Spider-Man

(Photo by Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)

All Spider-Man Movies Ranked (Including Venom)

Spider-Man swung into theaters in 2002, cementing Marvel Comics as a viable player in the superhero movie arena, which had been dominated by DC with Superman and Batman. And though 2000’s X-Men felt the need to modernize its team, Spider-Man fully embraced its classical roots, down to the iconic outfit. That’s because director Sam Raimi was a lifelong fan who fully knew how to navigate and celebrate Spidey, from the relatable morality at the core of Peter Parker (played by Tobey Maguire) and the shattering death of his Uncle Ben, to his stormy relationship with Mary Jane and those workplace shenanigans with hard-ass newspaper boss J. Jonah Jameson, and finally Parker’s iconic battle with the Green Goblin, whose son just happens to be Peter’s best friend.

Spider-Man arguably fights the greatest rogues gallery in all of Marveldom, and they certainly got their due on-screen in the Raimi trilogy. Doctor Octopus gets his tentacles all over Spider-Man 2, while Sandman, Venom, and junior Goblin stack the cast in Spider-Man 3. Though a box office hit like the others, Spider-Man 3‘s tepid critical and fan response was enough to kill the momentum on continuing the series.

In 2012, Spider-Man was rebooted with The Amazing Spider-Man, with Andrew Garfield as Parker. The film sought to bring in the pre-Mary Jane flame, Gwen Stacy, and pitted Spider-Man against another classic villain, The Lizard, as director Marc Webb developed a more realistic portrayal of Peter’s world, as opposed to Raimi’s comic-book overtone. The second Amazing Spider-Man fell for the too-many-villains trap (we had Electro, Green Goblin, and Rhino), and the franchise shut down again.

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe in full motion, Marvel Studios was able to negotiate a deal with Sony, which holds the theatrical rights to Spider-Man, to get the character to jump to the MCU. Thus, Tom Holland made his debut in 2016 for the centerpiece battle in Captain America: Civil War, before starring in his own celebrated film, Spider-Man: Homecoming one year later.

It’s been good times for Spidey fans ever since, with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (the animated blockbuster that brings Miles Morales into the fold), Spider-Man: Far From Home, and No Way Home. Even his bad guys have reason to celebrate: Critics may not have loved 2018’s Venom, but audiences sure did. And Tom Hardy clearly does as well, as he returned as Eddie Brock for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Now, we’re ranking all Spider-Man and Venom movies by Tomatometer!

#11

Venom (2018)
30%

#11
Adjusted Score: 52064%
Critics Consensus: Venom's first standalone movie turns out to be like the comics character in all the wrong ways - chaotic, noisy, and in desperate need of a stronger attachment to Spider-Man.
Synopsis: Journalist Eddie Brock is trying to take down Carlton Drake, the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While... [More]
Directed By: Ruben Fleischer

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 64708%
Critics Consensus: While the cast is outstanding and the special effects are top-notch, the latest installment of the Spidey saga suffers from an unfocused narrative and an overabundance of characters.
Synopsis: Confident in his powers as Spider-Man, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) embraces his new role as a hero and spends time... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#9
Adjusted Score: 72418%
Critics Consensus: A sequel aimed squarely at fans of the original's odd couple chemistry, Venom: Let There Be Carnage eagerly embraces the franchise's sillier side.
Synopsis: Eddie Brock is still struggling to coexist with the shape-shifting extraterrestrial Venom. When deranged serial killer Cletus Kasady also becomes... [More]
Directed By: Andy Serkis

#8

Spider-Man 3 (2007)
63%

#8
Adjusted Score: 73592%
Critics Consensus: Though there are more characters and plotlines, and the action sequences still dazzle, Spider-Man 3 nonetheless isn't quite as refined as the first two.
Synopsis: Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) seem to finally be on the right track in their complicated relationship,... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 85803%
Critics Consensus: A well-chosen cast and sure-handed direction allow The Amazing Spider-Man to thrill, despite revisiting many of the same plot points from 2002's Spider-Man.
Synopsis: Abandoned by his parents and raised by an aunt and uncle, teenager Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), AKA Spider-Man, is trying... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#6

Spider-Man (2002)
90%

#6
Adjusted Score: 97294%
Critics Consensus: Not only does Spider-Man provide a good dose of web-swinging fun, it also has a heart, thanks to the combined charms of director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire.
Synopsis: "Spider-Man" centers on student Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who, after being bitten by a genetically-altered spider, gains superhuman strength and... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#5
Adjusted Score: 118745%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Synopsis: Peter Parker's relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury shows up in his hotel room to recruit... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 121042%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Synopsis: Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#3

Spider-Man 2 (2004)
93%

#3
Adjusted Score: 103405%
Critics Consensus: Boasting an entertaining villain and deeper emotional focus, this is a nimble sequel that improves upon the original.
Synopsis: When a failed nuclear fusion experiment results in an explosion that kills his wife, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) is... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 114326%
Critics Consensus: A bigger, bolder Spider-Man sequel, No Way Home expands the franchise's scope and stakes without losing sight of its humor and heart.
Synopsis: For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero's identity is revealed, bringing his Super... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#1
Adjusted Score: 121255%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

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The third Marvel Studios Spider-Man film almost didn’t happen. In the summer of 2019, arguments between the Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures Entertainment about the former’s profit participation in the project seemingly stopped development dead. Soon after the companies stopped negotiations, Tom Holland used his clout to get both organization to resume talks.

At least, that’s one version of the story.

However it actually happened, Disney and Sony agreed to produce another Spider-Man film (and to feature the Holland version of the character in a yet-to-be announced Marvel Studios film). And if the recent trailers any indication, this third Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man is going to be the biggest film of the webhead’s cinematic career.

So let’s take a look at what we know about the film so far and what it might mean for Peter Parker’s (Holland) future in the MCU, the Spider-Verse, or some combination of the two.

[Updated on 8/24/21]


The Returning Cast

Cast of Spider-Man: Far From Home

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Since Holland leveraged his participation in the upcoming adaptation of Sony’s Uncharted video game series to make it happen, he is definitely back as Spider-Man. Joining him, as they have for the previous few films, are Zendaya as MJ, Jacob Batalon as Peter’s best friend Ned, and Marisa Tomei as Peter’s aunt, May Parker. Tony Revolori will also appear as quasi-nemesis Flash Thompson, and J.K. Simmons will continue on as J. Jonah Jameson following his cameo at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. But his appearance was more of a tease than we ever realized about the next Spider-Man and the return of some familiar faces. More on that in a moment.

Behind the camera, director Jon Watts returns to join a very exclusive club of filmmakers who navigated Marvel machinery to make a full trilogy – currently, Ant-Man series director Peyton Reed and Guardians of the Galaxys James Gunn are scheduled to join him in that fraternity by 2023.

On the script side, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers also return for their third outing with Holland’s Spider-Man, as do producers Amy Pascal and, of course, Kevin Feige, who seems to be using the film as an opportunity to introduce a lot of Spider-Man film history into his Marvel Universe.


The Strange and Familiar Faces

Jamie Foxx in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

(Photo by ©Columbia Pictures)

Although the COVID-19 epidemic slightly delayed the film – it moved from an initial July 2021 release to the end of that year – news started emerging throughout 2020 that suggested it may be the biggest Spider-Man film to date.

It all began on October 1, 2020, when word broke that Jamie Foxx would appear in the the film as Electro, the character he played in Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — the film’s whose relative shortcomings led to the studio’s talks with Marvel about placing Peter in the MCU in the first place. Though it was possible Foxx would play a new version of the character more tailored to the Marvel reality, many began to wonder if he was playing the same Electro from that earlier film, giving it a place in the tapestry of the MCU.

A week later, Benedict Cumberbatch joined the cast to reprise his role as Doctor Strange. According to the reports at the time, Strange was presumed to serve the same “mentor” role as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Nick Fury/Telos (Samuel L. Jackson) in Far From Home. From the teaser trailer released in August of 2021, though, it’s clear Strange’s role is more “co-conspirator” than mentor as Peter tries to use magic to erase his public outing. In the trailer released in November, Strange also charges Peter with a new task – although some moments suggest they will also come into conflict.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Matt Kennedy/©2021 CTMG)

Of course, Strange’s choice to help Peter will lead to his next starring role in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which seems poised to serve as an Avengers-style keystone in the Multiverse plot weaving its way around Phase 4. In addition to returning to threads from WandaVision, it seems pretty clear he will become aware of the Loki problem as well.

When asked about the nature of his role, Foxx played coy at first, but then infamously posted – and subsequently deleted – a picture of the three live-action Spider-Man actors (Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Holland) to his Instagram. It inspired hope that perhaps Holland’s Spidey would meet his colleagues from other realities, echoing Sony’s Oscar-winning animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

Then, in December of 2020, a flood of info seemed to confirm this notion. Alfred Molina was spotted on set, and the trades subsequently reported he was reprising his Spider-Man 2 role of Doctor Octopus. Just a few short hours later, a report from Collider indicated Kirsten Dunst was in talks to reprise Mary Jane Watson from the first Spider-Man film series, with The Amazing Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield also planning to join the film. Original Spidey Tobey Maguire and Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy in the ASM series) were also said to be circling the project; Stone’s pregnancy may prevent her from appearing, while Maguire may only need the right deal to make this meeting of the cinematic Spider-Men a dream come true. Aside from Molina’s casting, none of the others has been confirmed, but the November trailer made it clear that both screen Green Goblins, the Lizard, and the Sandman will all appear as more deadly foes Spider-Man must face. It is still unclear, though, if they will be played by the original actors or just appear as costumes and CGI.

Also, eagle-eyed fans on the Internet have already noticed the Lizard reacting to a seemingly invisible opponent at one point, indicating some world-famous Marvel image manipulation may be obscuring certain characters in the trailer.

At this time, it is unknown if the previous Aunt May actors, Rosemary Harris and Sally Field, have also been approached, but other rumors indicate Charlie Cox will play Matt Murdoch from Netflix’s Daredevil series — apparently to represent Spider-Man in court.

While all of these actors represent a huge cast, particularly for a Spider-Man film, it also suggests No Way Home is looking more across the gulf to Sony than a story about Peter’s place in the MCU. Which may not be a bad plan, all things considered.


Into the Spider-Verse?

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

(Photo by ©Columbia Pictures)

The wildly successful Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse already established all the fictional architecture required to either transfer Holland’s Spider-Man into Sony’s film universe – a narrative setting it tried to dub the “Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters” in 2019, but shortened to “Sony’s Spider-Man Universe” last August – or bring the Spider-Verse into the MCU. The various realities are all true, after all; even the reality where Spider-Man 2099 is played by Oscar Isaac. Considering the way other realities appear to be converging toward the end of the November trailer, we could imagine the film establishing a long-term explanation for the two movie universes and Peter’s place within them.

Sony, as it happens, was ready to walk away from the MCU in 2019 thanks to the success of its incipient Spider-Verse. The animated film took home a Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards and created a lasting legacy. The studio’s 2018 film Venom, meanwhile, proved they could launch a successful Spider-Man movie without Spider-Man. That confidence led to some of the disagreements when Disney wanted a larger cut of No Way Home, and it emboldened Sony to finally move ahead with Spider-related projects they wanted to produce since The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Venom

(Photo by Sony Pictures Entertainment)

That film was supposed to lead directly in to a Sinister Six movie in which the most dastardly foes of Spider-Man teamed up against him. The tepid box office and critical response to ASM2 put a hard stop those plans and led to a rebooted Peter Parker’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War and subsequent Marvel releases. Nevertheless, Sony continued to develop Venom, Into the Spider-Verse, and a movie centering on Black Cat and Silver Sable.

As it stands, Sony is currently developing films centering on Madame Web, Black Cat and Silver Sable as separate projects, Silk, Kraven the Hunter, and Spider-Woman, the latter with Olivia Wilde slated to direct. It also has two completed films, Venom: Let There Be Carnage — which bowed in October — and Morbius, set for release early next year.

Morbius

(Photo by Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Morbius also raised eyebrows with a trailer released in late 2019 that referenced Peter’s current problems in the MCU; that is to say, various shots offered glimpses of posters referring to Spider-Man as a murderer. Making Morbius’s place in the Spider-Verse murkier was the surprise appearance of Micheal Keaton, presumably playing Adrian Toomes from Homecoming and offering Micheal Morbius (Jared Leto) a piece of the action. It left fans wondering whether Spider-Man was finally going to fight the Sinister Six or the group was coming to him to fight on MCU turf. The November trailer presents a sinister group of Spider-Man’s enemies ready to fight him, and Let There Be Carnage’s stinger scene made it clear two Sony characters are definitely in the MCU.

It remains to be seen, though, just how connected the MCU and the Sony Spider-Man Universe will be. There are certain advantages to keeping the MCU and the Spider-Verse close, particularly if the relationship between Sony and Disney warms up. But as with No Way Home’s apparent cast list, the potential universe-hopping plot leaves many breathlessly anticipating its release.


The Release Date

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

Spider-Man: No Way Home is set for release on December 17th, 2021, a date that seemed in doubt even after the August trailer. But with just a month to go before release, Sony is absolutely committed to letting fans see the film soon.


Thumbnail images by ©Sony Pictures Entertainment

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All Blumhouse Horror Movies Ranked

For some movies, the hype building up to their release isn’t based on its stars or director or plot, but by the boutique company putting it out to the public. Think A24. Think Laika. Think Blumhouse, the production org that’s become synonymous in horror with low budgets, big returns, and bigger thrills.

Over the past two decades, magnate of monstrosity Jason Blum — who has also produced plenty of “normal” movies — has banked his legacy on reinventing how horror scripts are discovered and made, keeping the genre from going stale, like it infamously did in the ’90s. After all, blood dries quickly; gotta keep it fresh. Look to franchises like The Purge, Paranormal Activity, and Insidious: when you watch one Blumhouse horror movie, you’re probably gonna seek out what else they’re up to.

And now Blum’s back this week with Us. It’s not strictly Blumhouse (credit that to Monkeypaw Productions), but it is built off the groundbreaking, Best Picture-nominated Get Out, and represents a stunning continuation of writer/director Jordan Peele’s mission to infuse horror with brash brains. And that’s Mr. Blum in the producer credits. Now, we’re ranking every Blumhouse horror movie by Tomatometer!

#75
#75
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An acting student encounters a malevolent spirit after participating in a viral challenge.... [More]
Directed By: Travis Cluff, Chris Lofing

#74

The Darkness (2016)
3%

#74
Adjusted Score: 3262%
Critics Consensus: The Darkness clumsily relies on an assortment of genre tropes, leaving only the decidedly non-frightening ghost of superior horror films in its wake.
Synopsis: Peter Taylor (Kevin Bacon), his wife Bronny and their two children return to Los Angeles after a fun-filled vacation to... [More]
Directed By: Greg McLean

#73

Ouija (2014)
6%

#73
Adjusted Score: 8182%
Critics Consensus: Slowly, steadily, although no one seems to be moving it in that direction, the Ouija planchette points to NO.
Synopsis: Following the sudden death of her best friend, Debbie, Laine finds an antique Ouija board in Debbie's room and tries... [More]
Directed By: Stiles White

#72
Adjusted Score: 15084%
Critics Consensus: Fantasy Island tries to show audiences the dark side of wish fulfillment, but mainly serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of exhuming long-dead franchises.
Synopsis: The enigmatic Mr. Roarke makes the secret dreams of his guests come true at a luxurious tropical resort. But when... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Wadlow

#71

Martyrs (2015)
9%

#71
Adjusted Score: 10195%
Critics Consensus: Martyrs flays off everything that gave the original its icy horrific beauty, leaving us an empty, pointless remake.
Synopsis: With help from a friend (Bailey Noble), a tormented woman (Troian Bellisario) tracks down the family that imprisoned and tortured... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz

#70

Prey (2019)
13%

#70
Adjusted Score: 6304%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A bloodthirsty jungle creature terrorizes a young man and a mysterious woman on a seemingly idyllic island.... [More]
Directed By: Franck Khalfoun

#69

Area 51 (2015)
14%

#69
Adjusted Score: 4392%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Obsessed with UFOs, a man (Reid Warner) and two friends find evidence of an alien presence at Area 51 in... [More]
Directed By: Oren Peli

#68
Adjusted Score: 16447%
Critics Consensus: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension ties up some of the franchise's lingering questions, but six films into the series, the thrills are mostly gone.
Synopsis: Ryan Fleege (Chris J. Murray), his wife Emily (Brit Shaw) and their 7-year-old daughter Leila (Ivy George) are preparing for... [More]
Directed By: Gregory Plotkin

