25 Best Movie Heroes of All Time Ranked

25 Best Movie Heroes of All Time Ranked

From Luke Skywalker to Ellen Ripley to Superman, this is Collider’s ranking of the best movie heroes of all time. MenuSign in nowCloseStar Wars4By Jeremy UrquhartPublished May 19, 2024 Thread

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Manage Your List Follow FollowedFollow with NotificationsFollowUnfollowShareFacebookXLinkedInRedditFlipboardCopy linkEmailLink copied to clipboardSign in to your Collider account The-25-Best-Movie-Heroes-of-All-Time,-RankedImage by Federico Napoli ### ‘Fargo’ (1996)

Marge looking up in frustration in Fargo.Image via Gramercy Pictures Just about everyone in 1996’s Fargo is an idiot, but not in a way that makes the film itself feel stupid. The Coen Brothers were honestly kind of genius for tackling this sort of story and making it funny, tense, and ultimately strangely heartwarming, all the while having it feature greedy characters who scheme above their weight, and start ruining everything as a result. That is, until Marge Gunderson steps in and basically fixes everything.

She’s a determined Police Chief who steps in to investigate the entire series of events that transpired earlier, and it shifts the entire film, with a competent, clever, and good-natured character swiftly bringing an eventual end to Fargo. It’s satisfying seeing her take down some great (but, again, somewhat stupid) villainous characters, and that she also does all this while heavily pregnant just makes her even more admirable.

Fargo R Crime Drama ThrillerRelease Date April 5, 1996 Director Joel Coen , Ethan Coen CastWilliam H. Macy , Steve Buscemi , Frances McDormand , Peter Stormare , Kristin Rudrüd , Harve Presnell Runtime 98 mintues R Crime Drama Thriller Release Date April 5, 1996 Director Joel Coen , Ethan Coen CastWilliam H. Macy , Steve Buscemi , Frances McDormand , Peter Stormare , Kristin Rudrüd , Harve Presnell Runtime 98 mintues Watch on Max

24 Tony Stark/Iron Man

‘Iron Man’ (2008)

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man testing the arc reactor on his chest with a robotic gloveImage via Marvel Studios Tony Stark is an interesting hero among other superheroes, because he’s really not too far off being a villain when he’s first introduced in Iron Man. Okay, sure, he’s not evil necessarily, but he is self-centered and doesn’t seem to care too much about the effects his work as a weapons manufacturer has on the world. 2008’s Iron Man sees him have a change of heart (kind of in more ways than one), and over the next 10 years of MCU movies, he continually becomes more heroic.

This culminates in Avengers: Endgame, where it’s unequivocally apparent that Tony Stark is perhaps “the” hero of the MCU, or at least the one that all future main characters will be compared to. He never lost his sarcasm or willingness to be snarky, but the character arc he goes through in his first movie is impressive, and the one he undergoes across 10+ years of movies even more so.

Iron Man PG-13 Action Adventure Sci-Fi superheroesRelease Date May 2, 2008 DirectorJon FavreauCast Robert Downey Jr. , Terrence Howard , Jeff Bridges , gwyneth paltrow , Leslie Bibb , Shaun ToubRuntime 126 minutes PG-13 Action Adventure Sci-Fi superheroes Release Date May 2, 2008 DirectorJon FavreauCast Robert Downey Jr. , Terrence Howard , Jeff Bridges , gwyneth paltrow , Leslie Bibb , Shaun ToubRuntime 126 minutes Watch on Disney+

23 Zatoichi

The ‘Zatoichi’ series (1962-1989)

Zatoichi on the Road - 1963Image via Daiei Zatoichi is the titular character of an iconic and long-running samurai movie series, though he himself is not a samurai; more a lone wanderer who possesses the skills various samurai warriors have. He devotes himself to wandering around Japan and helping different downtrodden people in just about every movie he appears in, even though he’s blind and without a true home, in the traditional sense.

Across 25 movies that were released between 1962 and 1973 (plus a 26th in 1989), Zatoichi helped too many people to count, and was consistently selfless while also being charming and rebellious in his own way. He’s also the kind of hero who doesn’t always resort to violence, given his high level of intelligence and ability to read what people are thinking/feeling, even without being able to lay eyes on them, on account of his blindness and all. But when situations get physical, few can fight their way out of such altercations armed with a sword quite like Zatoichi can.

