Top 25 Comic Book Movies of the 2010s

on November 22, 2019, 3:14pm
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25. Joker (2019)

Joker r rated billion dollar box office

Joker (Warner Bros.)

Warner Bros. didn’t seem to have any clue how to make good of their DC Comics properties for most of the decade. The unanticipated result of their go-for-broke interconnected universe failing to pan out was a willingness to take a risk on Todd Phillipscharacter study of comicdom’s most iconic antagonist, Joker. Controversies aside, the movie delivers a brutal look at how one man’s mental illness leads him to anarchistic darkness. Taken with the Oscar buzz for star Joaquin Phoenix and the record-shattering $1 billion box office take, and you have one of the decade’s most successful adaptations on numerous levels. –Ben Kaye

24. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Kingsman: The Secret Service, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine, Comic Book Movie, Fox

Kingsman: The Secret Service (20th Century Fox)

There’s something incredibly pleasing when something so completely left-field takes over culture for a moment. No one really knew what was coming with Kingsman: The Secret Service, but writer-director Matthew Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman deliver a slam-bang spy blockbuster that takes dozens of clichés and has a jolly good time blowing them to hell. With playful spins on every James Bond quirk or Men in Black-style recruitment montage, the film is at once an ode to and a send-up of classic tropes. Truly insane action sequences (there’s a woman with swords for legs, for Christ’s sake) and stellar chemistry from Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Taron Egerton add up to one bloody fun romp. –Ben Kaye

23. Shazam! (2019)

shazam warner bros dc comics zachary levi

Shazam! (Warner Bros.)

DC and WB lost themselves in trying to be the gritty, “realistic” counterpoint to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s colorful costumes and quippy heroes. There’s a reason none of those films are on this list, and Shazam! is. Shazam! allows itself to play within the world of superheroes rather literally, as the titular hero is just a kid who learns everything about capes from his comic-obsessed foster brother. Zachary Levi plays the adult-sized version of young Billy Batson (Asher Angel) with charming innocence, keeping what is otherwise a standard three-act origin story feeling fresh and — most importantly — fun. –Ben Kaye

22. Dredd (2012)

Dredd, Karl Urban, Comic Book Movie

Dredd (Lionsgate)

Even seven years after its release, Dredd is a sleeper on this list. While its dismal box office haul may have proven no one was asking for another Judge Dredd movie, its cult status demonstrates it’s a better film than the receipts make it appear. Alex Garland‘s script does a beautiful job of establishing the rules of a dystopian society and then locking them in 200-story high-rise. It’s an expansive and yet claustrophobic setting in which Karl Urban’s titular anti-hero gets to run absolutely rampant with bombastic action scenes. It’s one of Urban’s best roles, and there’s still hope he’ll be able to return to it despite the poor profits. –Ben Kaye

21. Kick-Ass (2010)

Kick-Ass, Lionsgate

Kick-Ass (Lionsgate)

The timing of Kick-Ass was absolutely stunning in retrospect. Right as superhero blockbusters were beginning their siege on Hollywood, here came this scrappy, twisted, independent production playing off the entire concept of masked crimefighters. Another Vaughn-Goldman collaboration, Kick-Ass revels in its outrageous violence with such expletive-laden glee that you forget those are really kid actors playing these roles. Which is what makes it such a breakout performance from Chloë Grace Moretz, selling a completely twisted character like Hit-Girl with sincere craft. We also get one of Nicolas Cage’s smartest performances ever by way of a clever nod to Adam West. –Ben Kaye

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