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Bronze Age of Superhero Movies 2008 - 2012

With the rise of 'Iron Man' and 'The Dark Knight' a new era in superhero movies began. Beyond the stunning visual style of this new era we found new depth to the personalities beneath the masks and costumes.

By Patricia SarkarPublished 7 years ago 4 min read

The superhero movie rules officially changed in 2008 with the rise of Iron Man... Marvel Studios begin to build the empire with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, while DC came of age with The Dark Knight. Watchmen and Kick-Ass prove just how versatile the superhero movie can be, while Chronicle brings something new and edgy to the table. The Bronze Age of Superhero Movies came to an end in early 20012 with a rare dud, the sequel to Ghost Rider.

Director: Jon Favreau

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow

Released: 2 May, 2008

Description: The real joy of Iron Man is its humor. It's perfect for those of us who just want to see Tony Stark being Tony Stark.

Rating: 3/5

Director: Louis Leterrier

Cast: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth

Released: 13 June, 2008

Description: The script delivers neither the drama nor the story to match the action that Laterrier orchestrates to such devastating effect.

Rating: 3/5

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Cast:Ron Perlman, Selma Blair

Released: 11 July, 2008

Description: Del Toro creates a near—endless visual stew of weird and mostly wonderful creatures up on the screen, but sumptuous beasties can't disguise the hollow story.

Rating: 3/5

Director: Christopher Nolan,

Cast: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger

Released: 18 July, 2008

Description: With The Dark Knight whenever a tongue threatens toward the cheek, it's unceremoniously stomped on. It hinges on the performances, which are excellent.

Rating: 5/5

Director: Lexi Alexander

Cast:Ray Stevenson, Dominic West

Released: 5 December, 2008

Description: Ugly, noisy and violent, Punisher: War Zone is despised by the critics and disowned by the fans, but it is the most faithful take on the character to date. Perhaps you just don't like the Punisher.

Rating: 3/5

Director: Frank Miller

Cast: Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson

Released: 25 December, 2008

Description: The fatal flaw of The Spirit is that there is nothing for the audience to care about. Just the thought of any of these guys living forever is too much to consider.

Rating: 1/5

Director:Zack Snyder

Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson

Released: 6 March, 2009

Description: The story builds to an entertaining crescendo, and the overall effect is at least a very different one from the bilge we're often served by the superhero movie. But it is all in vain as the movie's potential is swamped by its aesthetic and dialogue.

Rating: 2/5

Director:Gavin Hood

Cast:Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber

Released: 1 May, 2009

Description: Wolverine's biggest problem is that there's little here to get the pulse racing. For a summer blockbuster, that's disappointing. For a Wolverine film, that's hard to forgive.

Rating: 2/5

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloë Grace Moretz

Released: 26 April, 2009

Description: Vaughn and Goldman, with more than a little help from Milar's subversive source material, turn comic-book movie conventions on their head.

Rating: 4/5

Director: Jon Favreau

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke

Released: 7 May, 2010

Description: While the first Iron Man felt like a short boost away from our world, the sequel seems to be there or four, presenting a cartoon reality that's much harder to invest in or engage with.

Rating: 2/5

Director: Peter Stebbings

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings

Released: 13 May, 2010

Description: Tough to disentangle from James Gunn's Super, Defendor is stronger for the comparison. Just as funny, just as tragic and every bit as grim, Defendor makes you care about its misguided would-be crimefighter.

Rating: 3/5

Director: James Gunn

Cast:Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler

Released: 1 April, 2011

Description: Ironically referencing comic-book characters at regular intervals, Super stands less as a satire of superhero clichés than it does a riposte to the audience's expectations of them—flitting from indie whimsy to blood-gushing violence and back again.

Rating: 3/5

Director:Kenneth Branagh

Cast:Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston

Released: 6 May, 2011

Description: Branagh's adaptation is certainly worth seeing, even if just for the way in which it broadens the remit of superhero movies.

Rating: 3/5

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender

Released: 3 June, 2011

Description: If Matthew Vaughn's power is of mesmerizing illusions, that he at least made us forget we were hurtling toward "Do you know what happens to a toad when it's struck by lightning?" It comes with a sense of charm, warmth, and fun.

Rating: 3/5

Director:Martin Campbell

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively

Released: 17 June, 2011

Description: What works so well in comic-book form transitions to the screen with mixed results, but if you're uttering the Green Lantern oath under your breath on either of the two stirring occasions that Jordan recites it himself, you'll get some enjoyment.

Rating: 2/5

Director: Joe Johnston

Cast: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell

Released: 22 July, 2011

Description: Captain America reminds the audience that a superhero film doesn't have to be as gritty as The Dark Knight or as post-modern as Kick-Ass to be taken seriously.

Rating: 4/5

Director:Josh Trank

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell

Released: 3 February, 2012

Description: Trank and Landis's found—footage flick does what many "real world superhero movies" fail to do, showing us not just a setting, but reactions. With great power comes no responsibility, bro.

Rating: 4/5

Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds

Released: 17 February, 2012

Description: Despite the promises of the Crank duo, Ghost Rider's wheels are so firmly clamped by the 12A rating that it's never as mad, violent and stupid as it should be; just crass, boring, and shit.

Rating: 1/5

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About the Creator

Patricia Sarkar

Raised on a steady diet of makeup and games. Eager to share my experiences with the world and make a difference, article by article! :)

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    Patricia SarkarWritten by Patricia Sarkar

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