In a not so distant future, evolution has forced homo sapiens (powerless human beings) to live with "mutants" (human beings with extraordinary powers). Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), a mutant who can read and control people's mind, and Eric Magnus Lansherr/Magneto (Ian McKellen), a mutant who can control metal and create magnetic fields, are two old friends who are on different sides of a battle. The former, who founded an organization called X-Men, believes that humans and mutants can peacefully coexist together.
As for Eric, he's categorically convinced that mutants must exterminate humans and this is why he founded the Brotherhood of Mutants, a terrorist and anti-human organization. After all, it's public knowledge that some humans like U.S. Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison) are advocates of a political system where mutants are closely kept under surveillance by the government. Since Magneto prepares a plan to destroy humankind so that the planet is only left with mutants, the X-Men must race against the clock and foil Magneto's plan.
While we look back at what has been done in adaptations of comic books, we can see that X-Men certainly stood out from most of its counterparts of the time like the two instalments of Batman that preceded Batman Begins. Of course, X-Men might not put a lot of focus on displaying special effects or action scenes. However, what the film lacks in entertainment, it makes up for it with Brian Singer's great focus on the development of the plot. As a matter of fact, with a simple script that gets right to the point about each of the leading characters' motives, X-Men sure knows how to maintain our interest until the very end.
Finally, I'm sure some will say that this film is not the best one in the X-Men trilogy. First of all, some might say that the film is not as entertaining as the second or - to a lesser extent - the third film. Secondly, other might reproach the film to focus too much on the fight between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. As a result of that, the film might leave a feeling that the topic of intolerance is explored in a very superficial way. Nonetheless, we can all agree that the first film did brilliantly pave the way to the sequel.
Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ian McKellen, Famke Jansen, Halle Berry, James Marsden and Rebecca Romijn