Top 10 Smartest Decisions in Superhero Movies



Top 10 Smartest Decisions in Superhero Movies

VOICE OVER: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Sometimes the best way to be super, is to be smart. We've said plenty about the dumbest decisions in movies, but we gotta give credit where it's due! For this list, we're looking at the smartest decisions in superhero movies, by both superheroes and villains - including Thor, Magneto, Superman, Mr. Incredible, and Doctor Strange! What do YOU think is the most intelligent decision in a superhero movie? Let us know in the comments!

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Smartest+Decisions+In+Superhero+Movies
Special thanks to our user Jacob Koopmann for suggesting this idea!
Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 Smartest Decisions in Superhero Movies

Sometimes the best way to be super, is to be smart. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 smartest decisions in superhero movies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the decisions and actions taken in superhero films that display the greatest degree of intelligence and/or foresight. We won’t be restricting our entries to just superheroes though, as plenty of villains make smart plays as well. Also, because there’ll be plot important decisions ahead, there will be spoilers.

#10: Reviving Surtur to Defeat Hela

“Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)

Thor undergoes a lot of development in his third solo film and nowhere is that more evident in his final confrontation with his sister, Hela, the goddess of death. Despite his increase in power, Thor finds himself outmatched by her - even losing his eye. To save the Asgardian people however, Thor thinks unconventionally and revives Surtur, a villain he defeated at the film’s beginning who is prophesized to destroy Asgard, which is also the source of Hela’s power. Sometimes knowing your limits is the best way to accomplish things, and this decision also shows how much Thor has grown since his cinematic debut in 2011.

#9: Bringing Lois Lane as a Backup Plan to Calm Down Superman

“Justice League” (2017)

Though absent for much of the runtime of “Justice League,” the Man of Steel was guaranteed to make his big resurrection act eventually. When Clark Kent is brought back to life, however, he returns lacking his memories, which, along with an errant projectile, causes him to attack his saviors and fellow capes. Superman proves a near deadly threat to the League, but thankfully, Batman had Lois Lane brought to them, just in case. Her connection with Clark transcends memory and manages to help return him to his senses. The decision was smart on Batman’s part, and showed how much he’s come to understand Superman, despite their prior conflict.

#8: Injecting Magneto's Prison Guard with Iron

“X2: X-Men United” (2003)

Imprisoned in his plastic prison, Magneto is unable to utilize his formidable powers. However, Magneto’s shapeshifting ally Mystique seduces one of his guards, knocks the man out, and injects him with a syringe full of iron. So, when the guard goes to serve food to his prisoner, the X-Men’s archenemy is able to not only stop him in his tracks, but also pull the metal from his body to use in his escape. While this decision does allow for an awesome Magneto moment, it also highlights the intelligence of Mystique, showing how formidable she is in her own right.

#7: Trapping the Villain in an Infinite Time Loop

“Doctor Strange” (2016)

The final battle of this magical Marvel film sees the title hero facing off against Dormammu, an evil being from the Dark Dimension summoned by Kaecilius, a sorcerer seeking eternal life. Dr. Strange attempts to bargain with Dormammu, but he’s promptly killed… only to reappear and engage in a similar conversation, which Dormammu quickly catches on to. Realizing that he can’t hope to defeat the villainous entity, Strange instead chooses to sacrifice himself again and again for eternity to keep the world safe, showing excellent forethought and character growth on his part. It’s a battle of patience, and the good doctor outlasts his extradimensional opponent.

#6: Creating Conflict Within the Avengers in Order to Destroy Them

“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

The Avengers step on a lot of toes during their attempts to save the world, but one of their biggest enemies is an ordinary man. Helmut Zemo loses everyone he cares about when Ultron devastates his country. With Ultron destroyed, Zemo turns his hatred towards those responsible for his creation – the Avengers. Knowing he can’t possibly match them in strength, he instead manipulates events, including framing the Winter Soldier and bombing a summit, to get them to turn on each other. While his plan isn’t perfect, Zemo still manages to pull it off…though let’s face it, these heroes do tend to fight each other a lot already.

#5: Tricking the Omnidroid Into Destroying Itself

“The Incredibles” (2004)

After being dropped onto a jungle island, Mr. Incredible is tasked with defeating a strong, adaptable robot called an Omnidroid. His mechanical adversary proves a challenging foe however - undamaged by his super strength, or anything else he throws at it. Their fight moving to a volcano puts our hero in an even tighter spot. However, Mr. Incredible is eventually able to rip off its lower “head,” allowing him entry into the Omnidroid. The hero then just sits back and waits for the robot to destroy itself; proving that Mr. Incredible has brains to match all that brawn.

#4: Reconfiguring the Chamber to Expose the Villains to Red Sunlight

“Superman II” (1980)

In the final confrontation Superman has with the trio of Kryptonian invaders led by Zod, the man of tomorrow lures the bad guys to the Fortress of Solitude. There he tries to trick them into a chamber that will expose them to red sunlight, which weakens them. However, Lex Luthor betrays him, forcing Superman to go into the chamber instead. When Zod demands Kal-El to kneel before him and take his hand, Supes crushes it in his grip; revealing that Superman switched the controls to weaken Zod and his followers instead, allowing them to be defeated.

#3: Downloading JARVIS Into Vision

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

After acquiring Ultron’s perfect body, Tony Stark has the bright idea to put his helpful AI JARVIS into it, to gain an ally against his other artificial creation. Several of the other Avengers are naturally a bit vehement in stopping Stark from creating yet another powerful robot, but Thor puts an end to the argument. The newly “born” Vision soon proves himself however, not only as being worthy of Thor’s hammer, but also in the battle against Ultron - helping take on the villain’s army of duplicates and even proving instrumental in kicking Ultron off the internet and finishing off the villain’s final body.

#2: Almost Everything the Joker Does

“The Dark Knight” (2008)

Contrary to his claims, the Joker is absolutely a guy with a plan – dozens, in fact. The clown prince of crime robs the mob, and not only rubs their faces in it, but also gets them to pay him to kill Batman. Furthermore, he manages to orchestrate Harvey Dent and Rachel’s kidnapping and his escape from prison. The Joker even has contingencies for failure, such as his attempt to get Gotham’s citizens to kill each other to make them lose hope, which he prepared for by pushing Dent over the edge to commit murder. Despite the odds, the Joker wins and only Batman sacrificing his reputation allows the heroes a pyrrhic victory.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Pulling Out the Chunk of Wall to Hit the Bad Guy

“Batman Returns” (1992)

Using a Pym Particle Disc to Revert & Escape the Quantum Realm

“Ant-Man” (2015)

Using the Tumbler's Cannons to Destroy the Monorail Track

“Batman Begins” (2005)

#1: Building an Iron Suit to Escape Captivity

“Iron Man” (2008)

Captured by terrorists, Tony Stark is ordered to construct one of his missiles in exchange for his freedom. Instead, he and his fellow captive Yinsen construct a power source and a suit of armor that allows Tony to escape - though sadly, his friend loses his life in the process. Tony’s iron suit becomes the basis for his future Iron Man suits, and he turns what could’ve been a painful reminder of his captivity into a force for good. Therefore, indirectly, this decision has a huge number of effects, both positive and negative, throughout the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.