Ranking the X-MEN Movies From Worst to Best

Now that Bryan Singer's massively anticipated Days of Future Past has hit theatres, 20th Century Fox has released seven films focusing on Marvel's merry mutants. But which is the best, and which is the worst? Your ol' pal staypuffed is here to put them in their place!

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By staypuffed - 5/28/2014



(I'll pick my jaw up from the floor in a second) 


Hello, fellow users! Since I've been covering a lot of movie news and comic previews, it's been a while since I wrote an editoral. But after seeing the excellent X-Men: Days of Future Past, I've decided to list the films in the series from crappy to zappy (exciting!). While, overall, I am a fan of the franchise, there have been some low points. So sit back, relax, and prepare your typing fingers for some conversation (or arguing) in the comments.

 


7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Let’s start with the worst of the worst: the misguided attempt to bring Weapon X to screen is one of the worst comic book movies I can remember. Poor effects, weak writing and a slew of forgettable, useless mutants. What kills it, though, is that it’s painfully dull and predictable. Not even Hugh Jackman, who does an admirable job all things considered, or Ryan Reynold’s entertaining Deadpool (not the boss battle version) could save it.
VERDICT: Rubbish

 

 

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

Brett Ratner’s tonally muddled trilogy-closer frustratingly hampers the source material and the story potential. It’s not a terrible movie per se, rather a big disappointment. Characters are either poorly acted, poorly written or completely wasted, and in its attempts to squeeze two big stories in there (The Dark Pheonix Saga and Joss Whedon’s Gifted), it squanders both. Ratner’s dull direction doesn’t help.
VERDICT: Disappointing


 

 

5. X-Men (2000)

Though aspects of it have become dated, Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie should not be understated. Taking the characters and material very seriously, it paved the way for many comic book movies to come. It acts as a great introduction to the mutant world, establishing the struggle between humans and mutants and the fantastic interaction between characters.

VERDICT: Solid

 

 

4. The Wolverine (2013)

Taking inspiration from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s run on the character, James Mangold’s two-thirds sombre character piece, one-third OTT videogame smack-down is a very different sort of superhero film, and that’s what makes it great. Taking away Logan’s invincibility and exploring more fragile aspects of this ronin, the Japanese setting allows for some interesting development and beautiful cinematography. And I love that mid-credits sting.

VERDICT: Great
 

 


3. X2: X-Men United (2003)

For many, this ranks as one of the high points of the genre, and it is certainly a fantastic film. It raises the stakes, improves the visuals and fleshes out the characters and themes. Singer directs some spectacular set-pieces, from the captivating White House attack to the raid on the X-Mansion, and we cover plenty of mutant ground (Wolverine going berserker in the Mansion is my personal favourite moment in this movie). 
VERDICT: Fantastic

 

 

2. X-Men: First Class (2011)

With the franchise in limbo after The Last Stand’s dead-end conclusion and Origins: Wolverine’s, well, everything, Matthew Vaughn managed to reignite the X-films with style. A prequel set in the swinging ’60s, the wonderful cast explore the early days of Professor X, Magneto and the X-Men, combining fantastic character moments and spectacular action. It was my favourite for a few years, until…
VERDICT: Awesome

 

 

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

This is the one. The very best X-Men movie yet. Based on Claremont and John Byrne’s classic storyline, it has the best aspects of the series (unique characters, complex themes and big set-pieces) and adds dystopia and lava lamps with time-travel, as well as the giant, mutant-hunting robots known as the Sentinels. Though I may change my mind over the #1 ranking (I haven’t fully made up my mind, it’s either this or First Class), Days of Future Past is a still a superb film.
VERDICT: Incredible

 



(Definitely one of my favourite moments)


And that's the list! Thank you for reading. I know there will be people who have different opinions, so please, leave your thoughts in the comments. I'll the start the discussion with this: what's your favourite X-Men movie, and your favourite moment from the series?

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176 Comments
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Nick56 - 5/28/2014, 2:32 PM
I agree 100% with the list, mine would be in the same order
Nick56 - 5/28/2014, 2:34 PM
My favourite moment would be from First Class when Erik cripples Charles. Very emotional scene thats right up there with Erik's plane speech in DOFP, the future sequences in DOFP, and the house attack scene in X2
CherryBomb - 5/28/2014, 2:36 PM
Agree completely!
Origins was just an embarrassment, it's like no one involved cared about it at all which is a shame since Liev Schrieber and Lynn Collins were great additions to the franchise..

