April 28, 2016 marks the nation’s unofficial National Superhero day, where we honor the characters that chose to use their extraordinary abilities to fight evil rather than become it. Obviously, the best way to celebrate is to make a mugger-free trek back home after work and binge-watch some hero-themed movies on Netflix.
For decades, characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Batman, Spider-Man and Superman have captivated the imaginations of people everywhere with their never-ending quest for justice that’s often realized by having to punch a high-concept villain straight in the jaw. With “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” now in theaters and “Captain America: Civil War” just one week away, there’s never been a better time to be a superhero fan.
Let your nerdy flag fly high today by taking the time to check out some of these superhero movies that are currently available to stream in their entirety on Netflix:
Directed by Tim Burton, this highly-stylized Michael Keaton classic was among the first movies to push superheroes out of the comic book pages and into mainstream cinema. When the infamous Joker, masterfully played by Jack Nicholson, begins to terrorize the people of Gotham, it’s up to Batman to put a stop to it before any real damage is done to the city.
Based on the acclaimed comic series by Mike Mignola, this Guillermo del Toro-directed feature introduces audiences to Ron Perlman as Hellboy, a demon plucked from hell by a kind scientist during WWII. In the present day, he works for a government agency destined to keep the world of monsters and demons from the general public. Although his job is to fight evil and his destiny is to bring about the end of the universe, all the hero really wants to do is crack a beer and be left alone.
“Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox” (2013)
Although it’s an animated feature, this PG-13 film doesn’t pull any punches while telling a high-concept story set in the DC Comics world. After The Flash stops some villains working for his arch nemesis, he wakes up the following morning to find himself in an alternate reality where not only does the Justice League not exist, but the heroes that make it up are actively at war with one another. Only the scarlet speedster is aware of the change, but he’ll need more than speed to stop this evil plan and get things back to normal.
“The Punisher” (2004)
Although the character has new life thanks to Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of Frank Castle in “Daredevil” Season 2, Thomas Jane previously played the hero in this violent 2004 adaptation. When Castle fails to save his family from a mafia hit, the entire world thinks he’s dead. He uses that misconception to hit them back hard. John Travolta plays the villain Howard Saint in this well-crafted look into the origins of the Marvel comics anti-hero.
“Zoom Academy For Superheroes” (2006)
While some of the other movies on this list aren’t exactly family friendly, this film is one you should have no trouble watching with the kids. Tim Allen stars as a former superhero that’s been brought back into a government program to foster an Avengers-style team of extraordinary youngsters. Realizing that he’s the only hope to train these children to stop the greatest evil the world has ever known, he’ll have to wade through the trials and tribulations of being a mentor to some difficult youths.
Constantine is actually an old DC Comics character created by famed writer Alan Moore. The character was born with the ability to see angels and demons when they possess people on earth. Played by Keanu Reeves, Constantine tells the story of when he tried to kill himself at a young age, only to be revived after spending a great deal of time in hell. Now, with a war going on between angels and demons, he’s the only human with the ability and perspective to see it and stop it.
With the proliferation of superheroes in pop culture over the years, it’s not surprising to hear that a handful of physically gifted people have decided to put on a costume and take to the streets in an effort to stop crime. Real-life superheroes known as Mr. Xtreme, Zimmer, Master Legend, Life and more are the subject of this documentary about the type of person it takes to bring the comic book and movie concept to the real world in order to stop crime and make a difference in their every-day lives.
Which superhero movie will you be checking out on National Superhero day? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.