ScreenAge Wasteland Ranks the X-Men Movies

As part of our superhero theme month, ScreenAge Wasteland is proud to present our community’s ranking of the 20th Century Fox X-Men movies.

Seven people (whether is was staff, commenters, or social media followers) took part in sending us their personal rankings of the thirteen X-Men films. We then assigned them points (top spot got 13, last spot got 1) and tallied the scores. In the event that someone hadn’t seen an X-Men film, a multiplier was added to bump that film’s score up to what it would have been if all seven people had seen it.

So embrace your mutant powers and see where each X-Men film placed. And feel free to agree or disagree with where a film ranked in the comments below!

13. The New Mutants (2020) | 11 points

  • Is it ever any good when a movie is continually pushed back? Well, outside of a pandemic that is. An intriguing idea that wasn’t fully developed and in desperate need of character. This felt like it should have been sent straight-to-streaming without any kind of advertisement. – Vincent Kane
  • This could have been a solid entry but it was just so lackluster in the end that I don’t remember much about it at all. – K. Alvarez
  • I think I would have enjoyed this more if I didn’t know this was part of the X-Men franchise. There are some good attempts at horror here, but I kept waiting for everyone to team up and use their powers together. That said, I would have liked to have seen where they would have taken these characters next. – Marmaduke Karlston

12. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) | 16 points

  • This was so bad and forgettable. It wasted so many possibilities and the talent involved. It’s a shame this movie was so damn bad. – Vincent Kane
  • The opening credit sequence is a top 5 X-Men film. Then the rest of the movie happens. Can I have an adamantium bullet to the brain, too? – Jetpack Jesus
  • Unmemorable. – Eric Reck
  • The opening sequence is the only savior here. The rest is hot garbage. – K. Alvarez
  • I’ve seen two versions of this movie. One was the cinematic release in the states, the way studios intended. The other, a Chinese pirated edition that’s the same movie minus about 58% of the special effects (long story). Guess which one was more (intentionally?) funny? – Mitch Roush
  • I didn’t mind this film. It’s definitely one of the worst X-Men (and supehero) films, but I enjoyed watching it. I have this thing where I’ve been told how much a film absolutely sucks that I lower my expections to the absolute lowest they can go. Then I watch the film and am pleasantly surprised by how much it didn’t suck hard. It happened with the Star Wars prequels and it happened with Origins. – Marmaduke Karlston

11. Dark Phoenix (2019) | 18 points

  • A poorly-told version of one of comics’ best-known sagas. – Greg Howley
  • How did they manage to get worse at telling this story? – Jetpack Jesus
  • It’s a movie, they do stuff, but it doesn’t particularly make me care about any of it. – Eric Reck
  • The slightly better version of The Last Stand, but still not good whatsoever. – K. Alvarez
  • Just . . . no. – Mitch Roush

T9. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) | 25 points

  • Perhaps one of the biggest letdowns of the entire franchise seeing how well the new trilogy had been going to this point. First Class and Days of Future Past were so damn good and we were finally getting the big bad of Apocalypse played by the great Oscar Issacs no less. And it completely shit the bed. It had its moments but ultimately was a disappointment. – Vincent Kane
  • It was difficult for me to even finish watching. – Greg Howley
  • What a waste of Oscar Isaac and my time. – Jetpack Jesus
  • They drop the ball here. – Eric Reck
  • Man, how do you get Oscar Isaac in this as the villian and then fuck things up royally after the last two films got this series back on the right track. – K. Alvarez
  • Not as good as we’d hoped. Not nearly as bad as others have claimed. Apocalypse is a bloated, big budget movie that feels more like a monster movie spectacle than it does prestige IP. Nevertheless, Oscar Issac turns it up to 11 and makes zero apologies along the way. In a cinematic universe that carries some truly disappointing titles, it’s unfair to paint this one with the same brush. Give Apocalypse a second chance … it’s mostly alright. – Mitch Roush

