Yesterday, we did #50-24 (click here to see it). Today, the rest!
THE TOP 25 COMIC BOOK MOVIES OF ALL TIME!
25. Ghost World (2001)
Terry Zwigoff’s cult classic adaptation of Daniel Clowe’s comic, featuring early roles for Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson as two teen girls who do really, really shitty things to Steve Buscemi. Where most stories are about a creepy male loner messing with little girls, this film is the opposite. It’s an extraordinary movie. The only reason it doesn’t rate higher on this list is because it doesn’t compare easily to the other movies here—which are generally action films with “big” stories. But don’t sleep on this quiet little film.
24. Thor (2011)
I’m not a big fan of Thor as a comic, or as a character. I always thought he was kinda dumb, and for the most part his comics have sucked—except for the rare run by Jason Aaron, JMS, or Warren Ellis. In other words, it takes an A-list writer to make him worth reading. So I was skeptical about this movie. But it ended up being full of love and charm, similar thematically to Captain America’s “fish out of water” story—except the first Cap movie didn’t even focus on that aspect of the character.
23. X2: X-Men United (2003)
Nightcrawler storms the White House! Wolverine gets his bezerker rage! An all around excellent ride.
22. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
So my youngest son does an awesome Bane impression. That’s one reason I love rewatching this film. It’s definitely too long, and at spots it’s sprawling, but there are some visionary scenes here: The stadium. The airplane. The climb from the pit. Of all the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, this is the one that is the most Batmanish—even if it isn’t the best of the lot—because it feels the most like a comic book story: Hero establishes his dominance over his realm, villain threatens it, villain beats him, hero returns from a broken and bloody state to emerge victorious.
21. Batman (1989)
The Prince soundtrack to this movie is awesome. The film itself was great for its time, but standing next to movie heroes who actually have the ability to rotate their heads 45 degrees, it feels a little dated. But give it it’s due: Nobody had done a serious superhero movie before, and nobody had portrayed Batman with this level of darkness and cynicism—except, of course, for Frank Miller, in the comics. This is another example of how numbers don’t tell the whole story: Why is this #21 and Blade #20? Partly because Blade starred a person of color, something rarely done in any studio movie—let alone a comic book movie—especially in the 1990s. But also because today I want to see Blade again. Tomorrow I might have a hankering for some Keaton. Who knows?
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