Culture Movies/TV

The 25 Best Robert De Niro Movies, Ranked

Robert De Niro’s charisma, unpredictability, and way with words in films make him arguably the greatest actor of all time. From thrillers and dramas to romances and comedies, De Niro checks the box for just about every genre that there is in film-making.

To sit down and go through what might’ve been his best movies of all time is nothing sort of a privilege, so let’s get into it.

#25 ‘Angel Heart’

The mysterious thriller from 1987 involves a private investigator who is contracted by a man to track down a famous singer. This movie had a variety of genres tied to it and picked up a cult audience after its release. De Niro co-starred with Mickey Rourke, who plays private investigator Harry Angel, while the movie also features Lisa Bonet and Charlotte Rampling.

#24 ‘Casino’
(Photo by Universal Pictures/Getty Images)
Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone having a tender moment as they lay on a bed in a scene from the film ‘Casino’, 1995.

The outstanding cast that includes Golden Globe award winners Sharon Stone and James Woods, along with Academy Award winner Joe Pesci is the main reason this movie made the list. Directed by Martin Scorcese, the 1995 movie tells the story of a low-level mobster being ordered to lead the “Tangiers Casino”.

#23 ‘The Untouchables’

The 1987 drama film is a thrilling gangster tale taking place in the heart of Chicago and its highly touted crime period. The cast includes Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, and Andy Garcia. The movie had many components similar to 1930s gangster films, which is what made it so compelling to audiences.

#22 ‘Marvin’s Room’

Produced and cast by De Niro, Marvin’s Room dives into the lives of two sisters, who haven’t seen each other for 20 years, while unraveling dire circumstances that allow their paths to be met once more. Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, and Diane Keaton help make up this star-studded cast in 1996, which catapults it above the traditional family drama flick.

#21 Meet The Parents

What can go wrong does go wrong for Greg Focker, played by actor Ben Stiller, in meeting his girlfriends’ parents for the first time. This was a change of pace comedy act for Robert De Niro, who plays the intimidating father, debuted on October 3rd of 2000, and was renowned for the great duo of Stiller and De Niro that was cracking everyone up in the early 2000s.

#20 ‘Once Upon A Time in America’
(Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Robert De Niro sitting with James Woods behind him in a scene from the film ‘Once Upon A Time In America’, 1984

Once Upon a Time in America features James Woods and Robert De Niro packing the punch once more in a flashback tale of a Jewish adolescent evolving into a Mafia gang boss. In what can be considered an acquired taste for viewers because of its length (the director’s cut is 250 minutes long), the film’s acting, directing, and writing complement one another perfectly and makes this movie more than worth a watch.

#19 ‘Wag The Dog’

Dustin Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, and Anne Heche star alongside De Niro in this 1997 drama that pins a spin doctor and Hollywood Producer together, with the intent to mask a Presidential sex scandal right before an election. The movie is a comedy that successfully entertains while never straying away from its political target.

#18 ‘Jackie Brown’

In what might be considered Quentin Tarantino’s best film, Jackie Brown makes the list on De Niro’s top movies with the plot of a flight attendant double-crossing two opposing parties amid a drug smuggling shin-dig. Pam Grier is the star of this 1997 movie, and her Foxy-Brown-like performance, along with the appearance of co-stars Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Forester, is a big reason why it made the list.

#17 ‘Greetings’

Greetings is one of those movies that a general audience could relate to when it was released on January 20th of 1970. It’s about three buddies with distinctively different personalities trying to navigate New York during the time period that included the Vietnam War and JFK’s assassination. A young Robert De Niro starred in this movie, as it was one of the first films that talked about life during the war.

#16 ‘Bang The Drum Slowly’
Photo : Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Robert De Niro in Bang The Drum Slowly

The story of a heart-warming friendship brewed between two baseball teammates is brought to the forefront by De Niro, who plays catcher Bruce Pearson, and Michael Moriarty, who plays star pitcher Henry Wiggen. The film that came out in 1973 successfully lures genuine emotion out of America’s pastime for those that may not even follow baseball, so it scores big points for me.

#15 ‘Analyze This’
1999 Warner Bros.
Photo Credit: Phillip Caruso

The box office hit from 1999 took highlighted the troubling mental state of gangster Paul Vitti, played by Robert De Niro, and how he tries to keep his therapy sessions under wraps, which turns out to be quite difficult. We get to see one of the better humorous roles of De Niro in this movie, as he shares the limelight with Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, and Joe Viterelli.

#14 ‘Joker’

While Robert De Niro doesn’t make many appearances in this one, he’s spot on in every scene that he’s in. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Joker was the coming-of-age story of one of the movie world’s most popular “villains”, and it’s hard to imagine that De Niro didn’t have a hand in at least a few of the scenes that made this movie so good.

#13 ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Bradley Cooper plays a man named Pat Solatano in Silver Linings Playbook, who moves home with his parents after losing his wife and job and but is given an ultimatum to win them back. De Niro isn’t the star in this film, but certainly finds some of his best footings in his father role to Pat.

#12 ‘Awakenings’

This life-affirming 1990 drama movie highlights the tale of a doctor doing revolutionary work with a group of canonic patients. It seems like whenever Robin Williams, who stars as Dr. Malcolm Sayer, isn’t doing comedic work, which is without his doubt his best work, he’s still doing some of his best acting to date. The duo of Williams and De Niro is solid as hell.

#11 ‘Midnight Run’
(Photo by Universal/Getty Images)
Robert De Niro stands in the desert with Charles Grodin in a scene from the film ‘Midnight Run’, 1988.

Midnight Run debuted in 1988 and revolves around a bounty hunter, named Jack Walsh and played by De Niro, that is hired to find the accountant to a mob. It’s always those duos that you don’t think you’ll find entertaining, that are the best when you find out that they’re funny as hell. Classic buddy movie, well-deserved to be at 11.

#10 ‘The King of Comedy’
Filmmaker Magazine

It’s the man that you underestimate who comes back to get you. That’s what psychopath Rupert Pumpkin, played by De Niro, did to Jerry Langford, played by Jerry Lewis in The King of Comedy. In this movie, Pumpkin effectively stalked the talk-show host while eventually kidnapping the man; all in an effort to try to land a guest appearance on his show. After watching this movie that was released on February 18th of 1983, you can see why Todd Phillips wanted De Niro to be a part of the 2019 Joker film, as they carry some of the same vibes. Well done.

#9 ‘Taxi Driver’
(Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)
odie Foster and Robert De Niro at diner table in a scene from the film ‘Taxi Driver’, 1976.

Getting into the nitty-gritty, we likely won’t see many more Robert De Niro comedies on this list moving forward. This drama intensified 1976 story pits an outcast turned danger-man Travis Bickle against the world, while he tries to fulfill his dreams of “fixing” New York City. Cybill Shepard co-stars in this movie that seems to have found the perfect man in De Niro for this deep dive into the human psyche.

#8 ‘The Deer Hunter’

The Deer Hunter is about a group of American steelworkers who go through a life-changing experience during the Vietnam War. Co-stars include Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, and John Savage spearhead this powerful lineup alongside Robert De Niro, as it was released at a point in time in 1979 when society was very much still feeling the effects of the Vietnam war.

#7 ‘Cape Fear’

The thrilling mystery that came out in 1991 features Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis, and Nick Nolte in roles with Robert De Niro, who stars as Max Cady. Cady is the main antagonist seeking revenge against an attorney that withheld information after 14 years, information that would’ve acquitted Max’s arrest on rape charges. You’ll be hard-pressed to beat a good old-fashioned revenge story for me, especially when one side isn’t aware, and that’s why I marvel at this 1962 Martin Scorcese remake.

6. ‘Brazil’

Brazil was that 1985 dark comedy that we didn’t know we needed in our lives until we got it. It told the story of a low-level bureaucrat, played by Jonathan Pryce, and his reoccurring dream that comes to life. Robert De Niro co-stars in this chaotic movie along with Kim Greist, and goes down as one of De Niro’s best movies, but not #1 on this list.

#5 ‘Heat’

While one of his greatest films, the fact that De Niro and Al Pacino are rarely seen in the same scene it’s an interesting aspect of this film. Nevertheless, Heat, which came out on December 15th, 1995, takes us through the adventures of a super criminal and lieutenant, each of whom is trying to foil the other’s plans. Whenever it’s hard to pick a character’s side while watching a movie, you know you got a good one on your hands.

#4 ‘The Irishman’
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Ray Romano star in “The Irishman.” Source: Netflix

In one of De Niro’s most recent and best films, The Irishman is an elite gangster story that pins truck driver Frank Sheeran, played by De Niro, getting tangled with Russell Bufalino, played by Joe Pesci, and his Northeast crime family. It has the grand, and ambitious nature that we have become accustomed to with Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro collaborations, and is a national treasure in many people’s eyes.

#3 ‘The Godfather Part II’
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – 1974: Robert De Niro performs a scene in The Godfather Part II directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1974 in New York, New York.

In what might be considered the sequel of all sequels, the Godfather Part II continues the mafia saga and is spearheaded by Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. The movie is a part prequel and part sequel as it tells the story of a young Vito Corleone (the character made famous by Marlon Brando), played by Robert De Niro, coming to age in Sicily. In addition, Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, continues to grow the family business into California, Vegas, and Cuba. It is looked upon as the best movie in one of the greatest series of all time for its plot-heavy nature and fascinating tale.

#2 ‘Raging Bull’
(Photo by United Artists/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
American actor Robert De Niro as boxer Jake LaMotta in a scene from ‘Raging Bull’, directed by Martin Scorsese, 1980.

Based on a true story, Raging Bull features Robert De Niro starring as boxer Jake LaMotta, a man who is trying to climb the boxing ranks but is constantly battling self-inflicted demons outside of the ring. Joe Pesci plays Jake’s brother Joey, and Cathy Moriarty plays Vickie La Motta. Raging Bull is incredibly erratic in a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. One of my favs.

#1 ‘GoodFellas’
(Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino, and Joe Pesci publicity portrait for the film ‘Goodfellas’, 1990.

Based on the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, Goodfellas debuted on September 19th of 1990 and tells the story of Henry Hill, who grows up in a mob and grinds to climb the ranks of the association. Ray Liotta plays a grown-up Henry Hill, while Joe Pesci plays Tommy DeVito, and Robert De Niro plays James Conway. The coming-of-age story has the perfect combination of drama and swag, and in my opinion, is the #1 Robert De Niro movie out ever made.

Culture Movies/TV

HBO Max Launches “So She Did” Initiative on Women’s Equality Day

Today is Women’s Equality Day, and to celebrate, HBO Max is launching their So She Did campaign platform created by W+K New York, and is teaming up with nine female-identifying talent to release a film that celebrates the women who are always told they are “too much,” and the ones that stay true to themselves while breaking all of the rules. 


Below is a list of the nine talents that will be participating in the film.

