Best & Worst Marvel Movies (Not In The MCU)
24 frames, Marvel, Superheroes
Hugh Jackman delivers his slicey swan song as Wolverine in
, the R-rated for-realsies conclusion to the arc of Marvel’s famous X-Man. This week’s gallery pays tribute to the Marvel movies that existed before and now compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe — read on for the best & worst Marvel movies (outside the MCU)! Logan
(2004, 93%) Spider-Man 2
Critics Consensus: Boasting an entertaining villain and deeper emotional focus, this is a nimble sequel that improves upon the original.
(2014, 91%) X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise’s finest installments.
(2002, 89%) Spider-Man
Not only does Spider-Man provide a good dose of web-swinging fun, it also has a heart, thanks to the combined charms of director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire.
(2003, 86%) X2
Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor — and a benchmark for comic sequels in general.
(2011, 86%) X-Men: First Class
With a strong script, stylish direction, and powerful performances from its well-rounded cast, X-Men: First Class is a welcome return to form for the franchise.
(2016, 84%) Deadpool
Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining — and decidedly non-family-friendly — results.
(2000, 81%) X-Men
Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus.
(2012, 72%) The Amazing Spider-Man
A well-chosen cast and sure-handed direction allow The Amazing Spider-Man to thrill, despite revisiting many of the same plot points from 2002’s Spider-Man.
(2013, 69%) The Wolverine
Although its final act succumbs to the usual cartoonish antics, The Wolverine is one superhero movie that manages to stay true to the comics while keeping casual viewers entertained.
(2007, 63%) Spider-Man 3
Though there are more characters and plotlines, and the action sequences still dazzle, Spider-Man 3 nonetheless isn’t quite as refined as the first two.
(2003, 61%) Hulk
While Ang Lee’s ambitious film earns marks for style and an attempt at dramatic depth, there’s ultimately too much talking and not enough smashing.
(2006, 58%) X-Men: The Last Stand
X-Men: The Last Stand provides plenty of mutant action for fans of the franchise, even if it does so at the expense of its predecessors’ deeper character moments.
(2002, 57%) Blade II
Though Blade II offers more of what worked in the original, its plot and character development appear to have been left on the cutting room floor.
(1998, 54%) Blade
Though some may find the plot a bit lacking, Blade‘s action is fierce, plentiful, and appropriately stylish for a comic book adaptation.
(2014, 52%) The Amazing Spider-Man 2
While the cast is outstanding and the special effects are top-notch, the latest installment of the Spidey saga suffers from an unfocused narrative and an overabundance of characters.
(2016, 48%) X-Men: Apocalypse
Overloaded action and a cliched villain take the focus away from otherwise strong performers and resonant themes, making X-Men: Apocalypse a middling chapter of the venerable superhero franchise.
(2003, 44%) Daredevil
While Ben Affleck fits the role and the story is sporadically interesting, Daredevil is ultimately a dull, brooding origin story that fails to bring anything new to the genre.
(2009, 38%) X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Though Hugh Jackman gives his all, he can’t help X-Men Origins: Wolverine overcome a cliche-ridden script and familiar narrative.
(2007, 37%) Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
While an improvement on its predecessor, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is nevertheless a juvenile, simplistic picture that has little benefit beyond its special effects.
(2004, 29%) The Punisher
A good cast fails to elevate this overly violent and by-the-numbers revenge flick.
(1994, 29%) The Fantastic Four
An ashcan movie produced on the cheap by Roger Corman whose sole purpose was to keep the movie rights alive and away from Marvel.
(1989, 28%) The Punisher
Despite the seemingly indestructible Dolph Lundgren with a crossbow, The Punisher is a boring one-man battle with never-ending action scenes.
(2005, 27%) Fantastic Four
Marred by goofy attempts at wit, subpar acting, and bland storytelling, Fantastic Four is a mediocre attempt to bring Marvel’s oldest hero team to the big screen.
(2008, 27%) Punisher: War Zone
Punisher: War Zone recalls the excessively violent, dialogue-challenged actioners of the 1980s, and coincidentally feels two decades out of date.
(2007, 26%) Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider is a sour mix of morose, glum histrionics amidst jokey puns and hammy dialogue.
(2004, 25%) Blade:Trinity
Louder, campier, and more incoherent than its predecessors, Blade: Trinity seems content to emphasize style over substance and rehash familiar themes.
(2005, 17%) Man-Thing
Marvel’s eco-friendly version of DC’s Swamp Thing, made into an underlit TV movie.
(2012, 17%) Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
With a weak script, uneven CG work, and a Nic Cage performance so predictably loony it’s no longer amusing, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance aims to be trashy fun but ends up as plain trash.
(1986, 15%) Howard the Duck
While it has its moments, Howard the Duck suffers from an uneven tone and mediocre performances.
(2005, 10%) Elektra
Jennifer Garner inhabits her role with earnest gusto, but Elektra‘s tone deaf script is too self-serious and bereft of intelligent dialogue to provide engaging thrills.
(2015, 9%) Fantastic Four
Dull and downbeat, this Fantastic Four proves a woefully misguided attempt to translate a classic comic series without the humor, joy, or colorful thrills that made it great.
(1990, 8%) Captain America
Lacking a script, budget, direction, or star capable of doing justice to its source material, this Captain America should have been left under the ice.