AUTOPLAY 

After the highly popular animated TV series, the heroes in a half shell burst onto the silver screen as a Top 5 grosser of 1990, behind only Home Alone, Ghost, Dances with Wolves and Pretty Woman. Leonard, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael came to life with groundbreaking puppetry by the incomparable Jim Henson, who died the same year Turtles was released.

After the highly popular animated TV series, the "heroes in a half shell" burst onto the silver screen as a Top 5 grosser of 1990, behind only "Home Alone," "Ghost," "Dances with Wolves" and "Pretty Woman." Leonard, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael came to life with groundbreaking puppetry by the incomparable Jim Henson, who died the same year "Turtles" was released.
After the phenomenon of The Sixth Sense (1999), M. Night Shyamalan moved from ghosts to superheroes, reuniting with Bruce Willis as the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. Emerging without a single scar, Willis realizes he is the complete opposite of the brittle Mr. Glass, played by Nick Fury himself, Samuel L. Jackson.

After the phenomenon of "The Sixth Sense" (1999), M. Night Shyamalan moved from ghosts to superheroes, reuniting with Bruce Willis as the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. Emerging without a single scar, Willis realizes he is the complete opposite of the brittle Mr. Glass, played by Nick Fury himself, Samuel L. Jackson.
Writerdirector Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) took on the hit Marvel comic stable X-Men by pairing established veterans -- Patrick Stewart (Professor X) and Ian McKellan (Magneto) -- with rising megastars, including Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), James Marsden (Cyclops), Halle Berry (Storm) and Anna Paquin (Rogue). X2 upped the ante, raising the bar for superhero sequels.

Writer/director Bryan Singer ("The Usual Suspects") took on the hit Marvel comic stable "X-Men" by pairing established veterans -- Patrick Stewart (Professor X) and Ian McKellan (Magneto) -- with rising megastars, including Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), James Marsden (Cyclops), Halle Berry (Storm) and Anna Paquin (Rogue). "X2" upped the ante, raising the bar for superhero sequels.
Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) adopted the motto Avengers Assemble, forming a super team of superheroes in Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). The result was a box office Hulk Smash and historys No. 27 highest grossing flick (adjusted for inflation).

Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") adopted the motto "Avengers Assemble," forming a super team of superheroes in Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). The result was a box office Hulk Smash and history's No. 27 highest grossing flick (adjusted for inflation).
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After five straight hits in Toy Story, A Bugs Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo, many wondered whether Pixar could score a sixth success. It did just that with The Incredibles, Brad Birds animated tale of an undercover superhero family, starring Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson.

After five straight hits in "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2," "Monsters Inc." and "Finding Nemo", many wondered whether Pixar could score a sixth success. It did just that with "The Incredibles," Brad Bird's animated tale of an undercover superhero family, starring Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson.
Sam Raimi is best known for his Evil Dead trilogy, but a new generation will know him for the web-slinging Spider-Man trilogy. The first installment gave Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst an upsidedown kiss and cast Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin. Part 2 was even better, casting Alfred Molina as Doc Ock and allowing James Franco to grow in the role of Harry Osborn.

Sam Raimi is best known for his "Evil Dead" trilogy, but a new generation will know him for the web-slinging "Spider-Man" trilogy. The first installment gave Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst an upsidedown kiss and cast Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin. Part 2 was even better, casting Alfred Molina as Doc Ock and allowing James Franco to grow in the role of Harry Osborn.
The 1950s TV series with Adam West and Burt Ward was a candy-colored affair with riddle-me-this punchlines and cheesy POW graphics. While many initially thought Tim Burton was crazy to take Gotham to the dark side, he looked like a visionary after scoring the top grossing film of 1989. Its easy to take for granted the films place in our pop culture, from Michael Keatons Batman (Im Batman) to Jack Nicholsons Joker (This town needs an enema), but this is a modern action classic with Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Jack Palance, Prince music, Danny Elfman score and Oscar-winning set direction.

