We are all familiar with the huge Marvel and DC comics and the movie franchisee based on them. In the past decade, MCU and DC movies have dominated the film industry of Hollywood with movies like Avengers, Justice League, X-men, etc. But there are a lot of other good movies that are based on comics and visual or graphic novels that we may not have even heard of. In this article, we have listed 15 such movies that you should definitely include in your watch list. Stay with us and enjoy the list!

15. From Hell (2001)

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes (Also Directed The Book of Eli)

Star Cast: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Jason Flemyng

Where to Watch: Apple iTunes

From Hell directed by the Hughes Brothers is a movie based on a graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. Jack the Ripper was an infamous serial killer of the nineteenth century. This movie is a slasher thriller portraying the murders of Jack the Ripper. It was a time when people did not even come up with the term Serial Killer.

In midst of chaos and terror, a talented detective Frederick Abberline starts to connect all the cases and concludes that they are indeed the works of a single person.

Fun Facts:

  • This is the film debut of Dominic Cooper


14. Oblivion (2013)

IMDb Rating: 7.0

Director: Joseph Kosinski (Also Directed TRON: Legacy, Only the Brave)

Star Cast: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Played Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones)

Where to Watch: Apple iTunes

Based on the graphic novel of Joseph Kosinski, Oblivion is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie. In the distant future, after an alien attack, the earth has become almost inhabitable because of all the radiation and nuclear weapons used in the Alien vs. mankind war. Jack (played by Tom Cruise) along with his other crewmates are sent on a journey to find another habitable planet for the earthlings to continue their life.

Oblivion will give you a feel of Isaac Asimov’s science fiction novels. If you like movies like Interstellar and Ad Astra, this movie will suit you well.

Fun Fact:

The Role Julia played by Olga Kurylenko was originally given to Jessica Chastain.


13. RED (2010)

IMDb Rating: 7.0

Director: Robert Schwentke (Also Directed The Time Traveler's Wife)

Star Cast: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman

Where to Watch: fubo TV, Apple iTunes

When Frank Moses (Played by Bruce Willis) finds himself in a crisis where his life is in grave danger, he seeks help from his old buddies to help him find the mastermind behind it.

RED (2010) is based on a DC comic created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. The full form of RED is Retired, Extremely Dangerous. It is a secret organization of retired CIA agents.

A sequel of this movie was released in 2013— RED 2 starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, David Thewlis (Professor Remus Lupin from Harry Potter, Hello!), and the original star cast.


12. Ghost World (2001)

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Director: Terry Zwigoff (Also Directed Bad Santa, Art School Confidential)

Star Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

Ghost World is an adaptation of a comic book by Daniel Clowes that goes by the same name. The main character of this movie Enid (played by Thore Birch) is a very antisocial and cynical young girl who has a childhood dream to leave home as soon as she can. But after the summer of her graduation, a simple prank involving a middle-aged man will change her life forever.

Award and Nomination:

This movie was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published but lost the award to Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind).


11. Men in Black Franchise (1997-2019)

IMDb Rating: 6.475 (Average)

Directors:

  • Barry Sonnenfeld (Also Directed Nine Lives)
  • F. Gary Gray (Also Directed Friday, The Italian Job)

Star Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Neeson

Where to Watch: Starz Play Amazon Channel, Apple iTunes

Men in Black Franchisee is based on a Marvel Comic book named The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham. This franchisee is also known as the UFO Conspiracy franchisee.

In a fictional world, where many supernatural creatures co-exist, the MIB is a government organization that keeps an eye on them. They are professional agents who investigate harmful supernatural events and take action accordingly.

This franchisee consists of the original MIB trilogy exclusively by Barry Sonnenfeld, Tommy Lee Jones, and. Will Smith. Another sequel came in 2019 starring Chris Hemsworth. This is a set of movies that will make you laugh for sure.

Award and Nomination:

Men in Black (1997) was nominated for 3 Oscars but won only one of them. The winning category was Best Makeup.

Fun Facts:

  • Steven Spielberg is an executive producer in all four movies.
  • Michael Jackson made a cameo in Men in Black II (2002).


