Superhero movies took over the box office for the past decade, and even with Marvel’s Infinity Saga over, there’s no guarantee that things will slow down. Love them or hate them, superhero films are probably here to stay. Our writers discuss their favourites below.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
The latest film in the MCU, Far From Home sees the return of Tom Holland as the teenage web-slinger following the aftermath of his resurrection thanks to Thanos’ snap in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Set after the five-year period known as the Blip, Peter Parker continues to navigate the pressures of being a high school student and being Spider-Man in the wake of Tony Stark’s death. Whilst on a school trip to Europe, Peter must cut his holiday short when Nick Fury recruits him to take down monsters known as the Elementals alongside Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, who you can tell has so much fun in the role.
What I love about Far From Home is that it’s completely different to the previous Spider-Man films. It’s a much lighter watch and is sprinkled with humour which makes it feel more like a high school comedy rather than a superhero film. This is especially the case in the awkward but cute relationship between Peter and MJ as they try to admit their feelings for each other. However, it still has the suspense that we come to expect from a Marvel film, especially when it reaches the final battle between Spider-Man and (spoilers!) Mysterio, the real villain of the film. That illusion battle sequence alone is enough to get my vote.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse (2018)
I love this film so much. I knew it would be good when it was announced because Phil Lord and Christopher Miller produced it, and they, of course, helped create the wonderful Lego Movie. But aside from that, Miles is perfect in terms of Spider-Man: he’s cool yet still pretty nerdy.
I love how all the characters intertwine and the film really gives the audience a more comic-book sense of Spider-Man, expanding the universe. This is greatly helped by the animation, which is just stunning. The creators don’t shy away from its origin, and fully lean into the comic book aesthetic, which is quite refreshing. Oh, and I love the different art styles from the different spider-verses. You can tell that the animators really had fun with creating the characters and encapsulating the worlds that they all live in. Full anime, monochromatic, 2-D cartoon and comic would usually look jarring, but it’s perfect for this film.
The depth of the actual plot is also impressive. However, the soundtrack is a personal highlight of the film which is both a mixture of being a generally a good soundtrack whilst being beneficial to the film plot itself. For instance, when ‘Sunflower’ is played at the beginning it gives us an idea of who Miles is without really knowing much about him, he’s just an average teen who enjoys to sing along to his favourite songs. Oh, and the best scene of the entire film (when Miles realises he has superpowers and jumps across buildings) it plays ‘What’s Up Danger’ and the soundtrack aids in encapsulating how Miles feels at the time, whilst being an excellent song that fits the tone perfectly.
Just when we thought we were getting a bit tired of Spider-Man origin stories, Into The Spider-Verse came and subverted all expectations. This film I would argue is pretty perfect, and isn’t just my favourite superhero movie, but is probably up there as one of my top films in general.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
The story is repetitive, the dialogue is clunky and the bad guy isn’t anything new. Despite all of this, this is my favourite superhero film. I think watching Robert Down Jr. peacocking around is entertaining; which for me is what a superhero film is all about. I think that the new technology included in this film blew my mind at aged 10. That and I enjoy watching the development of a character from Iron Man. You can see Downey growing into his role in this film, into the role that secures him in Marvel’s history books. This undoubtedly is the superhero film I’ve seen the most and the one I’ve got the most out of, although I don’t doubt there are hundreds of other better ones. It’s also a film I’ve had to defend many a time as it isn’t universally liked. But it’s my choice, so there.
In 2017 we got a brilliant film with one of Hugh Jackman’s best performance to date. And no, I am not talking about The Greatest Showman. I am of course talking about Logan. Playing the iconic Canadian for 17 years over eight films, Hugh Jackman is now synonymous with Wolverine. All great things must come to an end, but at least it goes out in the best way possible.
Based on the Old Man Logan comic, Logan is an emotional roller-coaster from start to finish, and if you don’t tear up at least once you clearly don’t have a heart. The bon voyage to Sir Patrick Stewart and Jackman is a hard one but they both put in truly brilliant performances in their respective roles. The emotional weight doesn’t just come from the film itself but at the surreal nature of how this is the last time we will see these characters portrayed in this way. Set in a dystopian future we have to see them struggle on both physically and mentally in ways that hurt in ways Avenger: Endgame (2019) could only wish for. It’s a fantastic film and deserves everyone’s love just for providing a satisfying ending to one of the most famous comic book characters ever.
Now excuse me while I go cry for the tenth time today over this film.
Without a doubt, Logan is the best superhero movie.
I remember watching this film in cinema and when it ended, me and my dad sat in silence, during all the credits. As part of a generation conditioned to expect something more after the ending credits of a superhero movie, part of me hoped for something – something more. And there was nothing. This is a film that is hard to watch, hard to write about because it is so brilliant and so well-made. From the opening scene, you know this movie is going to be spectacular.
