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X-Men

Year: 2000
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Bryan Singer
Producer: Lauren Shuler Donner
Writer: Bryan Singer/Tom De Santo/David Hayter
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, IanMcKellen, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Ray Park, Bruce Davison

It's hard to remember a time where a comic book film wasn't a license to print money. Fox took a huge risk way back in 2000 with the money they spent on this film, and the box office results are perhaps the most visible reason behind both the modern rise of Marvel Inc and the endless procession of superhero films we've had in the decade since.

In a parallel universe present, a small number of mutated humans have extraordinary powers, anything from incredible powers of healing to athletic prowess, mind reading ability or the power to generate and control bad weather or manipulate metal.

It's the origin story as Rogue (Paquin) and Logan (Jackman) are both sought out by the enigmatic professor Xavier (Stewart). He can not only tell them the truth about who hey are but runs a safe haven where mutants can reach their full potential protected from the prejudices of a society that fears them.

But there are bad mutants just like there are bad people, and Xavier has an equal and opposite number in Lenssher/Magento (McKellen), who wants mutants to wield their powers to wage war with humanity instead of promote tolerance and peace.

The box office ensured X-2 was a much more accomplished affair - despite the quality in the story here you can see several cut corners because of the $75m budget (which wouldn't cover the catering bill on a modern superhero blockbuster).

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