5. “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

4. “Wonder Woman”

3. “Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets”

2. “Thor: Ragnarok”

1. “Logan”

Step 1: Make Peter Parker really funny. Really, really funny because Iron Man, Star Lord and now Thor are pretty funny, so shoot high, maybe give him a talking suit. Some of the fans value the quips more than the flips or the thwips—or that whole power and responsibility hook.


Step 2: Cast Michael Keaton as the villain. Complete the journey from Batman to Birdman to The Vulture. Create a villain who viewers can empathize with because of his situation, but make him utterly ruthless when it comes to protecting his own, so that his a compelling threat.


Step 3: Make Iron Man 3.5. Robert Downey Jr won't actually make a fourth Iron Man, but if we get Jon Favreau to return as Happy, then we just need Tony Stark for a few mentorship scenes to give fans their fix.


For the first time since 2004, the overwhelming majority of audiences walked out of the theater eager for the next Spider-Man movie, and that is what really matters.

The movie made fans cheer, weep with happiness and immediately question how DC hadn't green lit a sequel ahead of release or even secured Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins for said sequel. Wonder Woman's big screen debut was nothing short of dynamic and engaging. Gal Gadot stole her scenes in “Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League” and owns every frame of her solo outing. She is the lynchpin of DC's cinematic universe going forward.


Far too many heroes beat Wonder Woman to the silver screen due to Warner Bros' waffling, but at least the wait was worth it. Gadot, plus Chris Pine and an excellent supporting cast, fantastic direction from Jenkins and stunning cinematography gave fans a film that is beautiful and exciting and adventurous and fun and heartbreaking and heroic and everything that a superhero film should be.

With this dazzling visual spectacular, Luc Besson brings to life the groundbreaking French comic by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières that captivated him as a youth, and that led him (assisted by visuals from Mézières and Mœbius) to create “The Fifth Element.” Melding the original series' visuals with his own vivid imagination, Besson creates opulent otherworldly environments and light-hearted,  fast-paced action sequences as our heroes uncover a secret that has been scrubbed for history.


The film is immersive from the opening sequence depicting the origins of the titular city while David Bowie's “Space Oddity” plays. The nations of Earth, and later beings from other planets, come together in a massive, ever-expanding space station for shared benefit is arresting, and feels especially poignant at a time when the real world seems so divided.


Cara Delevingne is captivating as the intelligent and impulsive Laureine, and Dane DeHaan channels his inner Keanu as Valerian, a braggadocious, but the by-the-book rogue. Their chemistry can't always meet the script's demand, as Besson's fanboy takes over and he writes to where the characters ultimately land, rather than where they currently are. Rihanna is surprisingly strong in her role, and the eclectic cast, including Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke (doing his best Dennis Hopper), John Goodman and Herbie Hancock mirror the City's and the movie's barrage of diverse elements.

This was not just the best comicbook movie, but one of the best overall films this year. James Mangold put together the most satisfying film of his career. From cinematography to writing to pacing, this movie pulls together all of the writer/director's strengths into a compelling character study.


Hugh Jackman gave his truest, most complicated Wolverine performance. He said he was walking away from the character before audiences grew tired of him, and he left everyone wanting so much more. Daphne Keen made an unforgettable debut as X-23, violent and endearing and utterly captivating. One can only hope that Disney-controlled Fox will still allow Mangold to film his planned follow-up with the character. Patrick Stewart surpassed Jackman in finding even more depth in a character he has played over numerous films. If this was anything other than a superhero film, he wold be amassing Best Supporting Actor award nominations from every major body for his heartbreaking portrayal of a once-great man in decline.


In genetics, diversity is essential for a species' long-term survival. In art, it is much the same. With the deluge of comicbook-inspired film and television projects, it is essential that the scope of superheroic fare be broadened, and for artists to be unafraid to experiment with the form. A film like this, that is essentially a Western with a few fast-paced superhuman action sequences, shows what comicbook films can be, and how they can break out of the cookie cutter mold to extend the genre's cinematic life.

The famously-controlling Marvel made a bold move to take a step back and trusted Taika Waititi to take Thor in a new direction and to include some of his signature touches throughout the film. Audiences got a Thor film unlike either of the two prior films and responded by making this the highest-grossing installment.


Despite directly lifting elements from Walt Simonson's iconic run and the Planet Hulk story, the lighter tone threw off some dedicated fans. While the film is much more comedic than most Thor comics, Marvel's series is, at its core, a family drama of two sons trying to prove themselves worthy of succeeding their renowned father. No matter the setting, no matter how much banter is being tossed around, no matter what music is playing, Thor and Loki's relationship as they deal with the loss of their father, their own oft-conflicting impulses and their battle to take back Asgard from Hela speak to the heart of the Thor mythology, and made a highly enjoyable movie.