48 Best Superhero Movies of All Time You Shouldn’t Miss in New Zealand [2024 Updated]

Best-Super-Heroes-Movies-in-New Zealand.

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The surge of superhero sagas has reshaped the cinematic landscape, and I’ve created a must-see list of the best superhero movies for both DC and Marvel die-hard fans. These films have grown from simple comic book stories to significant cultural milestones, capturing the hearts and imaginations of audiences everywhere.

Embark on a journey through these epic narratives that have set the bar for filmmaking excellence and transformed my understanding of being a hero. Whether you’re re-experiencing these timeless films in New Zealand or enjoying them for the first time, each one is captivating.

Seize the chance to delve into the pinnacle of superhero cinema, a realm of inspiration and delight for an ever-growing audience worldwide.

1. Madame Web (2024)


Director: S.J. Clarkson
Writer: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Claire Parker
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, Celeste O’Connor
IMDb: 3.9/10
Run Time: 1h 56m
Trailer: Madame Web

Madame Web (2024) is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character, part of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. The story follows Cassandra Webb, a clairvoyant mutant with precognitive abilities, who becomes a crucial figure in the Spider-Verse.

As Madame Web, she uses her powers to foresee and prevent catastrophic events, guiding other Spider-themed heroes. The film explores her mysterious past, connection to the web of life and destiny, and role in the larger Spider-Man mythos.

Dakota Johnson stars as the titular character, with Sydney Sweeney and Adam Scott in key roles, promising a unique and intriguing addition to the superhero genre.

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)


Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Michael Waldron, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong
IMDb: 6.9/10
Run Time: 2h 6m

Benedict Cumberbatch’s return as Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a journey into a surreal and magical realm where the limits of reality were bent and reshaped by sorcery.

The introduction of the multiverse brought forth a kaleidoscope of strange new worlds, each teeming with its own unique perils. Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff added a compelling layer to the narrative, masterfully walking the line between heroism and villainy.

Her performance was both captivating and heartbreaking, providing a complex character that greatly enriched the story.

3. The Batman (2022)


Director: Matt Reeves
Writer: Matt Reeves, Peter Craig, Bob Kane
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Colin Farrell
IMDb: 7.8/10
Run Time: 2h 56m

The Batman (2022) introduced us to a fresh and gritty version of Gotham’s protector, with Robert Pattinson bringing a new level of depth to the iconic character. The film’s noir-inspired take on the Batman mythos was a welcome departure, offering a narrative that was as much a detective story as a superhero epic.

Pattinson’s portrayal of a younger, more troubled Bruce Wayne was a standout aspect, making him a relatable figure for a new generation of fans.

Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman added a dynamic element to the story, and the film’s exploration of Gotham’s corruption set it apart as one of the good superhero movies of recent years, ranking alongside some of the best Batman animated movies in New Zealand.


4. The Suicide Squad (2021)


Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Cast: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman
IMDb: 7.2/10
Run Time: 2h 12m

The Suicide Squad, directed by James Gunn, stands out in the superhero genre for its chaotic brilliance. Margot Robbie shines as Harley Quinn and new characters like Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and Peacemaker (John Cena) invigorate the ensemble.

The film’s R-rated freedom allows for raw, unfiltered action and humor, making it one of the most memorable superhero movies. It takes bold leaps from its 2016 predecessor, particularly with its unexpected opening sequence, and balances humor with emotional depth, making The Suicide Squad a top-tier hero movie.

5. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)


Director: Zack Snyder
Writer: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 4h 2m
Trailer: Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) is a reimagined version of the 2017 Justice League film directed by Zack Snyder.

This four-hour cut follows Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) as they assemble a team of metahumans, including Barry Allen (The Flash), Arthur Curry (Aquaman), and Victor Stone (Cyborg), to protect the world from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army.

The film delves deeper into each character’s backstory, mainly Cyborg’s, and presents a more cohesive and darker narrative. With improved visual effects, additional scenes, and a new score, Snyder’s version offers a more expansive and satisfying portrayal of the DC superhero team.

6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)


Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Writer: Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham
Cast: Simu Liu, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Awkwafina, Ben Kingsley
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 2h 12m
Trailer: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings 

Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a refreshing addition to the superhero genre, fusing martial arts with the superhero narrative in a way that is both innovative and captivating.

Simu Liu steps into the role of Shang-Chi with grace and skill, bringing to life a character steeped in Asian culture and mythology. The film is notable for its action scenes, which are among the best in good superhero movies, and for its exploration of themes like family legacies and destiny.

