Full list of all R rated superhero movies ever made

With all the buzz going around “Logan” and “Deadpool“, I decided to make a full list of all R rated superhero movies ever released. Enjoy!

Full list of 40+ titles below, sorted by IMDb rating.

super-rainn-wilson

My favourite independent movies on this list are ”Robocop”, “Defendor” and “Super“. Pretty unique.

TITLE YEAR IMDB RATING BUDGET (MLN) BOX OFFICE  (MLN) NOTES
The Matrix 1999 8.7 $63.000000 $463.500000 by the Wachowskis, with K. Reeves, L. Fishburne, H. Weaving, C. A. Moss
Logan 2017 8.4 $97.000000 $607.300000
V for Vendetta 2005 8.2 $54.000000 $130.000000 produced by the Wachowskis, with N. Portman, H. Weaving. Based on comics by A. Moore
Sin City 2005 8 $40.000000 $158.500000 by R. Rodriguez/F. Miller, with B. Willis, M. Rourke
Deadpool 2016 8 $58.000000 $783.100000
Kick-Ass 2010 7.7 $30.000000 $96.200000 with (unusual) N. Cage
Watchmen 2009 7.6 $130.000000 $184.000000 by Z. Snyder, based on comics by A. Moore
The Crow 1994 7.6 $15.000000 $50.600000 by Alex Proyas (Dark City). Various sequels
Robocop 1987 7.5 $13.000000 $53.400000 by P. Verhoeven, with P. Weller
The Matrix Reloaded 2003 7.2 $150.000000 $742.100000 by Wachowskis, with K. Reeves, L. Fishburne, H. Weaving, C. A. Moss, M. Belucci
Dredd 2012 7.1 $45.000000 $41.400000 screenplay by Alex Garland (directed Ex Machina)
Blade 1998 7.1 $45.000000 $131.200000 based on Marvel character, screenplay by D. S. Goyer, with W. Snipes
Constantine 2005 6.9 $100.000000 $221.600000 with K. Reeves, R. Weisz, P. Stormare, Tilda Swinton
Special 2006 6.9 $1.000000 ? with Michael Rapaport
Sin City: A Dame to Kill for 2014 6.9 $65.000000 $39.400000 by R. Rodriguez, with M. Rourke, E. Green, J. Alba, J. Gordon-Lewitt
Super 2008 6.8 $2.500000 $0.400000 by J. Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), with Rainn Wilson
Defendor 2009 6.8 $5.400000 $0.440000 with W. Harrelson
The Matrix Revolutions 2003 6.7 $150.000000 $427.300000 by Wachowski brothers, with K. Reeves, L. Fishburne, H. Weaving, C. A. Moss
Blade ll 2002 6.7 $55.000000 $154.400000 by G. del Toro, screenplay by D. Goyer, based on Marvel character, with W. Snipes
Wanted 2008 6.7 $75.000000 $342.400000 by T. Bekmambetov, with A. Jolie, J. McAvoy, M. Freeman
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016 6.7 $250.000000 $873.000000 …only the Director’s Cut was rated R
Kick-Ass 2 2013 6.6 $28.000000 $60.700000
Heroic Trio 1993 6.6 ? ?
The Punisher 2004 6.5 $33.000000 $54.500000 with T. Jane, J. Travolta
Darkman 1990 6.4 $16.000000 $49.000000 by S. Raimi, with L. Neeson
Hebrew Hammer 2003 6.2 $1.300000 $0.082157
The Toxic Avenger 1984 6.2 $0.500000 $0.800000  first R rated superhero movie ever
Black Mask 1996 6.1 ? $14.000000 with Jet Li. Disastrous sequel followed
Punisher: War Zone 2008 6 $35.000000 $10.100000 OST was unexpectedly successful
The Specials 2000 6 $1.000000 $0.130000 written by J. Gunn (Super, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Guyver: Dark Hero 1994 6 $0.900000 ? …the only movie here when the sequel was more successful than the original that wasn’t rated R.
The Punisher 1989 5.9 $9.000000 $0.500000 with Dolph Lundgren
Blade: Trinity 2004 5.9 $65.000000 $132.000000 by D. S. Goyer, with W. Snipes
Robocop 2 1990 5.7 $14.000000 $45.700000 with P. Weller
Judge Dredd 1995 5.5 $90.000000 $113.500000 with S. Stallone
Daredevil 2003 5.3 $78.000000 $182.700000 …only the Director’s Cut was rated R
Tank Girl 1995 5.2 $25.000000 $6.000000 with Naomi Watts, M. McDowell
Spawn 1997 5.2 $40.000000 $87.900000
Alter Egos 2012 5.2 ? $1.000000
The Toxic Avenger: Part ll 1989 5.1 $2.400000 $0.800000 …and 2 other less successful sequels
Black Scorpion 1995 4.8 ? ? …and the sequel
Spiderbabe 2003 4.4 ? ? …direct-to-video, loosely based on Marvel character
Officer Downe 2016 4.1 ? $0.000850
Faust: Love of the Damned 2000 4.1 $3.000000 ?
Let’s make clear several things.
  1. Most R rated superhero movies fall in into categories – or it’s a very high budget Hollywood production, or it’s some independent stuff that’s often trashy. Both categories had their failures and successes.
  2. The movie doesn’t always need to have R rating to be awesome. In “Watchmen” – yes, it’s a part of the plot and story. In “Logan” – well, it could be a great movie even without all that gore.
  3. Neither “Deadpool” nor “Logan” were first R-rated superhero movies. Before that, we had “Watchmen”. And before “Watchmen”, we had “Blade”. And even before them, we had “The Toxic Avenger“.
  4. If we talk about things seriously, let’s admit R rated superhero movies now made a full circle. “Blade” (1998) was one of the first big successful movies – by the way, it’s a Marvel character – grossing $131 million with only a $40 million budget, but it was mostly pure action and style. “The Matrix” was probably really the first big office hit that started to change things, being not just cool action movie with violence, but also more though though-provoking ($463.5 million box office). Then came “Spider-Man” with its $821.7 million worldwide box office, starting the hugely successful era of superhero movies for everybody.
  5. “Defendor” and “Super” are a must-watch for anyone who likes independent cinema.

