Mutant And Proud: All 10 'X-Men' Movies Ranked

Now that Logan has been in theaters for a couple of weeks, we figured it's a good time to take stock of all the films in the X-Men universe. Outside of the core X-Men series and the Wolverine spin-off films, the Marvel Comics universe at 20th Century Fox has expanded to include Deadpool, giving us 10 total films that all exist in the same world, and we collaboratively ranked them all.

To make this list, we had as many members of the /Film crew as possible submit their own personal ranking of each of the X-Men movies from one through ten. The film in the top spot was given 10 points, the second got 9 points and so on and so forth until the final movie got just a single point. What follows is the result of tabulating all of the points for each of the movies after looking at lists submitted by Peter Sciretta, Jacob Hall, Ethan Anderton, Jack Giroux, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, Christopher Stipp, Ben Pearson, and Hoai-Tran Bui.

There were two clear runaways at the top, while the films that followed were a little more varied in their ranking among the team. However, there were no scruples about which were the worst three films in the entire series. While we all had different opinions about where those movies fell at the bottom of the list, none of them earned more than 3 points on any one of our lists.

Anyway, without further adieu, here's /Film's collaborative ranking of all the X-Men movies. Let's start with the worst of them.

X-Men Origins Wolverine

10. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (13 points)

It should come to no surprise to anyone with a single shred of respect for X-Men that this is the worst film in the entire franchise (it's three points away from having the lowest score possible). While many had hoped this movie would give us the deep dive into Wolverine's history that fans of the character wanted, all this did was drop a big steaming pile of garbage on not only our comic book movie dreams but also Hugh Jackman's career.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine goes far back into Wolverine's past, and while the dynamic between him and his brother Sabretooth (played by Liev Schreiber) might have been compelling in another movie, here it's just hollow fodder to give Wolverine one of several lame villains to face throughout the movie. Sure, the opening credits that span decades are cool, and there are a couple of solid action sequences. But they're all dwarfed by an abysmal script that turns Wolverine into a two-dimensional character who has a bunch of dumb one-liners, not to mention some of the most awful visual effects ever seen in a tentpole of this scale.

In addition to surrounding Wolverine with a lame team of allies (one of them was played by will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas for crying out loud), X-Men Origins also gave him one abomination of an adversary in the form of a bastardized version of Deadpool. Why the hell would you bring the Merc with the Mouth to the big screen if you're going to sew his mouth shut and make him look like Baraka from Mortal Kombat? The only good thing that came out of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the fact that it gave Ryan Reynolds a fire to redeem Deadpool by bringing him to life in the way that fans deserved. But we'll get to that later. (Written by Ethan Anderton)

X-Men Apocalypse

9. X-Men: Apocalypse (19 points)

All due respect to Bryan Singer for kicking off this franchise, but Apocalypse is proof he should step back and let some new blood take a crack at the world of mutants. A bloated, uninspired follow-up to the well-regarded Days of Future Past, Apocalypse is perhaps best known for completely wasting Oscar Isaac in the villainous title role, burying the charismatic performer under pounds of makeup and asking him to wander around delivering bland lines about the need for a "better world." What's worse, Singer seems to have completely lost his touch with action sequences; where X2 and Days of Future Past are full of creative and energetic fight scenes, these are remarkably tired and lifeless. The exception, of course, is the standout Quicksilver slow-mo scene, which is bigger, longer, and more elaborate than the jailbreak in the previous film.

But one strong scene isn't enough to justify the rest of this slog, which features stars Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender sleepwalking their way through now-familiar roles as Mystique and Magneto while the new new class (Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Kodi Smit-McPhee) admirably attempt to keep the film afloat. And I haven't even mentioned the forced and unnecessary Wolverine cameo that includes an uncomfortable moment with Turner's Jean Grey, who's young enough to be Hugh Jackman's daughter here. By the time we get to the climax, with Magneto floating above Cairo destroying iconic monuments across the world for seemingly no reason other than meeting a CGI destruction quota, the film has long outed itself as a stale disappointment. (Written by Ben Pearson)

X-Men The Last Stand

8. X-Men: The Last Stand (22 points)

After teasing the arrival of the Dark Phoenix at the end of X2: X-Men United (a scene that would have been a credits stinger in today's world), X-Men: The Last Stand certainly had a lot to live up to. But with director Brett Ratner behind the camera, it doesn't even come close to the quality that Bryan Singer brought to the previous movies.

