With 2016 beginning to wind down, I thought I would go back and rank the top 5 best superhero movies of 2016. This year gave us a few gems, but also some really disappointing films as well. Superhero movies have never been bigger and more popular than they are right now. Whenever there is one that is released, it is going to be talked about constantly whether it’s good or bad. Marvel, especially the MCU, seems to be mostly on point with its content. With the MCU, they started all the way back in 2008 with the first Iron Man, and slowly have built a story and a group of characters that are very likable and extremely popular. With DC Comics, they have tried to follow Marvel and catch up to the mass popularity and success of the MCU movies, but they haven’t really had one critically acclaimed movie yet. We shall see if they can up the ante with their 2017 films, Wonder Woman and Justice League. So without further ado, here are the top 5 superhero movies of 2016 in order of ok to great.
5. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
What started as one of the most anticipated movies of the year in the beginning of 2016 has now become one of the most disappointing and even forgotten movies of 2016. When the movie was released, the critics were first to criticize the heavily anticipated movie while fans still gave the film high ratings almost like they didn’t want to believe that a movie like this could be bad. Whether it was bad or not, I think most people can agree that this just wasn’t the Batman vs. Superman movie they wanted or dreamed of. By far the two most popular superheroes worldwide, this is a film that didn’t need to be rushed, and should have been made a few years later, maybe even after Justice League. My complaints for the film start with Zach Snyder’s dark tone and end with Jesse Eisenberg’s cringeworthy performance of Lex Luthor. However, with all the bad things that came from it, there were still things I really enjoyed like Ben Affleck’s different take on the caped crusader and the introduction of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.
4. X-Men: Apocalypse
Another film that has become rather forgettable and overall just underwhelming, Apocalypse had every right to be as good as the previous two X-Men movies, but suffered from some pretty forgettable new characters and a very generic third act. The movie did however have some high points like Michael Fassbender’s spine-chilling performance (especially the scene in the woods), the 80s hairstyles and costumes, and pretty much everything Quicksilver did. There was a joke the writers made about how the third movie is always the worst in a trilogy, and I think the same thing can be said about this movie in the newest X-Men trilogy.
3. Doctor Strange
As the previous two movies on my list were more disappointing than successful, Doctor Strange was exactly what I thought and wanted it to be. It did not blow me away, or surprise me, but at least it did not have me leave the theater feeling underwhelmed or disappointed. The cast was fantastic, the visuals at times were mind-blowing, and it did a very nice job of introducing the character without spoon-feeding things to the audience. Yes, the villain was kind of disappointing, but since it was just an origin story, I did not let that bother me. After all, my favorite MCU movie, Guardians of the Galaxy had even a worse villain. After everything, I am still excited to see more from this character and how he will interact and fit in with the other characters in the series.
Out of the two stand-alone origin superhero movies, I had to give the slight edge to the surprise hit that rejuvenated Ryan Reynolds career. Reynolds was born to play this character which is why he tried so hard for so many years to get this character right. Boy did they ever do that and some. This movie was a huge risk. It had a small budget and an R rating, but it was so much better for it. The action was fantastic, the script was hysterical, and the fourth wall breaking was genius and taken exactly from the comics. This was a movie that comic-book readers were begging for and they got it. Even non-comicbook readers like myself adored this movie. Without this, there probably wouldn’t be a rated-R Wolverine movie coming out next year, so thank you Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds. The only questions are what’s next and can they even top the first one with a different director?
1. Captain America: Civil War
There are very few movies that I have enjoyed more than Captain America: Civil War in 2016. As I mentioned in my introduction, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building its story and characters for almost a decade now, and most of us have been a long for the ride since the beginning. Captain America: Civil War has almost everything that the previous four movies on my list were able to do or at least tried to do. It has the grittiness of BvS, the snappy one-liners like Deadpool, and fantastic new characters like Black Panther and Spider-Man. The airport sequence alone is easily the best scene in any comic-book movie this year, and maybe the past few years. Also the action in this film is fantastic. Who would have known that the Russo brothers, previously two sitcom directors, would be the new giants in comic-book movies. They just simply know what their doing and their perfect formula of gritty action, comic relief, and likable characters have given us truly some great moments and two fantastic films to date. I’m very excited to see what is next for the pair of directors and the MCU in general.