Of all the different film genres out there, superhero films set themselves apart by telling uniquely compelling, fantastic, yet relatable stories. Each one is about the desire of one or more heroes to rise above the everyday problems we face; their struggles are just taken to the extreme.
If you have Netflix and some time to kill, there are some awesome superhero movies to watch. We’ve handpicked five of Netflix’s best superhero films for you to enjoy.
Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron
Our first selection is admittedly two separate films, but it seemed appropriate to list them together. The first Avengers movie was excellent. Combining a substantial cast of heroes with a well-written script produced a film that was both intellectually entertaining and packed with action to satisfy all.
The second installment to the Avengers, Age of Ultron was also well received, featuring a return of the first cast as well as the addition of new heroes and villains. In Age of Ultron, Tony Stark creates a peacekeeping program called Ultron, but the program is compromised, and our heroes must stop it before it eliminates humankind.
Either film is worth seeing, but if you haven’t seen the first Avengers film, it should definitely come before the sequel. For that matter, the superhero films leading up to the Avengers are also worth seeing.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
As the second installment to the Captain America franchise, The Winter Soldier takes the story and expands it tremendously. Steve Rogers is adjusting to the modern world and now works for S.H.I.E.L.D. He learns Hydra has infiltrated the organization, creating chaos so people will sacrifice freedom for security. The Helicarriers that were meant to provide said security are actually being used for global surveillance and to target threats to Hydra. Cap must fight the Winter Soldier to stop their mission.
Captain America films offer a different kind of appeal. Unlike fantastical heroes such as Hulk, Captain America has little in the way of superpowers. His opponents are likewise less over-the-top, leaving considerably more room for intrigue with a reduced focus on explosive theatrics.
The first Captain America film is also listed on Netflix if you’re interested.
Speaking of intellectual superhero films, if your interests lie more in the realm of black comedy, then Super is a perfect fit. Similar to Kick Ass, Super is all about a superhero without any special powers. Unlike Captain America, that means none at all: no super strength, fast healing, special intelligence and no unlimited funding in the way you might see Ironman or Batman.
Instead, we follow Frank, who later becomes the Crimson Bolt, as he sets off on a mission to beat up criminals and save his wife, Sarah. The film explores the more violent aspect of being a superhero, which is often glorified and even overlooked in mainstream DC or Marvel films. Remember, those batarangs have razor-sharp edges; they don’t tickle.
On the front of superheroes that are different, we have Hellboy. Generally speaking, superheroes tend to be humans or aliens that are somehow endowed with incredible powers. Hellboy, contrarily, is actually the son Azzael, one of hell’s dukes. Basically he’s a demon child summoned to Earth by Nazis and later becomes a superhero.
All of that backstory actually makes for a pretty interesting hero. Hellboy steps away from the conventional by being a force for good that is most certainly not the picture of a smiling, broad-shouldered man wearing his underwear on the outside. Hellboy is rough, tough and ready for action.
Naturally, there’s a human side to the story. Hellboy still has a considerable human element that is explored throughout the film, not at the expense of action though. This is one movie that has no shortage of crude humor and explosive excitement.
Guardians of the Galaxy
My initial impression of Guardians of the Galaxy was somewhat quizzical. In what way does a raccoon fit into the superhero genre? Yet just a few minutes into the film, that thought is completely abolished by the unabashed appreciation for just how incredible a job the director, actor and CGI team did in putting together the character Rocket the Raccoon.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a mixture of childish and witty humor jam-packed with alien action and intrigue. Peter Quill, also known as Starlord, is the film’s human element that helps us understand what’s going on. He shares the audience’s foreign element and gives the film a way to introduce ideas and concepts that native characters would be all too familiar with.
Without too much hesitation, I can personally say Guardians was my favorite of the bunch. Don’t take my word for it; check it out yourself.
As you can see, Netflix has no shortage of superhero films. If all these live-action films aren’t exactly your cup of tea, don’t forget Netflix also hosts quite a variety of animated superhero films, such as Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
Just be sure to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing the films so you don’t end up like Batman with your information compromised. This guide from Secure Thoughts will also show you how to use a VPN to circumvent any geo-blocking restrictions if the films are not available on Netflix in your country.
Another excellent franchise to consider is Spiderman, both the 2002 version and the newer franchise, The Amazing Spiderman. While they don’t meet my personal top five, they’re definitely still worth seeing.
What about you? What superhero films do you think are worth watching on Netflix?
About the Author: Isa has been a fan of superheroes since she was a little girl. Since then superhero films have really taken off! When she’s not watching films, she’s writing about internet security or popular culture. Visit CultureCoverage.com to read more of her work.