The sequel starts interestingly enough, with a sequence that gives us a miraculously younger Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen visiting an adolescent Jean Grey. Then it quickly takes a sharp turn into terrible once we move forward in time to introduce the catalyst of the events to come, a "cure" for the mutant gene that has appeared in humans. Any subtlety that existed in this franchise goes completely out the window, both in narrative symbolism and in the acting department. Everyone seems to he hamming it up, making everything overly melodramatic, with the exception of Wolverine, who becomes nothing more than a walking one-liner machine until the movie makes a last ditch effort to make you feel something by having him kill Jean Grey.

Speaking of which, while it's not quite as egregious as the treatment of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the Dark Phoenix storyline is unbelievably mishandled, turning one of the most iconic comic book storylines ever into a boring blockbuster spectacle of CGI destruction and insignificant battles of mutants versus other lame mutants. One of those lame mutants, Juggernaut, is responsible for what might be the single-most atrocious moment in the entire series, a moment inspired by an online meme. You know exactly the moment I'm talking about. (Written by Ethan Anderton)

X-Men

7. X-Men (47 points)

That trailer. For those who remember when the first trailer hit for 2000's X-Men, there was nothing but the highest expectations for this movie. Up until then, Marvel comic book movies were nothing but punchlines. Roger Corman's 1994's abomination that is The Fantastic Four was a joke and those of us who saw 1989's The Punisher with Dolph Lundgren would agree that while it was great to see the character come to life, there was something missing from that interpretations. That would all change when Bryan Singer gave us something extraordinary and faithful to the source material on a level that had never been done before.

Hundreds of millions of dollars later, it seems obvious that this property had so many stories to tell but, at the time, this was the alpha test. Could this be the movie that could finally shows us what Wolverine would look like in the real world? What Cyclops would wear when not donning his visor? Would we get a peek at the danger room? Two out of three isn't bad, as the movie was an inspired beginning. Many would point to this really being Hugh Jackman's coming out party and what a gloriously quaint beginning it was! I didn't realize until after watching this trailer just how many years it's been, but he's always treated the character of Logan with seriousness and respect. (Written by Christopher Stipp)

The Wolverine

6. The Wolverine (48 points)

It's hard to argue that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the worst X-Men movie (although Brett Ratner gave it a run for its money for sure), and since Logan is many people's personal favorite of the series, it's fitting that The Wolverine ranks exactly in the middle of this ranking. I believe that The Wolverine is a much better film than many people give it credit for.

Director James Mangold and his crew offer up a technically great movie filled with suspenseful action sequences, incredible production design, and memorable costume design. The cinematic atmosphere that comes from putting Logan in Japan is unmistakable, but the movie is really at its best when Mangold is exploring Logan's internal struggles (which Mangold explored at a greater depth in the follow-up).

The script by Christopher McQuarrie, Mark Bomback, and Scott Frank is mostly good, although the third act somehow dissolves into generic superhero action film, leaving many viewers with a bad taste in their mouths. As much as I enjoy this movie, that PG-13 rating continues to feel like a restraint for anyone who loves the character and I wish I could live in the parallel universe where Darren Aronofsky actually ended up directing this film. However, the film we did get was very good. (Written by Peter Sciretta)

Deadpool Sequel

5. Deadpool (52 points)

If Deadpool was just a superhero movie with dirty jokes, it would be fine. As far as genre parodies go, this is a good one: it's silly and biting and aware of every trope that the comic book movie genre tends to indulge. It's ready to bite every hand that feeds it. Deadpool is very funny and often hilarious, throwing as many jokes at the wall as possible and hoping most of them stick. Enough of them make it. Ryan Reynolds is a funny guy and the unhinged Wade Wilson is a funny character.

