Everyone loves lists and it seems everyone is talking about the Avengers sequel coming out tomorrow. I doubt I may even see it in its first run in theaters with the way we've been running around and most nights taken up with Bulls and Hawks playoff games but I still HAVE to see it at some point.
That's not to say I think all the most recent superhero films have been great. I started ranking my favorites from Marvel and there's definitely a theme. Meaning, not too many sequels and no one who slings webs.
There was no greater satisfaction as a major X-Men fan growing up than to see the first scene with Wolverine and Rogue play out on the big screen. Cinematically, the opening with the young Magneto was stunning. This was the true beginning of the theatrical mega-success Marvel has had now being overshadowed with the Avengers offerings.
2. Iron Man
Finding someone to play Iron Man convincingly isn't as hard as the gem they found in Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, but Downey brought a sense of humor that turned a superhero movie into a blockbuster you could bring your wife to. This is also one of the few movies/series I've ever like Gwyneth Paltrow in.
3. The Avengers
How Joss Whedon mixed all those mega-heroes into one cohesive movie is beyond me. It just worked. Also, Loki is just fantastic.
4. The Wolverine
We shall not speak of the previous Wolverine film. This one was done right, was true to the books and had ninjas. Lots and lots of ninjas.
5. X-Men: First Class
I didn't know how they were going to reboot the X-Men storyline but I'm glad they didn't just totally write-off the first three movies. This was a unique take with terrific acting. The reason these Marvel movies are so good – as with the Nolan Batman trilogy – has a lot to do with the A-list acting talent they get.
6. Captain America: The First Avenger
The fact that this movie surprised nearly everyone I talked to with how good it was probably earns its spot here. Again, brilliant reimagining of the comics and origin of Steve Rogers.
7. X2: X-Men United
I never understood why the X-Men wouldn't be "united" and the movie had some mutants splitting off to follow Magneto…but I digress. The movie had tons of action, addressed the underlying idea of how scary mutants would seem to the world if they existed and had a terrific Nightcrawler action scene.
8. X-Men: Days of Future Past
This is one of the most storied comic book storylines of all time so it was impossible for the filmmakers to really do it justice. But they came close enough to make my top ten.
Here I think the directing of Branagh wins out for taking such a far-out concept as a space age Asgard and making it seem plausible in any way. Throw in great acting from everyone not wielding a hammer and you win me over. OK, Natalie Portman won me over. You got me.
10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Hydra? You had me at Hydra even if they didn't have the silly original costumes from the comics. The friendship between Cap and The Falcon was also a nice touch and again, true to the comics. This is where I got a little tired of Sam Jackson as Nick Fury though. He's playing him the right way…but I guess Fury in "real-life" just isn't as likable as the guy with a stogie sticking out of his mouth.