Best Comic Book Movies

Comics, Film

Next year is going to bring us several new comic book inspired movies, with Captain America and Thor both making their premiers, but that got me to thinking:  “What are the best comic book movies?”  Fortunately, I have an answer for everything.

Blade

Blade

Wesley Snipes may be having legal troubles right now, but back in 1998 when this film came out it was all the buzz.  TV specials showing off his martial arts abilities, big premiers, and the added benefit of convincing Marvel to move ahead with X-Men and Spider-Man.  Sparking a pair of sequels (one good, one sorta meh), there’s a good argument for Blade being the beginning of the modern revival of comic book movies.

The Crow

The Crow

The last film of actor Brandon Lee, this movie was dark, violent, and spawned several movie and television sequels, none of which lived up to the original.  The death of Brandon Lee while filming the movie certainly didn’t hurt the films box office numbers, but the quality story telling and acting has helped it stand forth as one of the great comic book movies.

Watchmen

Watchmen

The movie that could never be made was finally made, and with the exception of the very end, it was perhaps the most faithful adaptation of any movie to the source material.  Excellent casting, a soundtrack that reminded you the film took place in the 80’s, and a legion of fans ready to see the movie made it hugely successful.  Also, Malin Akerman.

Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2

While the first Spider-Man film did a good job of introducing the character for anybody unfamiliar with it, the sequel was far and away better.  Two years lead to better special effects, and the success of the first film allowed for more big name actors joining the cast, namely Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus.  Peter Parker and MJ finally getting together at the end was the moment fans had been waiting for since the start of the first film, and Spider-Man accepting his role as a superhero made the character all the more believable.

Sin City

Sin City

Frank Miller is a comic book legend, and this was shown to even more people after Sin City premiered.  Dark, noir, and with an all-star cast of actors, the film changed the way many thought of comic book movies and set a standard for quality of both acting and production that was hard to beat.



X2: X-Men United

X2

Much like Spider-Man 2, the sequel to X-Men showed how far the special effects had come.  Whereas in the first film Wolverine was never seen without long sleeves on while his claws were out, in X2, the film seemed to take delight in showing him in a tank top popping his claws.  The better effects with a storyline that was compelling and action packed, and hints of The Phoenix Saga, made this the best film of the series.

300

300

And we’re back to Frank Miller.  Thanks in part to the success of Sin City, the film adaptation of 300 was anticipated, and it delivered.  Loads of action, a great story, and amazing camera work that made you feel like you were in a comic book made this film a huge success and helped to launch the career of Gerard Butler.

Batman Begins

Batman Begins

After the nightmare that was Batman & Robin, it was understandable why some were hesitant when this movie was first announced.  Thankfully, Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale delivered.  While everybody knew the story of Batman, it had never truly been shown on film before, and Batman Begins gave us just that.  Showing everybody what comic book movies could be if treated like cinema masterpieces instead of summer popcorn flicks, this film helped add credibility to the genre.

Iron Man

Iron Man

Spider-Man 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand didn’t live up to the same standards as the movies before them, so there was some worry about Iron Man.  The casting of Robert Downey, Jr as Tony Stark helped to alleviate some concerns in the comic book world as there was nobody better suited to play the character than a man that had dealt with his own personal demons of substance abuse.

Iron Man helped Marvel lead into what is sure to be their biggest movie yet, The Avengers, with tie-ins to Thor, Captain America, and The Incredible Hulk.

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

You knew this one was coming.  If Batman Begins gave credit to the genre, The Dark Knight cemented it.  A new take on The Joker by the late Heath Ledger earned an Oscar win, and the film became one of the highest grossing films of all time.

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