ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Staff Writer, Superheroes, Star Wars and such. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, one of the fundamental problems of any 'best of' list is that what makes something the best is nearly always entirely subjective. Arguing that somewhere is the best burger place in town is, ultimately, simply arguing that it's your favorite. Suggesting that Sean Connery is the best Bond is, while backed up by a truckload of charisma, simply an opinion, unverifiable by scientific evidence. Heck, even saying that Wolverine is the best at what he does is essentially an exercise in ignoring the possibility that he has absolutely no idea whether or not that is true.

In other words? When I say that the following list features the five best 'underrated' superhero movies on Netflix, it's probably best to assume that the phrase "in my humble, entirely subjective opinion" is invisibly tagged on to the end of each and every assertion of something being 'the best'. That being said, here are...

The 5 Best (Underrated) Superhero Movies On Netflix

In all their severely-limited-by-the-distinct-lack-of-DC-and-Marvel-movies-on-Netflix glory...

First up?

5. Super (2010)


Now, dedicated fans of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn will likely already have found room for Super in their hearts (and DVD collections), but for anyone put off by the presence of The Office's Rainn Wilson, don't worry: Super may be funny, but it's not a comedy. A super-dark take on the idea of vigilantism and emotional trauma, Super pits Wilson's psychologically troubled Crimson Avenger (and his sweary sidekick, played by Ellen Page) up against a dastardly drug dealer played by Kevin Bacon.

And...things only get darker from there. Imagine Guardians of the Galaxy, only with more extreme violence, sexual assault and graphic scenes of public access television. And Nathan Fillion.

4. xXx (2002)


Now, there's a pretty solid argument that xXx isn't, in fact, a superhero movie at all - but since no-one has yet been able to explain to me how Vin Diesel's Xander Cage managed to survive the movie without at least some superpowers, it's making the list all the same. Deliriously dumb, action-packed and featuring Samuel L. Jackson essentially just practicing to be Nick Fury, xXx may not be a 'good' film, per se, but it certainly is a fun one.

Plus, he is Groot.

3. Batman (1989)

Batman/Warner Bros.
Batman/Warner Bros.

One of the most beloved superhero movies of all time, Tim Burton's Batman has nonetheless become distinctly underrated in recent years, with the rise of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight movies undermining its claim to be the best Batman movie of all time, and the recent emergence of Ben Affleck adding yet another competitor to the best movie Batman battle.

With all that in mind, then, it's certainly worth re-watching - not least because it's one of the few truly 'A-List' superhero movies available on US Netflix. Also, it features this:

Which is honestly worth the (non-existent) price of admission all by itself.

2. Barbarella (1968)


Just about the strangest superhero movie you're ever likely to see, Barbarella is also one of the oldest, dating all the way back to 1968. Razor-teethed dolls, 'psychocardiograms', a blind angel and a resistance leader named Dildano all make the movie joyously weird, but its positioning of Barbarella as a superheroic figure (and, of course, its comic-book origins) makes it a vastly underrated superhero adventure, too.

Also, Jane Fonda kicks all kinds of ass, which makes watching Grace and Frankie afterwards a very different kind of experience.

Finally, then?

1. The Punisher (2004)

The Punisher/Lionsgate
The Punisher/Lionsgate

Now, sure, Daredevil season 2 most likely offers a more comic-book faithful (and, for many, vastly superior) take on The Punisher, but there's still a lot to be said for the 2004 movie version. For one thing, Thomas Jane's undying love for the role shines through the film's otherwise fairly grim approach to the anti-hero - though even such enthusiasm pales in comparison to John Travolta's willfully unhinged take on mob boss Howard Saint.

Also, a young Ben Foster plays a heavily pierced guy named Spacker Dave, who is actually - somehow - an entirely canonical Marvel character. Who doesn't want to see that on screen?

The big question now, though?

What do YOU reckon?


What do you reckon the best (underrated) superhero movie on Netflix is?