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The 50 greatest X-Men movie moments

Magneto rallies the Sentinels

The moment: In an effort to thwart Trask's Sentinel program, Magneto commandeers the fleet rolled out for the televised display. He switches them on remotely, sending the mutant-killing machines into the air where they open fire on the crowds gathered for the demonstration.

Mutant magic: A throwback to the earlier scene of Charles teaching Erik how to harness his power for bigger and better things... not sure this is exactly what he had in mind.

Deadpool shows off

The moment: Stryker's new band of mercenary mutants known as Team X embark on a mission, where the mouthy Wade Wilson quips his way through a banal elevator ride. The doors open and he proceeds to wipe out an entire room full of armed guards by spinning his signature katanas, deflecting all of their bullets.

Mutant magic: The most memorable scene in the entire messy prequel is a precursor to next year's Deadpool spinoff movie. Definitive proof that he didn't deserve his perplexing fate.

Wolvie's First Class cameo

The moment: Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr globetrot to gather up as many mutants as possible to join their fledgling ranks. They saunter into a bar and before Charles can even finish his question, Wolvie cuts him down with a succinct, to-the-point "fuck off!"

Mutant magic: Wolverine's entire personality has never been so concisely depicted.

Magneto kills Shaw

The moment: Erik breaches Shaw's submarine, and locates his lifelong enemy tucked away in a hidden chamber. With the unwitting help of Charles, Erik freezes Shaw in place and calmly uses his power to escort a coin through Shaw's forehead, through his brain, and out the other side. It clatters to the floor streaked with blood.

Mutant magic: A throwback to the method by which Shaw killed Erik's mother, it's stacked with symbolism. It's the moment that Erik finally gets his revenge and embraces his Magneto persona.

The Brotherhood begins

The moment: The finale of First Class finds Emma Frost still chained up... until Magneto, Angel, Mystique, Azazel and Riptide arrive to free her, inviting the shimmering mutant into their gang.

Mutant magic: If killing Shaw was the moment Erik Lehnsherr transformed into a villain, this is when he says it out loud asking Frost to call him Magneto.

Sentinels attack

The moment: The Sentinels attack the X-Men in the rocky mountainside hideaway, with Blink, Sunspot, Warpath, Bishop and Kitty Pryde joining forces as a slick unit to overthrow the robotic mutant killers.

Mutant magic: The blistering opening sequence introduces loads of mutants who've either being given short shrift in earlier films or simply never been seen onscreen before.

Wolverine vs. Shingen

The moment: Logan removes the parasite from his heart which had been slowly sapping him of his regenerative ability, and recovers to battle Shingen. It's all a bit pointless for Shingen when he's up against an unstoppable mutant. Even after giving him a chance at life, albeit with the guilt of trying to kill his own daughter, Wolvie finishes him off with a fistful of claws to the gut.

Mutant magic: "What kind of monster are you?" Shingen asks, with adamantium claws sunk deep into his stomach. "The Wolverine," replies Logan coolly.

Combat montage!

The moment: Logan and his half-brother Victor ham it up in a montage of the siblings fighting in every conflict from the Civil War right through to Vietnam. Slo-mo shouting and bouncy hair both feature heavily.

Mutant magic: Even though the Wolvie prequel movie is a tad bleh, this is one of its few redeeming scenes demonstrating the bond between the pair who'd later go on to beat the crap out of each other.

Prison escape

The moment: Thanks to the fiendish covert work of Mystique, the prison guard watching Magneto has an abundance of iron in his bloodstream - perfect for manipulation. Magneto teases it from his body and fuses it into three ball bearings that he uses to shatter the confines of his plastic prison.

Mutant magic: One of the highlights of X-2 it's glorious to watch Ian McKellen revel in the brazen butchery of Magneto's menace.

Quicksilver and Magneto share a moment

The moment: Quicksilver busts Magneto out of his cell and the pair make their way downstairs in a lift. During their small talk Quicksilver comments to Erik on his ability to control metal, telling him "my mom knew someone who could do that."

Mutant magic: This throwaway line is steeped in comic book history, as in the original canon Quicksilver's father is in fact Magneto.

Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.