The 50 Best Super Hero Movies

“What is the best superhero movie?”

This is probably a debate you’ve had before, and it’s probably a debate you’ll have again. Look at the highest grossing films of 2017 so far.

Half of the top 10 are superhero movies, and by year’s end, the recently released Thor: Ragnarok and the soon-to-be-released Justice League will almost certainly make their way in there. Next year, you can safely bet that Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Venom, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and Aquaman will crack 2018’s top 10, or at least get pretty close. This is the world we live in, and so superhero movies are the thing we argue about over and over and over again.

Because this debate is already well-worn territory, we at The Ringer set out to develop a ranking that goes beyond personal opinions—to try to synthesize the overall goals and spirit of these films in order to identify the ideal superhero movies. In order to do that, we took into account four factors—Critical Success, Box Office Performance, Rewatchability, and Timelessness—and ran them through a fancy formula to come up with an overall score. (In an effort to streamline this list, animated movies were not considered.) Here’s how each of those factors were quantified:

After getting those stats, each movie’s numbers were run through the following formula: RT + ABOR + RWA + RNA. Each film was then ranked from highest to lowest score. All of that is to say, the higher the score a superhero movie has, the better it is. So without further ado—I swear we can stop talking about math now—here’s how everything shook out. —Andrew Gruttadaro

  • No50
    2016
    No 50
    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016
    Rotten Tomatoes 27%
    Box Office $330M
    Adjusted Box Office $330M
    Remake Necessity 2.78
    Rewatchability 4.55
    Total Score 106
  • No49
    2016
    No 49
    Suicide Squad 2016
    Rotten Tomatoes 26%
    Box Office $325M
    Adjusted Box Office $325M
    Remake Necessity 3.67
    Rewatchability 5.73
    Total Score 106
  • No48
    2010
    No 48
    Kick-Ass 2010
    Rotten Tomatoes 75%
    Box Office $48M
    Adjusted Box Office $54M
    Remake Necessity 8.20
    Rewatchability 6.82
    Total Score 109
  • No47
    2009
    No 47
    Watchmen 2009
    Rotten Tomatoes 65%
    Box Office $108M
    Adjusted Box Office $124M
    Remake Necessity 5.20
    Rewatchability 5.45
    Total Score 113
  • An Overall Ranking of the Superhero Chrises*
    As voted on by The Ringer’s group of superhero experts.
    FOUR Chris Pine (receiving one second-place vote)
    THREE Chris Pratt (receiving one first-place vote)
    TWO Chris Hemsworth (receiving five first-place votes)
    ONE Chris Evans (receiving five first-place votes, one third-place vote, and one demand to “stop trolling”)

    *Please note that this is a ranking of the Chrises’ performances as superheroes only. To see a more thorough assessment of the Chris Wars, click here.

