Dateline Movies Countdown: Ranking All of 2016's Superhero Movies!

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Not so long ago, audiences everywhere were excited to see the six latest superhero features that were then to be released last 2016. From seeing heroes battle each other, to having villains join forces, and a certain "Merc With a Mouth" finally getting a big screen adventure, 2016 was absolutely going to be one heck of a roller coaster ride. Unfortunately, well, let us just say that most of them did not meet certain expectations. While some of these flicks were great, some of them left a bad impression. For Dateline Movies' latest countdown, we rank all of the theatrically released superhero movies shown previously, based on how good they were, and how much these movies lived-up to their respective hype.
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7. X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27, 2016)


Oh X-Men: Apocalypse, you could have been so much more than just an average superhero team-up blockbuster. But instead, you were just a simple, straightforward and cliched big-budget misfire that rehashes every single X-Men film trope, including the concept of Mutant discrimination, and of course, Magneto's indecisive leash on life. Mix all of these up with a thinly written roster of main characters, an all-too familiar primary antagonist, a huge mistake with making Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique the team leader, as in the comics, she was never a leader for the team despite joining their ranks form time-to-time, and an accidental and ironic foreshadowing in the form of one of Lana Candor's Jubilee's dialogue ("At least we can all agree that the third one is always the worst"), and you get a potential catalyst for a soft(er) reboot. Despite having awesome performances, an even better Quicksilver-centric scene than the one we saw in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and endless story possibilities, X-Men: Apocalypse nevertheless failed to be a worthy installment in the once great film series, and ended-up as, in our opinion, least favorite superhero movies of 2016. Oh well, let us hope that Logan and Deadpool 2 can save the franchise.


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6. Batman: The Killing Joke (July 25, 2016)


Now wait a just a second here. Did you guys not just say that this list is for "theatrically released features"? So why is Batman: The Killing Joke here, even though it is a straight-to-video animated flick, similar to Justice League vs. Teen Titans? To be frank, this once highly anticipated was shown for a single night select theaters, unlike Justice League vs. Teen Titans, so basically, Batman: The Killing Joke is a "theatrically released feature". Also, we are aiming to make seven entries as usual.Neither me nor Dad has watched the movie yet, but from what we have heard from a lot of clearly disappointed and upset fans, we can say that this movie was a bitter pill to swallow. The film had all of the elements that could have made this a thrillingly spectacular movie viewing experience. Have Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise their respective roles as Batman and the Joker? Check. Find a a fairly controversial and popular source material to adapt? Done. Secure an R-Rating to keep moviegoers intrigued and to show everyone that the movie is going to be gritty? You got it! Unfortunately, even though Batman: The Killing Joke is full of promise, the movie falls flat on its face within the first few minutes. From a noticeable lack of the Joker's presence in more than half of the movie, to a thirty-minute disjointed introductory story, with a completely unnecessarily bad twist revealing that Batman and Batgirl's relationship is not only close, but also very, very "physically intimate", Batman: The Killing Joke squandered all of the animating and voice talents that they have on a  terribly fan-fictionalized version of one of the most high-profile comicbook stories in history. However, the movie is not at all parts horrible, as people do say that the best bits of the film include the voice cast and the second half's reliance on the source material.


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5. Suicide Squad (August 5, 2016)


2016 was a very rough year for the DC Extended Universe, as both of the franchise's installments failed in both terms of box office and critical reception, and what makes the outcomes of the two films much more controversial is the franchise's rabid fanbase, with their most die-hard members going through great lengths to force people into liking the movies. The DCEU's attempt at a less serious entry, Suicide Squad, in order to recuperate from the losses endured from the release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, did not fare any better. While critics and moviegoers were glad to see some much needed humor injected onto the film series, accompanied by finely tuned performances from Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Viola Davis, Jay Hernandez, and surprisingly, Jai Courtney, and an original soundtrack that more or less captures the film's villainous tone, Suicide Squad suffers from an obviously rushed screenplay, complete with choppy editing and direction, and yet another cliche-riddled main antagonist. Jared Leto's performance as The Joker was somewhat okay, but was overall butchered on the cutting room floor, as all of his method acting effort goes down the drain after only appearing for a handful of scenes in the movie. With that said, we still believe that there is a chance that the DCEU can still become better. And besides, Suicide Squad was not all bad, as it still has its memorable moments. Hey, the Marvel Cinematic Universe started out a little rough too. And speaking of Batman v. Superman...


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4. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25, 2016)


... The crossover that everyone has been waiting for, the battle between two of DC Comics's legendary superheroes, crushed a lot of audience members' spirits. While Ben Affleck's spin on the Caped Crusader, as well as Gal Gadot's take on the one and only Wonder Woman and Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL's brilliant scores, were widely praised by a whole chunk of people, Dawn of Justice's humorless tone, rushed and anticlimactic final battle, and forced inclusions of other yet-to-be introduced characters, plus Jesse Eisenberg's bizarre portrayal of Superman's arch-nemesis Lex Luthor, were highly lambasted by a lot of moviegoers. Okay, we can say that the movie sure did miss a lot of notes, but actually, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is getting way too much hate than it deserves. While Suicide Squad had the typical electrifying energy that most superhero movies have nowadays, Dawn of Justice showed a darker take on the usual capes-and-masks outing. The movie, although unpolished in terms of story and direction, tried to tackle some more though-provoking themes, and if it were not for the performances, and some amazing potential story directions, Dawn of Justice would have really failed as a movie, but it did not. But I will admit, that infamous "Martha" scene and the Doomsday battle, were unspeakably poorly executed.


