X-Men Series Ranked
"The X-Men series has a special place in the hearts of a lot of comic book fans. The characters have played an influence on so many lives but they deal with relatable issues like racisim, bullies, insecurities and being different. A lot of people growing up have dealt with those problems and the X-Men series inspires us to be better selves of ourselves and to be the bigger person. In the past 2 decades, the X-Men film series continues to go strong and keeps pushing out sequels and people still are going to see it because the themes of the X-Men and it’s characters will forever be timeless."
10. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
X-Men Origins is the example of a studio made superhero movie and it’s quite awful. Doing an origin anthology series wasn’t a bad idea, it worked in the comics and it would be cool if it was intended to be like what Disney is doing with Star Wars but X-Men Origins is nothing but a cash cow. Having a movie on Wolverine’s origin was unnecessary but it’s a cool story so a movie of it couldn’t be too bad right? Nope, the entire plot of the movie sucks, it gets real boring at parts, it’s awfully casted (with the exception of Liev Schieber), poorly directed, poorly edited and it’s really tame for a dark story. Wolverine is in full superhero mode from beginning to end which destroys the entire point of the character & movie. Wolverine is a flawed antihero and didn’t become much of a superhero until he met Xavier. The entire personality of the character is wrong, even his hair is wrong, it’s too neat. It’s like the creators of this movie never read a comic book. Worst yet, David Benioff, the show runner of Game of Thrones wrote the original script and they got one of Hollywood’s worst screen writers, Skip Woods to rewrite the script. I seriously can’t fathom the stupidity in that idea. Of course there was no Game of Thrones back then, but Benioff was a great writer and it’s aggravating to look back at it today with the success of Game of Thrones. Then there’s the shoehorned X-Men cameos that make no sense. Oh look we have Emma Frost & Cyclops & Xavier, we’re doing this for the fans! **** off. Don’t even get me started on the Deadpool shitting. I practically rolled my eyes when Sabertooth & Wolverine teamed up together. The entire movie is a disgrace with no redeeming qualities. Hugh Jackman who is perfect as Wolverine is wasted and you can tell he’s trying to make this piece of crap movie work. Liev Schrieber as Sabertooth was the one good idea the movie had but again his talent is wasted too. Fortunately there is a chance that he might be reintroduced to the X-Men universe, so at least that’s cool. The score is the only thing done well in the movie. X-Men Origins is such an awful movie, that it’s been ignored in continuity and never acknowledged again. I hope as fans we can do the same.
9. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
X-Men 3 is one of those films that deserves every amount of hate it gets. The entire movie is an insult to audiences, especially X-Men fans. It’s good to know that subsequent films ignored 80% of the movie and kept only the good parts like Beast & Wolverine’s arc. This was a collaborative failure of all parties involved. If you look up the behind the scenes stories, you’ll want to shake your head in disgust. Producers like that shouldn’t be allowed to work in Hollywood ever again with their stupid ideas. There’s literally no heart put into making this movie. It’s pure cash cow. They knew they were going to make money regardless so they tried to cheap out as much as possible. Even worse, the problems of this movie have tainted the entire trilogy. People only remember the bad of Last Stand and credit it to the other movies and people blame Singer. Singer had a plan for X-Men 3, he was developing characters to fit closer to their personalities and Cyclops was going to be the lead in this movie but the producers threw it all out because of their stupid adamancy to have the movie ready by Memorial Day weekend. Greed is an awful thing. What really sucks is that the movie was supposed to be about the Phoenix plot line (a story a lot of fans love) and the conclusion to the original cast’s series. Yet the movie kills off 2 important characters in the beginning. It recycles the Magneto bad guy plot line and Phoenix comes off as an afterthought. Even the X-Men squad is a bummer. Colossus was only added as fan service as well as Kitty. Colossus doesn’t even get any lines, let alone a fight scene with Juggernaut. It feels like Wolverine and friends. A majority of the characters in the movie are wasted and are one note cheap versions of them. With all the problems going on, you have awful plot pacing too. You always the slow pacing critique but X-Men 3 suffers from quick pacing. It’s almost an hour an half long. A conclusion to a trilogy is getting an animated movie/comedy’s run time? Wow Fox really didn’t give a shit what the end product was. The movie moves way too fast and is over before you know it. It seems like they were trying to get this over with as fast as possible. Nothing is developed, the action is a bore, and the plot is crap. The only reason I give this a couple of points over X-Men origins is that at least some of the supporting characters were interesting. My favorite X-Man Archangel is squandered but at least we got an awesome Beast in Kelsey Grammar. The acting was one of the higher points, even though the film makers clearly didn’t give a shit. The actors all tried their best with crap material. The only weak point in the cast was Halle Berry. She was in a stage of ego mania and it shows in her performance. Thankfully the sequels ignored a majority of the movie and only keep the good parts in continuity. I know a few people had continuity issues when watching Days of Future Past but it’s best if you ignore Last Stand. I like to think that an alternate version of the Phoenix story went down, one we didn’t see on screen where Wolverine had to kill Jean at the end (because they keep pushing that part in the sequels).
8. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
This is probably the most polarizing film in the series but I don’t consider it to be the awful movie critics were making it out to be. It’s certainly a lot better than Last Stand and Origins and I found myself enjoying the movie. That doesn’t excuse it for its problems. It tries to do too much, it overstuffs itself in storylines, tries to add new characters and that messes with the tone way too much. The titular villain is even a bore as he does nothing of importance the whole movie. It can be cheesy & slow paced at times but it captures the spirit of the 80s/90s comics heavily and for anyone who grew up a superhero fan of those eras should be able to appreciate it. It’s got some cool moments and the cast is still terrific. Also it tries to right the wrongs of some character histories and make them more in tune with the source material. When it’s done, you can’t help but feel underwhelmed. Though at same time, you also can’t help feel excited to see where the franchise goes. And even though it’s kind of mediocre, I think the Disney/Marvel movies have had worse movies and gotten a pass for it. It does wrap up the stories of the prequel trilogy nicely and as for a trilogy conclusion, it’s a lot better than what most franchises have given their fans.
7. The Wolverine (2013)
I don’t think anyone was clamoring for a Wolverine sequel after the tragedy known as Origins but The Wolverine is more of a reboot than a sequel. It seems to ignore everything about Origins by showing a different type of Wolverine in WWII. Continuity wise the scene doesn’t make sense with Origins but it’s better that way. If The Wolverine had less flaws, I’d rank it even higher but unfortunately there’s some messy points made by bad decisions. Hugh Jackman’s performance is on point and it might be his best performance as Wolverine. The entire story with Wolverine is the highlight of the movie. I always say that a superhero movie succeeds when you put the characters in relatable situations and Wolverine’s entire story is about him struggling with being a hero. Him having to kill Jean was too much and he’s in a downward spiral. It’s a very stripped down take on Wolverine and captures the inner struggle that makes the character so fascinating. That storyline rules most of the movie and the score & action are all terrific. Everything goes well till the last half hour. The second plot with Yashida & Shingen is poorly handled and riddled with plot holes. It’s even frustrating that Fox didn’t learn from their mistakes from X-Men Origins. So many people were pissed with that version of Deadpool and you give audiences a robot version of fan favorite Silver Samurai? It’s ridiculously insulting. Now when I saw the theatrical cut, the last half an hour was enough for me to be turned off by the movie but I gave the extended cut a shot and surprisingly it cleans up the movie. The pacing is better, Shingen is more developed as a villain, there are some hints to Yashida’s motivations and instead of the last 30 minutes being crap, it’s only reduced to 15 minutes. Even Mariko gets a bit more development. So it’s the extended cut that works but the second plot still has its plotholes and stops The Wolverine from being a great movie. The reason I put The Wolverine above Deadpool is even with its flaws, it’s got an interesting take on a character I find more interesting and the action is better in Wolverine. At the end of the day, even with it’s flaws, The Wolverine Extended Cut is still a great character piece that’s well directed for most part and something Wolverine & X-Men fans can enjoy.