So She Did Talent:  

  • Jordan Alexander (Gossip Girl)
  • Laura Donnelly (The Nevers)
  • Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
  • Myha’la Herrold (Industry)
  • Martha Plimpton (Genera+ion)
  • Lisa Ling (CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling)
  • Hannah Einbinder (Hacks
  • Zion Moreno (Gossip Girl)
  • Eyricka Lanvin (Legendary)

In addition to the release of the film, HBO Max will be giving back by donating to four nonprofits Girls Write Now, Poderistas, Women of Color Unite, and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, as they will work hard to ensure donations service a multitude of female experiences and backgrounds, as the intention of this platform is to prioritize diversity and inclusion first and not service “women” as a monolith.

Dana Lichtenstein, Vice President of Brand Marketing at HBO Max and HBO is excited for viewers to finally see the film.

“Our programming has always been at the forefront in celebrating diverse and authentic stories for our audiences that we believe encourage conversation and push culture forward. In the spirit of honoring Women’s Equality Day today and every day, we came up with “So She Did,” an initiative that, at its core, is about rule-breaking. A platform that is less about what women have in common and more about what happens when we dare to celebrate our unique differences.”

The HBO Max So She Did initiative is all about celebrating rule-breaking women of all different backgrounds. It is about the attitudes of women, exactly what they want to do, and the contradiction of what is expected of them, on-screen and in real life. In addition to the on-camera talent, HBO Max is also commemorating pioneers behind the camera with the “So She Did” trays across its Homepage, Series and Movies Page, Documentaries Page, Comedy Page, and the HBO Hub.

This curated selection will showcase notable behind-the-scenes talent such as Lovecraft Country (Misha Green), Summer Camp Island (Julia Pott), and Steven Universe (Rebecca Sugar).

The comedies page will feature titles such as Going the Distance (Nanette Burstein) and Insecure (Issa Rae) and the documentaries page will spotlight I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (Liz Garbus) and Harlan County USA (Barbara Kopple).


In addition, the HBO Hub will be home to My Brother Luca Catalina Serna), Frida (Julie Taymor), and Senseless (Penelope Spheeris).

Stay tuned for more from HBO Max as they have plenty in the works. 

Culture Movies/TV

SUPES’ and Brad’s Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Review

One of the most highly anticipated trailers of all-time was released late Monday night as we finally got our first-look at Spider-Man: No Way Home! After waiting for months, fans were ecstatic as Sony Pictures released the teaser trailer following their panel at CinemaCon. It did not disappoint.

The trailer begins after the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, when Mysterio shockingly reveals to the world that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. This completely ruins Peter Parker’s life and now he has to deal with the ramifications of the world knowing his secret identity, his enemies included…

When Peter is detained for the murder of Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio, he’s questioned by officials and DODC (Department of Damage Control) agents. Among the group is someone who appears to resemble Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil, who has been heavily rumored to appear in the film as Peter Parker’s lawyer. Peter’s life continues to get more and more difficult, leaving him searching for a solution which leads him to the Sanctum Sanctorum to ask Doctor Strange for help. Peter inquires if Strange can perform a spell to make it as if Mysterio never revealed his identity, removing that memory from the world. This follows similar story beats from the “One More Day” Spider-Man comic, where Peter makes a deal with Mephisto for the world to forget his secret identity, but it ends up costing him his marriage with Mary Jane. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home is clearly going in a slightly different direction as Peter messes up the spell because he doesn’t want MJ, Ned and Aunt May to forget. Peter’s involvement appears to send the Multiverse into madness as we see some of the most iconic Spider-Man villains of all-time make their return to the big screen. We see a glimpse of Jamie Foxx’s Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, who is slightly different from his TASM2 character, as his lightning has changed from blue to the comic accurate yellow. A shadowy figure attempts to sneak up and attack Peter, with some fans theorizing this could be Lizard from The Amazing Spider-Man, Scorpion or even Tom Hardy’s Venom. Peter is also seen fighting not only Electro, but potentially facing-off against Sandman from Spider-Man 3 as well. As if things couldn’t get even better, one of Green Goblin’s iconic Pumpkin Bombs flies into frame during an epic action sequence, and it features Willem Dafoe’s iconic laugh in the background, teasing his return. Last but certainly not least, the trailer ends with Doc Ock’s mechanical tentacles smashing onto the same bridge; as the smoke clears, rumors of Alfred Molina’s return are confirmed as he appears on screen and says “Hello Peter”.          

The 3 minute teaser trailer also features the new “Black and Gold” suit, which was revealed in toy leaks in the last few months, a potential fight between Spider-Man and Doctor Strange and a slew of other epic moments that have left fans wanting more.  It took a while for us to get our first look at Spider-Man: No Way Home, but it was certainly worth the wait! As this is just a “teaser” trailer, fans should get at least one more trailer before the film releases in theaters December 17th. 

What was your favorite moment of the Spider-Man: No Way Home teaser trailer? 

SUPES’ TikTok / IG / Twitter / Twitch

Brad’s TikTok / IG / Twitter / Twitch

Culture Movies/TV

Olivia Charmaine Morris Is Bringing Her Series To TV

Olivia Charmaine Morris is a name that you have already heard and will be hearing plenty more of in the future. 

Olivia Charmaine Morris

Known as “Hollywood’s best kept secret,” Morris is a producer, host, and CEO of her full-service production company Black Monarch Entertainment, which is celebrating its first full year this month. Black Monarch Entertainment is dedicated to providing a platform for marginalized communities, operating with the slogan “For people of color and colorful people.” Morris has consistently embraced her melanin, queerness, talent, and womxn power as her stardom continues to rise. 

Earlier this month, Morris began filming the newest season of her show “The Tea with Olivia Charmaine,” which will be making the leap from IGTV to television screens across the nation later this year. The show has already featured notable names such as Janelle Monáe, Jidenna, and Angelica Ross, and will feature even bigger guests, and conversations this upcoming season including some of the entertainment industry’s biggest names and most buzzed-about up-and-coming talent. 

We recently sat down with Morris while on set to discuss her burgeoning career, being a powerful influence in the Black community, and her plans for the future.

Olivia Charmaine Morris

ONE37pm: Let’s talk a little bit about your show The Tea With Olivia Charmaine. You’ve had such great success with it, even through the course of this pandemic.

Morris: Thank You! I’ve actually done three seasons on Instagram. I essentially started doing it during the height of the pandemic. It was at the height of the presidential election, and honestly there was so much unrest with everything going on socially, racially, and politically. I know it’s random, but I didn’t like Tuesdays the same way people don’t like Mondays. I decided to try to find a brighter spot in my day, and that I was going to have a cup of tea with my audience on Instagram Live which I had never done before. A friend joined me and from there I knew I wanted to do it again. It became a full show, the community has grown, and it’s been very exciting! I’m humbled by how much it has blossomed.

ONE37pm: It has blossomed! I understand this is going to be on TV now, and you guys have already had some big guests. What can you tell us right now?

Morris: When it was on Instagram I had guests like Janelle Monae right before the election, Jidenna, and so many incredible people, and I appreciated that they would pull up in the middle of their busy schedules. That was the intimacy of being able to do it on Instagram. What you can expect as the show gets bigger is the show being “full.” It was previously in my house, but now it’s like walking into my dream home. Every single guest is very intentional, sweet, and kind, and they’re still artists, entrepreneurs, etc., but as it gets bigger I expect the sunshine to keep spreading.

ONE37pm: Do you have a theme that you go with for episodes?

Morris: There is a different theme with every episode. They are pretty general topics like wellness, mental health, etc., but I try to really drill down and make it personal. So instead of just talking about mental health on a broad stroke, I’ll talk about the mental illnesses that run in my family, and how in Black and Brown communities it’s an issue we don’t really hit upon. When the show was on Instagram I wasn’t able to do themes because it was more free flowing, but now I hope to be even more intentional. 

ONE37pm: Being a young, powerful, Black, creativewhat does it mean for you to be in this position where you can mentor and create opportunities for others?

Morris: That question is the most meaningful question that I can be asked because it’s everything. I’m also queer, and growing up I didn’t have role models that looked, move, or spoke like me. There were some far off pillars like Whoopi Goldberg who I love, but I didn’t have anybody directly in my life to be that person. I have always felt like the girl next door. So in this moment of stepping into the spotlight I think it’s really important to not just own that space for myself, but everyone else that is watching. It means everything.

ONE37pm: What else are you working on right now?

Morris: I have my own production company called Black Monarch Entertainment, and I have both a docu-series and documentary that I’m working on. This show is really exciting because it’s the only time that I’m a creator and host, but with all of my other projects I am still behind the scenes which is my bread and butter.

ONE37pm: Five years from now where do you see yourself? 

Morris: Five years from now I’ll be 35-years-old, this show will be in its third season, and I’ll have kids. I want my company to be a household company that people know the name of, and I hope there is more peace in general. In life, politically, culturally, and socially, and even more grounded than I am now.      

You can keep up with all of Olivia’s latest projects via Instagram.

Culture Movies/TV

The Best Marvel Movies of All Time, Ranked

Although the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn’t debut until 2008, there were numerous sleeper Marvel films that launched in the decades preceding the meteoric rise we’ve come to know today. 2008’s Iron Man helmed a whole new era of Marvel movies, existing under the umbrella of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nonetheless, the X-Men franchise and other Fox Studios offerings have come out alongside the run of the MCU, so when we look at a definitive ranking of the best Marvel movies, we won’t just be looking at Marvel Studios’ entries.

Although there is a Captain America film from 1944, for the purposes of this article, we’ll be using 1986’s Howard the Duck as the first ever Marvel film. This list is comprised of 58 entries, compiling every movie made about a Marvel character. Without further ado, the best Marvel movies of all time, ranked:

58. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Release Year: 2011

In short: oy. Not even Nicolas Cage’s brand of charismatic weirdness could save this movie. The original was only slightly better, but this one was a train wreck from start to finish. It made a little bit of money (whereas the OG was a major box office success), but the CGI, script and acting were a nightmare. This is a hard skip and the worst Marvel movie of all time.

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57. Punisher: Warzone
Release Year: 2008

Many people are probably unaware of this film’s (or its predecessor’s) existence, as the 2017 Netflix series ended up taking up the mantle for the character in the MCU. I wouldn’t sweat missing it though. It was excessively violent without making any real points and poorly written from start to finish. It is kind of fun if you’re a big fan of the franchise, but if you’re not a Punisher fan, this is an easy skip.

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56. Elektra
Release Year: 2005

This film, which was a spin-off of 2003’s Daredevil was, quite simply, not good. Jennifer Garner did a decent job with the role, but between the confused writing, poor box office performance and cluttered direction, it’s going to have to be in the top 5 worst of all time. Even movies like Howard the Duck have climbed up the list because of their influence on the culture; Elektra, unfortunately, was a movie to be forgotten.

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55. X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Release Year: 2019

This is the most recent bad movie on the list. Not even the massive commercial hype train for this film could save it from disaster. It only made a little more than its budget, becoming the lowest-grossing film of its series. Part of what made this movie so disappointing was how relatively wonderful its predecessors were, so expectations going into it were pretty high. It was a particular tragedy because Phoenix is one of the most powerful and badass characters from the entirety of the Marvel Universe. Alas.

