The Definitive X-Men Watch Order

Hello, friends!

With the release of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Fox’s time with the X-Men franchise has ended, for better or for worse. While it will probably be several years still until Marvel Studios brings their take of the merry mutants to the big screen, I thought now was a good time to revisit the series that could arguably be considered the starting point of the superhero movie era we find ourselves in now.

Fox’s X-Men have certainly seen their share of highs and lows over the years. Having a franchise consisting of a dozen films from a variety of creative teams is bound to do that; they can’t all be winners. Nevertheless, between the main entries and spin-offs, I do feel the X-Men franchise has managed to bat 500. But that is an article for another day. Today is for a list agnostic of quality.

Consistency between films in the X-Men franchise have never been a priority to Fox. For the most part, the studio allowed the creative teams behind the films to use whatever characters they want and only loosely connect the entries to each other. This has caused many continuity errors that resulted in Bryan Singer and team to have Wolverine go back in time to create a new timeline to start over. Even then, the films continuously contradicted each other. However, if you don’t concern yourself with the finer details and not be as picky when it comes to the cohesion between films (like I was for a while), each film becomes much more enjoyable.

As I said, Fox created a dozen films in this franchise: seven main entries, three Wolverine films, and two Deadpool films. You could watch them in release order but I think there is a better way. Having gone through all of the films again, I think I have come up with the definitive watch order that provides the best flow from entry to entry. Logan, however, is particular among the other movies on this list in that I feel it can be slotted in several different places and still work with the films around it. I will talk about that when the time comes.

Now, onto the list!


I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain why this is where you should start. My review.

X2: X-Men United

X2: X-Men United movie poster

Direct sequel to X-Men. My review.

Side note: I will admit I don’t exactly understand where the title comes from since the team spends most of the film separated…

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie poster

X-Men Origins: Wolverine could be watched after The Last Stand (for release order) or before X-Men (for chronological order) but I think it works better after X2: X-Men United. Wolverine’s history with Col. Stryker and how he comes to have his adamantium skeleton is a focal point in X2, so it is fresh in your mind when watching this. Also, we see how this timeline’s Scott Summers meets Professor Xavier, which is a great little bonus given how unceremoniously he is eliminated in The Last Stand. Sorry, spoiler. My review.

X-Men: The Last Stand

X-Men: The Last Stand movie poster

Now that you’ve seen Wolverine’s past, it’s time to jump to the present and finish the first X-Men trilogy. My review.

The Wolverine

The Wolverine movie poster

By watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine before The Last Stand, it let’s you jump right into post-The Last Stand Wolverine rather than going back in history then jumping forward again. The post-credits scene of The Wolverine ties into Days of Future Past which is not the next film in the watch order so it give you a little bit of a tease of what’s to come in the franchise. My review.

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class movie poster

First film in the series with the new cast, focusing on Charles Xavier, aka Professor X, and Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto. Also the first core X-Men film released after The Last Stand. My review.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past movie poster

Direct sequel to The Last Stand, The Wolverine, and First Class. Reboots the timeline. My review.

X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse movie poster

Direct sequel to Days of Future Past. My review.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

X-Men: Dark Phoenix movie poster

Direct sequel to Apocalypse and the last of the core X-Men films. Honestly, this is an optional viewing in my opinion. With the Disney takeover of Fox, Dark Phoenix became a shell of the movie it was supposed to be. It doesn’t add anything to the characters (except maybe that Professor X did some questionable things in his past which was taken directly from the comics) and Apocalypse‘s final scene is also a fantastic point to end the core series on. But if you want to be a completionist, give this a watch. My review.


Deadpool movie poster

Takes place in the new timeline and in the “modern day” compared to the 80s and 90s settings of Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix respectively. My review.

Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 movie poster

Direct sequel to Deadpool. My review.


Logan movie poster

Logan is unique in that it can slotted after any movie Days of Future Past and onward. My review.