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3. Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016)


Fourteen installments and counting, the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to grow into a vast and wide world, and enter particularly interesting creative directions. When Doctor Strange was first announced as being an official entry in the film series, I was, at first, not that excited. It was either my then lack of knowledge pertaining to the character's comicbook roots or my then insufficiency of interest to the title superhero that prevented me initially from being excited. However, with a cast composing of Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetal Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton and Rachel McAdams, and a director, Scott Derrickson, famous for his work on horror movies such as Sinister, there is no reason to not be excited, as this could look like Marvel's first step into the world of magical dread. Once I saw the movie with my Suicide Squad-mates (You know, our little "Gang of Friend"), we watched in awe at the astounding visuals, beheld in wonder at the charismatic performances, and laughed in amazement at the movie's infectious humor, but while I did the enjoy the movie, I was baffled in bewilderment at the overabundance of superhero origin story cliches. The film is good, no doubt, but I was somewhat disappointed at the obvious lack of story innovations. I would really a free with some moviegoers that Doctor Strange is just like the bombed Ryan Reynolds-starred Green Lantern flick, only better. In the end, I decided to overlook these storytelling faults, because seriously, it is way better than changing what has already been established in the comicbook movies. Now, who is ready to see Benedict Cumberbatch return in Thor: Ragnarok?



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2. Deadpool (February 14, 2016)


To the many readers who have been visiting Dateline Movies ever since our very first post, you might remember that during our sophomore year, we inserted Deadpool in some of our certain posts. This was so because back then, I thought that it would be a good idea to break the fourth wall in a blog post, until it sort-of messed-up some of the other articles' writing quality (Baby steps guys, I was not that engrossed at the whole concept of blogging back then). Fortunately, I had Dad around to help me in keeping things running smoothly. However, for a guy who kept on putting Deadpool in other posts frequently, I was not entirely pumped for the movie back then, as the first few trailers gave me the impression that this will just be a vulgar comedy mixed with a few doses of the superhero formula. That all changed when I got the chance to watch the entire movie on basic cable on the November of last year. Despite the standard television censors preventing me from truly getting the definitive Deadpool experience, Deadpool, complete with an amazing soundtrack, a stellar performance from a Ryan Reynolds who has finally stripped-off his once green and animated persona with "Maximum Effort!", a non-stop barrage of awesome action sequences, and a quirky sense of humor that is sure to make casual audiences laugh out loud, has exceeded my expectations for any other upcoming X-Men movie, because as we said before, we were disappointed with X-Men: Apocalypse. Not only that, Deadpool has since opened the gate for other superhero movies to embrace the R-Rated potentials within them, and Ryan Reynolds truly deserved his Golden Globe nomination! Although Deadpool is not the movie we should thank for the possibility of other superhero movies taking on much darker shades, but rather, it is the massively underrated Dredd, starring Karl Urban. And since other superhero movies will be taking on a much more adult-oriented approach very soon, we find that now is the time we grow-up too, and post all forms of trailers, regardless of content, unless YouTube's guidelines prohibits young ones from seeing them.


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1. Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016)


There is only one superhero movie left that we still have not shown, and at this point, it is kind of obvious, because the title of the movie is already shown above. Whoa, hold on, before you guys claim us as being "Marvel Biased", hear us out. Yes, we will agree that both Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War tackle the theme of superhero accountability, to the point that at some plot points, both movies are somewhat similar, and this flick is more or less an epilogue to Avengers: Age of Ultron, but there is something about Civil War that makes it stand from above the rest. It might be the movie's thematic parallels to the real world's governmental concerns on surveillance, the carefully choreographed action scenes, specifically the, what we call, "Best Airport Fight Scene Ever!", the amazing, spectacular debut of his universe's iteration of Spider-Man, or the much more personal stakes, but in the end, it might just be because Captain America: Civil War works as a thriller disguised as another average superhero outing. The movie is far from perfect, as Civil War cannot save itself from its consistent flaws, including wasted characters, with Frank Grillo's Crossbones being ultimately killed-off in the opening act, and scarcity of major consequences, with Don Cheadle's War Machine managing to survive even after falling from the sky, although the latter concern is understandable, as Avengers: Infinity War, a valuable installment in the franchise, is yet to come, and that movie requires all of the important characters to be present. In addition, as a paraphrase of a certain Internet user's words, Civil War's success marks the Captain America Trilogy being the first and only movie trifecta, wherein each entry is better than the previous film.


Man, 2016 was pretty fun, even if some of the movies were a tad disappointing. I guess a user's claim that the best things of 2016 came from the independent division of the movie-making industry. I mean, we had The Nice Guys, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, and Kubo and the Two Strings, and all of them were really amazing according to audiences and critics, but sadly, me, Dad and many other people were not able to see any of them because of money insufficiency. Oh well, at least we can always for their airings on television. To relive the cinematic glory brought on by 2016, let us take a look at Screen Junkies' supercut of a lot of 2016's best movies, with the video made in partnership with Josh "JTE" Tapia. Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!

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