I don't know why I decided this was a good idea. Everyone's just going to get mad at me, and I can't even make my own mind up. But it's happening, so get ready. Here's every movie in the Marvel Universe ranked from worst to first.
Some Ground Rules
Second: This is my opinion and my opinion only. I'm not an expert. So, if you find yourself feeling upset, remember, I'm just some film major with a writing internship.
20. Thor: The Dark World
This is by no means a bad movie. It's actually pretty good, but it just isn't nearly as good or as memorable as other movies in the MCU, nor did it hold up to the test of time the same way others released around the same point did. I think Chris Hemsworth took a minute to really become Thor the way he did in the later movies, which was great, but at this point in the timeline it's just not doing it for me.
There's nothing wrong with Ant-Man, and I love to see my wholesome king Paul Rudd in anything, I just don't really get what purpose this movie served. Ant-Man feels extra and unnecessary, and it doesn't tie in as cleanly into the rest of the universe as its counterparts.
Ant-Man is sort of like chili cheese fries. You order them because they sound good, but in reality it's just too much.
18. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Same critiques apply as above, this was just a personal thing. It's cool, and it expands on Ant-Man a bit more, but again, did we really need to expand on Ant-Man? Maybe in a cartoon, but I don't know, it feels like excess.
17. The Winter Solider
This one is going to make some people very angry. Captain America develops as a character far more in Avengers movies as a leader than he does in his own movies. This was more of an action movie to fill some plot holes. Nothing wrong with that, and it's a great movie, just not outstanding.
16. Captain America
This was toward the beginning of the MCU, and while it was one of the movies that started it all, and there is some respect to be put towards it in that regard, would I rather watch this, or one of the later films? One of the later films. It's important, it just doesn't match up to its successors.
15. Iron Man 2
Out of the Iron Man trilogy, this was the weakest link for me, just in terms of action. The plot of this movie was more mired in politics regarding S.H.I.E.L.D. and revelations about Howard Stark than anything else. Ivan Vanko doesn't quite carry his own weight as much as he serves as a catalyst for Stark's own demons. Hats off to Robert Downey Jr, but this has to be last in the trilogy for me.
My criticisms to this Thor film are similar to the last one. I feel like Hemsworth hadn't really come to fruition with the character yet, I think the effects don't hold a candle to other Marvel films, however, a good origin story can make up for a lot, and here we get a truly fantastic one.
13. Guardians of the Galaxy 2
I have the first Guardians way higher on this list, and I'll talk about how great Guardians is up there, because truly this is a great movie and I have no real issues with it.
However, with such a massive network of interworking plots, I feel like the only real purpose of Guardians 2 overall, aside from excellent character development from StarLord, was to get the Guardians in proximity to Thor and Thanos at the beginning of Infinity War. And that's really not enough.
12. Captain America: Civil War
This was really an Avengers movie disguised as a Captain America movie. It does some excellent plot work. It establishes Spiderman's connection with Tony Stark and the Avengers, it cements the fragmented state of the Avengers at the beginning of Infinity War, and that airport fight scene is just *chefs kiss*.
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
This is the lowest ranked straight up Avengers movie, because for me it's the least memorable. This was right at the peak of phase two, when everything was beginning to bubble over into the insanity that was the end of this incredible ride. But it wasn't quite there yet.
I don't buy that Ultron was a real threat to the Avengers. Like, at all. I get that he's a very smart and intelligent robot, but compared to Loki bringing in the hoards of the Chitauri or Thanos destroying half the life in the universe, do I really care about a smart robot? No, I really don't.
10. Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel is a cheat code. She is so powerful. That's my issue with this movie.
I can't find Captain Marvel compelling enough because I can't buy anyone being a threat to her. This movie gets credit for amazing acting from Brie Larson, being very important as a building block for feminine superheroes, and a great origin story, but once she got her powers, I really lost interest. How is she going to lose? Explain to me how she's anything but immortal, and then I'll enjoy the second half of this movie.
10. Spiderman: Homecoming
Tom Holland is an awesome Spiderman. The only reason it's this low is because I feel like Holland's performance in this movie is overshadowed by the fact that Into the Spiderverse was released around the same time, and we were all just a little Spiderman'd out.
But Holland is going to be a great Spiderman for years to come. I just don't think this is the best. Yet.
9. Iron Man
This is the one that started it all. The movie that made Robert Downey Jr. what he is today, that bounced him back from being the joke of Hollywood to its Crown Prince. The movie that started an entire universe that's still going without him. RDJ was born to be Tony Stark, there's no other way to describe it.
8. Avengers: Endgame
Endgame had amazing battles, heartbreaking deaths, a perfect ending to the universe that followed us from childhood to college, and wrapped it all up in a neat little bow of superpowers and explosions. So, why so low?
Because it cannot be helped that this movie will always be directly compared to Infinity War, and that hurts it tremendously. I have no critiques of this movie, except that the time travel was confusing, but that's just me being slow. It's just that nothing is ever going to be Infinity War for me.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy
Fun fact, when Chris Pratt had to lose the weight he put on to play Andy in Parks and Rec to assume the role of Starlord, the writers of the show explained his sudden weight loss by saying that Andy lost 50 pounds by "just not drinking beer".
These are the ragtag alternative scoundrels of the MCU. They aren't as menacing and serious as the X-Men, as powerful as the Avengers, but they have more personality and flair than all of them combined. This movie just forces you to love it, and by God I do. I really do.
Objectively, the original Avengers is not as good as its successors, or even some non-Avengers films in the franchise. But come on. Do we not all remember how the world exploded with excitement at this movie? No one had ever seen anything this cool, this fresh. This is what really grabbed us, and showed us something special was in the works.
But side note, Mark Ruffalo was the best Hulk we ever got, and no solo movie? Sure, give Ant-Man two whole movies, but a core Avenger can't even get one? No, not you, Hawkeye, you can stay over there, but Bruce, we need a solo act.
5. Black Panther
This movie transcended the superhero genre, in terms of importance, cinematic excellence, and cultural gravity. It massively widened the fanbase of the MCU while making an unapologetically black statement to the rest of America. It was awesome.
On top of all that, you've got the best soundtrack that's ever been put to screen, from King Kendrick himself. And Future, and Schoolboy Q, and Anderson Paak, and SZA, and The Weeknd, and Vince Staples, and you get the point.
4. Iron Man 3
My personal favorite of the Iron Man trilogy, this is when it really all came together for Tony Stark, when he left his demons behind and went on to lead the greatest defenders Earth has ever seen. It's almost like RDJ was shedding his own struggles along with Stark, it feels so real and powerful.
3. Doctor Strange
This may seem a bit high for Doctor Strange, and it is, but it's a personal preference. A lot of people knock Doctor Strange for being a little out of place, his powers and practices reading more like fantasy than superhero lore. But how different it is is why it's so loveable.
It's a welcome break from the same powers, the same progressions, the same everything in a different package. Doctor Strange is a breath of fresh air, and the talents of Benedict Cumberbatch don't hurt either.
2. Thor: Ragnarok
The reason the other Thor films were so low is because they really can't hold a candle to this. Watching the full dismantling and humiliation of a literal god, just to work himself back up to even more powerful than before, is something to behold.
This movie tells a story as sad as it is inspiring, with a villain as relatable as she is horrifying. Cate Blanchett filled that out to a T, and Chris Hemsworth truly found the Thor we all love so much in this movie. A+
1. Avengers: Infinity War
I don't need to explain myself, and I'm not going to. This is the best, and we all know it.
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