Before You See Hawkeye, Here Are the Best Superhero Christmas Movies Ranked


On Wednesday, the first two episodes of Marvel’s Hawkeye premiered on Disney +. And boy does it make it clear it takes place on Christmas. Every established shot has a decoration, every song emanates jolliness, and Hawkeye’s primary goal is to fight crime fast enough to make it home by Christmas. Personally, I think it really ties the whole family-friendly superhero team-up together. Makes me want to curl up on the couch with a hot chocolate. But hey, that’s just me. In the spirit of the season, let’s revisit and rank my top five Christmas superhero movies:

#5 – Wonder Woman 1984
Not only is WW84 the worst movie on this list— it’s also the least Christmasy. In fact, the majority of the movie takes place in July, seeing as how the characters need to avoid Independence Day fireworks as they fly around in their invisible jet. The Christmas scene at the end was almost definitely added in post-production to account for the Christmas release, and it doesn’t add much to the already-messy movie. The best thing I can say is that Pedro Pascal’s portrayal as Max Lord is by far the best villainous performance of the DCEU so far, and if you love the ‘80s, you might like the funky fashion of this flimsy film.

#4 – Iron Man 3
Definitely the most divisive film on this list, Iron Man 3 stands out as the only Christmas-themed movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. When I first saw this movie at the age of 10, I hated it for the fact that Tony barely wears his armor, and the Mandarin reveal is underwhelming. But after recently rewatching it, I can appreciate Iron Man 3 as a fun, action-packed character study from the mind of visionary director Shane Black that serves as an in-depth character study of Tony and all the trauma that comes with the aftermath of the first Avengers movie. And the Mandarin reveal is absolutely hilarious. I will say, though, that Guy Pearce showing up with Chinese dragon tattoos to fight Iron Man at the end might be a little culturally insensitive. So glad they fixed that all up eight years later with Shang-Chi (also free on Disney + and highly recommended).

#3 – Shazam
This movie is a bundle of pure 2000s-nostalgia-inducing joy wrapped up in a Christmas bow. Sure, it’s cheesy, but every time I watch I can’t help but smile at the beautiful found-family dynamic, goofy sitcom-style humor, and campy costumes. Plus whenever Mark Strong is the villain of a movie, you know it’s going to be amazing if not memorable. This movie also pokes fun at some of the superhero tropes that have been played out for the last decade, like long supervillain monologues or characters immediately knowing how to use their superpowers upon receiving them. The DC movies may not feel interconnected whatsoever, but that’s easy to forgive when some of their films that stand alone are as delightful as Shazam.

#2 – Batman Returns
Picture this: Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito, and Christopher Walken. All in a Christmas Batman movie from the mind of Tim Burton. Needless to say, Batman Returns is truly a sight to behold. It manages to take every great thing from the first one, and jacks them up to the max without losing the audience. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of changes this movie makes to the comics that are … weird. Instead of a high-profile jewelry thief, Catwoman is a deranged secretary who dies and comes back to life with superpowers. Instead of an influential Gotham aristocrat, Penguin is abandoned as a child and forced to live in the sewers with a bunch of penguins and circus freaks. But you can excuse all the absurdity because the movie embraces it with open arms. All four of the leads have strong personalities, and the way they interact makes this film. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll cringe. And most importantly, you’ll jingle your bells.

#1 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Best Animated Feature of the Academy Awards 2019. Best animated superhero movie. Best Christmas superhero movie. Best animated movie ever? Quite possibly … the best superhero movie ever? There are very few titles Into the Spider-Verse does not hold in my mind. It perfectly embodies everything that makes Spider-Man Amazing. The variety in animation styles for each version of Spider-Man, the all-star cast, and the fact that they released a Christmas album about Spider-Man sung by the cast to accompany this film all add to its legacy. I still listen to “Sunflower” and “Elevate” from this film’s soundtrack on the regular. Brian Michael Bendis’ comic book run on Miles Morales is the series that made me realize I wanted to pursue comic books in life, and I can’t think of a better way to adapt Miles’ legacy than this film. I think the message can all be summed up in the film’s Stan Lee cameo (my favorite Stan Lee cameo ever). He plays a store owner who sells a Spider-Man costume to Miles, and tells him “It always fits. Eventually.” That’s the theme. No matter who you are, what universe you’re from, or what others think of you, anyone can be Spider-Man; anyone can rise to the occasion and be a hero.

So far, Hawkeye is fun, but slow. Here’s hoping for a thrilling rest of the season, and here’s to many more incredible superhero movies and TV shows where a Christmas theme is just the cherry on top. Happy Holidays!