Odin - 5/28/2014, 2:42 PM
X2's Wolverine subplot was suppose to be only Wolverine origin story for us, his character works better as unknown.
CherryBomb - 5/28/2014, 2:45 PM
I loved the mansion raid scene!
And when Siryn wakes up and alerts everyone, aah so cool.
SauronsBANE - 5/28/2014, 2:46 PM
Great list! Though I'd switch the order of X2 and The Wolverine. The original X trilogy is great (well, 2/3's of it at least), but I definitely enjoyed The Wolverine, First Class, and DoFP much more. I don't know if it's because they haven't aged well or simply because I haven't revisited the original trilogy in quite some time now, but I really have enjoyed the last 3 X-Men movies a lot, despite some notable flaws.
SauronsBANE - 5/28/2014, 2:47 PM
The one thing I'll never understand about Origins is how the CGI can look so much WORSE than the CGI in X1 through X3. I understand it was working with a smaller budget...but really? CGI from 2009 actually looked worse than CGI from 2000. Amazing.
GuardianDevil - 5/28/2014, 2:48 PM
7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Horrible. Crap action and effects. Weak characterizations, plot makes zero sense. Underutlized characters and a bastardization of Weapon X storyline.

6. X-Men: The Last Stand
Weak, but not as bad as people say. I loved Beast and Angel, I loved Storm's bigger role. But the death scenes suck except for Charles'. Story is overcrowded and I didn't like Phoenix. So yes it's poor, but still enjoyable to an extent.

5. X-Men
Visionary, but falls short in a few areas. It was a noble attempt at bringing X-Men to life, and it serves as a decent intro to the universe. But had there been no sequels, this would've been average.

4. X2: X-Men United
Excellent. Well rounded, great action, a strong arc for every character except (sadly) Cyclops. One of the best story lines in all of CBMs. Only con is lack of Cyke.

3. The Wolverine
Brilliant character piece. Mangold really managed to capture the heart and soul of this character and bring it to life with style. I even like the final fight.

2. X-Men: First Class
Refreshing, brilliant, near perfect. I just don't like Emma or Angel.

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past
The best CBM I've ever seen/
MrBlackjack - 5/28/2014, 2:48 PM
I would switch First Class and X2, but these are all spot on!
GuardianDevil - 5/28/2014, 2:49 PM
@Odin
Agreed.
MrBlackjack - 5/28/2014, 2:49 PM
Personally, DOFP is the greatest CBM of all time.
GuardianDevil - 5/28/2014, 2:51 PM
^YES. It's the X-Men i had been waiting for, and I generally like the franchise.
KingNTheKong - 5/28/2014, 2:52 PM
1. DOFP
2. X2
3. X: FC
4. TWolv
5. XLS
6. XOW
GuardianDevil - 5/28/2014, 2:53 PM
^how about X1?
Destined - 5/28/2014, 2:55 PM
@MrBlackJack my thoughts exactly. I still don't get what's so great about First Class, but it was definitely solid. I would take X2 over it any day though just for that Nightcrawler scene alone. Great ordering!
MrBlackjack - 5/28/2014, 2:56 PM
Both X2 and FC are great, but I gotta give X2 the slight edge. The performances in that were pretty spot on. And it's all the little things in X2 that got me.
Klone - 5/28/2014, 2:57 PM
I had a blast with X-Men and X2. Liked First Class also. Always had some issues with the first two with source inaccuracies, but I did enjoy them a lot.
MrBlackjack - 5/28/2014, 2:57 PM
Like when Bobby (who was dramatically underused) cools down the soda, I freaked out. You can imagine my face when I saw the ice slide in DOFP.
Klone - 5/28/2014, 2:58 PM
X-Men 3 is like... sacrilegious to X-Men fans.
MrBlackjack - 5/28/2014, 3:02 PM
Time for the famed and sought after GIF that is rewarded to quality work, comments, or users...
Praetorian - 5/28/2014, 3:03 PM
Everything is correct except The Wolverine is not as good as X-Men. Also did anyone else notice DoFP isn't an X-Men movie really? It's just a movie with a bunch of mutants at least in the past anyways, what were the 1970's X-Men supposed to be? Wolverine, Professor X and Beast? Oh and Quicksilver for one scene. Also Quicksilver could've beaten any single problem in the movie at any given time.
Praetorian - 5/28/2014, 3:03 PM
[foo foo]
TheSuperguy - 5/28/2014, 3:09 PM
1: X-Men: Days of Future Past
2: The Wolverine
3: X-Men: First Class
4: X2
5: X-Men
6: X-Men: The Last Stand
7: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Even though my favorite film is DOFP, my favorite X-Moment is when Magneto lifts the sub in FC.
Nomadic1 - 5/28/2014, 3:22 PM
As much as everyone wants to rank DoFP #1, I think it's way too early to make that claim. All of the others have had multiple viewings and have been dissected to the nth degree and I need to do that. DoFP is good, maybe the best x film on my list but it's too early for me to make that call.

