Superheroes! It's apparent that, as a society, we just love 'em. There were a lot of superhero movies in 2011. True fact: In 2011, there were too many superhero movies to even count -- numbers just do not go up that high. But! That doesn't mean that every superhero is created equal. Just because a superhero possesses a special power, doesn't mean that said hero isn't a loser -- and there were many loser superheroes in 2011. Happily, there were many winners, too. Below, let's hand out some grades and awards for the superhero winners and losers of 2011 -- and some grades for the superhero movies to come. (And, yes, some spoilers lay ahead.)

The Honor Roll



X-Men
Compared to every single other X-Men installment, 'X-Men: First Class' was a slight disappointment at the box-office. For sure, not a bomb by any sense of the word -- it has grossed almost $350 million worldwide -- but not quite the $460 million 'X-Men: The Last Stand' grossed. Regardless, 'X-Men: First Class' was the critical darling of the summer, scoring the highest marks on Rotten Tomatoes (86 percent) of any of the superhero movies.

Box-Office: B-
Critical: A
Future Buzz: B
Likability: A

GPA: 3.5



Hawkeye
Of any superhero, Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye probably had the best year proportionate to his actual amount of screen time. Even from his short cameo in 'Thor,' Hawkeye just screams, "cocky badass that we will all love." After 2012's 'The Avengers,' look for Hawkeye to get his own film.

Box-Office: B
Critical: B-
Future Buzz: A
Likability: A-

GPA: 3.5



Captain America
When Captain America found himself frozen in a block of ice, the United States was still at war, but the country's resolve was palpable. By the time the Captain woke up, he was presented with a reality that the country he was named after was downgraded to an AA credit rating. But that's not the Captain's fault! In fact, his movie, 'Captain America: The First Avenger,' has grossed $144 million so far domestically, so he's certainly doing his part. Not to mention, Chris Evans as Captain America may just be the most earnest superhero to ever live. We won't have to wait long for his return either: Captain America will be in 'The Avengers' next summer.

Box-Office: B+
Critical: B
Future Buzz: B+
Likability: A

GPA: 3.3



Thor
Thor is from outer space and he throws a hammer -- not an easy sell to Jack and Jodie Wilson in Des Moines, Iowa. But, somehow, it worked. Chris Hemsworth has the unenviable task of playing a guy who was an a**hole and at the same time likable -- and he pulled it off, especially for a character that not that many people are familiar with. Also, he throws a hammer. 'Thor 2' is already scheduled for 2013. Oh, also, Thor will be a part of that little 'Avengers' project, too.

Box-Office: B
Critical: B
Future Buzz: B
Likability: B-

GPA: 3.0

The Drop Outs



Bucky
Poor Bucky. All we heard from star Sebastian Stan was about his multi-film contract so, yeah, it was a little bit surprising to see Bucky parish. Especially "death by falling off of train." As it turns out, 2011 (or 1943) was not Bucky's year.

Box-Office: B+
Critical: B
Future Buzz: F
Likability: C

GPA: 2.0



Green Hornet
Seth Rogen should send some sort of FDT flower bouquet to every single person involved with 'Green Lantern' for making the world forget that there was another sub-par superhero movie released in 2011 with "Green" as the first word in the title. I'm not betting on a 'Green Arrow' getting the green light (no pun, I swear!) anytime soon.

Box-Office: D
Critical: C
Future Buzz: D
Likability: C

GPA: 1.50



Green Lantern
This movie... There's no way to sugarcoat the results for 'Green Lantern': Not only was it a box-office failure, it was downright terrible. Not to mention, where Chris Evans scaled back his cracking wise persona to rave reviews, Ryan Reynolds delivered his lines business as usual -- which made Green Lantern seem like kind of a d*ck. There's still some talk of a possible sequel, but it will never, ever happen.

Box-Office: D
Critical: D-
Future Buzz: D
Likability: C

GPA: 1.25



The Crimson Bolt
'Super' should have been better. It was a great concept: Rainn Wilson as a man who becomes a sort of vigilante who takes crime fighting too far – at one point even beating the living hell out of a man who jumps ahead of him in line at the movie theater. When someone looks up the phrase "dark comedy" in the dictionary, it should have a picture of that person with a dunce cap on because that's a really asinine phrase to look up in the dictionary. But, 'Super' is a very, very dark film. End result: A 45% Rotten Tomato score and a under $350,000 at the box-office.

Box-Office: F
Critical: C-
Future Buzz: F
Likability: C-

GPA: 1.0

Most Likely to Succeed



Batman
Christopher Nolan has so much capital saved up from 'The Dark Knight,' when it comes to Batman, he basically has to do nothing and people will be pleased. Case in point: That picture of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in 'The Dark Knight Rises'? My God, it's much worse than the picture of Henry Cavill in 'Man of Steel.' But, compared to Zack Snyder, the goodwill toward Nolan is so high... no one cares. Nolan's the man who brought us 'Inception'; Snyder is the man who sh*t out 'Sucker Punch.'

Future Buzz: A+
Likability: B+

GPA: 3.5




Spider-Man
As for as Spider-Man in 2011 is concerned, it all comes down to Andrew Garfield's impassioned speech at Comic-Con. Calculated or not, it worked. Then again, a lot of people just can't get over the fact that this franchise is being rebooted so soon.

Future Buzz: C
Likability: A+

GPA: 3.0

Academic Probation



Iron Man
The good news: There will be an 'Iron Man 3' in 2013. The bad news: Director of the first two Iron Man films, Jon Favreau, decided to part ways with the franchise. After a fantastic first entry and mediocre-at-best second entry, the buzz surrounding a third installment is tepid. And director Shane Black has only directed one other film (the quite good 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang'). But, hey, it still stars Robert Downey Jr. and the world loves Robert Downey Jr. Considering how much the Avengers storyline mucked up 'Iron Man 2,' don't look for faith in this franchise to be restored from next summer's team up film.

Future Buzz: C
Likability: B

GPA: 2.5



Superman
'Man of Steel' doesn't hit theaters until 2013, but Superman's director, Zack Snyder has had a bad year. Snyder's pet project, 'Sucker Punch,' was so poorly received that it leaves Superman fans wondering what kind of spectacle of nonsense Snyder may have in store for his vision of Kal-El. To be fair to Snyder, he's well aware what's riding on this film and has probably learned from the failure of 'Sucker Punch.' Then again, that first photo released didn't particularly help.

Likability: C
Future Buzz: C

GPA: 2.0

Images courtesy of Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Marvel, Columbia, Warner Bros. and IFC

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.
Follow Moviefone on Twitter.
CATEGORIES Movies