10 Superhero Movies Missing From Rotten Tomatoes’ Best Movies Of All Time List

Superhero Movies Rotten Tomatoes Mising Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, and The Batman

Although Rotten Tomatoes’ recent Best Movies of All Time list does feature some of the best superhero movies, there are some notable omissions both from the MCU and DCU. The superhero movie genre has become a huge part of Hollywood with dynamic storytelling, crossovers, and action-packed events that more often than not result in some major blockbuster hits. However, some of the greats are noticeably absent from this new list.

Rotten Tomatoes’ new 300 Best Movies Of All Time list features films spanning across multiple genres of cinema. Of those 300, 10 are superhero films, and they’re essentially all genre-defining movies one would expect to be on this kind of list:

21. 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
51. 94% The Dark Knight (2008)
81. 95% Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

128. 93% Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
142. 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019)
225. 96% Black Panther (2018)
228. 93% Logan (2017)

254. 92% Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

274. 93% Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
286. 91% Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

However, there are several movies from the MCU, DCEU, and beyond that certainly deserve to be on this new Rotten Tomatoes as well. Keeping that in mind, here are 10 more superhero movies missing from Rotten Tomatoes’ 300 Best Movies of All Time list (in no particular order).

10. Spider-Man 2

2004 (93%)

Spider-Man 2 (2004) game cover

Spider-Man 2 absolutely deserves to be a superhero movie on this new Rotten Tomatoes list. One of the first truly significant superhero blockbusters of the early 2000s, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 starring Tobey Maguire was a rare case in which the sequel truly was better than the original. Faced with a major crisis between failing powers and the struggle of the responsibility that came with them, Spider-Man 2 is a brilliant character study of Peter Parker and his burden of being a superhero, matched with the perfect villain in Alfred Molina playing the tragic Doctor Otto Octavius (Doc Ock).

9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

2014 (90%)

Captain America and Winter Soldier 2014 MCU Custom Image

Another superhero sequel surpassing its predecessor, Captain America: The Winter Soldier broke new ground in the MCU with a compelling and grounded spy and political thriller. Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers finds himself challenged by the compromises of the modern world in the name of protection and security. Rather than his being a man out of time being a disadvantage and an obstacle to be overcome, Captain America’s unwillingness to adapt and fall in line resulted in the exposure of Hydra within SHIELD itself.

The Winter Soldier was a major moment for the MCU that also saw Steve grappling with the survival and brainwashing of his friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) who’d become Hydra’s assassin known as the Winter Soldier. Likewise, The Winter Soldier helped set the tone for several MCU projects going forward with a new sub-genre within the MCU. It was also the debut film for the Russo Brothers who’d go on to direct multiple films for Marvel Studios, most notably Avengers: Endgame.

8. X2: X-Men United

2003 (85%)

A promo photo from X2 shows the X-Men and their villains in the classic black uniforms from X-Men (2000)

X2: X-Men United was a groundbreaking sequel that helped show Hollywood what superhero movies could truly be. Opening with a brilliant sequence where Alan Cumming’s Nightcrawler takes on the Secret Service within the White House, X2 features Charles Xavier’s X-Men facing an increasingly intolerant world in live-action, centered around Brian Cox’s William Stryker, the man responsible for Wolverine’s metal claws and memory loss. It also featured the X-Men’s temporary yet still surprising team-up with Magneto and Mystique who had just been their rivals in the previous X-Men movie.

7. Spider-Man: Homecoming

2017 (92%)

Peter Parker holding the Staten Island Ferry together in Spider-Man Homecoming

Spider-ManHomecoming was Spider-Man’s first solo movie in the MCU. Following his debut in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker was a fresh take on the Webslinger who had none other than Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man as his mentor. Keeping Spider-Man in high school, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a wonderful coming-of-age superhero story that sees Peter struggling between wanting to be a fully-fledged Avenger and his current status as a Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.

The result of a surprising and wonderful partnership between Disney’s Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, Spider-Man’s integration into the MCU has made both studios millions of dollars. Likewise, sharing in the success of the MCU Webslinger will likely continue going forward with a fourth film in development. However, none of it would have happened had Tom Holland’s portrayal and Homecoming overall not been as successful as it was as one of the best superhero movies of all time.

6. Iron Man

2008 (94%)

A close-up of Iron Man's helmet in Iron Man

In a similar vein, Iron Man was the dawn of the MCU. Featuring impressive visuals and an actor who truly brought Ton Stark to life with Robert Downey Jr., 2008’s Iron Man is a must-watch superhero movie. Going beyond a mere superhero origin story, The film itself is a fantastic exploration of a man who changes the course of his entire life for the greater good, showing just how far a man possessing genius and great means can go to try and make the world a better place, even in spite his ego and inherent flaws.