But Deadpool is a cut above your average superhero flick (and one of the best X-Men movies) because there's a big, beating heart at the core of this sick little movie. The relationship between Wade and Morena Baccarin's Vanessa is, against all odds, one of the most well-rounded and realistic in any superhero movie. These two have a chemistry that goes beyond "two attractive people in the same room." They have a great meet-cute, a great (and wonderfully perverse) falling in love montage, and then...they settle into sweet and recognizable domesticity.

So when Deadpool is betrayed by bad guys and director Tim Miller starts staging all kinds of mayhem and ultra-violent action, this tower of absurdity is built upon a foundation of genuine sweetness. The jokes are good and the action is great, but Deadpool is one of the best X-Men movies because it takes the time to slow down and grow a soul. (Written by Jacob Hall)

X-Men Days of Future Past

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past (63 points)

Though this movie is one of the more well-liked movies in the X-Men franchise, I don't think it gets enough credit for doing what studios are desperate to do with each and every one of their popular franchises. X-Men: Days of Future Past is a sequel and a reboot all in one. It brings together the casts of the original X-Men franchise and X-Men: First Class in a spectacular fashion that is driven by a beloved comic book narrative, not just a marketing gimmick.

In the future timeline, we get spectacular action sequences featuring an eclectic array of mutants that includes our old standbys like Wolverine, Storm, Iceman, Professor X and Magneto, all from the original franchise, along with some exciting new mutants such as Blink and Bishop. They're facing Sentinels for the first time, and they're so advanced that the battles between them and the X-Men make for some of the most incredible action that the franchise has ever seen. It also gets pretty dark and it can be hard to watch these signature mutants start getting taken out, one by one.

Meanwhile, the past timeline that Wolverine visits offers a stylish new approach to the X-Men series, with the hip, young mutants from X-Men: First Class trying to stop the event that will inevitably bring about their demise. It's like Back to the Future combined with the X-Men, and while the narrative feels like it should be much more complicated due to time travel and multiple timelines, it moves swiftly, never confuses, and is endlessly entertaining. X-Men: Days of Future Past has everything that an X-Men fan has ever wanted in a movie. (Written by Ethan Anderton)

X-Men First Class

3. X-Men: First Class (67 points)

Despite being set in the early 1960s, X-Men: First Class was the movie that brought the X-Men into the 21st century. The first three films had the burden of being at the vanguard of the superhero wave and thus had to tone down any of the wacky antics that are standard to superhero comics, but First Class shed those burdens and finally gave us a fun, vibrant X-Men film (with finally a little bit of yellow in their costumes!).

The much-needed reboot/prequel injected new energy into the franchise, with younger, less dour versions of the characters we'd come to love, then tolerate, then hate. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are brilliant pieces of casting as the younger versions of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr, whose close friendship and competing philosophies drive the movie's narrative. While they don't overshadow the iconic performances by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, McAvoy and Fassbender are — forgive the pun — positively magnetic together onscreen. Kevin Bacon's scenery-chewing villain doesn't hold a candle to Magneto's anti-villain origin story, and McAvoy and Fassbender are so good that they threaten to steal the scenes from the rest of the cast.

But it wasn't just the fresh faces that made X-Men: First Class a success, it was the zippy direction of Matthew Vaughn (bringing the same stylish, though less violent, flair that he showcased in Kick-Ass) and the fresh idea of setting the film in the '60s.

