9. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

I've long believed that The Incredible Hulk never got credit for some very witty moments. Just look at the way the original song of the Hulk momentarily plays as Edward Norton shuffles down the street, or when he blunderingly translates his iconic catchphrase into Portuguese. ("You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry.") Those things aren't enough to make a superhero film a smash, of course, and at times the movie drags. But I still find Norton's portrayal has a nerdish charm that contrasts well with the big green guy.


8. X-Men (2000)

This is the breakthrough film that probably inspired Marvel Studios to think, "Hey, we can really do this!" Perhaps the most surprising thing about it still is the film's balance between realism (it lost those super-'80s costumes) and the knowledge that sometimes you want to see a statuesque mutant with blue skin and red hair kick some ass. It has some clunkiness, to be sure — I don't even want to bring up Halle Berry, but my God, it's like she's on 'ludes — but it was a nice indication of what Marvel Studios might be able to do.


7. Iron Man 2 (2010)

Any follow up to something as flat-out fun as Iron Man requires a delicate touch — you need to deepen the pathos without getting dour, and at times in Iron Man 2, Tony Stark's recklessness in the face of his own impending death threatens to kill the momentum. Luckily, the film is propped up by game performances from Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Mickey Rourke, who may just be playing himself with a Russian accent. It is also propped up by Scarlett Johansson's ass, which I hear demanded its own trailer and a cut of the international gross.


6. Thor (2011)

Expectations were not high for this film, and not just because Thor's full-on Norse god regalia looks a bit silly in practice. But it's saved by a healthy self-awareness and a surprising amount of humor, much of which is provided by Chris Hemsworth's instantly appealing lead performance. (I must also praise Kat Dennings, who really should be a big movie star and not relegated to bad CBS sitcoms.) That Hemsworth has arms the size of fire hydrants doesn't hurt, either.


5. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

More than any other film on this list, Spider-Man 2 emphasizes the cost of dedicating your life to doing good. Spidey is flat-broke, his personal life is in shambles, and he's not exactly loved by the public or his friends. Fortunately, Tobey Maguire manages to keep Peter Parker from coming off as a whiny man-child, for the most part. But even more credit must go to Alfred Molina's insane Doc Ock; the combination of his robotic arms and his pudgy scientist body could have come off as laughable, but Molina sells his character so well that his ungainlyness just seems even more menacing.


4. X2 (2003)

What makes this mutant-filled sequel better than the first go-around? X2 takes most of the good bits from number one and leaves many of the rough patches behind. For one thing, it lets its British prestige actors shine while reducing the screen time for those who weren't really shining as much (cough). It pushes the allegorical idea of mutant rights in a way that's not exactly subtle but very satisfying for a summer blockbuster. And it manages to include a whole second blue mutant. In the end, I probably remember more specific scenes from this movie than from any other on this list, from Iceman's coming out to his suburban family to the kick-ass opening scene of Nightcrawler's attack on the White House.


3. Spider-Man (2002)


It would have been embarrassing for Marvel's most famous character to make it to the big screen only to fall flat on his face. (Especially from such heights!) Luckily, Spider-Man succeeded in bringing your friendly neighborhood web-slinger to life without getting dragged down by a very familiar origin story. The film never takes itself too seriously, and Willem Dafoe makes a very convincing and, more importantly, very creepy villain as the Green Goblin. The film also includes the single most iconic image from any of the movies on this list: the upside-down, soaking-wet, wow-you-can-really-see-her-nipples-in-this-scene kiss between Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Even today this scene is still being parodied.


2. X-Men: First Class (2011)

Deftly revitalizing the X-Men franchise, this isn't a reboot (some enjoyable little surprises make that very clear), but it very nearly plays like one, with a joyful feeling of newness throughout. Perhaps the filmmakers' smartest choice was remembering that, while the characters' abilities can be a burden, sometimes having superpowers might be fun. X-Men: First Class also features some stellar performances, with the best overall a tie between the amazing Jennifer Lawrence and the charismatic Michael Fassbender. When it comes to Marvel films, Fassbender is clearly the new Robert Downey, Jr.


