‘X2' Tops ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ in Jeff Sneider's Marvel Movie Rankings

'X2' Tops 'Captain America: Winter Soldier' in Jeff Sneider's Marvel Movie Rankings

TheWrap's film reporter hasn't seen “Elektra,” so “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” brings up the rear on this list

In honor of “Captain America: Winter Soldier” dominating the box office this weekend, I decided to list my favorite Marvel movies. There have been 36 films based on Marvel comics and I've seen 24, or exactly two-thirds of them.

Now, I didn't grow up reading comic books, and other than “The Crow,” my four favorite comic book movies are “The Dark Knight,” Tim Burton‘s first two “Batman” films and “Watchmen,” so I'm clearly more of a DC fan than Marvel.

That said, I appreciate everything the MCU has to offer, especially Bryan Singer‘s “X-Men” sequel “X2,” which stands superior to every other movie Marvel has its name on.

Also read: Can Thor Top Superman in TheWrap's Inaugural Superhero Power Rankings? (Video)

Check out my list and leave your own in the comments section below.

1. X2 - Still the king as far as Marvel movies go. It had everything, including a great cliffhanger ending.

2. Spider-Man - The best origin story of the bunch, plus it features the most iconic Marvel image: Peter and MJ's upside-down kiss.

3. Spider-Man 2 - Almost as much fun as the original, with a fantastic villain in Alfred Molina's Doc Ock.

4. Iron Man - Robert Downey Jr.‘s spot-on casting as Tony Stark goes a long way.

5. X-Men - This brought the superhero genre back in a big way and made a franchise star out of Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine.

6. Blade - Features Wesley Snipes in peak form and a delicious turn from Stephen Dorff as villainous vampire Deacon Frost.

7. The Avengers - Size doesn't always matter but it made a difference here, with Marvel's individual gems coming together to form its crown jewel.

8. The Incredible Hulk - Not quite incredible but still one of the better Marvel movies considering how Edward Norton makes you care about the man inside the monster.

9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier - A fun sequel that improves upon the original and adds some solid supporting characters to the mix.

10. X-Men: First Class - Just when the franchise needed a fresh take, along came Matthew Vaughn's swinging’ period blockbuster featuring some of the hottest up-and-coming stars in Hollywood. If only Kevin Bacon's villain was worthy of fighting all those new young heroes.

11. Blade II - Guillermo del Toro brought his unique vision to the vampire franchise and if nothing else, distinguished itself from the superior original by bringing something new to the table.

12. Thor - The Shakespearean family drama between Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins really works but once Thor visits Earth, things get silly pretty quickly, even if the Australian is solid as the hammer-wielding God.

13. The Wolverine - James Mangold gave the character new life by dropping him in a Japanese setting. With no other stars around to offer support, Jackman digs deep to carry the movie on his sturdy shoulders.

14. Captain America: The First Avenger - After a very promising start, this movie begins to unravel at the midway point. It still serves as a strong introduction to the character, but the second half felt a little undercooked.

15. X-Men: The Last Stand - An overstuffed sequel that still managed to do an impressive job handling mature metaphors for mutants. It gets more grief than it deserves because it was directed by Brett Ratner.

16. Iron Man 3 - One of those movies where you're having so much fun, you forget that none of it makes any sense. Shane Black movies are always entertaining but this one is still a bit all over the place.

17. Spider-Man 3 - By the end of this movie, Sam Raimi was pushing his luck. Too many villains and emo Spidey felt like a filmmaker just going through the paces.

18. Iron Man 2 - Not quite a disaster but certainly a disappointment. The movie never lived up to the trailers.

19. The Amazing Spider-Man - Sadly, strong performances aren't enough to make a superhero movie successful. The reboot spent too much time rehashing an origin story that had been told years earlier, so no matter how good Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone's chemistry was, this movie was always doomed. I mean, The Lizard? Really?

20. Blade: Trinity - Every time I try to convince myself that this movie was fun, I picture Jessica Biel killing vampires while listening to an iPod. Yes, David Goyer's movie has a cool soundtrack, but that's just unacceptable.

