1. "The Dark Knight" (2008): You can blame Christopher Nolan's second Batman film for the current trend of brooding men in tights, but it also raised the bar for superhero films in terms of artistry, complexity and intelligence. Suddenly, comic-book notions like the Bat-Signal and the Batpod were mixing with the chaos and moral horror of the post-9/11 world. Credit goes to Heath Ledger's mind-boggling performance as the Joker, but also to a jarring script full of violent crime, hostages and death. For better and for worse, superheroes have never been the same. (Credit: Warner Bros.)


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