When the historians of the future look back in time at the cinematic literature of the 2010s, Superhero Films are certainly going to go down as THE genre of the decade. After the success of Marvels Cinematic Universe starting with Iron Man back in 2008, dozens of incredible Superhero films and television shows have been made as a result.
Some of them flopped worse than my average online poker hand, although all of them in this decade outshine their forbearers (CoughCatwomanCough). Marvel’s success, of course, meant imitators, and not just from their comic book rival DC.
Sony, Fox, and even some smaller companies have found mainstream success with Superhero films. However, here we are in 2019, the decade is just about wrapping up, so it’s time to decide: Which superhero films really were the best? Here are my top five favorite superhero films of the 2010s!
This new interpretation of the Joker without Batman was praised for its quality since its inception. Until it suddenly wasn’t, and it became the hotbox of controversy from critics.
When director Todd Phillips, known for making comedies such as “The Hangover”, said that he wanted to move away from the “woke” culture that was ruining comedies and made “Joker” as a result, critics exploded.
Suddenly, “Joker” was an icon of Incels. It was going to attract violent shooters to movie theatres. It was boring. Don’t see it. Stop. No. Don’t.
Meanwhile, everyone who actually went to go see the movie loved it. And, ironically, this atmosphere of chaos and infighting is exactly what a character like the Joker would want surrounding his movie.
Go watch it, just to tell those critics “Up yours, you elitist %#@&*!”
4: Wonder Woman
In fourth place is a DCCU film, even though DC has not had a great decade for films. The ever-controversial Man of Steel and Batman V Superman were dark, gritty, and gray, but failed at delivering any kind of deep poignant message due to the absurdity of two men dressed in pajamas having super-serious grim growly fights in the rain.
Woman takes the best of both worlds by placing Wonder Woman, a beacon of light and hope, in the grim, dark reality of World War One. Wonder Woman demonstrates a powerful message about humanity being capable of great evil without any kind of external influence but also being equally capable of all the good things that have allowed civilization to exist at all.
World War One, a war without any real “good” or “bad” guys, is the perfect setting for this message of human nature and is a breath of fresh air from all the Nazi Punching movies that exist in abundance.
Ultimately, this movie’s only flaw is that it (no spoilers) ends in a CG boss fight that’s really unnecessary. Otherwise, it may be the best thing DC has produced since the Dark Knight Trilogy.
Funny superhero movies are a dime a dozen at this point, thanks to Marvel. Rated R superhero movies, however, were untested waters until 2016 when Fox’s Deadpool hit the big screen. Deadpool blew out some of Marvel’s biggest box office hits with only a fraction of the budget, and the attitude around gory, violent, and funny superhero movies was changed forever.
Ryan Reynolds brings Deadpool to life in a way no one could possibly have expected. This film is funny, action-packed, with a plot that’s only as thick as needed for this type of film. There’s not much I can say about it without spoiling the punchlines, so go watch Deadpool! It’s hilarious!
On the other side of the spectrum, is a serious, dark, and grim movie about how all your favorite superheroes are either dead or dying. Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman end their iconic superhero careers with a bang in this heartbreaking movie about the end of an era for Superheroes.
Set in the near future, mutants are slowly disappearing. The old ones are dying out, and there just aren’t any new ones popping up. The X-Men are gone. Professer Xavior is going senile. Logan, AKA Wolverine, is at his limit.
This movie is amazing. This movie will hurt you. And quite honestly, it wouldn’t take much to convince me that this movie belongs in the number one spot.
1: Avengers: Endgame
When I said that Logan was about the end of an era, Avengers: Endgame deserves that title far more. It would not have been difficult to screw this movie up. How on earth was a single movie supposed to satisfactorily close up the plotlines of twenty-plus movies with dozens of characters, an unstoppable villain, and bring back half the universe without overriding the consequences of the previous films?
And, against all odds, this movie pulls it off.
Even the tropes and clichés of this movie are carefully thought out and executed masterfully. The stakes and consequences are maintained without retconning anything, and the bittersweet ending is achieved, earned, and satisfying. If the Marvel Cinematic Universe ended on this film, that would be enough. Unfortunately, companies love making money, so I doubt they’re going to stop now.
That being said, I’m done with Marvel films and I couldn’t have stopped on a better film.