1. Iron Man (2008)

Part of the pleasure of Iron Man was the surprise. If things had gone wrong, the film would've been obliterated from our cultural consciousness by The Dark Knight. Instead, it more than held its own against the much grittier Batman film, with some even claiming it was the superior of the two. (Don't worry, internet: you've already found those people and killed them.) Iron Man is witty and sharp with an unflagging pace, but while the script is great, Robert Downey, Jr. must deserve most of the credit for the film's success. Tony Stark could easily be someone you hate — he's rich by birth, doesn't feel especially tortured about anything at all, and really loves his job as a weapons manufacturer. But in Downey's hands, he's a lovable scamp, the kind of guy everyone loves hanging out with. (As long as he lets you try the suit.)


Commentarium (75 Comments)

Jun 02 11 - 1:03am

This actually made me want to watch Blade: Trinity.

Jun 02 11 - 1:07am

And I would add that Guillermo del Toro cares a lot less about the heartbreak of lost innocence and a lot more about coming up with cool monsters. A lot of directors can make you feel bad about fascism, but they can't creature design like del Toro.

Jun 02 11 - 2:16am

Sorry, but Iron Man at number 1? I could not even get through the first thirty minutes of the movie. It takes almost the whole movie for the plot to pick up pace for people to even follow.

Jun 02 11 - 4:32am

i ron man was sikc!

Jun 07 11 - 4:10am

yeah! u dumb fuck! mother bitch

Jun 11 11 - 10:45pm

iron man was awsome

Jun 14 11 - 1:20pm

iron man was boring!!!!

Feb 12 12 - 3:56pm

IRON MAN IS AMAZING! How can u not love the technology, the house and the suit?!

Apr 22 12 - 12:30am

Only comic book film worth watching.

Jul 29 12 - 1:10pm
yeah about that

Iron Man was good...but it doesn't even hold a candle up to Batman 1, 2, or 3. Anyone who disagrees is simply in denial. Don't bother responding, I will not read.

Aug 02 12 - 1:20am

Batman is a DC so it doesn't belong in the list.

Jun 02 11 - 3:44am

How is spiderman 1 above spiderman 2? spiderman 2 should take the number one spot. you know, what with all its greatness and all. Also, I feel that adding First class to this list is dumb. Yes, I know people have scene it already but its still not even out yet. Like. I want to say that it doesn't belong up there but I can't. Not that I think it will suck or anything, its just it hasn't proven itself to me to be up there.

This list is flawed. spiderman 2 should be number 1.

Jun 02 11 - 7:09am

I want to love Spider Man but it relied too heavily on CGI for the action scenes which makes the film look out of date about two minutes after I watched it....

Jun 11 11 - 10:46pm

nope ....spiderman was not that good, and im a fan

Jan 16 12 - 11:44pm

watchmen might have been the only good comic movie besides batman the dark knight. everything else was a sack of crap

Jun 02 11 - 4:14am

I'd all but given up on Marvel films after watching Iron Man 2 but then I watched Tom Hiddleston's turn as Loki in Thor and I fell in lurv all over again.

Jun 11 11 - 10:46pm

just wait for captain america....

Sep 15 11 - 3:05am
boom pole

spiderman 2 had he best story, performances, and shots. Ironman was good the first time i watched it not so good the second time, the new marvel movies are just boring. thor, capt america, ironman, hulk... they just lack heart. I find myself not caring about any of these people. If they were to die in one of these movies i really could care less. however... xmen first class was a sweet surprise. I thought it was going to suck.

Jun 02 11 - 4:25am

Iron Man is the best. Good call.

Jun 02 11 - 4:43am

I havent seen x-men first class yet but for all the others , the list for me goes like this
1.Iron Man
2.Spider-man 2
these 3 are the best(thor was REALLY good but not one of the best)

Jun 11 11 - 10:54pm

alot of these arent even made by marvel...heres my list
3.the incredible hulk

Jun 02 11 - 6:41am

The only way u could find blade trinity confusing is if u were a fucking idiot.

Jun 02 11 - 9:19am

I prefer the porn versions: Sex Men — First Ass. Inside-her Man. Sexlectra. Baredevil. The Punisher.