30 thoughts on “Full list of all R rated superhero movies ever made

    • I didn’t see it in that way before, I’ll tell you honestly. But now after all these years, yes, definitely it may be easily categorized as such, as it has many elements of it. It’s a dystopian post-apocalyptic cyberpunk action movie with good insights into philosophy.

      Now, it may sound superficial and controversial, but if you simplify the plot for a 12-year-old kid, this is how it looks: there’s a guy who’s an ordinary man, he gains superpowers and now tries to save the world fighting the bad guys. Of course, the movie is much more complex than this, but at its core this understanding can be accepted.

      There are other movies on this list that may be under doubt as well, it’s not the only one. That’s a common thing about all these movies here and why they are R rated.

      Your thoughts? Some additions to the list?

      But don’t ask me for a definition of a superhero movie now… That kind of stuff you do much better than me. 🙂

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      • I feel that paints the definition of “superhero” with too broad a brush, particularly since the classical definition of a superhero is someone who uses their superhuman abilities to save other people. There’s much kicking and punching and raging against the machine, so to speak, in The Matrix movies, but not much actual saving of ordinary people. Contrast this with Superman saving a bus full of school children from drowning or Spider-Man foiling a dangerous bank robbery with civilian hostages. I think a sort of moral code having to do with protecting the innocent is a key attribute of superheroes as we know them.

        You could put all these aforementioned figures under the umbrella of action heroes or action movie protagonists, I suppose, but to simply say a person with extraordinary physical abilities is a superhero misconstrues the term. By that definition, the Bride in Kill Bill, James Bond, or Arnold Schwarzenegger in any of his action roles could be considered a superhero.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ”There’s much kicking and punching and raging against the machine” – that’s probably one of the best definitions of that movie that I’ve heard in a long time. I’m sure Zack de la Rocha’d love it too. I understand what you mean, but I guess that in that world saving the humans directly was almost impossible for obvious reasons of the plot construction (except for several people and the last battle if you interpret thing in a normal way – I’ve read very different interpretations of the Matrix universe). So the choice was still to save whe world in order to later let humans live in the future. That’s why I consider it a superhero movie.

        Anyway, I agree with you that obviously Superman or Spider-Man is a classic superhero movie and The Matrix is such to a lesser extent. Of course.

        The action movies with James Bond or Schwarzenegger I won’t consider because they don’t have superpowers. In most cases they are unkillable, of course, due to the plot and franchising, but it doesn’t mean having superpowers.

        And this list is limited just for R rated flicks, I didn’t take into consideration the whole picture of the superhero movies. That would make everything too complicated.

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  1. Nice post! I also really liked Robocop! I guess anyone who wants to adapt A. Moore comics will have to go for R rating, they are just graphic. Though, I do not particularly like how they adapted V for Vendetta.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Which one is you favourite out of top 20?

      Yes, they have to go R if they want to make a faithful adaptation, but I also thing it’s the marketing issue. If they don’t go R, they’ll a) not make a faithful adaptation b) have to compete with other superhero movies and that is a risky business now. Robocop, I think, is one of the genre-founding movies in some way, as it is hugely influential and smart.

      Did you read A. Moore comics?

      What you didn’t like about V for Vendetta? I have watched it when I was pretty young and need to rewatch it, hence you won’t find it rated in the review section. Here in this list everything’s sorted just by IMDb rating.

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      • It is difficult to say which is my favourite: I liked The Matrix for its idea/insight – it was something different in 1999, and I have not seen quite a few on your list.
        I did read Moore’s comics – I like them. I have many issues with V for Vendetta (2006). For one thing, it kinda missed the point of the comics, and Moore himself hates the film and what they have done. The comics’ story is more about fighting a branch of “fascism” so to speak, and the comics make many political statements here and there. You don’t see it so much in the film. Another thing is that they made it all so rosy and nice in the film. Evey is not out to seek clients for the night, but ventures to her friend. Evey is a much more damaged person in the book.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, some great movies in that list and some real stinkers. I’ve seen 20. My favourites are The matrix and The Crow. I’ll have to check out Defender because I actually really liked Super.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lots of stinkers! 🙂 Which are the worst from the top 20 for you?

      Defendor is great. It’s doesn’t have all the crazed violence like Super but doesn’t need it. And I really adore Harrelson’s work, he has good charisma and isvery versatile.

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    • You’re lucky to have it in the theaters… That’s a good question. It’s a dark movie with lots of violence, but there’s nothing explicit indeed. In fact, in most other countries it was rated with a much softer rating. +12 in Switzerland, ha.

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  3. The movies I’ve seen on this list all pretty much kick ass, and now I want to see the ones I’ve yet to watch on this list.

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    • It’s obviously not a pure superheroic movie as we know them (now), but has clearly some elements of it. There was a big discussion about it here already in ths comments section ☺

      Like

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