All the X-Men movies are far above most others, but Days of Future Past is at least as great as the first two, before the decline began. Bryan Singer is back as the director and that shows. He seems, strangely enough to be born to make X-Men movies. His other films (aside from the Usual Suspects) are rather dull and uninspired. The X-Men are inspiration (and the great comic books) made flesh. He clearly understands the source material. Even though the stories are not exactly the same, their essence is.
This is an epic storyline, true to its potential.
If I have one minor beef it is that Bolivar Trask and his motivations seem a little underdeveloped. The rest is just… marvelous.
The third movie, «the Last Stand» is also rendered totally invalid, continuity wise, yet another great move.
We don’t get a truly adult movie, with its complete realism, but we do get a mature storyline, with quite a few mature themes and issues, like racism and its destructive power and devastating «potential». It also says a lot about destiny, and the value of fighting for true freedom, to stand up for one’s belief. Simultaneously, the young Xavier is shown to be stumbling, to lack conviction, even after having encountered his older self. Very believable! Such great stuff!
The nightmare of the sentinels, of artificial intelligence is handled very well. The fighting between them and the few surviving mutants confirms that the movie in truth exceeds the source material.
The first film practically gave birth to the long line of «superhero» movies the last fifteen years, and the X-Men franchise remains the best, far above such shit like the Dark Knight and the Avengers.
Aside from Man of Steel Hollywood hasn't really made films the last five years. They haven’t even come close.
The X-Men endure even such a devastating event.