Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Cape Expectations 

With Thor opening this week, we honor the best superhero movies

Every year it's the same thing: a whole new squad of superheroes flies into movie theaters. But this year you can start your own Justice League with all the superheroes showing up onscreen. There's X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, and Captain America: The First Avenger. And those are just the ones coming out this summer. It all kicks off on Friday, when the God of Thunder brings his big, badass hammer to the big screen in Thor. We can't wait. In anticipation we're running down our 10 favorite superhero movies.

1. The Dark Knight

Christopher Nolan's 2008 Batman movie truly transcends the comic-book genre. For starters, there's Heath Ledger's terrific performance as the Joker. Then there's the story and Nolan's taut direction. It doesn't get better than this.

2. Batman Begins

Nolan's first Batman movie is super too. He retells the Dark Knight's origin with plenty of style. But he also shows off some intense action sequences. Plus, you get to know the man behind the mask.

3. The Incredibles

Pixar's 2004 hit about a family of superheroes trying to make a go at it in the real world goes deeper than most live-action movies, with issues of loyalty, responsibility, and individuality.

4. Kick-Ass

What happens when your superheroes aren't so super? According to this bloody, foul-mouthed movie about kids playing dress-up, you get your ass kicked. And you bleed a lot.

5. Iron Man

The sequel is loud and obnoxious. But the first one from 2008 is everything a superhero movie should be: big, explosive, and totally awesome. It's also a lot of fun.

6. Watchmen

Zack Snyder's big-screen version of the greatest comic book of all time is long, unwieldy, and thoroughly mesmerizing as it tells the story of a group of old superheroes investigating the murder of a colleague.

7. Spider-Man 2

Spidey is one of the most popular superheroes out there, and director Sam Raimi captures his longtime appeal in the first two movies in the series (the less said about the third the better).

8. Spider-Man

Next year's reboot is supposed to wipe away everything you know about this 2002 movie. Why? It's faithful, exhilarating, and loads of fun. Plus, the Green Goblin is seriously badass.

9. Superman

By modern standards, this 1978 movie about Krypton's favorite son seems a little corny. But Christopher Reeve is the perfect Man of Steel, and the film wonderfully captures the comic's head-spinning exuberance.

10. Unbreakable

M. Night Shyamalan's often overlooked follow-up to his breakthrough movie The Sixth Sense stars Bruce Willis as a maybe-superhero who survives a terrible train accident. Think there's a twist? Has Shyamalan made crappy movies since?

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Latest in Screens

More by Michael Gallucci

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar