iron man 3 cast*So, a little superhero movie named “Iron Man 3”, the latest entry into the fabulously lucrative superhero genre that has made a lot of Hollywood executives very, very rich, and a lot of comic book fans very, very satisfied.

So with the newest Iron Man on the scene (and a new Superman very soon), let’s rank the ten best and the ten worst superhero films out there. For the sake of this discussion, we’ll just stick with the new superhero films (from 2000 on), and we’ll limit it to the Marvel and DC universe. No need to include the original Superman or the original Batman in this list.

Here are the ten best modern superhero movies:

1) The Dark Knight – An incredibly mature, skillfully crafted thriller that remains one of the best pure action films ever made.

2)  X-Men 2 – Brilliantly scripted and acted, Bryan Singer’s second X-Men is a powerful, allegorical movie.

3) The Avengers – One-hundred percent pure entertainment. Joss Whedon’s film is a witty, star-laden, incredibly enjoyable marvel.

4) Spider-Man 2 – Avoiding all of the flaws from the first one, the sequel is full of heart and spectacle.

5) Iron Man – Robert Downey Jr.’s comeback began with his charming performance in this 2008 blockbuster.

6) Batman Begins  – A well-made, perfectly cast origin story that set the stage for a brilliant follow-up.

7) X-Men – Bryan Singer’s first film in the X-Men series is bolstered by the casting of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen as the warring Professor X and Magneto.

8) X-Men: First Class – This “reboot” offers almost as many pleasures as the first X-Men film. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy make for an excellent younger Magneto and Professor X.

9) Captain America: The First Avenger – A splashy and beautifully directed origin film, Joe Johnson’s Captain America is filled with some great World War II-era touches.

10) Spider-Man – Not as polished or as exciting as its sequel, Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man is still a fun time, bolstered by Tobey Maguire’s winning performance as the webslinger.

Here are the ten worst superhero movies, just to serve as a complement:

10) Superman Returns – A missed opportunity, but not actually as bad as everyone thinks.

9) The Punisher – Dark, violent and ugly to its core. It fits the material … but it still doesn’t make for a great movie.

8) Ghost Rider / Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – More entries to Nicolas Cage’s horror reel.

7) X-Men: The Last Stand – Very short and very strange. The only good part? The famous “Juggernaut, B—-!” line.

6) Hulk – A very interesting experiment, but Ang Lee’s artsy superhero film eventually left all of us wanting a lot more.

5) The Dark Knight Rises – An unfocused, messy disappointment. You’d wonder how much better the series would be if they had stopped with two.

4) Spider-Man 3 – Way too long and way too goofy.

3) Catwoman – Mee-ouch. What was Halle Berry thinking?

2) Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – Two quite horrible entries into the genre. A reboot is on the way, thankfully.

1) Green Lantern – Probably the worst superhero movie ever made – and it’s not even close.