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X-Men Movies Ranked From Worst To Best - Shaken, Not Stirred

X-Men Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

X-Men Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

As this year marks the 20th anniversary from the release of the first X-Men movie we decided to bring you a list of all X-Men movies ranked from worst to best. We included all X-Men movies plus all spin-offs which includes three Wolverine and two Deadpool movies.

You might not be familiar with it, but only 20 years ago superhero and comic book movies weren’t that popular. Sure there were box office successes here and there but nowhere today’s numbers. In fact, in the 1990s there were more flops or disappointments then huge box office hits. For every Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), The Crow (1994), or Blade (1998), which can be counted as successes, there were bombs like The Phantom (1997), The Shadow (1994), Spawn (1997), Tank Girl (1995), Captain America (1992), Nick Fury: Agent Of Shield (1995) or Batman & Robin (1997).

Things started to change at the beginning of the 2000s with the release of the first X-Men movie. It started the trend of giving comic book movies to talented filmmakers who besides knowing how to handle a spectacle knew a thing or two about handling characters and drama. Directed by talented Bryan Singer, who previously helmed crime movie and Oscar winner The Usual Suspects (still his best movie) and drama Apt Pupil, X-Men (2000) received positive reviews and were a box office success. It was a breath of fresh air in the genre and set the template for superhero movies in the new century. Its sequel X2: X-Men United, also directed by Bryan Singer enjoyed even greater success both with critics and the audience. Unfortunately, the rest of the franchise is a mixed bag, ranging from some of the best (Logan) to some of the worst superhero movies.

X-Men Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

Starting in 2000 with X-Men, there were 12 X-Men movies in total – seven X-Men, three Wolverine, and two Deadpool movies. The New Mutants, latest X-Men movie before Disney acquired 20th Century Fox,  is set to be released this year.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at all X-Men movies ranked from worst to best.

12. Dark Phoenix (2019)

Director: Simon Kinberg

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Jessica Chastain

This completely unnecessary and generic X-Men movie proved once more that this team ran out of ideas. Directed by Simon Kinberg, a longtime franchise writer and producer, it is one more adaptation of the Dark Phoenix storyline after X-Men: The Last Stand. Kinberg wanted to correct everything that went wrong with The Last Stand and bring more faithful adaptation but in the process made even worse movie and the lowest-grossing entry in the franchise. Actually, Dark Phoenix was a box office bomb and one of the least successful superhero movies in the last 10 years.

And it’s not hard to see why – Dark Phoenix looks like a product made by people who just didn’t care about this property anymore. A movie by the numbers made without passion featuring a mediocre story, weak villains, disinterested actors, and boring action sequences. And one more big problem is that Dark Phoenix hinges on a character we hardly know – this version of Jean Grey was introduced in Apocalypse where she didn’t have a lot of screentime. So how are we supposed to care about what happens to her? Sophie Turner’s wooden performance didn’t help either. I mean why even hire such a bad actress in the first place?

Dark Phoenix is a boring and anticlimactic conclusion to the X-Men series that put a nail in the coffin for the franchise. We’ll see what Marvel will do with the property now that Disney bought 20th Century Fox.


11. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Director: Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, Rendition, Ender’s Game)

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston,, Taylor Kitsch, Ryan Reynolds

The first standalone Wolverine movie and a spin-off prequel to X-Men is equally bad as Dark Phoenix but at least it has Wolverine as the main character :). Fox planned a couple of origin stories for their characters after the success of original trilogy but after the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and poor response to that movie they decided to throw everything into trash and reboot the whole franchise.

Directed by Gavin Hood (Tsotsi), X-Men Origins: Wolverine had many problems during production and post-production – conflicts between the director and Fox’s executives, delays, and working with an incomplete script that was still being written. Also, an unfinished workprint leaked online one month before the film’s debut. The movie was panned by critics but was a solid box office hit earning $373 million worldwide.

It’s a badly written movie with paper-thin characters, dull and forgettable action sequences filled with laughable slow motions, mediocre performances, poor CGI, and weak villains. The script is really one of the biggest problems of this movie and a lot of things that happen in it just doesn’t make much sense. Liev Schreiber’s Victor Creed is one of the worst antagonists in the series – it’s a badly written character with almost no development and unconvincing motivations behind his actions. It doesn’t help that Schreiber, at least in my book, isn’t a particularly good or charismatic actor.

