Some of you may not know but a small movie called Avengers: Endgame came out this week. As a fan of the MCU I can say with confidence that most of you are going to walk out absolutely loving this movie. If you’re one of the two people who didn’t plan on watching the movie I would recommend checking it out. Now that this chapter of the MCU has come to a close I thought I would rank every movie the Marvel Cinematic Universe has put out so far.
NOTE: This list was extremely hard to make as I like/love so many movies on this list. A lot of great movies are low on the list. Also note that these are all my opinions and you may disagree with them.
22. Thor: The Dark World
For me, this is easily the worst MCU movie. It’s completely forgettable and has one of the worst MCU villains to date. Most of the human characters are annoying and Natalie Portman does not have any chemistry with Chris Hemsworth. Loki is definitely the highlight of the film but his arc isn’t enough to save this one.
21. The Incredible Hulk
I know a lot of people think this one is underrated but to me it was a bland and fairly dull movie. Abomination is not a bad villain and Ed Norton does have moments where he shines but I find this one to be a fairly forgettable MCU movie.
20. Iron Man 2
Ultimately, this movie’s biggest downfall is that it feels messy. There a lot of plot points this movie tries to juggle like Tony’s alcohol problems, Tony’s arc reactor problems, Tony’s daddy issues, the Avengers, Whiplash’s character arc, War Machine and a lot more. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come together well and is a disappointing follow up to the original. Like all of the weaker MCU films it has moments. For this movie, the action is pretty great. Whether it’s the formula one fight or the final battle, I found myself entertained during these sequences.
19. Ant-Man and the Wasp
From this point on I like all these movie. Ant-Man and the Wasp has two leads who have outstanding chemistry, some good humour and one of the MCU’s best post credits scene. I also personally believe that these Ant-Man movies have great scores. However, a lot of this movie feels flat. The way it is shot lacks any sort of creativity and the dialogue was very exposition heavy. Ghost and Walton Goggins were poorly written characters and this movie failed to live up to the original.
18. Avengers: Age of Ultron
There is a lot of good stuff about Age of Ultron. Most of the dinner party sequence is fantastic and a lot of the dialogue is really well written. Some of the action set pieces are the MCU’s best. But like Iron Man 2, it’s weakness is trying and failing to properly balance multiple arcs. That and the fact that it’s overstuffed with quips, has a villain with tons of wasted potential and has a generic final act.
Thor is a movie I know a lot of people love. I like it but for me there are tons of issues in the film. Thor’s character arc in this is fantastic and Loki is a great villain. Another aspect of the film that I loved is the relationship between Thor and Odin. Unlike a lot of MCU movies, Thor also has a memorable score and solid cinematography. But the earth stuff just doesn’t work for me in this film and the drastically different tones when in Asgard and Earth makes sense but is very off putting to me and could’ve been handled better in my opinion.
It pains me to put this movie so low. Ant-Man is an extremely enjoyable movie with a very likeable protagonist, some great visuals and one of the better MCU scores. Luis is one of the best scene stealers in the MCU and some of his scenes are the funniest in the entire MCU. But, whenever I see this movie I keep thinking that Edgar Wright would have made a film with a lot more style. Like the sequel, this movie is very exposition heavy and wastes Michael Douglas. Don’t even get me started on Yellow Jacket as a villain.
15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
There’s so much to love about this movie and it hurts to put it this low. All the character interactions are fantastic, it is easily one of the best MCU movies visually and of course the soundtrack is fantastic. Yondu’s death is extremely powerful and there were several other moments that were very emotional. But this is in my opinion one of the worst uses of humour in the MCU. A lot of it does work but so much of it undercuts most of emotional beats and completely took me out of the movie. With a slightly better use of humour this movie would be A LOT higher on the list.
14. Iron Man 3
I haven’t read a lot of Marvel comics so the Mandarin twist didn’t bother me as much. But Aldrich Killian was a weak and very generic villain. In my opinion, the first half of Iron Man 3 is fantastic. It has great writing, another great RDJ performance and sets up some great character arcs like Tony’s PTSD. If the second half was as brilliant as the first, this movie would be something special.
