Heidi Meeley made a Top Ten Comic Book Movie list a while ago so I thought I’d make my own list. Note that I don’t include TV shows but I do include direct to video movies.
I don’t have a particular order.
Superman II – This film has some corny aspects but Superman II boasts the first spectacular superhero battle ever to grace the silver screen. You gotta love Supes flinging General Zod into the that coke sign. Plus, I really liked that fact that the villains are truly evil. After watching the Batman TV show it came as quite a shock to see psychopaths running around the with same powers as Superman.
Spiderman – Thee best adaptation of an origin story I’ve ever watched. Seeing Spiderman on the big screen is the fulfillment of a childhood dream. The overall sweep of the film is very evocative of the comics and Toby Maguire is excellent as Peter Parker.
Ghost World – This adaptation of Daniel Clowes’ comic of the same name, is an amazing film. It’s about the comedy and tragedy of two girls facing the horrible world of post high school in a suburban wasteland. It was nominated for best-adapted screenplay. It should have won.
Hellboy – A smoking and drinking demon saves the world. Ron Pearlman was born for this role and he made the character come alive. In some sense, Hellboy is the best visual realization of a comic book character ever.
X-Men – What I really like about this movie is that it’s a case of making lemonade out of lemons. It didn’t really have enough of a budget to do the X-men properly and so the creators focused on the emotional context of the characters, which is what the X-men are really all about anyway. Hugh Jackman is a total coup as wolverine and the chemistry between all the actors is truly what makes the movie.
The Mask – A zany and crazy live action cartoon is what you get with the Mask. Jim Carry’s best role imo and Dark Horse Entertainment’s first big success. What happens when your id is released onto the world? Watch The Mask and find out. The dance numbers are outta this world!
Iron Man – Iron Man is one of those movies that meets the expectations of the trailer, films rarely accomplish this. Casting Robert Down Jr. as shell head is a masterstroke and updating his origin story for our time works perfectly. It’s a tight film with plenty of action, lots of laughs and a pop culture mea culpa for the horrible things the US had done for the last seven years.
Justice League: The New Frontier – I’ve already done a review of this see here. An excellent straight to video movie adapted from an excellent comic.
American Splendor – A wonderful cross between a dramatic film and a docudrama, which I never thought was possible until I saw this film. The drama of everyday life and stress of just being alive spills onto the screen in a tale that only Harvey Pekar could tell but is relatable to everybody. One of the best films ever despite the fact it’s a “comic book movie.”
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Seriously, The first film was a very faithful adaptation of the original black and white comic that started it all. Aspects of it are very dark and not like the kiddy cartoon at all but ninja turtles still is rather funny. It never pretends to be more than it is but it delivers the goods with a solid action oriented story. Plus, seeing a Muppet splinter doing martial arts is awesome.
Creepshow – An homage as opposed to an adaptation of the EC Horror comics from the 1950s
Persepolis – I haven’t seen the film or read the book but I suspect that both are very good.
V for Vendetta – A good movie and Hugo Weaving is amazing as V but since Alan Moore hates it, V for Vendetta can’t be in my top ten.
Batman Begins – You know, I’m not really a Batman fan and I’ve come to terms with that. I hate all the Bat films but this one. (and maybe Dark Knight but it’s not out yet).
This post is about American comics but if I included Japanese manga it would push many of the American titles off the top ten, but here’s a few:
Lone Wolf and Cub (Shogun Assassin) – Yes it’s from a comic book.
Naüsicaa of the Valley of the Wind – Hayao Miyazaki made the comic first so he could make the film.
Akira – Cyberpunk at it’s best.