T9. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) | 25 points

  • More noise than signal. Too many characters without enough character. – Greg Howley
  • “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch.” That’s all I remember about the movie, other than it sucking. – Jetpack Jesus
  • There is fun to be had here, but I’m not as down on this one as others. The X-men shine may be fading here. – Eric Reck
  • They really should have held out for Singer. Brett Ratner is a hack. – K. Alvarez
  • In the moment, Last Stand didn’t seem that bad. I mean, it was the least impressive of the original trilogy, but it wasn’t notoriously bad. What we have here is a case of time doing what it does best — making the misses feel more pronounced the more we move on. Looking at how comic book flicks would command the zeitgeist, Last Stand just feels a touch sloppy, rushed, and needlessly convoluted 15 years later. But, at least it gave us one pleasant serendipity: Kelsey Grammer’s Beast. – Mitch Roush

8. The Wolverine (2013) | 35 points

  • Completely forgettable. – Greg Howley
  • The final act drags down an otherwise solid movie. – Jetpack Jesus
  • He goes to japan and loses his claws, something no one wanted. – Eric Reck
  • James Mangold did a great job of course correcting things after Origins shit the bed, and even though I’m not the biggest fan of Aronofsky, I really kinda wish we got to see his movie instead. – K. Alvarez
  • I actually liked the movie. At the time, I thought it was the best X-Men film after First Class. It delivered on the action. Sure, the final CGI fight was unnecessary, but it doesn’t take away from the great set pieces that came before it. – Marmaduke Karlston

7. Deadpool 2 (2018) | 49 points

  • While not as groundbreaking as the original, it was likewise excellent. The X-Force sequence was easily the best bit of an all-out well-done movie. – Greg Howley
  • X-Force is how you set up and pay off a gag! – Jetpack Jesus
  • It works, but Deadpool is starting to wear out his welcome. This is the movie that makes me hope he is a side character in his next outing. – Eric Reck
  • Sure it’s not as good as the original but it’s still a damn fine movie if you ask me. I cannot wait to see where they go next. – K. Alvarez
  • Look, it’s a tall order to follow up perfection. Deadpool 2 is wildly fun and everything you’d expect it to be; both of which are complimentary. But, it didn’t quite catch that “lightning in the bottle” component as the first installment. And with the top half of this list being so damn good, everyone’s favorite merc sequel can be great and still not quite top five worthy. – Mitch Roush

6. X-Men (2000) | 58 points

  • At the time, well before the MCU, seeing these characters live on-screen was mind-blowing. The casting for Wolverine, Professor X, and Magneto was outstanding. The casting for Storm and Toad I liked less. – Greg Howley
  • It should be lower on this list, but it’s too damn important. And Storm, a frog “croaks” when it gets struck by lightning. The punchline was right there! BillyMadisonYouBlewIt.gif – Jetpack Jesus
  • May not hold up as well, but it deserves the praise for the time period it came out in. It was pretty “HOLY SHIT!” when it was first released. – Eric Reck
  • The film that started it all. The opening scene is worth the price of admission alone. It’s too bad they skimped out on FX towards the end, but it is still a really good movie. – K. Alvarez
  • The godfather of 21st Century comic book movies. Still holds-up; still incredibly rewatchable. I’m thinking back to catching it in cinemas for the first time and remembering how marvelous it was to see Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan anchoring the infamous characters. It remains some of the best casting the genre has seen. – Mitch Roush

5. X-Men: First Class (2011) | 59 points

  • Bordering on forgettable aside from Kevin Bacon’s villain and Emma Frost. – Greg Howley
  • Fassbender does some great stuff as a young Magneto. – Eric Reck
  • A really solid reboot of the films with a great cast. It showed a lot of promise of what was to come. – K. Alvarez
  • Is kinetic star power enough to make a movie good? First Class may be a case study that proves yes. Sure, much of the dialogue is heavy-handed and paint-by-numbers, but the collective energy of McAvoy, Fassbinder, Lawrence, and Jones seals the deal regardless. Homage to the retro threads didn’t hurt either. This one delivers the goods more than it doesn’t. – Mitch Roush
  • I’m more of a prequel fan than an original trilogy fan when it comes to the X-Men. First Class is better than anything Singer ever directed. I would have loved to have seen Matthew Vaughn take over as the creative force behind the X-Men. We would have definitely ended up with a much better prequel quadrilogy than the one we got. – Marmaduke Karlston

