TNC has a few thoughts on X-Men, which came out 10 years ago. It truly does demarcate the modern, mostly good comic book movie genre from the dark days of the almost universally terrible (and less frequently made) 1990’s comic book movies. I don’t advise you to do so, but if you go back and watch the two Batman movies from the mid 90’s, they really are wretched. Whereas the post X-Men world gave us X2, Spiderman 1 and 2, Sin City, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I of course left out some bad ones, but that happens in any genre.
So what made the difference? Of course, advances in CGI helped. But even more important is the difference in tone. The cheesiness of costumes and character personalities has mostly been replaced by a more realistic representation of actual people. And X-Men really did start this trend, and we are better off for it. In honor of this, a quick ranking (in order):
The Dark Knight
Movies not worth ranking include Spiderman 3, X-Men 3, The Watchmen, and probably many many others I haven’t seen.