1) X2
2) X-Men
3) Wolverine
4) DoFP
5) First Class
6) Origins
7) Last Stand
GuardianDevil - 5/28/2014, 3:26 PM
Personally the things I thought made FC great was Fassbender's amazing breakout performance, Raven's character arc and relationship with Beast, Charles and Erik. The action, IMHO was pretty great. The story was awesome, Bacon was acgreat villain. The bromance between Erik and Charles, he soundtrack (one of the best), and the fresh tone. Add the badass Banshee to top it al off.

But, what made it better than previous X-films IMHO was the way it embraced the more comic bookish feel that was somewhat lacking in the original trilogy. But even with all that, it's still not better than DOFP.
RextheKing - 5/28/2014, 3:34 PM
Almost the same list as mines, just with The Wolverine and X-men switched.
Pasto - 5/28/2014, 3:34 PM
DOFPis a goodX-Men film. To say it's the greatest CBM of all time is stupid. Call me when it is officially all time. For now, we have SEVERAL CBMs coming out in the coming years.
GuardianDevil - 5/28/2014, 3:35 PM
Fav X-Men movie moments:
1. Frankenstein's monster. (First Class)
2. Xavier comes face to face with himself. (Future Past)
3. Meet the Wolverine. (X-Men)
4. Breaking out Magneto. (Future Past)
5. Nightcrawler's attack. (X-Men 2)
6. Magneto lifting the stadium/Raven does the right thing. (Future Past)
7. Everyone dies. (Future Past)
8. Wolverine vs Shingen. (Wolverine)
9. Magneto is born. (X-Men/First Class)
10. X-Mansion raid. (X-Men 2)
Pasto - 5/28/2014, 3:35 PM
I mean Jesus Christ, Avengers 2 and Batman v Superman aren't even out yet.
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 5/28/2014, 3:37 PM
Great list.
1)X2
2)X1
3)DoFP (Could change to #2, have to see it again)
4)First Class
5)Wolverine
6)X-Men Origins
MrBlackjack - 5/28/2014, 3:37 PM
GuardianDevil - 5/28/2014, 3:38 PM
@Pasto
I'm pretty sure we mean SO FAR.

Anyhow, TDK is better film but personally I loved DOFP more. So it's MY favorite CBM so far.
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 5/28/2014, 3:40 PM
Oops, forgot to add X3. Redo
1)X2
2)X1
3)DoFP (Could change to #2, have to see it again)
4)First Class
5)Wolverine
6)X3
7)X-Men Origins
RorMachine - 5/28/2014, 3:43 PM
That's my order too.
Ryguy88 - 5/28/2014, 3:43 PM
Thats the exact order I'd rank them in! 3 are classic CBM's, 1 is really good, 1 is watchable trash, 1 is unwatchable trash.
giannis - 5/28/2014, 3:43 PM
1) X-Men: Days of Future Past

2) X-Men: First Class

3) X-Men 2

4) X-Men 3

5) The Wolverine

6) X-Men

7) X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Shamo - 5/28/2014, 3:43 PM
I pretty much agree

masterpiece: DOFP
great: X-MFC, X2
Good: The Wolverine
Decent: X-men
ok: Last stand
shouldn't of even been made: XMOW
Ryguy88 - 5/28/2014, 3:45 PM
I shouldn't say Origins was unwatchable, it was a really dumb movie, but it had some entertaining moments in it.
MrBlackjack - 5/28/2014, 3:45 PM
I would have used an X-Men "Haters gonna hate" GIF, but I unfortunately can't find any...
Shaman - 5/28/2014, 3:46 PM
X3 sucked in comparisson to X1 & X2 especially since it pretty much destroyed the high expectations that X2 gave us but it is still a film i would watch ten times over in a row before ever rewatching Origins and/or First Class. Those 2 are at the bottom of the pile for me.
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