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Top 10 Things Superhero Movies Got Right

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Clayton Martino While there may be no such thing as a perfect adaptation, these films came as close as you could possibly get. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things Superhero MoviesGot Right. For this list, we’re looking at elements in superhero movies that were really spot on and helped make the movies special. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea

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Top 10 Things Superhero Movies Got Right

While there may be no such thing as a perfect adaptation, these films came as close as you could possibly get. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things Superhero Movies Got Right.

For this list, we’re looking at elements in superhero movies that were really spot on and helped make the movies special.

#10: The Soundtrack
“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)
When director James Gunn initially showed the soundtrack to Marvel executives, many questioned why he was using songs from the 1970s. Some even suggested that it might alienate kids. Gunn stuck to his guns, however (haha), and kept his choices for the tunes. The result was a phenomenal soundtrack that helped make “Guardians” one of the biggest movies of 2014. Artists like David Bowie, The Runaways, and the Jackson 5 featured on the soundtrack, and helped it become the first one to top the album charts despite not having a single new song.

#9: Batman’s Origins
“Batman Begins” (2005)
At this point, is there anyone alive who doesn’t know the origins of Batman? That may be a slight exaggeration, but the point is that the story of how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman is pretty well known. Christopher Nolan’s version, however, really stresses the motivations behind Bruce’s decision to fight crime, moving past just the murder of his parents. We see Bruce struggle to come to terms with his parents’ deaths and even see him consider murder at one point before deciding to abandon his fortune and live on the street. Nolan explores these points in detail and the result is a well-rounded and well developed character.

#8: Captain America’s Themes
Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008-)
One of the main reasons why the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so successful is because it features strong characters with clear motivations. At the same time, however, these characters are quite different from each other. The action sequences involving Captain America are exciting to watch, but it’s the themes underneath the action that make us care about the character. The second and third films did a terrific job of capturing Cap’s distrust of the government, a major theme in the comics. This, of course, contrasts with his unwavering patriotism and desire to always do the right thing. It’s this arc that made his conflict with Iron Man in “Civil War” so believable and so effective.

#7: Wonder Woman’s Entrance
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)
“Batman v Superman” was a polarizing movie, and received its fair share of criticism. One thing most people agree on, however, is Wonder Woman. With Superman incapacitated, Batman is left to handle Doomsday – a nearly impossible task. Just as Doomsday is about to destroy Batman, Wonder Woman heroically appears and blocks the blast as her theme song booms in the background. She deflects Doomsday’s deadly blast using her shield, and begins to kick some serious ass. Matching Doomsday blow for blow, she helps Superman and Batman destroy him. In fact, considering how awesome she was, she probably could have done it without the help of the other two.

#6: J. K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson
“Spider-Man” franchise (2002-07)
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy remains one of the best series of superhero films ever made. And one of the smartest things Raimi did was cast J.K. Simmons as Daily Bugle Editor-in-Chief J. Jonah Jameson. A sworn enemy of Spider-Man, Jameson attempts to ruin the web-slinger’s reputation through the press. Simmons captures the essence of the character perfectly with his fantastic delivery, and provides some of the funniest and most memorable moments in the entire franchise. In fact, his performance was so good that many fans want him to return to portray the character in the new films.

#5: Spider-Man’s Motivation
“Spider-Man” (2002)
As with Batman, Spider-Man’s origins are pretty well known at this point. The thing that Sam Raimi was able to get perfect, however, was the motivations behind why Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man. When he first discovers he has powers, he’s selfish, and uses them to make money to impress Mary Jane. When he realizes that his selfishness results in the death of Uncle Ben, however, he commits his life to fighting crime, learning the important lesson that with great power comes great responsibility. Many believe the subsequent “Amazing Spider-Man” film franchise flubbed this all-important part of the story, and failed to truly capture the essence of Peter Parker and his decision to become Spider-man, so the fact that the Raimi trilogy nailed it stands out even more.

#4: Batman & Joker’s Relationship
“The Dark Knight” (2008)
Before making the sequel to “Batman Begins,” Christopher Nolan turned to the comics. Taking inspiration from “The Long Halloween” and “The Killing Joke,” Nolan crafted what is arguably the best superhero movie of all time. One of the main reasons why the film was so successful and well received is because of the relationship between Batman and the Joker. These two have a far more complicated relationship than simply hero/villain. Essentially two sides of the same coin, the Joker only exists because Batman exists. Nolan does a phenomenal job capturing the subtleties of the two characters, and the result is an outstanding film.

#3: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine
“X-Men” franchise (2000-17)
An iconic character can be made or broken by the casting choice. With Wolverine, they got it absolutely perfect… But only by luck. First choice for the part was actually Russell Crowe, who wasn’t interested. But he told director Bryan Singer to check out his friend, a then-unknown actor by the name of Hugh Jackman. After Dougray Scott was cast and backed out, Jackman got the role. The result was magic, making Wolverine come to life while simultaneously launching Jackman’s career. He’s brilliant at capturing Logan’s antihero persona and his conflicting desire to be left alone but also help people. While the “X-Men” films have had their ups and downs, you can always count on Jackman to deliver an outstanding Wolverine.

#2: Fourth Wall Breaking
“Deadpool” (2016)
Although still overwhelmingly popular, the abundance of superhero films in the early 21st century has brought on some criticism that the genre may be in danger of growing stale. Then “Deadpool” was released. After years of development difficulties, Ryan Reynolds was finally given the chance to portray the real Deadpool, and he delivered flawlessly. He did an especially outstanding job breaking the fourth wall. What could have been dumb or annoyingly repetitive gimmick quickly became the highlight of the movie and worked in seamless balance with the rest of the film’s jokes.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Warehouse Fight
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)

Watchmen’s Aesthetic
“Watchmen” (2009)

Doc Ock
“Spider-Man 2” (2004)

#1: Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008-)
It’s amazing to think that had the first Iron Man film been a failure, the Marvel Cinematic Universe may never have existed. Although Iron Man had his fair share of fans, he was previously considered a B character and didn’t hold the weight of a Spider-Man or Batman. Director Jon Favreau immediately tapped Robert Downey Jr for the part, as his past shared some similarities with the backstory of Tony Stark. And, of course, RDJ absolutely nailed it, delivering one of the best performances of his career. He quickly became the face of the MCU, as witnessed by his appearance in so many of its films.

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