All 13 X-Men Movies: Ranked from Worst to Best

So, with the long-awaited (but not so well welcomed) release of The New Mutants, three years after it was made, an end of an era comes about. Beginning in 2000, with the release of Bryan Singer's X-Men, the twenty year era of Fox Marvel movies has come to a close. With The Fantastic Four and Uncanny X-Men finally back home at Marvel, after having been sold to Fox in the nineties in order to stave off  what appeared to be inevitable bankruptcy, and in development to join The Avengers, Dr. Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain Marvel on the upcoming MCU slate on the big screen (or small, depending on the  ever evolving winds of pandemic fever), the universe originally created by the likes of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others, is finally home where it belongs.

Another thing this fortuitous event marks is the ability for me to do an all-encompassing look at all thirteen of the X-Men movies that have been made between the aforementioned 2000 X-Men film and the also aforementioned recent release of The New Mutants. And this means, more specifically, a countdown of those thirteen films, from the worst of them all to the best. So, without further ado, I give you my countdown of all thirteen Fox made X-Men films, from worst to best. And awaaaaay we go....

13. Dark Phoenix (2019)
The saddest part about this film, directed by Simon Kinberg (who had written multiple X-Men films before getting behind the camera for the first time here), is that they took one of, if not the greatest X-Men story ever told, and turned it into this - the worst of all the Fox built X-Men franchise. The writing and the acting (save for Fassbender, of course) are just awful - even by superhero movie standards. In fact the only good thing about this movie (SPOILER ALERT - in case you care) is that Jennifer Lawrence's godawful version of Mystique is finally killed off. Bully for that!

12. The New Mutants (2020)
The fact that it took more than three years to finally get this beast into theatres should have probably been a hint as to just how awful it was destined to be. Combine this post production hell with a storyline that goes so far off the comic book adaptation rails that it is barely recognizable as an X-Men related tale (tho not quite as godawful as what they did to Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique in those other films) and you get just what one would expect from a movie released in 2020 - total chaos.

11. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Ever since the mid 1980's, Wolverine has been THE prominent X-Man. Much of this was through the use of over-saturation - which in part led to the bankruptcy problems that led to Marvel selling off the X-Men to Fox in the 1990's. But there is no denying that Logan became the most popular (and over-used) member of the team. So, with that in mind, it made perfect sense to delve into the character after the original trilogy had ended. Unfortunately for all the fans, the movie they came up with for the fourth film in the franchise was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Yeah, it's that bad. It was the first film that gave us Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, but halfway through the film they decided to make the super popular "Merc with a Mouth" mute. Seriously? The thing that people liked about Deadpool from day one in the comics was his often annoying battle banter. Lucky for us (and for Reynolds) this idiotic decision was later rectified for the Deadpool movies. But here, along with a ridiculous story (did you know that we have Wolverine, Sabretooth, and Deadpool to blame for the near meltdown at Three Mile Island?) we get nothing more than a mess of a movie. And, on top of ruining, albeit temporarily, the character of Deadpool, this film also gave us another beloved mutant, Gambit, as a complete and utter waste of time.

10. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Has director Brett Ratner ever made a good film? The answer to that question is no, he has not. And the third of the original trilogy, where Ratner took over for Bryan Singer, does nothing to contradict that answer. Like in many superhero movie series, the second one is often the best, and the third usually tears it all down. That is what happens here. Taking that aforementioned Dark Phoenix storyline that was destroyed in the first film in this worst to best countdown, The Last Stand tried it first - and to be honest, it really wasn't all that much better the first time around. Which is sad due to it being one of the best comic book storylines in Marvel mutant history. As for the actors, such as Halle Berry and James Marsden and Famke Janssen, it's almost as if by film number three, they no longer really feel like being there. Which, I suppose, led to the prequel series that restarted the franchise in 2011. On top of all this cinematic terribleness, not that it has anything to do with the quality of the film itself, Ratner has been exposed via the #MeToo Movement of sexual assault and harassment. But then, so did his predecessor Singer, but more on that in a bit.

