We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 comic book movies from 1990-2000. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. Batman Returns (1992) 81% at Rotten Tomatoes
Batman movies prior to 2005’s Batman Begins were mostly shit. This is the one exception, in which we see the caped crusader battle Catwoman and Penguin in a dark Gotham that reflects the comic books of the time. The prequel is a Prince music video, and the sequels are neon-lit garbage.
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito
9. Mystery Men (1999) 60% at Rotten Tomatoes
Captain Amazing usually keeps Champion City safe, but he’s losing corporate sponsors for being too good at his job. He releases villainous Casanova Frankenstein to fix things, but he’s captured, and it’s up to a ragtag group of wannabe heroes to save (although they actually kill) him.
Director: Kinka Usher
Starring: Janeane Garofalo, William H. Macy, Ben Stiller
8. Blade (1998) 54% at Rotten Tomatoes
Blade is a human/vampire hybrid whose only goal is to exterminate all vampires. One in particular, Deacon Frost, is hellbent on warring with the humans, even overthrowing the vampire elders. It’s up to Blade to stop them and save humankind once and for all (until the next sequel).
Director: Stephen Norrington
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Dorff
7. The Rocketeer (1991) 62% at Rotten Tomatoes
A poor man’s Iron Man, pilot Cliff Secord discovers a rocket pack stolen from Howard Hughes in the 1930s. Soon he’s fighting Nazis and gangsters in order to save both his girlfriend and the country from a certain demise. It’s a feelgood period film with a comic book twist.
Director: Joe Johnston
Starring: Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin
6. Dick Tracy (1993) 64% at Rotten Tomatoes
Ruthless crime boss Big Boy Caprice is violently taking over the city, and it’s up to detective Dick Tracy to stop him. Donning a smartwatch decades before the rest of us, he fights through the ugly mob, saves his girlfriend Tess, and confronts Big Boy.
Director: Warren Beatty
Starring: Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Madonna
5. Spawn (1997) 18% at Rotten Tomatoes
Assassin Al Simmons is double-crossed and murdered by his boss, sending him straight to hell where he makes a deal with the devil to return. Now a Spawn of hell, he seeks vengeance on his former boss while also facing off against a demonic clown.
Director: Mark A.Z. Dippe
Starring: Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, Theresa Randle
4. The Crow (1994) 82% at Rotten Tomatoes
A guitarist comes home to find his girlfriend being raped by a gang. He’s stabbed, shot, and thrown out a window to his death. When a crow brings him back to life, he has supernatural powers and seeks vengeance on the criminals who destroyed his life.
Director: Alex Proyas
Starring: Brandon Lee, Michael Wincott, Rochelle Davis
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 40% at Rotten Tomatoes
Four turtles mutate into ninja badasses who live in the sewers, love pizza, and are guided by a wise rat named Splinter. Reporter April O’Neil discovers them while researching the Foot clan, and vigilante Casey Jones joins them in fighting The Shredder and his evil minions.
Director: Steve Barron
Starring: Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas, Josh Pais
2. Men in Black (1997) 92% at Rotten Tomatoes
We all know there’s a secret government agency hiding the facts of the world from us. NYPD officer James Edwards is recruited by them and learns there are aliens hiding among us. Soon he’s joining agent K in protecting the planet from an infestation of intergalactic bugs looking to annihilate all humans (and the universe).
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Fiorentino
1. The Mask (1994) 77% at Rotten Tomatoes
Happless bank clerk Stanly Ipkiss can’t catch a break until he finds a mysterious mask of Loki’s that turns him into a green man with super powers. This is the role Carrey was born to play, and the movie jumpstarted Diaz’s career. It’s easily the best comic book movie of the 1990s.
Director: Chuck Russell
Starring: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Greene