10 Best Comic Book Movies For Adults, Ranked – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Comic book adaptations appeal to a large audience, but some are intended for the older crowd.
The comic book industry has provided some of the greatest works of fiction since the 1930s. It's no surprise that many of these stories have made their way into Hollywood, becoming among the most popular films ever made. However, despite the medium's usual association with younger viewers, many of these movies were far better served by more mature audiences than they would have been by kids.
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These movies take some of the best-received comic book stories to a more grounded and darker place, while others reimagine the superhero genre. While some are direct adaptations of comic books, others took inspiration from the genre to craft a wholly original story. Due to their darker spin, audiences often receive these films well.
One of Frank Miller's best-known indie comics, 300, followed the eponymous Spartan force as they fought to defend Greece from a Persian invasion. Directed by Zack Snyder, it followed Spartan king Leonidas as he assembled his force to march on the Hot Gates to make an epic stand.
The movie was incredibly stylistic, boasting Snyder's signature slow-motion shots to accentuate action scenes. The story is an exaggeration of the truth, but as far as David and Goliath stories go, 300 is easily one of the best, and a good Greek mythology story to boot.
Beginning as a comic at Wildstorm, The Losers was adapted into a star-studded action movie led by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Idris Elba. It saw an elite unit of operatives after being betrayed by a shady government agency and their path of revenge to clear their names.
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The Losers made for a great A-Team-style action movie with a grittier spin. In place of unique superpowers were skills unique to each character, each of which made them indispensable to the team. As it came closer to its conclusion, it revealed a great twist ending.
Frank Miller's Sin City came along at just the right time, exploding into stores during the '90s gritty heyday. When the movie was then green-lit, Miller himself got into the director's chair to bring his updated crime noir tales to life, aided by a great ensemble cast.
The movie follows several great stories, with Bruce Willis' role as the honest detective Hartigan being the highlight of these. Released in black and white, it was the perfect adaptation of the comics, and Miller's role as director ensured good accuracy and verisimilitude.
Sam Raimi's Darkman, starring Liam Neeson, gave its hero a comic book-inspired origin story. The main hero, a scientist, specializes in a special technology capable of growing organic materials like skin. When goons break in and destroy his lab, he emerges badly burned and escapes.
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When the reality of his condition becomes clear, Darkman assumes his new persona and goes on a revenge mission against the gangsters who attacked him. Using his research, he is able to assume the identities of others. But when his girlfriend gets roped into it, things become more complicated.
Based on the original graphic novel Road To Perdition, Tom Hanks plays the role of Michael Sullivan, a member of the 1920s Irish mob whose son witnesses him on the job. After the villainous son of the crime boss murders Sullivan's wife and other son, it becomes clear there is no going back for anyone.
Sullivan takes his son on the road to escape the mob, and soon begins a crime spree against the very crime family he had worked for. As the violence escalates, Sullivan draws ever nearer to his final confrontation and revenge for his family, hoping to steer his son away from a life of crime.
Watchmen, based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' seminal comic book series, brought the darker take on the DC universe to the big screen in 2009. Riding the wave of grittier superhero movies set by The Dark Knight and Unbreakable, Watchmen delivered on its source material very well.
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Watchmen takes place in the aftermath of the murder of a retired superhero, as his old teammates get involved in solving his death. The vigilantes' return coincides with heightened Cold War tensions, and the story explores the morality of how far a person can go for the greater good.
After almost two decades of the numerous X-Men movies, largely carried by Hugh Jackman, Logan gave a conclusion to Wolverine. Taking place in 2029, it sees the now-aging hero taking care of Charles Xavier in the wake of the deaths of the mutants.
Reluctantly, Logan agrees to take a young girl, Laura, into his care. When a band of mercenaries called Reavers shows up on their trail, Logan, Charles, and Laura are forced onto the road in a bid to reach Canada. The story made for the perfect conclusion to the story of Fox's X-Men and Jackman's Logan.
M. Night Shyamalan's brilliant Unbreakable offered a more grounded and plausible spin on the concept of the American superhero genre. It follows David Dunn, a security guard, in the wake of a train crash, from which he emerged uninjured. From there, an art dealer takes an interest and believes Dunn to be a superhero.
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The movie is as much a drama as a superhero movie and sees how Dunn's revelations affect his family. Spinning out into two sequels, the story of Unbreakable was concluded in 2019's Glass, which explored an older and seasoned Dunn made to doubt his powers.
Dredd was a surprise hit with the fans that saw it, taking what was once a campy '90s action movie and turning it into a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled movie. Rather than following the expansive attempt made by Judge Dredd in 1995, Dredd focused on a single mission.
When Dredd and Anderson go to Peach Trees tower block to investigate a murder, they find themselves trapped inside the mega block with a target on their backs. As the criminals close in on them, the two officers of the law pull out all the stops to fight their way to survival and escape.
The Dark Knight was an instant hit and classic among fans, both of comics and mainstream audiences. Nolan took an interesting approach and went the opposite way to the '90s, seeking to tell grounded stories rather than exaggerating the comic book aspects.
This story style paid off well, and what fans got was a great crime thriller that followed Batman's one-man war on crime. It gave its villains a more realistic twist, turning each one into a unique challenge to Batman's ethics and fight for good. If the story itself wasn't great enough, Heath Ledger's Joker makes The Dark Knight stand out.
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