Watch on Criterion

22 Harry Potter

The ‘Harry Potter’ series (2001-2011)

Harry Potter camping in the woods in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1Image via Warner Bros. A fantasy series that reigned supreme throughout the 2000s (and a little into the 2010s), there were a total of eight Harry Potter movies based on seven books, with the final book getting split into two movies, and was fashionable – not to mention profitable – at the time. The titular character is the undisputed hero of the whole thing, obviously, an unlikely chosen one who finds himself thrust into a magical world and at the center of a drastic battle between good and evil.

Harry grows considerably, both physically and emotionally, as the series progresses, with the entire saga also being something of an unusual coming-of-age story, beginning with Harry as an 11-year-old and ending with him almost being a young adult. He defies alarming odds and stands up to much evil throughout the series, being a positive role model and something of an inspiration both in the series’ universe and outside it.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone PG Adventure Family FantasyRelease Date November 16, 2001 DirectorChris ColumbusCast Richard Harris , Maggie Smith , Robbie Coltrane , Saunders Triplets , Daniel Radcliffe , Fiona Shaw , Rupert Grint , Emma Watson Runtime 152 minutes PG Adventure Family Fantasy Release Date November 16, 2001 DirectorChris ColumbusCast Richard Harris , Maggie Smith , Robbie Coltrane , Saunders Triplets , Daniel Radcliffe , Fiona Shaw , Rupert Grint , Emma Watson Runtime 152 minutes Watch on Max

21 Virgil Tibbs

‘In the Heat of the Night’ (1967)

Detective Virgil Tibbs and Police Chief Bill Gillespie work the case in ‘In the Heat of the Night’.Image via United Artists In the Heat of the Night was a Best Picture-winning crime/mystery/drama movie from 1967, touching upon themes regarding justice and prejudice that were topical back then, and remain so to this day. Certain things it deals with prove complex, but the story is very straightforward as far as movies about murder investigations go, and it has a clear hero in protagonist Virgil Tibbs, played by Sidney Poitier in a career-best performance.

Tibbs is assigned to look into the story’s central murder, which has taken place in a town with some rather racist inhabitants who don’t take kindly to the fact that Tibbs is African-American. Yet he does his job despite the pushback, stands up to those who are particularly prejudiced, and does it all while being very charismatic, too (largely thanks to Poitier’s charisma and dominant screen presence as an actor).

In the Heat of the Night NRRelease Date August 2, 1967 Director Norman Jewison CastSidney Poitier , Rod Steiger , Warren Oates , Lee Grant , Larry Gates , James Patterson Runtime 109 Main Genre Crime NR Release Date August 2, 1967 Director Norman Jewison CastSidney Poitier , Rod Steiger , Warren Oates , Lee Grant , Larry Gates , James Patterson Runtime 109 Main Genre Crime Watch on Tubi

20 Frodo Baggins

‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy (2001-2003)

Frodo looking back with a saddened expression in The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the KingImage via New Line Cinema Epic movies don’t get much more epic than The Lord of the Rings trilogy, three films that add up to approximately nine hours of movie (or more like 11, if you watch the extended versions). There are numerous great characters throughout, and various different kinds of heroes. Aragon’s one of the best, as is Gandalf, and even someone more flawed like Boromir (who does redeem himself somewhat) stands as a memorable character.

But to pick the biggest and most prominent hero of the trilogy, one would have to turn to the hobbits. It might sting a bit to put Samwise Gamgee in second place (he might be the best companion/sidekick of all time), but it is Frodo Baggins who ultimately has to sacrifice the most before eventually saving Middle Earth. Despite his size, he braves the odds of his perilous journey and allows the epic trilogy to end on a triumphant – albeit slightly bittersweet – note.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring PG-13 Adventure Action Fantasy DramaRelease Date December 19, 2001 DirectorPeter JacksonCastElijah Wood , Ian McKellen , Orlando Bloom , Sean Bean , Alan Howard , Sean Astin , Andy Serkis , Viggo Mortensen Runtime 178 minutes PG-13 Adventure Action Fantasy Drama Release Date December 19, 2001 DirectorPeter JacksonCastElijah Wood , Ian McKellen , Orlando Bloom , Sean Bean , Alan Howard , Sean Astin , Andy Serkis , Viggo Mortensen Runtime 178 minutes Watch on Max

19 Will Kane

‘High Noon’ (1952)

Black and white shot of Gary Cooper walking in a Western village in High Noon.Image via United Artists The Western genre was one typically filled with clear heroes and villains, though revisionist Westerns eventually became popular, and started to make things a little more realistic, not to mention murkier morally. High Noon, as an early revisionist Western, does get a little darker than some others of its time, but nevertheless features a clear hero – not to mention an admirable one – in Marshal Will Kane.

