Superhero flicks that have nothing to do with Batman

Marvel and DC movies are great and all, but here’s a list for when you want to leave before the end credits.

So it’s a Friday night and you’re itching to watch a movie, but not just any one film: you want a superhero flick. You look at the recommended list from Amazon Prime and find yourself tired with Marvel and DC and their respective, expansive universes. Maybe just for once you want a superhero flick that actually ENDS, rather than teasing its sequel. Here are a few movies that exist outside of the bounds of Marvel and DC for the next time you’re in the market for a store-brand superhero.

courtesy 20th Century Fox

What would happen if real, normal teens, were given superpowers? That’s what “Chronicle” asks, then answers. A low budget film, “Chronicle” is the most creative found-footage feature since “Cloverfield,” and while the film’s end goes a little off the rails and is a little too on the nose, the joy of “Chronicle” in the first hour is exhilarating. The movie eeks charisma due in large part to the genius casting of Michael B. Jordan way before his “Creed” and “Black Panther” fame It’s original, savvy and well worth the watch.

courtesy Universal Studios

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World:
Scott Pilgrim is a trashbag twenty-something who is dating a high-schooler; that is, until he meets Ramona Flowers. The epitome of a manic pixie dream girl, Ramona has a string of exes long enough to form an evil league. Hilarity ensues. Funny and original, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” earns its keep as a cult classic and serves as a lasting love letter to video games.

Okay, okay, this one is me cheating, since “Watchmen” is technically based off the limited run DC comic by the same name. But since it doesn’t leave much room for sequels, there’s no worries of the company running the film into the ground with merchandise and advertising. Closely following the incredible source text, “Watchmen” is bleak and gritty, a noir of a superhero film. That is, if there are any heroes to really be found there.

The Incredibles:
Quite possibly one of the best animated films ever, “The Incredibles” is not just an action packed, plot driven adventure. It’s also a family drama. The genius of the movie is the balancing act of both. I’m sure you’ve seen it before and let me tell you, it’s well worth the re-watch. And if you haven’t ever seen “The Incredibles,” for the love of all that is holy, go watch it.

courtesy Walt Disney Pictures

Sky High:
Campy and fun, with a surprisingly good sense of humor, “Sky High” is one of those movies that you watch as a kid and think is pretty good, then see it again as an adult and realize that it was indeed pretty good. With a tight cast and a knowledge of comic tropes, “Sky High” pokes fun at the classic superhero film in the most loving of ways.

I know M. Night. Shyamalan is a polarizing director, but “Unbreakable” is undoubtedly one of his best. The film follows David Dunn, played by Bruce Willis, who makes an astonishing discovery about himself after surviving a brutal train crash. Featuring Samuel L. Jackson as the memorable Elijah Price, “Unbreakable” is a lovely little film with some killer plot twists.

courtesy Warner Bros

The Iron Giant:
I’m a sucker for a good ending and “The Iron Giant” has a perfect one. The second Brad Bird film on this list (the first one being “The Incredibles”), the film follows Hogarth Hughes, a fully average kid living during the Cold War, who one day meets a giant metal robot. Beautifully animated, “The Iron Giant” really gets at some of those heavy hitting questions and has a masterful thesis statement in what it really means to be a hero.

Post Author: Emma Palmer