Ranking The Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies (Redux)

Black Panther drops on Friday and it’s safe to say that it’s going to be one of the biggest movies of 2018.

With it being the 1st of 3 MCU movies (Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and The Wasp) coming out this year, I thought it would be the perfect time to rank all of the previous Marvel movies (again).

What makes this list really hard is not only is it my favorite film franchise of all-time, but every single movie is good! Remember it’s my PERSONAL list, I’m sure that mine is different than yours and there’s nothing wrong with that. We got 17 movies to talk about so let’s get into it right now!

17 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 after The Avengers is great and the fight at the end with the portals are fun to watch.

16 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 future films and doesn’t focus the main story. But seeing Nick Fury and Black Widow for the first time is still awesome to see.

15 Iron Man 3 (2013) – While this movie isn’t the worst, it has to the most controversial. While Robert Downey Jr. is still amazing as Tony Stark, the movie suffers from a plot 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 becoming a great movie.

Edward Norton was originally casted as Bruce Banner/ the Hulk in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.

14 Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 (2017) – Despite keeping the same fun tone from the original, Volume 2 isn’t able to execute the story as well as the 1st. Kurt Russell is a welcome addition to the film as he plays Peter Quill’s father and surprising enemy to the Guardians of the Galaxy.

13 The Incredible Hulk (2008) – This is the black sheep of the franchise for sure. The 2nd movie in the MCU, The Incredible Hulk is not your typical origin story as Bruce Banner has been the Hulk for a few years and he’s learning to crew his problem. While I like the current recast of Mark Ruffalo as Banner, Edward Norton did do a good job of playing him in this movie. It’s a shame that he in Marvel couldn’t make it work for The Avengers and beyond.

12 Ant-Man (2015) – The movie was expected to fail, but Ant-Man might be the most pleasant surprise out of all these movies. Paul Rudd plays the very 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 MCU’s past. This movie proves in more ways than one that bigger isn’t always better.

11 Thor: Ragnarok (2017)-It is the most different and by far the most fun of all of the Thor movies. While some of the highlights include Thor and Hulk battling in a gladiator arena, the film never takes itself seriously. That backfires when terrible things happen and they don’t feel as important as they should be.

10 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 and becomes the Sorcerer Supreme

Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

9 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 rival begins.

8 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.

7 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 bloated 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. The final scene where the two of them just talk is incredible to witness. It felt how God and the Devil would talk to one another.

6 Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – It’s an underdog movie about a group of underdogs. Not only is it one of 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 we’ve seen a film outside the normal MCU. As for the Guardians themselves, they all became fan favorites. While Star-Lord and Gamora are great as the leads, the standouts have to be Rocket Raccoon and Groot. That’s right, two great characters of a blockbuster are a talking raccoon and a walking tree. Got to love Marvel.

Pete and Tony
Tony Stark and Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

5 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Marvel Studios finally got their hands back on Spider-Man and they do not disappoint. Tom Holland delivers the best version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man that we have seen on the big screen and RDJ is amazing again as Iron Man; this time as a father figure. Michael Keaton also brings a lot to the table as he plays the Vulture and shows that he is one of the better MCU villains.

4 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – While I like The First Avenger very much, The Winter Soldier took 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 40’s, 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 and boy did it pay off. It’s the origin of Tony Stark, who is a billionaire who captured by terrorists and goes on a journey of self-discovery. After escaping, Stark uses his genius 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.

Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye all team up for the first time in 2012’s The Avengers.

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 are the personal stakes involved. Pinning Captain America and Iron Man against each other 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, the action is outstanding and that Airport sense is the greatest single sequence in the entire MCU! Oh yeah, plus it marked the debut of Black Panther and Spider-Man; both of which stole the show.

1 The Avengers (2012) – While Civil War broke our heroes 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 fantastically awesome and worthy villain. I could watch this movie 1,000 times and never get tired of it. It’s just that good.

Written By: Steven Santoro (SVS_1993)


Steven Santoro

I love sports and movies. Be on the lookout for articles about both. I also made a video that got 24,000 Retweets. (The views expressed on this website are mine alone and are not intended in any way to reflect the views of my employer)

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