SPECIAL: The 50 Best Superhero Movies

Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chris Luckett

Many lists that are predominantly populated by modern movies feel slanted to younger writers/readers who may not have an exposure to films older than they are or a contextual understanding of their importance.

The superhero movie is a unique beast, though. A few genres and sub-genres, like sci-fi, have been greatly helped by the advance of CGI over the last quarter-century. Sci-fi was still capable of brilliance with just ideas alone, though; superhero movies lend themselves so closely to goofiness, parody, or sublime farce that the modern age of computer effects has served largely to legitimize a type of film that often wasn’t taken very seriously before the new millennium, even when they starred icons like Superman or Batman.

Continue reading

SPECIAL: The Best Movies of 2017

Image: Warner Bros.

Chris Luckett

Amongst my critic friends, a consensus emerged a month or two ago declaring 2017 to have been a great year for movies. I didn’t agree. I tend to judge (modern) years’ film quality by how many movies make the cut for my end-of-year article — that it, how many 4½- and 5-star movies there are. And based on that, I’d been feeling like it had been a rather weak year.

Continue reading

REVIEW: Justice League

Image: Warner Bros.

Chris Luckett

Reviewing a superhero movie basically just comes down to comparisons. “Captain America: Civil War is brilliant, but not quite as brilliant as The Winter Soldier.” “Spider-Man: Homecoming was good, but it was no Spider-Man 2.” “How awesome is it that Logan was even better than X-Men: Days of Future Past?”

It’s quite helpful in Justice League‘s case, as there are so many comparisons to be made. And perplexingly, DC’s supergroup movie doesn’t just invite them but encourages them as the movie goes along, blatantly and immodestly stealing from any successful superhero movie it can think of in a vain effort to win the critical and fan love that has seemed to come so naturally to the Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man series but been unattainable for DC since the Dark Knight era.

Continue reading

REVIEW: Wonder Woman

Image: Warner Bros.

Chris Luckett

Comic book origin movies almost invariably get outdone by their first sequels, because the first movie has to spend most of its time as setup while the second gets to hit the ground running.

What’s more, the extensive exposition and mythology when it comes to superheroes make it difficult for even the best superhero origin stories to be truly great movies.

Of course, none of them have been Wonder Woman.

Continue reading