Top 10 X-Men Movie Moments

Photo Credit:

The first X-Men movie, released in 2000, was the dawn of the age of superhero movies. So yes, you have X-Men to thank for Spider-man 2The Dark Knight, and The Avengers. The seventh entry in the franchise, X-Men: Days of Future Past, is a celebration of the entire franchise (yes, even the bad ones). So we thought we’d celebrate by giving you our picks for the 10 best X-Men movie moments so far (although, we have seen Days of Future Past, and this list may need to be revised in the near future).



Photo Credit: Jean Kills Xavier- X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Hear me out. Brett Ratner royally screwed up the X-Men franchise after Bryan Singer planted the seeds for Jean to become Phoenix in X2. But this scene is powerful. Jean feels unstoppable, reacting to the always great rapport between Xavier and Magneto. Cyclops may have been wasted early in the movie, but Xavier’s death works not because we don’t expect it, but because of the ramifications it has on the world the X-Men live in. It’s the only scene in the movie that lives up to its predecessors.


Photo Credit: The Bullet Train- The Wolverine (2013)

Wolverine is a part of a ton of great action scenes in the series, but none besides one (to be mentioned farther down) live up to Logan fighting a few henchmen on top of a 300 mph speeding train. It’s one of the few set pieces that requires Wolverine to do more than claw at people, forcing him to use his head to beat these guys and not going flying off into the streets of Tokyo.


Photo Credit: White House Attack- X2: X-Men United (2003)

Want to know how to start a sequel? This scene. We’re introduced to a new mutant with the ability to teleport. The blue guy breaks into the White House kicking and punching every secret service agent all the way to the Oval Office. But I’m sure many fans of the comics were wondering, why is Nightcrawler, a hero in the comics, trying to kill the president? It’s a hectic sequence that uses every bit of the bigger budget X2 got, while sucking us in for one of the best superhero sequels of all time.


Photo Credit: Magneto Lifts the Submarine- X-Men: First Class (2011)

One of the cleverest things First Class did was tie in with the Cuban Missile Crisis. So when Sebastian Shaw is provoking World War III, Xavier encourages Erik that he can be more powerful than he ever imagined. It’s the perfect way to show these two friends working together just before their relationship goes to hell. But it’s also a perfect way to reveal mutants to the general population in a stunning manner.


Photo Credit: Chess- X-Men (2000)

The final scene of the original film still stands as one of the best. After watching their two teams collide, Xavier and Magneto close out of first X-adventure by calmly playing chess and talking forebodingly about the future. It was a time before post-credit scenes where two rivals and friends could simply talk about the future and it leaves you wanting more than any Nick Fury sighting ever could. But it also perfectly captures Xavier and Magneto’s long-standing relationship of respect and hope.


Photo Credit: Magneto Escapes- X2: X-Men United (2003)

All it takes is too much iron in your blood for Magneto to break out of his plastic prison. It’s a simply concept for an action scene and escape. Magneto rips the iron out of a security guard’s blood, as injected by Mystique, and makes a platform to stand on and two small balls. Boom, escape. He may move bridges and submarines, but Magneto proves in this scene that he can still do a lot with a little. After all, how boring would it have been for Magneto to be in prison for all of X2?


Photo Credit: Xavier vs. Magneto- X-Men (2000)

It’s not a flashy scene. Magneto has just kidnapped Rogue and is making his escape with Sabretooth and Toad. But the cops and secretly Xavier are waiting for him. Xavier takes control of Magneto’s two minions and threatens to kill him. But Magneto take all the cops guns and points them at them. When Charles won’t let go, Magneto fires one, but he stops the bullet. It’s the best and most intense scene in the first X-Men, showing the conflict of these two activists and their different methods. But it also shows that Magneto isn’t as evil as your typical supervillain.


Photo Credit: The Cuban Mutant Crisis- X-Men: First Class (2011)

Making Magneto so directly responsible for Xavier’s paralysis was a brilliant move. The entire sequence leading up to that fateful moment is one of the tensest scenes in the whole franchise. Magneto feels at least partially justified in sending the missiles back toward the humans. Xavier’s efforts to stop him aren’t a big choreographed fight scene. And the deflected bullet into his lower spine is heart-wrenching. It feels like the moment that sets the whole sage up.


Photo Credit: Attack on the X-Mansion- X2: X-Men United (2003)

You’d be hard-pressed to find a much better action sequence in another superhero movie. The standout set piece of the X-Men franchise has Stryker’s men invading Xavier’s school. Wolverine is finally unleashed, running through the halls cutting down every guard he can. The students are running amok. It’s utter chaos. X2 had a strong enough start with Nightcrawler in the White House, but with this sequence it set itself above any other superhero movie of its time.


Photo Credit: Bobby Comes Out- X2: X-Men United (2003)

The X-Men were born out of the turmoil and social unrest of the ’60s. An allegory for the Civil Rights Movement, the mutants represented the oppressed and unequal. Come 2003, an openly gay director has taken on the franchise and delivers the moment that updates the X-Men to a new war for equality. When Bobby Drake returns home in X2, he is forced to tell his family what he is. “Have you tried not being a mutant?” his mother asks. “You have to understand, we thought Bobby was gifted,” his father says. His brother is silent until he runs up the stairs. This is what sets the X-Men apart from all other superheroes, as well as the best representation of them on screen to date.


Do you agree with our picks for the best X-Men movie moments? What are some of your favorite moments? Tell us below!


By Matt Dougherty

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