comic book movies

Best Of: Ranking 2016’s Superhero Movies (in my personal opinion, obviously)

ranking 2016 superhero movies best

2016 was a big year for superhero movies. We’ve never been greeted with so many in the one year before, and whilst we didn’t end up seeing all the movies we thought we’d see (ahem Gambit), it was still a pretty good year. So let’s rundown my personal ranking of 2016’s superhero offerings.

#6 X-Men: Apocalypse

superhero movies 2016 ranking

To be honest, coming into 2016, this was always my least anticipated movie. Not necessarily because I thought it was going to be bad, but because it just seemed like the same old thing. With over a decade of X-Men films, doing the same thing over and over again can get tiring. The whole is Magneto really good or bad schtick is getting old.

Whilst I didn’t think the film was bad, it was overall pretty forgettable. It had its cool moments, but there wasn’t anything too standout about it. I don’t really feel the need or want to rewatch that movie. I think Fox should really look into finding an angle to make the franchise fresh again.

Have to say though, Logan looks pretty freaking promising. That trailer was phenomenal, and it felt different. So it’s definitely not the end to the X-Men universe, but when it comes to the team films, I’m looking forward to being surprised and intrigued by what happens again.

#5 Suicide Squad

best superhero movies 2016 suicide squad

I’ve had an interesting experience with Suicide Squad. The first time I watched it I thought it was okay, fun with flaws. The second time I watched it, I actually really enjoyed it. Then the third time I watched it, I got a bit bored.

Overall I liked Suicide Squad, but I can’t overlook its problems either. Really, it could have been a lot better. And the trailers promised us something we didn’t quite get. When you had a marketing campaign as good as Suicide Squad, it’s hard not to feel a bit disappointed.

But like I said in my original discussion of the film, I did enjoy the characters even though the story fell a bit flat for me. I’m definitely interested in seeing more from this world, which we know we’ll be getting at least from the Gotham City Sirens film. There’s so many great Suicide Squad comics out there, and for the Suicide Squad, sometimes the best stories are the simplest ones. It’s more about how these characters respond to the situation that makes it interesting.

#4 Doctor Strange

ranking superhero movies 2016 doctor strang

Doctor Strange always looked and sounded promising. Introducing trippy magic into the MCU, sure why not! Again, with so many superhero films coming out these days, it’s good to be different. And Doctor Strange really didn’t feel like the same old superhero film. Yes it still shared the common conventions most Marvel films share, but its magical premise and visuals separated it from the pack.

Because of this, the film felt like it wasn’t completely connected to the MCU. It felt like its own thing for the most part, which was good. Of course this didn’t last forever, with the post-credit scene showing us a scene between Doctor Strange and Thor. So looks like we’ll see Strange pop up in some way in Thor: Ragnarok.

#3 Deadpool

best superhero movies 2016 deadpool

Deadpool took the top spot when it came to the best marketing campaign. I have to say that the plot of the film was fairly basic. Your typical revenge tale. But the plot of the movie wasn’t what made it, it was the character. Deadpool is the type of character who doesn’t need a complex plot to be interesting. He knows how to make even the most mundane situation interesting.

Like I mentioned earlier, Fox needs to do something to keep their universe fresh. Deadpool is one good response to that concern. Breaking the fourth wall, getting up to foul business and overall not really giving a shit. Deadpool showed that not all comic book characters are similar. They come in all different shapes and weirdness.

#2 Captain America: Civil War

ranking 2016 superhero movies captain america civil war

So this was kinda a big movie. We saw more Marvel characters than an Avengers movie and saw the introduction of a brand new Spider-Man. Was it exactly like the comic version of the story? No, but it was still a great movie in its own right. And what was good was that there were consequences in this war. Captain America and his team aren’t exactly in the best position at the end of the film, so it’ll be interesting to see how the characters progress from there.

My main gripe was that for a war, it didn’t take itself that seriously. It would have been nice to see some more dramatic moments, especially during the actual fight. But there’s no denying that the actual fight itself was pretty damn entertaining. Who knew Ant-Man would totally steal that scene?