  • No46
    1990
    No 46
    Darkman 1990
    Rotten Tomatoes 83%
    Box Office $34M
    Adjusted Box Office $63M
    Remake Necessity 3.29
    Rewatchability 5.13
    Total Score 115
  • No45
    2003
    No 45
    Hulk 2003
    Rotten Tomatoes 61%
    Box Office $132M
    Adjusted Box Office $177M
    Remake Necessity 2.33
    Rewatchability 4.60
    Total Score 116
  • No44
    2013
    No 44
    The Wolverine 2013
    Rotten Tomatoes 69%
    Box Office $133M
    Adjusted Box Office $141M
    Remake Necessity 2.56
    Rewatchability 5.20
    Total Score 118
  • No43
    1980
    No 43
    Flash Gordon 1980
    Rotten Tomatoes 82%
    Box Office $27.1M
    Adjusted Box Office $80.1M
    Remake Necessity 4.13
    Rewatchability 4.13
    Total Score 118
  • No42
    2008
    No 42
    The Incredible Hulk 2008
    Rotten Tomatoes 67%
    Box Office $135M
    Adjusted Box Office $154M
    Remake Necessity 5.50
    Rewatchability 5.22
    Total Score 121
  • No41
    2004
    No 41
    Hellboy 2004
    Rotten Tomatoes 81%
    Box Office $59.6M
    Adjusted Box Office $77.2M
    Remake Necessity 7.00
    Rewatchability 7.50
    Total Score 122
  • No40
    1994
    No 40
    The Crow 1994
    Rotten Tomatoes 82%
    Box Office $50.7M
    Adjusted Box Office $83.3M
    Remake Necessity 5.89
    Rewatchability 6.25
    Total Score 123
  • No39
    1995
    No 39
    Batman Forever 1995
    Rotten Tomatoes 41%
    Box Office $184M
    Adjusted Box Office $295M
    Remake Necessity 7.60
    Rewatchability 5.82
    Total Score 123
  • No38
    2013
    No 38
    Thor: The Dark World 2013
    Rotten Tomatoes 66%
    Box Office $206M
    Adjusted Box Office $219M
    Remake Necessity 3.00
    Rewatchability 4.45
    Total Score 128
  • No37
    2013
    No 37
    Man of Steel 2013
    Rotten Tomatoes 55%
    Box Office $291M
    Adjusted Box Office $309M
    Remake Necessity 2.80
    Rewatchability 3.91
    Total Score 132
  • A Ranking of Superhero Wardrobes
    Notes: “Wardrobe” is a blanket term including not only a superhero’s outfit, but also his street clothes; this too was voted on by The Ringer’s group of superhero experts
    FIVE Michael Fassbender’s Erik Lensherr in X-Men: First Class—with specific kudos to his off-duty outfits consisting of vintage sunglasses, extremely high turtlenecks, and a bomb-ass leather jacket.
    FOUR Wesley Snipes’s Blade in the Blade trilogy, because, obviously.
    THREE George Clooney’s Batman in Batman & Robin. This writer cannot express enough how many people positively used the word “nipples” during the voting process.
    TWO Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. It should be noted that The Ringer’s superhero experts are extremely into floor-length overcoats.
    ONE Chris Evans’s Captain America in the Captain America trilogy, in particular his quilted-shirt look and all the times he wears generic baseball hats.
  • No36
    2008
    No 36
    Hellboy II: The Golden Army 2008
    Rotten Tomatoes 85%
    Box Office $76M
    Adjusted Box Office $87M
    Remake Necessity 7.22
    Rewatchability 7.00
    Total Score 132
  • No35
    2006
    No 35
    X-Men: The Last Stand 2006
    Rotten Tomatoes 58%
    Box Office $234M
    Adjusted Box Office $286M
    Remake Necessity 7.86
    Rewatchability 4.70
    Total Score 137
  • No34
    2011
    No 34
    Thor 2011
    Rotten Tomatoes 77%
    Box Office $181M
    Adjusted Box Office $199M
    Remake Necessity 3.80
    Rewatchability 5.09
    Total Score 138
  • No33
    2012
    No 33
    The Amazing Spider-Man 2012
    Rotten Tomatoes 72%
    Box Office $262M
    Adjusted Box Office $282M
    Remake Necessity 3.30
    Rewatchability 4.36
    Total Score 144
  • No32
    2006
    No 32
    Superman Returns 2006
    Rotten Tomatoes 76%
    Box Office $234M
    Adjusted Box Office $286M
    Remake Necessity 5.18
    Rewatchability 3.91
    Total Score 145
  • No31
    2011
    No 31
    Captain America: The First Avenger 2011
    Rotten Tomatoes 80%
    Box Office $176M
    Adjusted Box Office $194M
    Remake Necessity 8.44
    Rewatchability 7.45
    Total Score 147
  • No30
    2015
    No 30
    Ant-Man 2015
    Rotten Tomatoes 82%
    Box Office $180M
    Adjusted Box Office $183M
    Remake Necessity 9.22
    Rewatchability 7.00
    Total Score 147
  • No29
    2007
    No 29
    Spider-Man 3 2007
    Rotten Tomatoes 63%
    Box Office $336M
    Adjusted Box Office $399M
    Remake Necessity 2.40
    Rewatchability 4.09
    Total Score 148
  • No28
    2000
    No 28
    X-Men 2000
    Rotten Tomatoes 81%
    Box Office $157M
    Adjusted Box Office $223M
    Remake Necessity 6.30
    Rewatchability 7.40
    Total Score 151
  • No27
    2011
    No 27
    X-Men: First Class 2011
    Rotten Tomatoes 86%
    Box Office $146M
    Adjusted Box Office $161M
    Remake Necessity 9.78
    Rewatchability 9.09
    Total Score 151
  • The Five-Best Usages of Gravel Voice by Christian Bale’s Batman
    As determined by noted gravel-voice expert and Ringer editor, Andrew Gruttadaro.
    FIVE “Tell me where the trailer is! Then … you have my permission to die.” (To Bane, in The Dark Knight Rises)
    FOUR “I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you.” (To Ra’s al Ghul, in Batman Begins)
    THREE “I’m not wearing hockey pads.” (To a man wearing hockey pads, in The Dark Knight)
    TWO “I’m Batman.” (To many, in all three Batman films)
    ONE “WHERE’S RACHAAAAAAAAAAL?!” (To the Joker, in The Dark Knight)
  • No26
    2016
    No 26
    Doctor Strange 2016
    Rotten Tomatoes 89%
    Box Office $233M
    Adjusted Box Office $233M
    Remake Necessity 6.78
    Rewatchability 5.00
    Total Score 159
  • No25
