Ever look up into the sky, see a shooting star and wish to be more than what you are? Wish for powers? The ability to help people, fly, or fight crime? Well, we may not really be able to do that, but we can see them in film.
10 – Kick-Ass (2010)
Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) was your average high school kid who was a victim of robberies and bullying. He decides to become a self made super hero named Kick-Ass. After a video of Kick-Ass fighting a group of thugs goes viral, Kick-Ass becomes the symbol of justice in his city. Kick-Ass gets help from his newly met friends and partners Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz). Kick-Ass takes you from start to finish of the hero’s journey in an action packed realistic story of what it takes for the average person to aspire to greatness and become a hero.
9 – Superman (1978)
It’s hard to believe that the next film on this list has essentially set the bar against which all future superhero movies would be measured. Richard Donners’ Superman (Christopher Reeves) plays tribute to the first true embodiment of a superhero on the silver screen. In his first feature length film, Superman is in a race against time as he has to stop the brilliant criminal mastermind Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) from blowing up California. Superman didn’t just leap into our hearts with a single bound, he inspired the imagination of movie fans everywhere
8 – X-Men (2000)
The year 2000 started off with a bang when X-Men brought superheroes to the full attention of the movie-going audience. After being attacked by Magneto’s (Ian McKellen) men, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Rogue (Anna Paquin) are rescued by Cyclops (James Marsden) and Storm (Halle Berry). They are brought to The Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, where they are welcomed as a part of the community. After struggling to manage her powers, Rogue runs away from the school. Magneto captures her and plans to use her as a pawn in his plan. Wolverine ultimately joins Professor X’s (Patrick Stewart’s) X-Men and work to stop Magneto’s plan to turn humans into mutants and save Rogue.
7 – Mystery Men (1999)
This is not your traditional superhero movie, Mystery Men follows the story of the average man or woman who aspires to become self-made heroes. Led by the “Shoveler” (William H. Macy), The Blue Raja (Hank Azaria) and Mr. Furious (Ben Stiller), this group of ordinary men believe they can do the extraordinary and avenge the death of the hero “Captain Amazing” (Greg Kinnear) and take down the most notorious of all criminal masterminds, Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush).
6 – Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), is an ordinary man with an extraordinary heart. However, being a short skinny guy with a heart of gold wasn’t enough to get into the army – well, without a little dishonesty, that is. He is brought in to be the recipient of the first round of Super Serum – creating real super soldiers to make the war against the Nazis swing the odds in favour of the allied forces. After being sent overseas as an actor to raise the moral of the troops Rogers breaks off from his role as an actor and frees captured Americans on his own. After finding out that Hydra is making weapons that could give the Axis a major advantage over the Americans in a war, Captain America takes it upon himself to retrieve the advanced technology, “the tesseract”, and save the day.
5 – Thor (2011)
Son of Odin, future king of Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must overcome his own arrogance and rise to become the noble brave warrior and leader his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) expects him to be. After Loki (Tom Hiddleston) learns of his frost giant birth, he becomes jealous of his brother and drives to take the throne and rule Asgard by any means possible. Through deceit and mischief he manages to get Thor banished to Earth, where he is forced to learn to become more than just a king. Thor must become a hero.
4 – Iron Man (2008)
Genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the world leader in weapons manufacturing for the American military. After being captured by terrorists, Stark builds his first Iron Man suit. After escaping he makes his way back home with a chest full of shrapnel and a determination to rid the world of weapons and focus his company on funding peace in the world. Stark builds a second Iron Man suit and takes out the terrorists who held him captive. To his dismay, Stark discovers that his right hand man Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) was working with the terrorist group and has built his own Iron Man suit. Stark must now face off against one of his oldest friends in an effort to not only save his company, but save himself.
3 – The Avengers (2012)
The world is in great danger when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) takes control of the tesseract and wants to use it to open a portal to declare war on earth. With the help of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) the world’s most dynamic group of superheroes assembles. The Avengers is a team made up of Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawk Eye (Jeremy Renner), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and, of course, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr). The Avengers is one of the most action-packed movies of this generation and surely delivers on just about everything you hope to see from the ultimate superhero movie.
2 – Spider-Man 2
In the second installment of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man (Tobey McGuire), is back once again to fight Doctor Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) as well as a pile of personal issues. This ‘can’t miss’ film lands at number two on our list simply because it’s the first superhero film that properly defines the struggle in figuring out where superhero responsibilities end and where personal responsibilities take priority. Just remember this: “ With great power comes great responsibility”.
1 – The Dark Knight (2008)
Christopher Nolan is back in the director’s chair for this, the second and most powerful film of the Dark Knight trilogy. Once again, Christian Bale takes his place as Batman opposite the split personality of Harvey Dent, aka Two Face (Aaron Eckhart), and the twisted, pure evil Joker (Heath Ledger). The Dark Knight takes you on twists and turns that leave you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. It’s worth noting that the late Heath Ledger won an Oscar for best supporting actor in the Nolan blockbuster. His portrayal of the psychotic super villain not only steals the show, but it’s a performance so good that it would make the original Joker cringe.The only real flaw in the film was the terrible casting choice of supporting actress Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes. However, this small blemish cannot ruin the fact that this film has become the greatest superhero movie ever made.
Love the list or hate it, feedback is always appreciated. Which films would make your top 10?