1. X2: X-Men United
Really good superhero films find things other than the superheroes to explore but great superhero films find the core humanity within all superheroes. The intolerance the first X-Men film merely glanced at is on full display here, whether it’s the spine-tingling opening sequence of Nightcrawler in the White House (hands down, the best action sequence of the franchise), the scene of Iceman “coming out” as a mutant to his parents or the haunting flashbacks of Wolverine’s traumatic past. Brian Cox puts an all-too-human face on that intolerance as the genuinely-terrifying William Stryker, who’s experience with his mutant son taught him mutants need to be controlled and, if necessary, put down.