Ranking all the X-Men movies
Here's the truth: I prefer the Fox superhero universe to the MCU, a fact that gets me a lot of shit from fellow comic book nerds. With the recent release of X-Men: Apocalypse I sat down at home and rewatched all the movies, like the no life nerd that I truly am.
- •X-Men Origins: WolverineAt the bottom of anybody's list of X-Men films would be this disappointment/abomination. It's a mess of a movie that manages to get two things right: an opening credits scene depicting Wolverine fighting in various wars over a century and a half, and casting Liev Shrieber as Sabretooth. Unfortunately, that opening credits scene is only three minutes max, and Sabretooth is completely wasted in a movie that has Wolverine fight a helicopter. Let's not even talk about how the movie butchers Deadpool
- •X-Men: The Last StandThis movie is bad. Truly, truly bad. Bryan Singer walked away from the franchise to direct Superman Returns instead of this and we all fucking suffered for it. Yeah, Beast was cool, but nothing else was. Cyclops gets wasted like ten minutes in. Professor X gets annihilated. None of the emotional or political beats land. Disappointing end to the original trilogy.
- •X-MenThe first X-Men movie is super good, and it's only so low on this list because it's not by any means my go to X-Men film. The movie that created the franchise is in many ways outshone by later films, thanks in large part to the amount of effort this movie puts into characterization and world building.
- •X-Men: ApocalypseI liked this movie a lot more than most critics did. The new cast is great and Nightcrawler and Quicksilver steal the show. But the film suffers from a lackluster villain and a decreased emphasis on the relationship between Erik and Charles. However, the movie maintains the emotional weight and conflict that has separated the franchise from the MCU in my mind, and I'd gladly watch it a few more times.
- •DeadpoolIt's hard to believe the R-rated Deadpool exists in the same universe as the X-Men movies, but here it is. The film stands out thanks to its irreverence and, yes, its R rating. Deadpool is its own unique, self aware movie, and it feels similar to the first X-Men movie—small scale, lower budget, character building. Future installments have the capability of outshining this one.
- •X-Men: First ClassThis is the movie that revitalized the franchise after its two worst installment were released back to back. First Class is just great fun, and its early Magneto scenes are some of the best moments in the whole series. The dynamic established between Erik and Charles here is the franchise's greatest strength.
- •The WolverineThe quietest movie of the series is also one of its best. Wolverine in Japan is one of the greatest stories from the comics, and this tragic, small scale story delivers. If not for some silly moments in the climax and its PG-13 rating—which truly holds the action scenes and Logan's characterization back—The Wolverine might have been the franchise's single best entry to date.
- •X2: X-Men UnitedX2 builds upon X-Men in such a satisfying way. It feels almost epic in comparison. Nightcrawler's opening White House scene, Magneto's prison escape, and Wolverine v Lady Deathstrike serve not just as highlights for the movie, but for the series. The political and emotional storytelling really serve to elevate X2 above typical superhero movies.
- •X-Men: Days of Future PastDays of Future Past wins out over X2 in my mind simply because I find Fassbender and McAvoy's dynamic more compelling than Stewart and McKellan's. Their conflict in this movie cements the film as my favorite X-Men movie. Quicksilver's Pentagon scene, Charles' emotional distraught, and Logan's attempts to reach Xavier are all icing on the cake for me.