Logan is a problematic film. It's an entertaining film and a different type of X-Men film and it's a great adaptation of Old Man Logan but as a conclusion to the series, it's pretty bad. The film lacks in surprises, goes for lackluster ends for the characters, it has the worst bad guys of any X-Men film and the action isn't that great. It's a very good character drama/road film and it's bolstered by magnificent performances. But it repeats the same story of The Wolverine and feels like more of an amend to make up for that rather than actually pushing Wolverine's story forward. Logan's simplicity is what ends up making it not as great as other X-Men films.
5. Deadpool (2016)
I feel terrible ranking Deadpool this low, because it’s one of the most loyal superhero movies. And just because I have it ranked this low doesn’t mean it’s mediocre or bad. It’s a lot of fun and hilarious. The action is cool and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool is one of those rare on point castings. I have to give props to the film makers in making Deadpool more interesting than he really is. The cancer story is heartbreaking, Wade is portrayed more of a hero and easier to root for, the love story is well done but it has the problems of the Deadpool comic as well. Deadpool doesn’t really have captivating source material. Not to say that he’s a bad character or his stories suck but it appeals to a particular audience. He’s a B character and that’s all Deadpool had to be. A solid B movie which accomplishes its goal. The film does suffer from weird pacing with the flashback back & forths but overall I think Deadpool is a blast. The film makers knew what kind of movie they were making and didn’t try to make it to appeal to a general audience. They did what they wanted and that’s why Deadpool might not be for everyone. He’s a character for a certain audience and anyone who claims to be a fan of superhero films should love this.
4. X-Men: First class (2011)
It only took 2 movies for people to turn against the X-Men series and can you blame them? The X-Men comics has a huge place in a lot of people’s hearts and instead of trying to conclude the X-Men series on a right note, Fox decided to make another prequel. My expectations were very low when I saw this but I was pleasantly surprised. The film does a whole lot of right and tells us a good tale to keep us entertained. Was this story unnecessary? Yeah but it’s directed really well, the story is decent enough and it added more depth to the Magneto & Xavier characters. It helps that James McAvoy & Michael Fassbender are just as good as their counterparts. What made the movie work for me is, that the 2 characters have an interesting & significant dynamic that it was worth its own movie. There’s a lot of beautiful moments between the two especially the rage & serenity scene. The score is fun and the action sequences are great. Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw is an okay villain but he brings a lot of enthusiasm to that character. The only reason X-Men First Class isn’t higher is because its story isn’t as interesting as the other movies, the supporting mutants are boring and the teenage squad (even though we had mutants we probably wouldn’t have ever seen) doesn’t mesh too well with me. Also there’s a couple of continuity issues. The film can also get very cheesy at times and Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique comes off very annoying. Overall the film has its flaws but it reinvigorated interest in the series, it sets up interesting opportunities and is a strong story about the amazing dynamic & friendship Charlies & Xavier have.
3. X-Men (2000)
X-Men is the first flagship cinematic title Marvel made and an important one for superhero films. Even though Blade did pretty well, X-men was a bigger risk. If this movie failed, Marvel wouldn’t have been able to make films of quality for a long time and Spider-man might not have been possible. The X-Men series is a really hard series to adapt and for a low budget blockbuster it’s tough to capture the world but Bryan Singer managed to do it. He still deserves shit for his costume choices but this is the only X-Men film until Apocalypse where everyone feels like a team and everyone gets an equal amount of screen time. Cyclops is notorious for getting shitted on but X-Men 1 is the one film where he has a role and it’s awesome to see the Wolverine/Cyclops love/hate relationship. Everyone is well casted and whoever thought about casting Ian Mckellen & Patrick Stewart as Magneto & Xavier should be given an award of some kind. Bryan Singer also captures the spirit of the comics with the whole racism struggle and there’s a fun plot with Magneto and his villainous ways. As time has progressed, the film does come off with a low budget feel, as superhero movies have only gotten bigger and more expensive but with the resources they had at the time, they did a pretty good job. The effects don’t come off too bad and the characters all get a fair amount of screen time and there’s some fun cameos. Though I found the roster to be too short, I doubt the studio would have put up the money for Beast or Archangel (the most logical character additions for the roster) or more Brotherhood mutants. The other quarrel I had was Magneto’s plot involving Rogue. I found that a bit out of character for him but Magneto has done some unforgivable things in the comics so it’s not that bad of a flaw. Overall, X-Men 1 is the only film in the franchise that feels like a team movie as every character gets focus and it captures the spirit of the comics successfully especially without the resources & budgets superhero movies get today.