A movie made with a lack of vision full of cringe-worthy moments. And why they hired from the Black Eyed Peas to play a mutant is beyond me. Or completely screwing up Deadpool? The only good thing about this movie is Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.


10. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Director: Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, X-Men, X2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Superman Returns, Valkyrie, Bohemian Rhapsody)

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters

Bryan Singer after returning to X-Men franchise and directing highly successful Days Of Future Past made this unimaginative, boring CGI porn fest set in the 1980s where the X-Men must face an ancient mutant, En Sabah Nur (Isaac), who wants to destroy the world. Of course, what else could one villain want?

Everything that was good about Days Of Future Past is gone here. It was evident the filmmakers ran out of ideas so everything we got was a badly written movie with generic story, mediocre performances from actors who looked like they wanted to be elsewhere, boring action sequences, and too much CGI. Also, why hire Oscar Isaac, one of the best actors of his generation, and give him this shitty material and put him under blue makeup and CGI? Same I said about Dark Phoenix, can be said about this one – one of the worst superhero movies of the last 10 years.


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

Director: Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Money Talks, Red Dragon, Tower Heist)

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammer, Rebecca Romijn, Shawn Ashmore, Vinnie Jones, Ellen Page, Ben Foster

While The Last Stand was a big step down from two previous entries in the series, it was still a watchable and entertaining movie. Bryan Singer, director of the first two X-Men movies, decided to skip this sequel as he was busy working on Superman Returns so Brett Ratner was brought in as his replacement.

Loosely based on “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and “Gifted”, the biggest problem with The Last Stand is that it tries to tell a couple of different stories but fails, proving that more and bigger doesn’t equal to better. It feels like the filmmakers didn’t have a clear vision of how to proceed after X2 so they threw in Dark Phoenix storyline, a plot about a mutant cure, and Brotherhood of Mutants. It’s just overstuffed with too many underdeveloped characters. The movie would also profit from a better director.

Still, there are some nice performances here and some decent action sequences and the movie isn’t boring. Just go in with the right expectations.


8. The Wolverine(2013)

Director: James Mangold (LoganWalk the Line, Ford v Ferrari, Cop Land, Identity, 3:10 to Yuma)

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Brian Tee, Hal Yamanouchi, Will Yun Lee, Famke Janssen

While The Wolverine was an improvement over X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it still wasn’t a completely satisfying movie about our favorite X-Men. Directed by James Mangold, who took over Darren Aronofsky (Requiem For a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan), and following the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, The Wolverine follows Logan who comes to Japan to meet an old friend whose life he saved in WWII but is soon drawn in a conspiracy involving yakuza and mutants.

It’s a solid and entertaining X-Men movie with one more strong performance from Hugh Jackman, and decent action sequences that work for most of the running time but is somewhat spoiled by the disappointing final act. Still, miles better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine.


7. Deadpool 2 (2018)

Director: David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Hobbs & Shaw)

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, T.J. Miller, Karan Soni, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic

First Deadpool was a pleasant surprise for me as everything about that movie screamed horse shit before the release. This sequel directed by David Leitch is a decent follow-up but unfortunately not as good as the first one.

After the huge success of the first movie, work on a sequel began by Reynolds, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and original director Tim Miller who soon left the project due to creative differences with Reynolds so he was replaced by David Leitch. Here Deadpool forms a team to protect a young boy (Dennison) with supernatural abilities from cyborg Cable (Brolin) who came from the future to kill a boy.

While Deadpool 2 had better and more thrilling action sequences than the first movie, it’s a shame they didn’t come up with a better story. While some new characters like Josh Brolin’s Cable or Zazie Beetz’ Domino are nice additions to the movie, Julian Dennison’s Firefist was so annoying and badly acted character that I wanted to fast forward each scene he appeared in. Also, Deadpool’s jokes become a little tiresome in the second half of the movie.

Still, it’s a funny and entertaining superhero movie, just not as memorable or fresh as the first one. Oh, and Matt Damon makes a blink and you’ll miss it cameo as one of the rednecks that are talking about toilet paper.




6. X-Men (2000)

Director: Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, X2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, Superman Returns, Valkyrie, Bohemian Rhapsody)

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn

This was the movie that showed you can do something more with this genre instead of just dressing actors in silly costumes and giving them terrible lines to work with. That you can tackle some more serious themes while still giving people action and spectacle. After silly and campy superheroes of the 1990s, X-Men was a breath of fresh air for the genre and set the template for superhero movies in the new century. Not Spider-Man (2002), Batman Begins (2005), or Iron Man (2008), but X-Men.

