Right now movies based on superheroes are big, very big. Most people would say that the majority of them are really good especially when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, not every movie they make pulls as much attention as their more popular Avengers series and even some of the Avengers titles seemed a little overrated. As far as superhero movies go, the last 5 years have only been the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their popularity. Even though we get at least two movies of this genre a year, not every single one lives up to the hype of the previous.
Going back to the 70s, we were introduced to the very first Superman movie and people loved it. In fact, it still holds solid ratings even today. This just goes to show that there is something about these heroes that we all seem to love. Though, some of the movies throughout the genre's history seem to just not live up to the hyper. Others that suffered for one reason or another actually being very good films. Some older films are being viewed again today and many viewers seem to like them much more than when they came out. While some newer ones are being reviewed without the hype and being found a little dull.
25 Overrated: Batman Begins
With Christopher Nolan's dark and realistic twist on Batman comes a pretty bad origin story for the character. Making Batman a ninja makes a story that is mostly realistic, into a very strange and confusing start to his career. He just decides he wants to do good in the world, so he backpacks around India and Asia just to run into a group of assassins? Why would a budding philanthropist want to be an assassin? Also, the fact that he is taught to use fear as his strength and happens to fight Scarecrow with his fear-inducing gas seems a little too convenient. The comics have him explore these studies, but not before he tries out being Batman first.
He was afraid of bats, so he wants to use the bat look as a fear tactic?
Once he gets home, it shows the first signs of a decent movie. However, by then a lot of us were already bored. Christian Bale makes a solid Bruce Wayne, acting the part of billionaire womanizer during the day, when he's exhausted from the night spent as the alter ego. But as Batman, that voice he puts on when under the mask just gets silly. He spits out his lines in such a way that make him seem out of breath all the time. This gets better with the following two movies, but we still joke about its ridiculous nature today. With all this, it is hard to see why it didn't get lower reviews when it came out.
24 Overrated: The Dark Knight Rises
As good as a story where a hero needs to hit rock bottom to rise up is, the final Batman movie in Nolan's trilogy just felt boring. Sure, the interactions between Batman and Bane are good, as well as Bruce's ability to overcome his obstacles. The biggest problem is that the movie spends a lot of time setting up a less than interesting story that we could see coming from the beginning. It's almost like the movie wants us to be shocked at the fact that Batman is actually just a man, when we knew that was where the story was headed. Plus Bane's plan never made any sense, take the city hostage, teach them a lesson then just blow the whole place up? Why not just blow the city up, then broadcast the lesson afterward?
To be fair, the casting of the new characters was great and the one thing you couldn't see coming was who Bruce's new flame really was. You can get her need to get revenge on Batman, but that method makes little sense. Not to mention that there is really no reason to retire from being Batman so soon. You know as soon as the criminal underworld knows he is gone, they will begin to eat the city from the inside again. Yes, tragedy brings people together, but it is also taken advantage of. This movie did not deserve the high praise that it got and the only redeeming factor was Tom Hardy's performance as Bane.
23 Overrated: X-Men: Days of Future Past
This movie did some strange things to the continuity of the X-Men series as a whole, which does not make a whole lot of sense to anyone. Time travel plots need the viewer to suspend their disbelief for the way the changes in the past affect the future. To the movie's credit, it does a decent job creating suspense, while we see the enclosing doom in the past as Mystique gets closer to her goal.
While the movie is entertaining, the ending seems a little anti-climatic.
The big thing that does not make any sense is how the sentinels took so long to come into being in the "future" portions of the movie. Before they even had a chance to get the things they needed from Mystique, the first generation of sentinels seemed to do just fine. So why did it take 30 plus years to begin to wipe out the mutants, when they could have been revealed in 1973? They seemed to be more or less ready to go at that point. So if they felt that the threat was enough to fund the program, why delay? The movie was highly praised by critics, but really ends up being a confusing mess by the end.
22 Underrated: Suicide Squad
This film seems to be one of the most hated films in its genre. It suffered from sudden changes to the script and left moments in the movie that made that obvious. Underneath the main plot, there was really something fantastic waiting to happen that never saw the light of day. Upon watching, you knew that at some point the relationship between the Joker and Harley Quin was going to take center stage, but that twist never came. But is having a controversial pick for the actor portraying the Joker and some issues with the plot involving more of him really enough to say the movie was not good?
