It was X-Men that more or less triggered our obsession with superheroes a decade ago. And if the first four X-Men outings, each a comic book-inspired superheroes thriller, weren’t quite first-class movies, they were close, especially the first two. They may have been about outsiders with gifts who were second-class citizens, but none of the films would be mistaken for second-class citizens of the movie marketplace.
The involving and visually arresting X-Men (2000) and X-Men United (2003), both directed by Bryan Singer, had plenty of X appeal. And while we weren’t as X-static about X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) or the stand-alone W-Man spinoff, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), they were still solid if unexceptional. X-Men: First Class,a prequel to the others, is absolutely exceptional, the fifth and best of the bunch.
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