X-Men achieved this by hiring talented director Bryan Singer, who previously made critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning movie The Usual Suspects, and with his team approached this material from a more serious angle. They gathered a talented cast and gave them a solid material to work with. The movie received positive reviews and was a box office success.

It was a well-acted movie with a solid story, likable characters, pretty good action sequences, and a strong villain in McKellen’s Magneto. It also introduced us to Australian actor Hugh Jackman who was born for the role of Wolverine. By the way, did you know that Jackman wasn’t the first choice for Wolverine? The role was first offered to Russell Crowe, but he, fortunately, refused the offer and recommended Jackman for the role.


5. Deadpool(2016)

Director: Tim Miller (Terminator: Dark Fate)

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Karan Soni, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic

To be perfectly honest, I had really low expectations from this one. Fox completely screwed the character in his first big-screen appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, director Tim Miller never helmed a movie so I didn’t know what to expect from him and the main star Ryan Reynolds isn’t someone you would call a good or talented actor with emotional range ala Steven Seagal who always plays the same role – himself. Even Fox didn’t have much faith in this project and gave the team a modest budget.

But I was wrong. Reynolds really wanted to do this character justice after X-Men Origins: Wolverine and gave us a pretty faithful adaptation of the Merc With a Mouth. Working with a limited budget, it meant they must try harder and be creative instead of just relying on CGI and effects. It was a refreshing take on the superhero formula full of R-rated humor, meta-jokes, and violent and thrilling action sequences. And Reynolds was actually perfect for the role.

Deadpool has its share of problems but still, it is a funny and very entertaining action movie and it is actually interesting that this “cheap” movie 20th Century Fox was so hesitant to greenlight ended as the highest-grossing X-Men movie at the time.


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

Director: Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, X-Men, X2, X-Men: Apocalypse, Superman Returns, Valkyrie, Bohemian Rhapsody)

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Halle Berry, Peter Dinklage, Evan Peters, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page

After Matthew Vaughn successfully rebooted the franchise in 2011 with X-Men: First Class, Bryan Singer, director of the first two X-Men movies, was brought back to helm a sequel. While Days of Future Past had its share of problems it was still a praiseworthy achievement and worked on multiple levels. It successfully merged old with the new cast while righting everything that The Last Stand wronged. And it was also a worthy sequel to First Class and solid time travel movie.

In 1973 Mystique killed Bolivar Trask (Dinklage), a scientist working on the Sentinel program which resulted in her capture and further development of Sentinels, robots that can adapt to nearly every mutant power. In a dystopian 2023, Sentinels killed almost all mutants, and a small group of survivors, including Wolverine, Professor Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Storm, retreats to a remote temple. While making the last stand against Sentinels, they send Logan back in time to prevent Trask’s assassination, development of Sentinels, and apocalyptic future.

With Days Of Future Past Singer made the biggest and probably the ultimate X-Men movie in the series. When you start thinking about time travel a lot of things here doesn’t make much sense. But that’s the case with most time travel movies. Also, DOFP would profit from better villain and a little less CGI action, but it is still a well-written and entertaining movie with a terrific cast and thrilling action sequences. And it features one really outstanding and unforgettable action scene, probably the best in whole X-Men series – the one with Quicksilver in the kitchen.

The movie is worth watching for this scene alone. Unfortunately, it was the last good X-Men movie if we don’t count spin-offs.


3. X-Men: First Class (2011)

Director: Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass, Layer Cake)

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Zoë Kravitz, January Jones, Hugh Jackman

When it seemed that the X-Men franchise is finished after poor response to X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Matthew Vaughn brought us this origin story and successfully rebooted the franchise.

Set in the 1960s during the Cuban Missile Crisis, X-Men: First Class follows young Charles Xavier (McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Fassbender) and focuses on their friendship before they became enemies and origin of their groups while trying to stop powerful mutant Sebastian Shaw (Bacon) from starting a nuclear war.

This one largely succeeded due to a strong script, interesting story, well-written and believable characters, tense action sequences, and strong performances from the cast, especially from James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. They are both excellent and I can’t imagine anyone else in their roles.

