Never Mind 'Suicide Squad,' Here Are the Worst 20 Superhero Movies Ever (According to Critics)

Wondering what the worst-rated superflicks are on Rotten Tomatoes? Here's the answer.
Warner Bros.
'Suicide Squad'

Fans were so upset with review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes taking note of the poor critical reaction to Warner Bros.' Suicide Squad that they launched a petition to try and close the site down earlier this week. (The petition has since been amended to simply notify critics that some people disagree with their views.)

An overreaction? Certainly — especially in light of the fact that Suicide Squad's rating may be bad, but not bad enough to be counted as one of the worst 10 superhero movies on the site. (It is, as you'll see, in the top 20, however.) But what are the worst superhero movies, according to RT? Read on — and prepare to disagree with at least one of the following entries.

Barb Wire (1996)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 28%

Part adaptation of the Dark Horse comic book and part retelling of Casablanca, this Pamela Anderson vehicle has faded from most people's memory in the past two decades. That's likely a blessing.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 27%

Although many took a more favorable view of the expanded Ultimate Edition, the theatrical release of Zack Snyder's Super Friends No More was resoundingly pummeled by critics despite the well-received debut of Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman.

Suicide Squad (2016)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 26%

When Warners put the tagline "Worst Heroes Ever" on this movie, it might have been tempting critics to open fire. If that was the case, then job well done.

Green Lantern (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 26%

Time has not been kind to Ryan Reynolds' outing as DC's Cosmic Emerald Gladiator, although he has since moved on to better things with Fox's Deadpool. To be fair, however, as is obvious from checking out the reviews of the era, people didn't really like GL back when it was released either.

Ghost Rider (2007)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 26%

Honestly, watching the trailer for this movie again, it's hard to believe that this is actually a real movie and not some kind of SNL parody. The Marvel brand was clearly in poor cinematic shape ahead of Robert Downey Jr.'s arrival as Iron Man.

Superman III (1983)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 26%

If Superman II was the peak of the Superman movie franchise — at least in the Christopher Reeve era — then III was a sharp comedown, bringing in Richard Pryor for no good reason, and abandoning him in a movie that made it seem like he didn't know what he was doing there either.

Blade: Trinity (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 25%

The first Blade was highly regarded, but the franchise had clearly fallen into disrepair by the time of this third installment, which has a couple of connections with other movies on this list: It stars Green Lantern's Ryan Reynolds and was written by Batman v, Superman's David Goyer.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 22%

While the world might have been ready for a revival of the Heroes in a Half Shell a couple of years ago — after all, superheroes and '90s nostalgia were both happening at the time — clearly, critics weren't prepared for this particular revival.

Spawn (1997)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 19%

The cinematic version of Todd MacFarlane's Image comic has an impressive cast that includes Martin Sheen, John Leguizamo and Nicol Williamson, but sadly, that couldn't save it from its own melodramatic impulses.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 17%

As if the first Ghost Rider wasn't enough, the second installment charted even lower with critics as Nicolas Cage tried his hardest to bring some demonic gravitas to the screen. This was released in the same year as Joss Whedon's Avengers. That Ghost Rider has now been relegated to small screen status with his upcoming appearance on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD should not come as a massive surprise.

Howard the Duck (1986)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 15%

Perhaps the most famous comic book turkey of them all — although that might be the wrong term for a movie featuring a talking duck — Howard the Duck proved that George Lucas didn't have the Midas touch when it came to genre entertainment, and stalled out Marvel's big-screen plans for decades.

The Spirit (2008)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 14%

In interviews promoting this movie, director Frank Miller talked about his love for Will Eisner's original comic strips — which was probably a good move, because there's enough in this ill-fated adaptation to make you wonder whether he'd ever read them.

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 12%

A movie that wore its heart on its sleeve, Superman IV didn't teach humanity any meaningful lesson about the dangers of nuclear proliferation, although it did impart some important learning moments about trying to restart a franchise when nobody seemed that excited about it.

Steel (1997)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 12%

It takes a visionary to try and build a superhero movie — based on the Superman supporting character — out of a cast that included Shaquille O'Neal and Judd Nelson, but even the best efforts of small-screen genre king Kenneth Johnson (The Six Million Dollar Man, V, The Incredible Hulk TV series) couldn't make this one work.

The Crow: City of Angels (1996)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 12%

Another sign of a failing franchise, this sequel to the 1994 cult movie might have boasted Iggy Pop in its cast (and a script by David Goyer, again), but without the gruesome lure of Brandon Lee's tragic accident, the second installment fared far less well than the first.

Batman & Robin (1997)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 11%

Considered by most to be the worst of all Batman movies, this feature has an enjoyably relaxed Bruce Wayne in the shape of George Clooney, and a pair of villains — Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mister Freeze — who appear to have watched the 1960s TV show as research, which wasn't what anyone was looking for at the time.

Elektra (2005)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 10%

It was the spin-off that nobody wanted — aside, presumably, from Jennifer Garner's agents — but one that arrived nonetheless, transforming a beloved Marvel character into something that comic book fans and critics alike just couldn't embrace.

Fantastic Four (2015)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 9%

Born of a troubled production (and postproduction) and with that very apparent from the finished product, Fantastic Four was almost immediately held up as the start of superhero burnout on the part of critics and audiences alike. As can be seen from the subsequent box office failure of every other superhero movie releases since, that definitely happened.

Catwoman (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 9%

To this day, Catwoman seems like a movie produced as the result of a dare, taking the Batman character and changing everything about her — including her secret identity and M.O. — aside from her name. The result was a movie that seemed as confused as the reasoning behind it, beloved by … well, certainly not the critics, based on this RT score.

Supergirl (1984)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7%

Is Supergirl really the worst superhero movie ever made? It's certainly silly and camp, with some bad acting (Faye Dunaway, what were you doing?) and a nonsensical script, but the same came be said of Thor: The Dark World, which apparently gets a Rotten Tomatoes score of 66%. Supergirl is a flawed movie, sure, but damning it as the worst superhero movie ever feels like an overstatement. It's almost as if Rotten Tomatoes is an arbitrary aggregator of critical opinion that conforms to the zeitgeist of particular eras and not an objective arbiter of truth and quality … but that'd be ridiculous.

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