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54. Fantastic Four
Release Year: 2015

I was really rooting for this movie, I was. As a big Fantastic Four comic fan in my youth disappointed by the first film series, when they announced Michael B. Jordan for this one, I was excited. Unfortunately for us, this movie was bad with a capital B. It didn’t have the same camp value of the original movies, which get some of their charm from their shortcomings. It was just not good.

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53. Ghost Rider
Release Year: 2007

Ok fine, this movie was pretty sick. It made a ton of money, which made sense because it was a banger. It was a wild ride, no pun intended. Between the terrible puns and horribly hammy dialogue, this movie was bad. But, it is the first bad entry on the list that is fun to watch. So although this one gets a pretty terrible slot on the list, it’s actually worth watching.

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52. Blade: Trinity
Release Year: 2004

This movie, which closed out the Blade trilogy, was definitely a pretty fun watch for fans of the horror-action genre. It’s getting such a low placement mostly just because it’s not as good as the first or second of the series, but it’s a fun watch for Wesley Snipes fans, fans of vampire movies or fans of sweet-ass leather duster jackets.

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51. The Punisher
Release Year: 2004

This movie had a pretty sick cast (John Travolta, anyone?) but nothing could save it from being an uninspired, disappointing representation of the eponymous vigilante. Roger Ebert put it best: “The Punisher is so grim and cheerless, you wonder if even its hero gets any satisfaction from his accomplishments.”

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50. Venom
Release Year: 2018

You’d be hard pressed to create a less appealing iteration of Venom than Topher Grace’s performance in Spider-Man 3, but, hey, they really pulled it off. Despite a strong cast, this movie was poorly written and didn’t make enough of a connection to Spider-Man to give the comic fans what they wanted.

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49. The New Mutants
Release Year: 2020

The X-Men franchise has been pretty cold the past few years. New Mutants was no exception. I watched this entire movie, but can barely remember anything about it; that seems like a bad sign.

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48. X-Men: Apocalypse
Release Year: 2016

This was another movie on the list that got such a low spot mostly because of how highly anticipated it was. As a follow-up to X-Men: Days of Future Past, which was one of the best X-Men films of all time, it just fell totally flat. The cast was great, but the portrayal of Apocalypse was odd and he came off as a very cliched villain. There were some really great visuals and performances, however, so it’s worth a watch if you love the X-Men.

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47. Fantastic Four
Release Year: 2005

This movie getting such low placement is really a testament to how good the Marvel films have gotten. Chris Evans was really fun to watch as the Human Torch and gave us some early insight into his potential as an on-screen hero. It made a lot of money, but the narrative wasn’t great and none of the jokes landed how you’d like them to. It was definitely a fun movie to watch for the Fantastic Four fans out there, but when you compare it to most of the modern Marvel entries, it just doesn’t hold up.

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46. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Release Year: 2007

This one ranks above its predecessor simply because of how absolutely baller the Silver Surfer is. Although it was better than the first, it ultimately was still a pretty lifeless movie with stilted, uninteresting dialogue. But the character design for the Silver Surfer was very cool and he remains one of the sickest villains in Marvel movies—from an aesthetic perspective—to this day.

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45. Daredevil
Release Year: 2003

I have a soft spot for this movie as it was one of the best of its era and boasted a pretty talented cast, but unfortunately Ben Affleck was pretty weak in the titular role and the movie didn’t really bring anything new to the table. There were definitely fun moments throughout which make it worth watching, but it just doesn’t compare to some of the origin story films we got later from the MCU.

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44. Hulk
Release Year: 2003

This movie was actually pretty fun. It was directed by Academy Award winner Ang Lee, but it was strangely not that great of an action movie. The writing and stylistic choices were strong, but it was supposed to be a Hulk movie, after all. If this movie just had a little bit more smashing, then it could definitely eclipse the later Ed Norton iteration for the best Hulk origin story movie. As is, however, it just wasn’t quite as good as the later adaptations or any of the other times we’ve seen the green rage monster on screen.

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43. X-Men: The Last Stand
Release Year: 2006

It pains me to rank this movie so low, as it was such an immense part of my upbringing and immersion into the world of the X-Men, but it was ultimately a disappointing conclusion to one of the best superhero trilogies of all time. The film had some truly exceptional set pieces and Hugh Jackman was—as always—incredible as Wolverine, but it lacked some of the emotional depth of its predecessors. It remains the fourth highest grossing film in the X-Men franchise, however, and it definitely lived up to its hype better than some of the later X-Men movies.

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42. Thor: The Dark World
Release Year: 2013

Maybe this film deserves a rewatch, but upon its initial release, I just remember it being disappointing. Although Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston both gave strong performances, the villain was bland and unmemorable. This was also before Taika Waititi took over the Thor franchise, giving the character much more of a personality and wit, so it was ultimately a fairly plain entry.

41. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Release Year: 2014

Oh, Andrew. I had such high hopes for you. There have been so many Spider-Man movies, which just makes the bar for a good webslinger movie that much higher. This isn’t a bad movie per se, but when you compare it to the Tobey Maguire iterations or Tom Holland’s foray, these films just don’t stack up. Although this movie made a lot of money, it was its relatively poor performance that led to the cancellation of its potential spin-offs in favor of a Holland-led reboot a few years down the line.

40. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Release Year: 2017

I wish I could rate this movie higher, I really do. Although it still maintained a lot of the fun and flair of its predecessor, it didn’t really build upon the themes of the previous film in any substantial way. It was definitely a really wonderful movie to watch, but the rock and roll and flashy colors wore a little thin to me in a sequel. Plus, the de-aged Kurt Russell was really spooky.

The intro sequence to ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” was definitely a major highlight.

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39. The Amazing Spider Man
Release Year: 2012

The skateboarding montage in this movie is one of the most memorable, strangest sequences in any superhero film. Andrew Garfield, in this critic’s opinion, was just too traditionally handsome for the role. I had a very hard time seeing tall, svelt, skateboarding Garfield as an outcast. Although he did a decent job with the Spider-Man element of the character, Garfield was never a particularly strong Peter Parker.

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38. Howard the Duck
Release Year: 1986

Widely considered to be one of the worst superhero films of all time, Howard the Duck managed to grab a higher spot on this list simply because of its cultural significance. Howard’s got a pretty funny cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy and the unbelievably shocking visuals associated with it have to propel it to the top 40 on this list. This movie was so damn weird. George Lucas, what possessed you to do this to us?

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37. Iron Man 3
Release Year: 2013

I could come under fire for this, but I really didn’t like the third Iron Man. The whole concept felt half-baked and the impact of film’s conclusion (which I don’t want to spoil) was diminished by a lot of what occurred in the franchise’s following films. The final film in the trilogy just didn’t quite have the social commentary of the first film nor the campy, goofy quality of the second. It’s worth a watch, but it’s the weakest Iron Man film.

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36. Blade
Release Year: 1998

Blade rules. The only reason why it’s so relatively low on the list is because of how many truly exceptional movies have come out in the 25 years since its initial release. If you’re a fan of the superhero genre, vampires or dark, gritty visuals, check out Blade. If this was a list of the best jackets in super hero movies, this would be in the top five, easy.

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35. Spider-Man 3
Release Year: 2007

Spider-Man 3 was loads of fun, but ultimately had too many villains to create a captivating storyline. The movie couldn’t decide if James Franco’s Green Goblin, the Sandman or Venom were the antagonist, and so it ended up being a much more cluttered movie than either of its predecessors. The dancing scene was also one of the most legendarily weird moments in super hero history, so hats off to Tobey and the gang for giving us that dose of cringe.

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34. The Incredible Hulk
Release Year: 2008

This movie was by no means bad, but it ranks fairly low because of its discontinuity with the rest of the MCU. Despite being one of the first films in the MCU, Ed Norton never reprised his role (Mark Ruffalo took the helm) and future iterations of the Hulk don’t feel particularly connected to this movie. The final fight between Hulk and the Abomination was really fun to watch and the CGI seemed ahead of its time, so it’s definitely a fun watch for fans who want to watch a solid origin story.

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33. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Release Year: 2009

I’m definitely ranking this film higher than I should. This wasn’t a “good” movie necessarily, but Hugh Jackman was just so incredible as Wolverine, and getting to see so much backstory was a real treat. From a narrative perspective, this was pretty incompatible from the future movies in the franchise, but there were some great set pieces (including Ryan Reynolds’ first appearance as Wade Wilson) and it had a few incredibly memorable scenes. Watch it if you haven’t.

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32. The Wolverine
Release Year: 2013

People definitely forget about this movie, but as far as standalone stories go, this is about as it fun as it gets. Wolverine in Japan fighting samurai? Say less.

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31. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Release Year: 2015

Age of Ultron is the worst of the Avengers films, hands down. That said, it introduced Scarlet Witch, Vision and set the stage for a lot of the conflict between the heroes we saw in the next few films, so it was obviously incredibly significant. Aside from a few major scenes, this movie was pretty forgettable.

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30. Spider-Man: Far From Home
Release Year: 2019

Although it wasn’t as good as some of the other Spider-Man films of the last two decades, Far From Home featured incredible performances from Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal and the narrative was surprisingly interesting and well-rounded. It was visually interesting, well-written and memorable. What else could you need?

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29. Black Widow
Release Year: 2021

Had Black Widow released after Captain America: Civil War, it would have nabbed a much higher slot on this list. In a vacuum, it was a really solid spy movie anchored by a great cast and strong writing. However, the scope of the MCU has gotten so grand in recent years that an origin story of this scale fell a little flat in 2021. It’s definitely still worth a watch.

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28. Ant-Man
Release Year: 2015

I like Ant Man, but it just wasn’t as good as the other origin stories on this list, hence it’s relatively low ranking. It was certainly one of the funniest films in Marvel’s entire tenure—shoutout Michael Peña.

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27. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Release Year: 2018

It only seems right to put these movies back to back, as they both fall into the good but not great category. The sequel was an improvement on the original mostly because of its more interesting villain and story line, but they stack up pretty equally.

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26. Captain Marvel
Release Year: 2019

Captain Marvel was a very solid movie, but the character often falls into the Superman trap. Although incredibly powerful heroes are fun to watch, sometimes the audience gets more enjoyment out of watching protagonists battle with their flaws; this phenomenon explains the longtime infatuation with characters like Spider-Man and Batman. Brie Larson was incredible as the eponymous hero and the film had some great moments, but we’re starting to get into the part of the list with some real heavy hitters.

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25. Deadpool 2
Release Year: 2018

Deadpool 2 fell into a similar situation as the aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. It was certainly a ton of fun to watch, but the meta, break-the-fourth-wall-style schtick began to wear a little thin in the second iteration. Nonetheless, Deadpool 2 was an absolute blast to watch and its R-rating gave the creators more leeway comedically. Up until Joker‘s release in 2019, this was the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.

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24. Doctor Strange
Release Year: 2016

Doctor Strange was aesthetically very interesting, expanded the scope of the MCU and had some truly breath-taking scenes. Despite its assets, the eponymous character himself was, in this writer’s opinion, unlikeable. Doctor Strange has gotten more likable in every one of his appearances in the MCU since 2016, but his arrogance was too unsubstantiated to earn this story a billing as high as some of the other near-flawless origin stories in the MCU.

