One-Line-Review of Every Superhero Film Seen

One-Line-Review of Every Superhero Film Seen

If you could describe every Superhero film you've ever seen in one line, how'd you do it? Here's my list.

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By jingorot - 11/18/2012
So, here I was on a relatively uneventful day with my friends. Lazing about with nothing to do, nor any energy to come up with something interesting. So we just sort of skimmed from one topic of discussion to the next, and eventually one stuck. Describing every superhero film we'd ever seen in one line. It was kind of fun and interesting. So I thought, well, why not expand this discussion to

I'll go first:
(For reference I used the film listed here:
in addition to the two Judge Dredd films, and not counting things like TMNT or The Crow)

Haven't seen anything from the Early days. Pretty much anything before Chris Reeves' Superman.

The First Era
These I believe are the early days of Superhero films. When they were usually just considered a gimmick. Many considered it'd be a fad that will pass away with time. And as such, most films of this era didn't even seem to have the best of efforts put into them. Superman's success kickstarted it.

[Note: I don't hate the Superman films (not the first two at least), I just got into Superman late, and saw these movies relatively recently. They were a tad different than the Superman I was expecting, so that's why. If you love the films I hate, or hate the films I love, no prob. I won't argue. It's just my opinions here. I don't claim 'em to be facts.]

Superman - Quite forgettable
Superman 2 - Decent effort for the time
Superman 3 - Unfit to be considered a Superman movie
Supergirl - Unfit to be considered a movie
Howard the Duck - What in the [frick]?
Superman 4 - Dumb propaganda nonsense
Batman - Badass film
Captain America - Laughable
Batman Returns - Atmospheric in a creepy but good way
The Fantastic Four (1994, caught it online) - So bad, I'm not surprised they never released it
Batman Forever - So bad, I barely made it through
Tank Girl - So bad, I couldn't make it through
Judge Dredd - So bad, It's almost funny
Batman & Robin - So bad, It's not even funny
Steel - Faith in humanity lost
Blade - Faith in humanity restored
X-Men - Meh...
Blade II - Thoroughly enjoyable

The Second Era

Batman had been good, but eventually dwindled into comedic nonsense. X-Men and Blade started to bring some respect back to the genre (I wasn't a big fan of the X-Men film, but it was a much more respectable film than most before it). But it wasn't until Spider-Man's massive success (which inflation adjusted is a Billion Dollar Gross today) that people began to see Superhero films as more than just a gimmick, and instead its own Blockbuster genre. We started to see more and more respectable films but there were still cash-grabber ones which thought they could replicate Spider-Man's success without much effort. So this era was kind of a mixed bag.

Spider-Man - Loved it at the time
Daredevil - Underrated
X2 - Decent
Hulk - Decent effort but ultimately kinda boring
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Bad
Hellboy - Good film
The Punisher (2004) - Doesn't do justice to Punisher
Spider-Man 2 - Love it even today
Catwoman - Halle Berry's ass is nice
Blade Trinity - Cluster[frick]
Elektra - Sucks
Batman Begins - Finally some respect for the character again
Fantastic Four - What've they done to Doctor Doom?!
X-Men The Last Stand - Annoying treatment of most characters
Superman Returns - Epic disappointment
Ghost Rider - Ludicrous
Spider-Man 3 - Hated it at the time
Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver Surfer - The castration of my favorite characters continues
Iron Man - Excellent
Incredible Hulk - Ok
Hancock - Not as bad as people say it is
Hellboy 2 - Good film

The Third Era

As we started to see a proliferation in Superhero films, the next era of Superhero films came much quicker. The Dark Knight proved that you can make very respectable films with Superheroes, critically and commercially. After this film succeeded we started to see more films which treated the source material with some form of respect as opposed to the constant tongue-in-cheek we-know-this-is-stupid-but-please-bear-with-us attitude that many films had before this. We started to eventually see more GOOD superhero films come out each year. Such as this year where we had: Avengers, TDKR, TASM, and Dredd which were all great films. Of course, there'll always be the odd Ghost Rider 2, because we will always have those who think they can replicate success with minimal efforts.

The Dark Knight - Legendary
Watchmen - Enjoyed it
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - A bit of a mess
Kick-Ass - Fun
Iron Man 2 - Pretty good
Thor - Enjoyable
X-Men First Class - Finally a GOOD X-Men film
Green Lantern - shit movie
Captain America: The First Avengers: Loved it
Ghost Rider 2 - Uber shit

The Fourth Era

The direction triggered by The Dark Knight towards more respectful superhero films lead us to 2012 where we had FOUR awesome superhero films. But there was one film among these which has undeniably begun a brand new era. This new era, I believe will be one of Superhero dominance at the box-office. And the film which has brought it on is: The Avengers. We can already see that there are more and more and more and more superhero films getting greenlighted every day, each with subject material more untested than the other (while this can be a bad thing, I like to see it as a chance to finally see beyond just the A-listers, and higher B-Listers). Each of these films proclaims to be HONEST to the source material, like the Avengers, and one that promises to feature more character and personality. While, the films so far are remnants of the Third Era, their collective success (critical and/or commercial) has also played a part in the beginning of the Fourth Era, so I'll just count them here as the firsts.

