Hero Worship

Ever since we turned the calendar to the twenty-first century, Hollywood has turned it’s gaze upon heroes. Not soldiers or fire fighters or that guy who dives into a frozen river to save someone from a sinking car, but SUPER heroes. There have been more movies about comic book super heroes since 2000 than in all the prior years of cinema’s history. We’ve had super hero series, like Batman and Spider Man and Iron Man (man, that’s a lot of man’s). We’ve had movies about what it means to be a super hero, like Unbreakable, M. Night Shyamalan’s last decent movie, and Kick-Ass and Hancock. Some have worked (Christopher Nolan’s Batman series) and some haven’t (like anything associated with the name Spider Man).

But whether it works or not, I’m good with all this super heroing. Maybe it’s just me, but I like it when the bad guys aren’t really the good guys or when all we find out about the good guys is how bad they really are. Just give me the red blooded American, John Wayne swagger, hero treatment. And that’s what this current crop of super hero movies is, for the most part. Even Hollywood has generally left it’s political and social commentary on the cutting room floor and given us films about super heroes and not social justice.

These are my ten favorites, but there are so many I’m sure some of your favorites didn’t make my cut. Or maybe I just didn’t pick the film from the series you would choose. Let me know what I was crazy to leave off the list.

Title Director
Batman Begins (2005) Christopher Nolan
Iron Man (2008) Jon Favreau
The Incredibles (2004) Brad Bird
Unbreakable (2000) M. Night Shyamalan
The Avengers (2012) Joss Whedon
Hancock (2008) Peter Berg
X-Men: First Class (2011) Matthew Vaughn
Thor (2011) Kenneth Branagh
Constantine (2005) Francis Lawrence
Chronicle (2012) Josh Trank

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