The definitive ranking of the ‘X-Men’ movies – USA TODAY

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The X-Men are here to save the day. Again.

X-Men: Apocalypsehits theaters this weekend, making it the ninth installment in the superhero franchise in the past 16 years (feel old yet?). In honor of the new X-film, featuring Oscar Isaac as the titular Apocalypse and a whole new young generation of mutants, we’ve ranked all nine X-Men films. Feel free to disagree, but then you’d be wrong.

9. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) 

This movie is the worst. It’s not the worst superhero movie ever made (that glorious title belongs to The Fantastic Four), but it certainly tries hard enough to be in the running. Nobody cares about this old, less-fun version of Wolverine. Plus, what a huge waste of Gambit and Deadpool.

8. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) 

Never let Brett Ratner direct anything, especially not one of the most iconic comic book stories of all time. Last Stand did pretty much everything wrong, from Dark Phoenix to the cure to the laziness with which it killed off major characters.

7. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) 

The biggest sin of the latest entry into the long-running franchise is that it is wasteful. With a cast this packed, with characters this interesting, it is a downright shame that the movie is as dull and ill-conceived as it is (who put Oscar Isaac behind all that makeup? WHO?). There are certainly bright spots (we can probably expect great things from Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey portrayal for movies to come), but overall, in the words of USA TODAY Film Critic Brian Truitt, it’s “X-Meh.”

6. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) 

This one was supposed to be the best. The movie took on one of the most iconic comic book storylines of all time, managed to get in a gigantic, two-generation cast with more than one Oscar-winner on the payroll. The result was, you know, just fine. But the movie does get bonus points for erasing The Last Stand from the timeline and introducing Quicksilver, who continues to be the best part of the new series of films.

5. Deadpool (2016) 

Deadpool is not a movie for everyone. It’s a distinctly irreverent, male fantasy that has a particular point of view and doesn’t care whether or not you share it. It makes a lot of jokes and not all of them land, and the climax is not as ground-breaking as the movie would like. But there is an inherent charm to Deadpool, which ends up, weirdly enough, being one of the most romantic movies of the year. It is trying to deliver comic book fans something they are clearly craving: New and different stories. In a year of endless superheroes-fighting-their-friends films, it stood out in a good way.

4. The Wolverine (2013) 

There’s nothing particularly wrong with this movie, it’s just not nearly as good as the three above it on this list. It was smart to take the character in a very different direction from the much-maligned 2009 movie. But while Wolverine is a great character and can carry a movie by himself, the X-Men are always more fun as a team.

3. X-Men (2000) 

Bryan Singer helped invent the modern comic-book movie with X-Men. This one suffers a little from all the exposition it needs to dole out, but the core cast is downright genius in Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan and Hugh Jackman. Could you imagine anyone else playing Wolverine?

2. X-Men: First Class (2011) 

It was kind of crazy to try to portray an entirely different generation of X-Men in the 60s with a set of new actors, many of which were subbing in for iconic counterparts. But the result was one of the most delightful and sincere entrants in the franchise. It was a very different look for an X-Men movie, and the humor, the optimism and weirdness worked.

1. X2: X-Men United (2003) 

One of the best superhero movies of all time, X2 just really gets what to do with the X-Men. While other X-Men films may get lost in the many characters and powers, X-2 knows how to balance a group of heroes as well as sci-fi elements with the right blend of action, humor and emotion. (You hear that, Apocalypse? A story can be both epic and fun. Just saying). It is the bar against which all other X-Men movies — and superhero movies in general — must be measured.

The definitive ranking of the ‘X-Men’ movies – USA TODAY

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