Shang-Chi is a character who has quickly become one of my favorites, and the film itself stands as a significant entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a cinematic treat that I found particularly enjoyable, adding a new layer of diversity and depth to the lineup of hero movies.

7. Black Widow (2021)


Director: Cate Shortland
Writer: Eric Pearson, Jac Schaeffer, Ned Benson
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Run Time: 2h 14m

Black Widow offers an intimate look at Natasha Romanoff’s origins, showcasing the depth and complexity of female superheroes. Scarlett Johansson’s nuanced portrayal gives audiences a deeper understanding of her character beyond the action.

Florence Pugh’s addition as Yelena adds emotional weight and levity to the narrative. The film explores themes like family and autonomy, positioning it among the best superhero movies for its character-driven storytelling and emotionally charged action sequences.

This action-packed spy adventure is also a story about the bonds that define us and the past that shapes us. It resonates on a personal level, providing high-octane entertainment while touching on human elements.

Black Widow is a fitting tribute to one of Marvel’s most beloved characters, reflecting themes of freedom and the ties that bind. Johansson’s performance cements Natasha Romanoff’s legacy as a hero in the top hero movies.

8. Birds of Prey (2020)


Director: Cathy Yan
Writer:Christina Hodson, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm
Cast: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez
IMDb Rating: 6.1/10
Run Time: 1h 49m

“Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey” is a wild ride that dives headfirst into the chaotic world of its protagonist. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is a whirlwind of energy, and the film’s vibrant aesthetic matches her anarchic spirit. It’s a film unafraid to embrace its comic book roots, resulting in a visual feast as unpredictable as its leading lady.

Among good hero movies, it stands out for its focus on female empowerment, as Harley teams up with an array of badass women to take on Gotham’s underworld, making it a significant addition to the roster of good superhero movies.

9. Shazam (2019)


Director: David F. Sandberg
Writer: Henry Gayden, Darren Lemke, Bill Parker
Cast: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Run Time: 2h 12m
Trailer: Shazam

Shazam! is a delightful action comedy that balances thrilling action with irreverent humor. Directed by David F. Sandberg, it tells the story of young Billy Batson, who transforms into an adult superhero by the name “Shazam!”.

Zachary Levi’s performance captures the joy of suddenly gaining superpowers, and the film is filled with humorous moments as Billy and his foster brother Freddy learn about heroism. The lighthearted tone and exciting action sequences make Shazam! an excellent choice for a fun movie night, appealing to viewers of all ages.

10. Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)


Director: Jon Watts
Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Stan Lee
Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 2h 9m
Trailer: Spider-Man: Far from Home

Spider-Man: Far from Home is not just another chapter in the franchise; it’s a film that reaffirms the charm and relatability of Spider-Man. Tom Holland embodies Peter Parker with a vulnerability that is both genuine and captivating.

The film introduces Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, bringing an unexpected twist to the narrative. This installment stands out for its clever blend of teenage adventure and superhero spectacle, making it one of the most impactful superhero movies of recent years.

11. Avengers: Endgame (2019)


Director: Antony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Stan Lee
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Run Time: 3h 1m

Avengers: Endgame redefined superhero movies, bringing an epic conclusion to a decade-long saga. It masterfully united storylines and characters, closing key arcs like Iron Man and Captain America. The final battle was a spectacular highlight of superhero cinema.

The time heist offered a nostalgic journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, adding excitement and depth to the narrative. The film became a shared global experience, underscoring the cultural impact of these characters and stories.

Endgame stands as one of the best superhero movies, showcasing the art of storytelling and the emotional connection that great superhero films can foster. If you are not aware of Marvel’s last movie, Infinity Saga, then you should watch all Marvel movies in chronological order.

12. Joker (2019)


Director: Todd Phillips
Writer: Todd Phillips, Scott Silver, Bob Kane
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Run Time: 2h 2m

I can’t help but view Todd Phillips’ Joker as a masterpiece that stands out in the landscape of American superhero movies. It’s a deep dive into the psyche of one of the most enigmatic villains ever conceived.

Joker is not your typical superhero film; in fact, it’s not really about a hero at all. It’s a character study, a societal critique, and a cautionary tale all rolled into one. Joaquin Phoenix delivers an Oscar-winning performance that is both unsettling and mesmerizing.

As a movie that challenges viewers to think critically about mental health and societal neglect, it’s undoubtedly one of the good superhero movies that pushes the boundaries of the genre.

13. The Incredibles 2 (2018)


Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Brad Bird
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 1h 58m

The Incredibles 2 exceeded my high expectations with its brilliant balance of family dynamics and superhero action. Directed by Brad Bird, the film shifts focus to Elastigirl, while Mr. Incredible manages domestic chaos, offering relatable moments and humor.