The film is imperfect, with the ensemble — such as a bubbly, pre-fame Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, a perfectly alright Rose Byrne as Moira and a gangly Nicholas Hoult as Beast — showing chemistry with each other, but struggling to balance the movie's frothy tone with its some of its somber messages. But X-Men: First Class was exciting and new enough that it gave new life to what everyone thought was a dead franchise. (Written by Hoai-Tran Bui)

X2 - X-Men United

2. X2: X-Men United (80 points)

The original X-Men from 2000 had the difficult task of appealing to general audiences who had no idea who these Marvel Comics characters were while also satisfying longtime fans who have been dying to see them on the big screen. With that task out of the way, X2: X-Men United was free to dive deeper into the substance of these mutant characters, beginning with exploring the origins of the mutant who would become the anchor of the entire franchise: Wolverine.

What's great about X2 is that it takes Wolverine's past and ties it into a an even larger story that impacts the entire mutant community. But beyond the story itself, X2 allows fans to see the characters that were introduced in the first movie fleshed out into more than just superheroes. These are characters with complex emotions, complicated pasts, and they act as powerful symbols for anyone who has ever felt like an outcast for whatever reason, whether it's because of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, or anything else.

While X-Men introduced us to the idea of mutants, X2 dug deep to create parallels with issues in society. The fact that it did this by way of a summer blockbuster proved that comic book movies weren't just another way of bringing popcorn action to the big screen. These could be movies with substance, power and a message that resonates with people of every age and touches people from all generations. Outside of the X-Men franchise, it's also one of the most outstanding comic book movies ever made. (Written by Ethan Anderton)

logan new images

1. Logan (84 points)

Is it too soon to declare Logan the best X-Men movie of them all? The paint has barely dried on James Mangold's follow-up to The Wolverine, but one thing is very clear: this is easily the most unique and personal of the ten X-Men movies. It's a film that exists as a snapshot outside of continuity. There's no focus on making sense of the ever-convoluted timeline, just a simple and straightforward story about characters we love finding their endings. The X-Men movies will keep on keeping on, but Logan gives people we love a definitive conclusion. It lets us say goodbye.

But Logan has more going for it than just nostalgia. It knows that we adore Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and Patrick Stewart's Professor X, so it weaponizes that affection and turns it against us. Much like how watching family members age can be a shattering experience, Mangold breaks our hearts again and again. The Wolverine is a shadow of his former self. The Professor has lost control of his mind. These mighty icons are crumbling – they have only their memories and a few shards of their pride.

Bleak and hopeful and political and violent, Logan is a unique beast. There has never been another comic book movie quite like this one. Not every X-Men movie needs to look and feel just like this, but Mangold's work suggests that this particular sandbox that is open to all kinds of interpretations. The days of these movies running together are over. Welcome to a brave and exciting second act. (Written by Jacob Hall)

***

On the last page, you can check out all the individual lists from each of the writers who contributed to this ranking.

Logan - Hugh Jackman

Ethan Anderton

  • Logan
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • X-Men: First Class
  • X-Men
  • Deadpool
  • The Wolverine
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Hoai-Tran Bui

  • Logan
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: First Class
  • Deadpool
  • X-Men
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • The Wolverine
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • X-Men: Apocalypse

David Chen

  • Logan
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • X-Men: First Class
  • The Wolverine
  • X-Men
  • Deadpool
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • Apocalypse
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Deadpool - Ryan Reynolds

Jack Giroux

  • Logan
  • Deadpool
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: First Class
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • The Wolverine
  • X-Men
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Jacob Hall

  • Logan
  • X2: X-Men United
  • The Wolverine
  • Deadpool
  • X-Men: First Class
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • X-Men
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • X-Men: Apocalypse

Devindra Hardawar

  • X2
  • Logan
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • The Wolverine
  • X-Men: First Class
  • X-Men
  • Deadpool
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine

x-men: Apocalypse deleted scene

Ben Pearson

  • X-Men: First Class
  • Logan
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men
  • The Wolverine
  • Deadpool
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Peter Sciretta

  • Logan
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: First Class
  • Deadpool
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • The Wolverine
  • X-Men
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • X-Men: The Last Stand

Christopher Stipp

  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • X-Men: First Class
  • X-Men
  • Logan
  • Deadpool
  • The Wolverine
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • X-Men: The Last Stand