#1 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ultimate Edition

ranking superhero movies 2016 batman v superman

I need to preface this by saying I’m ignoring the existence of the Theatrical Cut. Yes how dare I say that, but in my reality, I have no idea what it is. And if you know me then you know how much I love my Supes and Bats, and especially how excited I was to see this film.

It was a rollercoaster ride, but in the end the Ultimate Edition in my eyes, was amazing. It’s a long ass movie, yes. But where else will I see a deconstruction of these icons? It’s not to everyone’s liking, that’s understandable. But I did get out of it a thought-provoking exploration of these well-known characters, along with great visuals to look at as well. That’s why it takes my top spot.

But I’m sure everyone has their own rankings which may be completely different, so let me know what your rankings are! 

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13 replies »

  1. Interesting post and I’d agree all five films deserve to be in the list. For me, the best superhero film was Civil War for how it felt like years of culmination and character building. I could believe the moments were earned and the character motivations were justified. Batman vs Superman was a mixed bag, but it did have moments of greatness. Deadpool would earn my second spot on the list for how hilarious and faithful to the character it was.

    2017 will be a great year for comic films and I look forward to reading your thoughts on them. 🙂

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  2. 1. Civil War
    No question there, it was the most complete and most layered Superhero movie we got this year. It blew the competition out of the water and nobody really appreciate it as much as it deserved because the expectations were so ridiculous high in the first place.
    2. Doctor Strange
    Strangely (ha, see what I did there), the movie gets better with every watch. It has a couple of issues, but once you look past the visuals, the themes it addresses are very interesting. And then you factor the visuals back in and the result is divine.
    3. Deadpool
    I can totally see people putting it ahead of Doctor Strange, but I feel there isn’t a lot left once you look past the humour…it does what it does very, very well, but it is essentially a dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants. Plus, I actually think that a lot of people like the story attached to the movie better than the movie itself.
    4. Batman v Superman, extended cut
    To be clear: This is still a really bad movie. It sets stuff up and then never delivers a pay-off, the main characters are both unlikable (in fact, all characters in the movie are), and that it delivers one of the flattest and most meaningless story I have ever seen with such an air of self-importance doesn’t help. Nor does that it keeps assuming that the audience has read every relevant comic book out there. It’s just a confusing mess. Most of the stuff which sounds smart is just empty nonsense, especially if you are actually familiar with the philosophers which are misquoted and the beautiful paintings which are recreated because Snyder apparently has no idea of his own. If you a derivative, at least understand what you are ripping off!
    5. Suicide Squad
    Isn’t even a movie, it’s a exposition machine put into an overlong youtube music vid. Also sexist and racist.
    6. Batman v. Superman, Theatrical Cut
    Honestly, whose idea was it to cut out all of the establishing shots? This is the worst edited movie I have ever seen other than perhaps Suicide Squad. And it would have been so easy…just throw out the whole Africa sequence and the Knightmares, and you have automatically a vastly superior movie……

    Not Ranked: X-men and Ninja Turtles, because I can’t bring myself to care about either franchise…..

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  3. 1) Deadpool.
    I can’t even begin to say how much I loved this movie. It’s hilarious every time I watch it (and I saw it 4 times in the cinema). It just gets Deadpool perfect. None of the other films come close to getting a character perfect.
    2) BvS
    This could have been so much better, but I think it wasn’t as bad as most people say. I think the mainstream view (that it tanked) was because the mainstream viewers (ie, not comic readers) didn’t get it. We’ve never had an old, world weary Batman on screen before. I thought Batman was spot on in this one. He’s exactly what I’d expect after a couple of decades fighting crime, seeing Robin getting murdered, seeing criminals he had locked up getting free again.
    And the reaction to Superman was pretty much how I’d expect the world to react, now, if Superman really turned up. This isn’t the 40s (or even the 60s) anymore, and BvS felt like it was the most on point with the current zeitgeist.
    3) Suicide Squad.
    Yes, I know, it should be down around 5 or so. But it is also the only movie with Harley in it, and I’ll watch it again and again just to see her until something better with Harley comes along. We all have our guilty pleasures, right?
    4) Doctor Strange
    It was okay. The plot was nothing special, the graphics seemed weak, but I utterly loved the ending.
    5) Civil War
    Was terrible. All the scenes between the fights seemed like they were only included to give the characters something to fight about. The characters were mishandled, their power levels in this movie fluctuated wildly, and from the previous movies fluctuated wildly, too. The whole thing seemed like it was made simply to sell toys to 8 year olds. There was no logic to most of the film. The plot was pathetic.
    But Spiderman and Ant-man were awesome.
    6) X men Apocalypse.
    Just another Xmen movie.