Suicide Squad is far from a classic, but it's not as bad as some have said.
All in all, the movie gave us exactly what we were promised, a story about supervillains who could barely get along trying to cooperate enough to a job done. Beyond Jared Leto, as the Joker, the rest of the cast seemed to be a good fit and the acting was solid. Even Leto's performance was surprisingly good, though the writing for his character came as a shock to many when weighed against Heath Ledger's performance a few years before. Really it was branded as a failure before people got a chance to see it and is still regarded as terrible by many that never bothered to give it a chance. It was a fun adventure that had plenty of issues, but still managed to entertain.
21 Overrated: Iron Man
In the original movie, it is hard to really like the character of Tony Stark right from the beginning. He does actually turn his life around after some life-threatening events, but he still occasionally comes off as snotty and stuck up. Of course, this makes sense as he is the son of world-renowned weapons manufacturer,Howard Stark, who was very much like Tony is now. So after almost a chuck of his life in Afghanistan, Tony pieces together his first Iron Man suit MacGyver style and fights his way out of the terrorist camp. When he returns home, he seems to only have an even more inflated ego as he becomes obsessed with perfecting the design of the suit. By the end of the movie, we get to see that he has made some progress in changing his life but in the end, he is pretty much the same.
You would think that after blowing off his friends and being only slightly thankful towards those that helped him, the most he would do more than just shut down his weapons production. Sure, he realized that the weapons he has made are falling into hands on both sides of world conflicts, but building the ultimate war machine right after seems a little rash. Now, he gets to decide who is right and who is wrong, bringing that cocky attitude with him as he gets to be the hero in the spotlight.
20 Overrated: Spider-Man: Homecoming
There are no problems with crossovers, but some of the MCU movies are getting a little silly trying to tie everything together. By making Spider-Man more or less a pawn of Iron Man leaves him little room to gain our respect as a hero. Sure, when gets his talking to from Tony about responsibility and being more careful we finally get to connect with Peter. But, this comes a little too late in the film to really understand the let down he is feeling.
Most scenes with Spider-Man mostly end with him either failing or just barely being heroic at all.
The story would have made more sense if it allowed Spider-Man a little more time to make his own life decisions, instead of being so heavily influenced by Tony. We see him chasing a dream that he ends up turning down in the end, so beyond uncovering the plot of the bad guy this story really did not tell us much. Well beyond reaffirming how much of a jerk Tony Stark is. In terms of the entire MCU as one big story, this tale does little to forward anything. It is such a let down compared to some of the smart decisions the series has made.
19 Underrated: Ant-Man
For a lot of us, we did not know enough about the character to really become excited at the announcement of this movie. However, what was created was one of the better Marvel movies. As the movie begins, we understand that Scott Lang is a flawed character who is struggling to balance his previous life as a criminal and his new life trying to find legitimate work. He soon falls back into the criminal lifestyle and ends up stealing the Ant-Man suit. Thinking they have something more or less worthless on their hands, he tries to figure out why the suit was guarded. What follows is perhaps the funniest string of events that lead him to be blackmailed into becoming a superhero.
Apart from the perspective of seeing the superhero shrink and grow, which was a lot of fun, the movie really showed us something new and unique about a character that many didn't know about. For once, it truly felt that we got to see a new superhero have to learn how to use his suit's powers from square one. We get to see him make mistakes and benefit from accidents as he struggles to get used to this new life he has fallen into. If you haven't seen it yet due to no prior knowledge of the character, then we highly suggest watching Ant-Man.
18 Overrated: Blade II
The original Blade really gave us something unique that we were not expecting from a Marvel comic adaptation. Keep in mind, this was a few years before Marvel became the cinema powerhouse it is today. When Blade II was announced, we think most of us wanted to see what was next for the daywalker. Sadly, the sequel just didn't quite live up to the first.
Blade II starts off promising but quickly tapers off, relying on pure action to support it.
