The Avengers. 

Well, that’s my list, what do you think about it? What does your list look like? I’m sure Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy and probably X-Men: Days of Future Past are on a lot of lists but they barely missed mine. As always, thanks for reading, share if you liked this, and I’ll see you soon!

Published by Blake Carson Schwarz

Indiana University graduate in Media and Creative Writing. I love to write my own stories as well as experience the work of others. On this site, I post reviews, essays, and other fun posts that I hope you have as much fun reading and I have writing. Please share any comments you have, I'd be happy to hear what you think! *Never a critic, always a fan*

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