The popularity of superhero movies shows no signs of abating, as the current anticipation over the release of Marvel’s “Black Panther” movie illustrates. Furthermore, as shown by critics’ advance praise for the film, the genre has become downright respectable.
While superhero movies are now released with unprecedented frequency, entries to the genre have been released for decades. 24/7 Wall St. has determined the 30 best superhero movies of all time by creating an index based on user ratings from the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes.
With the arrival of so many of these films in recent years, it is perhaps not surprising that two-thirds of the movies on this list came out in 2010 or later. Six of these debuted in 2017: “Logan,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Wonder Woman,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “The LEGO Batman Movie.”
Superhero movies don’t have to be new to be good, however. This list also includes classic films such as 1978’s “Superman,” which stars Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder.
Unfortunately for any moviegoers who might wish for the spate of films featuring caped crusaders and other avengers to dissipate, that is unlikely. There’s simply too much money to be madet. Seven of the 25 highest-grossing films ever made are superhero movies. Only three of the films on our list failed to gross more than $100 million at the domestic box office. Two of the movies – “The Dark Knight” and “The Avengers” – grossed more than $500 million apiece in the U.S. alone.
Studios are also cashing in on sequels. This list of 30 movies includes five X-Men titles, four Batman films and four Iron Man flicks, including “The Avengers” titles.
Studios are eager to hire the directors expected to deliver box office gold. Christopher Nolan’s Batman films were huge successes; all three appear on this list. Other directors with multiple superhero wins include Joss Whedon, Bryan Singer, and James Gunn.
To be considered for this ranking, a film had to have attracted a total of at least 10,000 user ratings from either IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, 10 Tomatometer critic reviews and an action classification from IMDb. Our index tallied an average for each film using its average audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes and average user rating on Internet Movie Database, all weighted by the number of votes. We then averaged the combined user rating with the film’s Rotten Tomatoes’ average critic rating. The box office data, taken from IMDb, has not been adjusted for inflation over the years.