Jun 02 11 - 4:16pm

More like the PUNisher.

Jun 03 11 - 9:06am

How about The Penisher?

Jun 08 11 - 5:12pm

you guys are dumb, the poonisher

Jun 02 11 - 9:44am
Danielle Gibson

I CANNOT believe Thor is that high but good call on everything else. Mostly this list makes me happy to be more of a DC gal. Batman trumps all these suckas.

Jun 02 11 - 9:59am

SOME Batman movies are good. Most were terrible. And don't forget all the terrible Superman movies. And DC has an answer to Electra: Catwoman.

Jun 02 11 - 2:23pm

Batman '89 was a solid (if unexciting) film.
Batman Returns was a poor second effort by Burton.
I admittedly have a soft spot for Batman Forever (my first Batman film). It's not a great film by any stretch, but it's lots of fun and Val Kilmer made a decent Bruce Wayne/Batman.
...the less said about B&R, the better.
Batman Begins was a good film and a strong reboot for the franchise.
The Dark Knight is the greatest comicbook film of all time.

So we have one awesome film, one good film, two average, one poor and one film that has all but been erased from existence. On the whole I think it's better than you envision it.

Jun 02 11 - 4:05pm
Danielle Gibson

The original Batman directed by Tim Burton is my favorite movie of all time, I will defend it to the death. I mean this movie has everything. The visuals of Gotham City are on point. The casting all around is perfect, even Jerry Hall has her moments. And the soundtrack is Prince. Prince! Michael Keaton is to this day my favorite Batman, makes the character fascinating, good-humored, multidimensional and more human than any other actor. And don't even get me started on the classic pairing of Batman VS Joker without a billion other villains and storylines clogging things up. And I love Heath Ledger as much as anyone but come on. Jack Nicholson was born for that part.

Jun 02 11 - 10:45am

I thought blade was great, dj krush on the soundtrack, visually pretty nice, adult themes. better than this boy gee golly shit in other marvel movies.

Jun 02 11 - 12:09pm

This list lost all credibility as soon as the author placed Hulk (2003) in the top 10. Really?

Jun 02 11 - 1:39pm

Hey, it's better than Ambien for insomnia.

Jun 02 11 - 12:15pm

Lovely list! Personally I would have gone with X2 for the brilliant amount cameos/allegories put in without ever feeling cramped... plus Nightcrawler.

Jun 02 11 - 12:50pm

iron man was awesome, and anyone who doesn't get that has no sense of humor.
"It's like Marvel's attempt at Saw. ("What if another object was stabbed into another guy's face?!")"
awesome. this list is great.

Jun 02 11 - 1:43pm

Does anyone else think that James McAvoy looks an awful lot like Zach Braff in that picture?

Jun 02 11 - 2:51pm

I would only say that Blade needs to be bumped up a few notches. Marvel was bankrupt in the late 1997 after the comic book collectors bubble crashed, and was getting ready to license out all its characters and basically die. Carl Icahn had bought up the bad debt and was going to do the corporate raider thing. Blade was the first comic they allowed to be made into a film, and if it hadn't been really good, none of the rest of these movies would have been made at all.

Jun 02 11 - 3:35pm

I have seen EVERY movie on this list, and while overall, it's pretty accurate, I must say, putting Hulk 2002 on the top 10 list is insane. That movie SUCKED. In fact, it stands on my top 5 worst movies of all time. It was boring. The villain choice was weak. The overtones of child abuse were too dark. Thumbs down.
Also - I agree that to not show Galactus in FF4 - Rise of the Silver Surfer was such as disappointment. It was like they just ran out of money and stopped short the CGI.

Jun 02 11 - 3:41pm

You guys missed the boat here.

Thor was quite awful, wastes half an hour on CG snow and 'frost giants' when it should be establishing character. No surprise that it takes Odin 60-some seconds to banish Thor. The romance with Portman also seems to take in 60 seconds.

Spider-Man 2 is hamstrung by the same problems - he loses his powers for about two minutes on screen. Sucks all the drama out of the film.