10. American Splendor (2003)

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Director: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini (Also Directed The Nanny Diaries)

Star Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Paul Giamatti

Where to Watch: HBO Max

The movie American Splendor is actually based on two graphic novels— American Splendor by Harvey Pekar and Our Cancer Year by Joyce Brabner. It is a biography film based on the life of Harvey Pekar that is portrayed in a comedic way.

The movie is high with sarcastic humor. So if you had a bad day, this movie will definitely cheer you up.

Award and Nomination:

American Splendor (2003) was nominated in the category of Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars 2004 but lost the award to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson). Fair enough.


9. A History of Violence (2005)

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Director: David Cronenberg (Also Directed The Fly, Crash)

Star Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, William Hurt

Where to Watch: Apple iTunes

Tom (played by Viggo Mortensen whom you may know best as Aragorn from LOTR) is a middle-aged man who owns a shop. When one day he saves his store from the robbers by fighting them off, he kind of becomes a hot topic across the country. Will this unwanted attention be the death of him?

As the name suggests, this movie does contain some violent and gory scenes. It is a great movie, but just might not be your cup of tea if you do not enjoy those kinds of scenes.

Award and Nomination:

  • William Hunt was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. He lost the award to George Clooney (Syriana).
  • The movie was also nominated in the category of Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay. This award was lost to Brokeback Mountain (Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana).


8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Director: Edgar Wright (Also Directed Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver)

Star Cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick

Where to Watch: Netflix

Scott Pilgrim vs. the world is one of the best movies directed by director Edgar Wright. This movie is based on the comic book Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

In a sentence, this movie is about ‘Scott’s future girlfriend vs. her 7 ex-boyfriends’. When Scott first laid eyes on Ramona Flowers, it was love at first sight. But to win her heart, he must defeat 7 of her ex-boyfriends in band music competitions.

This movie failed to earn a profit in the Box Office (One of the reasons why it does not have a sequel). But it was well accepted by the film critics.


7. Kick-Ass (2010)

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Director: Matthew Vaughn (Also Directed X-Men: First Class, Stardust)

Star Cast: Nicolas Cage, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz

Where to Watch: Hulu

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a very underrated actor. Kick-Ass, based on a comic by Mark Miller, is an independent film with Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the leading role. The story starts with a quiet kid at school who wants to become a superhero in real life. After a few attempts of saving the day, he meets Big Daddy who is an expert in training superheroes.

It is a dark comedy. This movie has under-aged girls using profanities that might make you uncomfortable.

This movie has a sequel released in 2013— Kick-Ass 2.


6. Ethel & Ernest (2016)

IMDb Rating: 7.7

Director: Roger Mainwood

Voice Artists: Jim Broadbent, Brenda Blethyn

Where to Watch: Apple iTunes, FlixFling

Ethel & Ernest is based on a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs. Though IMDb didn’t mark Biography as one of the main genres for this film, the main two characters of this movie, Ethel and Ernest are written based on the real-life parents of the author. It is a heart-wrenching coming of age story of two people starting their lives together, raising a family, and sticking with each other till the end.


5. When the Wind Blows (1986)

IMDb Rating: 7.7

Director: Jimmy T. Murakami

Voice Artists: Peggy Ashcroft, John Mills

Where to Watch: Tubi TV, Film Movement Plus

Another animated feature film on this list. When the Wind Blows is a dark comedy war movie. It is also based on a Raymond Briggs Comic. The story is told from the perspective of a naive elderly couple. Despite being made in 1986, this stop motion animated film has very soothing visuals.

Fun Fact:

This movie is a part of 17 nuclear war movie-chain released between 1979 to1989.


4. Road to Perdition (2002)

IMDb Rating: 7.7

Director: Sam Mendes (Also Directed American Beauty, Revolutionary Road)

Star Cast: Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Daniel Craig,

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix

The graphic novel Road to Perdition is a work of the duo Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner. The plot is set in the early 30s. It is a story of a doomed man who is seeking redemption by avenging his family. You will see Tom Hanks playing a very different kind of role, nothing like his trademark mark liked-by-all characters.

When I try to make a list of lucky Hollywood personalities, Sam Mendes’s name always comes first. This man won an Oscar for Best Director with his directorial debut. How cool is that? From American Beauty to 1917, Sam Mendes has gifted us with amazing artful movies, and Road to Perdition is certainly one of them.