13. Doctor Strange
Benedict Cumberbatch was perfect casting for this character. He crushed it. Visually, this movie looks beautiful and I’m happy the final act was different than most of these comic book movies. Not all of the humour hits but this a pretty underrated Marvel movie in my opinion.
12. Captain America: The First Avenger
I absolutely adore most of this movie. The Captain America theme is one of my favourites and Red Skull is one of the better MCU antagonists. There are many fantastic moments but the montage is something I wished was handled better. It felt like they skipped a far more engaging final act here but otherwise, I really enjoyed this entry in the MCU.
11. Captain Marvel
I know this one is a bit divisive but I really enjoyed Captain Marvel. I reviewed the movie so if you want to know my thoughts click here. It definitely has its fair share of flaws but the good far outweigh the bad for me.
10. Spider-Man: Homecoming
As a teenager, I connected with this movie the most out of everything in the MCU. Although this isn’t the best Spider-Man movie, I do believe that Tom Holland is the best version of the character. That car scene is also one of the best in the MCU. Michael Keaton is fantastic as the Vulture and the relationship between Tony and Peter was another highlight for me. The shot composition was fairly bland and this movie has pretty poor colour grading and visual effects. But the writing and acting is so good that it makes up for it.
9. Thor: Ragnarok
The funniest MCU movie in my opinion. What Taika Waititi did this with this film stylistically is fantastic. This is when I began to fall in love with the Thor character. The run time flew by and this is one of the most fun movie experiences I’ve had. There are moments where I thought the humour undermined some emotional moments and very few jokes don’t land. For the most part, this film is fantastic.
8. Iron Man
The one that started it all is still one of the best in the entire MCU. Robert Downey Junior is perfect casting for Tony Stark and the casting director nailed it. This film is still one of my favourite origin movies. I do feel like the final act was relatively weak.
7. Black Panther
Speaking of weak third acts, Black Panther’s third act has weak visual effects and is poorly choreographed. But it ends Kilmonger’s arc PERFCETLY and the rest of this movie is so goddamn good. From the acting to the story to the performances. This movie works so well for the most part that with a better third act, this would’ve been in my top 3.
6. The Avengers
This was when everyone realised the MCU was truly something special. Seeing all these characters come together for the first time was something special. It’s also one of the most rewatchable movies in the MCU and what Whedon did with the character interactions is fantastic.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy
This universe would be so different without this film. It is one of the most creative and entertaining films with great characters and the best MCU soundtrack. So many moments emotionally hit me and the humour was very well used.
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
All of the Russo Brothers’ movies are in my top 4. What they’ve done with the MCU is something special and this is where it all started. This has a very distinct tone when compared to the rest of the MCU and I loved the grittier vibe it had. Captain America was a character I was eh on before this. Now, he’s one of my favourite Avengers. This, with Avengers: Endgame, is also the best Black Widow performance.
3. Captain America: Civil War
There is so much great about Civil War. It perfectly highlights the development Captain America and Iron Man have gone through and their conflict doesn’t feel forced at all. The airport scene is still one of the best CBM sequences of all time and the final act was emotionally powerful. I also liked Zemo as a villain as I thought he had relatable motives. Each of the supporting cast had great moments. The score, cinematography and colour grading felt uninspired to me and I do feel like the last minute or two undermined a lot of the film. Having Tony and Steve end on a bad note would’ve been a lot more powerful to me.
2. Avengers: Infinity War
This movie was an event. It was very action packed and wildly entertaining. Thanos was an extremely well developed character and is definitely by favourite MCU antagonist. And that ending was one of the most shocking MCU moments. I’ve watched it multiple times and pick up tiny character moments every time I rewatch it.
1. Avengers: Endgame
And the only movie that beats Infinity War for me is Endgame. I don’t know if there was a better way to go about the movie. It’s packed with the best kind of fan service and the ending was so emotionally satisfying to me. Like all time travel movies I’m sure there were plot holes but this movie handled it a lot better than most. This is also definitely my favourite MCU score. The first act felt a lot more character focused and then the final act was one of the best in CBM, maybe even movie, history. Without getting into spoilers, Avengers: Endgame is an emotionally satisfying conclusion to this chapter of the MCU. It’s possible that a rewatch will push this lower but for now, Endgame is the best MCU movie.