So what are they people? We've had TONS of them in the last decade. Curious what people think.
1) Superman - This really kicked off the great comic book movies. I saw it on Encore the other day, and it still has those moments that make you smile. It came out a year before I was even born, and dated as it is, it's still fantastic. It paid homage to Clark's roots, showed the loss that shaped him, and was full of Superman just being Superman. Hackman was fantastic, even if Luthor was nowhere near the way I've always known Luthor to be. His wit and personality made him an acceptable substitute.
2) Batman Begins - Has there ever been a better executed origin story in comics? Nolan really did a fantastic job of capturing the heart of the character, even if he's never done well at showing the full personality of Gotham which has some much character itself, that neglecting it is truly a sin. He made Batman believable and helped the franchise atone for previous sins.
3) The Avengers - Did this one not make you feel like a kid again, with your comics sitting in front of you, sitting cross legged in front of the TV watching cartoons, bowl of cereal emptied and sitting to the side because you were so caught up with the action on screen and on the pages that you couldn't be bothered with getting up for the next hour? That's what I got from this movie. A renewal of sense of wonder, and a big smile and a sense of satisfaction at the end. Just the way I remembered it from so long ago.
4) The Dark Knight - The villain stole the show. Has there ever been another comic movie where that happened like it did here? Ledger was diabolical, chaotic, and yes...funny. If it weren't for Maggie Gylennhal (spelling?) this would have nearly been a perfect movie. Dark Knight really pushed comic movies into a realm they'd never gone into before, and gave them serious critical viability. It was a masterpiece. The issue I had was the brightness of it. Gotham seemed too clean, too new, too metropolis like, and for a long time fan, that's hard to forgive.
5) Iron Man - A popcorn flick for the ages. Fun, shiny, funny, and heartfelt all at once. Iron Man didn't try to get too deep, and that's just fine. What it did in the shallow end of the pool was only amaze us, make us laugh, and leave us wanting more. I don't think anyone has ever cast for a comic role as well as RDJ did.
Honorable Mentions: X-men First Class, Spider Man, Batman, X-2, Ghost Rider, Watchmen
5) Green Lantern - WHAT A FLOP. You took what might have been the most imposing comic villain ever put on the big screen and CGI'd him terribly, horribly distorted Hector Hammond's character, and cast him by whomever could scream most like a girl. On top of that you make the action of the movie about 15 minutes long and severely anti-climactic. This movie's real sin is total failure to seize on potential. With CGI as advanced as it is, with Hal as powerful as he could be, and Parallax as a villain, this one should have had HUGE action, and it utterly failed by showing us cute poses of RR. We don't care about RR DC. You failed.
4) X-Men The Last Stand. Class 5 mutant you say? Repressed personality that calls itself the Phoenix you say? I say BULL. The plot really wasn't bad, but it was SUCH an affront to the comics it's unforgivable. Halle Barry was absolutely LIFELESS as Storm. Cyclops being killed was ridiculous (even if Marsden was awful to begin with.) The awkward love between Logan and Jean while true to form was just too much. Logan was never a love struck puppy, and that's how he's portrayed here. Even Juggernaut was an affront.
3) Batman and Robin - I just hate Clooney (spelling again?) I also hate Alica Silverstone. You know a franchise is in trouble when you throw in 3 villains and 3 heroes. Bane was a incoherent oaf, Freeze as played by an incoherent oaf, and Ivy was the only character that wasn't completely terrible. Also, how much neon does it take before Gotham becomes Vegas? I'm pretty sure it crossed the line in that movie.
2) Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance. Here's what happens when the actor has so much outside personality that it can't be separated from the character. Your movie sucks even harder. That's what happened here. The plot was a tangled mess, the effects were a joke in this day and age, and the scene where Cage was flashing between rider and Johnny nearly made me puke in my popcorn bucket. Not one moment in that movie made me say man, the Rider's gonna abuse this guy. Not once. AND THAT'S WHY I WENT! I wanted to see the Rider abuse some evil doers. Instead I got Johnny trying his best to stay out of trouble. I should have stayed out of the theater.
1) Elektra - This one was SO bad I really lack words. Garner has always been terrible, but she dug down deep to discover a new and exciting type of terrible previously unheard of just for us. I'm glad she decided not to eat for the 5 months of filming so she'd fill out her physique and really convince us she was some sort of kicker of hind parts. That really worked. The effects were so bad I think they may have been clay-mation ala Gumby. The big sister type role also irked me. I've never walked out of a comic movie, but I really really came close there. Attention Marvel: if you want to make good movies, watch that movie, see what you did, and be extra super certain you never do any of that ever again.
Dishonorable mentions: Catwoman (this is so far from the DC franchise that it would have been number 1 worst if I thought for a second it had anything to do with the real catwoman), Hulk, Spiderman 3.