Finally, Blade and Blade II were much better than either of the Hulk movies, both in wierd, sublime ways - be it del Toro's creepy gore fest, or the brilliant minimalism of the first. Blade made X-Men and Iron Man possible.

Jun 02 11 - 5:55pm

Best comment on the board.

Jun 02 11 - 3:44pm

Completely with you on Blade - a terribly underrated movie that, unlike almost everything on this list, including X-Men and Spider-Man, has aged really well. Except the late 90's CG and some of the music (and an un-incarcerated Wesley Snipes), this is a movie that could be released today and be successful.

Jun 02 11 - 6:44pm

Glad that the writer gave xmen first class the proper amount of time to digest before putting it down as number 2.
Arguments aside, if nothing else the compilation reminds me that comic book movies weren't that good even before over swelling a massive saturation.
Blade was underrated btw.

Jun 03 11 - 2:02am

Reviews are rolling in everywhere, you should check some of them out...

Jun 02 11 - 8:25pm
Mr. Man

I'm not sure I'd put Iron Man at #1 but def top 5 or 10. Faves: all 3 Xmen flicks, first 2 Spideys, and Blade 2.

Jun 05 11 - 4:38am

X men 3 was a mess!

Haven't seen Thor or First Class yet (Bad nerd I know) \
My top 5
Spiderman 2
Iron Man

Jun 03 11 - 8:06am

Every single one of those films fucking sucks and anyone who likes them should die from cancer you fucking cunt maggot fucking pricks...

Jun 03 11 - 9:05am

Is that you, M. Night Shyamalan?

Jun 03 11 - 9:58am

@moops LOL!!!

Jun 03 11 - 2:47pm

Punisher War Zone is actually pretty good - it's what a Punisher movie should be like, and it's wayyy better than the Jane/Travolta version.

Jun 03 11 - 11:41pm

Actually, Marvel STUDIOS made very few of these films. The Spider-Man films were Sony, the X-men films were Fox, etc. Only the Iron Man movies, Thor, and the most recent Hulk film have been released by Marvel Studios.

Jun 06 11 - 7:12pm

Marvel had a hand in every single one of those movies. Whether Marvel put the most money into making it, or it got backed by Sony doesn't matter.

Jun 06 11 - 11:23am

alot of these movies were not made by marvel studios.......try again

Jun 06 11 - 7:12pm

You might want to try again and go watch the opening credits to every single movie on that list. Definitely all Marvel.

Jun 06 11 - 7:11pm

How did The Hulk even end up on this list?!? I would rather watch Gigli, than 10 more seconds of Eric Bana trying to be anything other than an angry Romulan, trying to destroy Earth.

Jun 08 11 - 4:58pm

You don't understand why Pearl was called Pearl, and you take it upon yourself to review comic-book movies. Next, maybe you could review some plasma physics papers or perhaps give your opinion of the relative quality of the various cycles of the Kalevala.

Jun 08 11 - 11:25pm
William Carr

Wait, Hulk was in the top ten, and Daredevil was near the bottom ?

The author is on crack. Hulk was the worst travesty I've ever seen.

Meanwhile GhostRider was actually cool.

I'll give you that the Punisher belonged at the bottom.

Jun 10 11 - 1:26pm

Agree with you....this "hack" who wrote this has no clue....Ang Lee's "Hulk" was beyond terrible...Daredevil is far,far better then people give it credit for,I would rank it in the top 10....the first two Blades were pretty tight as well.
Orgin films like X-Men,Spider-Man and Ghost Rider are ALWAYS the hardest to film because they to do two different missions....showcase what has made them huge to the fan base and to introduce them to the general public,the vast majority who may of heard the names but never have read a comic.

Jun 12 11 - 3:53pm

Punisher: War Zone was FAR superior to The Punisher (although still not a good movie). This is because big, looming, grizzled Ray Stevenson is in every way a better Frank Castle than girl-bodied pretty boy Thomas Jane.

Also, Spider-Man 2 is the best Spider-Man movie, and the second-best Marvel movie, after Iron Man.

Other than that, it was a decent list.

Jun 15 11 - 4:26pm

First class should have been a reboot and given all the inaccuracies in it (even based solely on the other movies) it may as well have been. Good movie on it's own but as part of the set...no.