2. X2: X-Men United (2003)
X2 is a lot of people’s favorite X-men film and rightfully so. Unfortunately because of Last Stand’s terrible performance, it tarnishes X2. X2 has a lot of build up that was meant for Last Stand and Last Stand squanders all that build up. So flaws like Cyclops having reduced screen time, Wolverine having a lot of screen time, and Rogue & Iceman not becoming their comic book counterparts are more noticeable. But X2 is a perfect second movie and it’s very well made. It’s a great and loyal adaptation of one of my favorite stories “God Loves, Man Kills” and Singer continues the tradition of his terrific casting by having Brian Cox play Stryker. Brian Cox’s Stryker has to be one of the best on screen comic book villains even though I wish they had religious motivation but it might have become too complicated. The film has a lot of cool easter eggs and mutant cameos and it balances it all without taking away from the movie. There’s also some cool action pieces especially the end fight with Lady Deathstrike and Wolverine. What makes X2 a success is its very well directed, acted and written. It’s a satisfying sequel that would make fans happy but alas at the end of the day, it’s only a sequel with build up that’s not capitalized on. Not only that, the movie’s message isn’t as powerful as Days of Future Past but it’s still an awesome film that I recommend people to watch if they haven’t seen it.
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
In today’s society and especially with comic book films, you have to be careful of your opinion on the internet. You say one wrong thing and people will judge you immensely but this is one film I’ll defend till no end. I consider it to be one of the greatest superhero movies out there and it’s absolutely terrific. I liked it so much, that it made my top 10 of 2014. There’s a couple reasons why I think DOFP is wonderful. It’s the most emotional and darkest of the X-Men films. Instead of being a jam packed action movie (though the action is great), it’s a very character centric piece. It’s also the first superhero movie to utilize multiverses/futureverses so that was fun. It has Bryan Singer’s best directing ever and shows how much he has grown since Usual Suspects. This is John Ottman at his best. I never really liked his score for the X-Men films but the entire score of DOFP was something else. The entire cast was terrific and it was finally nice to see Wolverine take a supporting role for once but not too little of a role because Hugh Jackman is one of the best superhero castings ever. DOFP does have its flaws and I know I always say this but no movie is perfect. The only thing that bothered me was how underdeveloped Boliver Trask was. The X-Men series is full of awesome villains and they’ve been properly handled. Peter Dinklage continues the trend of good performances and the series continues good casting decisions but his character makes no sense. I wish they played the dwarfism envy card and the sentinels being a result of a Napoleon Complex but it is what it is. DOFP shakes up the status quo a bit too. All the main X-Men movies have been about good vs evil and mutant hate. In DOFP it breaks it down to the characters and their struggles. Superheroes being relatable is why people love comic books. Not for their action or extravagant plots but their characters. Seeing Professor Xavier struggle with a drug addiction is brutal stuff to watch. Especially since he’s helped out so many fan favorite characters reach their best selves. Days of Future Past is a movie about hope & letting go of hate. A common theme that plagues many people. There are so many beautiful moments in the film. I don’t have to list those scenes because you already know what they are. DOFP goes into depth on how hate corrupts and brings us nothing but pain. It’s stories like this that made people like comic books, because they taught us something and taught us to be better people. We live in an age where blockbusters have nothing meaningful to say but DOFP is a significant film with a strong lesson. DOFP also have one of the best quotes in a movie and I’ll end this review with it. “Just because someone stumbles and loses their way, it doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. Sometimes we need a little help.”