Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 drops on Friday and it’s safe to say that it’s going to be one of the biggest movies of 2017. With it being the 1st of 3 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies (Spider-Man: Homecomingand Thor: Ragnarok being the other 2) coming out this year, I thought it would be the perfect time to rank all of the previous movies. What makes this list really hard is not only is it my favorite film franchise of all-time, but every single movie is good! Not a bad one in there and that’s extremely hard to do (just ask DC). Remember it’s my PERSONAL list, I’m sure that mine is different than yours and there’s nothing wrong with that. We got 14 movies to talk about so let’s get into it right now!
14. Thor: The Dark World (2013)- While this movie is definitely underwhelming and the worst in the MCU, it still has some cool things to take away from. The development of Thor and Loki’s relationship is great and the fight at the end with the portals are fun to watch.
13. Iron Man 2 (2010)- Coming off the huge success of Iron Man, Iron Man 2 doesn’t live up to its predecessor. It tries to set up too many things for the future and doesn’t focus the main story well. But seeing Nick Fury and Black Widow for the first time on screen is still awesome to see.
12. Iron Man 3 (2013)- While this movie is not the worst, it has to the most controversial. While Robert Downey Jr. is still amazing as Tony Stark, the movie suffers from a twist gone wrong. When it’s revealed that The Mandarin is actually a fake villain, I lost my mind. I thought it was a huge mistake and kept Iron Man 3 from being a great movie instead of being an average movie.
11. The Incredible Hulk (2008)- This is the black sheep of the MCU. The 2nd movie in the MCU, The Incredible Hulk is not your typical origin story as Bruce Banner has been the Hulk for a little bit and he’s learning to embrace this other side. While I like the current recast of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Edward Norton did do a good job of playing Banner in this movie. It’s a shame that he in Marvel couldn’t make it work for The Avengers and beyond.
10. Ant-Man (2015)- A movie that was expected to fail, Ant-Man might be the most pleasant surprise out of all these movies. Paul Rudd plays the very down to Earth and relatable hero Scott Lang as he tries to get back to his daughter. Michael Douglas excellently plays Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man who turns out to be a very important figure in the entire MCU. This movie proves in more ways than one that bigger isn’t always better.
9. Doctor Strange (2016)- While Ant-Man was the smallest movie, Doctor Strange is the trippiest movie. One of the few movies that benefits from 3-D, Doctor Strange is visually stunning with a collage of colors. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect as the egocentric doctor who gets a reality check to go along with those mystic powers.
8. Thor (2011)- The one thing that I love about the original Thor movie is the Shakespearean like atmosphere. It’s the first time in the MCU you see a non-Earth setting in Asgard and it’s beautiful to look at. Plus it’s a great introduction to the Thor/Loki relationship and it shows how their brotherly rivalry begins.
7. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)- By far the most underrated of the MCU movies, The First Avenger tells the origin of Steve Rogers. Taking place during WWII, Chris Evans perfectly portrays the man who becomes an American legend. Not only does it have a great supporting cast with the introduction of Bucky Barnes and Peggy Carter, but it has one of the best villains in the entire MCU with Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull.
6. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)- Age of Ultron is a huge movie in more ways than one. Not only does it have to set up Phase 3 for the MCU, it has to introduce to a few major players. It feels blotted at times but it is still fun as hell. Ultron is an awesome villain and has some of the best dialog of any character in the series. But by far the standout is Paul Bettany as The Vision, who becomes the Ying to Ultron’s Yang. In the final scene where the two of them just talk, it felt like it was God and the Devil talking and it was amazing.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)- It’s an underdog movie about a group of underdogs. Not only is the funniest movie in the entire MCU, it’s by far the most unique. With the entire movie set in outer space, it’s the first time that we have seen what the MCU looks like outside of Earth. As for the Guardians themselves, they all became fan favorites. While Star-Lord and Gamora are great, the standouts have to be Rocket Raccoon and Groot. That’s right, two main characters of a blockbuster movie are talking raccoon and a walking tree. Got to love Marvel.
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)- While I like The First Avenger very much, The Winter Soldiertook the Captain America franchise to another level. In a much more complex movie, Steve Rogers comes to realize that the world is not as black and white as he thought was. Plus it has one of the great twists in the entire MCU as it turns out The Winter Soldier is actually Steve’s best friend from the 40s, Bucky Barnes.
3. Iron Man (2008)- It’s the one that started it all. It’s hard to imagine now, but Iron Man was a huge gamble at the time boy did it pay off. It’s the origin of Tony Stark, who is a billionaire who gets a wakeup call after being captured by terrorists. After escaping, Stark uses his genies and money to help better the world and create the Iron Man suit. Robert Downey Jr. simply is Tony Stark and is the main reason why Iron Man is now a cultural icon.
2. Captain America: Civil War (2016)- It’s a nerds dream come true, seeing your favorite superheroes fight. But makes Civil War a great movie is the story. Pinning Captain America and Iron Man against one another on whether the Avengers should be run by the government is a fascinating idea and there’s no right or wrong choice. But I’m not going to lie, that Airport scene is the greatest single moment in the entire MCU! Oh yeah, plus it marked the debut of Black Panther and one friendly neighborhood Spider-Man; both of which stole the show.
1. The Avengers (2012)- While Civil War broke the icons apart, The Avengers brought them together for the first time. Everyone thought that it couldn’t be done. But not only did it work, it became one of the best movies of the 21st Century. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and even Hawkeye all have a moment to shine and the movie never feels too crowded. That credit has to go to director Joss Whedon as he balances out the humor with the dramatic elements perfectly. Plus Loki is a force to be reckoned with. I could watch this movie 1,000 times and never get tired of it. It’s just that good.
Hope you enjoy the list, by on the look out for my Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 review tomorrow!
Written By: Steven Santoro (SVS_1993)