Superhero cinema has become one of the most profitable endeavors of Hollywood. The films are regularly turning in billion-dollar box office success stories. However, the genre also has a history of criticism when it comes to the quality of writing, something many fans have justifiably pushed back against. The genre has had a wide range of creators attached, from visionary directors to some of the industry’s most talented writers and beloved actors.

Superhero movies don’t always get the respect they deserve, but fans are happy to let the success of the genre and quality of the stories speak for itself. Like any genre, the superhero industry has its share of flops and duds, but it has also produced some of the greatest and most influential stories of all time. After all, very few genres are as good a vehicle for exploring the hero’s journey as superhero movies, and fans have grown to love each and every entry.

10 Iron Man Is A Classic Rebirth Story

Iron Man
8 / 10

After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Iron Man is a symbolically poignant movie for several reasons. Not only is it the official birth of the MCU, it was also a rebirth of Robert Downey Jr’s career, one that established him as the face of the MCU. The film follows Tony Stark, a weapons manufacturer who gets kidnapped by terrorists. This event causes him to become disillusioned by how his weapons have made their way into the hands of evildoers. When he returns home, Stark recommits himself to bettering humanity, rather than making weapons of war.

Iron Man gave fans something new in the superhero genre. It showed that the leading hero could be more than the boy scout of Superman or the grim and dark hero of Batman. Instead, he was a fun, wisecracking businessman who decided to put on a suit of armor and fight villainy. The story does a great job at putting viewers in the shoes of its hero, following him on his pathway to redemption.

9 Captain America: Winter Soldier Is A Modern Cold War Thriller

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
8 / 10

As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.


Falcon and Winter Soldier Episode 2, ‘The Star-Spangled Man,’ Recap & Spoilers

Here’s a spoiler-filled recap of “The Star-Spangled Man,” Episode 2 of Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

IMDb Rating: 7.8

Captain America: The Winter Soldier follows Captain America on his first solo mission in the 21st century. The emergence of a deadly assassin, the Winter Soldier, requires Captain America to question his entire life. From there, the movie turns into a modern day Cold War thriller as Steve Rogers realizes that SHIELD has been infiltrated by HYDRA. HYDRA are plotting to use advanced weapons to establish their rule by killing all threats before they become a problem.

Captain America 2 focuses on Cap, Black Widow and Sam Wilson/Falcon as they team up to take on the villainous conspiracy and save the world from an Orwellian nightmare. The movie explores the classic question of the sanctity of freedom in the face of growing security concerns, something relevant in the era of rapidly-advancing technology and the threat it poses to liberty. To top it all off, it brings back Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier and gives an in-depth exploration of his friendship with Steve Rogers.

8 The Batman Honored Batman’s Noir Roots

The Batman
9 / 10

When a sadistic serial killer begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city’s hidden corruption and question his family’s involvement.

IMDb Rating: 7.8

In his role as Batman, Robert Pattinson had huge shoes to fill as the first standalone Caped Crusader since Christian Bale’s final outing as the hero in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. By all accounts, the Twilight actor surpassed expectations, and turned in a grounded, violent and brutal look at Batman and Bruce Wayne. 2022’s The Batman follows the titular hero as he investigates a slew of murders of Gotham’s elite, culminating in a plot to bring down Gotham.

The Batman has been justifiably dubbed the “Se7en of superhero movies,” due to its thriller plot and serial killer twist on Riddler. The film is arguably the best depiction of Batman as a detective to date, something his staunchest fans had been craving since the end of Batman: the Animated Series. The movie’s characters were compelling, its plot captivating and the twists genuine.

X-Men: Days of Future Past
7 / 10

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

IMDb Rating: 7.9

X-Men Days of Future Past adapted the classic comic of the same name to fit into the continuities of both the 1999 X-Men movie and the prequels. The film follows a plot of superheroes in the future, sending Wolverine back in time to inhabit his younger body. This is all so that he can prevent the creation of the dangerous Sentinel machines and the destruction of mutantkind.

X-Men: Days of Future Past united every corner of the live action X-Men movies into one epic story. This included all the trappings of time travel fun alongside a sci-fi thriller tale. Whether it was the further development of Magneto’s motivations or delving deeper into the political backdrop of the world of the X-Men, the movie delivered well-rounded characters and a great plot in a way few X-Men movies have.

6 Logan Adapted One Of Wolverine’s Best Stories


In a future where mutants are nearly extinct, an elderly and weary Logan leads a quiet life. But when Laura, a mutant child pursued by scientists, comes to him for help, he must get her to safety.


REVIEW: Logan Is The Best Wolverine Movie, Period.

Hugh Jackman’s final Wolverine movie also proves to be the actor’s – and the X-Men franchise’s – finest.