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23. Thor
Release Year: 2011

This movie was such a relic of its time; in phase one of the MCU, stories were simple. You just had to introduce the character, set the stakes and show them facing off against some seemingly ultimate baddie. Thor accomplished all of that. Where it failed, however, was in its lack of style. Until Taika Waititi took up the mantle of the franchise, Thor just didn’t quite have a style—visually or personally—that allowed his character to escape the Superman-trap I highlighted above. Nonetheless, this movie’s ensemble cast and world-building allow it to remain a strong origin story a decade out from its release.

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22. Captain America: The First Avenger
Release Year: 2011

Many of my critiques of Thor can be copy/pasted to describe Cap’s origin story. The film accomplished everything it set out to, but this era predated Chris Evans and the writers/directors of the franchise settling into a truly unique style for the character. Nonetheless, there will never be a feeling quite like seeing Captain America emerge from his cocoon, super soldier serum coursing through his veins, for the very first time.

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21. Blade II
Release Year: 2002

Had I been born earlier, Blade II would have gotten a higher slot on this list. It is a truly phenomenal film, but as we approach the top 20, whether I intend to or not, many of my biases are informed by the cultural context in which the movie premiered.

However, this was far and away the best Blade film and one of the greatest vampire movies of all time. It had moments of suspense, fear and action all muddled together into an incredible cocktail that may go unmatched for generations to come. The costume design alone made this film a must-watch.

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20. Iron Man 2
Release Year: 2010

If you don’t like Iron Man 2, you just weren’t paying attention. The wit and charm that have become synonymous with the MCU in the past decade can be traced back to an overly slept on Marvel film: the infinitely funny Iron Man 2. Ivan Vanko was a sympathetic (and masterfully portrayed) villain and Sam Rockwell is, to this day, one of Hollywood’s finest working actors. It was a wonderfully concocted film that built on many of the themes from its predecessor, investigating the morality of Tony Stark’s weapons empire and his positionality as a “savior.” Come for the electrified whips and the laughs, stay for the critique of the military industrial complex.

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19. X-Men: First Class
Release Year: 2011

This movie often gets overlooked in rankings of the best X-Men films. Although it certainly had some flaws (the treatment of Darwin comes to mind), the performances from Kevin Bacon and January Jones were extremely memorable. The period piece narrative coupled with the first iterations of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Charles Xavier and Magneto, respectively, earn this film a top 20 spot.

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18. Deadpool
Release Year: 2016

Deadpool remains one of the funniest films ever released under the Marvel banner. The production for a Ryan Reynolds-led Deadpool flick can be traced back to 2004, years before he made his first appearance as the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009. The movie was also one of the most comic-accurate films in all of Marvel’s run; watching the movie really felt like reading a Deadpool comic. This movie was an absolute blast, but the next 17 movies on this list are extraordinary, hence its relatively low position in the top 20.

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17. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Release Year: 2014

Honestly, the trailer to this movie alone was a masterfully constructed short film. The QuickSilver kitchen scene is one of the most memorable scenes on this whole list; never before had super speed been presented in such an interesting way.

This movie was a culmination of so many storylines in the X-Men universe and finally united the young actors with their older counterparts. Between the film’s handling of time travel, incredible performances and beautiful cinematography, this is a movie that never gets old.

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16. X-Men
Release Year: 2000

X-Men marked the beginning of an era. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen have become one of the most iconic duos in the history of superhero media; they have a chemistry unlike any other. This was also our first interaction with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and numerous other now-legendary heroes on the screen. Despite its current status, the X-Men franchise wasn’t necessarily a household superhero brand like Spider-Man or Superman at this time; this movie helped to propel the team to superstardom.

Although this movie was absolutely incredible, it doesn’t address the social-political themes integral to the X-Men storyline as well as its sequel, X2, hence its lower billing.

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15. Guardians of the Galaxy
Release Year: 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the best movies in the entire MCU as a standalone project. It’s usually the first movie I show non-MCU fans to integrate them into the franchise. Part of what made this movie so miraculous was how they managed to take a roster of characters from a largely unknown IP (outside of diehard comic fans) and turned them into beloved heroes on par with ubiquitous faces like Captain America.

Around 2014 was when the MCU started to really hit its stride. The days of campy movies that took themselves seriously were starting to dwindle, and we began to enter an era of more self-aware, goofy MCU movies. James Gunn and the Guardians helped to kick this off. Between the incredible soundtrack, beautiful effects and well-crafted villain, Guardians of the Galaxy is about as fun as it gets.

This film also features Josh Brolin’s first appearance as the now-legendary Thanos; the only other iteration so far had been a post-credits scene from The Avengers, played by Damion Poitier.

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14. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Release Year: 2017

I’m a real sucker for this movie. As a big Spider-Man comic fan in my youth, this movie encapsulated so much of the original campiness of NYC’s favorite web-slinger in a way that the previous iterations hadn’t. Although Tobey was an incredible Peter Parker and Andrew was a decent Spider-Man, Tom Holland really managed to capture the whole persona that Stan Lee crafted so masterfully decades earlier.

I was hesitant when this film was announced; the third Spider-Man reboot in less than two decades seemed egregious. Nonetheless, the film’s cast and strong writing won me over. Michael Keaton was incredible as the Vulture—and I loved this nod to his critically-acclaimed role in Birdman.

In this movie, Spider-Man was truly a kid. He was dealing with high school, a father complex with Tony Stark and romance. This was what Spider-Man was originally all about, and that was why I loved this film.

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13. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Release Year: 2014

Although The First Avenger was not the strongest origin story in the MCU, the next two Captain America movies both find their footing firmly in the top 15 Marvel movies of all time. The introduction of Bucky Barnes’ Winter Soldier character forced those around him to investigate their personal morality, the ethics of being a “hero” and the twisted nature of the military industrial complex.

Robert Redford was captivating as the film’s villain and Chris Evans really came into his own as Steve Rogers in this movie. On top of the film’s themes and incredible writing, Winter Soldier also featured some of the most well-choreographed and memorable fight scenes in the entire history of Marvel filmmaking.

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12. The Avengers: Endgame
Release Year: 2019

Endgame was an incredible feat of filmmaking that could easily nab a spot in the top ten of another version of this list. Despite the immense hype and expectations leading up to this film, billed as the finale of the MCU (oh how naive we were), the Russo brothers did not disappoint.

We’re approaching the portion of the list where I have very few negative things to say about any of the films. Nonetheless, there were a few plot inconsistencies in Endgame and I was personally not a fan of Professor Hulk, hence why this didn’t make the top ten. My one wish is that we could have had a more fleshed out redemption arc for the green rage monster (after his crushing defeats in Infinity War), but aside from a few nitpicks, this movie did exactly what it needed to do.

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11. Spider-Man
Release Year: 2002

On my first run through this list, I couldn’t believe that this movie wouldn’t make the top ten. I grew up on this film and still find so much comfort in watching its campy introduction to one of history’s most beloved masked crusaders. Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin is everything a super villain should be; Tobey Maguire perfectly nails the neurotic nervousness of a young Peter Parker; Sam Raimi set the gold standard for superhero direction with this flick.

In my most recent viewing, I was surprised to see how dated some elements of the visuals seem. It’s still a wonderful film to watch, but it just doesn’t match the standard of some of the flawless MCU entries of the last decade. Don’t get me wrong: I love this movie and I always will.

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10: The Avengers
Release Year: 2012

There really isn’t a movie on this list with more recognizable one-liners and quips than this one. This film really formalized the MCU as a universe, not just a series of sequels. The Avengers also first expanded the scope of the MCU outside of just Earth, introducing Thanos and intergalactic stakes far beyond the reaches of, say, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

There will never be a feeling again like witnessing Mark Ruffalo, definitely proving that he was the Bruce Banner, announcing: “That’s my secret… I’m always angry,” followed by the most legendary punch of all time.

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9. X-Men 2 (X2)
Release Year: 2003

This was the best X-Men movie from the original trilogy and—excluding Logan—the best mutant film of the whole bunch. In an era when most superhero films relied on a campier, lighter aesthetic, X2 featured a grittier, darker vibe, similar to the ethos we’d see crop up in The Dark Knight and other films down the line.

X2 was a bit of a tragedy, pulling back the curtain on the most gut-wrenching moments from Logan’s past. This film really saw Hugh Jackman come into his own as Wolverine, and featured—as always—stellar performances from Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen as the former enemies turned short-term allies. In lists of the best Marvel movies of all time, X2 is often overlooked, but it’s worth a critical rewatch for any fans of the genre.

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8. Captain America: Civil War
Release Year: 2016

For a long time, this was my favorite MCU film—and one of my favorite films, period. Instead of portraying Captain as a blatantly patriotic character, this film truly began to investigate the complicated nature of savior-ship and how it is linked to American involvement in conflict abroad.

Civil War also featured the iconic fight between all members of the Avengers, which is the first scene I think of when I picture major fight scenes from the MCU. As if that isn’t enough, this movie also introduced two major characters: the Black Panther and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Spider-Man’s one on one fight with Cap was so unbelievably fun (“You got heart kid, where are you from?”) and the Russo Brothers did such a great job of introducing the Black Panther as a force to be reckoned with.

I could watch this movie every day and not get tired of it.

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7. Spider-Man 2
Release Year: 2004

This is hands-down the best live-action Spider-Man movie of all time. Alfred Molina as Doc Ock was one of the most memorable and masterfully-portrayed villains to date, and the film’s final sequence still rivals later Marvel films for being one of the most gripping scenes in the entire franchise. Spider-Man 2 also succeeded as a love letter to NYC; in no other Spider-Man film was Peter Parker’s connection to the Big Apple more apparent and explicit.

Sam Raimi’s masterpiece even nabbed an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, putting it on a pretty short (but ever-growing) list of superhero movies that can count Oscars among their accolades.

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6. Thor: Ragnarok
Release Year: 2017

Marvel Studios’ choice to give the helm of the Thor franchise to Taika Waititi was one of their best hiring decisions of all time. Despite Chris Hemsworth’s undeniable likability on screen, the previous two Thor movies lacked a visual or comedic style that could elevate the character to anything more than just a neat, but uninspired, hero.

Enter Taika Waititi. The director of The Hunt for the Wilderpeople and, later, Jojo Rabbit, has quickly become one of the most respected directors (and actors) in all of Hollywood. Part of that success can be traced back to his landmark reimagining of the Thor franchise, which catapulted the character from relatively boring to arguably the most beloved and unique hero in the MCU. Waititi’s patented wit was on full display throughout the film; couple the reimagined, funny Thor with a Jeff Goldblum masterclass in comedy and an infinitely memorable cast of characters, and you’ve got yourself an undeniable banger of a movie.