Depending on where you slot it, it has a different purpose:

  • After Days of Future Past: Concludes Wolverine’s story. Then you get a fun cameo in Apocalypse with the Apocalypse post-credit scene acting as a call-back to explain how Laura was able to be cloned from Wolverine’s DNA.
  • After Apocalypse: Logan becomes the last appearance of Wolverine on the list. The Apocalypse post-credit scene then becomes a direct lead in to Logan. Also this is where it was theatrically released compared to Apocalypse.
  • After Dark Phoenix: Groups the R-rated films on list together. Watching after Dark Phoenix gives the Apocalypse post-credit scene a movie break the same way the The Wolverine post-credit scene has First Class as a buffer before Days of Future Past. And it also finishes the stories of all the characters that have headlined a film to this point.
  • After Deadpool: Theatrical release order. Prevents the literal first scene of Deadpool 2 from spoiling the ending of Logan.
  • After Deadpool 2: Logan is chronologically the last film in the franchise so watching it after Deadpool 2 keeps the series in order as possible. However, this is also the gloomiest of all the films so you’d be ending on a emotionally somber note. But at the same time, it is one of the best in the franchise so you would be ending on a qualitative high note. Decisions, decisions…

And there you have it my the definitive X-Men watch order! Do you agree? Would you change anything? What’s your X-Men watch order?

Until next time, cheers!

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review

X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie posterSynopsis
Logan (Hugh Jackman) was born a mutant with bone claws, enhanced senses, and an incredible healing factor. When the love of his life is taken from him, he sets out on a quest for revenge.

After the X-Men trilogy concluded, there was no doubt that Hugh Jackman’s was the fan favorite character. With X-Men: The Last Stand providing a definitive end to the team’s story, the next place to go is in the past. Throughout the X-Men trilogy, we’ve seen who Wolverine is under his adamantium skeleton, and even glimpsed into his past (particularly in X2: X-Men United) but it is finally time to see how he came to be the character we were introduced to in X-Men.

As I’ve said in just about every review of previous X-Men movies, Jackman absolutely nails the character of Wolverine. He has come to embody the character perfectly. At this point, it is difficult to see anyone besides Jackman as the titular mutant. In the fourth time in the role, he has the character completely figured out. Jackman’s Wolverine is caring, ferocious, and everywhere in between. But you know all that already; I’m just repeating myself at this point.

Sabretooth gets his second chance on screen, this time portrayed by Liev Shreiber. In the comics, Sabretooth is one of Wolverine’s most consistent foes, so it felt natural that he would be prominent in a film like this. However, his origins and connection to Wolverine was altered in a way that made their relationship more interesting than simple adversaries, which would be more akin to their comic book relationship. Schreiber was more than up to the task of matching Jackman’s presence. Every time they were on screen together, there was a weight to their conversations and actions that not many actors besides Schreiber would have been able to pull off opposite of Jackman.

Another perfectly cast part is Ryan Reynolds as Wad Wilson. Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, is known as the “Merc with a mouth” in the comics and Reynolds captures that aspect of the character precisely. The only downside is this greatness is very brief. X-Men Origins: Wolverine‘s treatment of Deadpool is one of the most shameful things about this film. His depiction in last act of the film is a disgrace against the character. It’s utterly terrible and deserves all the ridicule is has received.

A few casting choices is about all the good I have to say about this movie. I think what disappoints me most about this film is that despite all the action throughout and chemistry between Jackman and Schreiber, it’s not that exciting. There were cool moments for sure but outside of a handful, nothing really sticks out, even after having seen this movie several times by this point. Wolverine can be hyperaggressive and violent when on solo adventures and the same can be said for the characters who are involved in the Weapon Plus program. These characters are a black-ops hit squad and I feel the PG-13 rating wasn’t able to accurately bring this facet of the characters to the screen. A movie about mercenaries shouldn’t be timid to show violence.

I thought X-Men Origins: Wolverine was OK 😐 Despite exceptional performances from Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, and Ryan Reynolds, the script really held this movie back from reaching its full potential. It was lackluster, uninteresting, and didn’t truly let Wolverine do what he does best.