The vibrant animation and exhilarating action sequences blend nostalgia with modern flair. Tackling gender roles and societal expectations, the Parr family’s genuine struggles ground the fantastical elements.

Villain Screenslaver adds a thought-provoking challenge about technology dependency. With humor, heart, and heroism, The Incredibles 2 is a standout superhero movie that entertains and inspires.

14. The Ant-man and The Wasp (2018)


Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd
Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Pena, Evangeline Lilly, Walton Goggins
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Run Time: 1h 58m
Trailer: The Ant-man and The Wasp

The Ant-Man and The Wasp thrilled me as a sequel, elevating Scott Lang’s story and introducing Hope van Dyne’s Wasp with grace. Directed by Peyton Reed, the film balances humor and heart with Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly’s dynamic blend of comedic timing and dramatic depth.

The narrative intertwines personal stakes with action, and the size-shifting antics are both visually impressive and integral to the story. The exploration of the quantum realm adds sci-fi intrigue. Ghost, a complex antagonist, challenges the heroes both physically and ethically. The film’s light-hearted spirit and emotional solid core make it a standout superhero movie.

15. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)


Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Writer: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman
Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Run Time: 1h 57m

A unique storyline and Oscar-winning visual effects make this one of the top superhero movies of all time in New Zealand. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse redefines animated superhero movies with inventive storytelling and stunning visuals. The film weaves multiple dimensions into Miles Morales’s world, giving depth to each Spider-Person and creating a diverse, engaging ensemble.

Its unique animation style is a visual feast, mimicking comic books with vibrant colors and dynamic transitions while pushing the boundaries of the medium. The cultural significance of a biracial Spider-Man in Miles Morales is powerful and necessary.

16. Black Panther (2018)


Director: Ryan Coogler
Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole, Stan Lee
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 2h 14m
Trailer: Black Panther

Black Panther (2018) was a cultural milestone, being the first Marvel film with a predominantly Black cast and powerful representation. The narrative explored themes of responsibility, heritage, and the clash between tradition and modernity, vividly bringing Wakanda to life.

Chadwick Boseman’s iconic portrayal of T’Challa, supported by a stellar cast, added emotional depth and complexity. The film’s social commentary and thrilling action resonated globally, making it a cultural phenomenon that challenged Hollywood norms and celebrated African culture, leaving a lasting impact on the industry.

17. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)


Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Stephen McFeely, Christopher Markus, Stan Lee
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evan, Mark Ruffalo
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Run Time: 2h 29m
Trailer: Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War was a cinematic event that exceeded my expectations, weaving together a decade’s worth of narratives into a masterful story. Directed by the Russo brothers, it balanced humor, heart, and high stakes, making it one of the best superhero movies ever.

The audience’s excitement, especially during the Battle of Wakanda, enhanced the experience. The bold decision to let the villain win was a narrative risk that paid off, leaving viewers stunned. With emotional depth and top-notch performances, particularly Josh Brolin as Thanos, Infinity War cemented itself as a landmark in superhero cinema.

18. Venom (2018)


Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writer: Jeff Pinker, Scott Rosenberg, Kelly Marcel
Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Run Time: 2h 29m
Trailer: Venom

Starring Oscar-nominated actor Tom Hardy, the film brings one of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex, and badass characters to the big screen. Spiderman comics feature Venom as a character.

Eddie, a journalist, investigates experiments on humans while trying to eliminate Carlton, C.E.O. of Life Foundation. During the process, he merges with a symbiotic alien, giving him superpowers. But, unfortunately, a new symbiote comes forward to destroy the earth, twisting the plot.

19. Aquaman (2018)


Director: James Wan
Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall 
Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 2h 23m
Trailer: Aquaman

Aquaman is an epic spectacle that brings the underwater kingdom of Atlantis to life with dazzling visual effects and larger-than-life action sequences. Directed by James Wan, the film stars Jason Momoa as the titular hero, a man caught between the surface world and the watery depths of his birthright.

Aquaman embarks on a quest to prevent war between the two worlds, showcasing his journey from outcast to king. Although the romance doesn’t always hit the mark, Aquaman’s quest and the vibrant world-building make it a standout in the realm of American superhero movies.

It’s a thrilling ride that redefines the super hero movies landscape, proving that lesser-known comic book heroes can command the box office.

20. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)


Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Batista, Vin Diesel
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 2h 16m
Trailer: Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues to charm with its band of misfit heroes. Director James Gunn delivers a sequel that balances irreverent humor, heart, and spectacle. This good hero movie brings back fan-favorites like Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord and Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, while introducing new characters that add depth and emotion to the story.