    1992
    No 25
    Batman Returns 1992
    Rotten Tomatoes 81%
    Box Office $163M
    Adjusted Box Office $283M
    Remake Necessity 8.50
    Rewatchability 6.80
    Total Score 161
  • No24
    2010
    No 24
    Iron Man 2 2010
    Rotten Tomatoes 73%
    Box Office $312M
    Adjusted Box Office $353M
    Remake Necessity 8.00
    Rewatchability 5.64
    Total Score 162
  • No23
    2005
    No 23
    Batman Begins 2005
    Rotten Tomatoes 84%
    Box Office $207M
    Adjusted Box Office $256M
    Remake Necessity 8.73
    Rewatchability 8.00
    Total Score 162
  • No22
    2014
    No 22
    X-Men: Days of Future Past 2014
    Rotten Tomatoes 90%
    Box Office $234M
    Adjusted Box Office $244M
    Remake Necessity 7.78
    Rewatchability 6.09
    Total Score 163
  • No21
    1981
    No 21
    Superman II 1981
    Rotten Tomatoes 87%
    Box Office $108M
    Adjusted Box Office $290M
    Remake Necessity 4.00
    Rewatchability 4.33
    Total Score 163
  • No20
    2003
    No 20
    X2: X-Men United 2003
    Rotten Tomatoes 86%
    Box Office $215M
    Adjusted Box Office $288M
    Remake Necessity 5.75
    Rewatchability 5.60
    Total Score 164
  • No19
    2015
    No 19
    Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015
    Rotten Tomatoes 75%
    Box Office $459M
    Adjusted Box Office $467M
    Remake Necessity 5.11
    Rewatchability 5.18
    Total Score 168
  • No18
    2017
    No 18
    Logan 2017
    Rotten Tomatoes 93%
    Box Office $226M
    Adjusted Box Office $226M
    Remake Necessity 9.10
    Rewatchability 9.27
    Total Score 168
  • No17
    2014
    No 17
    Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014
    Rotten Tomatoes 89%
    Box Office $260M
    Adjusted Box Office $271M
    Remake Necessity 9.33
    Rewatchability 7.70
    Total Score 169
  • A Ranking of the Most Annoying Government Officials in Superhero Movies
    No one likes a stickler for the rules. These were voted on by The Ringer’s group of superhero experts.
    FIVE Amanda Waller, Suicide Squad
    FOUR The high and mighty Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight
    THREE Tony Stark when he became the feds and argued for regulation in Captain America: Civil War
    TWO The hoity-toity government doctor from Logan
    ONE Nick Fury (Note: Nick Fury won this vote by a landslide.)
  • No16
    1989
    No 16
    Batman 1989
    Rotten Tomatoes 72%
    Box Office $251M
    Adjusted Box Office $493M
    Remake Necessity 8.80
    Rewatchability 7.50
    Total Score 174
  • No15
    2017
    No 15
    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 2017
    Rotten Tomatoes 82%
    Box Office $389M
    Adjusted Box Office $389M
    Remake Necessity 8.33
    Rewatchability 6.82
    Total Score 175
  • No14
    2013
    No 14
    Iron Man 3 2013
    Rotten Tomatoes 79%
    Box Office $409M
    Adjusted Box Office $434M
    Remake Necessity 7.56
    Rewatchability 6.91
    Total Score 175
  • No13
    2016
    No 13
    Deadpool 2016
    Rotten Tomatoes 84%
    Box Office $363M
    Adjusted Box Office $363M
    Remake Necessity 9.50
    Rewatchability 7.36
    Total Score 177
  • No12
    2012
    No 12
    The Dark Knight Rises 2012
    Rotten Tomatoes 87%
    Box Office $448M
    Adjusted Box Office $482M
    Remake Necessity 3.40
    Rewatchability 6.91
    Total Score 181
  • No11
    2017
    No 11
    Spider-Man: Homecoming 2017
    Rotten Tomatoes 92%
    Box Office $333M
    Adjusted Box Office $333M
    Remake Necessity 9.30
    Rewatchability 7.45
    Total Score 182
  • No10
    2014
    No 10
    Guardians of the Galaxy 2014
    Rotten Tomatoes 91%
    Box Office $333M
    Adjusted Box Office $348M
    Remake Necessity 9.56
    Rewatchability 7.55
    Total Score 182
  • No9
    2017
    No 9
    Thor: Ragnarok 2017
    Rotten Tomatoes 93%
    Box Office $131M
    Adjusted Box Office $131M
    Remake Necessity 4.88
    Rewatchability 7.50
    Total Score 182
  • No8
    2016
    No 8
    Captain America: Civil War 2016
    Rotten Tomatoes 90%
    Box Office $408M
    Adjusted Box Office $408M
    Remake Necessity 7.78
    Rewatchability 7.55
    Total Score 185
  • No7
    2008
    No 7
    Iron Man 2008
    Rotten Tomatoes 94%
    Box Office $318M
    Adjusted Box Office $364M
    Remake Necessity 8.56
    Rewatchability 7.82
    Total Score 187
  • A Ranking of Superhero Villains
    As voted on by The Ringer’s group of superhero experts.
    2-175 All other villains
    ONE Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight
  • No6
    2004
    No 6
    Spider-Man 2 2004
    Rotten Tomatoes 94%
    Box Office $373M
    Adjusted Box Office $483M
    Remake Necessity 4.50
    Rewatchability 5.91
    Total Score 189
  • No5
    2017
    No 5
    Wonder Woman 2017
    Rotten Tomatoes 92%
    Box Office $412M
    Adjusted Box Office $412M
    Remake Necessity 8.60
    Rewatchability 8.00
    Total Score 190
  • No4
    2002
    No 4
    Spider-Man 2002
    Rotten Tomatoes 89%
    Box Office $403M
    Adjusted Box Office $550M
    Remake Necessity 8.91
    Rewatchability 7.27
    Total Score 193
  • No3
    1978
    No 3
    Superman 1978
    Rotten Tomatoes 93%
    Box Office $134M
    Adjusted Box Office $502M
    Remake Necessity 8.80
    Rewatchability 5.67
    Total Score 194
  • No2
    2012
    No 2
    The Avengers 2012
    Rotten Tomatoes 92%
    Box Office $623M
    Adjusted Box Office $671M
    Remake Necessity 8.30
    Rewatchability 7.36
    Total Score 198
  • No1
    2008
    No 1
    The Dark Knight 2008
    Rotten Tomatoes 94%
    Box Office $535M
    Adjusted Box Office $612M
    Remake Necessity 9.73
    Rewatchability 9.27
    Total Score 202

