X-Men

2000, Adventure/Action, 1h 44m

174 Reviews 250,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

They are children of the atom, homo superior, the next link in the chain of evolution. Each was born with a unique genetic mutation, which at puberty manifested itself in extraordinary powers. In a world filled with hate and prejudice, they are feared by those who cannot accept their differences. Led by Xavier the X-Men fight to protect a world that fears them. They are locked in a battle with former colleague and friend, Magneto who believes humans and mutants should never co-exist.

Cast & Crew

Hugh Jackman
Logan, Wolverine
Ian McKellen
Erik Lehnsherr, Magneto
James Marsden
Scott Summers, Cyclops
Halle Berry
Ororo Munroe, Storm
Anna Paquin
Marie D'Ancanto, Rogue
Tyler Mane
Sabretooth
Bruce Davison
Senator Kelly
Matthew Sharp
Henry Guyrich
Brett Morris
Young Magneto
Avi Arad
Executive Producer
Stan Lee
Executive Producer
Richard Donner
Executive Producer
Tom DeSanto
Executive Producer
Newton Thomas Sigel
Cinematographer
John Myhre
Production Design
Louise Mingenbach
Costume Design
Michael Fink
Visual Effects Supervisor
David Hayter
Screenwriter
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Critic Reviews for X-Men

