It’s no doubt that there are many great movies based off of comics out there. I mean, comics are easy source material. Many of the stories told and characters created within comics work like movies. While there have certainly been many failures in this realm (Such as the Batman movie that shall not be named), there are certainly a lot of great movies. Not all of them are about Superheroes, to be sure. But it matters not. Here are the five best comic book movies out there.
5. X-Men: First Class
Of the five X-Men movies of the past twelve years, First Class is easily the best. It’s not that the other four are all bad, it’s just that First Class is really, really awesome. Going backwards in the timeline was certainly a wise move for the film makers. Telling the origin story of the X-Men was certainly interesting. All of the acting in this film was stellar, and that was only emphasized on by the excellent writing that allowed for the actors to portray some great development within their characters, as well as some excellent chemistry between the characters. And, of course, the action is awesome, as it is in many comic book movies.
Best Scene: I’m sorry, but it’s got to be the scene where Eric and Charles attempt to recruit Wolverine to the team.
4. Batman: Under the Red Hood
There’s a reason that this is the only animated movie on this list. (loosely) Based off of the Under the Hood comics series, this direct to video film follows both Batman and the Red Hood, who is the resurrected Jason Todd, who was the second Robin. Obviously, animation doesn’t allow for good acting, but the voice acting is stellar, and the way that they can portray emotions in the characters is excellent. And it obviously has excellent animation, as is standard for all DC animated movies and TV shows. The plot focuses a lot around the emotional link for Batman, and executes it perfectly. A triumph in the realm of animated movies.
Best Scene: Jason forcing Batman to choose to kill either the Joker or him, Batman’s former sidekick.
3. V For Vendetta
Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore, V For Vendetta is a movie based off of a dystopian society in which a Guy Fawkes masked vigilante fights the oppressive government. If that isn’t enough for you, I’m not sure what is. The movie crafts an excellent world, that, while obviously fictional, is frighteningly possible. I have to say, it would have been extremely hard for anyone to have built a bad story around the concept. So it’s no surprise that, with the excellently crafted world, comes an extremely well written screenplay. It follows the plot of the graphic novel to some extent, though does leave some elements out, while modifying others. And I have to say, I like the movie better than the graphic novel.
Best Scene: Either the final battle between V and Cready’s men, which is executed extremely well, or the parade of the people, all masked.
2. The Avengers
The fact that this movie exists is surprising enough, but the fact that it was not only one of the best comic book movies, but one of the best movies out there that is shocking. Sure, I’m a fan of the Avengers, and had high hopes for the movie. But it just didn’t seem possible. But it was. And it was amazing. Joss Whedon’s excellent directing skills, plus the excellent cast make this movie work. While the plot is very much your standard, by the books, super hero team up, the cast makes it something more. The way in which Whedon wrote the characters is excellent, and the acting allows for his sheer genius to come out. The way that they interact as a team is simply brilliant. Plus, there’s some awesome set pieces and gorgeous visuals, especially in the movie’s climactic final act.
Best Scene: While the action was certainly great, the best scene would have to be Tony Stark’s head count of the Avengers. It was both funny and threatening at the same time, and was masterfully executed by Robert Downey Jr.
1. The Dark Knight
Was there really any doubt in anyone’s mind? Very few movies, let alone comic book movies, can match or surpass the Dark Knight’s greatness. There may be two, possibly three. Heath Ledger’s amazing performance as the Joker alone makes the movie worth a watch. While it is very much a comic book movie, Christopher Nolan and the rest of the team who worked on the Dark Knight managed to give it a resounding real world message, one that came across extremely well. The Joker’s insane antics throughout the movie push Batman to the limit, which is something that Nolan managed to capture extremely well in his final two Batman movies, which neither Burton nor he-who-must-not-be-named could do. This is easily the best interpretation of the Batman universe out there, and though it is grounded in realism, fans of the comics will easily be able to pick out the influences in this movie. A triumph for the entire movie industry.
Best Scene: Challenging, for sure, but I would have to say that it’s the chase scene where Joker targets Dent, ending in his capture, which is the set up for the movie’s excellent final act.