X-Men: First Class
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Bacon, Caleb Landry, Lucas Till, January Jones, Oliver Platt
The first X-Men movie was kind of an origin story, but this reboot goes further back to show how Professor X and Magneto became friends and how their paths inevitably diverged. Here they fight a common enemy, a former Nazi who orchestrates the Cuban Missile Crisis in order to start World War III. Matthew Vaughn honed his skills at helming a comic book blockbuster with the underwhelming Kick-Ass, and now he shifts into full gear. This movie may be less subversive, but it is certainly more fun. The action set pieces feel fresh and the X-Men characters have always had more (interesting) layers than most of the other Marvel franchises. The whole is a bit too long, though. Followed by X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse.