Top 10 Best Superhero Movies of the 2010s
VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Written by Spencer Sher
Moves based on Marvel and DC comics have been dominating the box office for a very long time, but in the golden age of Superhero Movies, we've ranked the Top 10 from this decade. WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Superhero movies of the 2010s? But what will take the top spot? Will it be an epic entry from the Captain America series, one of Marvel's other Avengers canon films, or a DC entry like Batman V. Superman or Man of Steel? Watch to find out!
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The decade may not be over, but it has already produced some of the best superhero films of all-time! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Superhero Movies of the 2010s.
#10: “Kick-Ass” (2010)
Before “Deadpool” wowed audiences with its excessive use of violence and swearing there was the aptly named “Kick-Ass”. When an average teenager decides to become a superhero, he quickly learns that you can still make a difference even if you don’t have powers, money, or even brains. Every fight scene brings a different level of ingenuity, crass humor and gore that gets the heart pumping and the tears of laughter rolling. While it did receive criticism for the character of Hit-Girl, an eleven-year-old who loves killing bad guys while swearing like a sailor, we can all agree that without her this movie would have lost quite a bit of its luster.
#9: “Dredd” (2012)
Set in a dystopian future where police act as judge, jury and executioner, two cops must battle their way through a violent apartment complex to take down a ruthless drug dealer. Carried by its awesome visual effects and beautiful action sequences, this superhero sci-fi film is as exciting as it is brutal. As the protagonists tear their way upwards, one cannot help but feel an influx of excitement knowing another epic battle is around the corner. While the movie didn’t perform particularly well at the box-office, it has since become a cult favorite among those with a penchant for uber-violent, post-apocalyptic action flicks.
#8: “Thor” (2011)
One of many superheroes that made people everywhere say ‘na-ah, no way that’ll work as a movie’. After being stripped of his powers and exiled to Earth, the mighty god Thor must find a way to reclaim his mystical hammer while preventing his brother Loki from usurping the throne. Expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe to new realms, this film brought a lot of important fantasy elements into the science fiction film series. As Thor flies majestically across the screen, battling waves of enemies, one cannot take for granted how far special effects have come. Noted for its excellent use of humor throughout, this film is a classic summer blockbuster, filled with non-stop action and a fantastic cast of characters.
#7: “Deadpool” (2016)
Filled with blood, cussing, black humor and Ryan Reynolds on overdrive, this superhero film wasn’t afraid to color outside the lines. After being duped into participating in a medical experiment, a sarcastic mercenary with a penchant for violence acquires extraordinary powers. A perfect blend of action and comedy this movie gave comic book fans and mainstream audiences a pretty close to perfect Deadpool experience. While we’re still not sure what impact this movie will have on the genre as a whole, the $782 million it pulled in as the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time is bound to leave a legacy.
#6: “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014)
After being successfully resurrected by “X-Men: First Class”, this franchise took another step towards cementing its place as one of the frontrunners in the superhero genre. In an attempt to alter the course of history, Wolverine is sent back in time to stop an event that sends the world on a collision course with disaster. Combining the casts of both X-Men franchises, this film was overflowing with talent. Carried by the magnetic performance of Hugh Jackman and peppered with supporting roles not soon to be forgotten, this superhero period piece is jam-packed with awesome action and killer performances.
#5: “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
The final installment in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy finally pits Gotham’s caped crusader against a villain who can match him in both strength and intelligence. Set eight years after the events of “The Dark Knight”, Batman must come out of retirement when the city is put under siege by Bane, a terrorist with a single-minded quest to destroy Batman and the city he protects. From the close quarters fights to the huge set pieces, this film is overflowing with intense moments sure to get your heart rate jacked.
#4: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)
Has a superhero movie ever been this much fun? As intergalactic terrorist Ronan wreaks havoc throughout the galaxy in a mad quest for power, five mismatched criminals must join forces to save themselves and the universe from impeding doom. Fantastic casting: check. Insanely entertaining fight scenes: check. A talking raccoon with a talking tree sidekick: double check. A visual treat that never misses an opportunity to crack a joke, this film was a massive hit with fans and critics alike. Feeling like a throwback to the campy superhero films of the '70s and '80s, it has just the right amount of modernity to connect with younger viewers. A barnburner that isn’t afraid to take chances, “Guardians” exemplifies the characteristics of what a superhero film should be.
#3: “Captain America: The Winter Solider” (2014)
While many of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe tend to blend together, this one definitely stands out. After an attempt on Nick Fury’s life, Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff must discover who was behind the attack while dodging a mysterious assassin known as the Winter Solider. Feeling more like a '70s spy thriller than a big-budget superhero flick, directors Anthony and Joe Russo built their film on practical effects, strong writing and beautifully choreographed action sequences. This change of pace allows for an intriguing plot to develop and doesn’t pigeonhole the characters into becoming clichés. A thriller from start to finish, this movie is a must-see for all comic-book lovers.
#2: “The Avengers” (2012)
After setting up each character with a standalone movie, Marvel did something comic book lovers had been waiting for their whole lives: they made a film with all of them together. When the mischievous Loki makes plans to enslave the earth it is up to a team of individuals with extraordinary powers to stop him. Being one of the most anticipated superhero flicks in history isn’t easy, but “The Avengers” more than lives up to the task. Currently sitting at number five on the list of highest grossing films of all time, it is safe to say that that the formula worked. A benchmark in the superhero genre, this movie dared to dream a little bigger…and consequently knocked one out of the park.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
“Big Hero 6” (2014)
“Man of Steel” (2013)
#1: “Captain America: Civil War” (2016)
With all the hype around one of most notorious storylines in Marvel Comics, this film had some pretty big expectations to live up to. Luckily, the Russo brothers returned, bringing the same level of action and humor that made their previous film a success. When the Avengers become divided; separated by the differing ideologies of Steve Rodgers and Tony Stark, audiences are given some of the best superhero action of all time. Earning near-universal praise, the film takes a mature approach to the superhero genre by broaching a number of complex subjects that hadn’t been addressed previously. Grossing over a billion worldwide, everybody and their grandmother seems to have enjoyed this superhero flick.
Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite superhero film of the 2010s? For more entertaining Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.