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5. Avengers: Infinity War
Release Year: 2018

There were moments when Infinity War dragged (as is the case with any nearly two and a half hour movie), but the set pieces throughout were some of the most incredibly crafted and memorable of the franchise’s lengthy tenure. The battle of Wakanda had such an instantly recognizable visual style; Thanos’ demolishment of the Incredible Hulk was a tragedy; the New York City battle in the first act of the movie was a masterpiece.

SPOILERS: To top it all off, the film concluded with what can only truly be referred to as a subversion of the entire superhero genre. From the genre’s genesis in the first half of the 20th century, one truth had remained paramount above all: the heroes always win. But in 2018, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely decided that enough was enough. Sometimes, when faced with a truly unimaginable villain, the heroes lose.

The conclusion to Avengers: Infinity War was one of the most soul-crushing and memorable experiences I have ever had watching any movie. Despite holding onto the knowledge that these heroes would have to return and good would triumph in the end, Infinity War managed to conclude in a way that made you forget all of that optimistic sludge.

For its total destruction and reimagining of what a superhero movie could be, Avengers: Infinity War is the greatest Avengers movie of all time.

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4. Iron Man
Release Year: 2008

This is where the MCU began. It doesn’t get much better than this. The inaugural film set off so many themes of the Iron Man trilogy and the MCU more widely, investigating the complicated morality of weapons dealing and militarization from the jump. This was a bit of a return to prominence for Robert Downey Jr., and he did not disappoint. Jeff Bridges as the villain is still one of my favorite antagonists in the MCU writ large, and so much of the quippy dialogue holds up to this day. I can watch this movie repeatedly.

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3. Logan
Release Year: 2017

Logan is arguably the darkest film released under the Marvel umbrella, and it’s simultaneously one of the most incredibly performed and written films of the 21st century. I grew up a huge fan of the comic Old Man Logan, and although this movie didn’t directly reference the comic, it relied on the same theme of watching a formerly invincible character dealing with the trials of aging.

Hugh Jackman gave an unmatched performance in this movie. Couple that with the supreme cinematography, flawless writing and overall heart-wrenching narrative, and this movie finds its footing firmly in the top 3.

Although I can’t rewatch this one with frequency like some of the others on the list, it joined an elite group of superhero films that transcended the genre; it was not only a tale of a fallen hero, but of a fallen man and his process of reckoning with loss.

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2. Black Panther
Release Year: 2018

This was perhaps the most-hyped MCU movie of all time. It exceeded expectations.

No other film in the MCU has such an instantly recognizable visual style. No film has as many beloved set pieces. No film can match the writing of the characters. Black Panther is, in short, a perfect superhero movie.

Michael B. Jordan was such a force as the sympathetic, but still fiercely violent villain. The costuming for this film burned a hole in my memory. When I discuss this movie with people, one of the first things I address is the two incoronation scenes. Somehow, director Ryan Coogler managed to concoct two narratively similar scenes that were entirely different from a visual, thematic and auditory perspective.

And, of course, Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa is one of the most perfect castings in the history of cinema. No one else could do the character justice. He was powerful, just and strong, but still effortlessly captured the nuance of a warrior thrust suddenly into power, sometimes unsure of how to act. Chadwick Boseman was a treasure, gone much too soon.

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1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Release Year: 2018

Although Black Panther is the best film in the MCU, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is, in my opinion, the best superhero movie of all time. Whether you’re a diehard comic fan or someone who has never watched a superhero movie, this film is a delight from start to finish.

The writing was impeccable. The movie was hysterical; the characters were fleshed out; the world was immersive; there were peaks and valleys, dragging the viewer into the depths of grief only to be ballooned up to the mountain of laughter moments later.

Visually, this movie was nothing short of revolutionary. The aesthetic style utilized by the animators was unlike anything before it, and has already begun to seep into most animated movies following it. Their manipulation of frame rates, reference to Jack Kirby’s trademark comic style and combination of numerous animation styles to invoke a multi-verse were all miraculous.

Above all, this film captured the essence of Spider-Man so well. The point of Stan Lee’s original story was for us to find a bit of the hero inside of us all. We can all be Spider-Man.

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Culture Movies/TV

The 20 Best DC Animated Movies and Where to Watch Them

Since superhero movies didn’t dominate the box office this summer like they normally do, now feels like a great time to delve into the backlog of all the great superhero films already available out there on various streaming platforms. Forget live-action superhero movies, though; I’m talking about the classic DC animated films. Long before producer Kevin Feige willed the Marvel Cinematic Universe into existence, storytellers like Bruce Timm and Dwayne McDuffie came together to build what became a cohesive animated universe for DC Comic fans. Now, years later, the DC animated catalog contains numerous movies, television shows, and even a few cohesive timelines! 

Whether it’s a Batman or Wonder Woman-dominated adventure you’re looking for, DC has you covered when it comes to their animated filmography. Even niche characters like Swamp Thing and Constantine pop up in a few films, proving that the DC animated universe has something for every kind of superhero fan imaginable. Strap on your utility belt and charge your Green Lantern rings because it’s time to explore the 20 Best DC Animated Movies!

20. Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011)

Released the same year as the live-action Green Lantern film, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is a collection of stories focusing on different members of the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps. Earth-based Green Lantern Hal Jordan appears throughout much of the film, but lesser-known characters like Kilowog and Mogo also get a chance to show off what makes them such unique and powerful figures in the Corps’ fight against evil. With a Green Lantern series coming to HBO Max soon, Emerald is the perfect film for DC fans who need a quick refresher or introduction to the DC Universe’s intergalactic peacekeepers.

19. Superman: Red Son (2020)

Based on the Elseworlds story written by Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar, Superman: Red Son follows what would happen if a young Kal-El landed in the Soviet Union rather than Smallville when he first appeared on Earth. Rather than fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, the Man of Steel operates under Josef Stalin (also known as the man of steel) in what he believes is an attempt to spread peace and prosperity among his comrades. Superman may be the lead character, but twisted versions of characters like Batman and Wonder Woman also make appearances, making this an accessible reimagining of the DC Universe perfect for hardcore and casual fans alike.

18. Wonder Woman (2009)

Loosely based on writer-artist George Perez’s Gods and Mortals story arc, Wonder Woman is a fantastic origin story that delves into numerous facets of the Amazonian Princess mythos. From her childhood on Themyscira to her mother’s interactions with Zeus and Aries, Wonder Woman is a comprehensive and entertaining overlook at everything that makes Princess Diana such a complex and unique superhero. An action-packed story that sees Diana leave her home for the first time to help protect the “World of Man,” Wonder Woman is a must-watch for anyone who needs a reminder on exactly why the heroine is part of DC’s trinity of legendary superheroes.  

17. Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)

When Amanda Waller has a dangerous mission that the world isn’t allowed to know about, she turns to the Suicide Squad, a collection of expendable villains who will have a few years removed from their sentences in exchange for getting the job done. Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay sees iconic villains like Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang come together to retrieve a mysterious, mythical item for Waller that has connections to both Dr. Fate and Vandal Savage. It’s worth mentioning that the entertaining and action-packed Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay is the last script legendary writer Alan Burnett- who worked on everything from Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League Unlimited- turned in before retiring. 

16. The Death of Superman/Reign of the Supermen (2018, 2019)

The death and subsequent return of Superman is likely the most quintessential DC event comic from the 1990s. In Sam Liu and Jake Castorena’s adaptation of The Death of Superman and the Reign of the Supermen era that saw a number of Superman-themed heroes emerge on the Metropolis scene to become the city’s new protector, viewers see Superman go toe-to-toe with the destructive monster known as Doomsday and watch the world mourn as they come to terms with a devastating loss. An action-packed and emotional duo of films, The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen is required viewing for any diehard fans of the Last Son of Krypton.  

15. Batman: Year One (2011)

An adaptation of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s four-issue story that reframed The Caped Crusader’s first days on the job, Batman: Year One is an entertaining and emotional film that doesn’t hold back from showing how clunky Bruce Wayne’s early crime-fighting attempts were. Part of what distinguishes this film from the numerous other Batman films on this list- Warner Brothers has long known just how big of a cash cow Batman is for them- is that a young James Gordon who just moved to Gotham and is getting used to the city as a cop shares the protagonist role with an introspective Bruce Wayne. Through these two characters’ eyes, fans are exposed to an entertaining story that focuses on mob crime and the extremes people are willing to go to protect their homes or loved ones. 

14. Justice League: Doom (2012)

Loosely based on Mark Waid’s iconic Justice League story ‘Tower of Babel,’ Justice League: Doom sees the Justice League come together to stop the assembled might of a Vandal Savage-led Legion of Doom. Making matters even more complicated and deadly is the fact that the Legion of Doom is using personalized contingency plans stolen from the Batcomputer that show how to take down each member of the Justice League.  While the film is technically a sequel to the Crisis on Two Earths, writer Dwayne McDuffie did a wonderful job making this an entertaining standalone story that is accessible for both return and new viewers alike. 

13. Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox (2013)

Similar to how the comic event it is based on ended in a reboot of DC Comics, Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox kick-started a brand new, cohesive animated universe that saw 15 animated films come together to form a new, accessible timeline. Flashpoint Paradox is an extremely personal story that sees The Flash suddenly wake up in a distorted world that is completely unrecognizable to him. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are locked in a deadly war that threatens to engulf the world in chaos, but Nora Allen, Barry Allen’s mother who died when he was a young boy, is alive here. Stranded without his powers, Barry has to figure out how to set the world back together again in this adaptation that is ultimately more entertaining and better-paced than the comic it is based on. 

12. The Dark Knight Returns, Pts. 1 and 2 (2012,2013)

Even after executive producing Batman: The Animated Series for years, Bruce Timm still had another major Batman story he wanted to adapt: Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Set in the same continuity as Batman: Year One, the two-part story sees a middle-aged Bruce Wayne redon the Batcowl for the first time in a decade to save the city from a group of mutant thugs. A violent story that sees Bruce push himself to his limits, The Dark Knight Returns imbues Batman with a mythic, larger-than-life quality that cuts right to the core of just what makes him such an iconic character. 

11. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

Superman and Batman might be two of the most popular superheroes in the world, but when Lex Luthor is President of the United States, the two legendary heroes become public enemies number one. As the two heroes focus on trying to stop a meteor from destroying the Earth, they also have to outmaneuver groups of supervillains and heroes hired by President Luthor, who is still driven by his desire to destroy Superman rather than help people with his newfound power. An interesting and action-packed adventure, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies does a wonderful job at allowing the iconic heroes to distinguish themselves while also showing why their dueling personalities make them such a good team. 

10. Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015)

Bruce Timm has adapted a lot of DC stories throughout his storied career at Warner Brothers animation, but in 2015 he released Justice League: Gods and Monsters an original Elseworlds story that introduces audiences to twisted versions of DC’s finest heroes. Accessible and challenging to the entire concept of god-like superheroes in general, Justice League: Gods and Monsters is the perfect DC animated film to show to someone who is a fan of TV series like The Boys and Invincible.  

9. Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)

The Teen Titans are one of the most iconic superhero teams in all comics, and Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s The Judas Contract storyline from 1984 is likely the team’s foundational story. In this upgraded 2017 adaptation, the Teen Titans accidentally bite off more than they can chew when it is revealed new team member Terra has a mysterious connection to the team’s biggest rival: Deathstroke. This version of the story is distinct from the original, thanks to the inclusion of characters like Damian Wayne and Blue Beetle, but Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is still an entertaining film that captures the spirit and emotional consequences of its source material. 

8. Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)

The final film in the DC animated universe launched by Flashpoint Paradox in 2013, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, is a brutal goodbye to the DC Universe that pushes everyone’s favorite superheroes beyond their limits. The story is primarily set two years after Darkseid, the ruler of Apokolips, finally succeeds in his attempt to take over Earth as the remaining DC heroes struggle to regain some control over their home planet. Released shortly after Avengers: Endgame, Apokolips War is a bolder, more violent conclusion to a cinematic universe than Marvel’s live-action counterpart.   

7. Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

Everyone thinks of Batman as a successful hero, but in Batman: Under the Red Hood, the character’s biggest personal failure comes back to haunt him. A mysterious antihero has established himself in Gotham City, hunting down drug dealers and calling out the city’s biggest crime lords. He’s calling himself the Red Hood: a name that has a strong connection to both Batman and the Joker’s past. If you are a fan of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and stories that dig deep into the dark secrets in our favorite heroes’ closets, then Batman: Under the Red Hood is a must-watch!

6. All-Star Superman (2011)

Based on Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s 12 issue limited series, All-Star Superman sees the last Son of Krypton push himself to both his physical and emotional limits to save the Earth one last time. A wonderful film that sees the titular hero poisoned by an overdose of solar radiation thanks to Lex Luthor, Superman is slowly dying and only has so much time left to spend with his loved ones and protect the planet. As Clark Kent reflects on his life and finally opens up with Lois Lane about his double life, he is called into action to face one of the toughest foes in the entire DC Universe: Solaris, the Tyrant Red Sun. 

5. The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

Batman works in all kinds of settings and tones. Serious, dark, noir storytelling and colorful, comedic adventures are equally suited for the Caped Crusader. For fans who appreciate the second kind of Bat stories, Chris McKay’s The Lego Batman Movie is a must-watch that digs deep into the idea of loneliness central to the Batman mythos. With a stellar voice cast featuring Will Arnett as Batman and Michael Cera as Dick Grayson, the first Robin, The Lego Batman Movie is a hilarious movie that is full of DC easter eggs and heart as Batman slowly realizes he might need to be less moody and start letting people into his life more.

4. Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)

An adaptation of Darwyn Cooke’s seminal limited series, Justice League: The New Frontier is set right after the Korean War and is a cohesive reimagining of the earliest days of the Silver Age in the DC Universe. As the U.S. enters what President Kennedy describes as a “New Frontier,” superheroes like The Flash and Martian Manhunter slowly make their presence known to the world and make themselves available at times of great need. The film slowly descends into the best kind of science-fiction influenced madness, with the Justice League coming together with the U.S. military to fight an army of dinosaurs in the air battle to end all air battles.

3. Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (2018)

A spin-off movie for a spin-off television series, Teen Titans GoI To the Movies is one of the most unique and silliest superhero films ever released in theaters. Jealous that so many other superheroes are cashing in and starring in movies, the Teen Titans head west with dreams of making it big in Hollywood. Some Titans fans don’t appreciate the goofier version of these typically moody characters, but if you love to laugh and be entertained by superhero shenanigans then Teen Titans Go! To The Movies should be on your radar.  

2. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)

Thanks to the success of Batman: The Animated Series, Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett were given the opportunity to create an extension of the Batman mythos with Batman Beyond, a television series set in Gotham’s future that saw an older, grizzled Bruce Wayne pass the Bat-mantle to a young man named Terry McGinnis. The series’ 52 episodes made references to the Clown Prince of Crime, but he never made a full appearance in the Batman Beyond universe until the 2000 movie Return of the Joker. A dark and twisted movie that shows just how personally destructive the Joker has been in Bruce’s life, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is one of the best Batman stories ever told and is a must-watch for anyone who considers themselves a fan of dramatic superhero movies.

1. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

The DC animated movie that laid the groundwork for all of the sprawling films to come is also the best of the bunch: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. As Bruce Wayne finds himself emotionally distracted by the sudden reemergence of his one-time fiance Andrea Beaumont, Batman has to deal with a new deadly assassin targeting crime bosses throughout the city and the Joker after the criminals desperately turn to him for help. Kevin Conroy always does a wonderful job bringing Batman to life, but his voice acting here is especially powerful as we see a series of flashbacks showing the different emotional setbacks Bruce undergoes on way to becoming the vigilante audiences know and love. 

Culture Movies/TV

Who Should Be The Main Villain in ‘Captain America 4?’

Major kudos to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s quality rendition of Steve Rogers aka “Captain America.”

He delivered a hat trick with the strongest trilogy in the MCU via Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Captain America: Civil War. And by the end of Avengers: Endgame, he laid down his trademark shield to pass it on to Falcon and live out his final days as a senior citizen. And due to the events of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, we now know that Anthony Mackie’s days as Falcon have come to an end as he is the new Captain America. Years from now, we’re slated for a fourth Captain America film with Mackie in the lead role as the proud and powerful superhero. Now that Marvel’s new USA hero representative is in the driver’s seat, who should be his latest onscreen adversary? 

After taking a peek at Cap’s entire Rogues Gallery, we arrived at three potential villains and even a dangerous stable that could present the new Cap with a worthy challenge.

1. Sin

The very first MCU baddie that Steve Rogers came into contact with was the infamous Red Skull. This classic WWII-themed baddie got his comeuppance in The First Avenger, but he eventually sprang back up in Infinity War and Endgame as a Stonekeeper. In the comics, he actually fathered a daughter named Sinthea Shmidt aka “Sin.” Her backstory is a bit silly when you really think about it, however – Red Skull basically used a machine that instantly aged her into adulthood and blessed her with superhuman powers. If she was adapted into the MCU, we’d prefer her origin story to get a bit of change-up. 

Having her play the part of a sympathizer that adopts Red Skull’s views and building herself a stable of fellow believers in the Sisters of Sin to target America’s newly appointed Cap sounds like a plan to us. Sure, that concept sounds similar to the Flag Smashers in theory. But it’s about time that someone with a close connection to the first film’s villain comes to life on the big screen against Mackie in his first solo outing. And here’s a dream scenario we’d love to see come to fruition – what if Captain Carter hopped through a multiverse portal into the live-action MCU to fight side-by-side with Captain Mackie against Sin and the Sisters of Sin? We’re sure Dr. Strange could make some sort of arrangement there…

2. Scourge of the Underworld

The Scourge of the Underworld may have the right intentions when it comes to his mission statement, but the way in which he acts it out is pretty sinister. He’s an assassin that carries out his own form of justice by killing known supervillains. Having him play the part of Cap’s new main adversary could make for an interesting film that pits the hero’s moral ideals against his foe’s more immoral actions. It’d be interesting to watch the public’s reaction to the new Captain America being forced to confront someone that’s doing something good in their eyes, but going about it the wrong way according to Cap. An MCU Scourge that carries out assassinations on corrupt political officials could be the perfect foe for Cap to take on as our hero comes to grips with the government he’s meant to fight for and the negative influences he seeks to eliminate from it.

3. The Serpent Society

If Captain America 4 is meant to go the Civil War route and feature Cap teaming up with some familiar faces, then they’ll need an overwhelming threat to come to blows with. The perfect group of villains they’d engage in epic battles with would most definitely be the Serpent Society. This powerful collective of supervillains is a sort of labor union that seeks to help each other accomplish their sinister goals and rake in all the cash from their seedy business partners. One of the organizations they’re known to work for is A.I.M., which played a huge role in the events of Iron Man 3

We think it’d be pretty cool to revive the evil faction and have them revealed as the Serpent Society’s true benefactors as they look to replace the now-defunct Hydra. We’d pay good money to watch the team of King Cobra, Anaconda, Bushmaster, Death Adder, Rattler, Constrictor, and Viper wreak havoc across the MCU and garner the attention of Cap and his most trustworthy allies. Just imagine how dope it would be to see Cap team up with Winter Soldier, War Machine, Hawkeye, and Shang-Chi. And hey, maybe we could even see Valentina Allegra de Fontaine’s U.S. Agent and her very own Black Widow Yelena Belova lend them all a hand!

4. Taskmaster

Now if the MCU can right its wrongs with the way it initially presented The Mandarin, then it can damn sure do the same for Taskmaster! Black Widow’s onscreen version of the character was nothing more than a mute rendition of the beloved baddie that only retained the original’s battle prowess. Once the stink of that first Taskmaster wears off after a few years, it’d be smart for the powers that be at Marvel Studios to revive the copycat character and showcase him as he was truly meant to be. 

The man is a shit-talking mercenary that carries out his assignments for the highest bidder and utilizes his photographic reflexes in order to defeat his foes. A revised Taskmaster going at Cap’s head on behalf of A.I.M. could make for a great film full of action-packed clashes between the two. And hey, maybe we could have A.I.M. put some other baddies into play to get rid of the new Cap! MCU renditions of Karl Stryker and Abe Jenkins’ Beetle moniker (who could later become a member of the live-action Thunderbolts) could make for some cool side villains, wouldn’t you say?

Culture Movies/TV

The 29 Best Animated Batman Movies, Ranked

Gotham City’s nightly savior is considered fabled among the massive pantheon of iconic superheroes. 

Time and time again, Bruce Wayne’s alter ego Batman has battled against seemingly insurmountable odds and come out at the end of them the victor. His many adventures have produced a collection of the greatest stories in the vast comic book medium. And thanks to the animation wizards at Warner Bros, many of those same legendary plotlines have been adapted into animated movies. Plus there’s been a good number of films that offer entirely original storylines that place Batman and his many allies against the best Rogues Gallery in all of comics. It’s pretty daunting to find all of those movies and watch the very best of the best. 

We’ve decided to come to your rescue and rank all of “The Dark Knight’s” animated films.

29. Batman: Death in the Family

The shocking demise of Jason Todd during his tenure as Robin is still talked about to this very day. Batman: Death in the Family retells that story in animated movie form and also gives viewers the chance to change its outcome however they see fit. While that choose-your-own-adventure style experiment is cool, this film simply pales in comparison to its predecessor Batman: Under the Red Hood.

28. ‘Batman Ninja’

It’s always cool to follow one’s favorite superheroes and their Rogue’s Gallery once they revert to a past time period. Batman Ninja goes that route by sending The Dark Knight, his most trusted allies, and his most dangerous villains to the age of feudal Japan. The visual stylings of this film are certainly striking, which lends itself well to some jaw-dropping action sequences. The story being told here and the overall pacing of Batman Ninja isn’t as strong, however.

27. ‘Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem’

As a Batman film meant to entertain younger audiences, this selection gets the job done. If you’re a much older Batman fan, then Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem probably didn’t appeal to you as much as the other picks on this list. All in all, this film ends up being a solid watch that features a fun mixture of Batman’s best characters and some additional DC icons. Chances are you’ll at least find some enjoyment in watching Batman fight hard to foil Joker’s latest madcap plan. 

