Amazon Prime’s Samaritan, a movie about an aged superhero, was released on August 26th with mixed but overall positive reviews. The film stars Sylvester Stallone in a role not unlike his legendary Rocky character. He plays the retired superhero Samaritan, “retired” in the unofficial sense given that he up and disappeared after a massive battle 20 years ago. The public had just about forgotten his name, and he now goes by Joe, when a young boy wanders into his life and begins to suspect that the famous superhero may not really be dead after all.

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When it comes to superhero films, Amazon Prime boasts no shortage of great choices to take in once the credits roll on Samaritan, ranging from more modern MCU-inspired takes on the genre all the way back to its earliest days in the 90s. Here are the best movies Prime has to offer that can follow up Stallone’s latest work.


10 The Green Hornet (2011)

It was an odd choice to cast Seth Rogan as the titular superhero in this modern remake, but it could also be called inspired. The typically comedy-focused actor makes a surprisingly excellent foil to the stunning action brought by his co-star Jay Chou, and together they make a believably dysfunctional duo of superhero upstarts. However, there is a lot more going for the movie than just those two.

Directed by Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind helmsman Michel Gondry, The Green Hornet takes a surprisingly surrealist turn in its home stretch. It also features yet another fantastic performance by Christoph Waltz, then starring in just his second Hollywood film following Inglorious Bastards. It’s not going to rival the MCU, but there are some great street-level heroics in this one.

9 The Rocketeer (1991)

Directed by Joe Johnston, who would go on to make Captain America: The First Avenger nearly two decades later, The Rocketeer stars Billy Campbell as Cliff, a young pilot who accidentally comes across a prototype jetpack in the days before World War II, and becomes a flying superhero who takes the fight to the Nazis before the war even gets underway.

The film had been trapped in development limbo for nearly 8 years, and by the time it was released – although it received positive critical reviews – it was eclipsed by Tim Burton’s reinvention of the superhero genre. The movie’s effects may be dated, but looking back, The Rocketeer flies a lot closer to modern superhero films than the dark and dreary Burton ones.

8 Unbreakable (2000)

M. Night Shyamalan’s follow-up to The Sixth Sense didn’t wow audiences to the same degree, and largely fell under the radar, at least in the North American market. It’s a shame, because Unbreakable is a phenomenal film, and one of the quietest and most thoughtful superhero movies ever made.

The sole survivor of a deadly train crash, David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis) walks away from the wreckage without a scratch. As people begin to question how such a thing could be possible, David starts to recognize other oddities in his life; like how he’s never once been sick. David’s son, as well as an eccentric local comic shop owner, begin to suspect David may be harboring latent superpowers. The film eventually spawned two sequels over 15 years later in Split and Glass, although neither holds a candle to the first part of the trilogy.

7 Mystery Men (1999)

If most superhero movies seem to take themselves too seriously, maybe a more light-hearted take on the genre is in order. Mystery Men boasts an all-star cast, beginning with Ben Stiller and William H. Macy and ending with Hank Azaria and Tom Waits. It also boasts the inclusion of an infamous Smash Mouth song long before it ever hitched its wagon to the Shrek franchise.

Essentially, the plot boils down to a group of inept superheroes trying to rescue the world’s Superman-like figure from the clutches of evil. The issue, of course, is that none of them have ever rescued anybody before. The comedy is irreverent and goofy, and it fits right in with Ben Stiller’s late-90s and early-2000s catalog of movies.

6 Brightburn (2019)

For those who like a bit more horror with their superheroes, Brightburn should hit the spot. Written by James Gunn’s brothers, Mark and Brian Gunn, and starring Elizabeth Banks, the movie chronicles the lives of a couple who adopt an alien boy who crash lands on their farm. Unlike the most obvious comparable, Superman, this boy does not grow up to be a kind-hearted savior of mankind.

This movie features some top-notch special effects and costume design, making a young boy with Superman’s powers seem like the most terrifying thing imaginable. For fans of some darker DC Comics stories, or the found footage film Chronicle, Brightburn makes for a frightening addition to the superhero pantheon, and a sequel has already been confirmed.

5 Darkman (1990)

In one of Sami Raimi’s most underappreciated movies, Liam Neeson plays a scientist named Peyton Westlake, who invents a form of synthetic skin that could revolutionize skin grafting, except for one problem: the skin degrades after 100 minutes.

After an attack by gangsters leaves him horribly disfigured, Peyton uses the synthetic skin to take on the appearance of anyone he chooses (but only for 100 minutes) and becomes the infamous Darkman as he seeks out revenge on those who hurt him. The combination of Neeson and Raimi alone makes this a cult classic, but it’s also an interesting look into the “proof of concept” that eventually led to Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.

4 Bloodshot (2020)

No one is going to mistake Bloodshot for a “deep” movie. That’s not what it set out to do. What Bloodshot is, is a balls-to-the-wall adrenaline rush of an action flick. Take any Vin Diesel movie, add superpowers, and that’s Bloodshot. It’s awesome.

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Vin Diesel plays a former soldier who is killed in combat, then resurrected through a medical procedure that also gives him superpowers; specifically super strength and faster healing. With these powers, he seeks out the people who (seemingly) killed his wife. It’s pretty easy to guess where this movie is going, but that doesn’t make the ride any less fun.

3 Hancock (2008)

Peter Berg’s surprisingly influential superhero romp stars Will Smith as the titular Hancock, a superpowered alcoholic who tends to leave more destruction in his wake than he ever prevents from occurring. That is until he rescues a PR expert, played by Jason Bateman, who vows to help Hancock improve his public image.

The film was originally meant to be much darker but settled down a lot of its sex and violence in favor of a PG-13 rating, which left audiences feeling that the movie’s tone was not quite right. Nonetheless, there is a surprising amount that modern superhero films, including the MCU, owe to Hancock’s successes and missteps.

2 Push (2009)

After he was the Human Torch but before he was Captain America, Chris Evans played Nick Grant, known as a “Mover” due to his telekinetic abilities. Nick has a vision of a young girl he’s meant to protect, but a shadowy organization called The Division is bent on stopping him.

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This globe-trotting movie is part a superhero story and part a spy thriller and was shot “guerilla-style” on the bustling streets of Hong Kong. Push is one of the few movies in the superhero genre not based on a comic book, and as such it stands out from the pack in both its style and tone and in the unique and badass way it represents superpowers and their limitations.

1 Hellboy (2004)

Not to be confused with the 2019 remake, Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy was once one of the best superhero movies of all time. A demon, played to perfection by Ron Pearlman, is summoned by the Nazis before being rescued by an Allied scientist. Raised in America under the careful watch of the CIA, Hellboy grows into a defender of humanity against the forces of darkness.

This move has a lot going for it, from the charm of Pearlman’s Hellboy and Doug Jones’ Abe Sapien, to the signature creepy weirdness that has come to represent all of Guillermo del Toro’s work. The sequel, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, is even better, but this is definitely the movie to start with.

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