Continuing with my list of the top 10 best superhero movies (if you stumbled upon this article by chance, I highly recommend you to start reading that part first), this second half highlights the more gritty and darker films. I like superhero movies, but I particularly enjoy those that take the single concept of a masked vigilante fighting crime and take it much further, creating crime thrillers and sci-fi epics that reflect the true nature of men and the darkest facets of society.
X-Men: First Class
Alongside the return of younger versions of popular characters, the movie features a whole new group of mutants. In addition to the origin of the X-Men, there is also a very intricate plot in the movie, and these people must learn to overcome their fears and cooperate with each-other if they want to survive. The special effects are incredible, the battles are grand, and the movie has a very well-constructed narrative, underlining delicate themes such as racism, prejudice and war.
My Score: 8/10
When superhero movies were starting to become really popular among teenagers, mostly thanks to the Spider-man and X-Men sagas, there was a movie that came to give the genre a darker, more adult side to it, Batman Begins. This retelling of the origins of the dark knight proved audiences and critics alike, that there was more to superhero movies than just colourful masked super heroes, fighting equally colourful masked super villains.
Through the course of the movie, you learn everything that led to Bruce Wayne's picking up of the mask. His own reasons and fears, the origins of his skills, the cave, the weapons, the car, and so on. Christopher Nolan, the director of the Dark Knight trilogy, usually emphasizes a particular theme in each of his movies, the choice for this one was fear, Batman's greatest weapon... and Bruce Wayne's biggest enemy.
My Score: 9/10
The action in Watchmen is brutal. The fights are fantastically choreographed, fast-paced, and don't spare on the violence! While this may turn-off some viewers, the dark nature of the film wouldn't feel the same otherwise. Watchmen is incredibly long, I confess I didn't feel comfortable when I sat through it at the cinema. However, it did grow on me after rewatching it, a lot. Its underlining themes, metaphors, complex plot and unusual direction, demand a much more attentive viewing than the minimum attention span of your average superhero flick.
My Score: 9/10
The Dark Knight Rises
After a bad year for superhero movies that saw much more quantity over quality, 2012 became the year of expectations. It saw two of the most antecipated movies of all time: The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. While the former was the much-expected action-fest culmination of all the Marvel's greatest superheroes put together on the same film, the latter was the conclusion of the most acclaimed superhero saga of all time, The Dark Knight trilogy.
The Dark Knight Rises is very rich, not only as a superhero film, but also as a piece of thought-provoking, emotional entertainment. Contrary to its previous installments, this film deals with an intrigue of great proportions, that will bring anarchy to Gotham city. In order to aid the police force restore the natural order, Batman will have to face a physical and mentally superior enemy, Bane. To succeed, he will have to visit hell, and find a way to come back alive.
My Score: 10/10
The Dark Knight
This was the movie that most effectively caught my interest and attention from its beginning to the very end. With a gripping intro, engaging characters, a memorable villain, stunning action, an epic soundtrack and a very strong ending, The Dark Knight offers a thrilling ride while providing a mesmerizing cinematic experience. It simply does not have anything not to like. It has become the highest tier of the superhero genre, and my one choice for the perfect movie-session.
My Score: 10/10
And with this epic movie I end my top 10 superhero movie list, a genre that has been evolving to become something more than a mere teenager flick or Summer blockbuster. And even if it continues going down that road, I'll gladly continue consuming a genre that has brought me so much excitement and exhilarating entertainment! That is, if it continues delivering titles with at least a similar level of quality as the content present on this list!