#67

The Gallows (2015)
14%

#67
Adjusted Score: 18334%
Critics Consensus: Narratively contrived and visually a mess, The Gallows sends viewers on a shaky tumble to the bottom of the found-footage horror barrel.
Synopsis: In 1993, a freak accident involving a noose kills teenager Charlie Grimille during a high-school production of "The Gallows." Twenty... [More]
Directed By: Chris Lofing, Travis Cluff

#66

Sinister 2 (2015)
15%

#66
Adjusted Score: 18074%
Critics Consensus: Sinister 2 has a few ingredients that will be familiar to fans of the original; unfortunately, in this slapdash second installment, none of them are scary anymore.
Synopsis: Hiding from her abusive, estranged husband, Courtney Collins lives in a rural house with her 9-year-old twins, Dylan and Zach.... [More]
Directed By: Ciarán Foy

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 24409%
Critics Consensus: Truth or Dare's slick presentation isn't enough to make this mediocre horror outing much more frightening than an average round of the real-life game.
Synopsis: Olivia, Lucas and a group of their college friends travel to Mexico for one last getaway before graduation. While there,... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Wadlow

#64
#64
Adjusted Score: 18880%
Critics Consensus: The Lazarus Effect has a talented cast and the glimmer of an interesting idea, but wastes it all on insipid characters and dull, recycled plot points.
Synopsis: Medical researcher Frank (Mark Duplass), his fiancee Zoe (Olivia Wilde) and their team have achieved the impossible: they have found... [More]
Directed By: David Gelb

#63

Incarnate (2016)
17%

#63
Adjusted Score: 18328%
Critics Consensus: Incarnate can't be accused of lack of ideas -- if only any of them made sense or coalesced in any meaningful or scary way.
Synopsis: After a single mother witnesses terrifying symptoms of demonic possession in her 11-year-old son (David Mazouz), a Vatican representative calls... [More]
Directed By: Brad Peyton

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 27269%
Critics Consensus: While it does manage to wring a few more screams out of the franchise's surprisingly durable premise, Paranormal Activity 4 provides fans of the series with dismayingly diminishing returns.
Synopsis: It has been five years since Katie (Katie Featherston) murdered her sister and disappeared with her infant nephew, Hunter, in... [More]

#61

Visions (2015)
24%

#61
Adjusted Score: 17492%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After moving to a vineyard with her family, a pregnant woman experiences horrifying visions.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Greutert

#60

Jessabelle (2014)
28%

#60
Adjusted Score: 27612%
Critics Consensus: Jessabelle hints at a bright future for star Sarah Snook, but clouds her performance with a cliched -- and tasteless -- storyline.
Synopsis: A young woman (Sarah Snook) returns to her childhood home to recuperate from a car accident and encounters a long-tormented... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Greutert

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 30570%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When some footage dating back to 1976 is discovered, the case of the haunted house in Amityville is reopened. An... [More]
Directed By: Franck Khalfoun

#58
#58
Adjusted Score: 39196%
Critics Consensus: Insidious: The Last Key offers franchise star Lin Shaye another welcome opportunity to take the lead, but her efforts aren't enough to rescue this uninspired sequel.
Synopsis: Brilliant parapsychologist Elise Rainier receives a disturbing phone call from a man who claims that his house is haunted. Even... [More]
Directed By: Adam Robitel

#57
#57
Adjusted Score: 41477%
Critics Consensus: The Green Inferno may not win writer-director Eli Roth many new converts, but fans of his flair for gory spectacle should find it a suitably gruesome diversion.
Synopsis: New York college student Justine (Lorenza Izzo), a lawyer's daughter, meets a student activist named Alejandro (Ariel Levy) when he... [More]
Directed By: Eli Roth

#56
Adjusted Score: 40900%
Critics Consensus: A change of setting breathes some new life into the franchise, but Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones fails to provide enough consistent thrills to justify a fifth film in the series.
Synopsis: Teenagers Jesse and Hector look forward to a carefree summer, but the murder of a neighbor leads to a terrifying... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Landon

#55

Black Christmas (2019)
39%

#55
Adjusted Score: 45354%
Critics Consensus: Better than the 2006 remake yet not as sharp as the original, this Black Christmas stabs at timely feminist themes but mostly hits on familiar pulp.
Synopsis: Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays as students travel home to spend time with their families. But as... [More]
Directed By: Sophia Takal

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 42776%
Critics Consensus: Insidious: Chapter 2 is decidedly short on the tension and surprises that made its predecessor so chilling.
Synopsis: Soon after their showdown with evil spirits that possessed their son, the Lamberts, Renai (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Patrick Wilson),... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#53

The Purge (2013)
39%

#53
Adjusted Score: 44985%
Critics Consensus: Half social allegory, half home-invasion thriller, The Purge attempts to make an intelligent point, but ultimately devolves into numbing violence and tired clichés.
Synopsis: In an America ravaged by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government sanctions an annual 12-hour period during which all criminal... [More]
Directed By: James DeMonaco

#52

Halloween Kills (2021)
40%

#52
Adjusted Score: 53834%
Critics Consensus: Halloween Kills should satisfy fans in search of brute slasher thrills, but in terms of advancing the franchise, it's a bit less than the sum of its bloody parts.
Synopsis: Minutes after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#51

Thriller (2018)
40%

#51
Adjusted Score: 40642%
Critics Consensus: Thriller has an appealing cast and a fresh perspective on its genre, but those elements aren't enough to outweigh a bland and predictable story.
Synopsis: Years after a childhood prank goes horribly wrong, some South Central Los Angeles teens find themselves terrorized during homecoming weekend... [More]
Directed By: Dallas Jackson

#50

Dark Skies (2013)
41%

#50
Adjusted Score: 44209%
Critics Consensus: Dark Skies writer director Scott Stewart has a solid cast, an interesting premise, and some admirable ambitions, but he can't figure out what to do with any of them, and the result is a dull, muddled effort that will bore all but the most devoted horror buffs.
Synopsis: Lacy (Keri Russell) and Daniel Barrett (Josh Hamilton) share a peaceful life in the suburbs with their sons, Jesse (Dakota... [More]
Directed By: Scott Stewart

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 47162%
Critics Consensus: You Should Have Left hints at a genuinely creepy experience, but never quite manages to distill its intriguing ingredients into a consistently satisfying whole.
Synopsis: Strange events plague a couple and their young daughter when they rent a secluded countryside house that has a dark... [More]
Directed By: David Koepp

#48

The Lie (2018)
43%

#48
Adjusted Score: 46713%
Critics Consensus: Queasily compelling without ever truly coming together, The Lie won't fool many viewers seeking worthwhile horror fare.
Synopsis: A man and his wife fall into a web of lies and deceit when they try to cover up their... [More]
Directed By: Veena Sud

#47

Don't Let Go (2019)
43%

#47
Adjusted Score: 48107%
Critics Consensus: While admirably intelligent and well-cast, Don't Let Go suffers from a formulaic approach compounded by its uneven writing and an awkward tonal balance.
Synopsis: Detective Jack Radcliff gets a shocking phone call from his recently murdered niece Ashley. Working together across time, they race... [More]
Directed By: Jacob Aaron Estes

#46

Evil Eye (2020)
44%

#46
Adjusted Score: 47007%
Critics Consensus: With Evil Eye, directors Elan and Rajeev Dassani spy a premise that has no shortage of potential, but despite the efforts of a game cast, it remains tantalizingly unfulfilled.
Synopsis: A seemingly perfect romance turns into a nightmare when a woman becomes convinced that her daughter's new boyfriend has a... [More]

#45

Mercy Black (2019)
45%

#45
Adjusted Score: 32496%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Fifteen years after stabbing a classmate to conjure a phantom known as Mercy Black, a woman is released from psychiatric... [More]
Directed By: Owen Egerton

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 47910%
Critics Consensus: The Lords of Salem has lots of atmospheric portent, but it's unfortunately short on scares.
Synopsis: A radio DJ (Sheri Moon Zombie) in Salem, Mass., is plagued by nightmarish visions of vengeful witches after she plays... [More]
Directed By: Rob Zombie

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 54459%
Critics Consensus: Although director Zoe Lister-Jones has forged a new path for the weirdos of today, The Craft: Legacy's spells may only enchant fans of the original.
Synopsis: An eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers.... [More]
Directed By: Zoe Lister-Jones

#42

Bloodline (2018)
50%

#42
Adjusted Score: 50313%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Haunted by dark memories of childhood abuse, Evan, a social worker and first-time dad, struggles to keep his need for... [More]
Directed By: Henry Jacobson

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 58007%
Critics Consensus: The Forever Purge fails to fully engage with its most frighteningly timely themes, but the franchise remains largely -- albeit bluntly -- effective.
Synopsis: Adela (Ana de la Reguera, Cowboys & Aliens) and her husband Juan (Tenoch Huerta, Days of Grace) live in Texas,... [More]
Directed By: Everardo Gout

#40

Viral (2016)
53%

#40
Adjusted Score: 52867%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Separated from their father (Michael Kelly), two teenage sisters (Sofia Black-D'Elia, Analeigh Tipton) try to survive an apocalyptic viral outbreak... [More]

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 61408%
Critics Consensus: The Belko Experiment offers a few moments of lurid fun for genre enthusiasts, but lacks enough subversive smarts to consistently engage once the carnage kicks in.
Synopsis: An ordinary day at the office becomes a horrific quest for survival when 80 employees (John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn,... [More]
Directed By: Greg McLean

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 64834%
Critics Consensus: It isn't particularly subtle, but The Purge: Election Year's blend of potent jolts and timely themes still add up to a nastily effective diversion.
Synopsis: As a young woman, Sen. Charlie Roan survived the annual night of lawlessness that took the lives of her family... [More]
Directed By: James DeMonaco

#37

The First Purge (2018)
56%

#37
Adjusted Score: 65179%
Critics Consensus: The First Purge should satisfy fans of the franchise and filmgoers in the mood for violent vicarious thrills, even if its subtextual reach exceeds its grasp.
Synopsis: To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America... [More]
Directed By: Gerard McMurray

#36

Ma (2019)
56%

#36
Adjusted Score: 67921%
Critics Consensus: Octavia Spencer's performance overpowers many of Ma's flaws, but uneven pacing and a labored story keep this thriller from fully realizing its unhinged potential.
Synopsis: A lonely middle-aged woman befriends some teenagers and decides to let them party in the basement of her home. But... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 62720%
Critics Consensus: Gritty, grisly, and uncommonly ambitious, The Purge: Anarchy represents a slight improvement over its predecessor, but it's still never as smart or resonant as it tries to be.
Synopsis: One night per year, the government sanctions a 12-hour period in which citizens can commit any crime they wish --... [More]
Directed By: James DeMonaco

#34

The Hunt (2020)
57%

#34
Adjusted Score: 75887%
Critics Consensus: The Hunt is successful enough as a darkly humorous action thriller, but it shoots wide of the mark when it aims for timely social satire.
Synopsis: Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don't know where they are -- or how they got there. In... [More]
Directed By: Craig Zobel

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 61820%
Critics Consensus: Insidious: Chapter 3 isn't as terrifying as the original, although it boasts surprising thematic depth and is enlivened by another fine performance from Lin Shaye.
Synopsis: When teenager Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) senses that her late mother is trying to contact her, she seeks help from... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Whannell

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 61823%
Critics Consensus: Paranormal Activity 2 doesn't cover any new ground, but its premise is still scary -- and in some respects, it's a better film than the original.
Synopsis: When the Reys move into their new Southern California home, little do they realize that the house is already occupied.... [More]
Directed By: Tod Williams

#31

Madres (2021)
67%

#31
Adjusted Score: 66064%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Beto (Tenoch Huerta) and Diana (Ariana Guerra), a young Mexican-American couple expecting their first child, move to a small town... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Zaragoza

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 65647%
Critics Consensus: Unfriended: Dark Web is more interested in chills than an exploration of its timely themes, but horror fans should still find this sequel to be steadily, undeniably effective.
Synopsis: After finding a laptop, a young man goes online to play a game with five of his good friends. He... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Susco

#29

Nocturne (2020)
62%

#29
Adjusted Score: 65301%
Critics Consensus: Nocturne's thought-provoking themes find themselves at odds with its genre ingredients, resulting in a mild blend that isn't quite pulpy enough.
Synopsis: Inside the halls of an elite arts academy, a timid music student begins to outshine her more accomplished and outgoing... [More]
Directed By: Zu Quirke

#28

Unfriended (2014)
62%

#28
Adjusted Score: 68327%
Critics Consensus: Unfriended subverts found-footage horror clichés to deliver a surprisingly scary entry in the teen slasher genre with a technological twist.
Synopsis: One night, while teenagers Blaire, Mitch, Jess, Adam Ken and Val take part in an online group chat session, they... [More]
Directed By: Leo Gabriadze

#27

Bingo Hell (2021)
62%

#27
Adjusted Score: 62009%
Critics Consensus: Although its card is far from full, Bingo Hell delivers moderately effective socially conscious horror while suggesting greater things for director Gigi Saul Guerrero.
Synopsis: When a sinister figure threatens the residents of a low-income community, a feisty senior citizen tries to stop him in... [More]
Directed By: Gigi Saul Guerrero

#26

Sinister (2012)
63%

#26
Adjusted Score: 69292%
Critics Consensus: Its plot hinges on typically implausible horror-movie behavior and recycles countless genre cliches, but Sinister delivers a surprising number of fresh, diabolical twists.
Synopsis: True-crime writer Ellison Oswald (Ethan Hawke) is in a slump; he hasn't had a best seller in more than 10... [More]
Directed By: Scott Derrickson

#25

The Manor (2021)
62%

#25
Adjusted Score: 62718%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A malevolent force preys upon the residents of a sleepy nursing home in The Manor, a gothic tale of terror... [More]
Directed By: Axelle Carolyn

#24

13 Sins (2014)
65%

#24
Adjusted Score: 66021%
Critics Consensus: 13 Sins may be derivative of other horror films that made their moral points with more finesse, but it atones with a grim sense of humor and sleek style.
Synopsis: A desperate, debt-ridden salesman agrees to perform an increasingly hideous set of tasks in order to win millions of dollars.... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Stamm

#23
Adjusted Score: 65298%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A masked maniac terrorizes the same small community where a murderer known as the Phantom Killer struck decades earlier.... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 70385%
Critics Consensus: While the jolts and thrills are undeniably subject to the diminishing returns that plague most horror sequels, Paranormal Activity 3 is a surprisingly spine-tingling treat.
Synopsis: In 1988 sisters Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) seem to be enjoying a normal, happy childhood at... [More]

#21

Insidious (2010)
66%

#21
Adjusted Score: 72625%
Critics Consensus: Aside from a shaky final act, Insidious is a very scary and very fun haunted house thrill ride.
Synopsis: Parents (Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne) take drastic measures when it seems their new home is haunted and their comatose son... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#20

The Visit (2015)
68%

#20
Adjusted Score: 76297%
Critics Consensus: The Visit provides horror fans with a satisfying blend of thrills and laughs -- and also signals a welcome return to form for writer-director M. Night Shyamalan.
Synopsis: Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and younger brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) say goodbye to their mother as they board a train and... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#19

Black Box (2020)
70%

#19
Adjusted Score: 73977%
Critics Consensus: An intriguing debut for writer-director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Black Box compensates for a lack of surprises with strong performances and an emotionally rewarding story.
Synopsis: After losing his wife and memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an agonizing experimental treatment that causes... [More]
Directed By: Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 83707%
Critics Consensus: A funnier follow-up with a sci-fi bent, Happy Death Day 2U isn't as fiendishly fresh as its predecessor, but fans of the original may still find this a sequel worth celebrating.
Synopsis: Collegian Tree Gelbman wakes up in horror to learn that she's stuck in a parallel universe. Her boyfriend Carter is... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Landon

#17

Black as Night (2021)
70%

#17
Adjusted Score: 69951%
Critics Consensus: It may not be particularly scary, but Black as Night has just enough bite to satisfy audiences in the mood for dark, teen-focused supernatural drama.
Synopsis: A resourceful teenage girl leaves childhood behind when she battles a group of deadly vampires in Black as Night, an... [More]
Directed By: Maritte Lee Go

#16

Happy Death Day (2017)
71%

#16
Adjusted Score: 82574%
Critics Consensus: Happy Death Day puts a darkly humorous sci-fi spin on slasher conventions, with added edge courtesy of a starmaking performance from Jessica Rothe.
Synopsis: Tree Gelbman is a blissfully self-centered collegian who wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a student named... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Landon

#15

Oculus (2013)
74%

#15
Adjusted Score: 80331%
Critics Consensus: With an emphasis on dread over gore and an ending that leaves the door wide open for sequels, Oculus could be just the first spine-tingling chapter in a new franchise for discerning horror fans.
Synopsis: Haunted by the violent demise of their parents 10 years earlier, adult siblings Kaylie (Karen Gillan) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites)... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan

#14

The Bay (2012)
76%

#14
Adjusted Score: 78806%
Critics Consensus: Barry Levinson's eco-horror flick cleverly utilizes familiar found-footage methods in service of a gruesome yet atmospheric chiller.
Synopsis: The residents of a seaside Maryland community become the unfortunate hosts of mutant, waterborne parasites that take control of their... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#13

Split (2016)
77%

#13
Adjusted Score: 100205%
Critics Consensus: Split serves as a dramatic tour de force for James McAvoy in multiple roles -- and finds writer-director M. Night Shyamalan returning resoundingly to thrilling form.
Synopsis: Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#12

Halloween (2018)
79%

#12
Adjusted Score: 101737%
Critics Consensus: Halloween largely wipes the slate clean after decades of disappointing sequels, ignoring increasingly elaborate mythology in favor of basic - yet still effective - ingredients.
Synopsis: It's been 40 years since Laurie Strode survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Locked... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 89312%
Critics Consensus: Ouija: Origin of Evil swerves its franchise's planchette unexpectedly to YES with a surprisingly scary and dramatically satisfying follow-up to its lackluster predecessor.
Synopsis: In 1967 Los Angeles, widowed mother Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) unwittingly invites authentic evil into her home by adding a... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 91419%
Critics Consensus: Using its low-budget effects and mockumentary method to great result, Paranormal Activity turns a simple haunted house story into 90 minutes of relentless suspense.
Synopsis: Soon after moving into a suburban tract home, Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) become increasingly disturbed by what... [More]
Directed By: Oren Peli

#9

Freaky (2020)
83%

#9
Adjusted Score: 98845%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining slasher with a gender-bending, body-swapping twist, this horror-comedy juggles genres with Freaky fun results.
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Millie Kessler spends her days trying to survive high school and the cruel actions of the popular crowd. But... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Landon

#8

Creep (2014)
90%

#8
Adjusted Score: 90388%
Critics Consensus: A smart, oddball take on found-footage horror, Creep is clever and well-acted enough to keep viewers on the edges of their seats.
Synopsis: Aaron answers an online ad and drives to a stranger's house to film him for the day. The man wants... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Brice

#7

The Vigil (2019)
90%

#7
Adjusted Score: 95621%
Critics Consensus: Consistently clever and creepy, The Vigil mines richly atmospheric supernatural horror from a deep well of religious traditions.
Synopsis: Steeped in ancient Jewish lore and demonology, THE VIGIL is a supernatural horror film set over the course of a... [More]
Directed By: Keith Thomas

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 120557%
Critics Consensus: Smart, well-acted, and above all scary, The Invisible Man proves that sometimes, the classic source material for a fresh reboot can be hiding in plain sight.
Synopsis: After staging his own suicide, a crazed scientist uses his power to become invisible to stalk and terrorize his ex-girlfriend.... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Whannell

#5

Hush (2016)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 95376%
Critics Consensus: Hush navigates the bloody waters of home invasion thrillers and incisive slashers for a contemporary horror puree.
Synopsis: A deaf woman is stalked by a killer in her home.... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan

#4

Cam (2018)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 98554%
Critics Consensus: Smart and suspenseful, CAM is a techno-thriller that's far more than the sum of its salacious parts -- and an outstanding showcase for Madeline Brewer in the leading role.
Synopsis: A camgirl has her principles, until a mysterious woman who looks just like her takes over her channel.... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Goldhaber

#3

Sweetheart (2019)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 95562%
Critics Consensus: Carried by Kiersey Clemons' performance, Sweetheart balances smart subtext and social commentary against effective genre thrills.
Synopsis: A shipwreck survivor on an uninhabited island must fend off a malevolent force that surfaces each night.... [More]
Directed By: J.D. Dillard

#2

Get Out (2017)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 128276%
Critics Consensus: Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.
Synopsis: Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Peele

#1

Creep 2 (2017)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 101043%
Critics Consensus: Creep 2 has everything that made the original work and more -- more laughs, more awkwardness, more unsettling terror.
Synopsis: A video artist quickly realizes she has made a mistake when she meets a serial killer in a cabin.... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Brice

35 Best Baseball Movies of All Time

The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. The smell of ballpark franks, and we’re not just talking of the Thomas variety. At Rotten Tomatoes, we’ve cleared the benches and rushed the field with the best-reviewed baseball movies of all time!

From sentimental favorites (Field of Dreams, The Natural) to inside documentaries (Ballplayer: Pelotero) to wild comedies (The Sandlot, A League of Their Own) we’ve got a murderer’s row of heavy hitters. And because we know baseball fans trend towards being stat geeks, here’s ours: We picked only Fresh movies before sorting them using our ranking formula, which takes into account factors like year of release and number of overall reviews. The latter is important to the non-theatrical films (like 61* or The Battered Bastards of Baseball) to keep that playing field grass nice and even.

Batter up! It’s time to go to bat with the best baseball movies ever!

#35
Adjusted Score: 38989%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jewish baseball players take on the world.... [More]
Starring:

#34

Game 6 (2005)
62%

#34
Adjusted Score: 61876%
Critics Consensus: Though packed with Don DeLillo's witty dialogue and bolstered by strong performances, particularly by lead Michael Keaton, Game 6 also suffers from uneven direction and overwrought symbolism.
Synopsis: It's 1986, and New York playwright Nicky Rogan (Michael Keaton) faces a series of fears, but none more frightening than... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 57346%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a successful baseball career in college and as a coach in the military, Jackie Robinson (playing himself) attracts the... [More]
Directed By: Alfred E. Green

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 64241%
Critics Consensus: The Broken Hearts Club often feels like an amalgam of 70s sitcoms -- though a hunky lead and a sweet central romance provide soapy delights.
Synopsis: A fresh, funny, real story about a group of gay men in Hollywood, their lovers and friends, and the often... [More]
Directed By: Greg Berlanti

#31
Adjusted Score: 100063%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1973, baseball lover and actor Bing Russell, father of Kurt Russell, starts an independent, single-A team composed of players... [More]
Directed By: Chapman Way, Maclain Way

#30

Off the Black (2006)
66%

#30
Adjusted Score: 66106%
Critics Consensus: Nick Nolte shines in his role as an irascible high school umpire, imbuing this indie coming-of-age dramedy with heft and true-to-life warmth.
Synopsis: After his baseball team loses a game due to a call by umpire Ray Cook (Nick Nolte), Dave Tibbel (Trevor... [More]
Directed By: James Ponsoldt

#29

Cobb (1994)
65%

#29
Adjusted Score: 66804%
Critics Consensus: Tommy Lee Jones's searing performance helps to elevate Cobb above your typical sports biopic; he's so effective, in fact, that some may find the film unpleasant.
Synopsis: Baseball legend Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones) pressures biographer Al Stump (Robert Wuhl) to whitewash the sordid details of his... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#28

The Sandlot (1993)
64%

#28
Adjusted Score: 68721%
Critics Consensus: It may be shamelessly derivative and overly nostalgic, but The Sandlot is nevertheless a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure.
Synopsis: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids... [More]
Directed By: David Mickey Evans

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 70002%
Critics Consensus: Pleasant to a fault, Million Dollar Arm is a middle-of-the-plate pitch that coasts on Jon Hamm's considerable charm without adding any truly original curves to Disney's inspirational sports formula.
Synopsis: In a last-ditch effort to save his career, sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) plans to find baseball's next star... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#26

Fever Pitch (2005)
65%

#26
Adjusted Score: 71756%
Critics Consensus: While not a home run, Fever Pitch has enough charm and on-screen chemistry between the two leads to make it a solid hit.
Synopsis: When Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon), a young teacher, begins dating pretty businesswoman Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), the two don't seem... [More]

#25

Damn Yankees (1958)
78%

#25
Adjusted Score: 78462%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Joe Boyd, an aging Washington Senators fan, would sell his soul for the Senators to beat the New York Yankees... [More]

#24

The Phenom (2016)
79%

#24
Adjusted Score: 80126%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and emotionally affecting, The Phenom proves a baseball movie can step away from the mound and still deliver a heater down the middle.
Synopsis: A sports therapist (Paul Giamatti) tries to help a troubled rookie pitcher (Johnny Simmons) who grew up with an abusive... [More]
Directed By: Noah Buschel

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 85182%
Critics Consensus: Sentimental and light, but still thoroughly charming, A League of Their Own is buoyed by solid performances from a wonderful cast.
Synopsis: As America's stock of athletic young men is depleted during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league springs up... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#22

61 (2001)
86%

#22
Adjusted Score: 85264%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Aiming for one of the most famed records in sports history, a pair of very different baseball players hit home... [More]
Directed By: Billy Crystal

#21

The Natural (1984)
82%

#21
Adjusted Score: 85281%
Critics Consensus: Though heavy with sentiment, The Natural is an irresistible classic, and a sincere testament to America's national pastime.
Synopsis: On the way to a tryout with the Chicago Cubs, young baseball phenom Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is shot by... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#20

Major League (1989)
83%

#20
Adjusted Score: 84881%
Critics Consensus: Major League may be predictable and formulaic, but buoyed by the script's light, silly humor -- not to mention the well-built sports action sequences and funny performances.
Synopsis: The new owner of the Cleveland Indians, former showgirl Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton), has a sweetheart deal to move the... [More]
Directed By: David S. Ward

#19

Fear Strikes Out (1957)
83%

#19
Adjusted Score: 85263%
Critics Consensus: Based on the true story of troubled baseball star Jimmy Piersall, Fear Strikes Out is an emotionally compelling drama featuring excellent performances from Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden.
Synopsis: Ever since Jimmy Piersall (Anthony Perkins) was a boy, his baseball-obsessed father (Karl Malden) has pushed the sport on him.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mulligan

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 85233%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A college chemistry professor, Vernon Simpson (Ray Milland), invents a substance that keeps insects away from wood. But after a... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Bacon

#17

Pelotero (2011)
86%

#17
Adjusted Score: 85317%
Critics Consensus: Gripping and surprisingly nuanced, Ballplayer: Pelotero is a frank exploration of the nature of corruption in baseball recruitment.
Synopsis: Two Dominican baseball players face challenges as they try to make it to the Major Leagues.... [More]

#16

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#16
Adjusted Score: 87870%
Critics Consensus: A heart-warming sports flick, The Rookie greatly benefits from understated direction and the emotional honesty Dennis Quaid brings to the role of Jim Morris.
Synopsis: A true story about a coach who discovers that it's never too late for dreams to come true. Jim Morris... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#15

42 (2013)
81%

#15
Adjusted Score: 87776%
Critics Consensus: 42 is an earnest, inspirational, and respectfully told biography of an influential American sports icon, though it might be a little too safe and old-fashioned for some.
Synopsis: In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by... [More]
Directed By: Brian Helgeland

#14

Eight Men Out (1988)
86%

#14
Adjusted Score: 89569%
Critics Consensus: Perhaps less than absorbing for non-baseball fans, but nevertheless underpinned by strong performances from the cast and John Sayles' solid direction.
Synopsis: The Chicago White Sox, who are set to play the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series of 1919, are at... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 88581%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This fact-based sports drama chronicles the life of famous pitcher Monty Stratton. Stratton (James Stewart), a star athlete, loses his... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#12
Adjusted Score: 75839%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Top baseball pitcher Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) is fed up with how his Negro League team owner treats him,... [More]
Directed By: John Badham

#11

Field of Dreams (1989)
87%

#11
Adjusted Score: 92115%
Critics Consensus: Field of Dreams is sentimental, but in the best way; it's a mix of fairy tale, baseball, and family togetherness.
Synopsis: When Iowa farmer Ray (Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice one night in his cornfield saying "If you build it,... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#10

Up for Grabs (2004)
92%

#10
Adjusted Score: 92145%
Critics Consensus: You don't have to be a baseball fan to be entertained by the absurdities, obsessions, and greed on display in this documentary.
Synopsis: During the final leg of Major League Baseball's 2001 season, Giants batter Barry Bonds scores a historic 73rd home run... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Michael Wranovics

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 95221%
Critics Consensus: Bang the Drum Slowly is a touching melodrama that explores the inner workings of a baseball club and its players' personalities with remarkable depth.
Synopsis: When hotshot pitcher Henry Wiggen (Michael Moriarty) is signed to the New York Mammoths, his confident ways quickly win over... [More]
Directed By: John D. Hancock

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 95924%
Critics Consensus: Nostalgic in the best sense, Everybody Wants Some!! finds Richard Linklater ambling through the past with a talented cast, a sweetly meandering story, and a killer classic rock soundtrack.
Synopsis: In 1980 Texas, a college freshman (Blake Jenner) meets his new baseball teammates (Will Brittain, Ryan Guzman), an unruly group... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#7

Sugar (2008)
92%

#7
Adjusted Score: 97274%
Critics Consensus: Sugar is an exceptionally-crafted film -- part sports flick, part immigrant tale -- with touching and poignant drama highlighted by splendid performances.
Synopsis: Like many young men in the Dominican Republic, 19-year-old Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto) dreams of winning a slot... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#6
Adjusted Score: 96346%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Despite being key players for the Wolves, baseball players Dennis Ryan (Frank Sinatra) and Eddie O'Brien (Gene Kelly) harbor a... [More]
Directed By: Busby Berkeley

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 96296%
Critics Consensus: The equally tragic and heroic story of Yankee's first baseman Lou Gehrig is eloquently told here with an iconic star turn by Gary Cooper.
Synopsis: This moving biographical drama follows the life of revered baseball player Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper). Championed by sportswriter Sam Blake... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#4
Adjusted Score: 98360%
Critics Consensus: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is an affectionate, often very funny portrait of a baseball pioneer.
Synopsis: "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg" is a humorous and nostalgic documentary about an extraordinary baseball player who transcended... [More]
Directed By: Aviva Kempner

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 98704%
Critics Consensus: The Bad News Bears is rude, profane, and cynical, but shot through with honest, unforced humor, and held together by a deft, understated performance from Walter Matthau.
Synopsis: Hard-drinking, ex-minor-league hopeful Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) grumpily agrees to coach a Little League team at the behest of lawyer-councilman... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#2

Bull Durham (1988)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 102355%
Critics Consensus: Kevin Costner is at his funniest and most charismatic in Bull Durham, a film that's as wise about relationships as it is about minor league baseball.
Synopsis: In Durham, N.C., the Bulls minor league baseball team has one asset no other can claim: a poetry-loving groupie named... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#1

Moneyball (2011)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104502%
Critics Consensus: Director Bennett Miller, along with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, take a niche subject and turn it into a sharp, funny, and touching portrait worthy of baseball lore.
Synopsis: Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), general manager of the Oakland A's, one day has an epiphany: Baseball's conventional wisdom is all... [More]
Directed By: Bennett Miller

75 Best Superhero Movies of All Time

Friends of the super variety, we’ve collected every Fresh and Certified Fresh superhero movie with at least 20 reviews to assemble our guide to the 75 best superhero movies ever, ranked by Tomatometer!

It’s been a decades-long battle towards the top in pop culture for superhero movies, and we’re featuring here all the goods, the greats, and the masterpieces made along the way. Everything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, Avengers) to DCEU (Aquaman, Wonder Woman), animated fare (The Incredibles, Megamind) to live-action spoofs (The Toxic Avenger, Mystery Men), comedies (Deadpool) and the super serious (The Dark Knight), and then throwing in some originals made just for the big screen (The Rocketeer, Darkman, Unbreakable).

Great leaping buggaboos! This introduction is now over! Throw up the cape, slip on that cowl (but leave the whip at home, unless you’re looking for the erotic films list…), and hop into the Tomatomobile: We ride for to the 75 best superhero movies of all time!