9. X-Men Apocalypse (2016)
In 2011, as stated above, the X-Men franchise was rebooted. After the failures of the third X-Men film and that awful Wolverine spinoff, the powers that be wanted to change things up, so they decided to go back to when Charles Xavier and Magneto first formed The X-Men. This movie, set in 1962 (please ignore any age contradictions in the whole continuity) was a successful reboot. Sadly, this second follow-up to it was not very good at all. Now don't get me wrong, James McAvoy as Xavier and especially Michael Fassbender as Magneto, are both wonderful in all the reboots or prequels or whatever they are supposed to be. And others like Evan Peters as Quicksilver and Alexandra Shipp as Storm are also quite enjoyable. Plus this film also gave us (finally!!) the character of Psylocke, played by Olivia Munn. But alas, none of this helped the meandering storyline, nor did the casting of the always spectacular Oscar Isaac as the titular villain do anything to help. Nope. This was a bit of a dud, which was a bummer as they say,  since the first two entries in the reboot were actually quite good. Oh, and then there's Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. Didn't think I forgot about this horrible mess of a character assassination, didjya? But more on her in a bit.

8. The Wolverine (2013)
Directed by James Mangold, probably the best director to ever helm an X-Men movie (he would also direct Logan), we are finally getting into the good side of this worst to best countdown. Making up for the awfulness that was the first sad and pathetic attempt at giving Hugh Jackman's Wolverine his own film series, Mangold's film gives us exactly what that first film should have - a good story, fun action, and Jackman kicking ass. I mean, what else are we looking for in a superhero movie? We get swordplay with The Silver Samurai, as well as beloved recurring Wolverine comic book characters like Yukio and Mariko. All in all, a swell retooling of the the Wolverine franchise.

7. Deadpool 2 (2018)
After that godawful representation of Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool in the X-Men Origins film (no fault of actor Ryan Reynolds) the character is reborn anew in his own series. Granted, the second one wasn't quite as good as the first (which is usually not the case in the superhero genre) but this is still a quite enjoyable film, with Reynolds, once again, knocking it out of the park as everybody's favourite friendly neighbourhood mercenary anti-hero. There was supposed to be a third film at Fox, tentatively featuring X-Force, but thanks to Marvel, or should I say Disney, getting the rights back, that is not going to happen. Luckily though, unlike with the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, there will be no recasting. Whenever Disney gets around to adding Deadpool into the MCU, it will be Ryan Reynolds' hideously deformed face behind the mask. JK about the hideously deformed face part. Love ya Ryan. See ya soon.

6. X-Men: First Class (2011)
So, like I stated above, Fox decided to reboot the series as a prequal and what they gave us was a story set in 1962, where Xavier and Magneto form the original X-Men. Now, since this is a movie adaptation, we don't actually get the real original X-Men. God forbid anything is comic book accurate in Fox's World of Mutants. But we get a young squad of X-Men made up of young versions of Banshee, Havok, Mystique, & Beast, the latter of which was an actual founding member of the team. We also got to see January Jones as Emma Frost and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw. Now, about that Mystique played by Jennifer Lawrence. I seem bitter, don't I? Oh well. Now the Fox X-Men films have done some questionable revisions in characters such as Rogue and Iceman and Banshee (and X-Men Origins' Deadpool) but what they did to Mystique is the worst. Now I have nothing against the actress playing Mystique in these reboots. Jennifer Lawrence was wonderful in films like Winter's Bone and American Hustle and Mother! (though I despised her Oscar winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook - and don't get me started on the stupidity that is The Hunger Games). But the way they took one of the most intriguing (and quite psychotic) villains in X-Men lore and turned her into a mealy-mouthed, wishy-washy do-gooder is just sad. And they ignored the fact that she is gay in the comics. But hey, I'm doing too much bad-mouthing of the film. Actually it is quite a lot of fun, and a good way to bring life back into a dying franchise. Well except for Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique of course. 