To be honest, this is far from the worst movie on this list, however, a lot of us were disappointed by this film, since the first had set up such a wonderful world. There had been few movies before Blade that showed us a new perspective on vampires and what they would be like in a modern setting. For Blade II, we never really got to see the overall plot move forward and most of the secondary characters that were included felt like a push to have more stars in the movie. Of course, it would not be a Blade movie without the gore-filled action, however, it seemed a little too prevalent in this one. Even still, there are many that feel this was better than the first Blade. No matter where you stand, we can all agree that Blade: Trinity was the worst of the bunch.
17 Underrated: Watchmen
So if you do not know already, Watchmen was originally intended to be a darker spin on DC's superhero universe. DC, however, told the team that they did not want their heroes portrayed in such a way, so they created a whole new set of heroes for this incredibly popular story. This story looks at what superheroes do in a world where they are no longer welcome what do heroes do? Well as most of them age, they just want to have a normal life even if they do miss the good old days. The story of the Watchmen is no more strange then any normal comic story arc, yet some critics felt the overall concept was too strange.
For fans of the movie, the very human side of the characters got to us. They are normal people that do extraordinary things with fear, anger, and pride sometimes getting in the way of being true heroes. They are flawed and even though Watchmen was not the first comic to explore this idea, it was the first movie to do it this well. The character of Dr. Manhattan is the only exception, since he loses his humanity as the movie progresses. The biggest complaint we heard of the movie when it came out was Dr. Manhattan being unclothed for a large chunk of the movie. It's not a great excuse and ignores all of the great work done by Zack Snyder on this one.
16 Overrated: Captain America: Civil War
The first thing we had a problem with in this movie was its deviation from something crucial in the comics, The Superhero Registration Act. In the movie, it was called the Sokovia Accords and downplayed the risks of the government having the personal information of the heroes on hand. It made it seem more that the one side did not want to be held responsible for their actions, while the other feels the guilt for mistakes made. The comics made it clear that this agreement would seriously expose the life of the heroes and that is why they did not wish to sign. While a lot of the movie is similar enough to justify, the movie was not brave enough to add one of the most important aspects of the original story. Captain America is taken out in the comic. This is very important as it opens the eyes of most of the heroes and causes them to realize which choice is really important to them as a whole.
Civil War ends on a promise that there will be a conclusion to the story, but it is hard to say where that will go without seeing some of the prominent moments from the comic. There are rumors that they have left that Captain America's fate for Avengers 4, but if they would have ended the first movie with the mood of his demise, the movie as a whole would have had a much larger impact. Unfortunately, a decent movie did not take the step to become amazing, but got reviews that might suggest that it was.
15 Underrated: Hellboy
Though somewhat overshadowed by the second movie, Hellboy in many people's opinions was the better movie in nearly every way. As another comic book adaptation that fewer people knew about, it rocked our worlds. Ron Perlman as the big red demon was the perfect choice. What's not to like about a bulked out demon, who acts like a know-it-all teenager with a massive revolver? With a great combination of story and action, there is no reason that the sequel got better reviews. Even the makeup design for Hellboy himself was excellent compared to much of the CGI more commonly used.
Obviously, it was not the best movie of that year and the superhero genre had not yet taken off with full force, but we love to see these lesser known heroes at work. As we mentioned with Ant-Man, sometimes the stories we do not already know are the best to bring to the big screen. So let's hope the remake for Hellboy is just as fun and sparks even more interest in his story. It is only a shame that we won't get to have Perlman for the role again, but we have faith David Harbour will do well.
14 Overrated: The Avengers
A lot of people loved The Avengers and it is hard to fault them for that, however, the formula for the movie is really nothing new. A bad guy threatens to take over the planet, so heroes from different walks of life come together to fight him off. It's a story we have seen time and time again, it's basically comic book story 101. The movie's writing was pretty good, beyond a couple of Iron Man lines that were not as funny as they were meant to be. The movie was fun, it really was, but there are those out there that claim the movie is one of the best superhero movies ever made. It was good, but if you think about it, the movie was not legendary.
When any new Marvel title comes out, there are some things that you can expect. Action, some comedy, and a fairly decently written story. With some of the movies that set up the Avengers team and those that came out after, there was sometimes a little more story than entertainment and vice versa. There is no one perfect formula that works for everyone, so to say that any of these are one of the best all time movies is a stretch.
