The best movies based on comic books
MFC TOP 5
Over the past decade, superhero movies have grown to become one of the most successful film genres of all time. Thanks to their grandiose stories and colorful characters, these contemporary blockbusters found their space in the hearts of many people and in the lists of the highest-grossing films.
Although not all the comics are about superheroes, and in the same way, not all the superhero stories are about fights, the growing number of films of the genre established a strong narrative formula that makes them as successful as predictable.
Even so, there are still films based on comics that manage to stand out and tell memorable stories. That’s why in MFC we give you a TOP 5 of the best movies based on comic books, those that depart a bit from the recipes of the genre to explore new themes and offer fresh and interesting takes.
5. 300 (Zack Snyder, 2006)
300 is the film adaptation of the comic book series by Frank Miller, who was credited in the film as executive producer. The story is about the fight of King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his 300 Spartan warriors against the invasion of the huge Persian army of Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), during the historic event known as the Battle of Thermopylae.
The film stands out for being a shot-for-shot adaptation of the original comic book, in addition to having shots of powerful aesthetic and symbolic charge. 300 was the first in the long list of movies based on comic books directed by Zack Snyder, establishing his unique visual style that he would later print on films such as Watchmen (2009), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017).
4. Logan (James Mangold, 2017)
Logan is the last release in the Wolverine movie trilogy and the tenth film of Fox‘s X-MEN universe. It tells the story of an aging Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and a senile Professor X (Patrick Stewart), who are committed to protecting a mutant girl while dealing with the slow and painful degeneration of their powers.
Written and directed by James Mangold, Logan takes inspiration from the Old Man Logan comic book, by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. The film aims at a more mature audience and addresses issues such as disease, old age, and responsibility from the point of view of mutants, in addition to giving a great closure to the 17 years of stories that defined Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in everyone’s mind.
It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, thus becoming the first film based on a live-action superhero comic to receive a nomination in that category.
3. Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony & Joe Russo, 2018)
Avengers: Infinity War is the nineteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie introduces the character of Thanos (Josh Brolin), the most powerful villain against which the Avengers have had to face. Its sequel, Avengers: Endgame (2019), is the highest-grossing film of all time.
Although part of the most popular franchise of movies based on comic books, Infinity War is not like its predecessors. In a bold but deeply successful movement, Marvel Studios risked tackling the story from the villain’s point of view, making Thanos the protagonist of the film. His quest to obtain the Infinity Stones is the fuel that drives the Avengers to become the most ambitious crossover in film history.
2. Joker (Todd Phillips, 2019)
Joaquín Phoenix plays one of the most popular comics characters in Joker, the most recent DC Comics movie. The film tells the story of Arthur Fleck, a mentally troubled comedian, and his fall to become the Joker. With a budget of 55 million dollars, Joker has raised more than 850 million dollars worldwide, which makes it the most profitable movie based on comic books in history.
This film moves away from any franchise or film continuity to open its own place, in a space where deeper and more mature stories can be explored by filmmakers who dare. Joker doesn’t need punches or superpowers to tell an interesting story, but it plunges into the mind of Gotham’s disturbed clown to understand what leads him to become a murderer.
1. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
The Dark Knight is the second film in the Batman trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan, which establishes a more realistic view of the hero’s universe and its characters. The film tells the confrontation between Batman (Christian Bale) and the Joker (Heath Ledger) for the soul of Gotham City.
This film stands out for addressing the classic themes of the superhero genre, such as morality and justice, in a fresh and different way. While the common hero is usually correct and honorable, The Dark Knight presents a vulnerable Batman, weak to the Joker‘s powers: being able to prove that Batman‘s crusade is useless, that morality hangs by a thread and without that, with just a push, anyone could become a murderer. Thus, the cunning of the Joker presents a threat that Batman‘s brute force cannot match, establishing an unwavering relationship between the two characters that differs from any other in superhero cinema.
The Dark Knight is not just one of the best movies based on comic books, but also one of the top-rated movies of all time.