21. Daredevil - The stuff Ben Affleck's nightmares are made of. Way too vanilla to be dangerous or even memorable.

22. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - The Silver Surfer was cool, but the four heroes remained anything but fantastic.

23. Fantastic Four - So bland, I can barely remember anything about it, including the forgettable four.

24. X-Men Origins: Wolverine - A mess that is best remembered for teasing a Deadpool movie that no one wants.

Also read: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Reviews: Does Marvel's Latest Land a Punch?

NOT APPLICABLE I've never seen these movies, even though I've owned “Hulk” on DVD for a decade.

Captain America (1990) - So dated, I don't think I'll ever see it.

Elektra - What, you expected me to see a “Daredevil” spinoff?

Hulk - I've seen parts of this movie but not enough to properly rate it and justify its inclusion above.

The Fantastic Four: The Movie - See: “Captain America (1990)”

Ghost Rider - Too ridiculous to entertain the thought of watching.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - Ditto.

Howard the Duck - I may have seen this as a kid but I must be repressing the memory as an adult. Oh well.

Man-Thing - C'mon… I don't even know what this is. I had to look it up.

The Punisher (1989) - As much as I love Dolph Lundgren, I swore that “Pentathlon” was the last movie I'd see with him in the lead.

The Punisher (2004) - After the joys of “Broken Arrow” and “Face Off,” I don't think I wanted to ruin my image of bad-ass John Travolta by seeing this one.

Punisher: War Zone - This wasn't my franchise to begin with and Ray Stevenson didn't get me to start watching.

Thor: The Dark World - I'll probably see this before “Avengers: Age of Ultron” comes out, but it seemed too weird and magical for my taste, even though I enjoyed the first film.

  • Jeremiah Wolf

    There is a spelling error on number 8. You have car instead of care.

    • Car instead of care

      Ur so sad. I hope things get better for u. Please forgive my spelling errors. Go outside tomorrow. Enjoy the day

  • Fan4theMovies

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but boy does my opinion majorly contradict what you have here. How you think any of the X-men movies top Avengers, iron man, or winter solider is beyond me. The X-men movies did usher in the age of the comic movies, but it suffers in comparison to the newer much better movies. There may be one of the x-men movies that might make it the the top ten, but just barely.

    • Donald Draper

      spider man 3? better than thor dark world apparently… has thor there but its not better than dark world… im confused

      • Fan4theMovies

        evidently he had not bothered to watch Thor: the Dark World. I think his order is all screwed up, but to each their own.

  • Foxverine and the Foxmen

    X2 number one? Ha!

  • jimmyt

    I think some of the animated stuff is better than these movies

    • Sergio Medina

      Especially DC's animated stuff.

      • Dacius

        Completely agree!! Animated DC is some of the comic book sourced material on the big/small screen. Batman Under the Red Hood is one of my favorite comic movies hands down.

  • bangingJessica

    x2 was great but not number 1 in my book. 1st class was waaaaayy better, magneto was badass & January jones was smoking hot besides the fact that she has no booty. Avengers is on top of my list with winter soldier coming behind it. The sam rami spidermen i thought was kool for the time, but the new version to me is way better. blade is a classic. and making out the top ten is the incredible hulk. unlike sum people i really like tim storys fantastic four, itwas fun and seemed to me true to the comics with minor tweaks here and there. what made it awesome for me was how hot Jessica alba looked in that, tight tight tight body suit. omg so freaking banging good…. o yeah Jessica i wanna see u in that suit again…. lol

    • Cyclops

      True, January Jones does not have a whale-sized ass but that it a plus for many.

    • Fan4theMovies

      I agree 1st Class is probably one of the top 2 related x-movies. I really enjoyed The Wolverine as well. The first 2 Spider-man movies were good, but they ruined the perfecta with that thing they call Spider-man 3 IMO. I did enjoy Amazing Spider-man a little more, because I think it had a few more key things added for the comic that lined up better with what I grew up knowing. Incredible Hulk was a pretty good movie, I don't know if it would make it to the top 10 for me, but definatly a fun movie and I liked it much better than the previous Hulk movie. The casting for Fantastic Four was the best part of the movie. I could really see the four of them as being those roles (although they did make Sue Storm a bit ditzy for someone as smart as she is in the comics). I'm not sold on the new cast, but i'll try to hold my dismay until I see more of it.

