6. “Watchmen” (2009)
It’s 1985 in an alternative U.S., where the streets run rampant with crime and corruption and our country is on the brink of war with Russia. With the doomsday clock closer than ever to striking midnight, our unlikely band of heroes, the watchmen, take matters into their own gloved hands. Zack Snyder, director of “Man of Steel,” brings the immortal graphic novel to life. Snyder captures the book’s dark brilliance and social commentary, but the film does best when it focuses on its six main characters. The watchmen serve as a team of anti-avengers who come out of retirement to track down the masked assassin taking out their superhero friends. Jackie Earle Haley commands his scenes as the supremely satisfying Rorschach, and Patrick Wilson nails his role as the charmingly vulnerable Nite Owl. “Watchmen” has long been considered unfilmable, since doing such a legendary book screen justice is a feat many films fail to do (The Great Gatsby.) So check it out before everyone sees “Man of Steel” and liking Zack Snyder becomes cool.
Best Scene: The opening credit sequence: a black-and-white montage of the crime-fighting league’s evolution over Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin.’” Gotta love that.