Award and Nomination:

  • This movie had a total of 6 nominations but won in only one of them. The winning category was Best Cinematography. Conrad L. Hall could not receive his Oscar due to his death. It was a posthumous award.
  • Paul Newman was nominated in the category of Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He lost the award to Chris Cooper (Adaptation).


3. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

IMDb Rating: 7.7

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Star Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Mark Strong

Where to Watch: Apple iTunes

This is the second movie on this list directed by Matthew Vaughn. Superhero movies or movies adapted from comics is kind of a trademark of director Matthew Vaughn. Kingsman is based on the comic by the co-creators Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.

The world population has become a problem indeed. Global warming, weather change, deforestation, extinction of many species— the immense growth of the human population is the main reason behind all these worldwide problems. This problem becomes even more serious when a certain person takes the matter into his own hands to control the population the hard way.

Kingman: The Secret Service is a great spy movie with good humor, well casting, and some really clear-cut action scenes. You will certainly get some James Bond vibe from this movie. And this movie will never bore you.

A sequel of this movie was released in 2017— Kingsman: The Golden Circle starring Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, and the original star cast from the first movie.

Fun Fact:

This is the debut film of Taron Egerton.


2. Big Hero 6 (2014)

IMDb Rating: 7.8

Directors:

  • Don Hall (Also Directed Winnie the Pooh, Raya and the Last Dragon)
  • Chris Williams (Also Directed Bolt)

Voice Artists: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung

Where to Watch: Disney Plus

Big Hero 6 is based on a Marvel comic by Man of Action that goes by the same name.

When the elder brother of a technology prodigy Hiro Hamada dies because of some conspiracy, he must find the culprit behind this crime and avenge his brother. Some clues must be found in the robot Baymax, Tadashi’s (the elder brother) last gift to Hiro.

This animated feature film is full of Japanese anime and name references. If you like watching anime, you will love this movie too.

Award and Nomination:

Big Hero 6 won an Oscar in the category of Best Animated Feature Film.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 was one of the animated films that were nominated in the same category that year.

Fun Facts:

  • This movie has a spin-off series called Big Hero 6: The Series (2017-2021).
  • This is the 9th animated feature film to win an Oscar by Disney.
  • Big Hero 6 is the 54th animated movie by Disney.
  • Some other works by Man of Action are Ben 10 and Generator Rex.


1. Sin City (2005)

IMDb Rating: 8.0

Directors:

  • Frank Miller
  • Robert Rodriguez (Also Directed Spy Kids, Once Upon a Time in Mexico)

Star Cast: Clive Owen, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro, Elija Wood

Where to Watch: Apple iTunes, Paramount Plus

Sin City is based on a comic book created by the directors of this film Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez.

The plot of this movie is really interesting since it is kind of an anthology consisting of several stories. But all of the stories revolve around the Basic city, a city dark and corrupted like no other (well, maybe like Gotham, to be honest). If you like hard-core action movies, this is a must-watch for you.

A sequel was released in 2014— Sin City: A Dame to Kill for, starring Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Christopher Lloyd, Lady Gaga, and some from the original star cast.

Fun Facts:

  • Quentin Tarrantino worked as a guest director in this film.
  • The whole movie was shot in front of a green screen.

Some Honorable Mentions

  • Atomic Blonde (2017)— IMDb Rating: 6.7
  • Extraction (2020)— IMDb Rating: 6.7
  • The Old Guard (2020)— IMDb Rating: 6.7
  • Cowboys & Aliens (2011)— IMDb Rating: 6.0
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)— IMDb Rating: 5.8

A Few Last Words

This was our article on the top 15 movies based on not-so-famous comic franchisees. Let us know if you think any movie was left out and should be on the list. Tell us your opinion on this article in the comment box below.

Happy Watching!!!

About The Author
Sabera Surovy

Sabera Surovy

Khulna University of Engineering and Technology

Bachelor of Engineering (BEng),
Industrial Engineering 2017-2021

"Psycho-trillers and paradoxes are my jam. I spend my free time watching true crime documentaries."

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