The Avengers - Best SUPERHERO film ever
The Amazing Spider-Man - Absolutely love the new direction
The Dark Knight Rises - A little disappointing but in its own right, still a good film
Dredd - Surprisingly awesome

So here's my list. I wrote this whole thing kind of in the spur of the moment, and might've gone a tad bit off on a tangent with the 'Eras'. But I suppose it still relates to the collective qualities of the films in each 'Era' that I described, and goes a little bit into the 'why' as opposed to just the 'what'.

Anyways, what's your thoughts? Agreed? Disagreed? Your own One-Line Reviews?
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GoodGuy - 11/18/2012, 7:20 AM
Haha. This was really creative! I enjoyed reading it. Good job!
ThunderKat - 11/18/2012, 7:57 AM
I think you should have made fuller statements. Wherein you were negative, you didn't give the reader a clue.

And TASM is weak with a villain less threatening than the Goblin was.

I think 'Dredd' needs to be introduced to audiences better. I want to see, but there's no hook.
Minato - 11/18/2012, 8:37 AM
This needs a 5 star rating system but it was amusing none the less
DrDoom - 11/18/2012, 8:43 AM
Wow. Me and WallCrawlingMenace agree on something.

While I feel that Daredevil was lacking in the script department, I thought Affleck was perfect as Matt Murdock.
aresww3 - 11/18/2012, 9:25 AM
good reviews most of the way, but mate how can you say that about superman 1 and 2, they were excellent movies. alot better than the recent marvel ones.
aresww3 - 11/18/2012, 9:30 AM
Oh and where is Punisher War Zone.

My review of that in one line would be.

Not a bad way to spend one and half hours, but could be better.

You agree?
Preston - 11/18/2012, 9:52 AM
Superhero movies have had three game changers [turning points]:


The film's legacy presaged the mainstream popularity of Hollywood's superhero film franchises. Superman also established the superhero film genre as viable outside the world of Saturday matinee serials, although it was a decade before the comparable success of the Batman series and two decades before that of X-Men and Spider-Man.

BATMAN (1989)

It influenced Hollywood's modern marketing and development techniques of the superhero film genre. It was the first dark comic book movie; it influenced every dark and serious superhero movie that has followed.


It redefined what a superhero movie can be. It's effects are being seen in the rise of team movies like Justice League and others like it in production. In a lot of ways, it showed Hollywood that a movie can be light (not dark) and still be highly successful. It has studios reassessing how they market superhero movies.

These movies are the real game changers in comicbook movie history.
Giznad - 11/18/2012, 9:59 AM
Daredevil was actually ok. It was the action that made me laugh. Maybe it was Jennifer Garner, maybe it was the costumes, idk. But the action was awful. Everything in between though was actually good. That would seem to be a symptom of alot of superhero films, actually. Except Avengers.
Giznad - 11/18/2012, 10:00 AM
@Preston, well put. It seems DC Comics is very singularly iconic, while Marvel builds a cohesive world. Both very prominent concepts in their own right.
tonytony - 11/18/2012, 2:05 PM
Great article buddy. I agree 100%
Spideyguy94 - 11/18/2012, 2:16 PM
Great stuff man

@ThunderKat spider-man 1 and TASM have both got weak villains. Spider-man 1 suffers from the green goblin lacking a motivation, After he kills the board of directors he says spider-man could stop him so he tries to get him to join him, Join him to do what though? If anything he should think spidey is incompetent because he failed to stop him from killing the board members, He's done what he set out to do. He's doing these horrible things just for the sake of it and to piss off spider-man, But dafoe is fantastic in the role and he is so entertaining to watch.

TASM suffers from Dr. Connors not getting developed enough and his transition into the lizard is too quick, We never really seem to get enough time with him to feel sympathy when he turns into the lizard. Once he does he just becomes the big bad spider-man has to fight. As for the lizards motivation there's not really that much you can do with the lizard other than his plot is to turn everyone else into lizards.
Preston - 11/18/2012, 3:39 PM

Spider-man is cut from the same cloth as Superman (1978).

jingorot - 11/18/2012, 9:23 PM
For the record, I don't hate the Superman films (the first two at least), and I do think Chris Reeves was absolutely perfect as Superman.

It's just the films themselves were a tad disappointing to me because I mainly got into Superman into Superman late, and by then the films weren't really like the Superman I knew.

If you liked them. I won't argue at all. It was just my own opinion.
jingorot - 11/18/2012, 9:28 PM
Oh and I added the 'Eras' thing because when I got done with just the reviews, it looked a little dry. So I added the Eras thing to make it a tad more exciting.
jingorot - 11/18/2012, 9:34 PM

Hellboy was already made and released by the time TDK came out. The impact didn't begin until TDK became a hit. So I decided to draw the line when TDK was released, even if it was a week later.
SAT - 11/19/2012, 3:02 PM
Ok, the only one I dont agree with is the Superman ones. (The early ones, not Returns.) Speaking of Returns I did like action scenes like when he picked up the kryptonite thing. But anyone I agree with almost all of these! Nice job. And its about time some one like TASM!
drellik - 11/26/2012, 1:04 PM
@yossarian, i agree. i stopped reading after line 1, Superman.

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