Fox’s X-Men Movies Ranked, From Worst To Best

By Michileen Martin | Published

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Fox's X-Men Movies, From Worst To Best

Fox’s X-Men film franchise has given us their last entry, but it will be a while before their influence on the rest of the superhero movie genre is forgotten. While we wait to see how Marvel‘s mutants next manifest on the big screen, let’s go through all the movies from their worst to their absolute best.

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool

13. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Considering the first two X-Men films are basically Wolverine and His Amazing Friends, you would think giving the guy a worthwhile solo movie wouldn’t be too challenging. But future Ender’s Game director Gavin Hood proved us all wrong with the ridiculous mess that is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The fact that Ryan Reynolds got a second crack at Wade Wilson after being turned into a Mortal Kombat character in this embarrassment is nothing short of miraculous.

12. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)

X-Men: Dark Phoenix‘s worst crime isn’t that it’s bad, but that it ended Fox’s X-Men series with such a whimper. The franchise’s second attempt to adapt Marvel Comics’ classic Dark Phoenix Saga did little more than prove that on the big screen it might just be a good idea to keep Jean Grey a good guy.

11. The New Mutants (2020)

The New Mutants suffered so many delays, the fact that the word “new” is in the title is practically a legally actionable offense. After all those delays, what finally wound up on theater screens is a horror movie that isn’t scary, a superhero movie that isn’t super, and a movie made to start a spinoff franchise that was cut off at the knees by Disney.

oscar isaac x-men apocalypse

10. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

It only took the X-Men filmmakers a little over a decade and a half to figure out that they were allowed to use mutant supervillains whose name didn’t rhyme with “Dag-neato,” but unfortunately that realization came in the form of 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. With the notable exception of another cool super-speed sequence with Evan Peters as Quicksilver, like the decade it’s set in, Apocalypse is best left forgotten.

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

X-Men: The Last Stand made some good choices, like tapping Kelsey Grammer to play Hank McCoy aka the Beast, and occasionally letting someone other than Hugh Jackman’s Logan in the spotlight. But its few excellent choices don’t make up for its many awful ones, like abruptly killing off Cyclops off-screen, or giving Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones) a helmet that looked like cheap packaging material.

8. The Wolverine (2013)

In between the unforgivable mess that is X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the genius that is 2017’s Logan, 2013’s The Wolverine is firmly not bad. A lot of it is actually great, including some wonderful nods to Frank Miller and Chris Claremont’s 1982 Wolverine miniseries — the character’s very first solo title. Unfortunately things get a little weird at the end, including the eponymous hero’s battle with a giant Silver Samurai/Robocop.

7. X-Men (2000)

There is a lot that is not perfect about 2000’s X-Men, but credit needs to be given where credit is most certainly due. While Blade preceded it by two years, X-Men was much more rooted in the superhero genre than Wesley Snipes’ action/horror fusion. X-Men, for all its imperfections, opened the floodgates.

6. X2: X-Men United (2003)

Much that was missing from X-Men comes to fruition in the vastly superior X2: X-Men United. When Stryker’s (Brian Cox) men hit Xavier’s School, we get our first glimpse at what a Wolverine unleashed is capable of, and the opening sequence with the mind-controlled Nightcrawler’s (Alan Cumming) assassination attempt still holds up as one of the most visually impressive superhero action scenes of the era.

5. X-Men: First Class (2011)

While often these days, the notion of a reboot makes fans sigh with frustration, by 2011 — after the twin disappointments of The Last Stand and X-Men Origins — the prequel film X-Men: First Class was a welcome balm. With some wonderful casting including Michael Fassbender as a younger Magneto and Jessica Lawrence as a much more sympathetic Mystique, First Class made fans believe in the franchise again.

4. Deadpool 2 (2018)

You may not think 2018’s Deadpool 2 was as good as the original, but in an incredibly crowded year for superhero movies (Avengers: Infinity WarBlack PantherAquamanVenomThe Incredibles 2Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, etc.), Deadpool 2 was one of the best. Josh Brolin is perfectly cast as the time-hopping Cable, Reynolds is never more sympathetic as the Merc with a Mouth, and the brief life of X-Force unfolds with bloodletting hilarity.

Ryan Reynolds Deadpool

3. Deadpool (2016)

Is there a more unbelievable superhero movie redemption story than that of Ryan Reynolds blowing away critics and fans with 2016’s Deadpool?After starring in not one (Blade: Trinity), not two (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), but three (Green Lantern) of the most universally hated comic book adaptations ever, he finally got the ideal version of the superhero he was born to play: Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool. The film is gloriously gory, obscene, and everything it should’ve been.

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

X-Men: Days of Future Past is far from perfect, particularly not with the theatrical version cutting out so much relevant material. But Bryan Singer’s directorial return to the franchise was a dynamic and poetic way of merging the before-and-after narratives of the different casts, as well as fixing so many issues caused by The Last Stand. It’s a great movie whose biggest flaw is that it set the stage for a new era of great X-Men flicks, which sadly were replaced by the horrible movies we got instead.

1. Logan (2017)

James Mangold’s Logan is regularly named one of the best — if not the absolute best — superhero movie in the history of cinema, and with good reason. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart gives us more nuanced and vulnerable portrayals of their respective heroes than ever before, and Dafne Keen is perfectly cast as the young but fierce Laura. Logan is tragic, beautiful, and just about as good a sendoff to Wolverine as any filmmaker could’ve made.