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The Most Un-Super Superhero Movies of All Time

There are many, many excellent superhero movies! Just look at Black Panther, which was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award, or the original Superman movies, which cemented Christopher Reeve as a cinematic icon. Yes, many directors have spoken out over the years to decry the prevalence of superhero flicks and ponder if they’re really cinema or not, but most of them are good. We promise.

Well, except for these. Ahead, we’ve ranked the 10 worst superhero movies from frivolous trash to inexplicable garbage dump.

10. Batman and Robin (1997)

George Clooney as Batman and Chris O'Donnell as Robin in Batman and Robin
(Warner Bros.)

For a while, Batman and Robin was considered to be the absolute lowest a superhero film could ever go. The Batsuit had nipples on it, for god’s sake! And yet … time has actually been quite kind to this movie. It’ll never make any lists of underrated classics, but many folks find charm in its campiness and endless terrible puns. If that’s you, congratulations! Go kick some ice!

9. Howard the Duck (1986)

The animatronic Howard and Lea Thompson in Howard the Duck

Back in 1986, the technology really wasn’t there to bring Howard the Duck to the big screen. But honestly, the creepy movements of the titular character aren’t any more distracting than the tremendously unfunny script. Lea Thompson is on record as saying that the movie dogged (ducked?) her career for ages, and even though Howard has had a couple of cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since then, there is no way he’s gonna be allowed to take center stage again.

8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2
(Sony Pictures)

Absolutely nothing about The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s failure was the fault of Andrew Garfield or Emma Stone, both of whom were wonderful as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. The film’s problems had more to do with the lack of fidelity to the original comic characters and their stories, the awful take on the Green Goblin, and the ending that dragged it down. While killing Gwen was a shocking plot twist back in 1973, recreating it in the modern day just makes us think, “Fridging a woman for the sake of a man’s story? Groundbreaking.”

7. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

Sean Connery as Allan Quatermain in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
(20th Century Fox)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen went down in history as “the movie so bad it made Sean Connery retire from acting.” The former James Bond apparently hated the whole experience of playing Allan Quatermain and, well, whatever he went through on set clearly wasn’t worth it. Apparently there might be another attempt at a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen franchise soon, and even if it also turns out to be awful, it can’t possibly be worse than this one.

6. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2011)

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
(20th Century Fox)

The failure of X-Men Origins: Wolverine can be summed up in one word: Deadpool. Because the guy Ryan Reynolds plays in this movie … well, that ain’t Deadpool. While Fakepool was the main thing fans directed their ire at, the script is borderline nonsensical and the story equally forgettable. Still, at least we did eventually get a very good Deadpool movie out of it—two of them in fact, and at least one more to come.

5. Fantastic Four (2015)

Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm, Michael B Jordan as Johnny Storm, Miles Teller as Reed Richards and Kate Mara as Sue Storm in Fantastic Four (2015)
(20th Century Fox)

Say what you will about the original Fantastic Four movies, but at least they were fun. This movie was not. The behind-the-scenes drama is now legendary and the finished product remains the lowest-rated Marvel superhero film on Rotten Tomatoes. Tommy Wiseau once praised the movie and suggested himself to direct a sequel, which tells you pretty much all you need to know.

4. Green Lantern (2011)

Blake Lively as Carol Ferris and Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan in Green Lantern
(Warner Bros.)

Not even Ryan Reynolds and his endless charisma could save this green-hued fever dream of a movie. There’s even a joke at the end of Deadpool 2 where Deadpool goes back in time and shoots Reynolds before he can sign onto Green Lantern, then turns to the camera and says, “You’re welcome, Canada.” That said, Reynolds did mellow towards his most infamous movie eventually, writing on Twitter in 2021, “Hundreds of incredible crew and cast members did amazing work—and while it’s not perfect, it ain’t a tragedy.” Plenty would disagree, however.

3. Hellboy (2019)

David Harbour as Hellboy and Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio in 'Hellboy'
(Summit Entertainment)

The Hellboy reboot caused alarms to go off right from the start. To begin with, there was the whitewashing controversy surrounding the character of Major Ben Daimio; an early indication that very little care was being taken with the movie. And when Hellboy hit cinemas, it was clear that the whole enterprise was just a sloppy attempt to capitalize on everyone’s fond memories of the original comics and the iconic Guillermo del Toro films. Oh, and there’s yet another reboot coming soon, starring Jack Kesy as the title character. Please say everyone involved has learned at least one lesson in the past four years.

2. Catwoman (2004)

Halle Berry as Catwoman in Catwoman
(Warner Bros.)

Poor Halle Berry. She was fresh off an Oscar win and one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood when she decided to sign on for Catwoman, and the result? She ended up one whisker away from cat-astrophe. But, unlike most actors, Berry turned up to collect her Razzie award for the movie in person and told the world, “First of all, I want to thank Warner Bros. for putting me in a piece-of-shit, godawful movie. It was just what my career needed! I was at the top, and then Catwoman just plummeted me to the bottom.”

1. Morbius (2022)

Jared Leto as the title character in 'Morbius'
(Sony Pictures)

Morbius is a movie so gloriously, fantastically, jaw-droppingly bad that it broke the internet and at least a handful of studio executives. Jared Leto being turned into a vampire by magic bat science or whatever was so ruthlessly memed that Sony Pictures tried to take advantage of the engagement and put it back in cinemas—only for it to fail again. No more Morbing from Morbius. He’s done.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios / Warner Bros. / Sony Pictures / The Mary Sue)

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Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer and fake geek girl. She has an unreliable brain but boundless, occasionally misplaced enthusiasm.