Kicking off the entire MCU with Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury appearing at the very end with an offer for Stark to join the Avengers initiative, Iron Man is easily one of the most important movies to watch when exploring this greater interconnected universe. For multiple reasons, Iron Man is the definitive hero of the entire Infinity Saga. As such, his very first movie is more than worthy of being on a Best of All Time list.

5. The Batman

2022 (85%)

The Batman, 2022, Robert Pattinson, HBO Max.

Although Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is already on Rotten Tomatoes’ list, Matt Reeves’ The Batman starring Robert Pattinson should have been featured as well. A unique journey into Batman’s second year as the Caped Crusader, this version of The Dark Knight is still honing his skills and defining who Batman is. The same is true for his enemies as well.

Facing a chilling and disturbed version of the Riddler played by Paul Dano, The Batman took its inspiration from several iconic comic stories, most notably The Long Halloween, Year One, and Zero Year. Pattinson’s portrayal of Batman is all kinds of compelling, set in its own universe with plenty of room for Reeves to develop future projects. As such, The Batman’s unique take on DC’s most popular superhero should have earned it a spot on the list right alongside The Dark Knight.

4. Superman: The Movie

1978 (94%)

Christopher Reeve as Superman floating in the sky with the Metropolis cityscape behind him.

Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie was released in 1978. Starring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel, the movie also features notable stars, including Maron Brando as Superman’s Kryptonian father Jor-El, Gene Hackman and Lex Luthor, and Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. Superman: The Movie has long been viewed as the true father of superhero cinema, featuring the classic origin story of Superman with equal amounts of action and drama.

Featuring a dynamic score from John Williams with a theme that is still synonymous with the character almost 50 years later, Superman: The Movie was just as genre-defining as future projects like Spider-Man 2 or The Dark Knight. It set the standard for superhero fare that wasn’t too campy, taking itself seriously with dynamic writing, true drama, and impressive visual effects for its time.

3. Captain America: Civil War

2016 (91%)

Sam Wilson's Falcon, Scott Lang's Ant-Man, Clint Barton's Hawkeye, Steve Rogers' Captain America, Wanda Maximoff, and Bucky Barnes running at an airport in Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War truly was an Avengers-level crossover in all but name. Featuring a crisis that split Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in two, sides were taken over the UN’s Sokovia Accords which demanded more oversight over super-powered individuals like the Avengers. Believing that heroes should retain the right to choose where, when, and who they helped, Captain America and his allies came to blows with Iron Man and those who sided with him, believing the exact opposite.

As a result, the Civil War crossover was an incredible event that saw audiences choosing their own sides. Major heroes such as Spider-Man and Black Panther made their MCU debuts for the first time, making superhero movie history in more ways than one. Also from the Russo Brothers, the directing duo would then go on to direct both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame for Marvel Studios.

2. Deadpool

2016 (85%)

Deadpool And Colossus Deadpool 2016

A movie that only came about due to the passion of actor Ryan Reynolds and a large fan following for the Merc With the Mouth, 2016’s Deadpool is one of the most successful R-rated movies of all time. Redeeming the character’s original appearance in 2009’s X-Men OriginsDeadpool saw the meta and fourth-wall-breaking Wade Wilson finally get his time to shine. As a result, Deadpool is a movie that certainly offers its own unique definition of what the superhero genre could be.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response from audiences, the original Deadpool movie earned itself a sequel in 2018. Likewise, a third film is set to release soon as well, finally giving Reynolds his long-awaited team-up with none other than Hugh Jackman in 2024’s Deadpool & Wolverine. As such, the sheer audacity and unique take on such a popular anti-hero in the X-Men universe should have earned Deadpool its place on Rotten Tomatoes’ list.

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past

2014 (90%)

Wolverine being sent back in time in X-Men Days of Future Past

A major crossover event from Fox, 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past brought together its original cast of X-Men as well as its younger cast thanks to the beauty of time travel. Inspired by the beloved comics storyline of the same name, Fox rebooted its own X-Men timeline in-universe with Wolverine being sent back in time to bring the X-Men of the past together to rewrite the dark dystopian future lived in by the original cast. As such, Days of Future Past is still one of the best X-Men movies of all time, giving the franchise overall a much-needed revival.

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