IMDb Rating: 8.1

Logan took the popular “Old Man Logan” story from Wolverine comics and adapted it to the Fox X-Men universe. This lead to what is arguably the franchise’s best entry and Hugh Jackman’s definitive Wolverine performance. Set in 2029, the movie follows an older Logan as his regenerative abilities are beginning to wear off in the face of poisoning from his adamantium skeleton. With a dementia-ridden Professor X in his care, Wolverine must also take care of Laura Kinney, a female clone of himself.

Logan works as the perfect send-off for its titular character. It places Logan in a modern western story that takes him across America as he is forced to figuratively and literally fight his past. The movie, under James Mangold’s direction, is a great spin on the father/daughter road trip movie, and honored some classic western movies like Shane. The movie manages to perfectly encapsulate Wolverine’s entire onscreen history, while still sending the character off with a beautiful ending.

5 Superman II Is The Quintessential Superhero’s Journey

Superman II
8 / 10

Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Superman II is often cited as the greatest superhero movie of all time, as well as the best depiction of Superman himself. This is in no small part due to how it strips the Man of Steel of his Kryptonian abilities, and explores how a superhero would cope with leading a mortal life. The movie follows the arrival of General Zod to Earth, where he attempts to impose his rule — with only Superman standing in his way.

Superman II is a great examination of the classic hero’s journey as Clark Kent is forced to give up the life he wanted to honor his responsibilities as a hero. What the movie lacked in realistic effects it more than made up for in a heartfelt look at Clark Kent and his unshakeable decency, as perfected by Christopher Reeve’s acting. The common trope of heroes losing their powers isn’t unique to Superman II, yet the film is one of the best to use the trope.

Spider-Man 2
4 / 10

Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius.

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Spider-Man 2 remains the fan-favorite when it comes to the live action adventures of Peter Parker as New York’s resident webslinger. Part of the reason this sequel was so well-loved actually came from its compelling villain, Doctor Otto Octavius. Rather than lean into a cartoonish origin story, the villain is instead established as a tragic figure, something that wasn’t common when the film released as it is now.

Spider-Man 2 is loaded with emotion and passion as it follows Peter Parker attempting to save people while struggling with his powers and personal life. The movie showed the hero at his absolute best, including the iconic train scene, which has gone down as one of cinema’s greatest superhero scenes. The film honors everything Spider-Man is supposed to be, while embracing its comic book roots.

3 Watchmen Stayed True To Alan Moore’s Vision

6 / 10

In a version of 1985 where superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach on the trail of a conspiracy that will change the course of history.


HBO’s Watchmen Is Bold, Riveting & Unabashedly Political

Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen is bold and engaging, and surprisingly faithful to the spirit of the comic book source material without being a retread.

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Based on the legendary graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen tells the story of a group of flawed superheroes who reunite after one of their old teammates is murdered. With the gritty detective Rorschach on the case as his latest conspiracy, the movie follows each of the heroes in what they represent and their post-superhero lives. From the motivations of its characters to the brilliant plot, the movie has been held up as a testament to what can be achieved through a good combination of director and source material.

The fact that Watchmen is such a well-written movie is as much a function of its faithfulness to the original comic as anything else. Zack Snyder held true to the original story in a way that few directors do when adapting a comic book to the big screen, and this allowed Moore’s writing to shine through. While there are some large deviations from the source material, the spirit of the graphic novel is alive on screen.

2 Unbreakable Is A Love Letter To Superhero Stories


A man learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident.

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Arguably M. Night Shyamalan’s greatest movie, Unbreakable tells the story of David Dunn, a security guard who miraculously survives a train crash unscathed. From there, a comic book art dealer, Elijah Price, begins to believe David is a real life superhero, one who exists at the far end of the spectrum of human ability. From there, the two form an uneasy friendship as David begins to accept his abilities, and uses them to save people from dangerous criminals.

Unbreakable is both deconstruction and commentary on the superhero genre, but it is also a sincere love letter to the superhero comic. In David Dunn’s “Overseer,” Shyamalan presents a character who feels plausible and incredibly relatable, as he balances normal human problems of family against his newfound calling. The sequels, Split and Glass, are also well-written stories that continue to explore the same premise.

1 The Dark Knight Mastered Superhero Realism

The Dark Knight
10 / 10

When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

IMDb Rating: 9.0

The Dark Knight is one of the best examples of a superhero movie that hardly feels like a superhero movie at all. Instead, much of the movie resembles a mid-2000s thriller, one that happens to feature a caped vigilante in place of a private detective or cop. The story follows Batman as he investigates the Joker’s stranglehold on the Gotham crime scene as the villain tries to crush the city’s very soul.

The Dark Knight is full of deep moral questions about the implications of vigilantism. From Harvey Dent foreshadowing his own downfall to the Joker’s attempt to turn Gotham against itself. The movie set a new bar for grounded, street-level superhero movies, and Nolan received praise for his minimization of CGI and use of practical effects. The script itself is a thorough exploration of what it means to be a hero, and the ethics behind a character like Batman, while also giving fans an old school detective story.

 A well-written film is a surefire way to impress fans and the superhero genre has plenty of movies that fit that category.  Read More