#75
#75
Adjusted Score: 64870%
Critics Consensus: It plays like an extended episode, but The Powerpuff Girls Movie is still lots of fun.
Synopsis: Based on the hit animated television series, this feature film adaptation tells the story of how Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup... [More]
Directed By: Craig McCracken

#74

Spider-Man 3 (2007)
63%

#74
Adjusted Score: 73592%
Critics Consensus: Though there are more characters and plotlines, and the action sequences still dazzle, Spider-Man 3 nonetheless isn't quite as refined as the first two.
Synopsis: Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) seem to finally be on the right track in their complicated relationship,... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#73

Watchmen (2009)
65%

#73
Adjusted Score: 77201%
Critics Consensus: Gritty and visually striking, Watchmen is a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel, but its complex narrative structure may make it difficult for it to appeal to viewers not already familiar with the source material.
Synopsis: In an alternate 1985 America, costumed superheroes are part of everyday life. When one of his former comrades is murdered,... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#72

Aquaman (2018)
65%

#72
Adjusted Score: 90347%
Critics Consensus: Aquaman swims with its entertainingly ludicrous tide, offering up CGI superhero spectacle that delivers energetic action with an emphasis on good old-fashioned fun.
Synopsis: Once home to the most advanced civilization on Earth, the city of Atlantis is now an underwater kingdom ruled by... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#71

The Rocketeer (1991)
66%

#71
Adjusted Score: 70824%
Critics Consensus: An action-packed, if anachronistic, look back at pulp matinee serials, The Rocketeer may ring hollow with viewers expecting more than simple fun and gee-whiz special effects.
Synopsis: Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell) is a cocky stunt pilot in love with a beautiful actress, Jenny Blake (Jennifer Connelly). When... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 77761%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the finest film to come from the Marvel Universe, but Thor: The Dark World still offers plenty of the humor and high-stakes action that fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: In ancient times, the gods of Asgard fought and won a war against an evil race known as the Dark... [More]
Directed By: Alan Taylor

#69
Adjusted Score: 26330%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The mutant superhero (David Mattey) rises from the sludge to save a group of students held hostage in Tromaville.... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Kaufman

#68
#68
Adjusted Score: 75664%
Critics Consensus: The Incredible Hulk may not be quite the smashing success that fans of Marvel's raging behemoth might hope for, but it offers more than enough big green action to make up for its occasionally puny narrative.
Synopsis: Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately seeks a cure for the gamma radiation that contaminated his cells and turned him... [More]
Directed By: Louis Leterrier

#67
#67
Adjusted Score: 70950%
Critics Consensus: A silly and ribald superhero spoof, Toxic Avenger uninhibited humor hits more than it misses.
Synopsis: A 98-pound nerd (Mark Torgl) from New Jersey lands in a vat of toxic waste and becomes a benevolent monster... [More]
Directed By: Michael Herz, Samuel Weil

#66

Unbreakable (2000)
70%

#66
Adjusted Score: 76697%
Critics Consensus: With a weaker ending, Unbreakable is not as a good as The Sixth Sense. However, it is a quietly suspenseful film that intrigues and engages, taking the audience through unpredictable twists and turns along the way.
Synopsis: David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is a... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#65

Batman (1989)
71%

#65
Adjusted Score: 77470%
Critics Consensus: An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson's Joker too often overshadows the title character.
Synopsis: Having witnessed his parents' brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#64

The Wolverine (2013)
71%

#64
Adjusted Score: 81597%
Critics Consensus: Although its final act succumbs to the usual cartoonish antics, The Wolverine is one superhero movie that manages to stay true to the comics while keeping casual viewers entertained.
Synopsis: Lured to a Japan he hasn't seen since World War II, century-old mutant Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) finds himself in a... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#63
Adjusted Score: 86837%
Critics Consensus: Zack Snyder's Justice League lives up to its title with a sprawling cut that expands to fit the director's vision -- and should satisfy the fans who willed it into existence.
Synopsis: In ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#62

Iron Man 2 (2010)
72%

#62
Adjusted Score: 83905%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.
Synopsis: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 85803%
Critics Consensus: A well-chosen cast and sure-handed direction allow The Amazing Spider-Man to thrill, despite revisiting many of the same plot points from 2002's Spider-Man.
Synopsis: Abandoned by his parents and raised by an aunt and uncle, teenager Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), AKA Spider-Man, is trying... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#60

Megamind (2010)
72%

#60
Adjusted Score: 78768%
Critics Consensus: It regurgitates plot points from earlier animated efforts, and isn't quite as funny as it should be, but a top-shelf voice cast and strong visuals help make Megamind a pleasant, if unspectacular, diversion.
Synopsis: Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#59

Sky High (2005)
73%

#59
Adjusted Score: 77853%
Critics Consensus: This highly derivative superhero coming-of-age flick is moderately entertaining, family-friendly fluff.
Synopsis: At a school in the sky where teens learn how to be superheroes, Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) lands in a... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#58

V for Vendetta (2006)
73%

#58
Adjusted Score: 84195%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and thought-provoking, V For Vendetta's political pronouncements may rile some, but its story and impressive set pieces will nevertheless entertain.
Synopsis: Following world war, London is a police state occupied by a fascist government, and a vigilante known only as V... [More]
Directed By: James McTeigue

#57

Defendor (2009)
74%

#57
Adjusted Score: 73046%
Critics Consensus: Defendor's reach occasionally exceeds its grasp, but this unique take on the superhero genre is held together by Woody Harrelson's solid performance.
Synopsis: An everyday guy (Woody Harrelson) believes he is a superhero and befriends a teenager while seeing a psychiatrist.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Stebbings

#56

Superman Returns (2006)
75%

#56
Adjusted Score: 85719%
Critics Consensus: Bryan Singer's reverent and visually decadent adaptation gives the Man of Steel welcome emotional complexity. The result: a satisfying stick-to-your-ribs adaptation.
Synopsis: While Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) plots to destroy him once and for all, the Man of Steel (Brandon Routh) returns... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#55

Kick-Ass (2010)
76%

#55
Adjusted Score: 86377%
Critics Consensus: Not for the faint of heart, Kick-Ass takes the comic adaptation genre to new levels of visual style, bloody violence, and gleeful profanity.
Synopsis: Using his love for comics as inspiration, teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) decides to reinvent himself as a superhero --... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 90788%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#53

Thor (2011)
77%

#53
Adjusted Score: 87530%
Critics Consensus: A dazzling blockbuster that tempers its sweeping scope with wit, humor, and human drama, Thor is mighty Marvel entertainment.
Synopsis: As the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the Norse gods, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will soon inherit the throne... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#52

The Mask (1994)
79%

#52
Adjusted Score: 82199%
Critics Consensus: It misses perhaps as often as it hits, but Jim Carrey's manic bombast, Cameron Diaz' blowsy appeal, and the film's overall cartoony bombast keep The Mask afloat.
Synopsis: When timid bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) discovers a magical mask containing the spirit of the Norse god Loki,... [More]
Directed By: Charles Russell

#51

Batman (1966)
79%

#51
Adjusted Score: 81680%
Critics Consensus: Batman: The Movie elevates camp to an art form -- and has a blast doing it, every gloriously tongue-in-cheek inch of the way.
Synopsis: Kaaapowie! Holy feature film, Batman ... one based on the tongue-in-cheek, campy 1960's television series. Watch Batman (Adam West) and... [More]
Directed By: Leslie H. Martinson

#50

Iron Man 3 (2013)
79%

#50
Adjusted Score: 92731%
Critics Consensus: With the help of its charismatic lead, some impressive action sequences, and even a few surprises, Iron Man 3 is a witty, entertaining adventure and a strong addition to the Marvel canon.
Synopsis: Plagued with worry and insomnia since saving New York from destruction, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), now, is more dependent... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#49
Adjusted Score: 108904%
Critics Consensus: With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Synopsis: It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her... [More]
Directed By: Cathy Yan

#48

Captain Marvel (2019)
79%

#48
Adjusted Score: 113612%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Synopsis: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#47

Batman Returns (1992)
80%

#47
Adjusted Score: 87238%
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.
Synopsis: The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#46
Adjusted Score: 89805%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
Synopsis: It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#45

Hellboy (2004)
81%

#45
Adjusted Score: 88434%
Critics Consensus: With wit, humor and Guillermo del Toro's fantastic visuals, the entertaining Hellboy transcends the derivative nature of the genre.
Synopsis: At the end of World War II, the Nazis attempt to open a portal to a paranormal dimension in order... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#44

Black Widow (2021)
79%

#44
Adjusted Score: 103845%
Critics Consensus: Black Widow's deeper themes are drowned out in all the action, but it remains a solidly entertaining standalone adventure that's rounded out by a stellar supporting cast.
Synopsis: Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her... [More]
Directed By: Cate Shortland

#43

X-Men (2000)
82%

#43
Adjusted Score: 87755%
Critics Consensus: Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus.
Synopsis: They are children of the atom, homo superior, the next link in the chain of evolution. Each was born with... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#42

Darkman (1990)
83%

#42
Adjusted Score: 87222%
Critics Consensus: Gruesome and deliciously broad, Sam Raimi's Darkman bears the haunted soulfulness of gothic tragedy while packing the stylistic verve of onomatopoeia springing off a comic strip page.
Synopsis: When thugs employed by a crime boss lead a vicious assault on Dr. Peyton Wilder (Liam Neeson), leaving him literally... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#41

The Crow (1994)
83%

#41
Adjusted Score: 86753%
Critics Consensus: Filled with style and dark, lurid energy, The Crow is an action-packed visual feast that also has a soul in the performance of the late Brandon Lee.
Synopsis: The night before his wedding, musician Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiancée are brutally murdered by members of a... [More]
Directed By: Alex Proyas

#40

Ant-Man (2015)
83%

#40
Adjusted Score: 96059%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Synopsis: Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#39
Adjusted Score: 86105%
Critics Consensus: Stylish and admirably respectful of the source material, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm succeeds where many of the live-action Batman adaptations have failed.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Eric Radomski

#38

Batman Begins (2005)
84%

#38
Adjusted Score: 95911%
Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.
Synopsis: A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he's trained in the martial arts by Henri... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#37

Deadpool 2 (2018)
84%

#37
Adjusted Score: 108985%
Critics Consensus: Though it threatens to buckle under the weight of its meta gags, Deadpool 2 is a gory, gleeful lampoon of the superhero genre buoyed by Ryan Reynolds' undeniable charm.
Synopsis: Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool meets Russell, an angry teenage mutant who lives at an orphanage. When Russell becomes the target of... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch

#36

X2 (2003)
85%

#36
Adjusted Score: 92705%
Critics Consensus: Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor -- and a benchmark for comic sequels in general.
Synopsis: Stryker (Brian Cox), a villianous former Army commander, holds the key to Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) past and the future of... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#35

Deadpool (2016)
85%

#35
Adjusted Score: 106197%
Critics Consensus: Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining -- and decidedly non-family-friendly -- results.
Synopsis: Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing... [More]
Directed By: Tim Miller

#34
Adjusted Score: 116243%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.
Synopsis: Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 114167%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#32

Superman II (1980)
85%

#32
Adjusted Score: 88565%
Critics Consensus: The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: Superman (Christopher Reeve) foils the plot of terrorists by hurtling their nuclear device into outer space, but the bomb's shock... [More]
Directed By: Richard Lester

#31
Adjusted Score: 96254%
Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro crafts a stellar comic book sequel, boasting visuals that are as imaginative as the characters are endearing.
Synopsis: Hellboy (Ron Perlman), his pyrokinetic girlfriend, Liz (Selma Blair), and aquatic empath, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), face their biggest battle... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 96838%
Critics Consensus: With a strong script, stylish direction, and powerful performances from its well-rounded cast, X-Men: First Class is a welcome return to form for the franchise.
Synopsis: In the early 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, a mutant named Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets a... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#29
Adjusted Score: 95767%
Critics Consensus: With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won't drive a wedge between family members.
Synopsis: George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 105675%
Critics Consensus: A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser.
Synopsis: Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 103502%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Knight Rises is an ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan's franchise in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: It has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#26

Doctor Strange (2016)
89%

#26
Adjusted Score: 112590%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Strange artfully balances its outré source material against the blockbuster constraints of the MCU, delivering a thoroughly entertaining superhero origin story in the bargain.
Synopsis: Dr. Stephen Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When... [More]
Directed By: Scott Derrickson

#25

Spider-Man (2002)
90%

#25
Adjusted Score: 97294%
Critics Consensus: Not only does Spider-Man provide a good dose of web-swinging fun, it also has a heart, thanks to the combined charms of director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire.
Synopsis: "Spider-Man" centers on student Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who, after being bitten by a genetically-altered spider, gains superhuman strength and... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 112598%
Critics Consensus: The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise's winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny -- and beautifully animated -- family-friendly mayhem.
Synopsis: There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's... [More]
Directed By: Chris McKay

#23
Adjusted Score: 102380%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.
Synopsis: After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#22

Big Hero 6 (2014)
90%

#22
Adjusted Score: 98667%
Critics Consensus: Agreeably entertaining and brilliantly animated, Big Hero 6 is briskly-paced, action-packed, and often touching.
Synopsis: Robotics prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) lives in the city of San Fransokyo. Next to his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro's closest... [More]
Directed By: Don Hall, Chris Williams

#21
Adjusted Score: 104507%
Critics Consensus: X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments.
Synopsis: Convinced that mutants pose a threat to humanity, Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) develops the Sentinels, enormous robotic weapons that... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#20

Shazam! (2019)
90%

#20
Adjusted Score: 115119%
Critics Consensus: An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
Synopsis: We all have a superhero inside of us -- it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.... [More]
Directed By: David F. Sandberg

#19
Adjusted Score: 117382%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 118745%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Synopsis: Peter Parker's relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury shows up in his hotel room to recruit... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#17
Adjusted Score: 97545%
Critics Consensus: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies distills the enduring appeal of its colorful characters into a charmingly light-hearted adventure whose wacky humor fuels its infectious fun -- and belies a surprising level of intelligence.
Synopsis: It seems that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies -- all but the Teen... [More]

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 110397%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths.
Synopsis: Welcome to hell--a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 106031%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 105696%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
Synopsis: Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 121042%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Synopsis: Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#12

Spider-Man 2 (2004)
93%

#12
Adjusted Score: 103405%
Critics Consensus: Boasting an entertaining villain and deeper emotional focus, this is a nimble sequel that improves upon the original.
Synopsis: When a failed nuclear fusion experiment results in an explosion that kills his wife, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) is... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#11

Incredibles 2 (2018)
93%

#11
Adjusted Score: 116863%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#10

Logan (2017)
94%

#10
Adjusted Score: 125321%
Critics Consensus: Hugh Jackman makes the most of his final outing as Wolverine with a gritty, nuanced performance in a violent but surprisingly thoughtful superhero action film that defies genre conventions.
Synopsis: In the near future, a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) at a remote... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#9

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
93%

#9
Adjusted Score: 126343%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise -- and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Synopsis: Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits... [More]
Directed By: Taika Waititi

#8

Wonder Woman (2017)
93%

#8
Adjusted Score: 128093%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior.... [More]
Directed By: Patty Jenkins

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 101333%
Critics Consensus: Superman deftly blends humor and gravitas, taking advantage of the perfectly cast Christopher Reeve to craft a loving, nostalgic tribute to an American pop culture icon.
Synopsis: Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#6

Iron Man (2008)
94%

#6
Adjusted Score: 104558%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
Synopsis: A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#5

The Dark Knight (2008)
94%

#5
Adjusted Score: 107468%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
Synopsis: With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 127918%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#3

Black Panther (2018)
96%

#3
Adjusted Score: 128737%
Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.
Synopsis: After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#2

The Incredibles (2004)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 106294%
Critics Consensus: Bringing loads of wit and tons of fun to the animated superhero genre, The Incredibles easily lives up to its name.
Synopsis: In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#1
Adjusted Score: 121255%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

All Tim Burton Movies Ranked

Born in the morbid, decaying wonderland known as Burbank, California, visionary director Tim Burton showed a propensity for the dark arts from a young age, guiding him into a CalArts education, and then the prestigious honor of getting fired from Disney in the mid-’80s. The reasoning: Wasting company money animating things too scary to show kids. This only gave Burton the opportunity to let his imagination run unfettered on the big screen and, with the help of some choice partners-in-crime, produced one deranged hit after another: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, two Michael Keaton Batman movies, Edward Scissorhands. (And if you’re later wondering why Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t on this list, though he’s often associated with the role, Burton is not credited as director on the film.)

After perhaps his finest hour — turning the cultural tide on the worst director ever with Ed Wood — Burton has oscillated between pet project curios (Frankenweenie, Dark Shadows) and bombastic blockbusters, such as Alice in Wonderland, which made a lot of money for, appropriately enough, Disney. And with Edward Scissorhands celebrating its 30th anniversary, we’re ranking all Tim Burton movies by Tomatometer!