13 Overrated: V For Vendetta
This movie has become iconic for its anarchist ideas and, of course, that now famous mask. The movie itself compares itself to the actions taken by Guy Fawkes in his attempts to blow up the House of Parliament in 1605. In both cases, a difference in ideology is the cause of the action. The goal of the movie was to show modern-day parallels between the harm that could be caused by decisions made by the Patriot Act, while the comic took the stance of warning against big government and blind complacency. For the film, they also decided to make all of the government evil, which made the entire situation seem far too exaggerated. Pretty much every character was changed for the movie to either make them unforgivably evil or to make them more likable.
If the creator of the source material detests your movie, you know it has some problems.
These changes to the story are sure to have put a bad taste in any fans of the comic, since it changes the reasons behind all of V's actions. He was never meant to be glorified as a hero in the way of the movie, instead he was meant to be almost inhuman as he was merciless. It made for an interesting movie, but one that even co-creator Allen Moore detests. He even said this of the changes: "It's been turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country."
12 Underrated: The Punisher
Compared to the newer TV show of the same name, The Punisher movie might feel a tad dated at this point. However, it was interesting to see the contrast between Frank Castle planning his revenge, while living next door to John Pinette and Ben Foster. It was a bit of a surprising departure from the feel of other Punisher adaptations, but the comedy actually worked. It was action-packed, funny, and unique to the name. So it might be a little confusing to see it with such horrible scores more or less across the board. In some of the reviews they mention that the casting of John Travolta was too good for this movie, but, personally, his performance was one of the downsides to the movie. Call it bad writing or bias but by the end, we were glad to see the revenge carried out.
When you think of it, it feels like an early experiment to the comedy sprinkled into the modern Marvel movies. To be fair, this movie may lean a little too hard on the comedic side at some points, but it makes it even funnier to see Frank's neighbors act silly while he is so grim. The portrayal of The Punisher himself was very good, just the world he lived in seemed a little brighter than normal. But these flaws do not justify the show being rated so low. If you have not seen it, give it a try. It won't blow you away, but it's not as bad as people say.
11 Overrated: Doctor Strange
First off, we do not have a bias for or against Benedict Cumberbatch. When it was announced he would be Doctor Strange, the only thought we had was that a good actor would be playing an interesting role. Well, it certainly was interesting. The visuals were truly something to behold and if you did not see the movie in 3D, you really missed out. Sadly, when we are not seeing the twisting and turning of the kaleidoscope that is the astral plane, things start to feel a little dull. Not to mention the whole premise was a little bit confusing. That might have been the point, but nevertheless left some of us wondering what we just watched.
Inception's concept feels simple compared to the mind-bending story of Doctor Strange.
To be fair, there are probably a few of us that had previous knowledge of Doctor Strange, compared to many other Marvel heroes. So perhaps we were not prepared for the origin story of Marvel's mysterious magician. However, we felt like we were introduced to so much at once we found ourselves wondering what everything was again. There is nothing wrong with a movie that needs more than one viewing to understand, but this one just has you accept tons of craziness with little explanation.
10 Underrated: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Just picture it, Victorian-era superheroes. Well if you can not think of many heroes then you are just looking at the situation all wrong. There are plenty of supernatural being and stories to pick from to adapt to be heroes or antiheroes. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen did just that by bringing the likes of Tom Sawyer, The Invisible Man, and Dorian Grey together to defeat evil. Sure, it's a classic good versus evil style story like The Avengers, but the steampunk style setting is rarely seen done decently in cinema. Not to mention, there are few movies that are brave enough to explore the European monster mythos as being in the same world.
To be fair, the acting seemed to be a little dull compared to the prowess of Sean Connery. However, the movie was no less entertaining through the idea and the world it created. It is not the best movie, but it is much better then the ratings would suggest.
