- Complete Monster: Sebastian Shaw, Ajax, and Apocalypse. See those pages for more details.
- Dork Age: Both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine fall under this in a period less-than-affectionately called "Rothman's reign of terror". Referring to Executive Meddler Tom Rothman, the executive working at Twentieth Century Fox when those two filmsnote were made, he was responsible for Bryan Singer's departure for the third movie, as well as the many woes faced in the Troubled Production for the first spin-off. Both movies are widely considered to be the worst out of the entire series, and pretty much the entire bunch of movies that followed (The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse especially) were specifically written to right the wrongs that had happened under Rothman's watch (as he'd been let go by the company in the middle of 2012).
- Fandom Rivalry: An intense and often bitter one between fans of the X-Men films and those of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans of the latter hate seeing the X-Men films succeed and respond to every little thing they disagree with with demands for Fox to turn over the franchise to Marvel. A popular target being deviations from the source material (despite the MCU's own history of altering characters and events to suit their own narrative). Meanwhile, fans of the X-Men franchise accuse the MCU of being formulaic, simplistic and kid-friendly, and believe that Disney would be unwilling or unable to manage the more mature and darker themes that are central to the mutant narrative. Another common argument is that Disney would never have green-lit an R-rated Deadpool film (Which was proven to be true when Bob Iger said as much) although it should be noted that MCU fans tend to really like Deadpool.
- Fan-Preferred Couple: Logan/Rogue is much more popular than Logan/Jean or Bobby/Rogue, and it's actually the #1 couple of the original trilogy. They have since been overshadowed by the Charles/Erik pairing after X-Men: First Class—just look at the difference in the sheer number of fanfics on Archive of Our Own for proof. The shippers Took a Third Option indeed.
- Franchise Original Sin: The first two X-Men movies that were universally considered to be amazing for their time has problems that later movies keep intensify to make the entire franchise became extremely Love It or Hate It among comic books fans: the lack of color in cinematography and design in a franchise and genre famous for its colorful costume, the significant deviation from the comic (to the point that many people think that the films are almost ashamed of being labeled a comic book movie, which later proved to be true when James Marsden and Hugh Jackman admitted that Bryan Singer had banned comic books from the film set), the spotlight hogging of Wolverine, Professor X and Magneto, the severely underused and Demoted to Extra mutants that were leads in the comics, etc. These are problems that are less forgivable in the current market when superhero movies prove themselves to be able to satisfy critics, fans and be box office successes unlike the early 2000s.
- Harsher in Hindsight: A meta example: Hugh Jackman was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2013. Cancer is cell growth taken to dangerous and uncontrollable levels. Now consider what Hugh Jackman spends a lot of time doing as Wolverine... Also, cancer is caused by mutation.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- For those who have seen Star Trek: First Contact and the team X-Men films before Children of Dune, it's very amusing that the Borg Queen is the grandmother of Professor X. By virtue of being a Kwisatz Haderach (a being who can access the genetic memories of its female and male ancestors), Leto Atreides II (played by a young James McAvoy) has intimate knowledge of the Lady Jessica (portrayed by Alice Krige) that he finds very uncomfortable, which mirrors Captain Picard's distress that the Borg Queen knows everything about him when he was assimilated into her collective. Patrick Stewart also appeared in Dune.
- Anyone who is a fan of both McAvoy's Xavier in the X-Men First Class Trilogy and Will Graham from Hannibal will notice the striking similarities between the two characters. (You can read a more detailed comparison in the Referenced by... section in the Trivia tab, but for the sake of this entry, it's enough to know that Will is a "pure empath" who is physically and emotionally scarred by his abusive love-hate relationship with the murderous Hannibal Lecter—heck, Hugh Dancy and James McAvoy even look somewhat alike.) The X-Men fandom coined the term "Mutant husbands" to describe Charles' and Erik's homoerotic friendship, so all Cherik shippers who had watched the Hannibal episode "And the Woman Clothed with the Sun..." burst out laughing when Freddie Lounds called Graham and Lecter "Murder husbands."
- Love It or Hate It: Among comic book fans, the film franchise as a whole has become this. One doesn't even need to look past This Very Wiki to find evidence of that.
- Only the Creator Does It Right:
- The first two X-Men films were directed by Bryan Singer, while the third one, X-Men: The Last Stand, was helmed by Brett Ratner, and is considered by many fans to be a huge step down in quality. The next X-Men movie which didn't divide opinions was produced and co-written by Singer, and he hand-picked Matthew Vaughn to replace him in the director's chair. Singer then returned for X-Men: Days of Future Past, which was not only a critical and commercial smash, but also undid all the plot damage done by X3 via the plot's Set Right What Once Went Wrong Alternate Timeline, including reviving Cyclops and Jean from the dead.
- With the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the opinion that Marvel Studios could make a better X-Men movie than 20th Century Fox could is gaining traction. However, of the three film franchises that Marvel Studios does not own, the X-Men movies that have come out since the start of the Paramount/Disney Shared Universe have been the most well-received and successful post-Spider-Man Trilogy, leading to others arguing that the characters should stay with Fox.note
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The first two X-Men movies have largely been overshadowed in recent years by more bombastic fair like The Avengers (2012), but at the time, the first movie was a surprise hit that proved vital in convincing Hollywood that superheroes could be viable again after Batman & Robin had killed the genre several years earlier. People tend to forget that alongside Blade, the original X-Men films were massively influential in terms of tone and costuming, arguably becoming the Trope Codifier for Movie Superheroes Wear Black.
- It first paved the way for a film like The Avengers to exist to begin with; before this movie, superhero films were either solo-driven or featured a main superhero with sidekicks. This film established the template of a true team dynamic; while there was a character that broke out from the pack like Wolverine here or Tony Stark in Avengers, the group core was never lost and action sequences required the heroes to use their distinct powers in tandem, which was unheard of in a superhero film to that point.
- Also, up till then, superhero films tended to be star-driven vehicles in order to avoid a perceived comic-book ghetto; you needed a $20-million headliner like Jack Nicholson, Val Kilmer, or Wesley Snipes to pull in a mass audience, and ones that didn't like The Phantom and The Rocketeer got destroyed at the box office. Here, the two biggest under-50 names were Halle Berry and Anna Paquin, both supporting characters (and both women!) and two of the three central leads were played by aged Shakespearean actors, while the other was an American unknown in Hugh Jackman. Nowadays, especially in the Turn of the Millennium and The New Tens movie landscape where star vehicles have given way to ensemble pieces driven by premise and spectacle, superhero films have no qualms about casting unknown actors or ones who had never headlined before, knowing that the license will do the selling and the movies will propel the actors to further heights instead of the other way around.
- Strangled by the Red String: The supposed "great love" between Logan and Jean Grey is hard to take seriously since they only knew each other for about five days, at the most. The majority of the first film's plot takes place over roughly two or three days, then Logan goes off to Canada to find out about his past; they spend a day or two more in each other's company in the second film as they prepare to stop the villain, and she dies at the end of the mission; and in the third film, she's come back evil and spends most of their scenes together crazily beating the crap out of him. Plus, in the first two films, Jean was already in a long-term, loving relationship with Scott. Truly, a love story for the ages.
- Strawman Has a Point: Unfortunately, even more so than the source comics. Magneto and humans who want to try and control mutants both make far more convincing arguments for their positions than the X-Men and Xavier, who never try to do anything to bridge the gap between the two species and spend their time keeping the status quo in check.
- In X-Men, Kelly specifically mentions a girl who can walk through walls, and asks "What's to stop her from walking right into a bank vault—or the White House?" In the very next movie, a Brainwashed and Crazy Nightcrawler is able to teleport into the White House and kick the Secret Service's collective ass, proving Kelly right. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bolivar Trask tells Nixon that Mystique can impersonate anyone, and could use her power to turn into him, walk into the White House and order a nuclear strike. Once again, he's absolutely right.
- Throughout the franchise, everything that Magneto warns Xavier about comes true. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Bad Future has gotten to the point of mutants and mutant sympathizers and potentials being rounded up and herded into internment camps in a scene very obviously based on the Holocaust, exactly the type of thing Magneto believed would happen. In X-Men: The Last Stand, the mutant cure is weaponized in guns that shoot syringes of the cure and these guns are used to combat them, and in X-Men: First Class the US and Soviets launch a barrage of missiles at the mutants, not caring that half of the ones present just stopped World War III. Most of Magneto's actions in the series after the first film are about launching counter-attacks after the humans make the first move against mutants.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Probably one of the biggest criticisms laid against these movies is that the Spotlight-Stealing Squad of Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto and Mystiquenote take away screen time from several other characters who are deserving of attention. Cyclops is commonly cited as getting the absolute worst of this treatment (and in effect criminally under-utilizing actor James Marsden, who many agree was a pitch-perfect casting choice), as he's the main character in many of the comics, but he's Demoted to Extra in X-Men: The Last Stand, and he wasn't a major character in X2: X-Men United. An adolescent Scott Summers (portrayed by Tye Sheridan) does have a significant role in X-Men: Apocalypse, though, so the Alternate Timeline appears to be repairing some of the damage.
- WTH, Casting Agency?: The latest victim of this seems to be the role of Gambit, having been Darrin'd from Taylor Kitsch, who previously portrayed the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, to Channing Tatum. A common complaint is that, aside of Tatum's questionable acting chopsnote , he looks and sounds nothing like the character in question. And even if the role was going to go to another actor, fans seem to prefer a more convincing one for the part like Josh Holloway or French actor Gaspard Ulliel. Probably one of the most negatively preemptive examples of this trope for the series so far, as all that we know is that Tatum will play the character in future movies.
YMMV / X-Men Film Series
aka: X Men 1
All X-Men movies up until X-Men: Apocalypse have their own YMMV subpages. Please use this section only for entries that are related the franchise as a whole or other upcoming films that don't have their own YMMV tab yet.