This stylish, fun, smart, and exciting movie that at times feels like some James Bond Cold War thriller is one of the best superhero movies of the last 10 years.


2. X2: X-Men United (2003)

Director: Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, X-Men, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, Superman Returns, Valkyrie, Bohemian Rhapsody)

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming

Building on a template set by 2000 X-Men, X2: X-Men United is an improvement on every level from its predecessor and is one of those rare sequels better than original. Based on the graphic novels God Loves, Man Kills and Return to Weapon X, X2 finds mutants united in a fight against the mutual threat – Colonel William Stryker (Cox) who wants to build his own version of Cerebro and destroy every mutant on Earth.

Upon release, the movie received positive reviews from critics and was a huge box office success. And it’s not hard to see why. Starting with that tense White House sequence, X2 had a solid story and script, likable characters, very good performances, excellent action sequences, and strong villain in Brian Cox’s William Stryker. While Jackman’s Wolverine is the main star here, it’s actually praiseworthy how Singer and his team are successfully handling so many characters in one movie. X2 set a benchmark for comic book sequels and is one of the best superhero movies of all time.


1. Logan (2017)

Director: James Mangold (Walk the Line, Ford v Ferrari, Cop Land, Identity, 3:10 to Yuma)

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook

And we finally came to my favorite and best X-Men movie, Logan. Loosely based on comic Old Man Logan and directed by James Mangold, who also helmed 2013 The Wolverine, Logan is set in 2029. Almost all mutants are dead, and the ones who are still alive are shadows of their former self. Logan, now sick and broken man without much hope, takes care of Charles Xavier, who is not in any better condition than Logan. When a little girl called Laura comes to him for help, they’ll find themselves on the run from a team of mercenaries working for a powerful corporation.

Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart first appeared as Wolverine and Professor X back in 2000 in first X-Men movie and played these characters a couple of more times. They were both excellent in their roles especially Jackman who was perfectly cast as Wolverine. But you never saw them like they are in 2017 Logan – old, sick, broken, and without hope. Both of them have never been better in their roles and it’s somehow sad to watch Logan and Xavier here.

Logan is a superhero movie that really stands out from the competition – a serious, gritty, emotional, and violent R-rated action drama. It is totally different than the rest movies in the series and actually, doesn’t feel like a superhero movie at all. Instead of relying on action set pieces, effects, and CGI, Logan is a more character-driven movie with a strong script, a solid story, excellent performances from Jackman and Stewart that at least deserved some nominations for their work here, and thrilling action sequences that are dosed in right amounts.

This R-rated action drama is a perfect send-off for these characters and one of the best superhero movies of all time.


X-Men Movies On Box Office: All Movies Ranked From Highest To Lowest Grossing

X-Men franchise, which counts 12 movies so far, with 13th, The New Mutants still set to debut on August 27, was highly successful with the audience grossing $2,434,609,696 on the US box office and $6,031,864,658 on worldwide box office. In the rest of the article let’s take a look at how each X-Men movie performed at the box office.

What Is Highest-Grossing X-Men Movie?

Most successful or highest-grossing X-Men movie on US box office was Deadpool which grossed $363,070,709 but the highest-grossing X-Men movie worldwide is its sequel Deadpool 2 with $786,680,557.

All X-Men Movies Ranked By How Much They Grossed

Title Worldwide box office United States Box Office Year
Deadpool 2 $786,680,557 $324,591,735 2018
Deadpool $785,025,593 363,070,709 2016
X-Men: Days of Future Past $747,862,775 $233,921,534 2014
Logan $614,228,432 $226,277,068 2017
X-Men: Apocalypse $542,537,546 $155,442,489 2017
X-Men: The Last Stand $459,260,946 $234,362,462 2006
The Wolverine $416,456,852 $132,556,852 2013
X-Men 2 $406,348,630 $214,949,694 2003
X-Men Origins: Wolverine $374,825,760 $179,883,157 2009
X-Men: First Class $355,408,305 $146,408,305 2011
X-Men $296,872,367 $157,299,717 2000
Dark Phoenix $246,356,895 $65,845,974 2019



With Disney purchasing 20th Century Fox X-Men franchise as we know it is done. Which is probably for the best as both Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix proved they ran out of ideas. It will be interesting to see what will Marvel do with this property and how will it merge with their cinematic universe.

What is your opinion about X-Men franchise? Do you agree with our list? What are the best X-Men movies in your opinion?




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