A character John Wayne was considered for, it’s certainly for the best that the role ended up going to Gary Cooper, because it feels like the sort of character Cooper was born to play. The film sees him struggling to get anyone to help him deal with an oncoming threat (a criminal seeking vengeance on Kane), forcing him to stand his ground and take on the film’s villains alone. As far as Western movie characters defying the odds and boldly facing adversaries go, few do it more heroically than Will Kane. Do not forsake him (oh my darling) indeed.

High Noon PG Drama WesternRelease Date June 9, 1952 Director Fred Zinnemann Cast Gary Cooper , Thomas Mitchell , Lloyd Bridges , Katy Jurado , Grace Kelly , Otto Kruger Runtime 85 PG Drama Western Release Date June 9, 1952 Director Fred Zinnemann Cast Gary Cooper , Thomas Mitchell , Lloyd Bridges , Katy Jurado , Grace Kelly , Otto Kruger Runtime 85 Rent on Apple TV

18 Foxy Brown

‘Foxy Brown’ (1974)

ClosePam Grier’sbasically the epitome of cool, and especially so during the 1970s, thanks to starring roles in iconic action/crime films like Coffy and Foxy Brown. Of the two, the latter sees Grier playing the most iconic lead character of her career (besides perhaps Jackie Brown, a couple of decades later), with Foxy Brown being about the titular character taking revenge and wiping out some vicious mobsters in the process.

It was even less common to see women front and center in action/crime movies back in the 1970s, so Foxy Brown was likely revolutionary for the time, and much of it feels like it still holds up to this day. The film might have some flaws, but seeing Grier take no prisoners and fight back against criminals is a blast to watch, with the character and Pam Grier being the two main reasons Foxy Brown is worth watching.

Watch on Tubi

17 Norma Rae

‘Norma Rae’ (1979)

Close A film that feels more topical than ever in light of recent events, Norma Rae takes a look at the arduous tasks involved in unionizing a workplace, here being a factory that mistreats its employees: various textile workers. Unionization and fair workplace arrangements have been covered well in documentaries before, with Norma Rae being a strong example of how it can be tackled within a drama film (one that was loosely inspired by real events).

Sally Field plays the titular Norma Rae, and won her first of two Academy Awards for the performance. She’s great at being a central figure who represents determination, with Norma’s plight and struggles still ringing true. It’s a film that matters, and should continue mattering, and will arguably only run the risk of ceasing to matter once every worker in the world feels like their employer compensates them fairly for the work they do.

Buy on Amazon

16 Bruce Wayne/Batman

‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy (2005-2012)

Bruce Wayne looking serious while standing in front of his Batman suit in The Dark KnightImage via Warner Bros. Coming out the same year as the aforementioned Iron Man, The Dark Knight is a groundbreaking film within the superhero genre, and a movie that expertly explores the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Though it’s fair to also highlight the other movies in the Dark Knight trilogy, with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises also being significant in their own ways, with Christian Bale portraying the character across all three movies.

It’s never easy to pick the best Batman in film history, but Bale’s certainly a contender, and it helps that his version of Wayne/Batman did a great deal across three lengthy and jam-packed movies. As a hero, he has his flaws and downsides, but admirably sticks to his principles no matter what, and does what he can – sometimes, with great desperation – to continually protect the city of Gotham from a myriad of dangerous individuals and criminals.

The Dark Knight PG-13 Action Crime Thriller SuperheroRelease Date July 18, 2008 DirectorChristopher NolanCastChristian Bale , Heath Ledger , Aaron Eckhart , Michael Caine , Maggie Gyllenhaal , Gary OldmanRuntime 152 minutes PG-13 Action Crime Thriller Superhero Release Date July 18, 2008 DirectorChristopher NolanCastChristian Bale , Heath Ledger , Aaron Eckhart , Michael Caine , Maggie Gyllenhaal , Gary OldmanRuntime 152 minutes Watch on Max

15 Jefferson Smith

‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ (1939)