Cast & Crew
Gavin Hood – Director
David Benioff – Screenplay
Skip Woods – Screenplay
Harry Gregson-Williams – Composer

Hugh Jackman – Logan / Wolverine
Liev Schreiber – Victor Creed
Danny Huston – Stryker – John Wraith
Kevin Durand – Fred Dukes
Dominic Monaghan – Chris Bradley
Daniel Henney – Agent Zero
Ryan Reynolds – Wade Wilson
Lynn Collins – Kayla Silverfox
Taylor Kitsch – Remy LeBeau
Tim Pocock – Scott Summers

Logan Review

Logan movie posterSynopsis
In 2029, mutant-kind is on the brink of extinction.  An aged Logan (Hugh Jackman) is hiding in Mexico with Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Caliban (Stephen Merchant).  When a woman finds Logan and asks for his help to transport her daughter, Laura (Dafne Keen), to a supposed mutant haven known as Eden, Logan and Charles set out for the US-Canada border while protecting Laura from Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his band of Reavers.

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men is one of those castings that was perfect.  Over the years, he has put his heart and soul into the role and has come to embody the character. It’s one of those actor/role combinations that I can’t imagine any other way.  Now, after 17 years and nine films, Jackman retracts the claws for good and hangs up the cowl, but not before giving the best performance of the character yet.

The X-Men movies have all fallen victim to having too many characters to juggle.  Some have adapted and made it work well (X-2: X-Men United), others have not (X-Men: Apocalypse). Even the other Wolverine movies have felt bloating with the amount of support characters they have tried to include.  Logan, on the other hand, keeps the focus very much on Logan, Charles, and Laura. There is a reason it is called “Logan” and not something like Wolverine 3.  The character moments are what drive the story forward.  The little interactions between Logan and Charles, who has become somewhat of a father-figure to Logan, and Logan and Laura, who in essence has become his daughter, feel intimate and authentic.  There are other characters as well but they are antagonists whose purpose is to move the story forward.

Logan is the most mature and darkest of not just any X-Man movie but superhero movies in general.  I don’t just mean “mature” with the violence but how it approaches the characters as well.  As I mentioned before, this story is all about Logan, Charles, and Laura as a bizarre, mutant family.  Most superhero movies tell a story around the characters’ superpowers. This movie, on the other hand, tell a story about characters who happen to have superpowers.  This makes it unlike any superhero that has come before.

After the success of Deadpool, Fox decided to go with an R-rating for Logan, which is something the character has been missing all these years. Wolverine has always been an aggressive, violent character and his cinematic version has always felt to me that he has been held back by the PG-13 rating.  Now, the character can really let loose.  Logan takes full advantage of the R-rating, showing even that an aged Logan is something to be feared.  This film would not have worked if it was restrained by a lower rating.  Laura is a younger, more rough-around-the-edges Wolverine, whose pure savageness needed to be unfiltered.

This film is a lot longer than it feels.  With a runtime of over two and a half hours, it just flew by.  I felt invested in the characters and the story.  It had its action moments and its character moments. It was never moving too fast nor did it ever feel like it was dragging.  There was a perfect balance between the loud action sequences and the quieter character moments.

I thought Logan was GREAT 😀 You’d be hard pressed to find someone who has come to embody a character the way Hugh Jackman has become Wolverine.  As a farewell performance for the character, Jackman gives the best performance of the character to date.  A tight familial dynamic between Logan, Charles, and Laura and intense and exciting action scenes make Logan not just good Wolverine movie but a great movie in general.


Cast & Crew
James Mangold – Director / Story / Screenplay
Scott Frank – Screenplay
Michael Green – Screenplay
Marco Beltrami – Composer

Hugh Jackman – Logan
Patrick Stewart – Charles Xavier
Dafne Keen – Laura Keen
Boyd Holbrook – Donald Pierce
Stephen Merchant – Caliban
Elizabeth Rodriguez – Gabriela
Richard E. Grant – Dr. Zander Rice
Eriq La Salle – Will Munson
Elise Neal – Kathryn Munson
Quincy Fouse – Nate Munson

The Wolverine Review

The last film of my Original Six posts is The Wolverine.  I wasn’t very impressed with it but it was a great improvement over X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  Thanks for revisiting my earliest reviews with me! I’ve had a blast going down memory lane and I hope you had some fun along the way, too. 🙂

The Wolverine movie posterSynopsis
After the events of X3: The Last Stand, Logan (Hugh Jackman), aka Wolverine, vows never to kill again and becomes a hermit. However, Yukio (Rila Fukushima) finds him and takes him to Japan to visit her dying employer, Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), a man he saved from the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Once he arrives, Yashida offers Logan an opportunity: to remove his healing factor, giving him the chance to live a normal life.