9 Overrated: Spider-Man
Let's get one thing straight, Toby Maguire was a great Peter Parker, but not such a great Spider-Man. As opposed to Tom Holland, who is the opposite. It is hard to say what is more important in a Spider-Man movie, but Maguire's lines as Spider-Man carried too much of the meekness of his day to day identity. Looking back, some of the lines said by our favorite web-slinger come out almost forced or awkward. Peter Parker being shy is one thing, but his escape is being Spider-Man, where he can be cocky and brave. The casting otherwise was very good especially with Peter's boss, J. Jonah Jameson, played by J.K. Simmons. Sadly a good supporting cast is not enough to make up for the main character being inconsistent.
It's important to show a superhero getting acquainted with his superpower and Spider-Man needed more of that.
From the comic's standpoint, it is only a shame that the plot line of the movie seems a little rushed. It feels that we do not get to see any of the hero learning about his powers, beyond webbing some soda cans. If any of us were in his position, we would at least seem clumsy at first. We wouldn't jump straight into swinging at high speed between buildings. For the very first Spider-Man origin story, it feels like we get to see the very beginning, then it jumps ahead to the conflict with the villain.
8 Underrated: Spawn
If you have ever been in a comic book store, you are sure to have seen something Spawn related. That is because the fan base for the comic is hardcore. So when the movie was announced to come out in 1997, the fans were ecstatic. It was not perfect, but there were things that it got very right. The portrayal of the clown, Violator, by John Leguizamo was spot on. He's as creepy, disgusting, and we knew exactly why we hated him. Everything he said and did was repulsive, exactly as he should be.
Just like Leguizamo, the rest of the cast was as close to perfect as we could have asked for. Watching this movie today the only real downside is the very poor CGI. The plot, acting, and atmosphere were all done well, though they should have pushed the dark story even further.
The plot takes the familiar revenge plot and turns it on its head. We have a reluctant anti-hero who really wants to be a good guy, but is struggling to do so. So if you want to see a dark story with some equally dark humor, then give it a watch. Then be excited that we finally get a reboot coming next year.
7 Overrated: Unbreakable
M. Night Shyamalan really knows how to make a strange dream-like movie, but they're not always to everyone's tastes. Though he has created some movies that were utterly hated by almost everyone that watched them, Unbreakable seems to be one of his better films. So it is a good movie, right? Well... as we mentioned the movie almost feels like a dream, things that the main character has forgotten suddenly come to him like the story is being given to him as memories. Much like in a dream where someone mentions something, then you know it to be true as Elijah did all movie long.
A twist doesn't always save a movie.
If you were this movie's protagonist, how would you not realize that you have never been sick? Or injured? Or that you can lift over 300 pounds of weight? If he works out often and 250 seems light, then how do you not know your strength or inability to be harmed? You would think you were at least lucky or had won the genetic lottery. But this movie's biggest insult to your intelligence is at the very end. We will not spoil it, but the ending to this movie is a slap in the face. Shyamalan's famous twist comes in the form of written narrative that calls the entire movie's plot into question. How on earth does this even have positive reviews?
6 Underrated: Hulk
The big problem people had with this movie is they did not understand that this was not going to be just another superhero movie. After a lot of the up and downs of the pre-MCU success, people just seemed to not want another superhero on the big screen. The movie itself was a feast for the eyes and had interesting direction throughout. One thing that this rendition gets right, that most do not, is that Bruce came from a bad home. Though it is not done perfectly to the comic's story, it is a point that needs to be addressed so we understand where the beast inside really comes from. This origin story takes a large deviation from the original material, but in an interesting way.
Seeing Bruce Banner's home life gives audiences a better understanding as to why he transforms into a green rage monster.
Looking back at this film you have to remember that it is not meant to be connected to the later Avengers series and it rewrote Bruce's story entirely. It was darker and had next to no comedy, which fits the heartbreaking story of the Hulk better than most adaptations. Remember he is meant to be a tragic character, or else we are just left with a character that would have no reason to be angry at all. For some to say that the CGI or the lack of humor found in the old cartoons ruined the movie is just ridiculous.
5 Overrated: The Crow
Not to downplay the horrible tragedy that befell Brandon Lee during the final stages of filming this movie, but it certainly impacted the public view of the film. Overnight, the interest in the movie skyrocketed because of the fatal mistake. Honestly, the movie itself was interesting, but it was strange to say the least. It's sad, but it's possible that without Lee passing, the movie may not have had the great run that it has had. Fans of the movie refer to that fact, if you were too ask them about the movie.