Honorable Mentions

  • No 91
    Max Steel
    2016
  • No 90
    Captain America
    1990
  • No 89
    Steel
    1997
  • No 88
    Jonah Hex
    2010
  • No 87
    Supergirl
    1984
  • No 86
    Elektra
    2005
  • No 85
    The Spirit
    2008
  • No 84
    Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
    1987
  • No 83
    Catwoman
    2004
  • No 82
    Fantastic Four
    2015
  • No 81
    Barb Wire
    1996
  • No 80
    Punisher: War Zone
    2008
  • No 79
    Howard the Duck
    1986
  • No 78
    Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
    2012
  • No 77
    Judge Dredd
    1995
  • No 76
    Kick-Ass 2
    2013
  • No 75
    The Punisher
    2004
  • No 74
    The Phantom
    1996
  • No 73
    Spawn
    1997
  • No 72
    Blade: Trinity
    2004
  • No 71
    The Shadow
    1994
  • No 70
    Green Lantern
    2011
  • No 69
    Batman & Robin
    1997
  • No 68
    Superman III
    1993
  • No 67
    Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie
    1995
  • No 66
    Ghost Rider
    2007
  • No 65
    Fantastic Four
    2005
  • No 64
    The Green Hornet
    2011
  • No 63
    Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
    2007
  • No 62
    Power Rangers
    2017
  • No 61
    Daredevil
    2003
  • No 60
    Dredd
    2012
  • No 59
    X-Men Origins: Wolverine
    2009
  • No 58
    Batman: The Movie
    1966
  • No 57
    The Rocketeer
    1991
  • No 56
    X-Men: Apocalypse
    2016
  • No 55
    Blade
    1998
  • No 54
    Sky High
    2005
  • No 53
    Hancock
    2008
  • No 52
    Blade II
    2002
  • No 51
    The Amazing Spider-Man 2
    2014