5. X-Men (2000)
The first in Fox's mutant series. Directed, as were the second film and parts two and three of the prequel/reboots, by Bryan Singer. Another pig turned director turned #MeToo scumbag turned out of work director (ya know, like his buddy Ratner) but that notwithstanding, the first of the X-Men series was a solid start to any would be franchise. The aforementioned Jackman, Berry, Marsden, and Janssen, along with Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen as Xavier and Magneto respectively, and (of course) Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as the definitive cinematic Mystique, all fill out the roles wonderfully. Making these anxiously awaited portrayals their own. Even Anna Paquin, whose version of Rogue is nearly as big a travesty as Lawrence's Mystique, is enjoyable. I know that Disney is going to recast these characters for the MCU but it would be nice to see Jackman keep on keepin' on as Wolverine. Especially if the put him and Ryan Reynolds together onscreen again. All in all, a solid start to the franchise. But hey, wonder if they could top it in the inevitable second film? Do read on please.

4. X2: X-Men United (2003)
The answer to that question is yes, they could top it. As I've stated on multiple occasions in this worst to best countdown, when it comes to superhero movies, the second film is, more often than not, the better film. Just look at the second Superman, the second Spider-Man (both pre-MCU and the MCU versions), the second of the Burton Batmans, the second of the Nolan Batmans, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. BTW, don't look at Wonder Woman 1984. But I digress. The point is that X2 is a better film than X1.WE have the same cast (for the most part) and the same director (that aforementioned sexual predator pedophile), so I suppose the thing that makes this one top the previous one is that we get to see all the mutants, both Xavier's team and Magneto's, join together to fight a common foe - humanity. I always enjoyed Magneto when he was one of the X-Men instead of their enemy, and this film gave us that. It also gave us Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler.

3. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
The second of the reboot films, and the film takes on the one X-Men tale that was even greater than The Dark Phoenix Saga. The classic Days of Future Past is my all-time favourite X-Men storyline. We get to see older versions of our heroes (like Kitty Pryde, my fave comic book mutant) heading back in time to stop an apocalyptic future. This film brings the reboots/prequels together with the original trilogy versions. Time travel is always fun to do. Granted, the next film (Apocalypse) takes us back to the past again, but while it lasted, the combined film was quite fun. And we even got Jackman in pretty much every timeline.

2. Deadpool (2016)
I really cannot say enough about how much I've enjoyed Ryan Reynolds in the Deadpool films. He seems like the perfect fit for the character. I love that Disney has agreed to let him stay on. Apparently they think the same way I do about Reynolds' Deadpool. This film, which helped erase the tarnished memory of Reynolds' Deadpool in that other movie, was a blast. Reynolds' fourth wall breaking is inspired. His jabs at Fox and the MCU are a blast as well. If only we could see him and Jackman together again. BTW, if you have not checked out any of the Reynolds/Jackman mock feud on social media, go search it out. It's a blast as well.

1. Logan (2017)
This would be Hugh Jackman's seventh turn as Wolverine (ten if you count a trio of cameos in Deadpool, First Class, and Apocalypse) and barring Disney calling him back, which looks unlikely, it would also be his final time playing the iconic comic book anti-hero. This film, as I stated earlier, was directed by James Mangold, and it goes beyond any idea of a typical superhero movie. Taking a look at the end of the character, many years in the future (and an old dying Xavier too) Mangold's film is more than mere superhero fodder. Logan is an adult-oriented take on aging and passing on your legacy. A sad, melancholy film that digs deeper than any other of the X-Men franchise - or even any of the MCU film. Probably, up there with The Dark Knight and Watchmen as the most serious and most cinematically mature of any superhero film.

So there you have it. All 13 of the Fox X-Men movies from worst to best. And I only picked on Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique a little bit. Myabe a bit more, but come on now! She deserved it! Anyhoo, though some were bad, and some were awful, there were a couple solid X-Men films over at Fox. Now here's to hoping Disney & the MCU can get the X-Men going in a better direction than that. That's it gang. see ya 'round the web.


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