Jefferson Smith holding a book at court in Mr. Smith Goes to WashingtonImage via Columbia Pictures Frank Capra specialized in making movies about everyday people and underdogs dealing with injustice; not exclusively, but he did these things well, and that’s particularly noticeable with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It’s one of James Stewart’s best roles/movies, too, following a man named Jefferson Smith as he begins to get involved in the wild world of U.S. politics, following his appointment to the Senate in Washington D.C.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington balances being a comedy and a drama well, having some good-natured humor/satire while also exploring politics in a sometimes serious and critical way. The titular Mr. Smith defies odds and sticks to his unwavering sense of morality throughout, and appears even more heroic because so many other people around him in Washington D.C. are shown to lack the same good qualities he has.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington NR Comedy DramaRelease Date October 9, 1939 Director Frank Capra Cast James Stewart , Jean Arthur , Claude Rains , Edward Arnold Runtime 129 minutes NR Comedy Drama Release Date October 9, 1939 Director Frank Capra Cast James Stewart , Jean Arthur , Claude Rains , Edward Arnold Runtime 129 minutes Rent on Apple TV

14 Peter Parker/Spider-Man

The ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy (2002-2007)

Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2Image via Sony As far as the Marvel side of the superhero genre goes, there’s a good argument to be made that Peter Parker/Spider-Man is the greatest of all superheroes. There’s another Batman-like dilemma, however, that comes with picking the best of all the cinematic Spider-Men. At the risk of annoying some, it might well be Tobey Maguire’s depiction of the character from the Sam RaimiSpider-Man trilogy, though he’s a character who’s heroic in just about any form, really.

Peter Parker’s a great hero because of how relatable he is, and his superhero persona, Spider-Man, works in part because of the compelling fantasy inherent in imagining having powers like he does. He’s an ordinary guy who’s capable of greatness, and the fact he perseveres through a world that seems to genuinely hate him (especially in the masterful Spider-Man 2) just makes him all the more endearing and worth rooting for.

Spider-Man (2002) PG-13 superheroes Action Adventure Sci-FiRelease Date May 3, 2002 DirectorSam RaimiCastTobey Maguire , Kirsten Dunst , Willem Dafoe , James Franco , Cliff Robertson , Rosemary Harris , J.K. Simmons , Joe ManganielloRuntime 121 minutes PG-13 superheroes Action Adventure Sci-Fi Release Date May 3, 2002 DirectorSam RaimiCastTobey Maguire , Kirsten Dunst , Willem Dafoe , James Franco , Cliff Robertson , Rosemary Harris , J.K. Simmons , Joe ManganielloRuntime 121 minutes Watch on Disney+

13 Sarah Connor

‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ (1991)

Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2: Judgment DayImage via TriStar Pictures An iconic series created by James Cameron, the Terminator films have their fair share of iconic heroes, including Kyle Reese from The Terminator (1984) and the reprogrammed T-800 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. But the best and most memorable of the heroic characters in the series might well be Sarah Connor, particularly because she shines across multiple movies, particularly the first and second (the two best films in the series).

But it’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day where Linda Hamilton really gets to shine as Sarah Connor. She put up an amazing fight for survival in The Terminator, especially near the end, but she’s a full-on/no-nonsense machine of a character in the second, grappling with trauma brought about by the events of the first movie while also succeeding in kicking tons of ass. She gets a decent amount to do in 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate, too, but Terminator 2: JudgmentDay remains the film where Linda Hamilton and her character make the biggest impression.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day R Action Sci-Fi ThrillerRelease Date July 3, 1991 Director James Cameron CastArnold Schwarzenegger , Linda Hamilton , Edward Furlong , Robert Patrick , Earl Boen , Joe Morton Runtime 137 minutes R Action Sci-Fi Thriller Release Date July 3, 1991 Director James Cameron CastArnold Schwarzenegger , Linda Hamilton , Edward Furlong , Robert Patrick , Earl Boen , Joe Morton Runtime 137 minutes Watch on Paramount+

12 John McClane

‘Die Hard’ (1988)

John McClane crawling down a vent while holding a lighter in Die Hard.Image via 20th Century Studios Across five inconsistent movies, John McClane was consistently himself: a wise-cracking, relatable, flawed, but ultimately heroic individual constantly caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, but nevertheless doing the right thing in such situations. The best showcase for McClane’s heroism would be the Christmas classic that is the first Die Hard, which also gives him the most growth as a character.

