8. Wonder Woman (2017)
I wanted her to be real.
Gal Gadot so embodies Diana Prince in Wonder Woman that I left the cinema longing for her to exist in our reality. This is a movie that exudes star power from both her and leading man Chris Pine. Time was two movie stars was enough to open a picture and garner success at the box office. Now, it's proven intellectual properties, franchises, reboots, and nostalgia that sells. Wonder Woman gives us the best of both worlds and gives us a hero focused on doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do. No time to grouse and wallow in self-loathing. No edginess-for-edginess sake. Just a wholesome soul who wants to do what must be done.
This was a decade of superhero films, especially the Marvel pictures. Those are very entertaining and an impressive work in the way they created their cinematic universe. DC struggled to compete with that. Man of Steel was too dark to be a true Superman movie. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was dreary (except for the appearance of Wonder Woman). Justice League had its moments, but still didn't crackle with fun. Wonder Woman is the DC movie for which I've longed. Fun, exciting, moments of humor, and heartfelt. There is an earnestness to this movie that is missing from the other DC movies.
The moment that still stays with me is the No Man's Land scene. Diana has left the idyllic island of Themyscira to help Steve Trevor (Pine) fight in World War I because she believe Ares, the God of War, wants to bring about the end of mankind. She doesn't brood about the enormity of the task. She just takes up her sword and heads off to fight. She meets up with some of Steve's cohorts and they find themselves in battle. Diana springs into action to lead the men out of their trench so they can advance. It is wonderfully staged action piece and defines who Diana is as a warrior. The way he movie balances her wholesomeness with her Amazon training is one of its many strengths.
Marvel may have owned the decade and rightfully so. They produced many outstanding entertainments: Iron Man, the Captain America trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, the Avengers pictures. All great fun. But, Wonder Woman stood above them all for me. I enjoyed the Marvel stuff, especially Captain America and Guardians, but Wonder Woman was the only comic book movie that had me truly longing that superheroes actually existed.