Jun 26 11 - 9:52am

i watched every thing marvel, the movies,motion comics, the tv shows(OLD&NEW),jap.anime, even fan films.....EVERYTHING available for visual veiwing bcuz i DONT want 2 to read comics
&& i must say BATMAN DARK KNIGHT set a new realistic bar for comic book movies, here is my list the best one
1.BLADE TRILOGY- its hard to make vampire movies,&& da storyline in #2 is AWESOME and if #4 was made& da
jessica biel/ryan reynolds spin-off ----This could have been a GREAT 5 peice combo

2.XMEN TRILOGY- #1 was a GREAT TONE SETTER,INTRODUCED EVERY1 NICELY, and like every one else i HATED how they USED the PHEONIX in #3 &-BUT all the movies introduced NEW MUTANTS.&& I HATED 2 also find out HALLE BERRY b i t ched about screen time, so every extra scene she had was suppose to be a cyclops scene

3.INCREDIBLE HULK(2008)-I LOVE THE HULK PERIOD BECUZ bruce banner doesnt want to B da HULK @ all, great script and action and HONESTLY I'M PISSED THAT edward norton wont portray my fave hero on screen anymore

4.SPIDERMAN TRILOGY-IM A big FAN BUT WISH there was more smart a s s remarks,YEAH I KNOW ITS BASED ON A LOVE story but the villians in 1&2 were great...even seemed like real people.i love aunt mays key role

5.DAREDEVIL- BECUZ it was a DECENT one and done-&& wasnt promising a sequel either, he wanted to capture the infamous kingpin and he did--case close


6.IRONMAN 1&2-love the terrorist/backstabbed/find your meaning of life angle in #1
HATE IN #2 no terrence howard or i think don cheadle should hav been in #1, dont like the switch-off like that, dont like how quickly whiplash dies off,LOVE the introduction of NICK FURY & S.H.I.E.L.D in #1,ALSO LOVE TONY STARK APPEARING IN HULK-2008

7.X-MEN 1st class- its new and i dont know how long they will keep
Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr / Magneto OR
James McAvoy as Dr. Charles Xavier OVERALL GR8 MOVIE- I LIKE SEQUELS
and i dont know how many NEW X-MEN they plan to make now adays

8.punisher- TAKE #1's origin story && #2's killing then u would hav da best on screen punisher film.HATE da villians in both. and hate the little jokes in #1, hate how they didnt use same lead actors. hate how they dont show any flashbacks of his killings in #2


HATE the fact there wasnt more wade wilson or gambit scenes....also hate how the movie didnt show him like the xmen cartoon,,, wearing a big a s s helmet and goin out on trial missions before escaping,
AND NOW THAT THEY HAVE MADE xmen 1st class-----WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSE TO MAKE OF THE PATRICK STEWART/ young cyclops/ young emma frost helicopter ending?????
LOVE LOVE wolverines short part in X-MEN 1st class F U C K OFF

14HULK 2003

Captain America: The First Avenger
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 2012
The Avengers 2012
The Amazing Spider-Man 2012
Iron Man 3 2013

Jun 30 11 - 2:59pm

Errrr...... hell no is X-men first class at no.2 it should be at number -2500000 its the worst marvel film.

Had no retention of xmen//marvel mythology....one of the biggest being havok aka Alex Summers being in there when his Scott Summers younger brother.

Reboots are fine just don't have complete disregard for the comics themselves Batman series is a fine example of how they can blend into one

Jul 01 11 - 12:49am

1. Howard the Duck wasn't mentioned. 2. Fantastic Four was only ruined by the bad casting of the Nip/Tuck guy to play Doom. The 03 Hulk made me hate Hulk it was that terrible. Daredevil was poorly done. Thor was great, considering they didn't use the exact dialect that he speaks in in comics so they could actually market the movie well other than make it look like a harry potter on roids. Ghost Rider is only hated because Nick Cage did it, when he shouldn't have been, but he played the role well and the actual movie its self was pretty well done.