26. ‘Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts’

The first entry in the Batman Unlimited film series ends up being a much better watch for young and old fans alike. Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts gives The Penguin a formidable force to rule over as he pits Batman against an army of mechanical beasts. There’s a decent amount of fun to be had here as you watch Batman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Nightwing, and Red Robin engage in some exciting battles with the more animalistic side of the DC Universe.

25. ‘Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants’

And now we have arrived at the final (and best) entry in the Batman Unlimited trilogy. This time around, Batman and his fellow heroes have to go big (literally) in order to save Gotham City from Mr. Freeze and his massive (literally again!) monsters. Towering versions of Bane and Killer Croc engage in some Kaiju-inspired clashes with Batman and Green Arrow’s Megazord-like battle suits, which leads to this film’s strongest moments. Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants’ super-sized fights make it an easy watch.

24. ‘Batman and Harley Quinn’

Batman and Harley Quinn is quite the shock for those who used to watch Batman: The Animated Series. The art style present in this film harkens back to that classic cartoon, plus a lot of praise must be directed at this film’s strong voice work from everyone involved. But the more sexual themes take things completely left with some raunchy content that could have been left on the cutting room floor. This unexpected team-up film still produces a fun ride though thanks to Harley’s outlandish antics.

23. ‘Batman: Soul of the Dragon’

Batman: Soul of the Dragon is pretty much an animated nod to classic 70s martial arts flicks, which gives it a personality of its own to stand on. A celebrated martial arts master goes missing, which pushes his student to head into action and find him. Bruce Wayne/Batman, Richard Dragon, Ben Turner, and Lady Shiva engage in some exciting clashes that perfectly pay homage to its many inspirations. The second half of his film may not be as strong as the first, but this movie still manages to be worth watching.

22. ‘Batman vs. Two-Face’

The 60s Batman TV series still remains a fan favorite thanks to the zany ways its characters acted and interacted. There’s been a few animated Batman films that adopt the beloved themes and character interpretations of that classic show. One of those movies is Batman vs. Two-Face, which provides a different take on the origin story for Harvey Dent’s evil alter-ego. This movie is an enjoyable swan song for Adam West that retains the humor and charm the 60s Batman series is known for.

21. ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’

Batman: The Killing Joke is regarded as one of the greatest graphic novels in the comic book medium. Expectations were through the roof once the animated movie adaptation was announced. While the overall presentation of this movie is decent enough and the ionic dialogue present in the source material is recited well here, the added story beats and the awkward relationship between Batman & Batgirl hampers the movie as a whole. The second half of this film is what keeps it from being a complete wash.

20. ‘The Batman vs. Dracula’

The Batman animated series that ran from 2004 ‘till 2008 is one of the more underrated TV shows based on DC’s finest night savior. That rendition of Batman’s cartoon career got the movie treatment in a film that pitted him against a horror movie icon. The Batman vs. Dracula provides a strong visual presentation that’s delightful for any and all viewers. The younger audience will get a kick out of the predictable and surface-level story being presented here, while older fans may be let down by that aspect of the film.

19. ‘Batman: Gotham by Gaslight’

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight adopts one of the better “Elseworlds” stories ever. The film sticks to the dark and brooding themes present in the source material, which helps it stick out when compared to the other picks on this list. Batman’s adventure within this movie takes place in Victorian-era Gotham City and puts him on the trail of the infamous serial killer, Jack the Ripper. The mature elements from this film can be hit or miss, so keep that in mind while it unfolds.

18. ‘Batman: Gotham Knight’

This anthology of different interpretations of Batman is an interesting experiment that’s still worth checking out. Josh Olson, David S. Goyer, Brian Azzarello, Greg Rucka, Jordan Goldberg, and Alan Burnett all come together to show “The Dark Knight” in a different light while he confronts a new danger. Crossfire, In Darkness Dwells, and Deadshot definitely stand out as the best segments within this compilation, while the other six minifilms are decent in their own right.

17. ‘Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman’

The Bat Family earned itself a new member here as Batwoman, a night stalker that aims to stop crime and forgo Batman’s rule to never kill. This new heroine forces Batman to stay on her trail and figure out her true identity while at the same time trying to stop The Penguin and Rupert Thorne’s latest scheme. The classic 90s art style from the Batman cartoon returns here, thankfully. While enjoyable in parts, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman ends up being one of the more forgettable films from DC’s animated efforts. The voice acting and action sequences are still worthy of applause, though. 

16. ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’

The first animated movie take on the 60s Batman TV series arrived in the form of Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. The zany and altogether groovy world that Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin), and Julie Newmar (Catwoman) once inhabited gets the cartoon treatment in the best way possible here. The usual suspects from Batman’s Rogues Gallery pop up here to add to the fun of it all. This film will definitely appeal more to those old enough to remember the 60s Batman show.

15. ‘Son of Batman’

Damian Wayne, the young son of Talia al Ghul and Bruce Wayne, is born to lead the League of Assassins. But a chance encounter with Deathstroke puts him on a different path that sets him up as Batman’s newest version of Robin. The fight sequences that play out in this film are exciting, which comes as no surprise considering the key players starring in it. The more comedic vibes this film tries to give off can be bothersome. But once Son of Batman gets serious, you’ll find yourself sucked into everything happening on screen.

14. ‘Batman: Bad Blood’

It’s a rare sight to see the entirety of the Bat Family come together to uphold justice and combat the latest threat trying to take over Gotham City. Batman: Bad Blood brings them all together for this film and it ends up being an entertaining romp. Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batwoman, and Batwing’s combined efforts give this film a ton of life. As far as fight scenes and storytelling goes, Batman: Bad Blood largely succeeds.

13. ‘Batman: Hush’

A whole slew of Batman characters and a dark figure from Bruce Wayne’s past come together for the Batman: Hush graphic novel and made it an interesting read. And thankfully, that engrossing mystery has been given the animated movie treatment. Batman and Catwoman come together to get to the bottom of who Hush is, which places them in a bunch of wild situations that result in some surprising developments and epic battles. The source material for this film has been adapted perfectly, plus there are a few welcome changes to the story’s formula.

12. ‘Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

The crossover comic that brought the nighttime heroes in Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is awesome and you need to check it out when you get a chance. As for the animated film adaptation of that awesome team-up, it’s just as good as the comic book miniseries that inspired it. Batman and his two closest allies eventually align themselves with the “turtles in a half shell” to clash with Ra’s al Ghul and Shredder. The action put on display here is off the charts and the humorous moments will actually get viewers young & old to elicit a few laughs.

11. ‘Batman vs. Robin’

The dreaded Court of Owls plays the part of the main baddies here in this heated disagreement between Batman and his young son that dons the Robin moniker. The drama that plays out in this film between father and son is gripping, as is their furious search for Gotham City’s version of the Illuminati and their chosen Talon. The adult themes present in this film match the dark mood that this mature animated movie exudes, which is what makes it worth delving into.

10. ‘Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero’

One of Batman’s smartest and most cunning enemies is Mr. Freeze. This 90s throwback film has the two face off as Batman looks to save Barbara Gordon from Mr. Freeze’s plan to use her life force to bring back his dying wife. Warm feelings of restored nostalgia will enter your soul as you watch this movie unfold – thankfully, it still holds up thanks to its compelling version of Mr. Freeze and its inclusion of all the best aspects that Batman: The Animated Series are known for.

9. ‘Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two’

The Long Halloween storyline derived from the Batman comics follows his early days as Gotham’s “Caped Crusader.” The mysterious villain at the heart of that tale is an individual named Holiday, who chooses to harm his victims on…well, holidays. The tale that’s told in that story gets split up over two parts in a cinematic form, which helps the big revelations carried over from the first film’s mysteries hit hard upon their reveals. This epic conclusion wraps things up nicely as it retells one of Batman’s more mature-rated capers.

8. ‘Batman: Year One’

The adult-oriented animated Batman films clearly stand out as the best entries to date. Batman: Year One provides even more proof of that widely held belief. Just like the graphic novel it was adapted from, this film follows Bruce Wayne’s initial transformation into the superhero moniker we all know so well and pre-commissioner James Gordon’s move to Gotham City. While this film’s runtime is shorter than one would expect, it still manages to make the most of its time thanks to some compelling interactions between Batman & Gordon. Plus the action sequences also impress.

7. ‘Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One’

Both parts of The Long Halloween animated movie saga are great as a package deal. The first part in that overarching plot adapts the legendary graphic novel perfectly and creates the perfect cliffhanger for the second installment. The movie’s striking art style offers a nice change of pace from other Batman films and sticks to the grim nature that accompanies his crusade against the deadly Holiday.

6. ‘Batman: Assault on Arkham’

Batman has his hands full with this particular case. While he’s hot on the trail of a bomb-toting Joker, Batman also has to contend with Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad. If you’ve played the Batman: Arkham games, then you’ll get a kick out of watching all the madness unfold between Task Force X, Batman, and a few additional members of his Rogues Gallery. Batman: Assault on Arkham plays out like a madcap heist film that’s full of dark humor, likable anti-heroes, and explosive action scenes.

5. ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is considered legendary among devoted Batman fanatics and DC animated filmgoers. You can tell the creatives behind it wanted to make a strong first impression since it’s the first film in the DC Animated Universe. This Batman: The Animated Series-themed movie follows our hero as he faces a mysterious vigilante that takes out Gotham’s most feared criminals. The animation, the storytelling, the dialogue, and everything in between are masterfully done here.

4. ‘Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker’

There’s just something incredible about the films that expand the Batman universes put forth by their cartoon series. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker reprises the characters introduced in the beloved late 90s show and adds in the boisterousness of a returning Joker. This film showcases Bruce Wayne and Joker’s obsession with each other in great detail, plus it gives both Batman’s a proper sendoff within the Batman Beyond universe.

3. ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1’

One of the greatest and most influential graphic novels of all time is Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Thankfully, the entirety of that monumental storyline gets perfectly translated into one of DC’s best animated films. The first movie in that two-part saga encapsulates a version of Batman that’s at his darkest on a psychological level and showcases his long-awaited return to crime-fighting post-retirement. This film certainly does right by its source material.

2. ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood’

Red Hood’s introduction quickly turned him into one of the most celebrated DC characters of all time. His tragic backstory paves the way for a vicious anti-hero that’s justified in his feelings toward his former mentor. Batman: Under the Red Hood embraces the character’s dark and brutal nature as it delivers some of the best action sequences you’ll ever see within the DC Animated Universe. Everything is top-notch here – the animation, the emotional story beats, and the tense interactions between Batman & Red Hood make this film a bonafide classic.

1. ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2’

The second installment in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns earns the honor of being our favorite animated Batman movie of all time. It continues the incredibly riveting struggle established in Part 1 and raises the stakes accordingly. Batman’s continued war with Joker and his memorable clash with Superman are the two main story threads that afford this film its legendary status. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 wraps up things in the most efficient manner possible and gets you giddy for a possible animated sequel rendition of The Master Race.