#19

Dark Shadows (2012)
35%

#19
Adjusted Score: 46225%
Critics Consensus: The visuals are top notch but Tim Burton never finds a consistent rhythm, mixing campy jokes and gothic spookiness with less success than other Johnny Depp collaborations.
Synopsis: In 18th-century Maine, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) presides over the town of Collinsport. A rich and powerful playboy, Barnabas seals... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 50179%
Critics Consensus: This remake of Planet of the Apes can't compare to the original in some critics' mind, but the striking visuals and B-movie charms may win you over.
Synopsis: Director Tim Burton ("Batman") reinvents one of the most acclaimed and beloved works of science fiction, Pierre Boulle's classic novel... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#17

Dumbo (2019)
46%

#17
Adjusted Score: 68155%
Critics Consensus: Dumbo is held partly aloft by Tim Burton's visual flair, but a crowded canvas and overstretched story leave this live-action remake more workmanlike than wondrous.
Synopsis: Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 61844%
Critics Consensus: Tim Burton's Alice sacrifices the book's minimal narrative coherence -- and much of its heart -- but it's an undeniable visual treat.
Synopsis: A young girl when she first visited magical Underland, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is now a teenager with no memory... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#15

Mars Attacks! (1996)
55%

#15
Adjusted Score: 60085%
Critics Consensus: Tim Burton's alien invasion spoof faithfully recreates the wooden characters and schlocky story of cheesy '50s sci-fi and Ed Wood movies -- perhaps a little too faithfully for audiences.
Synopsis: A fleet of Martian spacecraft surrounds the world's major cities and all of humanity waits to see if the extraterrestrial... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#14
Adjusted Score: 79949%
Critics Consensus: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children proves a suitable match for Tim Burton's distinctive style, even if it's on stronger footing as a visual experience than a narrative one.
Synopsis: When his beloved grandfather leaves Jake clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#13

Sleepy Hollow (1999)
69%

#13
Adjusted Score: 74377%
Critics Consensus: It isn't Tim Burton's best work, but Sleepy Hollow entertains with its stunning visuals and creepy atmosphere.
Synopsis: Set in 1799, "Sleepy Hollow" is based on Washington Irving's classic tale "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Faithful to the... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#12

Batman (1989)
71%

#12
Adjusted Score: 77470%
Critics Consensus: An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson's Joker too often overshadows the title character.
Synopsis: Having witnessed his parents' brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#11

Big Eyes (2014)
72%

#11
Adjusted Score: 78784%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted, thought-provoking, and a refreshing change of pace for Tim Burton, Big Eyes works both as a biopic and as a timelessly relevant piece of social commentary.
Synopsis: In the late 1950s and early '60s, artist Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) achieves unbelievable fame and success with portraits of... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#10

Big Fish (2003)
76%

#10
Adjusted Score: 82679%
Critics Consensus: A charming father-and-son tale filled with typical Tim Burton flourishes, Big Fish is an impressive catch.
Synopsis: When Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) becomes ill, his son, William (Billy Crudup), travels to be with him. William has a... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#9

Batman Returns (1992)
80%

#9
Adjusted Score: 87238%
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.
Synopsis: The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#8
Adjusted Score: 91320%
Critics Consensus: Closer to the source material than 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is for people who like their Chocolate visually appealing and dark.
Synopsis: Based on the beloved Roald Dahl tale, this comedic and fantastical film follows young Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) and his... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#7
Adjusted Score: 91846%
Critics Consensus: As can be expected from a Tim Burton movie, Corpse Bride is whimsically macabre, visually imaginative, and emotionally bittersweet.
Synopsis: Victor (Johnny Depp) and Victoria's (Emily Watson) families have arranged their marriage. Though they like each other, Victor is nervous... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson

#6

Beetlejuice (1988)
85%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89463%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly bizarre and overflowing with ideas, Beetlejuice offers some of Michael Keaton's most deliciously manic work - and creepy, funny fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: After Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#5
Adjusted Score: 95108%
Critics Consensus: Full of pith and Grand Guignol grossness, this macabre musical is perfectly helmed and highly entertaining. Tim Burton masterfully stages the musical in a way that will make you think he has done this many times before.
Synopsis: Evil Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) lusts for the beautiful wife of a London barber (Johnny Depp) and transports him to... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 89485%
Critics Consensus: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure brings Paul Reubens' famous character to the big screen intact, along with enough inspired silliness to dazzle children of all ages.
Synopsis: Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens), an eccentric child-like man, loves his red bicycle and will not sell it to his envious... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#3

Frankenweenie (2012)
87%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96444%
Critics Consensus: Frankenweenie is an energetic stop-motion horror movie spoof with lovingly crafted visuals and a heartfelt, oddball story.
Synopsis: Young Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is a science nerd and outsider at school, but he does have one good friend:... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 94230%
Critics Consensus: The first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is a magical modern fairy tale with gothic overtones and a sweet center.
Synopsis: A scientist (Vincent Price) builds an animated human being -- the gentle Edward (Johnny Depp). The scientist dies before he... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#1

Ed Wood (1994)
92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 96149%
Critics Consensus: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team up to fete the life and work of cult hero Ed Wood, with typically strange and wonderful results.
Synopsis: Because of his eccentric habits and bafflingly strange films, director Ed Wood (Johnny Depp) is a Hollywood outcast. Nevertheless, with... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

Tom Holland is riding high as Marvel Studios’ current live-action Spider-Man, but he is far from the first to slip on the Spidey suit. Some would say it was Tobey Maguire, with his three Spider-Man films directed by Sam Raimi, who kicked off the superhero movie era as we know it and respect must be paid; others would say Andrew Garfield was an underrated web-slinger who perhaps failed to soar less because of his performance than the movies that surrounded it. Others would counter with a GIF of Maguire dancing. We’re here to settle the debate once and for all – at least Mark Ellis is. Our Vs. host is breaking down the Spider-Men by Tomatometer, box office, and the villains they faced to determine once and for all who wore it best – “it” being the blue-and-red suit, of course.


Check out clips of some of Spider-Man’s best moments

This August, Rotten Tomatoes turns 21 and to mark the occasion we’re celebrating the 21 Most Memorable Moments from the movies over the last 21 years. For this special video series, which we’ve been publishing over the last four months, we spoke to the actors and filmmakers who made those moments happen, revealing behind-the-scenes details about how the moments came to be and diving deep into why they’ve stuck with us for so long. You’ll find big ’90s twists – yep, he sees dead people – as well as super-recent cliffhangers, like Thanos’s universe-halving Snap. There are laughs (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Elf, Bridesmaids) and romance (The Notebook, Spider-Man) and more than a few scares (The Blair Witch Project, 28 Days Later…). But which moment is the single most memorable of the last 21 years? Well, that’s where you come in. We’re asking you to watch the below videos and then vote on your favorite movie moment of the last two decades (and a bit).

Voting is open now and runs until midnight Friday August 16 and we will announce the winner on August 19. Fans get a single vote – so choose wisely – and moments are listed in the order they were published over the past few months, most often to tie in with anniversaries and relevant occasions.

Take me to the voting!


“Remember Me!?” from Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 97%

Director George Miller: “It’s a moment by the way, I think, is available only to her. I don’t think any other character could have done it. I remember the line. I remember Charlize on that day said that she wanted to say the line. It wasn’t a written line. She said, ‘Look, I feel like I really want to say it. OK by you?’ I said, ‘Great.’ It just hit a sweet spot in amongst that action, and it was a little pause before the brutality of the moment and the continuation of the action that was to come.”

Read director George Miller’s full interview about the “Remember me!?” moment.


The Snap from Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 85%

Co-director Joe Russo: “Anth and I, through our entire experience at Marvel, always tried to make very disruptive choices with each film. The end of Winter Solider, good guys and the bad guys, we flip everything on its head. In Civil War we divorce the Avengers. With Infinity War we knew we wanted to make a strong narrative choice. There’s an adage where you write yourself into a corner, and you try to figure out how to get out. That usually creates really dramatic moments for the audience. There’s no bigger way to write ourselves into a corner than killing half the characters.”

Read directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s full interview about the moment Thanos devastates the universe.


Satine’s Entrance from Moulin Rouge (2001) 76%

Director Baz Luhrmann: “I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we put her in a circus trapeze and we did a trapeze number, but we’ll have to have a stunt person. But Nicole being Nicole was like, ‘No way.’ So she trained with a circus person for a good, I would say, two weeks to do that number and when you see her swing around that’s her. It’s her all the way through that footage. She’s on the trapeze, she’s being swung around, she comes down, she falls into all those guys. So she was 100% stunt-free on that moment.

Read director Baz Luhrmann and production and costume designer Catherine Martin’s full interview about Satine’s big moment.


The Joker from The Dark Knight (2008) 94%

Makeup artist John Caglione Jr.: “Heath [Ledger] was great in the chair. Special actors like Heath – and my experience with Al Pacino over the years – these actors help you relax so that you can bring your game… I always got the feeling that [Heath] had already worked it out in his head, from what I remember. He knew where he was going. Early on, in first meeting Heath and playing around with the makeup, he already kind of had it all figured out. It was my job to just basically gild the lily and try to catch up with him, really. That’s what I felt.”

Read makeup artist John Caglione Jr. and marketing company 42 Entertainment CEO Susan Bonds’ full interview about this iconic take on the Joker.


Heather’s Confessional from The Blair Witch Project (1999) 86%

Co-writer and co-director Eduardo Sánchez: “The direction was: You’re not going to make it out of here. This is like an internal monologue. We were directing these actors to almost be like their conscience speaking to them. For Heather, it’s like, ‘You’re responsible for this. You’re the one who brought them out here. You didn’t heed the warnings. You knew this is dangerous and you brought these guys out here. Say your goodbyes. If you want to apologize to people, apologize to people, just basically say goodbye.’ We called it a confessional, your last confessional before you’re going. You’re not going to get out, and hopefully, somebody will find these tapes and will be able to tell your story, but tell your mom goodbye, and tell your family goodbye.”

Read writer-directors Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick’s full interview about Heather’s confessional.


The Upside-Down Kiss from Spider-Man (2002) 90%

Director Sam Raimi: “In the rain while he was doing the scene, I remember, he was slightly drowning because he couldn’t wipe his nose and the water was falling down into his upside-down nose, into his nostrils. So he was kinda drowning, and the only way he could breathe was through his mouth. It doesn’t look un-pleasurable, but I think it must’ve been.”

Read Sam Raimi and stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad’s full interview about the upside-down kiss.


London is Deserted from 28 Days Later (2002) 87%

Director Danny Boyle: “One of the technical advantages of using these smaller cameras is that you could shoot a location, not multiple times, but you could shoot it from multiple viewpoints simultaneously. Cillian was in no rush, he could just walk across. But you don’t get much time at these locations free of people even at four o’clock in the morning when we shot. So what happened was we hired a lot of students, because they’re cheap, to be our traffic marshals.”

Read Danny Boyle’s full interview about creating an eerily deserted London for the opening moments.


A Kiss in the Rain from The Notebook (2004) 53%

Director Nick Cassavetes: “There was something built up between these two kids, and it has nothing to do with directing. Because when we turned the cameras on, the scene was like: He’s mad at her, she’s mad at him, and then he says that he wrote her every day, and that’s the key that unlocks the door. And when that door got unlocked, I didn’t need to direct nothing. They wound up together for many years after the movie, which is…I don’t know if I’m proud of it, but I think it’s fantastic that they found each other like that. And I think that was the moment, because they weren’t together before that kiss. But they were together after that kiss, so maybe that was one of the deciding moments.”

Read Nick Cassavetes’ full interview about the kiss in the rain moment.


Crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma (2014) 99%

Representative John Lewis: “I truly believe that Oprah, Ava, and the staff working on the film sought my involvement because they knew my history. Selma represented an attempt to redeem the soul of America, to help us move closer to the participation of all people in the political process. This film can educate and inform the mind of hundreds and thousands of young people around America and around the world.”

Read Representative John Lewis and actor Stephan James’s full interview about the final bridge-crossing moment.


“Cars don’t fly!” from Furious 7 (2015) 82%

Actor Vin Diesel: “And it was that moment where we realized that Fast and Furious didn’t need to be restricted in any way. That we were so thorough about story and character, and it’s so much a tale of brotherhood and family, right, that we were allowed these kind of outrageous and fantasy-filled moments, and flying through the air was playing to that. Flying from building to building was playing to that. It was one of those solutions to the riddle, or answers to the riddle, ‘How do we one-up the spectacle of each film?’”

Read Vin Diesel’s full interview about the skyscraper-jump moment.


Juan teaches Chiron to Swim in Moonlight (2016) 98%

Cinematographer James Laxton: “When Barry alerted us to the storm approaching, we gathered our equipment together as quickly as possible, ran out into the water, and in some respects… I don’t want to say improvised, because what is in the script is on camera, if not in the exact way it was depicted. But we had a lot more shots in our shot list, and [were going to be] much more organized about capturing it. We had to really get out there and… let Mahershala as Juan guide this young man, and [have] me out in the water, as well, trying to capture this swimming lesson as it came. It [was shot] almost like a documentary, less so like a film in some respects. Sometimes your reaction to moments is as good as a well detailed plan might be. Sometimes it’s even better.”

Read James Laxton’s full interview about the swimming lesson moment.


Carl and Ellie in the Opening of Up (2009) 98%

Director Pete Docter: “There’s one moment in that montage where Ellie has to go to the doctor and it’s implied that they can’t have children for whatever reason. That raised some eyebrows even here at work as we were developing the film. So, we did experiment with taking it out. And we thought, ‘Well, maybe [the sequence] could still work [without it] because there’s some really charming stuff.’ But the strange thing was, not only did we not feel the emotion as strongly in that one little sequence, but as we watched the rest of the film the whole film lost a little bit. I can’t really fully explain that other than to say it was a real dark, low moment for them that I think made that relationship feel more real. The sort of pain and loss of that situation bonded those characters together and made you empathize more with them.”

Read Pete Docter’s full interview about Up‘s opening sequence.


Gollum Talks to Smeagol from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) 95%

Actor Andy Serkis: “I’d never considered myself a voice actor, just a regular actor, and I had to kind of think my way into it. I started to work on this notion that he’s called Gollum because of the way he sounds – and what would make his voice sound like that? I started to think about constriction of the throat, and as I was doing that, I was actually fortunate enough to witness my cat throwing up a fur ball. It suddenly gave me this idea that the whole physicality of the role would be determined by this force within, which is kind of built out of guilt and torment – this involuntary physical action is what caused this sound coming out of his mouth. The cat throwing up a fur ball is actually what generated the idea for this involuntary spewing out of words.”

Read Andy Serkis’s full interview about the Gollum-Smeagol moment.


The Bridesmaids get Food Poisoning from Bridesmaids (2011) 90%

Co-Writer Annie Mumolo: “We [originally] had a fantasy sequence where they go into the dress shop, and Kristen’s character tries on this dress and she has this fantasy that when she wears this dress, she’s all of a sudden in a castle. And all the men at the wedding are fawning over her. There’s so many of them wanting her so badly [that] just to escape from the castle she goes running out into this field and runs into the forest. And she naturally sees Christian Bale there, who’s chopping wood without a shirt on. And they end up on a bearskin rug, and he was combing her hair, and it was this expansive sequence of her little love affair with Christian Bale. In the meantime, [back in the real world] Helen gets the women to get the dress she wants because Annie is caught up in her fantasy. So that was the original [scene]. And then I think Judd said at one point we’ll never get Christian Bale to do this. And then we tried to put in Matt Damon and then we’re like, ‘As if we’re going to get Matt Damon to do this.’ He was concerned we weren’t going to get anybody to do it. And also he felt it needed harder comedy there, rather than what we had. So, we sadly let that go. We did not want to let that go. We loved that sequence.”

Read Annie Mumolo and director Paul Feig’s full interview about the food-poisoning moment.


Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort Duel from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) 96%

Director David Yates: “Harry sort of carries the spirit of Voldemort, in part, and they have this unity, and I had this idea that Harry and Voldemort are at the top of a school tower, and as they confronted each other… Dan would grab Ralph, and actually pull him off this tower, and they would apparate around the school together, and as they apparated around the school together, we’d explore this weird visual synthesis that exists between the two of them, and they’d eventually tumble down into the courtyard.”

Read David Yates’ full interview about the confrontation between Harry and Voldemort.


Avengers Assemble in New York from Marvel's the Avengers (2012) 91%

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige: “The moment I realized that this could be an iconic moment, not just for the MCU, but for these kind of films, was on the mix stage. When the effects were final and when Alan Silvestri’s amazing score was coming in, and the timing, and the experience of watching the whole movie up to that point… That[‘s when] I got chills and I realized Joss had pulled it off.”

Read Kevin Feige’s full interview about the Avengers Assemble moment.


The government lobby scene from The Matrix (1999) 88%

Stunt double Chad Stahelski: “So Keanu and I both had to back up to our number one marks and pretty much try to do all the choreography and the one-handed cartwheel and all the shooting with your eyes closed. Because once the squibs started going off, you couldn’t see anything. You had to count your steps and kinda go into it. And I remember looking at him and going ‘Uh, OK, this could be a little tricky.’ And he’s like ‘Eh, OK.’ And he nailed it first take. So that was pretty cool.”

Read Chad Stahelski’s full interview about the government lobby moment.


“I See Dead People” from The Sixth Sense (1999) 86%

Actor Haley Joel Osment: “There was an even-more morbid element to that scene that actually ended up getting cut out: When I tell Bruce my secret, [at] the last shot of the scene they pull back from my bed and you look out the window where you can see another entire wing of the hospital and in every window there is a person with some horrible injury or someone who’s gone pale because, you know, being in a hospital is a pretty heavy place for a ghost to linger around in this world. So, you pull back and you see all these people lined up on the other side of the frame.”