1988’s Die Hard helped cement Bruce Willis as a movie star, making him so much more than “the guy from Moonlighting,” and his character, John McClane, is also significant for what he represented for the action genre as a whole. McClane showed that heroes in such movies didn’t necessarily need to be larger-than-life and ridiculously muscular, with the character being a different kind of masculine, and a somewhat different – and, many would say, more interesting – type of action movie hero.

Die Hard R Action ThrillerRelease Date July 20, 1988 DirectorJohn McTiernanCastBruce Willis , Bonnie Bedelia , Reginald VelJohnson , Paul Gleason , William Atherton , Hart Bochner Runtime 132 minutes R Action Thriller Release Date July 20, 1988 DirectorJohn McTiernanCastBruce Willis , Bonnie Bedelia , Reginald VelJohnson , Paul Gleason , William Atherton , Hart Bochner Runtime 132 minutes Watch on Hulu

11 Rocky Balboa

The ‘Rocky’ series (1976-2006)

Rocky at the top of the stairs from Rocky III, jumping up hands in the air.Image via United Artists Similarly everyman in nature to John McClane, especially in his first movie, the title character in Rocky is an essential movie underdog, and at the center of one of the best sports movies of all time. Rocky Balboa is down on his luck and not really going anywhere, but then gets an opportunity to make a name for himself by fighting a much more well-known opponent, setting in motion a series of training montages and determined attempts to better himself as a person while he prepares.

Sylvester Stallone put everything he could into Rocky, himself being an underdog within the film industry who shot to fame and dominated cinema for decades to come, much like how his character, Rocky, grows in prestige and popularity within the film series he’s central to. Rocky Balboa is inherently likable, and his perseverance is almost unmatched, making him the sort of hero one can’t help rooting for.

Rocky PG Drama SportRelease Date November 21, 1976 Director John G. Avildsen CastSylvester Stallone , Talia Shire , Burt Young , Carl Weathers , Burgess Meredith , Thayer David Runtime 120 minutes PG Drama Sport Release Date November 21, 1976 Director John G. Avildsen CastSylvester Stallone , Talia Shire , Burt Young , Carl Weathers , Burgess Meredith , Thayer David Runtime 120 minutes Rent on Apple TV

10 Rick Blaine

‘Casablanca’ (1942)

Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine looking seriously at something off-camera in Casablanca.Image via. Warner Bros. Few Humphrey Bogartmovies endure the same way Casablanca endures, and Bogart himself is a big reason for that. He plays Rick Blaine, the lead character in a film that’s packed with hugely memorable supporting players, and a man jaded by a love affair that ended prematurely. His world’s turned upside-down when his past lover re-emerges, only now, she’s with someone else, and that person – a resistance leader – just so happens to need Rick’s help.

Set in World War II, Casablanca is primarily a romance film, and one of the all-time best, even if it’s ultimately about letting go of somewhere you love for the greater good, instead of living with someone happily ever after. Rick’s sacrifice in this regard ultimately makes him a hero, as he does what’s best for the world – and, arguably, his ex – while changing who he is fundamentally, emerging at the end of the film as a less cynical and much more morally sound individual.

Casablanca PG Drama Romance WarRelease Date January 23, 1942 Director Michael Curtiz CastHumphrey Bogart , Ingrid Bergman , Paul Henreid , Claude Rains , Conrad Veidt , Sydney Greenstreet Runtime 102 minutes PG Drama Romance War Release Date January 23, 1942 Director Michael Curtiz CastHumphrey Bogart , Ingrid Bergman , Paul Henreid , Claude Rains , Conrad Veidt , Sydney Greenstreet Runtime 102 minutes Watch on Max

9 Oskar Schindler

‘Schindler’s List’ (1993)

Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler crying while facing a man in Schindler’s ListImage via Universal Studios A great many movie heroes who make a true impact are fictional, but Oskar Schindler was a real person whose heroism during World War II is covered in the epic biographical movie that is Schindler’s List. Running for over three hours, it’s a daunting yet essential film that showcases the horrors of the Holocaust while depicting how Schindler used his fortune to save more than 1000 Jewish lives during that dark chapter in human history.

Schindler’s List doesn’t shy away from the fact that Schindler was a flawed man, especially before he realized what was actually going on as part of the Nazi’s Final Solution. The film depicts a man changing his outlook on the world and taking steps to do what he can to fight a great and overwhelming evil. It’s true to life in that Schindler does not – and indeed, cannot – save everyone, but the film shows he made a difference and celebrates that, all the while being honest about how destructive and terrible the Holocaust still was overall.

