Benjamin Wollmuth is a lover of literature who enjoys sharing his thoughts on everything from movies and video games to books and music.
I would firstly like to preface this article by saying that I took a significant break in writing articles. Why? College. It takes up my time. And, as an English major, I am constantly writing papers, analyses, and the sort (you know, like an English major does). However, now that I am stuck inside because of the worldwide pandemic I like to call "the great corona plague of 2020" (In all seriousness, it is not a joke. It is a serious issue. Stay inside. Stay healthy.), I have found that I have more time to write freely. The issue: movie theaters are closed and new movie releases have been delayed. So, what do I write about? Well, when there is a will, there is a way... and I have found a way.
The "Messy Timeline" Franchise
Ah, 20th Century Fox. I love you. I really do. You have given us some great movies. Some of those movies are included in this list. However, you have also given us some not-so-great movies -- these are also included in this list. And sure, you're not dead --you're just owned by Disney now, and your solo run with the X-Men is over. The X-Men franchise is rough, to say the least, but it does have its good moments. Timeline inconsistencies aside (because I know even the biggest fan recognizes them), there is a lot to be said about this superhero series of films. I am going to dig into all of that right here, with my list of X-Men movies ranked from worst to best. Let's get started, shall we?
#12 - X-Men Origins: Wolverine
I am sure you all saw this one coming in last. The acting is subpar, the action is boring (other than the opening with Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting in the wars -- should have been the whole movie, fight me if you disagree), and their depiction of Deadpool has the capability to make any fan want to rip out their hair. This movie is best enjoyed with a group of friends where you can all make fun of it together. I did it. In fact, my friend Jackson described this movie in the best way possible (and I'm paraphrasing, this is not verbatim): "Wow, that CGI is terrible."
#11 - X-Men: The Last Stand
I am sure that Fox was hoping this film would be the juggernaut of all superhero movies. Well, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but... it's not. I praise the writers and directors, however, for keeping a consistent story arch throughout the entirety of the first trilogy. If only they could have ended the trilogy in a better way. Jean Grey's (aka the Dark Phoenix) powers are heavily underused, the final battle is only slightly ridiculous, and, oh my stars and garters, the dialogue is as cringy as dialogue can get. It's not a terrible movie at all -- it's just lacking what the two movies prior to this one had: less cartoony tones and more seriousness. And why the hell would you kill Charles Xavier off if you knew you wanted to bring him back?!
#10 - X-Men: Dark Phoenix
I have a full review of this one that you can check out if you want to see my thoughts on it. Again, not terrible... but not great. Fox's X-Men franchise went out like... well, not like Wolverine. I'll just put it there.
#9 - X-Men: Apocalypse
Talk about wasted potential. I love Oscar Isaacs, but his take on Apocalypse is weak, to say the least. But I'm not blaming him, because he wasn't the only one. Angel (or Archangel if you're a comic book nerd like me) didn't do anything. Psylocke got away and then was just... forgotten. Magneto had a great arch but then didn't do THAT much in the end. Quicksilver's slow-motion scene wasn't as good as the one from Days of Future Past... and then he got his leg broken. Plus, the movie is way longer than it needs to be, and I could really feel it on my second watch of it. Oh, and remember that random Wolverine cameo? Yeah, that was the best part of the film. Congrats Hugh!
#8 - The Wolverine
I will forever stand by the idea that this movie should have been rated R. Even though we finally got an R-rated Wolverine movie later in the decade, I still would not mind seeing Logan take out members of the Yakuza in the most gruesome of ways. This is not a bad film at all... I'm just not that big of a fan of the villain or the final fight.
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#7 - Deadpool 2
While this movie is not as good as the first Deadpool film, I still find it hilarious. Domino was an awesome addition to the cast, as well as Thanos -- ahem, sorry -- Cable. I didn't even mind Firefist as the... villain? Was he technically the villain? Or was it the guy who ran the school? Oh well, still a jolly good show. As sequels go, this one isn't bad. In fact, I love watching this movie. It just doesn't bring anything too new to the table (other than a better, more comic accurate Juggernaut).
#6 - X-Men: First Class
What a great way to reboot a franchise that didn't end too well originally. While the legendary Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan do not appear in this movie, it is great to see a younger cast taking on the characters and giving us an origin story that is actually fairly entertaining to watch. The way the film's story intertwines with the Cuban missile crisis is awesome. Watching Charles' and Erik's feud grow on the screen is glorious, to say the least. If I had to say a negative, I would say that the villain of the movie is pretty bland (I'm sorry Kevin Bacon, please don't hate me, because I love you). All-in-all, a very good movie.
#5 - X-Men
The movie that started it all. The movie that introduced the world to the wonderful Wolverine portrayed by Hugh Jackman, the glorious Charles Xavier portrayed by Patrick Stewart, and the menacing -- yet charming -- Magneto portrayed by Ian McKellan. The nostalgia this movie brings to me whenever I watch it is uncomparable. Sure, it's cringy at times... but it's the year 2000. Let's be a little lenient, shall we?
#4 - X2: X-Men United
The opening scene where Nightcrawler attacks the president. The scene where Wolverine rips through Stryker's men in the X-Mansion. The chemistry. The characters. The action. The tone. What more do I have to say?
#3 - X-Men: Days of Future Past
I sometimes find it hard to understand time travel movies. They all seem to follow their own rules. However, this movie (while it completely messes up the X-Men timeline as we know it) is awesome. It stands alone as a story of its own, not relying on past movies to make it make sense. We get to see the great legends and their young counterparts. We get a pretty decent villain in Trask and his sentinels. The scenes set in the future are just as awesome (if not more awesome) than the scenes set in the past. The story is great. The characters are great. This movie is great.
#2 - Deadpool
See that heart that Deadpool is making with his hands? That's how I feel about this movie. It's comic accurate. It's hilarious. It's violent. Ryan Reynolds should be my dad (just kidding, I love my dad dearly and wouldn't want anyone else). This movie is everything I wanted it to be and more -- so much more that I felt uncomfortable sitting next to my parents while watching this. But it doesn't matter because it's fantastic!
#1 - Logan
Wanna know how to make me cry? Show me Professor X or Logan dying -- I'll lose it. I cannot describe the emotions I went through while watching this movie. I wanted an R-rated Wolverine movie for so long... and then I got it -- the world got it -- and it was beautiful. Hugh Jackman is at his finest. The Wolverine character is at his finest. Professor Xavier (while at a worse for wear) is at his finest. And Laura, sweet Laura, I am hoping we see more of you. It is weird to say, but the R-rated violence brings a smile to my face.
© 2020 Benjamin Wollmuth