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16th Mar 2017

A definitive ranking of all of the movies within the X-Men universe

Nobody could possibly argue with this ranking

Rory Cashin

Logan has been out in cinemas for a little while, so now that the dust has settled, can it legitimately be named the best X-Men movie to date?

It’s a tough one to call because just like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s been a big variety in terms of quality over the years, with some being absolute must-sees of the superhero movie subgenre, and some being so bad they should be considered cinematic war crimes.

So here we go, all ten movies set within the X-Men universe to date, ranked from worst to best.

Oh, and obviously, SPOILERS!

10. X-Men: Origins – Wolverine (2009)

A prequel and spin-off to the X-Men movies we’d already seen, and the plan was to give other individual characters their own standalone movies, too. That didn’t work out though when everyone seen just how dull and poorly made this one turned out to be, but the concerns that Wolverine couldn’t handle a movie by himself would eventually be proved unfounded. Plus it introduced us the Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool… and then completely ruined him!

Budget: $150 million

Worldwide Box Office: $373 million

Best Bit: Wolverine VS The Helicopter

9. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

This really should have been soooo much better. Apocalypse is one of the greatest villains ever created in comic book history, and they got very-good-actor-indeed Oscar Isaacs to play him. Then… the rest of the film happened and it was all so dreary and blandly CGI heavy. Probably the most disappointing of the lot, to be honest.

Budget: $178 million

Worldwide Box Office: $544 million

Best Bit: Magneto tries to save his family in the forest, showing a version of Logan starring Fassbender’s tortured mutant we would’ve loved to have seen.

8. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

The third in the series was the first major mis-step, replacing the director of the first two (he went off to make Superman Returns) with Brett Ratner (he of Rush Hour and, eh, Rush Hour 2 fame). Once again, an amazing comic villain – this time in the form of the Dark Phoenix – was completely ruined by the movie, but to be fair, it also took some fairly ballsy risks.

Budget: $210 million

Worldwide Box Office: $459 million

Best Bit: Magneto does some quick construction work, moving the entire Golden Gate bridge to land on Alcatraz island.

7. The Wolverine (2013)

Take two on the standalone Wolverine movies, and while it is a damn sight better than Origins, it is still a bit of a wishy-washy mess, despite the fact that it comes from the same director as Logan. The interesting themes and character work with Logan himself shows the destination they would all eventually go on to reach, though.

Budget: $120 million

Worldwide Box Office: $415 million

Best Bit: Wolverine gets into massive brawl inside and then on top of a high speed train.

6. X-Men (2000)

This is where it all began, and while there were a fair few errors in judgement – Halle Berry’s line to the Toad, Cyclops uber-dorky glasses – it showed a real love for the comics unlike the world had been used to seeing in comic books movies since Superman decades earlier. For better or worse, if this hadn’t worked, we probably wouldn’t have The Avengers or The Dark Knight today.

Budget: $75 million

Worldwide Box Office: $296 million

Best Bit: Magneto shows off the full extent of his powers by taking every police officer’s weapon and then turning it back on them.

5. X-Men: First Class (2011)

After the one-two punch of The Last Stand and Origins, 20th Century Fox wisely went in a different direction and brought the whole thing back to the beginnings, showing how Professor X and Magneto became the men they would go on to be, while also mixing in an alternative history with a cool 60’s setting. Remembering all of the young recruits is next to impossible (and they’re treated as cannon fodder pretty sharpish), but the leads all fit into their roles like gloves.

Budget: $160 million

Worldwide Box Office: $354 million

Best Bit: Kevin Bacon is clearly having an absolute ball as a Grade-A bad-guy, and the scene where he tests out a very young Magneto’s powers by killing his mother in front of him is boo-hiss at it’s most boo-hiss’able.

4. Deadpool (2016)

Despite the fact that Blade and Blade 2 proved it well over a decade earlier, Deadpool was finally when Hollywood realised that comic book movies didn’t automatically mean they had to be for kids. Ryan Reynolds was perfectly cast as the superbly sarcastic anti-hero, and the movie’s OTT violence and unique sensibilities gave audiences what they didn’t know they’d been dying to see all this time.

Budget: $58 million

Worldwide Box Office: $783 million

Best Bit: So many to chose from, but the first time Wade tries to explain his overly violent tendencies to some of the X-Men is probably our favourite.

3. X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)

Improving on First Class by deepening the mythology, this mixes in time travel with giant robots, Jackman and Lawrence rocking the 70’s clobber, some great action scenes and characters from both the past, present and future, all acting their asses off.

Budget: $200 million

Worldwide Box Office: $748 million

Best Bit: Arguably the single best scene in any of the X-Men movies, Quicksilver’s escape from The Pentagon.

2. Logan (2017)

From that first trailer we knew we were going to be getting something different, but not THIS different. There’s already articles doing the rounds discussing if and why Logan should be considered for Best Picture at next year’s Oscars. Yes, it is that good.

Budget: $97 million

Worldwide Box Office: $255 million (and counting, still early days)

Best Bit: We’re not going to go into too much detail, but Logan arriving at the casino and noticing something isn’t quite right… and then all hell breaks loose…

1. X-2 (2003)

This was the perfect mix of amazing action sequences, very clever writing (that scene where the parents ask their son if he’s tried “not being a mutant?” is genius), pitch-perfect performances and layering on the mythology without drowning out the newbies all combined to create one of the most close-to-perfect comic book movies of all time.

Budget: $110 million

Worldwide Box Office: $408 million

Best Bit: Nightcrawler BAMF-ing his way around The White House kicked the movie off in the most amazing way possible

All clips via 20th Century Fox except where otherwise stated