There is no question that Marvel is leading the way when it comes to comic book movies. Obviously the success of Marvel Studios has been well documented, but even the films outside of Marvel Studios have proven to be successes. With that in mind I set off to rank Marvel’s movies from worst to best. This is my list, and my list the alone. So if you strongly disagree with how the list shapes out send the blame my way…or credit if by chance you agree with me…to my direction. Obviously this is all opinion based. I am not conceded enough to think this is a definitive list. It is simply my list and nothing more. A fun exercise where my only goal was to be honest. You may disagree with me, and you probably should. Just know I ranked them on what I value in a movie. So with that said here it is:
36. Fantast Four (1994)
Directed By: Oley Sassone
Written By: Craig J. Nevius, Kevin Rock
Starring: Alex Hyde-White, Jay Underwood, Rebecca Staab
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33%
Synopsis: In this Marvel Comic adaption, four astronauts get bombarded with cosmic rays when an accident occurs. The four of them acquire special powers, and decide to form a superhero group called the Fantastic Four. They then fight their arch-enemy Dr. Doom.
Quick Take: Some may call this a cheat as this version of Fantastic Four was not officially released in theaters, but due to pirated copies and the internet it has been widely seen. As bad as comic book movies might get we have this nightmare of a movie as a reminder of how far we have come. For those looking for a ‘so bad its good’ movie you can’t do much better than this, although Reed Richards falling in love at first sight with a preteen Sue Storm is one of the creepiest moments in movie history.
Directed By: Rob Bowman
Written By: Mark Steven Johnson
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Goran Visnjic, Will Yun Lee |
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10%
Synopsis: Elektra the warrior survives a near-death experience, becomes an assassin-for-hire, and tries to protect her two latest targets, a single father and his young daughter, from a group of supernatural assassins.
Quick Take: I will be honest and say I remember nearly nothing about Elektra, which in hindsight is probably a good thing. It’s a movie I have seen multiple times, for reasons I am not even aware of, yet nothing ever sticks in my mind. Unlike the previous film its not ‘so bad its good’ it just a tiring sludge to get through. Nearly every character was pathetically created, especially one specific character with the power of bringing their tattoos to life. By the end you cannot help but feel bad for the people involved.
34. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Directed By: Gavin Hood
Written By: David Benioff and Skip Woods
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 38%
Synopsis: A look at Wolverine’s early life, in particular his time with the government squad Team X and the impact it will have on his later years.
Quick Take: Unlike Elektra I remember way too much of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So many decisions were made that boggle the mind of anyone. The three simple words of ‘Merc without a Mouth’ will cause an instant fanboy uproar—and for once that uproar is deserved. The special effects for a major blockbuster were embarrassing. It was a telling realization of the sheer laziness that was involved in the creation. Hugh Jackman makes an incredible Wolverine, but his might alone was not nearly enough to save this turd of a movie.
33. Howard the Duck
Directed By: Willard Huyck
Written By: Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz
Starring: Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins |
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%
Synopsis: A sarcastic humanoid duck is pulled from his homeworld to Earth where he must stop an alien invader.
Quick Take: It is an odd bit of trivia when you realize one of the first Marvel properties that got a movie was Howard the Duck. It was the 80’s—a time where crazy and big ideas where often the norm. Howard the Duck is simply mind boggling on so many levels. You cannot help but wonder why no one during the making of the movie realized how bad of a road they were heading down, and stopped filming and buried all the film reels in the desert E.T. game style.
32. Ghost Rider
Directed By: Mark Steven Johnson
Written By: Mark Steven Johnson and Mark Steven Johnson
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott |
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 26%
Synopsis: Stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze gives up his soul to become a hellblazing vigilante, to fight against power hungry Blackheart, the son of the devil himself.
Quick Take: Ghost Rider is a demon from hell who has a flaming skull for a head so you would think you would not treat that material with a family friendly approach. Oh..but they did. When it did try to be dark it failed in ever way possible, instead presenting itself in a cartoonish manner. They neutered Ghost Rider and made him into a pathetic joke. Nicolas Cage could not help himself and had to add moronic character traits to his character, like an odd love for jellybeans, which did nothing but add pitiful attempts at humor.
31. The Punisher (1989)
Directed By: Mark Goldblatt
Written By: Boaz Yakin
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeroen Krabbé
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 24%
Synopsis: When Frank Castle’s family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as the Punisher
Quick Take: I am not sure why they cannot make a great Punisher movie. I will get to the other films later, but suffice to say none of them fully do the character justice. This movie came out the same year as Tim Burton’s first Batman movie. While that brought comic book movies to new heights, this did everything possible to undercut that achievement. It is nothing more than your typical over bloated 80’s action movie with a slight inspiration from the comics. I will still never understand the need to showcase so much of naked Dolph Lundgren meditating in the sewers. It is an image that will get burnt into your brain.
