Ranked!: Moments in the X-Men Cinematic Universe

With Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart taking their final bows as Wolverine & Professor X, respectively, in this month’s superhero-western Logan, I figured it was time to rank the most noteworthy moments throughout the 17 years of the X-Men Cinematic Universe.

It’s no stretch to say that the X-Men movies have had their fair share of, shall we say…issues (i.e. Continuity? What’s that?), but to say there weren’t some killer moments and knock out scenes throughout the franchise would be a disservice to the Universe, which with Logan, reaches 10 movies strong. I’m here to remind you of the good times…not of X-Men: The Last Stand, clearly…but of actual good times…

NOTE: This list was put together prior to my 1st screening of Logan, as I highly suspect that if I created this ranking after seeing Logan, there would be 1 scene from Deadpool, one scene from X2: X-Men United, and 8 scenes from Logan. Needless to say, I have high expectations for Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the rabid Wolverine.


Top 10 Moments from the X-Men Cinematic Universe

10. Stewart or McAvoy? (Deadpool)

It was a quick line, but for anyone who has ever given a crap about the X-Men movies, it was sure to elicit a laugh. Wade Wilson’s shot at the lack of continuity and jumping timelines within the franchise was spot on, as he asks Colossus which Professor X he was going to be “strung along” to see. Lolz Classic 4th wall breaking Deadpool…and for your enjoyment, I put the entire scene below because…because…because honestly, I wanted to watch it again.

FunKo Wolverine, Ice Man and Colossus Set

9. True Feelings (X-Men)

Logan got the chance to say what so many of us have wanted to say to Scott Summers over the years…and Cyclops took it pretty well.

8. The Coin Has a Say (X-Men: First Class)

X-Men: First Class was, at the time, thought to be a reboot after the colossal fail known as X-Men: The Last Stand, and in many ways, it delivered. One universally praised trait of the film surrounded the casting of unlikely friends, future enemies…frienemies…James McAvoy as Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto). By the end of First Class, we’re all well aware on which side of the mutant resistance they stand, and the best scene in the movie highlights how far Erik has been pushed, and how much it pains Charles to see it, as the former understandably kills Sebastian Shaw for the years of Hell he put Erik through. Also, on a list of awful ways to die, a slow motion Nazi coin through the dome piece is probably pretty high up there.

7. En Sabah Nur (X-Men: Days of Future Past…kinda)

During the post credit scene of Days of Future Past, we see where the franchise is headed, and for die hard X-fans, this sight was sure to result in huge smiles and a shiver down the spine.  A young En Sabah Nur, better known as the first mutant Apocalypse, creating the ancient pyramids with telekinesis, as the masses chant his name.  And as the camera pans around the immortal mutant, who is that in the background?  Oh, only his 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse!  I nearly cried real geek tears at first viewing.  It’s too bad that they never made a 3rd movie in this “trilogy,” and I didn’t get the chance to be let down…again…like I was for The Last Stand!  What?  They made an Apocalypse movie?  I don’t believe you…**nervous eye twitch**


6. Sentinel Fight! (X-Men: Days of Future Past)

Pit futuristic versions of X-Men favorites Iceman, Blink, WarpathSunspot & Colossus against the mutant hunting Sentinels, all while “Shadow Cat” Kitty Pryde is trying to find safety with Bishop in order to telepathically send him back in time to warn the group of this attack, and in turn save the lives of everyone involved.  This scene, impressive in its own right for the amount of action fans were given straight out of the gate, was made ever the more impressive by Blink’s powers, allowing her fellow X-Men to “portal hop” in order to inflict damage and evade danger.  Oh, and it also includes a Sentinel stepping on the decapitated frozen head of Iceman and shattering it.  That’s. Awesome.

5. Run, Pietro. Run! (X-Men: Days of Future Past)

Some might claim that his run through the X mansion in X-Men: Apocalypse is the superior scene, and to them I say, “You might be right, that scene rules relatively hard as well.” But if I’m choosing which I prefer, I take the original every time. This was something we’d never seen in a Superhero film before, and what a way to highlight Quicksilver‘s attributes. Jim Croce’s folksy, melodic “Time in a Bottle” while Pietro “takes his time” defusing the situation only adds more to a scene that out-Matrix’d The Matrix. His remark of “You know, my mom knew someone who could do that (control metal)” just seals the deal as a classic.

4. The Phoenix Rises (X2: X-Men United)

As the X-Men are trying to escape Alkali Lake while raging flood waters quickly approach, Jean Grey chooses to save her friends (and love…loves?…at least one love) by using her rapidly growing telekinetic powers to keep the waves at bay until they’ve found safety. While going full Moses, we see a red force taking over Jean, giving her body, notably her eyes, a fiery presence. Then she gives in, letting the flood engulf her. Most X-fans, like myself, lost their proverbial sh– at the presence of the Phoenix Force manifesting in Jean…KNOWING that 3rd movie was going to be the BEST because it was going to tackle the Dark Phoenix saga! (How horribly wrong we all were). To psyche fans up even more, the movie ends with a scan of the waters of Alkali Lake, and the form of the Phoenix flying underneath. Man! Too bad that 3rd movie was never made and doesn’t exist in any form whatsoever!…right guys? right?