The visuals are a feast for the eyes, with the film’s vibrant colors and imaginative world-building elevating the sci-fi elements. This sequel solidifies the Guardians as some of the most endearing characters in the American superhero movies landscape, with a soundtrack that perfectly complements the film’s tone.

It’s an intergalactic joyride that captures the essence of what makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe so entertaining.

21. Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)


Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock
IMDb Rating: 5.2/10
Run Time: 2h 34m

While Transformers: The Last Knight may not be hailed as one of the best superpower movies, it’s an undeniable visual spectacle that continues the saga of Autobots and Decepticons. Directed by Michael Bay, this installment dives into the lore of Transformers, intertwining their history with that of humans.

The action is exquisite, with epic battles and stunning special effects that showcase the technological advancements in filmmaking. Although the story might be convoluted for some, the film delivers the high-octane thrills fans of the franchise expect.

It’s a rollercoaster ride of metal and mayhem that, despite its flaws, entertains on a massive scale, making it one of those top hero movies that are best enjoyed for its visual feats rather than its narrative coherence.

If you want to know the history of these robots in New Zealand, then you must watch Transformers movies in order.

22. Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman (2017)

Director: Patty Jenkins
Writer: Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, Jason Fuchs
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Lucy Davis
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 2h 21m
Trailer: Wonder Woman

I must say, Wonder Woman is one of those rare hero movies that entertains and inspires. Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Diana, Princess of Themyscira, is iconic. The film is a powerful narrative that combines action, heart, and a message of empowerment.

Jenkins’s direction brings a sense of gravitas and sincerity to the superhero genre, making Wonder Woman stand out among best super heroes movies. It’s a film showcasing women’s strength, both on and off the battlefield, and it resonates deeply with audiences.

As a definitive entry in the best superhero movies of all time, its cultural impact and box office success are a testament to its quality. This movie is a must-watch, not only as a good hero movie but as a cinematic experience celebrating heroism and humanity.

23. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)


Director: Jon Watts
Writer: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 2h 13m

Spider-Man: Homecoming offers a refreshing take on the franchise, capturing the essence of Peter Parker with youthful energy. Tom Holland’s charming and relatable portrayal secures his place among the top hero movies.

The film balances high school comedy and superhero action with flair, integrating into the broader Marvel Universe while maintaining Spider-Man’s unique flavor.

Michael Keaton’s engaging villain adds depth, and focusing on smaller, personal stakes enhances its appeal. As a fan, Homecoming stands out among the best superhero movies for its character-driven narrative and top-notch action, reminding us why Spider-Man is so beloved.

Who is the best Superhero in Marvel? Its everyone’s favorite, Spiderman!

24. Logan (2017)

Logan (2017)

Director: James Mangold
Writer: James Mangold, Michael Green, Scott Frank
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 2h 17m
Trailer: Logan

When I first watched Logan, I was struck by its gritty realism, a stark departure from the usual gloss of superhero flicks. It’s not every day we witness a superhero movie that doubles as a poignant, character-driven drama, and Logan did just that.

Hugh Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine presented us with a hero at the end of his rope, a raw and powerful performance that transcended the genre. The film’s R-rating allowed for a darker, more visceral storytelling approach, which was both a critical and commercial success.

Logan is not just a good hero movie; it’s a groundbreaking one that pushed the boundaries of American superhero movies.

25. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)


Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Cristopher L. Yost
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 2h 10m
Trailer: Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok, directed by Taika Waititi, revitalized the Thor franchise with vibrant humor and action. Chris Hemsworth’s comedic timing added new layers to Thor, while the film balanced humor with heart, respecting the source material while playfully subverting it.

Memorable performances from Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and Cate Blanchett’s Hela further enhanced the film. Thor: Ragnarok proved that superhero movies could be great comedies, making it one of the top hero films in recent memory.

Who has more fans Marvel or DC? Marvel has about 2.5 million members while DCcomics has about 1 million members.

26. Captain America: Civil War (2016)


Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Cristopher Markus, Joe Simon, Stephen Mc Feely
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evan, Scarlet Johanson, Sebastian Stan
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 2h 27m

Captain America: Civil War, directed by the Russo brothers, masterfully balances a large ensemble cast while telling a deeply personal story. The film goes beyond typical hero versus villain-tropes, exploring the ideological divide between beloved characters.

The airport battle scene is a standout, showcasing each hero’s abilities and personality. However, the quieter moments, like Tony Stark’s grief and Steve Rogers‘ unwavering moral compass, highlight the emotional stakes.

Civil War is a thought-provoking film on the consequences of power and accountability, solidifying its place among the top Captain America films.

The third installment of the trilogy, Civil War, has received the finest critical reviews, but all of the Captain America films have been fantastic, with the greatest action and storylines that fans have enjoyed.

27. Deadpool (2016)


Director: Tim Miller
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Karan Soni, Ed Skrein, Michael Benyaer
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Run Time: 1h 48m
Trailer: Deadpool

“Deadpool” (2016) follows Wade Wilson, a former Special Forces operative turned mercenary, who undergoes an experimental procedure to cure his terminal cancer. The procedure leaves him with accelerated healing powers but severely disfigured.

Donning the alter ego Deadpool, Wade embarks on a quest for vengeance against the man who nearly destroyed his life. Known for its irreverent humor, breaking the fourth wall, and intense action, “Deadpool” is a unique and entertaining addition to the superhero genre, starring Ryan Reynolds in the titular role.

28. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)


Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Simon Kinberg, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 2h 12m

Turning our attention to X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s clear that this installment stands as a pinnacle among good hero movies. Seamlessly integrating characters across timelines, it offers a narrative complexity that is both engaging and emotionally grounded.

The duality of having actors like Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen share their roles with younger counterparts adds richness to the storyline. The visual effects, especially in the Quicksilver Pentagon scene, earned the movie an Oscar nod, underscoring its place among good superhero movies.

29. Chronicle (2012)


Director: Josh Trank
Writer: Max Landis, Josh Trank
Cast: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Run Time: 1h 24m

“Chronicle” is a film that caught my attention for its innovative take on the superhero origin story, presented through the lens of found footage. The movie explores what happens when three high school students acquire supernatural abilities and how their lives are irrevocably changed.

The raw and grounded portrayal of their descent into chaos is both poignant and intense. It’s a narrative that’s as much about the corrupting influence of power as it is about the fantastic nature of superpowers.

The use of the found footage style adds an intimate and immediate feel to the storytelling, drawing viewers into the characters’ experiences with a visceral impact. “Chronicle” stands out as a bold and thought-provoking entry in the superhero genre, and its unique approach to character development and visual storytelling makes it a must-watch.

30. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)


Director: Joe Johnston
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Joe Simon
Cast: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Run Time: 2h 4m

Captain America: The First Avenger delivers a refreshing dose of nostalgia, harking back to the valor and spirit of World War II-era heroism. Chris Evans embodies the role of Steve Rogers with a perfect blend of earnestness and courage, elevating the character beyond its potential campiness.

The film’s attention to detail and handsome production evokes a bygone era of storytelling, creating an engaging backdrop for Captain America’s origin story. It’s a film that establishes the core values of one of America’s most iconic superheroes and sets the stage for his future cinematic exploits.

31. Thor (2011)


Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Run Time: 1h 55m

I vividly remember the first time I saw Thor in 2011—it was like witnessing a mythical figure stepping out of the pages of Norse legends and into the modern world. Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of the God of Thunder is powerful yet imbued with a sense of discovery as Thor learns humility and what it truly means to be a hero.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the film deftly combines elements of Shakespearean drama with the grandeur of superhero cinema, making it one of the best superhero movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The visuals are stunning, the action is exhilarating, and the heart of the story is universally resonant. Thor is a thunderous choice for those seeking a superhero film with both spectacle and substance.

32. Doctor Strange (2016)


Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 1h 55m
Trailer: Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange introduces the mystical side of the Marvel Universe through a visually stunning adventure. Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal explores the darker aspects of intelligence and ego, focusing on personal enlightenment and world-saving. The film’s impressive special effects and unique dimensions stand out in the superhero genre.

The story follows Doctor Strange’s journey from arrogance to humility, blending action with a thoughtful character study. It highlights that the greatest battles are often internal, making Doctor Strange a compelling tale of redemption and discovery.

33. Big Hero 6 (2014)


Director: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Writer: Jordan Roberts, Daniel Gerson, and Jordan Roberts
Cast: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 42m
Trailer: Big Hero 6 

Big Hero 6, Disney’s animated triumph, skillfully combines heart, humor, and heroism. The film, based on a lesser-known Marvel comic, follows young Hiro Hamada and his inflatable robot companion, Baymax, as they form a superhero team to combat a mysterious villain.

Big Hero 6 stands out for its emotional depth, exploring themes of loss, friendship, and the making of a hero. The movie’s appeal lies in its ability to balance action-packed sequences with touching moments while introducing a diverse and lovable set of characters.

