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The 10 Greatest Comic Book Movies - According To Me

Updated on April 14, 2011
comics and comic book movies
comics and comic book movies

Intro

Movies and TV shows made after comic books have been around for decades but in the last decade or so they’ve taken center stage and the genre has been taken to another level. Not to mention the world of comics has been opened to millions of new fans.

Here’s a list I’ve compiled of the top live-action comic book movies as of April 2011:

1. The Dark Knight – I didn’t want to have both the Batman films of the list so I had to make a choice between the two. Batman Begins managed to bring back a franchise killed by atrocious acts of heresy such as Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. That feat alone should make Batman Begins worthy of this list but, while Batman Begins was an amazing movie, Christopher Nolan managed to one up it with The Dark Knight. These films not only appeal to mass audiences but they reach the ones that matter, the fans, by staying true to the batman comics of the past couple decades.

2. Kick Ass is a slightly different take on the superhero / comic book movie genre. Comic-book-nerd turn superhero, albeit not a very good one he does manage to gain a mass following on youtube. The aspiring teenage hero crosses paths with real superheroes and pisses off a crime syndicate and that’s about the time shit hits the fan.

3. 300, based on the real battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC, showed the resilience of 300 Spartans and their allies from neighboring Greek city-state defending their homeland from an invading Persian army led by king Xerxes. Though the film isn’t 100% historically accurate it was the epitome of bad-ass which more than makes up for it.

4. The Watchmen tells the tale of the second generation of masked crime fighters in an alternate past where America won The Vietnam War and superheroes aren’t only in comic books. The action of the film takes place after the superhero sensation has died down and the remaining heroes have retired, gone commercial, or are deemed vigilantes. The death of a fellow former hero brings them back together for a last hurrah against injustice. A great movie, true to the comics until the final twist which was retwisted for the big screen and, in my opinion, turned out even better than the books. But that’s for you to decide.

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World brings comics, video games, and music together to make a truly groundbreaking movie. The critics didn’t have anything good to say about this one. In fact, not many people did, but there’s one good thing that a lot of people are saying. “This is the future of films” – I hope that’s true because I really enjoyed it.
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6. Sin City is the story of a few blokes and some gorgeous babes in Las Vegas, right? Corrupt cops, pedophiles, a dog-boy..this movie’s got everything the real Vegas has minus gambling.

7. The first Iron Man movie released in 2008 made the rich alcoholic cripple with a robotic suit cool. The film took the story from The Cold War to the war in Afghanistan and did a fine job in doing so. A few minor changes to the original comic story didn’t put a damper on my enjoyment of this film.

8. V for Vendetta is a superb film which takes place is a dystopian future Great Britain under rule of a totalitarian government. V is a revolutionary who uses the story of “Guy Fawkes”, one of 13 conspirators in a failed assassination plot, to fight oppression and satisfy a personal vendetta.

V reenacts the original scheme of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators with the assistance of a very bald Natalie Portman.

9. The Mask is a fun film carried by Jim Carey’s classic slapstick comedy. Allegedly the story line strayed from that of the comic book a bit, but who actually read it?

10. The Punisher (2004) wasn’t exactly hailed by audiences or critics and sure John Travolta hasn’t played a good villain since “Face Off” but I think the movie was underrated. A lot of the action was straight from the comics and the comics are good.



Here are a few honorable mentions:


Hellboy – I heard some great things about this movie but I haven’t seen it. I never read the comic either.
Defendor – not based on a comic book but plays out like it was. Another different approach to the masked crime fighter.
Hulk (2003 - A terrible story that strayed horribly from the comics but worth watching for the splendid cinematography alone.

Here are a few shameful mentions:


Batman Forever – no explanation necessary
Batman and Robin– no explanation necessary
The league of Extraordinary Gentlemen – Not a bad comic but even Sean Connery couldn’t save the film from the horrors of the guys who rewrote and directed it.

Outro

2011 has already brought a few comic book movies but nothing great. There's still hope for new and exciting comic book movies that will, I hope, change this line up.

What do you think about this list? Where am I wrong? How long will this list stand?

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