Iron Man (2008)

Marvel probably knew Iron Man would create a film franchise bigger than anything they’d ever seen when they launched into the first film, but that didn’t stop it being handled with impeccable flair. Robert Downey Jr. built himself a throwback role, like Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, and the rest, as they say, is history. Iron Man 2 and 3 have further pushed the envelope.

Iron ManRobert Downey Junior's Iron Man in the third movie

The rich, sardonic, charismatic Tony Stark takes on Batman-like task of putting his considerable wealth towards technology to help him fight evil. Unlike Batman, Iron Man doesn’t bother delving into the darkness of the human psyche – the deterioration of Stark’s health due to the sapping nature of the suit provides the internal antagonist here, and it works.

$585m later, and Iron Man is one of Marvel’s most successful films from the 2000s. The reviews, which settled upon a healthy 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, praised the tight story telling, the empathic set pieces and, of course, Downey Jr.’s performance. “There are a few scenes in Iron Man that make you realize why we rely on giant studios and big budgets come the summer months,” said