Good, comprehensive list. If it was my list, the Zach Snyder Superman films and the X-Men and Wolverine sequels (with the exception of Logan) would rank near the bottom or fall-off the list completely. Near the bottom would be the Joel Schumacher Batman films. In the top 25, I would add to the list Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and The Incredibles.
Does Unbreakable (2000) count as a superhero movie? If so, it’s in my top 25.
My Top 3:
3. Batman (1989)
I don’t believe that this film gets enough credit for kicking-off or revitalizing the comic book super hero as a full-feature film franchise. Some might argue that the Christopher Reeves Superman films of the 70’s and 80’s were the origin, but I don’t believe those films ever took themselves seriously. Not in the way that most modern day comic book movies do. I believe Tim Burton took the Batman franchise seriously. His vision and direction for Batman was pitch perfect. I still love Batman and Batman Returns. It’s a shame that Burton didn’t get to do a third.
The way in which they made Batman and the effects they were able to pull-off–scale models, live-action stunts and sequences, very-little CGI or green screen (that I can tell)–still holds up well to this day. When you re-watch the Superman films of the 70’s and 80’s, the same tools they used to make Batman existed, but were not effectively utilized and the attention to detail was lacking.
Michael Keaton doesn’t gets enough credit for his portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman. He’s my favorite Batman. At the time, Jack Nicholson was a huge ‘get’ for the role of the Joker. Until Heath Ledger’s performance, Jack Nicholson was the Joker.
2. Iron Man (2008)
This is arguably the best comic book movie ever told. The origin story respects the comic and the plot and script is tight. The casting and acting was perfect. It holds up extremely well and is easily re-watchable. Easily a future classic.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
I love the description of: Heat with capes. Even if you removed the costumes and the make up, the movie still works extremely well as a crime drama. This is the pinnacle of super hero movies.