3. White House Down (X2: X-Men United)

The first X-Men movie left off with Magneto’s plan to “mutanize” the greater tristate area thwarted, Rogue back at home at the X-Mansion safe and sound, and Logan off to figure out who the f— he was. Where would the 2nd installment to the franchise begin? Well, in the White House, in one of the coolest, eye-candiest scenes we’d ever seen on Superhero film up to that point. A mind-controlled assassin in the form of fan-favorite newcomer Nightcrawler (portrayed in a beautifully tormented fashion by Alan Cumming) BAMFing across the West Wing, kicking secret service ass, with the final goal being a dead president in the name of mutant equality. It was as if right off the bat, Bryan Singer said, “Hey Lou, this movie will be your favorite X-Men movie for the next 15 years, k? Oh, you need proof? Here ya go!”

2. Becoming Deadpool-Montage (Deadpool)

A steadily evolving Superhero costume?  Check.  Thug killed by zamboni? Check.  Short monologue on whether it’s sexist to kill women like men, or if it’s indeed sexist to NOT kill them like men? Check.  Deadpool at his most deadly, foulmouthed and…well…Deadpool-y? Check.  It’s hard to narrow down scenes in a movie that is entirely made up of inappropriate comments and kill shots, but dammit if this scene doesn’t elicit a laugh every time I watch it.

Deadpool by Daniel Way: The Complete Collection. Volume 1


1. Berserker Rage! (X2: X-Men United)

X-Men ended with a chess game & Magneto asking Xavier what was going to happen when those rallying against mutant kind came to his school to attack his students. Charles’ retort of, “I feel a great swell of pity for the poor soul who comes to my school looking for trouble,”comes to fruition in live action form in x2: X-Men United.  X-Men introduced us to our first live action Wolverine, but X2 introduced us to the Wolverine we were all waiting for.  Under attack from Stryker’s men, the kids of “Xaviers School for Gifted Youngsters,” are in danger, so Wolverine, “the best at what he does,” chooses to DO what he does best (<— that sentence confused me too, and I wrote it.  My apologies). Killing what seems like 172 men in 90 seconds, we see “Berserker Rage” in full effect, and it didn’t, and to this day still doesn’t, disappoint.  The feral beast is unleashed, and it cemented Hugh Jackman as the irreplaceable Wolverine for many X-Men fans.

Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters Tee Shirt


I hope you enjoyed this list, I hope you comment and let me know your favorite X-Men movie moments, I hope you actually read everything I wrote, because I try really hard to be 42% humorous, and I hope you go see Logan, out TODAY, and enjoy the living crap out of it!

Lou Mattiuzzo is a full time teacher, full time husband, full time father & full time superhero enthusiast.  Follow him on twitter @Sweetest_Lou for his tweets on things you probably don’t care about, because it would still make him feel good.


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5 thoughts on “Ranked!: Moments in the X-Men Cinematic Universe”

  1. I don’t know why some people were disappointed with Apocalypse’s as a powerhouse. He was actually was more powerful than he was in the original story.

    1. I cannot speak for others, but I can for myself. My disappointment with the character had nothing to do with how powerful he was, but came with the casting and tone of the character. I like Oscar Isaac, a lot actually, but I didn’t find him menacing, or threatening, in any way. Now, I love Denzel Washington & think he’s the worlds greatest living actor, but there are roles I don’t think he’s right for. Mind you, when I think of Apocalypse, my mind goes to comics from the early 90s and the XMen cartoon from the same era, so my preference would’ve been a bit closer to that. Now, would I have preferred a hulking, 8 ft CGI cyborg-esque character with a menacing robotic sounding voice? Maybe not, because that lends itself to some major criticisms as well. All I know is that for one reason or another, I couldn’t get behind the character.
      My issues with the movie far extend just the titular character, though. I prefer my superhero movies (usually) on a smaller scale (the winter soldier, the dark knight, etc.) so another “fate of the world” movie doesn’t excite me (remind me that I said this when infinity war comes out), I wasn’t a huge fan of the horsemen choices, I didn’t see the need for the Weapon X cameo (although I love Hugh Jackman) & Jesus Christ, how much pain can you put Magneto through!
      It had bright spots for sure (particularly the casting of the young mutants-Grey, Summers, Storm & Nightcrawler) but on a scale of how much I enjoyed the film compared to the other entries in the franchise, only The Last Stand & Wolverine Origins rank lower.
      If you loved the character of apocalypse and the movie, I love that. I love that this kind of stuff lends itself to conversations about different opinions.
      Thank you so much for commenting. Sorry I’m long winded.

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