The best superhero movies are adrenaline-pumping thrill rides that see good triumph over evil and depict conflicted characters who fight for justice above all else.
The are the movies that leave you racing out the cinema, punching the sky, and believing you, too, can make a difference in this cruel world.
Over the last few decades, Hollywood has started releasing new superhero movies at an accelerating rate. The number of movies listed in Marvel Phase 4 seemingly grows by the day. And, no longer content on focusing on the good guys, major studios are working on super-villain stories, like the Joker movie.
There are just too many superhero movies to choose from, but we’re here to help. Below, we’ve listed the 25 best superhero movies of all time. How did we curate this list? We got the great minds of GamesRadar+, Total Film and SFX to submit their individual top 10 lists, and then totted up and aggregated the scores.
The result is a list that spans over four decades, and took into consideration movies even before then (sorry Adam West, your Batman outing didn’t quite cut it). This list does not include purely comic book adaptations, but movies that follow a character, or characters, classed as superheroes. So, without further caveats, here are the results…RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…
It’s not often that a truly original superhero movie swoops in and soars past its more esteemed and well-established peers. Chronicle, though, does exactly that. Putting a spin on the found-footage genre, Josh Trank’s movie instantly sets itself apart from other superhero outings with its harrowing come-of-age story starring a trio of teenagers who gain superpowers and struggle with their newfound abilities.
Tragedy inevitably fmovies strikes and Chronicle hurtles forward at breakneck speed, the final eschewing a neat conclusion in favour of a more realistic, grounded ending that deals with how superheroes would survive (or otherwise) in the real world. Bonus points for featuring Michael B. Jordan’s first role in a superhero movie, too.
Best superhero moment: The friends flying together through the clouds is one of the few times we get to see everyone enjoying a happy, carefree moment. It’s all downhill from there.
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008)
Director Guillermo Del Toro cut his superhero teeth with Blade II, shimmied successfully into Hellboy, and then brought out the big guns, quite literally, for the sequel, The Golden Army. This isn’t merely a carbon copy of the original – a trap many superhero sequels fall into. Instead, Del Toro crams this deliciously bonkers sequel with a complicated plot that nevertheless works thanks to the sheer bombasity of it.
Everything you loved from the first movie – the quippy one-liners, supporting characters, steampunk props – is still here in abundance. Ron Perlman’s on top-form as Hellboy, plus the supporting cast, including Selma Blair, Doug Jones and Jeffrey Tambor, are given their fair share of screen time.
Best superhero moment: Hellboy, champ that he is, takes on the entire golden army – an ancient race of killing machines.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
After Kenneth Brannagh’s Shakespearean origin story and Alan Taylor’s po-faced sequel, Thor was begging for a fresh start. Thank goodness, then, for Taika Waititi, director of What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, who turned the character around, re-imagining the God of Thunder as an arrogant, comedic mess.
Thor: Ragnarok may not be the most important MCU movie, story-wise, but the movie makes for the funniest Marvel outing to date. Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Jeff Goldblum are all clearly having a blast playing off the fast and loose script. Also featuring dazzlingly outlandish visuals, thanks to some impressive set design and fantastical uses of CGI, Ragnarok makes for a comic book-induced fever dream.