Superhero movies tend to be big-budget, special effects-laden affairs that emphasize spectacle over substance. That isn’t to say that there haven’t been some thoughtful movies made in this genre, it’s just to state the obvious: That superhero movies aren’t usually made with the Oscars in mind, but for comic book fans who will flock to theaters to watch their favorite characters come to life on the big-screen. For this reason, it’s worth asking just how important critical reviews are to superhero genre films.
On the other hand, whether you agree with their opinions or not, film critics are still going to review superhero movies, and sometimes it can be fascinating to read why one particular superhero movie is reviled while another is praised. So without further ado, here are 10 superhero movies that were generally loathed by the critics.
We should note that only mainstream Hollywood superhero movies are included in this list, so don’t expect to see any low-budget knockoffs like Three Giant Men (aka: 3 Dev Adam, aka: Turkish Spider-Man). Movies are ordered by their Rotten Tomatoes ratings, from highest (best) to lowest (worst).
10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) (tied with Fantastic Four)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 27%
Depending on who you ask, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was either a good superhero film with a few flaws or an almost unwatchable disaster that nearly derailed Warner Bros.’ plans for a cinematic DC Extended Universe. However, as with many things, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. Despite being savaged by most film critics, Batman v Superman had the fourth-largest worldwide opening of any movie ever, with global box office receipts of over $422 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
On the other hand, let’s face it: Batman v Superman was a slog to watch, no matter how cool Batman looks in his nifty armor with the light-up eye holes. And as noted in our own review of the film, Batman v Superman seemed more interested in setting up the burgeoning DC Extended Universe than it did in building its own main characters or delivering a comprehensible storyline. Here’s hoping this year’s Wonder Woman will be the movie that finally delivers for DC fans.