2017 was one of the best years yet for superhero movies, and we’re taking a crack at ranking them. It seems that any concerns that the genre would soon go the way of the western can be safely set aside, as the year’s eight major releases combined to pull in a whopping $4.8 billion at the box office. 2017’s superhero flicks have also garnered some of the best reviews the genre has ever seen. Amazingly, five of the eight movies that hit theaters in the last twelve months sport a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 91% or higher. The eight films actually average out for a certified fresh rating of 78.5%. Honestly, though, those numbers just make it that much harder to rank them.
To be clear, this article isn’t sorting 2017’s releases by their Rotten Tomatoes scores, nor those of other review aggregate websites like Metacritic or IMDB. The rankings you see below are purely the result of editorial choices. (Read: many of you will not agree with them.)
You may even disagree with what ultimately qualified for our list. Stellar direct-to-DVD efforts like Teen Titans: The Judas Contract were left out, as was the decidedly terrible Russian film, Guardians. The entirely enjoyable animated film Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie has also been left hanging. While it certainly featured a handful of letdowns, 2017 was a spectacular year to be a superhero fan. Let’s take a look at Every Superhero Movie Of 2017, Ranked.
8. Justice League
There’s no getting around it: Justice League falls well short of its (admittedly high) expectations. But lost in a sea of bad CGI and baffling characterization — see: a live-action Batman smiling so damn much — is the fact that Justice League is actually a pretty fun superhero flick. For all its shortcomings, it would’ve been a step forward for the DCEU if it had arrived before Wonder Woman.
At the end of the day, Justice League wasn’t nearly the downer that Batman v Superman was. It was actually brimming with optimism. It was clearly rushed into theaters, sure, but it certainly wasn’t as messy as Suicide Squad proved to be. But at a certain point, an important question needs to be asked: does a superhero film featuring this many iconic comic book characters on screen even have the right to be so aggressively mediocre?
7. Power Rangers
It was a close call deciding which of 2017’s superhero flicks ended up at the bottom of the heap. But in the end, these teenagers with attitude become Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers just in the nick of time. Certain elements are rushed (namely, the abrupt ending) while others seemingly drag for eternity. Some choppy editing in between is also evident. On the whole, however, the movie has a ton of heart, and even if you didn’t care too much for the modernized suit design, the characters onscreen carried the load.
If the would-be franchise is allowed to follow through on that Green Ranger credit tease, we’re definitely on board for a sequel.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was never going to be the breath of fresh air that its predecessor was. Setting aside that impossible task, the team’s second outing proved to be a thrilling adventure amongst the stars. It features some truly awesome CGI, including the cutest computer-generated creation that’s ever graced the big screen in Baby Groot. But somehow, even with Chris Pratt and a tiny talking tree running around, Yondu bleeping Udonta steals the show. How’s that for a third act twist?
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