1. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
The best comic book movie ever made. Smart, original, and pleasing on every level. Bryan Singer combines the past X-Men with the future ones, in a thrilling ensemble that links all the previous X-Men movies together. Watching Days of Future Past, it hardly ever seems like it’s even a superhero movie. The high quality of acting combined with a complex, yet highly entertaining script is what puts this movie above others. Hugh Jackman is at his best, in what might be the final appearance of him as the Wolverine.
In my opinion, the best Batman film ever made. Christopher Nolan goes out on top with this blockbuster filled with twists and shocks. Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt join the all-star cast to thrill in this epic conclusion to the Dark Knight saga. Till today, people are debating about the ending of the film and its meaning. The movie had me thinking for weeks, trying to puzzle together the events. It’s classic Nolan, having you debate and wonder without a clear ending.
The new era of X-Men were introduced, as the franchise went back to the origins of the X-Men. The movie was an instant hit, with supreme casting choices of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. The storyline was refreshing, having taken place in the 1960s and linking the world of the X-Men with the real-life political issues between Russia and the United States. Compelling, entertaining, and refreshing are what X-Men: First Class is.
Henry Cavill dazzles as the best Superman rivalling Christopher Reeves’ version of the character. The addition of a strong supporting cast, consisting of Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, and Kevin Costner, stabilised the doubts of critics prior to the movie release. The darker origin take on Superman is exactly what the franchise needed to get it started. A new Superman, new outfit, great cast, and new approach simply equate to the best Superman movie made to date.
I expect to get some hate mail for this one. Most people were mesmerised by The Dark Knight. An Oscar performance delivered by Heath Ledger, and a vastly underrated one by Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face, still didn’t warrant the number one spot on my list. It’s a very good movie, but slightly overrated due to Heath Ledger’s death.
Marvel’s all-star cast unites Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Hulk, who come together to save NYC from Loki’s destruction. Visually stunning to see these giants come together in one movie. The movie does have some slow points early on. Ultimately, it delivers the action we all craved and imagined these stars would bring onto the screen.
A big gamble was taken by Marvel by basing a solo movie on a second-tier character in the Marvel Universe. The bust factor of the movie could have been damaging to Marvel’s future; instead, the movie was a major hit. Chris Hemsworth emerged as a rising star in Hollywood after his authentic portrayal as Thor. He certainty looked the part, but the solid acting skill put the character and the film over the top. It definitely didn’t hurt having Natalie Portman by his side, at the time when she was truly peaking in her career.
Tony Stark is faced with starting over, as his house and armour are compromised in an attack. Using his wits, he must recover all that’s lost. I liked the idea of showcasing the skills of Tony Stark without the help of the iron suit. It humanised the character and built the intrigue to the conclusion.
The trend seems to be that the second films of the usual three-part superhero saga seem to be the best-quality films. No difference for X2. The best of the original X-Men franchise. The introduction of Nightcrawler, Iceman, and Pyro adds a dimension the first film was lacking. Unifying the X-Men to fight off Wolverine’s evil creator, William Stryker, makes the movie far more compelling than having the mutants fight amongst themselves. It was neat to see Magneto walk the fine line of friend and foe with the X-Men. The ending was compelling and shocking (spoiler alert ahead) by having Jean Grey sacrificing herself in order to save her fellow X-Men.
Chris Evans is introduced as Captain America. The movie follows the origins of Cap, and his rise to become America’s first superhero. Red Skull proves to be a dangerous adversary for Captain America to take down. The movie is a fun, exciting introduction of Captain America to the Marvel Universe.
Notable omissions: Batman (original Michael Keaton version), Amazing Spider-Man 2, Batman Begins, Spider-Man 2, Superman (original).
Written by Jim Hasani