Audience Reviews for X-Men

  • Aug 08, 2021
    It helped kick off the superhero film as we know it and was stunning in its time. A few decades later though, how is X-Men the original film? It's…good. Look, it's not the stunning piece of work we once found it to be. It's surprisingly slow, there's not very many mutants, and the whole thing feels strangely small in scale. That being said, as a film to warm people up to superheroes, it did its job and we owe it a lot. As a film to watch now though, it's not great, but it's still a decent time. How seriously they take things is kind of interesting to see. For one there's Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart fresh of working as Shakespearian actors, and they treat these roles just as seriously as they would those. It's ultimately a character piece more than anything, not really an action movie. But returning to it now, without nostalgia goggles, as a character piece it still works. The commentary is heavy-handed, but effective, and the characters are all good.
    Michael M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 10, 2017
    In my now-archaic review of The Usual Suspects, I postulated that all Bryan Singer films have a confused sense of identity; they "attempt to marry several conflicting elements while never quite deciding what they want to be." Superman Returns can't decide whether it wants to directly follow the campy tone of the early Christopher Reeve films or be a more emo, Smallville-esque story; Valkyrie flits between a serious drama about betrayal and an old-school B-movie about blowing up Hitler; and even his best-known work can't make up its mind whether it wants to focus on the characters or the ornate mechanics of the heist genre in which they find themselves. The X-Men films have always been at least a partial exception to this rule. Coming after the disappointment of Apt Pupil, this first film in the now-burgeoning franchise finds Singer with very clear intentions with regards to both the key themes of the story and how they should be executed. While it is very much a product of the pre-Christopher Nolan era of superhero films, much of it still holds up extremely well and it is the best of the original X-Men trilogy. It doesn't take too much brain power to see what would have attracted Singer to the X-Men franchise. As an openly bisexual Jewish man growing up in late-20th century America, Singer's life resonates strongly with the struggle for acceptance and equality faced by the mutants in the original comics. In a BBC interview, he stated that he was drawn to the morally ambiguous world which the comics inhabited at their best, describing them as "a step beyond simple crime-solving, superhero action." Singer has always been fascinated by how evil can manifest itself in humanity, and if nothing else this film does a better job at exploring this notion than Apt Pupil ever did. One of the main successes of X-Men, and to an extent of all the franchise instalments involving Singer, is that it has political and intellectual heft. While it doesn't put its brain as far front and centre as Nolan's Gotham trilogy, it's still a far cry from the simplistic, adolescent rendering of good vs. evil which we are often forced to endure with summer blockbusters. Even if the ideas are not to your taste, you always get the impression that the film is wanting to use its high-tech, skintight trappings to explore complex notions of identity, alienation, racism and the abuse of political power. Singer understands that X-Men is less about the powers with which the mutants are blessed or cursed, and more about the people who are trapped within the circumstances of having said powers and how they decide to use them. He brings the theme of alienation to the foreground and keeps it there, focussing on how easily society rejects and turns on those who do not fit into convenient pigeon-holes, or those who refuse to stay quiet. One of the biggest problems with superhero stories, particularly ones involving Superman, is that they are afraid to show the characters' vulnerabilities, living under some delusion that having any form of fear is cowardly. Singer gives us heroes riddled with insecurities; they feel like people that we could come to know, or who could live among us, not just other-worldly beings playing police with their special, sci-fi friendly weapons. Proof is this is found in the delightfully naturalistic way in which said mutants' powers are introduced. Superhero films often go to great lengths to draw attention to said powers as something extraordinary, so that it either defines or dominates the character and they risk becoming less three-dimensional as a result. Singer, by contrast, treats the characters' mutations just as he would treat a character's sexuality; it's just something that's there, and we are called upon to accept it. Instead of giving us a bunch of mutants and asking us to care about them as people, X-Men gives us people and lets us grow to accept their more unusual characteristics. Equally as important is the manner in which X-Men humanises its villains, working hard to show the shades of grey between the differing moral positions of Professor Xavier and Magneto. Singer described their relationship as being akin to the difference between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X: two men who were forged in the same conflict against racial injustice, with one choosing to embrace 'the enemy' while the other turned to violent retribution (albeit, in X's case, disavowing it in the end). Casting Shakespearean giants like Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen means that we are unlikely to get pantomime performances from the outset. But both still benefit from a script in which both are utterly convinced that their approach is correct, both for their close circle of friends and followers and for society as a whole. Sticking with the characters, it was a deft decision on the part of screenwriter David Hayter to focus the story around both Rogue and Wolverine (brilliantly played by Anna Paquin and Hugh Jackman respectively). To the casual observer, the X-Men universe and its fanbase seems to often worship Wolverine at the expense of the other characters; he is one of the most interesting people therein, but it isn't right that every story should be driven by him. Here the script manages to strike a good balance between Rogue's slow acceptance and growth into her powers and Logan's inner conflict regarding his role in the team, his feelings for Jean and his own nature. The cast of X-Men is pretty strong all round, even if not everyone gets a fair crack of the whip. Famke Janssen is ideally cast as Jean Grey, bringing the same combination of glamour and steely reserve from Goldeneye and dialling things back for a more understated performance. James Marsden, by contrast, is dealt an unfair hand as Scott, whose role in the plot is largely being threatened by Logan's testosterone, but he does make up for his initial douchiness with a solid third act. There are a couple of shortcomings with X-Men which prevent it from being a classic on the level of Batman Begins. Despite Singer's best efforts, there are occasionally jarring shifts in tone which make us wonder what kind of film we should be watching. For the most part we accept the balance between grittiness and humour for which Singer and Hayter have opted - but then we see Wolverine skidding across the snow early on in an unintentionally hilarious fashion, and it's not that easy to get straight back in the saddle. Equally, while the male members of the Brotherhood of Mutants come off reasonably well, the female members in this instalment are not so lucky. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos is a fine actress but she is given far too little to do; while Magneto and Sabretooth handle the important plot points, she is reduced to the odd action scene in which she acts as eye candy for the predominantly teenage audience. Admittedly, however, her sex appeal isn't over-egged as much as in The Last Stand, nor is this kind of double standard exclusive to Singer's films (watch First Class if you don't believe me). X-Men is a very solid introduction to both the comics and the characters which proves if nothing else that good Marvel films could be made long before Disney came along. Despite a few odd tonal decisions and a few slip-ups with certain characters, Bryan Singer has still delivered a film which is intriguing, intelligent and entertaining, with a tightly wound plot and set-pieces which avoid being overblown. Nolan's work on Batman may have since eclipsed this as a genre benchmark, but leaving aside the Caped Crusader, this is a good way to bring someone to comics for the first time.
    Daniel M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 04, 2017
    While it may be mildly dated in some aspects, X-Men is a strong start to one of the most influential and popular comic book movie franchises. The strong acting on all fronts and the fun fight scenes breath life into it, and it's heady themes bring weight to the proceedings.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2017
    It's hard to believe Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine for 17 years now. 'Logan' is just around the corner and it's time to take a deeper look at all of the times Jackman has graced the screen as the legendary comic-book character. X-Men (2000) hasn't particularly aged as well visually as some other superhero films, but the story is just as relevant as it's always been. It's nice to go back and watch the beginning of it all again after two separate trilogies and a few spin-offs. And just like in every other X-Men film, it always comes down to Charles and Erik. Professor X and Magneto have probably the most fascinatingly complicated relationship in comics. Charles wants everyone to get along and make peace with the humans, while Erik has always believed humans will inevitably turn on mutant kind. What makes the dynamic so great is that neither are 100% right. The only major problem with Erik is that he usually involves killing. Even in 2017 we are having issues with accepting people who are different than us. That's what sadly makes these X-Men films so relevant and timeless. With that said, there are certain aspects of the film that are more than dated. Storm's inconsistent accent is awkward at best, and Halle Berry doesn't really add anything of value (at least in this film). Sabretooth and Toad are nothing more than pawns for Magneto's use. Some could even say Mystique is one as well, but at least she has some cool action sequences. Mystique adds to the plot with the Senator, but I don't understand the reason for Toad or Sabretooth. Perhaps there just wasn't enough time to cover their motivations in a breezy 105 minute film. On the good side of things, Anna Paquin gives a strong turn as Rogue, Famke Janssen brings an appealing gracefulness to Jean Grey, and Jackman as Wolverine may have been the most brilliant casting in any comic-book property. The early films hold up because of the incredible characters, and not necessarily because they have the most memorable stories or visual flare. It's always nice to see how far characters have come and see where it all started. For the widely popular X-Men franchise, this is where the countless continuity issues began, when the team first suited up, and where Jackman first donned the claws. It doesn't have the narrative scope or the dazzling visuals that the films do now, but it will always hold a special place in my heart. +Where it all began +Story is still relevant +Charles vs Erik +Dynamics between characters -But really, what's the point of Sabretooth or Toad -Berry's accent 7.8/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer

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