Stunts, story, special effects. The realism of the stunt people in particular is remarkable. The story is a duel-layered special bond between Logan and Charles and Logan and Laura and every time I think about it I shed a tear or 500. Both relationships are heartfelt and sincere and you truly feel for these characters and you hope like all hope, all will turn out for the best. But it does not and it hurts. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart kill it. Of course they do. Dafne Keen does so much with such limited dialogue and she is definitely someone to look out for in the coming years. Also, for once, the villains in this movie are pretty fucking amazing.
Logan is a film where I had to say goodbye to an old friend who had been a part of every single X-Men film, a part of my childhood, a part of my comic experience. This is the film where Wolverine ends and it is heartbreaking. This is what superhero movies CAN and SHOULD be. A fitting final outing for Jackman in his most iconic role.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
This is probably not a surprise to most people and I’d be shocked if someone said they had never seen the movie. Especially considering the $2.8 million it raked in at the box office, overtaking Avatar, and the 94% rating Rotten Tomatoes gave the film.
I’m a huge Marvel and DC fan, having seen nearly all superhero movies. However, when you have seen them all it’s hard to pick a favourite – especially between Captain America, Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy films. So for me, Avengers: End Game has to be my ultimate favourite. From the AMAZING cinematography, the script, all my favourite characters being in one film, and the general plot of the film. For me, this film has no flaws and no dull moments – a film that truly leaves you in awe!
This remarkable film is the finale to Marvel’s epic Infinity Saga and is exciting, phenomenally entertaining, and emotional – all in a 3 hour and 2-minute movie.
Batman Returns (1992)
If you have the displeasure of knowing me in real life, then I’m sure you’ll know that I’m something of a comic book geek. I’m massively sentimental about The Incredibles and Spider-Man 3, these being the first animated and live-action superhero films I watched in cinema, respectively. On the other hand, The Dark Knight continues to be a cinematic masterpiece that perfects my favourite Batman villains.
In the end though, I have to give it to Batman Returns. From its gothic and eccentric aesthetics, to the violence and silliness in the plot, Returns is a beautiful piece of cinema that also captures the essence of Gotham City from the pages of the comic books. The costumes, as well as, have not been surpassed even in the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Catwoman’s black leather outfit that has rough white stitches scattered throughout being a marvellous character study in and of itself.
What really seals the deal for me in this film is Tim Burton’s understanding of Catwoman and Batman, and why their relationship is doomed. From Selina Kyle’s chaotic transformation, to a revealing dance at a masquerade ball between Selina and Bruce, Batman Returns never forgets that vigilantes are people too.
Michelle Pfeiffer has set the bar for a Catwoman performance so high that it has become unfair to compare anyone against it. That being said, I’m very excited to see where Zoe Kravitz takes the character in The Batman (2021), especially as Kravitz has cited Pfeiffer’s performance as her inspiration!
Captain Marvel (2019)
Oh Brie Larson, you had my heart from the first trailer.
I’ve pretty much grown up with those action/adventure films where the lead is always male. We would either watch Indiana Jones, or one of the more traditional Disney princess films – there wasn’t much of an in-between. Fast forward to when I start to develop my own movie taste and I realised; holy crap. This is all a bit gendered, isn’t it? Sure, The Avengers had Black Widow (and Pepper Potts – but Tony would only give her 12% of the credit) but they weren’t getting their own solo film with midnight film screenings and merchandise. And then 2019 happened.
I fell for this film, hard. Head over heels in love, I went to the midnight screening even dressed like Carol Danvers. I’d been reading back issues of comics, researching her character – I was in America just before the film was even released and bought Captain Marvel merch from Hot Topic and Disneyland. I was boarder-line obsessed and the film hadn’t even been released but I just knew this was it. This was my film. I’d been waiting years for this.
It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s everything all the other Marvel films are except they finally realised a woman could do it. And that scene where that motorbike riding dickhead tells her to smile for him, and her reaction? I cried. Now I think about it, I cried a lot during this film. Even on the 6th trip to the cinema. Never-mind the drama online surrounding this film – I loved it. It means so much to me. And for the record? Call me ‘young lady’ again and I’m gonna put my foot in a place it’s not supposed to be.
I’m aware that I’m cheating here because this is a spy film, but I don’t even care because it’s so good, in kind of a ‘so cheesy and technically bad that it’s the most fun and enjoyable film ever (plus it’s a queer girl film that ends happily)’ way.
Like a mix between M.I.High and Killing Eve but with none of the seriousness and even more direct flirtation between the villain and the woman trying to track her down. This also features unparalleled lip-syncing montages to Erasure and The Cure, as if it wasn’t good enough already. Yes, I have watched some of the Spider-man and Batman movies, but D.E.B.S. in my eyes tops them all. More cheesy rom-com spy lesbian movies pleeeeease!
Last modified: 25th April 2020