  • tyrion lannister 260

    *clears throat* You suck and your stupid.

  • Dec_M

    I don't agree with the list, it's the authors opinion, who am I to argue but I still think it's stupid that someone should rank the Marvel movies without seeing 12 of them. The only one I haven't seen is Man-Thing and I'm not writing for the Movies section of a pretty big website.

    • ThomasNeidhart

      let's be honest, he's seen most of what he needs to see. maybe 2 or 3 more, as there's no point in those others… just awful.

  • Sergio Medina

    First Class was the only good Xmen film so far.Hopefully DOFP will be even better.As far as nobody being interested in a Deadpool movie I would disagree.The Deadpool from Xmen Origins was lame but if they made a movie with the character as hes written in the comics it would be awesome.

  • ThomasNeidhart

    thank you for a good concise list. I love it when I'm not asked (meaning I don't) to click through each ranking! I agree with you nearly entirely, except I'd have the first Wolverine above those awful awful awful FF films, and everything up to 19. But, pretty much every superhero film coming out should be better than the first Wolverine, or it is a BIG letdown (meaning, they should have it figured out by now, and they all should be as good as IM3 or X3, and if they all were as well made as XM:FClass that'd be great).

    I loved the Xmen series, and am glad you gave X3 the proper placement, as it was exciting, despite its issues, and well acted, as always. There are plenty of people that prefer the “NEW” Avengers lineup of films to the getting older Xmen films, but they can think what they want, but the Xmen films brought together a team of superheroes in a way that was profoundly well done, that they deserve their ranking along the spots you've ordered. Xmen one was an event back when it came out, like Avengers was a few years ago. And I still remember the excitement of seeing it. They have hit “triples” and “home runs” with the Xmen films, and the last Wolverine was another extra base hit (we'll just forget how much of a Hit-By-Pitch the first Wolverine was, haha. Jackman as always, saved it from being utter rubbish).

    By the way, save your time, the first Hulk was so bad… so very very bad. Bana was awful, imo. I have yet to see Daredevil completely. (there's a clear reason for that, lol)


  • sunnavab

    I could see where you were coming from with the first half of your list, but you lost me when I saw your placement of X3 and Spider-Man 3. Pure garbage, both of them. The Iron Man sequels didn't live up to the promise of the first one, but they were a damn sight better than those two.

  • Devin Dowling

    The Avengers and The Wolverine are my top 2.

  • The Truth

    This guy smokes Crack. Is that you Rick Roll? Blade 2 better then Thor? Somebody delete this crap blog. And screw his opinion before you say hes entitled to it. What a Jabroni….

  • WTH

    Jeff Sneider go kill yourself

  • Andy

    What a moron. Don't rank them if you cant be bothered to see them all..I am assuming this is a job for you and thus you get paid. Homework should not be off limits for a job like yours. And that's just the first problem with this article..

  • steve

    I'm not saying Iron Man 2 was a great movie by any means, but you honestly felt that spider man 3 was a better movie? WTF are you on and where can I get some?

  • Rus

    Jeff, your list is your opinion and I can respect that. I would say the Avengers, Captain America, Spider-man 2 and The Wolverine are my favorites. And though I am a Marvel guy, my all time favorite is Watchmen (which many would disagree with me). Other DC movies I thought were top notch was the 2nd Tim Burton Batman (Michele Phieffer's Catwoman was AWESOME) and The Dark Knight (Heath Ledger's Joker!). I was one of the few that thought the Green Lantern movie was fine and I think you should check out Elektra. It was entertaining too!

    • Cougar11

      Had me until Elektra.

  • dude74

    I probably don't fit in here, I disagree with a lot of his rankings but yet I dont want him to die, I'd simply like to debate the merits. Maybe there's something wrong with me.

  • hartwilliams

    Always astonishing to see a critic admitting his massive shortcomings and then PROVING them. I mean, I BELIEVED you the first time.

  • PissedOffFanboy

    You never read the comics and haven't seen Thor: TDW? And you decided that you were qualified to make a best to worst list of Marvel movies?

