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5.The Avengers(2012)

The first-ever all-star superhero team-up movie is one of the most entertaining blockbusters ever made, with a stellar cast of characters who are given ample time to interact and evolve before setting out on their mission to punch an alien invasion to death. The plot is simple, but that's a necessary evil: it gives our heroes a reason to team up, and challenges to overcome, and then gets the hell out of the way because what we really came for was the heretofore unprecedented chance to see these titans interact on camera. The Avengers doesn't amount to anything more than popcorn entertainment, but director Joss Whedon completely nails it.

4.Iron Man 3(2013)

Tony Stark set out on his most unpredictable adventure in Iron Man Three, which forced the hero to spend most of the film without his trademark suit of armor, and discover the limits of his own ego. Sir Ben Kingsley is threatening and then... something else as The Mandarin, whose portrayal in Iron Man Three proved divisive to hardcore comic book fans. But in a genre defined by faithful adaptation, the clever reworking of familiar characters and unexpected turns of events make Iron Man Three stand out. It's a thoughtful, funny, exciting and unusual superhero movie that works on every level... unless you're religiously devoted to the original version of The Mandarin for some reason.

3. Guardians of The Galaxy(2014)

By the time Guardians of the Galaxy came out, astute members of the audience had already started to notice that Marvel Studios had a formula for its superhero movies. Character-driven action movies with big MacGuffin storylines and plenty of quips. It ain't broke, but Guardians of the Galaxy fixed it anyway, proving that a great filmmaker like James Gunn (Slither) can work within the confines of a genre and produce something that feels unique anyway. The strange cast of characters - which includes a raccoon and a tree - are all selfish a-holes, living in a far out space opera set to kickin' 1970s pop tunes that feel like their own character in the movie. The eccentricities add character, the exceptional cast adds heart, and the audience loves every minute of it.

2.Captain America: The Winter Soldier(2014)

The Second best Marvel superhero movie takes Captain America, a hero from a simpler time, and thrusts him into a complex contemporary setting. The result could have been full of fish-out-of-water nonsense, but instead challenges the very concept of heroism. When confronted with political corruption, Cap's finely honed sense of right and wrong forces him to do the right thing, even while common sense dictates it's wrong. Captain America: The Winter Soldier dares to say that America has lost its way, declaring the core politics of the 21st century into the work of bogeymen and forcing the audience to decide once and for all what really matters: what's right, or what's safe. Heroes stand by their principles, no matter what the cost, and thanks to a great cast, a sharp screenplay and slick direction by The Russo Bros., it makes for ecstatic cinema. Suspenseful, powerful and challenging, and entertaining from beginning to end, Captain America is #1 (and #50, but nobody's perfect).

1.Spider Man 2(2004)

Unlike Unamzing Spider Man, The whole point of Spider-Man, the character, was to flip the superhero power fantasy on its head, and prove that having abilities far beyond those of normal men would basically suck. Spider-Man 2 captures that suck so perfectly that it's easy to ignore the film's minor flaws - like a generic mad scientist plot - and focus on Peter Parker's emotionally devastating journey. Spidey isn't a hero because it comes naturally, he's a hero because his overwhelming sense of guilt won't let him be anything else. Director Sam Raimi loves torturing his hero, and we love watching it, because it makes him stronger and gives all of us hope. Life is hard, our victories are ew and far between, and everyone feels unappreciated, but sometimes you also get a little slice of cake, and that's reward enough.


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