The List: "X-Men: Apocalypse" cast highlights

Brad Keefe, Columbus Alive

So Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Apocalypse" opens this weekend to middling early reviews. It wasn't even screened for local critics, which is almost always a bad sign. Sigh.

While it remains to be seen whether Singer pulls this off, it's tough to argue against the cast he's assembled. Here are some highlights.

James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier

McAvoy has owned the role of the younger Professor X, feeling like an appropriate companion to Patrick Stewart's older portrayal, but he was also outstanding in his breakout role in "Atonement."

Michael Fassbender as Magneto

In recent years, Fassbender has emerged as one of the greatest working actors, with two Oscar nods to show for it. Still, my favorite of his roles was performed almost entirely behind a giant fake head in "Frank."

Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique

It seems apparent that her "X-Men" character has taken on a bigger role in this story as J-Law's star has risen. I'm not complaining. I love her in most everything. I even thought "Joy" was terribly underrated.

Nicholas Hoult as Beast

You may not know Hoult by name, but you know him as the scene-stealing Nux from "Mad Max: Fury Road" ("What a lovely day!"). You may not know that he was also the child actor in 2002's "About a Boy."

Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse

Since emerging in the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis," Issac has been, well, everywhere. He had a particularly stellar year in 2015, when he was in the excellent "Ex Machina" as well as that little "Star Wars" movie.

Rose Byrne as Moira Mactaggert

The Aussie actress has found her niche in comedy ("Bridesmaids," "Neighbors," "Spy"), but I'll always remember her from the rare sequel that was just as good as the original, "28 Weeks Later."

Evan Peters as Quicksilver

His most prominent movie role has been as best friend Todd in "Kick-Ass," but most will know him from his recurring roles in FX's horror anthology "American Horror Story."

Sophie Turner as Jean Grey

The young Jean Grey was an inspired bit of casting with some crossover appeal, as Turner's star has steadily risen as we've watched her grow up as Sansa Stark on "Game of Thrones."

Olivia Munn as Psylocke

Here's some more geek-approved casting, as the former "Attack of the Show" host is getting her highest profile movie role to date.

Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler

Here's another face you might not recognize as a grown-up. Smit-McPhee was a fine actor as a child in roles in "The Road" and the American vampire remake "Let Me In."