5. Spider-Man 2 (2004)- Despite being 15 years old, Spider-Man 2 is still one of the greatest superhero sequels ever made. Everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong for Peter Parker. It gets so bad that he gives up being Spider-Man. What this movie illustrates so well is that Spider-Man is not Batman or Superman; he’s us. Pete struggles to get to his classes, can’t pay rent, and has trouble talking to the girl that he loves. So when he steps back up and becomes Spider-Man again, you can’t help but cheer for him. Aside from Spidey, the movie gives a lot more character development for Mary Jane, Aunt May, and especially Harry Osborn. Alfred Molina is also fantastic as Doctor Octopus. Throw in the iconic train fight and you have one of the best superhero movies ever made.
4. Captain America: Civil War (2016)- It’s a nerds dream come true, seeing your favorite superheroes fight. But what makes Civil War a great movie are the personal stakes involved in the fight. Pinning Captain America and Iron Man against eachother on whether the Avengers should be run by the government is a fascinating idea. As a viewer, there’s no right or wrong choice.
Steve and Tony both have great points and it makes the movie that much more engaging. But I’m not going to lie, the action is utterly outstanding and that Airport sequence is the greatest single sequence in film history.Oh yeah, plus it marked the debut of Black Panther and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man; both of which steal the show.
3. The Avengers (2012)- While Civil War broke our heroes apart, The Avengers brought them together for the first time.Everyone thought that it couldn’t be done. But not only did it work, The Avengers became one of the best movies of the 21st Century. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and even Hawkeye all have moments to shine while never crowding over one another.
That credit has to go to director Joss Whedon as he balances out the humor with the dramatic elements perfectly. Loki adds another element to the film as a fantastically awesome and worthy villain. I could watch that Avengers Assemble scene 1,000 times and never get tired of it. That scene and the movie as a whole are just that good.
2. The Dark Knight (2008)- Widely considered the greatest superhero movie ever made, The Dark Knight is my runner up. What this movie did for the genre cannot be understated. Christopher Nolan made Hollywood elites take superhero movies seriously. Despite being snubbed for Best Picture, The Dark Knight did take an Oscar home for best supporting actor. That actor was the late Heath Ledger as The Joker. In my opinion, Heath Ledger’s Joker is up their with Darth Vader, Norman Bates, and Hannibal Lecter as one of the most iconic villains in film history.
He commands attention every second he’s on the screen and is an unstoppable force. Ledger’s dynamic with Christian Bale’s Batman is also off the charts, like in the clip you see below. The Joker and Batman have always a metaphor for ying and yang and that is on full display in The Dark Knight. Every aspect of this film is spectacular and its not hard to understand why many say this is the greatest superhero film ever made. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWgyKDfFC_U
1 Avengers: Infinity War (2018)- Call it a hot take if you want, call it recency bias if you want. But to me, Avengers: Infinity War is the greatest superhero film ever made. 19 films in the making, Infinity War somehow surpassed the enormous hype. When dealing with SO MANY characters, this film could have easily been overcrowded. But it wasn’t, it had one singular focus and that was Thanos. Thanos is up there with the Heath Ledger’s Joker as the greatest villain we have ever scene in a superhero movie. Josh Brolin is smart, intimating, powerful, merciful, and merciless all wrapped up into one. But what made him different from every other villain is that HE WON. He beat the Avengers, snapped his Infinity Gauntlet, and half of life in the universe died.
I saw this movie 5 times in theaters and I have never felt more emotions in a movie than I did for Infinity War. Whether it was Iron Man putting his bleeding edge armor on, Captain America returning to save Vision, or Thor arriving in Wakanda with Rocket and Groot; Infinity War gave us some of the most iconic moments in movie history. But most important, it was a great movie. Thanks for reading my list everyone. Avengers: Endgame is here I’m going to be an emotional wreak. Review coming Friday
Steve Santoro (SVS_1993)