This Oscar-winning gem is a testament to the power of animation in telling superhero stories and remains one of the best superheros movies for its endearing narrative and visual splendor.

34. Iron Man 3 (2013)


Director: Shane Black
Writer: Drew Pearce, Shane Black, Stan Lee
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Run Time: 2h 10m
Trailer: Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3, directed by Shane Black, takes Tony Stark on a personal journey of self-discovery and vulnerability. The film delves into the character’s psyche, exploring the aftermath of the events in The Avengers.

Stark, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., must confront his demons while facing a new, formidable foe. The movie is known for its wit and a controversial plot twist that divided fans.

Despite some criticism, Iron Man 3 offers thrilling action and a deeper look into what makes Tony Stark one of the best superpower movies’ central figures. It’s a nuanced chapter in the Iron Man saga that adds complexity to the best superhero movies of all time list.

35. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)


Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer
Cast: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Run Time: 2h 44m

The Dark Knight Rises concludes Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy as one of the most ambitious hero movies of its time. The film features a high-stakes narrative that physically and emotionally challenges Bruce Wayne, solidifying its place among the best superhero movies.

With a runtime of nearly three hours, the movie delivers an epic finale that combines intense action with deep thematic exploration. The presence of Bane, played by Tom Hardy, as a formidable adversary adds to the film’s dramatic tension.

Despite some criticism for its plot complexities and pacing, The Dark Knight Rises is celebrated for its grand scale and a satisfying conclusion to a beloved trilogy. It’s a good superhero movie that pushes the boundaries of the genre and leaves a lasting impact on its audience.

36. X-Men: First Class (2011)


Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman
Cast: James McAvoy, Laurence Belcher, Michael Fassbender, Bill Milner
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 2h 11m
Trailer: X-Men: First Class

After the mixed reception of previous X-Men movies, “X-Men: First Class” reinvigorated the franchise by diving into the origins of these beloved characters during the tension-filled era of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The movie boasts a stellar cast, including Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence, whose performance as Mystique offers a more nuanced take on the blue-skinned shape-shifter. Their portrayals breathe new life into these iconic roles, delivering depth and a fresh perspective that resonates with audiences.

The fantasy genre has been trendy these days; that’s why I have compiled a list of the best fantasy movies for you in New Zealand.

37. Kick-Ass (2010)

Kick-Ass (2010)

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Matthew Vaughn, Mark Millar, Jane Goldman
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Garrett M. Brown, Clark Duke, Evan Peters
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 1h 57m

“Kick-Ass” is a bold and subversive film that takes the superhero genre and gives it a darkly comic and brutally violent twist. Directed by Matthew Vaughn and featuring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Dave Lizewski, an average teenager who becomes a self-made superhero, the film is a must-watch for fans of adventure-action comedy movies.

Chloë Grace Moretz and Nicolas Cage also deliver standout performances, particularly Moretz as Hit-Girl. This film is a refreshing take on the superhero narrative with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 77%, making it a testament to its quality.

It balances violence and profanity with comedic elements, making it an excellent example of an action movie. For those seeking a film that offers a unique perspective on heroism and the action comedy genre, “Kick-Ass” is a perfect choice.

38. Watchmen (2009)


Director: Zack Snyder
Writer: Dave Gibbons, David Hayter, Alex Tse
Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino, Malin Ackerman
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 2h 42m

“Watchmen” stands out boldly in the superhero genre as a film that deconstructs the very notion of heroism. Directed by Zack Snyder, it’s a dark, complex narrative examining heroes’ flawed nature and their societal impact.

The film’s gritty realism and moral ambiguity contrast sharply with traditional hero movies. With Snyder’s signature visual style, “Watchmen” offers a thought-provoking narrative that’s as visually captivating as it is introspective.

It’s a movie that challenges viewers to consider the implications of vigilantism and the price of peace, making it one of the best superhero movies that sticks with you long after the credits roll.

39. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)


Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Mike Mignola
Cast: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Alexander
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Run Time: 2h

Hellboy II: The Golden Army, directed by Guillermo del Toro, combines superhero antics with fantastical lore. This 2008 sequel amplifies its predecessor’s strengths with del Toro’s dark fairy tale vision.

Ron Perlman returns as Hellboy in a visually stunning world where the supernatural feels real. The compelling elvish prince antagonist and the story’s blend of action with emotional stakes make it stand out.

Touching on themes of identity, belonging, and destiny, Hellboy’s journey is about saving the world and finding his place in it. This unique and richly detailed film is a must-watch for superhero movie fans.