Read Haley Joel Osment’s full interview about the “I see dead people” moment.


The Chest-Waxing Scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) 85%

Writer-director Judd Apatow: “I basically set up four cameras and we had some basic beats we wanted to hit. We knew that we had to get Steve’s real reactions, so we shot it like a documentary. We wrote out tons of curses, because we did plan the main joke to be that he would just curse right into her face. And we also made lists of words that weren’t real curses that sounded like curses. That’s how we got to Steve screaming ‘Kelly Clarkson!’ Off to the side, Seth Rogen had made this enormous list of curses, and I would just yell them out to Steve, and each time they ripped the hair off of something he would scream out one of the curses.”

Read Judd Apatow’s full interview about the chest-waxing moment.


“No Man’s Land” from Wonder Woman (2017) 93%

Director Patty Jenkins: “I think that the biggest reason I was obsessed with [the scene] was really from a character place. From Diana’s point of view, it is: What is the birth of a superhero? Just like Superman pulling his shirt open the first time and revealing the ‘S,’ these are definitive, incredible moments, and so I knew that Wonder Woman needed an incredible moment and because we were doing her origin story, it really needed to be the moment that she made the decision to go from being a younger person who was hopeful and idealistic to one who decides to be a hero despite knowing more. And so in this story, that was what I cared about.”

Read Patty Jenkins’ full interview about the No Man’s Land moment


“Santa, here? I know him!” from Elf (2003) 85%

Actor Will Ferrell: “That kind of exclamation of ‘Santa!’ and screaming it, that was just my articulation of Buddy literally taking that piece of news [that Santa is coming] at face value and [thinking] what would be his literal reaction. A man without a country in this strange land finally getting to see someone he knows really well – it would just be the most jubilant reaction ever. I know that the first couple takes really took people by surprise, that I would go that big with it. And all of that, ‘Santa, I know him,’ all of that playing around we did, that was all improvised there.”

Read Will Ferrell and director Jon Favreau’s full interviews about the “Santa, here?” moment. 


Watch: Director Sam Raimi and stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad on the making of Spider-Man above.

In 2019, Rotten Tomatoes turns 21, and to mark the occasion we’re celebrating the 21 Most Memorable Moments from the movies over the last 21 years. In this special video series, we speak to the actors and filmmakers who made those moments happen, revealing behind-the-scenes details of how they came to be and diving deep into why they’ve stuck with us for so long. Once we’ve announced all 21, it will be up to you, the fans, to vote for which is the most memorable moment of all. In this episode of our ‘21 Most Memorable Moments’ series, director Sam Raimi and stunt coordinator reveal how a cold night in the fake rain on the backlot helped shift the course for the superhero movies forever.

VOTE FOR THIS MOMENT IN OUR 21 MOST MEMORABLE MOVIE MOMENTS POLL


The Movie: Spider-Man (2002) 90%

It’s unthinkable today, but making a Spider-Man movie in 2002 was a risk. Hollywood had gone cold on the superhero movie following the diminishing returns of the Batman movies, turning its attention to fantasy epics and series instead. Making a superhero movie with a somewhat scrawny, emotionally vulnerable kid at its center? With large portions playing out like a high-school comedy? Directed by the guy who made The Evil Dead? That was almost unthinkable. But Sony’s risk would pay off, with director Sam Raimi’s take on the Peter Parker character and the comic-book movie changing the next two decades of cinema that would follow. Here Raimi recalls how he had to fight passionately to get the job and execute his vision, while stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad reveals how he helped bring that vision to life.

Spider-Man

Sam Raimi on set with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. (Photo by ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

My agent said, ‘OK, you’re on the list. You’re number 17.’” 

Sam Raimi: “I had always been a giant fan of Stan Lee’s great comic books, Spider-Man chief among them, and I heard that Sony Pictures was going to make a movie of Spider-Man. So, I told my agent at the time I’d really like to get a meeting to be considered for the film, and he told me at the time that Sony Pictures wasn’t that interested in me as the director. I said, ‘Well, can they at least put me on the list somewhere down the line?’ And he called me back and said, “OK, you’re on the list. You’re number 17.’ I said, ‘What does that mean?’ He said, ‘It means there’s 16 directors they’d rather meet with before you.’ And I said, ‘Great.’ So, the months went on and I didn’t hear any response, and I called the agent. I said, ‘How’s it going?’ And he called me back and said, ‘Well, you’re number seven.’ I finally worked my way into an actual meeting with them, and they said, ‘Tell us about the movie you wanna make.’ All I did was I told them about my great love for Stan Lee’s comic book, Spider-Man, and what it was to me. And for me, it was a great love story with a real human being at center, Peter Parker. Somebody I could really identify with. Somebody who had to do homework. Someone who the girls weren’t crazy about. Somebody who was bullied. And, somebody who came from a broken home. And yet, he had to rise up in his off-hours and become this hero to protect the city, and I thought that was so moving. It seemed like they had never heard that version before, which is everything that Stan Lee did in his comics. And they called me up sometime later and said I had the job.”

“It just came to everybody’s mind in Hollywood that a superhero should be a strong, tall, leading man… like how the great Christopher Reeves played Superman.”

Raimi: “Tobey was my first, and really, my only choice for the role. He’s very sensitive as a human being, and he’s a great actor, and so he understands the inner pain that Peter Parker feels, but knows to keep it hidden, and not to wear his heart on his sleeve. But at the time, Sony Pictures, headed up by Amy Pascal, didn’t see why he was the right choice for the role. I think the humanistic superhero hadn’t yet really hit the screens yet… It just came to everybody’s mind in Hollywood that a superhero should be strong, tall, leading man, have a lot of power or gravitas — he should be like how George Clooney played Batman or how the great Christopher Reeves played Superman. I was successful when I finally was able to communicate to Amy over the course of months of writing, working on the scripts with the writers, and doing pre-production, that we’re really making the story of a boy who learns responsibility. And I think when she finally understood the character that Stan Lee had created, she realized that Tobey was the right choice, and finally relented and allowed me to cast him. It’s very rare for me to have worked with a studio that actually listened [which Sony did], that actually understands that the director has a vision for a project and listens and knows to support that vision. It was a very new experience for me. Especially when it’s contrary to their vision.”

Spider-Man

Raimi fought to cast Maguire as Spider-Man. (Photo by ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

“We need to put more weight in the landing. We need to really show that the web is taking on the stretch.”

Raimi: “I had great graphic images all through my childhood years of how Spider-Man lands, what his pose looks like, how he swings from a web. I’d seen all these great artists’ artistic renderings. The job was not really difficult to come up with a vision, because it existed. It was to bring that vision to the big screen. How would we do that? How would we get actors to move in a way through space that only a comic book artist could depict? It really wasn’t realistic. It was fantasy. How could we bring that to life and make it real for the audience? It happens on a painstakingly slow frame-by-frame basis. So, that went on from the first day of drawing storyboard number one with my artists, to the last day of approving a CGI final. And it was all about, ‘He doesn’t look real here. We need to put more weight in the landing. We need to really show that the web is taking on the stretch. It doesn’t feel like it’s affected by his swinging.’ It was all about the details of trying to make it seem like it could really happen, and if we could do that, we didn’t even have to count on the spectacle being as high of a bar. Simply making it believable for the audience at the time would’ve wowed them. That was my thinking, and so that’s what we went for.”

“He lands in a real comfortable-looking position for him, but for you and me, there’s no way we could get into that position.”

Jeff Habberstad: We had several different stunt doubles for Spider-Man. We had two primary ones, Mark Wagner and Chris Daniels. Wagner came from Cirque du Soleil and Chris came from a dancing background, and they were both extremely good acrobats and also extremely flexible. And the flexibility, when you see how Spider-Man looks just when he lands in the bottom of the boxing ring or on the side of a building, he stretches and lands in a real comfortable-looking position for him, but for you and me, there’s no way we could get into that position. That’s kind of what I saw in the comic books – you see him all curled up like a spider in this beautiful pose that you can’t achieve. We definitely tried to achieve that as much as we possibly could.”

Spider-Man

Habberstad worked with two stuntmen to make the movement seem real and graceful. (Photo by ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)


The Moment: An Upside-Down Kiss

Raimi was determined that his Spider-Man be as much a drama, and a romance, as a wham-bam action flick. So it was that so many of the movie’s most memorable moments – the death of Uncle Ben among them – happen on the ground, not while Parker is swinging between skyscrapers. The movie’s most memorable scene happens both on the ground, and in the air, in a way: after fighting off some attackers, Spider-Man kisses Mary Jane Watson while hanging upside down. The rain pours and the sparks fly. Here, Raimi and Habberstad break down the cold wet night they spent shooting in the backlot, how Tobey Maguire was half-drowning throughout, and why the scene landed so well.

“If you’re in the rain, you’re freezing your buns off.”

Raimi: “I remember we were on a studio backlot and we had our mechanical effects [team] create rain towers for the rain effect, and just that alone is always a little difficult at night for the actors. You know, because you do take after take and they’re being doused in kinda cold water. And it can become shivering… I mean, it can become really chilling. They had to endure that the whole night, I remember. Kirsten Dunst never said anything, but she was always shivering when we were discussing the scene. And so was Tobey, but they never complained about it.”

Spider-Man

Maguire and Dunst were both cold during the scene. (Photo by ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

Habberstad: “All this rain coming down is getting cooled by the air, and it’s just like one big air conditioner trying to cool you off. If you’re in the rain, you’re freezing your buns off. But we would have to get out there, get in position, get the rain going, and then we would have to lift Tobey up on the wire, upside down in the position you saw him in the movie. That would take a couple minutes, so it’s a few minutes of misery each time we do the take. Then, of course, after the take’s over, you stop and now you’re wet. My recollection is we only did that a couple of times. It was just such a cool little moment that once you got it, you couldn’t really improve upon it.”

“The water was falling down into his upside-down nose, the only way he could breathe was through his mouth.”

Raimi: “Not only was there a lot of physicality needed for the fight scene from Tobey, but then he had to hang upside down for this whole scene. And it’s hard to hang upside down, unless you’re trained to do it – your blood rushes to your head very quickly, you get a headache. Also what was difficult for him was that he was in a harness that was cutting into his shoulders, because they’re not really made to hang upside down in, specifically. And, in the rain while he was doing the scene, I remember, he was slightly drowning because he couldn’t wipe his nose and the water was falling down into his upside-down nose, into his nostrils. So he was kinda drowning, and the only way he could breathe was through his mouth. It doesn’t look un-pleasurable, but I think it must’ve been.”

Spider-Man

Maguire and Dunst as Peter and Mary Jane. (Photo by ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

“That’s why her pulling down the mask makes the moment special, because his character longs to be loved by her.”

Raimi: “We knew that [the scene] was a threshold moment for the character. This is Peter Parker, who had just come into his own, his own sense of responsibility, and into his powers as Spider-Man, starting to learn to master them. And he had always been pining for the woman he loved, Mary Jane Watson, he could never really tell. [As Spider-Man] Peter could both be responsible, and achieve his dream of helping the woman he loved. But it’s also about him finally getting to kiss the woman he loves, and her being attracted to him, and the vulnerability that he exposes to her in the scene is finally dealt with. His sense of fragility. And I think that’s why her pulling down the mask makes the moment special, because his character longs to be loved by her. He wants to be accepted by her, and to remove the mask is the idea of exposing yourself, to becoming vulnerable to someone who loves you.”


The Impact: A New Superhero Era

Iron Man may have officially kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, but that box office behemoth might not have been possible without Raimi’s Spider-Man in 2002. The movie – which Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige worked on, uncredited, before officially joining Spider-Man 2 as an executive producer – showed there was a huge appetite for the character and these kinds of movies, and its mix of action, grounded human drama, romance, and comedy, would become a template not just for Raimi’s sequels but for the best Marvel movies to follow. Despite six more movies (direct sequels, the Andrew Garfield reboots, Homecoming, and the animated Into the Spider-Verse), it remains the biggest-earning Spider-Man movie of all time – though the just-released Far From Home may challenge that title. Raimi could not see all that coming back in the early 2000s, though; then his ambitions were somewhat modest – he just wanted to do Spider-Man’s creator justice. 

© Columbia Pictures / © Marvel

Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far From Home. (Photo by © Columbia Pictures / © Marvel)

“Hollywood was soured on the superhero film around year 2000.”

Raimi: “I felt the pressure that the genre was in trouble. It was very hard for me to get people to work on the film. I know it doesn’t seem likely [today], but that was the case [then]. Hollywood was soured on the superhero film around year 2000, 1999, and it was looked down upon as something that people didn’t really wanna act in. I tried to get different people interested in playing some of the other parts. No one was really interested, no one was that interested in taking key positions on the crew, tell you the truth.”

“This is not a cartoon. This is a dramatic movie. It cannot look cartoon-y.”

Habberstad: “Sam had this vision. I can give you an example. We were doing one scene, the second unit was shooting, and the second unit director came to Sam with this idea. He said, ‘Look, we’ll shoot it from under the truck and it will be a real wide-angle lens, and it’ll look real cartoon-y.’ Sam stopped him right there. He goes, ‘This is not a cartoon. This is a dramatic movie. It cannot look cartoon-y.’ That one statement right there spoke to me in droves. All of a sudden, I’m like, ‘Yeah, he’s not making what you would really naturally think a comic book movie is.’ It’s just like the kiss. It’s a very special dramatic moment, and he wanted the whole movie to be like that, about as far away from a cartoon as it could possibly be. All of a sudden, adults and people that grew up with these comic books, I think they just had a little discovery in their head that they didn’t know was there: ‘Wow, this is what I want to see.’”

Spider-Man

Raimi’s film ushered in a new era of superhero movies. (Photo by ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

“I love Stan Lee’s work and I was trying to be true to it.”

Raimi: “I love Stan Lee’s work and I was trying to be true to it, and if people recognized from Spider-Man that his stories were really effective, then I’m proud. I think Stan Lee’s work in the Marvel comic books was so great in the ’60s and ’70s and ’80s. And I was one of the first kids that was able to shout to the neighborhood, ‘This is so great you guys, get down here and check this out!’”


Spider-Man was released on May 2002. Buy or rent it at FandangoNOW.

#1

Spider-Man (2002)
90%

#1
Adjusted Score: 97294%
Critics Consensus: Not only does Spider-Man provide a good dose of web-swinging fun, it also has a heart, thanks to the combined charms of director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire.
Synopsis: "Spider-Man" centers on student Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who, after being bitten by a genetically-altered spider, gains superhuman strength and... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

Neil Blomkamp is reassembling RoboCopJoaquin Phoenix is getting his own Joker movie, and Robin is about to lead the Titans on streaming. That’s the great thing about our favorite characters: they’re never really gone – someone new can always bring them back. But how many of these adaptations really capture what we love about our favorite characters? And which adaptations do it best?

To find out, we took a deep look at 15 characters who have had at least five different versions of them made, and which have current or upcoming adaptations on the way. For some who’ve had dozens (thanks to public domain), we stuck to the 10 most famous versions. If a role was just recast during the same series – as opposed to a wholly new take – we counted them together. For each character, we also found their highest Tomatometer-rated portrayal – the ultimate arbiter of which version is the best (and likely the ultimate argument-starter among those who disagree!).


RoboCop

(Photo by © Orion/courtesy Everett Collection)

Number of RoboCops: 6

All the RoboCops: Original Trilogy (Peter Weller/Robert Burke), 1988 animated series (voice of Dan Hennessey), 1994 RoboCop TV Series (Richard Eden), RoboCop: Prime Directives TV series (Page Fletcher), 2014 RoboCop (Joel Kinnaman), Neil Blomkamp RoboCop (TBD)

The Best RoboCop: RoboCop (1987) 90%

No surprise, the original 1987 RoboCop is still rated highest. But we would never bet against Neil Blomkamp giving that version a run for its money.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite RoboCop


The Joker

(Photo by ©Warner Home Video)

Number of Jokers: 17 and counting

10 Most Famous Jokers: ‘60s TV Series (Cesar Romero), 1989 Batman (Jack Nicholson), Batman: The Animated Series including Mask of the Phantasm and crossover films and series (voice of Mark Hamill), The Batman (voice of Kevin Michael Richardson), The Dark Knight (Heath Ledger), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voice of Jeff Bennett), Suicide Squad (Jared Leto), The LEGO Batman Movie (Zach Galifianakis), Joker Origin Movie (Joaquin Phoenix), Martin Scorsese-Produced Joker Movie (Leonardo DiCaprio)

The Best Joker: Batman: The Animated Series

At 97%, Batman: The Animated Series edges out even The Dark Knight’s 94% if we judge versions purely by Tomatometer. Morgan Jeffery of Digital spy praised the show’s voice cast, saying, “On top of its beautiful visuals and vocals, Batman also boasted a tone far more adult than one might expect from a comic book cartoon.” Hamill’s Joker is so acclaimed that he continued voicing him in many animated incarnations. However, as live-action Jokers go, Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning portrayal is hard to top. Will Phoenix or DiCaprio do it?