The 1950s TV series with Adam West and Burt Ward was a candy-colored affair with riddle-me-this punchlines and cheesy "POW" graphics. While many initially thought Tim Burton was crazy to take Gotham to the dark side, he looked like a visionary after scoring the top grossing film of 1989. It's easy to take for granted the film's place in our pop culture, from Michael Keaton's Batman ("I'm Batman") to Jack Nicholson's Joker ("This town needs an enema!"), but this is a modern action classic with Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Jack Palance, Prince music, Danny Elfman score and Oscar-winning set direction.
Robert Downey Jr. overcame personal demons for a career comeback as Tony Stark, the billionaire weapons designer who built himself into Iron Man. With incredible technology and hilarious wisecracks, Downey created the best superhero of the 21st century, funnier than Bales Batman, tougher than Maguires Spider-Man and smarter than Jackmans Wolverine. After a weak Part 2 and an Avengers interlude, director Shane Black revived the series with Iron Man 3, arguably the best Iron Man yet.

Robert Downey Jr. overcame personal demons for a career comeback as Tony Stark, the billionaire weapons designer who built himself into Iron Man. With incredible technology and hilarious wisecracks, Downey created the best superhero of the 21st century, funnier than Bale's Batman, tougher than Maguire's Spider-Man and smarter than Jackman's Wolverine. After a weak Part 2 and an "Avengers" interlude, director Shane Black revived the series with "Iron Man 3," arguably the best "Iron Man" yet.
Close your eyes. Picture a movie superhero. Its impossible not to think of the late Christopher Reeve as Clark Kents Superman. The film established the superhero checklist a compelling origin story (Marlon Brandos Jor-El on the planet Krypton) a compelling love interest (Margot Kidder as Lois Lane) an evil villain (Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor) a badass hideout (Fortress of Solitude) and a rousing theme song (John Williams). Directed by Richard Donner (The Omen) and co-written by Mario Puzo (The Godfather), Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer) and David Newman (Bonnie Clyde), Superman The Movie is best on display in a rooftop scene where Lois interviews Superman with plenty of X-ray vision innuendo and a romantic flight.

Close your eyes. Picture a movie superhero. It's impossible not to think of the late Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent's Superman. The film established the superhero checklist: a compelling origin story (Marlon Brando's Jor-El on the planet Krypton); a compelling love interest (Margot Kidder as Lois Lane); an evil villain (Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor); a badass hideout (Fortress of Solitude); and a rousing theme song (John Williams). Directed by Richard Donner ("The Omen") and co-written by Mario Puzo ("The Godfather"), Robert Benton ("Kramer vs. Kramer") and David Newman ("Bonnie & Clyde"), "Superman: The Movie" is best on display in a rooftop scene where Lois interviews Superman with plenty of X-ray vision innuendo and a romantic flight.
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After bursting onto the scene with the mind-bender Memento, Christopher Nolan could have done anything. He chose to create the most rousing, socially complex version of Batman wed ever seen. Batman Begins was a strong origins story, introducing Christian Bale as Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Liam Neeson as Ras al Ghul. The Dark Knight was the best superhero flick of the 21st century with Heath Ledger winning a posthumous Oscar as The Joker. And while The Dark Knight Rises will forever be linked with the Colorado movie theater massacre, it was a fitting end to a masterful trilogy.

After bursting onto the scene with the mind-bender "Memento," Christopher Nolan could have done anything. He chose to create the most rousing, socially complex version of Batman we'd ever seen. "Batman Begins" was a strong origins story, introducing Christian Bale as Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Liam Neeson as Ra's al Ghul. "The Dark Knight" was the best superhero flick of the 21st century with Heath Ledger winning a posthumous Oscar as The Joker. And while "The Dark Knight Rises" will forever be linked with the Colorado movie theater massacre, it was a fitting end to a masterful trilogy.
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