40. Iron Man (2008)


Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Run Time: 2h 6m

I still remember the first time I saw Iron Man on Instagram; it was a game-changer. Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark brought an unmatched charisma that forever altered the landscape of American superhero movies.

The film’s success lies in its perfect blend of humor, heart, and spectacle, paving the way for the MCU. It introduced a flawed hero who grows into someone greater, a concept that resonates deeply with audiences.

Iron Man isn’t just one of the top hero movies; it’s a cornerstone of modern cinema that redefined what best superpower movies could be.

41. Batman Begins (2005)


Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Bob Kane, David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Run Time: 2h 20m

Experiencing Batman Begins was a revelation, as it redefined the superhero genre with a sense of gravitas and a gripping, realistic portrayal of Batman’s origins. The film explores the psychological drive behind Bruce Wayne’s transformation into the Dark Knight against the backdrop of a Gotham City rife with corruption.

Christian Bale’s nuanced performance as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, alongside a stellar supporting cast including Michael Caine and Gary Oldman, provided a solid foundation for the hero’s journey.

Director Christopher Nolan’s storytelling is both profound and introspective, making Batman Begins a cinematic achievement that elevated the superhero genre to new artistic heights and solidified its position among the best superhero movies of all time.

42. V for Vendetta (2005)


Director: James McTeigue
Writer: Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, David Lloyd
Cast: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Run Time: 2h 12m

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November…” V for Vendetta is a film that I hold dear for its potent political undertones and its take on the superhero genre. It’s a story of rebellion against tyranny, where the masked vigilante V, played compellingly by Hugo Weaving, challenges the oppressive government.

Natalie Portman’s transformation as Evey Hammond is powerful and central to the narrative. This film is more than just a superhero movie; it’s a symbol of resistance and a reminder of the power of ideas. It’s a film that deserves a spot on any list of the best superhero movies of all time.

43. X2 (2003)


Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Zak Penn, David Hayter, Bryan Singer
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 2h 14m

I remember the excitement I felt watching X2: X-Men United for the first time. It wasn’t just a sequel; it was a film that expanded upon the themes and characters introduced in the original.

The movie provided a deeper look into the mutants’ struggle for survival against a society that fears them, introducing new characters and adding complex layers to familiar faces like Wolverine.

Directed by Bryan Singer, X2 crafted a narrative that’s as thought-provoking as it is visually captivating, exploring the human condition through the lens of its deeply flawed characters. This film was a precursor to the modern era of hero movies, where spectacle and substance strive for harmony.

Its action sequences, particularly the White House and plane chase scenes, were exhilarating, making X2 a landmark in the X-Men saga and a standout in the genre of best superhero movies.

44. Spider-Man (2002)


Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, David Koepp
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Cliff Robertson
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 2h 1m

I’ll never forget the excitement I felt watching Spider-Man swing into theaters in 2002. It was a pivotal moment for American superhero movies, showcasing that these films could be both commercially successful and critically acclaimed.

Tobey Maguire embodied Peter Parker’s relatable struggles, while Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson gave us one of the most heartfelt love stories in superhero cinema.

Sam Raimi’s direction perfectly balanced action, humor, and heart, making Spider-Man not just a good superhero movie but an enduring classic that set the standard for all the web-slinging adventures that followed, including the visually stunning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).

45. X-Men (2000)


Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Tom DeSanto, Bryan Singer, David Hayter
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 1h 44m

The X-Men franchise holds a special place in my heart, and it all started with the 2000 film that brought these beloved characters to life. I remember being captivated by the film’s willingness to tackle social themes through its mutant protagonists.

It’s a film that goes beyond the usual superhero movies, delving into issues of acceptance and prejudice that resonate just as strongly today. With powerful performances by Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen, X-Men stands out as not just a good hero movie but a culturally significant one.

It paved the way for the superhero boom we’re seeing today, with films like Avengers: Endgame (2019) continuing to captivate audiences around the world.

46. The Mask (1994)


Director: Chuck Russell
Writer: Michael Fallon, Mark Verheiden, Mike Werb
Cast: Jim Carrey, Peter Riegert, Peter Greene, Amy Yasbeck
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Run Time: 1h 41m

“The Mask” is a film that solidified Jim Carrey’s status as a comedic force in Hollywood. His portrayal of Stanley Ipkiss, who transforms into a cartoonish superhero after donning a magical mask, showcases Carrey’s talent for physical comedy and zany humor.

The movie captures the essence of the Dark Horse Comics character while allowing Carrey to bring his unique energy to the role, creating an unforgettable experience.

47. Spider-Man 2 (2004)


Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Alfred Gough
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 2h 7m

Spider-Man 2 (2004), directed by Sam Raimi, continues the story of Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) as he struggles to balance his life as a college student and his responsibilities as Spider-Man.

The film introduces Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), a brilliant scientist who becomes the villain Doctor Octopus after a failed experiment. As Peter faces challenges in his personal life and his superhero duties, he must stop Doc Ock’s dangerous plan to recreate the experiment that gave him his mechanical tentacles.

The film is praised for its compelling character development, emotional depth, and thrilling action sequences, solidifying it as one of the best superhero films of all time.

When I crave dark and captivating storylines, I always check out the best movies like Underworld, for a gripping movie marathon.

48. Batman Returns (1992)


Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Bob Kane, Daniel Waters, Sam Hamm
Cast: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Run Time: 2h 6m

Batman Returns (1992), directed by Tim Burton, is a dark and visually striking sequel to the 1989 Batman film. Michael Keaton returns as Batman, facing off against two formidable foes: the grotesque and tragic Penguin (Danny DeVito) and the enigmatic and seductive Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer).

The film delves into themes of identity and duality, as Bruce Wayne grapples with his own dark side. With Burton’s signature gothic style, *Batman Returns* combines action, drama, and a touch of surrealism, making it a distinctive entry in the Batman franchise.

5 Fun Facts About Superhero Movies

  1. Gal Gadot was heavily pregnant during Wonder Woman reshoots:During the reshoots for Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot was heavily pregnant. To hide her baby bump, she wore a green stretchy material that was edited out in post-production. Gal humorously remarked that she looked “like Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog” due to the costume adjustments.
  2. Opening night tickets for Avengers: Endgame resold on eBay for nearly $10,000: Tickets for the opening night of Avengers: Endgame sold out rapidly worldwide. Scalpers on eBay then listed tickets at outrageous prices, sparking bidding wars that drove the prices even higher.
  3. They actually blew up a real building during the filming of The Dark Knight:Most movie explosions combine set demolition and visual effects, but for The Dark Knight, the production team found an old candy factory slated for demolition. They modified the exterior to resemble a Gotham hospital, packed it with explosives, and blew up the entire building for real.
  4. The penguins had their own refrigerated dressing rooms in Batman Returns:To accommodate the penguins, the set temperatures had to be lowered. While this kept the penguins comfortable and healthy, it left the cast freezing during most of filming.
  5. The Incredibles is the first Pixar movie set from the perspective of a human:The other films were told from the perspectives of toys (Toy Story), fish (Finding Nemo), insects (A Bug’s Life), or monsters (Monsters, Inc.).

Best Superhero Films According to Reddit Users

In a discussion on Letterboxd about the best superhero film, Reddit users offered various suggestions, reflecting the community’s wide range of tastes and preferences.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse received significant praise for its inventive storytelling and stunning visuals, with many users highlighting it as a top choice. Other frequently mentioned films included Logan, noted for its emotional depth and mature themes, and Spider-Man 2, celebrated for its compelling narrative and character development.

The Incredibles and Blade also garnered notable mentions, appreciated for their unique takes on the superhero genre. Films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Kick-Ass were highlighted for their fun and unconventional approaches.

Additionally, classics such as Superman: The Movie and Batman Returns were recommended for their lasting impact and nostalgic value. Overall, the thread showcased diverse favorites, emphasizing that the best superhero film is subjective and varies greatly among fans.

Other Movies in Order Guide to Check Out on Screenbinge


Spiderman is the world’s favorite superhero, with a 48.7% share in the study, followed by Wonder Woman (12.8%) and Batman (9.2%).

Avengers: Endgame is the highest-grossing superhero film, followed by Avengers: Infinity War.

Marvel takes the tiebreaker and wins the title for best heroes, with Optic crowning Marvel as the superior franchise. While DC boasts icons like Batman and Superman, Marvel’s heroes such as Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Spider-Man are deemed superior.


Exploring the best superhero movies has revealed that these films offer more than escapism; they provide powerful narratives that resonate globally. My journey through these cinematic gems at Screenbinge reaffirmed the enduring appeal of these characters and their battles against adversity.

With stunning action sequences and profound themes of justice and morality, these movies set a benchmark in the genre. Whether revisiting classics or discovering new favorites, what to watch in this weekend in New Zealand, these films captivate and inspire, serving as cultural touchstones that shape our collective imagination.

Lily Bart

Lily Bart is your guide to the streaming universe. Let her help you navigate the world of entertainment with passion and insight into thrilling sports events, the hottest movies and so much more! From riveting documentaries to captivating series, Lily unravels stories that transcend screens. Join the journey through a multitude of genres, where every click reveals a new adventure.

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