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  4. I cant rank the movies because I saw two and not the rest sad but true. I want to see suicide squad for sure and Xmen. The two I did see I am split on …Liked Civil War for sure. Batman v.Superman didn’t like it best two things of the movie was Wonder Woman and Ben Affleck as Batman (wasn’t Christian Bale but he did better that I expected. Civil War was better of the two and I am a DC man. I agree with one comment that Spiderman and Ant man were awesome. In some respects they saved the movie at the right time. Once I see all the movies or more of them on your list I will have a better opinion.

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  5. Out of the main six films present, here’s how I personally rank them.

    6. BvS: Dawn Of Justice – I only saw the theatrical version, but it made me cringe towards working myself up to watch the 3-hour long Ultimate Edition. Ben was solid as Batman and his performance was deserving of a much-better film. Outside of that, Lex Luthor was too goofy to be taken seriously, the conflict between Batman & Superman wasn’t handled as well as it should have, Wonder Woman hardly had any reason to be here and Doomsday’s creation in the comics makes a ton of sense compared to how it’s created here. Lex+Zod=Doomsday? What was Zack Snyder thinking?

    5. Suicide Squad – Although it’s a bit more competent narratively than the previous entry and both Will Smith & Margot Robbie turn in solid performances as Deadshot & Harley Quinn, the character development for the majority of its cast is badly handled (example: Katana doesn’t show up until we head out to the mission), the action was standard, the soundtrack was obviously copying “Guardians of the Galaxy” without integrating it to its characters, Enchantress was underwhelming as a villain and for its biggest sin: Joker was a letdown. We can blame the reshoots for this, but I couldn’t properly gage Jared Leto’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime, not to mention that he wasn’t allowed to be the main villain.

    4. X-Men: Apocalypse – The 9th entry in this film series does have its moments and Cyclops (my favorite X-Man) did take a decent step towards the un-needed shafting that he was forced to endure in the original trilogy, but there’s hardly much else going for this film. Like Suicide Squad, Apocalypse was a bit underwhelming as a main villain. Had he be allowed to live and escape in the end, En Sabah Nur could have had the potential towards being a much bigger threat. Instead, he’s taken out by Jean Grey’s Phoenix Powers, since she has them for some reason and Bryan Singer regrets leaving prior to X-Men: The Last Stand to work on Superman Returns.

    3. Deadpool – Now we start getting into the really good stuff. While the story is basic and Ajax (a.k.a. Francis) was just OK as a villain, the film has too much working for it to find many flaws. The adult humor is great, the action is a bloody good time, the supporting cast is mainly solid and most importantly: Ryan Reynolds was awesome as everyone’s favorite 4th-Wall breaking Merc. I loved his energy, his passion for the material and his stellar chemistry. From love-interest Vanessa to X-Men’s Colossus & Negasonic Teenage Warhead, he worked really well with them. Overall, a solid way for the X-Men film series to progress following the equally-solid Days of Future Past.

    2. Doctor Strange – What a way to bring a somewhat obscure character to the mainstream light. From the flawless (and sometimes tripy) special effects to his interactions with Wong, the Ancient One and fellow surgeon Christine Palmer, Benedict Cumberbatch (like the MCU itself) continues his hot streak with a solid performance, gripping tale and action unlike anything seen before in the series.

    1. Captain America: Civil War – Phase 3 kicks off with a literal bang. What most impressed me about this was the massive cast that it effortlessly juggles. Everyone (even the newly-introduced Black Panther and even Spider-Man’s MCU debut) gets enough material to work with, seeing the fractured Avengers fighting each other was a great spectacle, Cap’s attempt to clear the Winter Soldier of his recent crime was engaging and it was powerful when he relinquished his shield to Iron Man in the end. Overall, this satisfied me on many levels.

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