The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been dominating the box office for almost a decade now, with movies coming out almost twice a year. But which are the best and which are the worst? Spoiler warning ahead, but lets find out.
15. Thor: The Dark World
I really wish they kept Branagh on board to direct the sequel to Thor. This one just misses entirely. The villain is boring, the story isn’t new, and Natalie Portman really does not want to be there, and it shows. This whole movie is kind of a mess. Except for the teleporting fight, that is pretty cool. Check it out:
14. Incredible Hulk
I actually don’t dislike this movie as much as most people seem to. It is not made to the same standard as the rest of the MCU, but it has its moments. I enjoyed some of the characters, and the story was interesting enough. But then again I went in with super low expectations so I was not disappointed. No matter how you cut it though, it just does not hold up with the rest of the series.
13. Iron Man 2
There was so much potential, but Marvel got so lost in trying to expand the universe that they forgot to make a good movie. There’s a few enjoyable scenes (that brief case suit was awesome), but for the most part it was disappointing. The end fight I feel is a perfect summary of the movie. Looked promising, but in the end it was just kind of poorly thought out.
12. Iron Man 3
I like that Shane Black tried to make this different, and there are some great scenes (Tony changing his suit in the final fight a dozen times, the make shift weapons he made) but I had kind of grown tired of Tony by this point. I enjoyed the twist, but at the same time, I think that the Mandarin could have been a perfect villain had they gone with a more mystical approach to him, and not faked him out. I mean they could have set up Doctor Strange with The Mandarin’s powers or something I don’t know. Either way, it was decent, but I feel it could have been better.
Thor was so much better than I thought it was going to be, but it still is not that great. Chris Hemsworth is great as the titular character, and Hiddleston is perfect as Loki. The story was pretty good, and the fighting was solid. But I feel like they either should have toned down the mythos, or cranked it up. Again, I am having a tough time putting to words my issues with Thor, but they are there. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun watching this and it is a more than enjoyable movie, but not as great as some of the other entries.
10. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Joss Whedon’s exhaustion on the project was felt, as the movie had lost some of the energy of the first one. The quips are still there, the action is still there, but the story and the heart are just kind of off. I didn’t feel like it needed to be there all that much in the greater Avengers story arc. But we did get this great intro:
Maybe the second funniest movie in the franchise, Paul Rudd really killed it. The CGI is fantastic, the story is ok with a semi boring villain, and I wish they got a little more creative with their fights. More quick changes in size with Rudd popping in and out of sight just to land one punch, something faster like that. But it is still really, really enjoyable. The fight with the trains is hilarious, and the subatomic world we glimpse at the end is gorgeous.
8. Guardians vol. 2
I actually do not know why I have this movie as low as I do. When I go back and think about watching the movie, I enjoyed almost every aspect of it, but something just didn’t quite hit its mark. The humor all hits, the action for the most part is great, and the music (while not quite as awesome as the first one) is really good. But something about it just made me not love it. Either way, I enjoyed it and it sits at 8.
7. Doctor Strange
Holy crap it looks so god damn cool. The world bending scenes were mind blowing to watch in theaters. I actually got there a tad late and had to sit in the front row for it, and it was almost overwhelming. But wow. Doctor Strange is funny with good action, and good acting but it just sort of falls in a little bit with the rest. If it had come earlier in the franchise I would have liked it more, but superhero movie fatigue started to kick in right about now. It is still great and a ton of fun. And I mean just watch this:
6. Captain America: The First Avenger
This movie is just so much fun. It captures the feel of an old school adventure flick, while keeping the inspirational aspects of a superhero movie. Cap is my favorite Avenger, and his origin story is so much fun. The performances are great, the action is fun, and we get one of the best villains in all the MCU in Red Skull. Too bad we probably won’t get to see him again.
5. Iron Man
The movie that started everything, and that pretty much all solo movies try to emulate. RDJ is amazing and completely owned the role. Jeff Bridges is great as the villain, and the CGI is great. It set the standard for the future of this juggernaut of a franchise. And his full intro is so badass:
4. Civil War
Basically an Avengers movie, the finale in the Captain America trilogy was fantastic. The end of the Bucky story was satisfying, the action is mostly fantastic, Cap is endearing as ever, and the ending is very satisfying. I sort of wish they packed a few less characters in the movie, I loved Black Panther for instance but I felt he was a little unnecessary. But this one scene is great enough to cover up any minor flaw in the movie:
The culmination of 5 movies over 4 years, and boy was it worth the wait. Finally seeing all the characters we had grown to know and love on screen together was amazing. The finale was great, the Cap v. Iron Man fight is great, the banter is great, everything is great. Except maybe Cap’s costume… But still just tell me you don’t get hyped watching this:
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
Easily the funniest MCU movie, which is saying a lot, Guardians was a pleasant surprise. While a wild concept, Tim Gunn and the cast pulled off a masterpiece of action/comedy. The whole team shines, and the chemistry is top notch. Dave Batista was a surprise hit, and who knew it, a freaking raccoon character was great.
1. Winter Soldier
The whole vibe is different, and from a franchise that is getting kind of stale, it was amazing to see something new. Chris Evans continues to be my favorite avenger, and he is so bad ass. The fights are all top notch, and the twists and turns are great. Easily the best MCU movie ever. This scene in particular is something special: