Top 5 Marvel Films

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ver since the announcement some time ago, I have been more than excited about the forthcoming Marvel’s Avengers Assemble. Not only did it feature on our Most Anticipated Films of 2012 podcast, it also starred in my Most Anticipated Summer Blockbusters post, we’re fast approaching the release date (26th April, not that I’m counting down the days).

To celebrate the release, and refresh my memory a little; I worked my way through all previous Marvel films. Even the bad ones. My scores for each film are at the bottom of the post, but here are my top five favourite Marvel films of all time (so far).

Top 5 Marvel Films - X2

X2 : X-Men United

RELEASED: May 2, 2003  |  DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer  |  CERTIFICATE:  12  |  RUN TIME: 133 minutes  |  CAST: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Anna Paquin

Poster - X2

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have loved the X-Men franchise since I watched the cartoons on Saturday morning TV when I was little. Re-watching the first X-Men film was quite a shock as I didn’t realise just how dated the special effects looked. Thankfully, time has been more forgiving on X2. Featuring my favourite mutant (Nightcrawler; above), this sequel is not only visually superior, the plot and acting have also improved considerably. I love learning about backstories, and Wolverine’s is explored much more successfully than the terrible X-Men Origins.

Bryan Singer proved that superhero films really meant business with the release of X2. Fans of the previous film won’t be disappointed, as it’s just like the first only so much better. As if you need more reasons to watch it; Ian McKellen continues to be just awesome as Magneto.

8/10

Top 5 Marvel Films - Spider-man 2

Spider-man 2

RELEASED: June 30, 2004  |  DIRECTOR: Sam Raimi  |  CERTIFICATE:  12A  |  RUN TIME: 128 minutes  |  CAST: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris, J. K. Simmons

Poster - Spider-man 2

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he second sequel in my selection, Spider-Man 2 is, like the X-Men films, similar to the first but so much better. Even though it’s still a little cheesy (all good comic book adaptations should have just a hint of cheese), Alfred Molina as Doc Oc is one of my favourite baddies of all time. Intelligent, driven mad with power and just a hint of remorse, I seriously would not want to mess with him.

Sam Raimi successfully fuses heart with action in Spiderman 2, as it is more emotional, more powerfully and way more aesthetically pleasing than the first. Tobey Maguire’s acting has improved considerably, proving a maturity he didn’t possess in the first.

8/10

Top 5 Marvel Films - Thor

Thor

RELEASED: May 6, 2011  |  DIRECTOR: Kenneth Branagh  |  CERTIFICATE:  12A  |  RUN TIME: 114 minutes  |  CAST: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Rene Russo, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba

Poster - Thor

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hen I originally saw Thor back in the summer of last year, Movie Writing was only getting started. I was blown away by the beautiful CGI effects and Kenneth Brannagh’s magnificent directing. Watching it again on blu ray I was a little concerned I wouldn’t love it quite so much, in one less dimension. I needn’t have worried.

Just as gorgeous as I remember it (and I’m not just talking about Hemsworth, ho ho), Thor is just brilliant. Slightly different to the standard comic book adaptation, it is faithful to the genre to keep fans amused but original enough to attract new fans. Also, Idris Elba’s Heimdall is just as badass as I remember him being.

9/10

Top 5 Marvel Films - X-Men: First Class

X-Men : First Class

RELEASED: June 1, 2011  |  DIRECTOR: Matthew Vaughn  |  CERTIFICATE:  12A  |  RUN TIME: 132 minutes  |  CAST: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence

Poster - X-Men: First Class

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s much as I hate to repeat myself in lists, I couldn’t compile my favourite Marvel films without X-Men First Class being amongst them. One of my favourite films of 2011, Matthew Vaughn’s prequel is nothing less than brilliant. Re-watching it was just as delightful as seeing it the first time, and surprisingly January Jones didn’t annoy me as much as she did when I saw this in the cinema.

Amazing acting from Fassbender (overexposure to him has resulted in a bit of a fascination for him, I think it’s his teeth..), McAvoy and Lawrence to name but a few, it successfully explores the backstories behind some of Marvel’s favourite characters. I also loved the appearance of Beast (Nicholas Hoult who proves he’s a much better actor than Skins gives him credit for), Havok and Darwin. Retro Marvel simply at its best.

10/10

Top 5 Marvel Films - Iron Man

Iron Man

RELEASED: May 2, 2008  |  DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau  |  CERTIFICATE:  12A  |  RUN TIME: 126 minutes  |  CAST: Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow

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inally, another perfect rating film, is Iron Man. I love Robert Downey Jr who perfectly epitomises the arrogant yet charismatic Tony Stark. Clever scripting, some witty one liners and sold acting from Bridges, Paltrow and Downey Jr himself; Iron Man is just as entertaining to watch as it was the first time I saw it at the cinema. If nothing else, it improves every time I revisit it.

Amazing in blu ray, as are all the above Marvel films, it’s action-packed, fast paced nature is just as entertaining for non-comic book films as it is for the fans. Iron Man is my favourite character in the Marvel universe, and I can’t wait to see how he fairs in Avengers Assemble

10/10

Curious to see how the other Marvel films fared in comparison to the above? Check out the sweet graphic below listing every Marvel film I saw (yes, even Electra and Daredevil) for this post. An honourable mention goes to Man-Thing; a straight to DVD Marvel production that I just couldn’t get my hands on.

How did your favourite Marvel film fare? I’d love to here your thoughts and excitement for Marvel Avenger’s Assemble in the comments selection below!
32 Comments
  • Rob
    April 21, 2012

    Excellent “Top 5″ Amy! The new films developed by Marvel Studios are clearly head and shoulders above the films still at Fox and Sony. Spider-man is my favourite Marvel hero and I loved the Sam Raimi trilogy even Spider-man 3! Looking forward to The Amazing Spider-man but wish Sony would let go of the property so Disney and Marvel can really go to town on the friendly neighbourhood Spider-man!

    • Amy
      April 22, 2012

      Spiderman 3 wasn’t as bad as I remembered it to be on the rewatch, but emo Peter Parker makes me cringe so much!

  • Fernando Quintero
    April 21, 2012

    Nice selection. I especially agree with Iron Man, Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: First Class. I’m one of the few people in the world who didn’t love Thor, though. And I really liked Captain America. The Marvel chart was a nice touch; loved it.

    • Amy
      April 22, 2012

      Thanks very much! I just love Iron Man but I was a little disappointed that he didn’t have a robotic voice in the suit like the first trailer suggested. What didn’t you like about Thor? Really didn’t enjoy Captain America first time around, the rating went up considerably after watching it at home.

      Glad you liked the chart, although I found it hard rating them all!

  • Asrap
    April 22, 2012

    Looking at the final chart, I’d say we have very similar taste! Especially since you didn’t hate X-Men: The Last Stand.

    p/s: haha… I actually have been counting the days to Avengers :)

    • Amy
      April 22, 2012

      Me too! ;)

      I didn’t like The Last Stand first time I saw it, but it works a lot better than the first X-Men film. I just hated it when Magneto leaves Mystique.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Slick Nick
    April 22, 2012

    Iron Man is the clear winner… however none of the films are even close to a perfect 10 rating.

    • Amy
      April 22, 2012

      Thanks very much for the comment! The scores are unique to the Marvel universe films.. I wouldn’t call Iron Man X-Men First Class my favourite films ever – I’d have to rethink the scoring entirely for something like that. As much as I adore Tony Stark, he’s not a patch on my favourite characters in film!

  • Fernando Quintero
    April 22, 2012

    Ugh. Emo Peter Parker is the worst thing ever. And the dance!

    • Rob
      April 22, 2012

      I wish I had his moves! Spider powers as well of course ;)

      • Amy
        April 26, 2012

        Your moves are far more impressive than Spiderman’s, and not nearly as cringe-worthy :p

    • Amy
      April 26, 2012

      It’s just terrible! I hate even thinking about him clicking his fingers and wiggling his hips, it’s just not a good look for Tobey Maguire!

  • Fernando Quintero
    April 22, 2012

    Mostly waht I loved about Captain America is the fact that it has a great look. Great performances, visual effects, score. Its flaws are in the script and in some action sequences. Thor has a great look as well, but the performances didn’t grab me (except Tom Hiddleston’s) and I was just…bored. Oh, and I didn’t find it funny.

    • Amy
      April 26, 2012

      Captain America is beautiful, I totally agree. I love the patriotism, the 1940s Americana. Shame you didn’t find it funny, I’m interested to hear what you thought of Thor and Loki after seeing The Avengers!

  • sati
    April 22, 2012

    Great post! My favorite movies from these are two parts of Iron Man and Thor, I wasn’t big fan of X Men movies, First Class had some great actors but I didn’t find it pretty memorable.

    • Amy
      April 26, 2012

      Thanks very much Sati! Very much appreciated.
      I love Iron Man as a character so much; even though I normally hate arrogance he manages to pull it off some how. It’s a shame you weren’t too impressed with First Class, it even has the Fassbender in it!

  • Andina
    April 24, 2012

    I love Spiderman, but the second movie just very dramatic so I didn’t like it much. I agree with X-Men The Last Stand. I haven’t watch Thor or Iron Man. Nice list!

    • Amy
      May 7, 2012

      Thanks very much, Andina! I hope you get a chance to see Thor and Iron Man soon, they really are some of the best comic book films out there (well, before Avengers! ;) )

  • John
    April 24, 2012

    Hmm In my opinion Blade and Blade 2 deserve higher scores than that, that’s probably cos there my fave movies lol.

    • Rob
      April 24, 2012

      I enjoyed the Blade movies (but the third). Would be good to see them return to the series with Marvel Knights, the company that did Punisher: Warzone and have a really dark film. Just have to wait for Wesley Snipes to finish his prison sentence first.

    • Amy
      April 26, 2012

      Thanks very much for the comments, John! Really appreciate them :)
      Blade and Blade 2 were really good to watch because they’re so different to the other Marvel films (although they are similar in goriness levels to the The Punisher films). My favourite part in Blade was his amazing quote at the end: “some mother****ers are always trying to ice-skate up hill” – GENIUS!

  • John
    April 24, 2012

    Oh yeah the 3rd one wasn’t great, but 1 and 2 where brilliant, yeah I’d love to see them return to the series, especially with Marvel Knights as The Punisher: Warzone was really good, lol yeah I’d say he should be out soon, I honsetly don’t know anyone else who could take th role of Blade on if Snipes doesn’t want to return, Michale Jai White maybe.

    • Amy
      April 26, 2012

      I’d love for them to revisit this story line too. It’s been enough time since the third to have another go at it, but I agree I don’t think anyone other than Snipes could tackle the role.

  • 3guys1movie
    April 26, 2012

    +1 to that Fernando

  • 3guys1movie
    April 26, 2012

    Nice post Amy, till I saw your list I don’t think I realized how many films Marvel has been cranking out lately.

    I liked Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, in that order as my favorites.

    I am a little surprised your list has no love for the Hoff in his role as Nick Fury Agent of Shield

    • Amy
      April 26, 2012

      Woah, when did I miss the Hoff as Fury?! That sounds great! Almost as good as Samuel L Jackson I imagine ;)

      You share similar opinions to me about the Marvel universe. I don’t know what it is that makes Iron Man just so darn charming, even though he has countless faults I can’t help loving his character. Thor is just a beautiful piece of cinema, worthy of a top spot for that alone. Thanks for your comment, always appreciated!

  • Dan
    April 26, 2012

    I do agree that Iron Man deserves top billing – it is definitely my favourite but I’m surprised about your low marks for Fantastic Four – I have a soft spot for those films. Ultimately, I’m not a huge fan of superhero films (at least not the Marvel ones) but I’m still looking forward to seeing The Avengers.

    • Amy
      April 26, 2012

      Thanks very much Dan, especially about your compliments on the graphics – unfortunately I can’t take credit as it’s all down to Rob (who has commented in this post at some point; he’s also on the movie talking podcast).

      I do like Fantastic Four, but I see those films more children’s/family films than other Marvel movies. It’s in no way a bad thing, I just don’t think the characters are as well developed and it has a substantial amount of cheese that the other, more recent films, have managed to trim off.

      Do you prefer the DC superheroes over Marvel, or just non-comic book based ones? Interested to hear your thoughts!

  • Dan
    April 26, 2012

    …love what you’ve done with the pics and the scoring chart by the way.

    • Amy
      May 7, 2012

      Thanks very much Dan, that’s very kind of you. Unfortunately I can’t take the credit though, it’s all down to the serious talents of my better half/personal graphic designer Rob :)

  • John
    April 27, 2012

    Your welcome Amy :)

    Yeah the reason I love the Blade movies is cos of the fact there not kid friendly lol, that just wouldn’t work out at all lol, yep that is the best quote of the film :)

  • Amy
    May 4, 2012

    Thank you very much for the mention, so kind of you! :)

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