As the Avengers finally assemble, bringing the biggest superhero movie yet to the big screen, we have to ask: Of all these darn superhero movies, which ones are the best? Luckily, we can also answer that question we just asked ourselves. Let the debate commence!
10) THE SHADOW (1994)
A lot of movies could’ve taken this spot on the list, but for the sake of mixing things up, I’m going with this oft-dismissed adaptation of the classic radio / pulp / comics hero (many will argue he’s not a superhero, but he fits the criteria). Director Russell Mulcahy crafted a moody, stylish art-deco period piece and the story (in which the Shadow battles the would-be world conqueror Shiwan Khan, nicely played by John Lone with a fantastically over-the-top Tim Curry as one of his minions) displays a deft balance of old-school melodrama and humor. The film’s considered a campy trifle by many fans of the character, but its real problem—and it’s a big one—is a horribly miscast lead; the smart alecky Alec Baldwin is incapable of conveying the kind of chilling dominion personified by Orson Welles in the 1930s radio show. If “The Shadow” featured a more fitting star (imagine Daniel Day-Lewis or Rutger Hauer), it would probably be held in higher regard.