The Greatest Superhero Films to Revisit in 2021


Illustration for article titled The Best Superhero Movies To Revisit, Since We Didn’t Get Many in 2020

Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft

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Whether you love superhero movies or hate them, it’s become the norm over the last decade to get a new one every couple of months. That trend was upended in 2020. If you’re feeling a bit of withdrawal, here are some older classics you can revisit.

After Birds of Prey—the only pre-pandemic comic book movie of 2020—we got very few new options. There was the surprisingly poignant but general middling The New Mutants, and the current Wonder Woman 1984, which launched concurrently in theaters and on HBO Max. Should you actually squint your eyes, you would fairly name Sonic the Hedgehog the highest-grossing superhero movie of 2020.

That’s slim pickings for a yr that adopted 2019, which introduced us not solely the largest superhero film, however the biggest movie of all time. So to make up for what we missed out on this yr, we’re wanting backward as an alternative. The final 40+ years of superhero motion pictures have delivered a whole lot of duds, however loads of classics stand the take a look at of time. Under are 10 of these movies which are one of the best of their discipline, milestones for the style, and even simply bizarre sufficient to advantage a rewatch.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

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Image: Sony Pictures

Few superhero movies have aged as well as Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. On top of adapting the classic Spider-Man No More storyline, this film delivers Alfred Molina’s flawless Doc Ock. Superhero movies have come a long way from the unapologetically tacky days of Raimi’s Spider-Man, however in the event you might go for a cornball story about conserving on if you really feel like giving up, it’s arduous to high the most effective superhero motion pictures ever made.

Iron Man (2008)

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Image: Marvel Studios

The first Iron Man set the Marvel Cinematic Universe into motion, but it’s strange to rewatch now. The series opener was a more grounded story, centering around political conflict on Earth, rather than the grand space battle the MCU ended up at in recent years. Seeing the early days of Tony Stark—as well as reminiscing about the simpler time when superhero movies were about basic good-guy-bad-guy conflicts—could be a nice reprieve right now.

Superman (1978)

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Image: Warner Bros.

Before Spider-Man and X-Men motion pictures kicked off a brand new wave of superhero motion pictures within the 21st century, the unique Superman in 1978 paved the way. The first superhero movie with a major studio budget, it remains a simple but powerful aspirational story. It also features the dorkiest scene in any superhero movie: Superman flying really, really fast around the Earth to reverse time. And you thought a speaking raccoon was ridiculous.

Kick-Ass (2010)

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Image: Lionsgate

Kick-Ass is the polar opposite of classic Superman films. It’s cynical, violent, and no one has any superpowers. Instead, the film lampoons the superhero genre, exaggerating the violence that would really occur if superheroes were real. Long before The Boys got here alongside, Kick-Ass was doing the gritty comedic comedian e-book film schtick.

Blade (1998)

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Image: Marvel

Blade is too-often overlooked as a milestone in superhero movie history. It was a bloody, R-rated Marvel movie about vampires at a time when none of those things were cool. But you know what is cool? Blade. As played by Wesley Snipes. The movie was a hit, giving Marvel (then just a comics company) the fuel it needed to start funding hits like Spider-Man and X-Men. If you’ve enjoyed any Marvel (or really any comic book) movie over the last two decades, you have Blade to thank for it.

The Dark Knight (2008)

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Image: Warner Bros.

The title of “first superhero movie to earn a billion dollars at the box office” could hardly go to a more worthy contender. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, featuring Heath Ledger’s Joker, was a masterclass in taking comic book movies seriously. While dark and gritty was a bit overplayed even in 2008 when this movie came out, it’s balanced enough to still hold up today.

X-Men First Class (2011)

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Image: 20th Century

The X-Men movies run the gamut from pretty great to kind of awful, but if you want to hit one of the series’ peaks, X-Men: First Class is where it’s at. Set in the 1960s—and, incidentally, kicking off a trend of superhero film interval items—it follows the origin of the principle solid from earlier X-Males motion pictures, and inserting Professor X and Magneto into the Cuban Missile Disaster. It could have damaged the X-Males timeline (additional), but it surely’s one of many higher X-Films.

Watchmen (2009)

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Image: Warner Bros.

Before Zack Snyder started working on the identical film for 7 years, he directed the prolonged Watchmen film. The comedian of the identical title was thought-about unadaptable, and whereas the movie nonetheless has its flaws, it introduced the story to life in a visually gorgeous approach few comedian e-book motion pictures have ever even tried.

Howard the Duck (1986)

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Image: Universal Pictures

Did the headline on this article promise good movies? No. But it’s hard to argue that Howard the Duck isn’t important enough to warrant a revisit. The first full-length feature movie based on a Marvel Comics property—yes, really—Howard the Duck is a bizarre, ridiculous movie that has to be experienced at least once in life. It might not be cinema, however at this level it’s higher than rewatching The Workplace for the hundredth time.

Possibly.

The Matrix (1999)

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Image: Warner Bros.

Hold on, The Matrix is a superhero movie? Well, kind of. It might not come from the usual background of comics (usually from Marvel or DC), but it broke new floor on the physics-defying acrobatics which have come to characterize trendy superhero movies. There was a time when comedian e-book motion pictures had been seen as too foolish or too not possible to movie successfully. The Matrix modified that.

Additionally, you’ll be able to’t fly or cease bullets and never name your self a superhero. Sorry, I don’t make the principles.




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