The hype for the movie itself seemed to revolve around tragedy, making a mediocre movie into something of a legend. Perhaps it is the movie's dark themes combining with this fact that make it a whole new level of macabre, but that doesn't make it the best movie ever made. If you have never seen the movie, it is worth a watch, but be prepared to be disappointed if you think it is something more then it is. However, on its own, it is everything you might want from a gothic supernatural thriller.
4 Underrated: Batman: Year One
Batman: Year One is the best example in existence of how Batman should be handled as a character and the city he fights to save. The movie itself shows the starting points for both Batman and his most trusted ally in the police, Commissioner James Gordan. It goes on to show how they are both mentally ready for their new jobs, but sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions. They are both shown to be flawed characters that make near fatal mistakes in their lines of work. Though, this animated version has never been remade in live action. It still stands as one of the most powerful Batman stories ever made.
One thing to admire about the movie is that it almost exactly translated the comic, of the same name, to the screen. It had little need to tweak the formula of its story, instead wishing to be as true to the print as possible and it ends up being a fantastic story. Not to mention the voice work and animation are amazing. It feels like the animated series remade for a mature audience. To say it was good is an understatement and deserves to be discovered by any Batman fan.
3 Overrated: Superman (1978)
In 1978, the first superhero movie Superman was released. It was the very first example of what a modern superhero movie could be and at the time was a huge hit. Looking back, a lot of the movie has become the cliches that we hate to see today. The biggest issue that the movie has is in its portrayal of Superman himself. He is really never in much threat of destruction by anything and leaves us with little to no tension about the bad guys' plans. This and the pacing of the movie is horrible. When you sit down to watch a movie that is nearly two and a half hours long, you need something to fill the time. With Superman, the gaps between him being heroic leave us bored to tears. Most people will just say that it is a classic, but for what it gives us there is almost nothing to justify its legendary status.
As the first of its kind, it is easy to cut it a lot of slack, but the cheesiness of just about every situation makes even that novelty become dull. It has not aged well and never was anything but the first of its kind, which does not make it the best superhero movie by a long shot
2 Underrated: The Rocketeer
The Rocketeer is a fantastic and, sadly, under appreciated movie. It takes a strange situation and keeps building on the madness, until a hero is born. The plot that involves 1930's gangsters, a spy, and the FBI never seems to have a dull moment. Through the whole movie, there is something fun and exciting happening. The Rocketeer does a great job keeping true to its comic book origins by depicting the situation barely being in control of the protagonists. So what caused it to have such poor reviews? Well the acting is a little lacking and it has a crazy plot, but despite all its flaws, it is just so entertaining to watch!
The movie calls back to the olden days of Dick Tracy and other such crazy stories set in the pre-World War II era. It over-exaggerates and has moments that are hard to believe, but comes out feeling very genuine. As with many of our favorites on this list, the story came out of nowhere with few of us having any knowledge of the comic beforehand. The movie was not as bad as people made it out to be and since it came out just two weeks before Terminator 2, it was more or less lost to the void. Since you more than likely have not seen this 1991 Disney superhero epic, we invite you to give it a chance and decide for yourself.
1 Overrated: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
As you may know from the previous movies, Captain America was a World War II soldier that participated in a super soldier program and became a superhero. Through some incredible luck both him and his good friend, Bucky end up looking as young as ever in the modern day. Then again, they were both cryogenically frozen which stopped the aging process. Only the world of comic books could give us such a contrived reason that both of them just so happened to still exist. However, the beginning half of this movie was much better than the latter half and it was mostly exposition. Of course, with most action movies the fighting and effects were a sight to behold, but as the movie goes on, you begin to wonder why the film feels like a spy drama instead of a superhero movie.
It felt like filler as they came up with the next title.
If you look at the story as a whole, it does have its place, but sadly the movie itself felt a little lacking after the greatness of the first Avengers. The conspiracy and focus on the espionage really left areas of the plot to feel barren. To be fair, all action and no plot makes for an equally empty movie, but this one seemed to have too much of one and little of the other. It was still somewhat entertaining, but for the ratings it got, it was riding the hype of Marvel's growing successes from other movies.