“X-Men: Days of Future Past” hits theaters on May 23, and you know what that means: it’s time to rank all the “X-Men” movies. And with a series that’s varied so wildly in tone, time period and casts, it’s not an easy task. But hey, maybe our mutant power is ranking movies?
Regardless, having seen “Days of Future Past,” we feel confident in our rankings… So here we go:
7. “X-Men: The Last Stand”
But beyond that, “X-Men 3” is just kind of bland in between the bits where it’s provoking fan anger, and that’s a bigger sin from a superhero movie than anything else.
Still, it did give us the pitch-perfect casting of Kelsey Grammer as Hank McCoy/Beast and Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde, so you can’t totally write the movie off.
6. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”
Still, the first ten minutes or so setting up the characters and relationships are delightfully fun, and with Hugh Jackman at the center you can’t go totally wrong. It’s not great, but it’s also not nearly as bad as its reputation would have you believe.
That said, it set the pace for everything that came afterwards and gave us several brilliant performances that have now lasted for decades. It’s a nostalgia piece, but it’s a good one.
4. “The Wolverine”
Even Jackman has admitted they didn’t get everything right in this movie, but as a trial case for the next movie in the series (at least one more “Wolverine” solo film is in the works), it’s a solid entry.
3. “X2: X-Men United”
That said, like “The Wolverine” the movie has third act problems, with Jackman’s character spending a good portion of the time running down generic hallways and most of the cast running away from a wave. It may not nail the landing, but if “X-Men” showed the world that superheroes could be viable at the movies, “X2” showed they could have emotional depth, too.
2. “X-Men: Days Of Future Past”
The “X-Men” series hasn’t always been the best with keeping its continuity straight (two Emma Frosts, anyone?), but here it dives right into that area with a time-traveling story that makes sense and works. The action is writ huge, and with new mutants with new powers, spectacularly staged as well.
And did we mention surprisingly emotional at the end? It might be necessary to watch the entire series to feel the full weight, but from the giddily nostalgic opening with Patrick Stewart’s Professor X talking about fate and genetics as the camera zooms through DNA, to the shockingly surprising and exciting ending, “DOFP” makes us excited about the future of the franchise.
1. “X-Men: First Class”
Not only that, but the emotional arcs of the characters — in particular Lawrence’s Mystique — are a revelation, the most fully realized of any film in the series.
Add in Kevin Bacon as a legitimately threatening villain and fights that feel like real team battles, and you have an “X-Men” movie for the ages.
Now, you let us know! Which is the best X-Men movie of all time? Agree with our ranking, or disagree? Let us know in the comments!