LOL the funny thing with the jab at me with my hate at Reynolds is Blade Trinity came AFTER Van Wilder, and I barely noticed the bad national lampoon humor from him in Blade Trinity. So I can now say there are two Ryan Reynolds movies I won’t hate on him for…. Blaed Trinity and Safe House….. the rest are all just various twisted Van Wilder humor like rehashes. The more ironic thing is that I somewhat enjoy the van wilder movie. After all it has Paul Gleason in it… and anything with him is awesome!
As far as the rest of your list I’m surprised IM3 was that high, and I still say the FF films from Tim Story are good… not great, but by no means the worst marvel property films out there. Interesting a good list though! I could have sworn you’d have put SM3 lower than you did…. me personally the FF films are better than it.
Thanks! That wasn’t really a job at you, forgot you had an issue with him. Reynolds sense of humor is just that way. He was that way on Two Guys and a Girl before Van Wilder. If you are going to blame him from rehashing his style then you have to do the same for Eddie Murphy whose characters are pretty similar. Beverly Hills Copy and 48 Hours are near exactly the same character. Tim Allen made an entire show based on the same stand-up he did for years,
The 2nd Fantastic Four movie has moments, the first is rather forgettable.
lol I thought the jab was funny even not directly at me…… the first FF film is awesome for the Ben and Johnny scenes every time Evans and Chiklis were on screen was hilarious.
That’s true. They were enjoyable.
Very good list, Dan. First Class is an amazing and very enjoyable film. I recently rewatched it before seeing Days of Future Past and I love so much about that film. It’s great. I need to see Iron Man 3 again, but I didn’t enjoy it upon the first viewing. In fact, the first Iron Man is the best and only one I own. I will revisit The Incredible Hulk since I have it on Blu-ray but haven’t watched it since I saw it in theaters. Blade 2 and 3 didn’t do much for me, but I have a feeling if I revisit Blade II I may enjoy it a lot. Del Torro’s films are usually quite enjoyable, and I loved Pacific Rim. As I said, good list, Dan.
Thanks Tim! Appreciate the feedback.
I don’t mind the ’89 Punisher. I think its a decent movie for the time. I may even call it the best Punisher movie. Spider-Man should not be in the Top 10, maybe Top 15. Avengers being at 5 seems a little too low. But your complaints are at least justified. I am glad to see X:Men: First Class up high cause that is quite the underrated movie.
Like I mentioned I enjoy the Spider-Man. I know for some they are yesterday’s news but I still enjoy them.
Amazing Spider-Man 2 should be higher. Iron Man 3 should be lower, and The Avengers should be number 1. My Top 5 are 1. The Avengers 2. X-Men: DOFP 3. Iron Man 4. Spider-Man 2 5. X2
Thanks. Yes I know some enjoyed AMS2. I did not. I do like your top 5 there though. Not a bad list if I say so myself.
Honestly not a bad list. Don’t agree with it completely. At least it is not a paint by numbers list. A lot of surprises.
For the internet that is quite amazing praise. :)
Great list as always Dan!! I think the majority of your rankings are spot on. It is, as you say, ‘your list’ so I won’t fault you for an apparent Captain America/Spider-Man(Maguire Style) bias ;) – Myself personally, I could not rank any of the Maguire Spider-Man films ahead of the two Garfield ones…they just are thin and lifeless for me in comparison to the latest two. I like you changing it up and putting X-Men First Class at #1 over something like the Avengers. I guess I need to re-watch Winter Soldier, because although I really enjoyed the film, at first glance I would put it as the worst of the three super-hero films thus far for 2014. Hoping on re-watch I will see what everyone else sees in that one that they don’t see in ASM2. Again, love the list – great job as always Dan!
Also very surprised that no Iron Man film cracked the Top 6!
Thanks! We kind of talked AMS 2 to death, but the one issue I will always have with that movie is how the biggest villain is happenstance. Thanks for the support as always. Also I think my Spidey basis is more of a Sam Raimi bias than a Toby bias. .
well that’s easier to stomach at least :) haha
I would put Avengers #1 no matter what anyone says. That’s one of my all time favorite movies period. I don’t care if its not ‘deep’ its fun and that’s what I want with a movie.
Yeah I gotta have Avengers number 1 on my list as well. IM3 wouldn’t be nearly this high for me. I’m surprised by the Tom Jane Punisher remarks. I really dug that movie, I would move that one up. And of course sneak Blade II a few spots higher ;) Great list tho Dan! I agree with most for sure
Nice to see First Class at the top. Love that movie. Not convinced it’s the best but still, nice to see it reigning supreme on someone’s list.
Thanks. There’s something about First Class. Mainly the actors and direction that puts it over the top for me.