Schindler’s List (1995) R Biography Drama HistoryRelease Date December 15, 1993 DirectorSteven SpielbergCastLiam Neeson , Ralph Fiennes , Ben Kingsley , Caroline Goodall Runtime 195 minutes R Biography Drama History Release Date December 15, 1993 DirectorSteven SpielbergCastLiam Neeson , Ralph Fiennes , Ben Kingsley , Caroline Goodall Runtime 195 minutes Watch on Amazon

8 Atticus Finch

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ (1962)

Mary Badham and Gregory Peck in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’Image via Universal Studios Atticus Finch is commonly regarded as one of literature’s greatest heroes, so it follows naturally that the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird – which is a well-regarded adaptation – also ensures he’s an all-time great movie hero. The story revolves around a dramatic criminal case that sees Atticus Finch defending a black man who swears he’s innocent, all the while everyone else seems convinced that he must be guilty of what he’s been accused of.

It’s a film of its time, in some ways, but in other regards, To Kill a Mockingbird feels timeless, and it’s one of the best releases of its decade for sure. Gregory Peck gave what might be a career-best performance as Atticus Finch, perfectly bringing the character to life, and helping ensure he was just as determined and admirable on screen as he was on the page.

To Kill A Mockingbird NRRelease Date December 20, 1962 Director Robert Mulligan Cast gregory peck , John Megna , Frank Overton , Rosemary Murphy , Ruth White , Brock Peters Runtime 129 minutes Main Genre Crime NR Release Date December 20, 1962 Director Robert Mulligan Cast gregory peck , John Megna , Frank Overton , Rosemary Murphy , Ruth White , Brock Peters Runtime 129 minutes Main Genre Crime Watch on Tubi

7 Clarice Starling

‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991)

Jodie Foster in The Silence of the LambsImage Via Orion Pictures Dr. Hannibal Lecter is an all-time great movie villain, and perhaps the most memorable character in The Silence of the Lambs. Clarice Starling, as the film’s hero, however, really isn’t far behind, and is equally important in ensuring the entire movie works as well as it does. Two great performances needed two great actors, and indeed, both Anthony Hopkins (as Lecter) and Jodie Foster (as Starling) won Academy Awards for their performances here.

Clarice Starling is involved with finding an elusive serial killer, and enlists the help of an imprisoned Dr. Lecter to help her get into the mind of someone as dangerous as the person she needs to find. Starling’s determined and willing to go to great lengths to do the task at hand, and endures much on both a physical and psychological level in order to achieve her goal.

The Silence of the Lambs R Horror Thriller Crime PsychologicalRelease Date February 14, 1991 DirectorJonathan DemmeCastJodie Foster , Anthony Hopkins , Scott Glenn , Ted LevineRuntime 118 minutes R Horror Thriller Crime Psychological Release Date February 14, 1991 DirectorJonathan DemmeCastJodie Foster , Anthony Hopkins , Scott Glenn , Ted LevineRuntime 118 minutes Rent on Apple TV

6 Clark Kent/Superman

‘Superman’ (1978)

Christopher Reeve as SupermanImage via Warner Bros. For as great as various cinematic depictions of Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Batman have been, it’s hard to look past Superman when it comes to crowning one superhero as the best and most iconic. Also, though other actors have done an admirable job at playing Clark Kent/Superman, Christopher Reeve is basically the gold standard for this character, bringing charm, warmth, and unabashed heroism to a character some sometimes see as corny.

Across four movies, Reeve embodied the legendary comic book character and showed he was essentially born to play the role, with Superman and its first sequel being particularly good. He’s the ultimate superhero in many ways, and could well be the first many think of when they hear the word “superhero.” As such, he more than earns the right to be considered among the most iconic of all movie heroes.

Superman PG Action Adventure Fantasy Sci-FiRelease Date December 13, 1978 DirectorRichard DonnerCast Marlon Brando , Gene Hackman , Christopher Reeve , Ned Beatty , Jackie Cooper , Glenn Ford Runtime 143 Minutes PG Action Adventure Fantasy Sci-Fi Release Date December 13, 1978 DirectorRichard DonnerCast Marlon Brando , Gene Hackman , Christopher Reeve , Ned Beatty , Jackie Cooper , Glenn Ford Runtime 143 Minutes Watch on Max

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