Culture Movies/TV

The 25 Best Power Rangers Villains, Ranked

It takes a hell of a lot to have decades in the game and be a respected franchise when it comes to kids’ entertainment, but that’s exactly what Power Rangers has done. Since its inception in the mid-1990s, the series has stuck around year after year on television network after television network and generation after generation. If you want a full recap of the series, check out our piece here.

Of course, the Power Rangers wouldn’t be who they were if they didn’t have some worthy competition to fight. Below, we’ve made a list of the 25 best Power Rangers villains, in order.

25. Tenaya

Appearing in RPM, Tenaya 7 (later known as Tenaya 15) was an average human until Venjix, the virus that appears much higher up on this list, turned her into a human-robot-hybrid, whilst still looking like a human the entire time. Even when the Rangers had their weapons, she was able to out-fight them.

24. Goldar

Goldar’s character ended up going left which is why he isn’t higher on his list, but in his heyday, he was the man. Easily the most powerful of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd’s Evil Space Aliens, Goldar could take it as well as he could give it, being able to resist multiple Megazord attacks.

23. Diabolico

Diabolico was the main enemy for a while in Lightspeed Rescue before Queen Bansheera returned. She granted him extra powers which made him a formidable opponent for the Rangers. He even was there in spiritual form when he had been locked up.

22. Admiral Malkor

The leader of the Warstar, Admiral Malkor was the secondary antagonist in Power Rangers Megaforce. He’s on this list because of how he brings the Armada to Earth, which means that all classic Power Rangers must come together for the win. 

21. Ransik
The Illuminerdi

One of the most ambitious Power Rangers villains of all time, Ransik travelled back from the year 3000 to 2001 (when Time Force aired) to defeat those specific Rangers. He’s the most powerful Mutant that exists and, spoiler alert, turned a new leaf by the end of the series.

20. Queen Bansheera

Easily one of the more ruthless Power Rangers villains ever, Queen Bansheera was not unwilling to sacrifice her own son for her goals. She was also an unbelievable strategist when it came to putting her minions out to battle.

19. Rita Repulsa
Superhero Wiki

Rita Repulsa is arguably the most infamous of the Power Rangers villains, being the longest-lasting in franchise history, appearing in multiple different seasons. While you could discredit some of her individual powers, that takes something special.

18. Mesogog

Wanting to return the world to a pre-historic era, Mesogog was the extremely powerful villain in Power Rangers Dino Thunder that could be much higher on this list if it were not for his human side, the scientist Anton Mercer, taking over at crucial times. 

17. Dark Specter

Dark Specter doesn’t get enough credit for his villainous ways. He pulled strings, bringing back many old villains and getting them to do the dirty work. There’s value in that. In the end, it took an attack with the ability to wipe out the entire planet just to destroy him.

16. Trakeena
Villains Wiki

The main villain from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, Trakeena proved to be even more evil than her father Scorpius, which is quite the feat. She went out of her way to make her own plans to defeat the Rangers and almost succeeded, which is why she returned in Lightspeed Rescue.

15. Sledge

Sledge deserves respect for the vast amount of enemies he led after capturing them through his bounty hunting, if nothing else. His quest for the Energems put him on the Rangers’ radar in Dino Charge and perhaps he would have gotten them if not for them.

14. Ivan Ooze
Everything Power Rangers Wiki

Appearing in the Mighty Morphin movie, Ivan Ooze deserves a spot on this list over some main antagonists in the Power Rangers series because he achieved something massive in such a short time. He stripped the Rangers of their powers relatively quickly. It took Rita Repulsa multiple seasons to do this.

13. Lothor

Lothor gets looked down upon some in the Power Rangers fandom because of the comedic element in his personality, but, admittedly being biased because I watched Ninja Storm as a child, I loved it. He also failed due to his team and not the Rangers, which counts for something.

12. The Warstar Empire
Power Rangers Unpatched

Consisting of an innumerable amount of Insectoids, Warstar deserves a spot on this list separately from Vrak and Admiral Malkor due to its sheer size. Individually, Insectoids weren’t special and posed no extra threat to the Power Rangers, but together, they were greater than the sum of their parts.

11. Astronema

Dark Specter’s protégé, Astonema was also the sister of the Red Ranger. Whenever there’s a family collection between the Rangers and their enemy, like the aforementioned Lothor being a Ranger’s uncle, it makes things all the more tense. She almost took over the galaxy too.

10. Koragg, The Knight Wolf
Villains Wiki

Created by Octomus The Master, Koragg was used by harnessing the powers of Leanbow, a warrior who sacrificed himself two decades before the events of Mystic Force. This ended up costing him in the long run, thinking too much about honour in battle.

9. The Machine Empire

Like the Warstar Empire was compromised of Insectoids, the Machine Empire was compromised of machines. Making their mark in Power Rangers Zeo, if they hadn’t have succumbed to their own vanity, they’d definitely have a higher spot on this list. 

8. Omni The Magnificence

For the length of SPD, Omni The Magnificence seemed invincible. So how did it get defeated, you might ask? Anubis Cruger, the season’s Shadow Ranger, accidentally ended up inside him, thus opening up a chink in his armour for the Rangers to exploit.

7. The Psycho Rangers

One of the more unique sets of villains in franchise history, The Psycho Rangers are responsible for one of the most iconic moments in the Power Rangers’ history. The Pink Psycho Ranger is responsible for the sole killing of a Power Ranger.

6. Octomus The Master
Morphin’ Legacy

The main enemy from Mystic Force, Octomus is one of the scariest looking villains in the entire series. A demonic presence that hangs over the entire season, The Master rules over all villains and had he not underestimated the Rangers when he came to Earth, who knows what could have happened?

5. Dai Shi

An evil eight-headed dragon from Jungle Fury? Sign us up. Like a few villains on this list, especially higher up, Dai Shi was near invincible when it came to being able to resist attacks. It was Jarrod’s own doing that defeated him. 

4. Ancient Master Org
Villains Wiki

There’s something poetic to the fact that of all of the villains in Power Rangers, whether they’re Insectoids, Aliens or Machines, a human is one of the more cunning and vicious. Master Org’s looks were deceiving, because he looked like a sickly old man, but had the fury of any of the villains on this list.

3. Venjix

Just like we now know all too well how a virus can adapt and mutant, Venjix, the computer virus, could be defeated, only to come back stronger in that area. Its scope on the franchise was vast, with entires countries bombed to shreds.

2. Lord Drakkon

A rare comic book entry on the list, Lord Drakkon appears during the Shattered Grid event in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic books. An alternative version of Tommy Oliver, Drakkon joined Rita Repulsa here and surpassed her, defeating several Power Rangers while in charge.

1. Lord Zedd

Lord Zedd was such a fearsome force in Power Rangers that parents notably complained enough for writers of the show to soften him up. Rita Repulsa was even scared of him banishing her because he was more powerful in just about every aspect. He went one-on-one with the White Ranger and lost by a hair.

Culture Movies/TV

These 4 DC Characters Need a James Gunn TV/Movie Adaptation

Ay, James Gunn really doesn’t miss when it comes to these superhero films! 

He took a relatively unknown Marvel Comics property in the Guardians of the Galaxy and turned its cast of interplanetary heroes into household names thanks to his 2014 film adaptation. Then he delivered the equally entertaining sequel in 2018 and has already been tapped to handle the directing duties for the third film that drops in 2023. The recently released The Suicide Squad has earned plenty of acclaim and has plenty of fans excited about his future DC endeavors. DC Films president Walter Hamada basically confirmed Gunn’s future involvement in the production company’s future film and TV renditions during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter

Since he was pretty much given free rein to go as crazy as he wanted to be with the direction of The Suicide Squad, we’re guessing he’s going to be afforded the very same freedoms on his follow-up DCEU projects. Gunn’s penchant for focusing on gut-bustlingly funny moments, warm character interactions, and explosive action sequences can be seen throughout all of his Marvel and DC helmed movie adaptations. With all that being said, there are four noteworthy DC characters that would make for an incredible movie or streaming series with Gunn in the director’s chair. Let us all bow our heads and pray to the New Gods in hopes of getting these films in Prime Earth instead of Earth-1.

1. Lobo (Movie)

There was a point in time where Dwayne Johnson’s name came up every time some sort of update arrived concerning a Lobo film. After years of rumors, the project seemingly just disappeared into the ether. Now “The Rock” is preparing to lay the smackdown on the DCEU as none other than Black Adam. Since Gunn has mastered the art of zany space capers with a whole lotta attitude and hilarity, it’s about time he got to revive the Lobo film adaptation. “The Main Man” only exists to raise hell as he fulfills his space mercenary duties – he’d make for the perfect anti-hero that would lend a Gunn-helmed project the mature themes it would thrive on. Pitting DC’s baddest bastich against signature foes such as Bludhound and Loo so audiences get a taste of Lobo’s overwhelming strength through their battles could be just what the doctor ordered.

2. Deathstroke (Movie)

The post-credits scene for Justice League pointed to a pretty exciting future concerning the creation of an anti-Justice League. Joe Manganiello, the actor who portrayed Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, excited everyone and even made an additional appearance in the Snyder Cut. This version of the superpowered mercenary was meant to be the main antagonist for Ben Affleck’s version of The Batman, but those plans sadly fell through. Joe’s perfect casting of Deathstroke shouldn’t just be left to die – James Gunn should get his hands on the character and bring it to life in a standalone film. Telling his origin story and having him clash with the likes of rival assassins Cheshire, Deadborn, Ebrax, and Forgotten could produce an action-packed DCEU cinematic joyride. Gunn’s bombastic directing style would do wonders for a Deathstroke film.

3. WildC.A.T.s (Movie)

Some of you may not realize this, but the WildStorm Universe that was originally created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi is a part of the DC Universe. The standout superhero team from that comics line is called the WildC.A.T.s, which is a covert action team that ended up getting caught up in the alien conflict between the Kherubim and the Daemonites. Gunn certainly has a knack for producing films focused on lesser-known teams within the comic book realm, so it’d make a ton of sense for him to work his magic for the WildC.A.T.s. Grifter, Zealot, Ladytron, Void, and the other members of the team’s latest incarnation would make for an incredible ensemble on the big screen. Watching a Gunn-directed movie adaptation that sets the WildC.A.T.s against an equally powerful threat would definitely elicit The Suicide Squad vibes. 

4. Plastic Man (TV Series)

Patrick “Eel” O’Brian aka “Plastic Man” has always stood out as being one of the more humorous characters within the DC Universe. His malleable physiology affords him the ability to stretch his body into a bevy of shapes and sizes. If Warner Bros. is willing to cut a big ass check for Gunn, we think he’d have the funds needed to create a big-budget DCEU series. And of course, it’d make for a perfect addition to the HBO Max streaming service alongside the first slate of DCEU TV shows. A series that follows Plastic Man’s rise from a petty criminal into an unlikely super savior could be the perfect mix of comedy, action, and surprisingly emotional revelations. We’d be so down to see Gunn apply his talents to another HBO Max exclusive series once he wraps up his work on Peacemaker.