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Joker


Batman

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

Number of Batmans: 17 (including a radio show) and counting

10 Most Famous Batmans: ’60s Batman TV series (Adam West), The Batman/Superman Hour/Super Friends (voice of Olan Soule), Burton/Schumacher film series (Michael Keaton/Val Kilmer/George Clooney), Batman: The Animated Series through Justice League Unlimited (voice of Kevin Conroy), Batman Beyond (voice of Will Friedle), The Dark Knight trilogy (Christian Bale), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Diedrich Bader), Gotham (David Mazouz), DCEU (Ben Affleck), LEGO Movies (voice of Will Arnett), The Batman (TBA)

The Best Batman: Batman Beyond 100%

Batman earned his highest Tomatometer score in the futuristic Batman Beyond with 100%. EW’s Ken Tucker said, “The new, black-winged, red-blooded Batman on display Saturday mornings will have you pouring a steaming mug of coffee and shouldering aside any nearby children to catch all the fresh fun and action.” In the live-action realm, Christian Bale’s Dark Knight trilogy is the most consistently Fresh Batman series with a high of 94% for The Dark Knight.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Batman


Robin Hood

(Photo by © Lionsgate)

Number of Robin Hoods: Dozens

The 10 Most Famous Robin Hoods: 1922 Robin Hood (Douglas Fairbanks), The Adventures of Robin Hood (Errol Flynn), Disney’s Robin Hood (voice of Brian Bedford), Robin and Marian (Sean Connery), Time Bandits (John Cleese), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Kevin Costner), Robin Hood (Patrick Bergin), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (Cary Elwes), 2010 Robin Hood (Russell Crowe), 2018 Robin Hood (Taron Egerton)

The Best Robin Hood: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) 100%

With 100%, Errol Flynn is hands-down the most acclaimed Robin Hood. Not bad considering Rotten Tomatoes didn’t exist yet in 1938! But our critics still respect the classic, with Village Voice’s Elliott Stein commenting, “Movie pageantry at its best, done in the grand manner of silent spectacles, brimming over with the sort of primitive energy that drew people to the movies in the first place.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Robin Hood

Mulan

(Photo by ©Walt Disney Pictures)

Number of Mulans: 15

The 10 Most Famous Mulans: Hua Mulan Joins The Army (Hu Shan), Lady General Hua Mu Lan (Ivy Ling Po), The Saga of Mulan (Bai Shuxian), Disney Mulan franchise (voice of Ming-Na), The Secret of Mulan (uncredited voice), A Tough Side of a Lady (Mariane Chan), Mulan: Rise of a Warrior (Zhao Wei), Once Upon a Time (Jamie Chung), Live-Action Disney Mulan (Liu Yifei), Alex Graves-directed Mulan (TBD)

The Best Mulan: Mulan (1998) 86%

Since most of the Chinese film and television productions of the Mulan story weren’t available to international critics, the Disney Mulan currently wins on the Tomatometer by default. Film Journal International’s Wendy Weinstein wrote, “it is in the subtlety of its characters’ ‘acting’ that Mulan excels” and it does have an 86% Fresh rating. We have every hope for the upcoming live-action renditions, too.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Mulan


Tinker Bell

(Photo by ©Walt Disney)

Number of Tinker Bells: Dozens

10 Most Famous Tinker Bells: 1924 Peter Pan (Virginia Browne Faire), Disney’s Peter Pan/Return to Neverland (Silent), 1960 Peter Pan (stage light), Hook (Julia Roberts), Peter Pan (Ludivine Sagnier), Neverland (Keira Knightley), Tinker Bell film series (voice of Mae Whitman), Peter Pan Live (CGI), Once Upon a Time (Rose McIver), Live-Action Tinker Bell (Reese Witherspoon)

The Best Tinker Bell: Tinker Bell (2008) 90%

Tinker Bell’s solo movie is even fresher than the original Disney Peter Pan, and subsequent sequels are Fresh too. The L.A. Times’ Michael Ordona wrote, “To its target audience, it will be another self-empowerment fable with loads of imagination and colorful, painterly images (and a keen marketing blast for Disney fairies).” The 1924 film is praised unanimously by a handful of critics, so it’s worth seeking out.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Tinker Bell


Superman

(Photo by © The CW)

Number of Portrayals: 16 (including radio)

10 Most Famous Superman: Live-action serials (Kirk Alyn), Superman and the Mole Men + The Adventures of Superman (George Reeves), Superman: The Movie through Superman Returns (Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh), Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (Dean Cain), Superman: The Animated Series (voice of Tim Daly), Smallville (Tom Welling), Warner Animation Superman films (voices of Adam Baldwin, Kyle MacLachlan, Tim Daly, Mark Harmon, James Denton, Kevin Conroy, George Newbern, Matt Bomer, Sam Daly, Alan Tudyk, Jerry O’Connell, Benjamin Bratt), DCEU (Henry Cavill), Supergirl (Tyler Hoechlin), Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (voice of Nicolas Cage)

The Best Superman: Superman: The Movie (1978) 94%

You never forget your first Superman, so the franchise that began with Christopher Reeve’s 94% Fresh Superman: The Movie remains the most acclaimed. As recently as this May, The Times UK’s Ed Potton called Reeve “manlier and steelier than recent portrayals by Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill.” John J. Puccio of Movie Metroplis (appropriate name) said of Reeve “the casting department found someone with just the right charisma to pull it off.” Recently, Tyler Hoechlin’s portrayal of Kal El on a few episodes of Supergirl earned new raves. Digital Spy’s Morgan Jeffery says, “Tyler Hoechlin is the best live-action Man of Steel since the sorely underrated Dean Cain hung up his tights.” TV Fanatic’s Stacy Glanzman agrees that Hoechlin “nailed it.” Give him a few more seasons and see if he can catch up to Reeve!

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Superman


James Bond

Sean Connery as James Bond

Number of Different James Bonds: 006

All the James Bonds: “Casino Royale” episode of Climax (Barry Nelson), EON Film Series (Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig), Casino Royale comedy (Peter Sellers, David Niven, Woody Allen), “The British Hero” episode of Omnibus (Christopher Cazenove in re-enactments), Never Say Never Again (Sean Connery), James Bond Jr. (voice of Corey Burton)

The Best Portrayal: Goldfinger (1964) 99%

It’s the long-running EON films version of the character, obviously. At its height, these films scored a 97%. Roger Ebert remarked of Goldfinger and the franchise, “it is a great entertainment, and contains all the elements of the Bond formula that would work again and again.” Now, whether you pick Daniel Craig or Sean Connery as your favorite from this version…we’ll let that debate continue among Bond fans.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite James Bond


Hulk

(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Number of Portrayals: 13 including Marvel animated guest appearances

10 Most Famous Hulks: The Marvel Super-Heroes (voice of Max Ferguson), The Incredible Hulk TV series (Lou Ferrigno), The Incredible Hulk animated series (voice of Bob Holt), The Marvel Action Hour (voice of Ron Perlman), The Incredible Hulk (voice of Neal McDonough), episodes of Iron Man: Armored Adventures (voice of Mark Gibbon), Superhero Squad Show (voice of Travis Willingham), Hulk (Eric Bana), MCU (Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo), The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes through Avengers Assemble and appearances on Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man (voice of Fred Tatasciore)

The Best Portrayal: Marvel's the Avengers (2012) 91%

With a 92%, The Avengers‘ incarnation of Hulk smashes the rest – and the MCU version as a whole, including Ed Norton and Mark Ruffolo’s tale,s has a Fresh average of 81.8% . The animated Earth’s Mightiest Heroes scores higher even than The Avengers, but with only five reviews, we’re still giving the title to the MCU’s Hulk Matt Brunson of Creative Loafing said when reviewing The Avengers, “The scene-stealer is Ruffalo, who provides Bruce Banner with a soulfulness missing in the portrayals by Bana and Norton.” Even CNN’s Tom Charity singled out the Hulk among other Avengers, saying, “Never underestimate the entertainment value of the Hulk Smash.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Hulk


Spider-Man

(Photo by © Columbia)

Number of Spider-Man: 16

The 10 Most Famous Spider-Men: The Amazing Spider-Man (Nicholas Hammond), Spider-Man (voice of Christopher Daniel Barnes), Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (voice of Neil Patrick Harris), Ultimate Spider-Man and LEGO Marvel (voice of Drake Bell), Sam Raimi Trilogy (Tobey Maguire), Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2 (Andrew Garfield), Turn Off The Dark (Reeve Carney and Justin Matthew Sargeant), LEGO Spider-Man (voice of Jackson Buffington), (MCU/Homecoming (Tom Holland), Into the Spider-verse (Jake Johnson and Shameik Moore)

Best Spider-Man: Spider-Man 2 (2004) 93%

With a peak at Spider-Man 2’s 93%, the Sam Raimi trilogy remains the most critically acclaimed Spider-Man films (Holland’s appearances in Captain America: Civil War and Homecoming comess close though.) AP’s Christy Lemire praised the series when reviewing the second film: “The web-slinging sequences are bigger-better-brighter-faster than the already spectacular ones in 2002’s Spider-Man, and at the same time, the film’s smaller emotional moments are denser, richer and more resonant than those in the first.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Spider-Man


Jughead Jones

(Photo by © The CW)

Number of Jugheads: 7

All the Jugheads: Radio show (voices of Hal Stone, Cameron Andrews and Arnold Stang), The Archie Show and spinoffs (voice of Howard Morris), The New Archies (voice of Michael Fantini), Archie’s Weird Mysteries (voice of Chris Lundquist), 1976 Archie pilot and ’78 special Archie Situation Comedy Musical Variety Show (Derrel Maury), Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again (Sam Whipple), Riverdale (Cole Sprouse)

Best Jughead: Riverdale 84%

Riverdale has a series Tomatometer score of 88%, crowning Cole Sprouse as the best Jughead. It’s also the only take who’s been reviewed enough to have a Tomatometer score, but we have a feeling this CW fan favorite would likely win against his animated competition even if the data was there.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Jughead 


He-Man

Number of He-Men: 5

All the He-Men: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (voice of John Erwin), Masters of the Universe (Dolph Lundgren), The New Adventures of He-Man (voice of Garry Chalke and Doug Parker), 2002 series (Cam Clarke), New Live-Action Film In Development

Best He-Man: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe 100%

Boy, did all the Tomatometer critics grow up on the weekday afternoon cartoon in the ’80s, or what? Well, this one may still be up for grabs if they make a really cool live-action movie, but for now the original cartoon is the master. Nerdist’s Rosie Knight puts it in perspective saying, “Beloved for many reasons. There’s the notoriously rushed production… giving it a unique and charming look. It’s also revered for its vision of a kid friendly techno-barbarian landscape.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite He-Man


The Punisher

(Photo by © Netflix)

Number of Punishers: 6

All The Punishers: 1989 The Punisher (Dolph Lundgren), Spider-Man: The Animated Series (voice of John Beck), 2004 The Punisher (Thomas Jane), Punisher: War Zone and Super Hero Squad Show (Ray Stevenson), Netflix series (Jon Bernthal), Avengers Assemble episode “Planet Doom” (uncredited)

Best Punisher: Marvel's Daredevil: Season 2 (2016) 81%

Bernthal remains the only certified Fresh Punisher, and his stint on Daredevil season 2 bested even his own series (though Marvel’s The Punisher is still Fresh). New York Observer’s Vinnie Mancuso singles out Bernthal’s haunted portrayal, “Jon Bernthal is the perfect Punisher because there is zero fun in his performance.”In reviewing Daredevil‘s second season, Aggressive Comix’s Steph Cozza adds, “The Punisher is the true MVP here.”

Poll: Vote for Your favorite Punisher


Godzilla

(Photo by © Toho Films)

Number of Godzillas: 9

All the Godzillas: 31 Toho Films, Hanna-Barbera Godzilla, Godzillaland, Godzilla Island, 1998 Godzilla, Godzilla: The Series, Nike commercial with Charles Barkle, Legendary Films’ Godzilla, Netflix Godzilla

The Best Godzilla: Godzilla (1954) 93%

With a 93% for the classic Gojira and seven more Fresh movies in the franchise, nobody’s done Godzilla better than Toho. The Washington Post’s Stephen Hunter put it best in 2004 when he said, “Its images of the destruction of the cities is far more powerful than in American films, where the cities are trashed for the pure pleasure of destruction, without any real sense of human loss.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Godzilla


King Kong

King Kong, 1933

Number of Kongs: 9

All the Kongs: 1933 King Kong and Son of Kong (stop motion animation), 1966 King Kong animated series, King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes, 1976 King Kong (voice of Peter Cullen) and King Kong Lives (Peter Elliott), Kong: The Animated Series and Return to the Jungle, 2005 King Kong (Andy Serkis), Kong: King of Atlantis,  Kong: King of the Apes (voice of Lee Tockar), Legendary King Kong (Toby Kebbell)

The Best Kong: King Kong (1933) 98%

Certified Fresh at 98%, the original 1933 Kong is still King (its sequel, rushed into release later in 1933, not so much). Robert Ebert explained why it still works nearly a century later, writing that “there is something ageless and primeval about King Kong that still somehow works.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite King Kong


There are many more characters who’ve been portrayed over and over again. Who are your favorites? Tell us in the comments.

To go by his words and deeds, Avengers: Infinity War’s Thanos (Josh Brolin) may be the most consummate and powerful foe the Marvel Cinematic Universe has yet unleashed. To hear him tell it, his attempt to give the universe balance by obtaining the Infinity Stones is a merciful and humane action. Perhaps more than any other Marvel villain, he is a hero in his own mind with goals he perceives as altruistic.

But will his Infinity War appearance make him one of the great film supervillains of all time? And what makes for greatness when it comes to villainy? Is it a grand plan executed with aplomb? An iconic look or an immediately quotable motto? Or is it a knack for banter with the hero? As more and more people see Infinity War, Thanos’s merits as one of the great villains will be debated, but let’s take a look at 20 of the big screen’s greatest superhero foes he will have to contend with to get that honor.


20. The Joker (Cesar Romero)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

The big screen’s first Joker was also television’s original Crown Prince of Crime. Romero memorably gave the character his psychotic laugh and off-kilter sense of humor. In the film, he also succeeds at being a cabin boy to a senile admiral. Armed with his repertoire and a “dehydration” gun, the Joker — along with the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), Catwoman (Lee Meriwether) and the Riddler (Frank Gorshin) — creates plenty of trouble for the Dynamic Duo.

Film Appearances: Batman: The Movie (1966), though he previously appeared in the Batman TV series.

Tomatometer: 80%

North American Box Office: $1.7 million

Destruction Factor: Turns the “United World” Security Council to a fine powder.

Memorable Line: “I’m afraid they’ll find our humor very, very dry!”

Powers: Puns and gag weapons.

Cosplay Cred: Few are ever willing to grow a Romero mustache for the perfect Joker ’66 look.


19. Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton)

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

As a deep-cover spy, Neville Sinclair was the toast of Hollywood with the ability to bed any woman and earn the trust of any man. But his attempt to secure Howard Hughes’s (Terry O’Quinn) experimental rocket pack fills him with a particular mania that serves to be his undoing. Also: his sophisticated movie star image is the perfect counterpoint to the unkempt style of the Rocketeer (Billy Campbell).

Film Appearances: The Rocketeer (1991)

Tomatometer: 62%

US Box Office: $46.7 million

Destruction Factor: Assists in the destruction of a dirigible, the rocket pack itself, and a portion of the “Hollywoodland” sign.

Memorable Line: “It wasn’t lies, Jenny. It vas acting.”

Powers: A strong resemblance to Errol Flynn and Timothy Dalton.

Cosplay Cred: Sadly, none.


18. The Phantasm (Dana Delany)

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

The Phantasm is one of the most personal villains the animated Batman (Kevin Conroy) ever faced. In costume, the Phantasm speaks with the voice of Stacy Keach and strikes terror into Gotham’s organized crime families. But in reality, she is Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany), the only woman who could ever pull Bruce Wayne away from his life as a vigilante. Sadly, the dissolution of their relationship leads them both to don masks and face the City’s worst criminals.

Film Appearances: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

Tomatometer: 82%

US Box Office: $5.6 million

Destruction Factor: Batman’s heart.

Memorable Line: “Your Angel of Death awaits.”

Powers: Combat training and smoke bombs.

Cosplay Cred: Rare, but it’s memorable when you spot a Phantasm cosplay in the wild.


17. Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson)

Though he seems to be a mentor, Elijah Price is really the architect of all of David Dunn’s (Bruce Willis) problems. (Sorry: Spoiler.) Though he is the only person to recognize the presence of superpowers in the world, years of abuse and neglect — to say nothing of his brittle bones — lead him to one conclusion: be the supervillain the world needs to find the hero it requires.

Film Appearances: Unbreakable (2000), thought M. Night Shyamalan is currently working on a follow-up for 2019 called, appropriately, Glass.

Tomatometer: 68%

Worldwide Box Office: $248.1 million

Destruction Factor: Derails a train to prove David is indestructible, among other acts of terrorism.

Memorable Line: “They called me Mr. Glass!”

Powers: A terrifying intellect.

Cosplay Cred: A surprisingly rare occurrence at comic cons.


16. Mystique (Rebecca Romijn)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

As both spy and confidant to Magneto (Ian McKellen), Mystique relies on her top martial arts skills and mutant ability to blend into any environment. But she is also the most visible example of Magneto’s crusade. Though she can choose to appear as anyone she wishes, Mystique’s natural blue serpentine appearance inspires fear in the world. The character was so memorable in the initial X-Men film series that the current cycle revolves around her, now played by Jennifer Lawrence.

Film Appearances: The X-Men franchise.

Tomatometer: X-Men: 81% (Certified Fresh), X2: X-Men United: 85% (Certified Fresh), X-Men: The Last Stand: 58%

Worldwide Box Office: X-Men: $296.3 million, X2: X-Men United: $407.7 million, X-Men: The Last Stand: $459.3 million

Destruction Factor: Though she has been known to blow stuff up now and again, that isn’t really her style. Instead she sows confusion and wreaks havoc by manipulating her foes.

Memorable Line: “You know, people like you are the reason I was afraid to go to school as a child.”

Powers: Shape-shifting.

Cosplay Cred: An extremely tough look to pull off at comic cons.


15. “Bad” Superman (Christopher Reeve)

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

When Superman is overcome by the toxic effects of Gus Gorman’s (Richard Pryor) counterfeit Kryptonite, he turns into a self-centered jerk who would rather make time with a pretty lady than save a bunch of bus passengers on a disintegrating bridge. Reeve’s attempt to channel an all-id Superman does feel more “bad” than evil, but it provides a fun opportunity for Reeve to play against himself and presents the first on-screen exploration of an idea — “What if Superman were evil?” — that would become a major theme driving the narrative behind movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.

Film Appearances: Superman III (1983)

Tomatometer: 26%

US Box Office: $60 million

Destruction Factor: Straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa ruined the Italian economy.

Memorable Line: “You always wanted to fly, Kent!”

Powers: All the powers of a Superman, but he’d rather drink Johnny Walker Red.

Cosplay Cred: Not nearly as common as it should be.


14. Joker (Jack Nicholson)

The merger of Nicholson’s persona with the Joker is one of Batman’s great strengths, but the performance is more nuanced than many gave it credit for at the time. Once he falls into the Axis Chemicals acid and adopts his clown persona, Nicholson loses some of his iconic cool to dig into the louder, broader aspects of Gotham’s #1 villain (e.g. the Smilex commercial). A consummate foe for the Batman of the late 1980s.

Film Appearances: Batman (1989)

Tomatometer: 72%

Worldwide Box Office: $411.3 million

Destruction Factor: Kills his boss, fries a business rival, and poisons Gotham City.

Memorable Line: “Ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

Powers: Knowledge of chemistry and a flair for the theatrical.

Cosplay Cred: A fairly rare sight as other takes on the Joker became more popular.


13. Syndrome (Jason Lee)

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

The ultimate sycophant, Syndrome (née Buddy Pine) was a precursor of the sort of fan culture that eats itself for some perceived lack of purity. His jealousy of the supers leads to a lot of strife for the Parr Family and an America burnt out on superheroes. Nonetheless, his actions also lead to a possible return of heroes, despite an attempt to even the playing field.

Film Appearances: The Incredibles (2004)

Tomatometer: 97% (Certified Fresh)

Worldwide Box Office: $633 million

Destruction Factor: His robots leave a path of destruction through the metro area the Parrs call home.

Memorable Line: “And when everyone’s super, no one will be.”

Powers: Zero point energy manipulation via technology.

Cosplay Cred: Virtually nonexistent, though memorably spotted on occasion.


12. Ultron (James Spader)

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

As the personification of Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) id, Ultron’s attempts to secure the planet make clear Tony’s greatest failing: he cannot see the human cost in any of his endeavors. Powered by the Mind Stone, Ultron makes a final, ugly calculation in regards to humanity and sets out to destroy it. Also, since he’s based on Tony’s brain patterns, he quips. A lot.

Film Appearances: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Tomatometer: 75% (Certified Fresh)

Worldwide Box Office: $1.41 billion

Destruction Factor: Raises – and razes – the entire nation of Sokovia; the ramifications of which are still being felt throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Memorable Line: “When the dust settles, the only thing living in this world will be metal.”

Powers: All the powers of an Iron Man, multiplied by the ability to self-replicate infinitely.

Cosplay Cred: Extremely rare, though a few Ultrons appeared at cons after the film’s release.


11. Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer)

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

While DC Comics’ favorite cat burglar skirts the line between villain and ne’er-do-well, Catwoman’s initial involvement in a plot to disgrace Batman (Michael Keaton) earns her a spot on the list. Pfeiffer’s performance defined the character for a long time – even if she was partly inspired by the TV Catwomen of the 1960s – as she fought Batman and her own turmoil. In the end, her Catwoman chose her own way and never appeared in a film again. Not that anyone has ever been able to forget her.

Film Appearances: Batman Returns (1992)

Tomatometer: 81% (Certified Fresh)

Worldwide Box Office: $266.8 million

Destruction Factor: She blows up Schreck’s Department Store in an early show of strength.

Memorable Line: “Meow.”

Powers: Nine lives and a filing system that is unstoppable.

Cosplay Cred: Though the film is over 25 years old, this Catwoman costume is still popular.


10. The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan)

(Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Walt Disney Studios)

Yes, yes, he isn’t a villain by choice, as he’s very much a weapon of Hydra in the film, but Bucky Barnes is very effective at playing the part. His Soviet brainwashing is so effective that, when activated, almost no emotional appeal will work on him. Well, at least until his old friend Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America (Chris Evans), finally breaks through. And, really, Bucky’s relationship with Steve is part of what makes him so compelling.

Film Appearances: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Captain America: Civil War (2016), though Sebastian Stan first played Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).

Tomatometer: Captain America: The Winter Soldier: 89% (Certified Fresh), Captain America: Civil War: 91% (Certified Fresh)

Worldwide Box Office: Captain America: The Winter Soldier: $714.3 million, Captain America: Civil War: $1.15 billion

Destruction Factor: Assists in bringing down S.H.I.E.L.D. and its helicarrier fleet.

Memorable Line: “Who the hell is Bucky?”

Powers: Heightened strength and agility, a cybernetic vibranium arm.

Cosplay Cred: A beloved fixture of con-going cosplayers.


9. Vulture (Michael Keaton)

(Photo by Sony Pictures)

Despite a strong work ethic and good management skills, Adrian Toomes turned to crime when Tony Stark and government officials bulldozed over his contract to clean up Manhattan following the Battle of New York. Granted, the swiftness with which he became a black market weapons manufacturer suggests all he ever needed was a gentle shove to embrace villainy. But the opening scene of Spider-Man: Homecoming made him immediately understandable and compelling as a villain; and even sympathetic once his relationship to Spider-Man’s (Tom Holland) world is revealed.

Film Appearances: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Tomatometer: 92% (Certified Fresh)

Worldwide Box Office: $880.1 million

Destruction Factor: Rips a ferry in half, crashes a Stark Industries jet, and blasts Logan Marshall-Green out of the MCU.

Memorable Line: “The rich, the powerful, like Stark, they don’t care about us! The world’s changed boys. Time we change too!”

Powers: A flying rig based on crashed Chitauri tech.

Cosplay Cred: Surprisingly rare costume in spite of a great adaptation of the comic book Vulture’s look.


8. Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman)

Excusing some of the camp value to Hackman’s Luthor – particularly in the sequel – he exudes the key quality of Superman’s archfoe: egotism. Luthor, a real estate swindler in these films, only decides to fight Superman because his ego dictates it. Consequently, Superman cannot really appeal to his emotions; none are present as he plans to remake the West Coast in his image.

Film Appearances: Superman (1978), Superman II (1981)

Tomatometer: Superman: 93%, Superman II: 87%

Worldwide Box Office: Superman: $300 million, Superman II: $156.9 million

Destruction Factor: Nearly sank California into the Pacific.

Memorable Line: “There’s a strong streak of good in you, Superman. But then, nobody’s perfect… almost nobody.”

Powers: He is the greatest criminal mind of his time. He also owns a hefty Kryptonite necklace that he uses to weaken Superman.

Cosplay Cred: Between Hackman’s refusal to go bald and the appalling 1970s fashions, he is a truly rare cosplay sight.


7. Zemo (Daniel Bruhl)

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Currently, the Avengers’ greatest foe is not a flamboyant god or a maniacal robot, but a sad, quiet man with a detailed plan and working knowledge of governmental procedures. Zemo destabilizes the world for a very personal and, ultimately, small goal: hurt the Avengers the way they hurt him. He also succeeds, leaving Captain America a fugitive and Tony Stark so isolated that he has to pal around with a spider-themed teenager hero.

Film Appearances: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Tomatometer: 91% (Certified Fresh)

Worldwide Box Office: $1.15 billion

Destruction Factor: With some smoke, a few explosions, and a very inconvenient truth, he brings down the Avengers. He also murders a few people along the way.

Memorable Line: “An empire toppled by its enemies can rise again, but one which crumbles from within? That’s dead… forever.”

Powers: Determination.

Cosplay Cred: Despite his comic book counterpart’s incredible fashion sense, the Marvel Cinematic Universe version inspires few to dress up.


6. Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

One of the most sympathetic villains on the list, Molina’s Doc Ock was as much a victim of his passions as he was a willing accomplice in a plan to destroy Spider-Man. The cruelty that emerges in him came from his cybernetic implants; a crucial detail that becomes clear when he finally reasserts control and realizes he was trying to kill his friend Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire). Also, the warmth with which he welcomes Peter — a guy in desperate need of a positive male role model — makes his turn all the more tragic.

Film Appearances: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Tomatometer: 93% (Certified Fresh)

Worldwide Box Office: $783.8 million

Destruction Factor: His lab is completely destroyed during an experiment. He also leaves his mark on New York skyscrapers and the subway lines.

Memorable Line: “I will not die a monster.”

Powers: Super-tough robotic appendages.

Cosplay Cred: Popular in the wake of the film’s release, but has since faded.


5. General Zod (Terence Stamp)

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

Thanks to Stamp, Zod is as much a staple in Superman’s rogues gallery as Lex Luthor. Seemingly reserved, Zod can lash out without hesitation. Despite the air of refinement Stamp gives the character, he is just another petty dictator — a point underscored when he takes control of the White House (and, by implication, the world) only to suffer from conqueror’s boredom. Superman’s return late in the film comes as a relief to Zod, as debasing the son of Jor-El gives him something to do.

Film Appearances: Superman (1978), Superman II (1981)

Tomatometer: 87%

Worldwide Box Office: Superman: $300 million, Superman II: $156.9 million

Destruction Factor: He and his cohorts reshape Mount Rushmore and pummel the West Wing. They also make insurance premiums rise in Metropolis again.

Memorable Line: “Come to me, son of Jor-El! Kneel before Zod!”

Powers: All the powers of a Superman plus advanced military training.

Cosplay Cred: Zod’s look is just a little too disco for most cosplayers.


4. Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan)

(Photo by © Marvel and © Walt Disney Pictures)

The secret shame of Wakanda, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Michael B. Jordan) presents a legitimate concern to King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and his subjects, even if his methods are woefully misguided: Should Wakanda reveal itself to the outside world and help those who live with the legacy of the African slave trade? The character’s heady subtext is backed by Jordan’s gifted abilities as a performer.

Film Appearances: Black Panther (2018)

Tomatometer: 96% (Certified Fresh)

Worldwide Box Office (To Date): $1.34 billion

Destruction Factor: Destroys all but one of the heart-shaped herbs, which is far more devastating than any property damage he caused in the film.

Memorable Line: “Nah, just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from ships. ‘Cause they knew death was better than bondage.”

Powers: Thanks to the heart-shaped herb, all the powers of Black Panther; Navy SEAL training.

Cosplay Cred: Few could wait for a comic convention to dress in Killmonger’s now-iconic London look. Cosplayers dressed in his subsequent battle suit, which looks suspiciously like Vegeta’s from Dragonball Z, shortly after.


3. Magneto (Ian McKellen)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

Erik Magnus Lehnsherr is one of the most compelling antagonists in comics and film for one simple reason: he’s pretty much right. His methods may be unquestionably cruel to conventional humans, but he recognizes two sapient species cannot share the planet. Violence, subjugation, and pain are inevitable. And when his point of view is given McKellen’s voice, it becomes incredibly persuasive. The more optimistic philosophy of the X-Men looks naïve and childish in comparison.

Film Appearances: The X-Men Franchise

Tomatometer: X-Men: 81% (Certified Fresh), X2: X-Men United: 85% (Certified Fresh), X-Men: The Last Stand: 58%, X-Men: Days of Future Past: 90%

Worldwide Box Office: X-Men: $296.3 million, X2: X-Men United: $407.7 million, X-Men: The Last Stand: $459.4 million, X-Men: Days of Future Past: $747.9 million

Destruction Factor: He moves the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz, turns Senator Kelly (Bruce Davison) into a water creature, and renders a sick burn unto Rogue (Anna Paquin) about the white stripe in her hair.

Memorable Line: “Let’s just say God works too slowly.”

Powers: The ability to manipulate all metal.

Cosplay Cred: His initial low-key look is rarely imitated these days.


2. Loki (Tom Hiddleston)

(Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Walt Disney Studios)

The power of persuasion is also a major weapon in the arsenal of the God of Lies. Loki is charismatic, witty, exciting, and a sharp dresser. He’s that bad boy who looks redeemable even as he opens a wormhole to let the Chitauri invade Earth. But then he has a good explanation for his bad choices: he was raised by the god who kidnapped him from his real family. And he means to do good, so shouldn’t that be enough? It’s no wonder Loki returns to the MCU time and again; his brand of villainy looks like it can be reasoned with. Even if he betrays Thor again, again, and again.

Film Appearances: Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Thor: Ragnarok (2017), though he’s less a villain than a trickster — and even a bit of a hero — in the latter two.

Tomatometer: Thor: 77%, The Avengers: 92%, Thor: The Dark World: 66%, Thor: Ragnarok: 92%

Worldwide Box Office: Thor: $449.3 million, The Avengers: 1.52 million, Thor: The Dark World: $644.6 million, Thor: Ragnarok: $853.5 million

Destruction Factor: He seizes the throne of Asgard and almost murders Thor, then later precipitates the Battle of New York, which alerts the world to the presence of superpowered beings.

Memorable Line: “You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.”

Powers: God-level abilities and a snake-oil salesman’s tongue.

Cosplay Cred: A perennial favorite, though his formal tux from Avengers was more popular in the wake of the film’s release.


1. Joker (Heath Ledger)

(Photo by )

In an age when origins are required, Ledger’s Joker arrived on the scene without a name, place of birth, or a particular ambition. As Alfred (Michael Caine) put it, he just wants to see the world burn, and he even tells Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) as much late in the film. His complete lack of backstory and motivation makes him the most unpredictable, dangerous supervillain on this list, and the purity of his cruelty makes him the most fascinating.

Film Appearances: The Dark Knight (2008)

Tomatometer: 94%

Worldwide Box Office: $1 billion

Destruction Factor: Took out most of Gotham’s entrenched mafia, destroyed Harvey Dent, and made the Batman Gotham’s Number One criminal.

Memorable Line:Why so serious?

Powers: None

Cosplay Cred: Thanks to the alterations to the classic Joker look, Ledger’s Joker costume remains popular at cons and at Halloween.

Roughly 75 years after she made her comics debut, Wonder Woman’s finally getting her shot at solo big-screen glory — and if the early reviews are any indication, the Amazonian’s self-titled debut is not only a much-needed shot in the arm for the DC Extended Universe, but a whooping good time for action fans of all ages. Of course, decades before the Wonder Woman movie, the character had her own TV series, which got us thinking about all the other superheroes who started out in live action on the small screen before making the jump into theaters. Grab your decoder rings, true believers… it’s time for Total Recall!


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Vigilantes, space knights, evil geniuses and cartoon legends got together this weekend to bring pop culture favorites to life, and celebrate another WonderCon at the Anaheim Convention Center. And we at RT got to check them out up close. Click on the thumbnails below to see which characters got represented this year. Who’s your favorite cosplay?