A lot has changed in the superhero landscape since Bryan Singer’s X-Men was released in 2000. There’s obviously been plenty of other attempts at superheroes movies, with muliple attempts at cinematic universes along the way. However, with all the changes to the genre, the one constant has been the X-Men. Many X-Men films have been highly influential, leading to some extraordinary final products.
#10: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Hugh Jackman is still fun as Wolverine, but X-Men Origins is irredeemable in almost every way. Fox Studios was behind the eight ball when making this film as it was in the middle of production when the writer’s strike occurred in 2008, but that doesn’t change the fact that this movie ruins a lot of X-Men lore. It destroys the backstory of one of our favorite heroes while containing some dreadful special effects. You know a film is bad when Wolverine boxes against The Blob while will.i.am watches. Not to mention Deadpool is ruined, but at least that allowed the real Deadpool to make fun of it years down the road.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 38%
Metacritic Score: 40
#9: X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Brett Ratner’s attempt at an X-Men film ditches a lot of the nuisances that made the first two X-Men films so emotional and attempted to make a super action movie. While the film does have its moments, it betrays the characters that Bryan Singer expertly crafted. The Last Stand tries to give fans the Dark Phoenix Saga, but strays far from the source material that is in no way flattering. The film also has some laughably bad dialogue, most of which comes from Juggernaut.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 58%
Metacritic Score: 58
#8: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
The latest traditional X-Men movie to date is a tale of two halves. The first half has some great character development from Michael Fassbender’s Magneto as well as the new crop of young mutants led by Cyclops, but the film the ultimately devolves into the tired superhero trope of impending world destruction. Oscar Isaac is a nice presence as the popular villain Apocalypse, but his motivations are muddled to say the least. X-Men: Apocalypse certainly has fun in it, but you can’t help but feel that the movie as a whole is a letdown coming off the heels of Days of Future Past.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 48%
Metacritic Score: 52
#7: The Wolverine (2013)
The second attempt to make a stand-alone Wolverine movie is a vast improvement over X-Men Origins, containing a great setup and foreign setting for Wolverine to explore. There’s a really inventive action sequence where Wolverine fights henchmen on a Bullet train. However, the film loses its tense setup and intrigue with a very silly showdown between Wolverine and a weird version of the Silver Samurai that ultimately ruins the film’s final product.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 69%
Metacritic Score: 60
#6: X-Men (2000)
Although it feels slightly dated today, we have the original X-Men to thank for the current landscape of superhero movies. Many people were skeptical of casting of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and look how that ended up! The film is incredibly emotional, focusing on the reasons behind the actions of each character, thus creating memorable characters that have since lived on for years to come. Although Bryan Singer had to deal with Fox constantly cutting the budget of the film, he still managed to have enough action packed into the movie, headlined by a great battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 81%
Metacritic Score: 64
#5: X2: X-Men United (2003)
Including all the elements that made the original X-Men great while somehow expanding on it, X2: X-Men United manages to be one of the few sequels to improve upon the original. We received a better look into the backstory of Wolverine while increasing the action in every aspect. The opening action sequence with Nightcrawler in the White House is still revered today. Until the later revival of the X-Men, X2 stood as the best X-Men movie for years.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 86%
Metacritic Score: 68
#4: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Days of Future Past melded the best parts of the X-Men franchise together to create an incredibly satisfying movie experience. Time travel is touchy subject in film in that it can make the entire film feel very convoluted, but with solid direction from Bryan Singer, you have complete understanding of the story. Days of Future Past also accomplishes the rare feat of having a story with end of humanity stakes but make the movie feel intimate and full of heart. Although it led to some continuity errors, Days of Future Past really works.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 91%
Metacritic Score: 74
#3: X-Men: First Class (2011)
After The Last Stand failed to capture praise from fans, many thought that the X-Men franchise was dead. But, in 2011, Matthew Vaughn brought us the soft reboot X-Men: First Class which focused on the initial divide in the mutant factions. The film was perfectly cast with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the young versions of Professor X and Magneto. The two actors have perfect chemistry together and create some of the most tear-jerking moments in the franchise.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 86%
Metacritic Score: 65
#2: Deadpool (2016)
Ryan Reynolds worked for more than a decade to make a Deadpool movie. In 2016, he finally got his chance, and what came was a massive success. The first R-rated movie in the X-Men universe, Deadpool is as funny as it is heartfelt. In a movie full of F-bombs and R-rated jokes, you surprisingly feel for the love story between Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin. All the while, Deadpool manages to subvert almost every superhero cliche, giving us one of the most original superhero movies ever.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 84%
Metacritic Score: 65
#1: Logan (2017)
Logan is best described as an Oscar-worthy drama that just so happens to contain superheroes. The last film to include Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is a stark contrast from other X-Men films, acting as a haunting look into accepting one’s mortality. Filled with unbelievable performances from Jackman and Patrick Stewart, Logan uses its R-rating to create a film that stands among the best superhero movies ever made.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Score: 93%
Metacritic Score: 77
*To read MovieBabble’s full review of Logan, please click here.
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