T3. X2: X-Men United (2003) | 64 points

  • For a long time, this was heralded as the best comic book movie ever, because of how it introduced and balanced so many characters. Digging into Logan’s mysterious past while giving us a solid villain in Brian Cox’s Stryker. The opening scene with Nightcrawler’s assault on the White House is one of the best scenes in superhero movie history. – Vincent Kane
  • Nightcrawler was excellently done, and Wolverine’s backstory was told well. – Greg Howley
  • Still great today, and it was proof that modern superhero sequels can work. The Nightcrawler sequence in the White House is an all-timer. – Jetpack Jesus
  • It is not as killer as the first film, but there are still some solid scenes with the characters. I love Magneto and Charles here. – Eric Reck
  • Nightcrawler was the greatest addition to the cast in this film. X2 does all it can to improve the set up from the first film. – K. Alvarez
  • This flick, for being widely beloved, still feels like it’s under-acknowledged. A sequel with incredible momentum, bold story, and rising stakes. It earns our buy-in and delivers grade-A entertainment. X2 is a top 10 comic book movie, full stop. – Mitch Roush

T3. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) | 64 points

  • Seeing both casts together in a way that worked for a film was amazing. I loved the special effects, the use of powers, and the desperation of the fight against the sentinels. Also, the film includes the best speedster scene ever put on film. – Greg Howley
  • LOL @ continuity. But they did a surprisingly good job of combining the two casts, and the movie was fun despite being really dumb. Why can Kitty Pride send someone’s mind back in time? – Jetpack Jesus
  • It had about everything I wanted in an X-Men film. What a toy box of action. – Eric Reck
  • A great way to mix the old and the new casts without being too ridiculous and a solid follow up to First Class. – K. Alvarez
  • Remember that episode of Seinfeld where everyone in the free-thinking world fell in love with The English Patient except Elaine? That’s me with Days of Future Past. I simply cannot figure out why everyone else vaults this one into top tier status. – Mitch Roush
  • I love time travel, but I love film continuity more. The X-Men franchise has been riddled with continuity errors since 2009, but Days of Future Past sort of fixed most of them while providing fans with at least one good adaptation of an X-Men comics storyline. – Marmaduke Karlston

2. Deadpool (2016) | 68 points

  • I had never imagined that anyone could portray this character so perfectly. Ryan Reynolds embodied the smartass badass better than anyone else could have. – Greg Howley
  • This movie is a good villain away from perfection. Being that it was so hard to get this movie made is probably a big clue why Fox has bungled this franchise so frequently. – Jetpack Jesus
  • A great, simple film that executes its premise well. Fully embraces the character. – Eric Reck
  • Ryan Reynolds owns this role big time. Everything about it is just fun and on the nose. – K. Alvarez 
  • Still waiting on a formal apology from The Academy for leaving this one out of the Best Picture field. I mean, tell me the deliciously unrefined Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth wasn’t at least as good as Hacksaw Ridge. Justice for Deadpool! – Mitch Roush

1. Logan (2017) | 72 points

  • Every now and then we are reminded that superhero movies can be a damn fine movie first that just happens to have some superhero elements sprinkled in. Hugh Jackman gives his best performance in his last ride as Wolverine. Logan is in the upper echelon of all superhero movies. – Vincent Kane
  • I am far less a fan of the gritty failing heroes than other viewers seem to be. – Greg Howley
  • I am a sucker for a post-apocalyptic setting. – Eric Reck
  • The best of the three Wolverine movies hands down and just an all around great movie. – K. Alvarez
  • James Mangold is the Ron Howard of mainstream “dad flicks”. Of course, Logan is likely his best work to date. But, true to form, it is still not as deep or poignantly creative as it could have been. Logan is somehow both fantastic and disappointing. – Mitch Roush
  • Logan offers us something Endgame never achieved: a rough and honest look at what happens when a superhero has lost almost everything he once held dear. The dinner conversation between Logan, Professor X, and the family is one of my favorite movie moments. – Marmaduke Karlston

Logan and Deadpool took the top two spots proving that the best thing to happen to the X-Men franchise in its later run was to go R-rated. There was also a lot of love for the original trilogy, but not enough to save The Last Stand from the bottom tier.

Thank you to everyone who participated in SAW’s fourth community ranking!

How does your ranking of the X-Men franchise look? Share your ranking in the comments below!