    Go home

  • Iron Man 3 Is a Mess

    The original Iron Man was extremely fresh at the time, but Marvel Studios ran the formula to the ground over the course of half a decade. The Winter Soldier is the first breath of fresh air out of the Marvel camp since then. Most importantly, the plot is much meatier with intrigue. There's harder questions from the key characters about loyalty and trust. For my money, it also has the first action sequences in a Marvel movie that feel hard hitting/well done with an intense score to boot. Plus it has the first villain specifically from Marvel Studios that actually has some balls. Sure, the movie had a few of the same ol’ Marvel Studio pitfalls, but overall it's nearly everything it needed to be.

    The rest of the movies range from barely passable to downright awful.

    • Cyclops

      Winter Soldier has a plot? I just saw it move from set piece to set piece without much regard for plot or characterization. My God, Nick Fury had more character when he was doing those quickie end credit intros in the first phase! There was absolutely no explanation given for WS's baddie. No reason why he was doing what he was doing. That said, it was a reasonable popcorn flick, and not a letdown like the DC movies and Iron-Man 3 were.

      • Fan4theMovies

        No plot? I don't know how you didn't see a plot. Yea, it may have not been an original plot overall, but there defiantly was a plot there. The Good Ole’ Boy with a solider attitude that saw everything as black or white, come to realize that he was working for the main thing he fought against. He still believes in the values that he knew before he was frozen and now this new world he has been thrown into is not what it seems on the surface. He has to face the facts and do what he thinks is right to save the world he fought so hard to keep from the tyrants that try to rule it. That to me seems like a plot to me. Nick Fury was being exactly what he has been come to be. He's the face of Shield in many ways and one of the main ones using deception to get his end results, but then the tables get turned on him and it's a fight for his life. No explanation given for the WS? I thought that was pretty evident. He is a Hydra created version of Captain America with a few additions. He has been brain washed to do any and everything that Hydra wants him to do without questions, just orders he receives. He was the tool that Hydra chose to try and take down the people at Shield that may give them some problems. He really doesn't have the means of thinking for himself just yet, but i'm sure that is still to come (hence what is seen after the credits). I for one thought it was pretty fluid in story and plot. It worked really well and turn out to be an awesome movie.

    • Fan4theMovies

      If you think the Marvel movies are so bad then why do you care to look at a post about them? Yes, every movie has some flaws but to say that all but 2 are “barely passable to downright awful” is just wrong. Not every movie is everyone's cup of tea however they have made more than enough money and popularity to prove you wrong. I don't see any of the Marvel made move as being anything close to “downright awful”, but you are entitle to your own views and I hope that works out for you.

  • MoiraB

    Ha ha – this is what happens when a self-admitted DC fanboy tries to take on Marvel! What a mess of a list. How could “Avengers” and “Iron Man” not be on top, for example – when most critics (and fans) agree those were the two best Marvel movies ever made? Well, it all comes down to “everyone's entitled to their opinion”. Even if it seems uneducated.

    • Cyclops

      X2 is probably the best comic book film since its resurgence in the 90s and 00s. It had plot, character and it made us feel for the characters, along with great effects and explosions. The only other comic book film with a similar vibe was First Class and, to a lesser extent, Avengers. But Avengers surpasses X2 for effects.

  • LooseLisa

    Sorry, but if you admit you have only seen 24/36 movies, then you have no room to rank anything. Plus, your list sucks.

  • Rus

    Well, Cougar11, I'm not saying Elektra was a gem but I was more entertained by it than Daredevil and to a certain degree even the Fantastic Four movies. I am really hoping the relaunch of FF clicks. I'm skeptical though when they decide to cast the brother and sister roles of Sue and Johnny Storm with different ethnicities. Mind you, I'm black but don't mess with iconic characters like that! I could even go with Ben Grimm being black but not Johnny!!! Hopefully, they'll have such a good storyline that I can overlook the “Johnny was adopted or half-brother” plot switch.

  • Matthew

    My opinion is that your a fucking idiot with no taste in
    movies. The way you ranked these just proves you should never talk about movies
    again in any way shape or form.