Unlike many people, I didn’t think X-men Origins: Wolverine was too terrible. Could it have been better? Yes, but it wasn’t awful. I have a similar sentiment about The Wolverine. While it was definitely a step up from Wolverine’s first solo outing, there is definitely room for improvement. I think my expectations were too high, leaving me slightly disappointed leaving the theater.

The Wolverine focuses on a different aspect of Logan’s character than previous films. The film looks at who Logan is without his healing factor. This has been dealt with several times in the comics and has translated well onto the big screen.

The action is pretty intense and fun. Despite a character-driven story, there are a fair amount of action scenes spread throughout the film. My favorite scene is a fight between Wolverine and some Yakuza thugs that takes place on top of a bullet train. As you can imagine, it is cheesy at times, but at the same time it’s some good fun.

One of my qualms with The Wolverine is that it tries to incorporate several villains and in doing so, loses focus on each one. There are three: Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanada), better known as the Silver Samurai, Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), a mutant immune to poisons, and a third, who pulls the strings and is not revealed until the final battle scene. Shingen dominates as the villain for the first two-thirds of the film, though not in his Silver Samurai persona (more on him later). And not a villain the the traditional sense like Viper was, but rather a person who butted heads with Logan. Given Viper’s history with Wolverine in the comics, I would have expected more of a presence throughout the entirety of the film, rather than just towards the end. There were also ninjas and the Yakuza added to the mix, making for a large variety of people for Wolverine to fight. This lack of focus leaves the movie devoid of a strong, central villain.

Fox’s X-men franchise has exhibited a wider variety of superpowers than Disney’s Marvel movies, who, as Joss Whedon put it, have “punch-y powers.” Sadly, that variety was severely lacking this time around. The only mutants were the titular character and Viper. In the comics, Silver Samurai was also a mutant. He could envelope his sword in an energy that made it strong enough to cut through anything, even adamantium. Instead, he was split into two individuals: who the silver samurai is, the character Shingen, and his powers, a robotic Silver Samurai made from adamantium with a sword that can cut through anything. I didn’t mind this character change because it worked for the story (and many movie adaptations take liberties with characters, so I’ve stopped worrying about it if it works), but it would have been nice to see a few more mutants showcased.

Speaking of the Silver Samurai robot, the final fight between it and Wolverine was pretty intense and awesome. However, I was left disappointed with the outcome. Wolverine left the fight with a physical change, which could have been easily changed back by the end of the film, but was not. I’m interested to see if this physical change will be fixed by the next X-Men movie or if it will still be there. If they keep this change, it will make for an interesting feel in the next film.

Ever since Iron Man, more and more movies have been including mid- and after-credits scenes to tease the next installment of the franchise. However, none have gotten me as excited as The Wolverine‘s mid-credits scene. Instead of a teaser, it pretty much sets up the next film (X-Men: Days of Future Past, which comes out next year for those of you keeping track). It is absolutely worth the few minute wait.

The Wolverine is a step-up from Wolverine’s last solo movie, but a lack of mutants and villain focus still left me wanting. However, the character study this time around was much tighter and appealing. Maybe a third solo Wolverine film will give us a Wolverine-centric story with the quality of X2: X-Men United.



Cast & Crew
James Mangold – Director
Mark Bomback – Screenplay
Scott Frank – Screenplay

Hugh Jackman – Logan
Tao Okamoto – Mariko
Rila Fukushima – Yukio
Hiroyuki Sanada – Shingen
Svetlana Khodchenkova – Viper
Brian Tee – Noburo
Haruhiko Ymanouchi – Yashida
Will Yun Lee – Harada
Ken Yamamura – Young Yashida
Famke Janssen – Jean Grey