Aug 04 11 - 6:33pm

er,,of these 23 movies you mentioned...only 4 were Marvel studios, Iron Man 1 & 2, Incredible Hulk, and Thor
These were the only ones Marvel directly made, Hence why they are in the top 4, all the others (Except Blade 1& 2, Punisher War Zone, X2 & Spider2) were shit.
They didnt have a say in the film, just the licensing, so this whole rank system is pretty shit, and even if they were, Hulk at 10? come on, Punisher:WZ 'It's like Marvel's attempt at Saw' why? because the villain is called Jigsaw? That villain has been around since the late 70's, Your clearly clueless on superhero's
That portrayed Punisher almost spot on.

1. Iron Man
2. Thor
3. The Incredible Hulk
4. Iron Man 2
(Marvel Studios ends there)
but anyways
5. Blade 1&2
6. Punisher: WZ
7. X2
8. Spiderman 2

Anything else doesnt deserve to be on there

Aug 31 11 - 3:59am

thor should be before elektra. worst movie i ever saw

Aug 08 11 - 9:53am

suck my dick gays

Sep 10 11 - 3:47pm

How can you put blade II above blade though? Seems very odd as blade II is all about gory and it has a massive plot mistake by having the vampires suddenly care about love etc. That is just plain wrong and might as well not have a vampire in it. And theres the "blood pack" a bunch of terrible generic, idiotic characters that make you cringe. A terrible film.

And thor is ok, just like many marvel films, they have too many people having their say on their precious comics, which leads to you sitting down and knowing whats going to happen for the entire film, because each film is bland and boring now and I am very disappointed in the lack of leadership, new ideas, daringness or any sort of balls or anything new. They are scared to make a comic film now...

Sep 10 11 - 3:49pm

PS: At least we had The Dark Knight, that was a real film. Many of these others are just popcorn, seat filling trash.

Nov 21 11 - 5:24pm

Where's the Watchmen top film in my opinion.

Mar 10 12 - 2:15pm
Dave Bartlett

How the hell did either of the Hulk films make the top ten?
Both were terrible. If I'd been putting my own list together, I'd have found some loophole and left them out of the list altogether. The spectacle that is The Hulk just doesn't transfer for film very well at all, and both of those pathetic films are best forgotton

Mar 14 12 - 7:03pm


Mar 14 12 - 7:11pm
teja mandava

He just listed the new ones to be the good and the old ones to be bad. Me personally don't think that x-men should not be part of marvel because they ruin the intensity of the other charecters like Thor, cap and IM. You also forgot the captain America movie which is better then iron man.

May 22 12 - 4:25pm
Nevira Ehilaikinn

I desagree about "x-man first class", for the horrible final.
I consider the "wolverine the origin" the worst film about x-men: poor plot and too much fight scenes.
Iron man 2 lost his drama and tony stark and pepper are really under tone: worst than x-men I and II, spiderman series, blade I and II and thor. Devil was not so bad: good Aflek

Jun 22 12 - 2:06am

Not having Blade in the top 3 = Fail.

X-Men: First Class better than Blade? LOL. First Class starts off great and has that uber cool knife scene with Magneto, but got so super cheesy (i.e. the uplifting "you're doing it" music playing repeatedly in the training scene of the mutants) that it ended up turning into a comedy. I went with 2 friends and 2 of us were bustin up laughing at how stupid this movie became while the other friend thought the movie was still serious. And yea, Nevira, the final fight scene was epic stupid with all overly dramatic shots of battleship generals mouths wide open yelling out orders while a sucktastic superhero flew around using her spit power to attack other sucktastic superheroes overhead.

Blade antagonist is far more badass than that #1 super overrated Iron Man movie. Blade easily has the best soundtrack out of all these movies. Blade opening scene is more memorable than all the movies listed. And more importantly, Blade just wins, baby!

Jul 05 12 - 3:05am

And the new #1, the Avengers.

Argue it. I DARE YOU.

Jul 07 12 - 2:21am

Blade and Blade 2 below Hulk? Seriously?!? and to top that off, Thor in the top 10? With worse acting than Ben Affleck's Daredevil! Or Iron Man 2 beating X Men.

This writer has no idea and should be fired immediately.