Black Panther is finally here and once again the Marvel Madness is upon us! So to help keep the up the hype I have decided to make a list of my personal least favorite to favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
This list will also include my placement of Black Panther and I do plan to update this list every time a Marvel movie is released, so be sure to bookmark this page to come back this May when Avengers: Infinity War is released! But anyway, I surely have some choices that will cause for some debate that I cannot wait to share. So lets get right into it!
18.) The Incredible Hulk
To be fair, I do not believe I have seen this film fully more than once. It was an absolutely bore and really felt like everything that I have seen before. Edward Norton is an alright Bruce Banner, but there is an obvious reason that he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo. Abomination is a forgettable villain and so is the rest of the film
The only thing that I could say was more than alright was Bruce and Bettys relationship. It was portrayed pretty well and those scenes definitely did not have me snoozing. The Incredible Hulk is a tough one to get through and that is why it deserves the last spot on my list.
17.) Iron Man 2
While this film does have some spectacular moments in the action department. Everything else just completely falls apart and turns into more of a cringe fest than an actual sequel to an Iron Man movie. To me, the biggest fault of this movie is with the villain, Whiplash. His motives are generic, his accent is beyond awful and his role is not significant and he is just a plain out boring character.
On top of this, there is the boring sub-plot of Tony's arc reactor issues. There is even a terribly done portrayal of the "Demon in a Bottle" story line. Iron Man 2 just try's to be so much at once and in the end it just all comes together as one jumbled mess.
16.) Thor: The Dark World
Thor: The Dark World is very similar to Iron Man 2 as it is just plain out pointless. The Dark World's problems are faced by pointless plot lines, another boring villain and just feeling like a waste of your time.
A huge problem with the first two Thor films are the huge focus on Thor and Jane's "relationship". Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Natalie Portman (Jane) have absolutely no chemistry at all. The love between them does not feel there, Jane's character is just plain annoying (And so are her friends) and it always feels like Thor and Jane are always in some dispute. They just do not work.
To make matters worse, we have the villain, Malekith. This is no doubt, one of the worst developed and most boring villains I have ever seen on film. I am going to be honest, I do not remember one thing about him and I am a huge fan of the Marvel films. All I remember is his name and how he looked. Oh, and that one kind of cool action sequence in D.C at the end of the film. That is all I remember. I think he tried to take over the world or something? Tried to kill Thor? Something cliche like that.
Thankfully the saving grace of this film is Tom Hiddleston's performance as Loki, which is still an absolute joy to watch. Thor and Loki really click throughout the film and part of me just wishes Loki would have been in the entire time. It really would have made it a way more enjoyable experience.
15.) Avengers: Age of Ultron
I was honestly having a hard time deciding where to put this movie. It had so much promise and ended up failing in so many areas. Age of Ultron from the trailers was looking like it was about to be the first TRUE dark MCU film after The Winter Soldier. It showed the amazing villain in Ultron played by James Spader and his destructive plan to finally end The Avengers for good. We all knew that we had a bigger baddie in Thanos down the line, but we were beyond excited to see what Ultron could bring in the meantime.
What we got was.... an action-comedy? The movie was full of laughs and at times very light-hearted. Don't get me wrong, a majority of the jokes in this film land very well, but it just did not mesh well with the overall "dark" tone of the movie. Sadly, Ultron never ended up being the villain that we hoped for. He did not have a lot of screen time just to himself and his whole master plan was just really boring. Sure, the action in the movie was stellar, I will never forget the Hulkbuster/Hulk fight. But it just cant make up for all of the setting up and filler that the movie has to offer.
On top of that, The Avengers never really felt like a "unit" like they did in the first film. They felt very disjointed as if it wasn't even an Avengers film. Cap and Tony were busy arguing to tie into the at the time upcoming Captain America: Civil War. Thor went off to go do his own things to set up Thor: Ragnarok. The Hulk had his own mid-life crisis which would eventually also tie into Thor: Ragnarok. And everyone else was just...there. Sure, the additions of Quick Silver, Scarlett Witch and Vision were actually really great. But besides the final act, it never felt like a team movie. Also, the Bruce and Black Widow romance?... Yeah, that happened.
In the end, Age of Ultron just feels like an advertisement for the next wave of Marvel films. It does not land those shocking moments like the first film did. It doesn't really pack any surprises. It just feels like 3 different movies with all the different arcs happening at once. I wanted Age of Ultron to be way higher on this list, but it will just have to settle in the lower half where it belongs.
Thor continues his streak in the lower half of the list with his first outing. The thing is, I actually do not hate this movie all that much. For what it is, it is just a alright time. Its a bit light on action, but that is okay as it makes it up with some light humor and great performances from Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins. The reason it ranks so low is the fact that it just plainly is not that special.
The "romance" between Jane and Thor is just as cliche and plain and boring as it is in The Dark World. On top of that, there seems to be no true established villain in this movie. It points the finger to the bad guy a few times around in this film and it just becomes a jumbled mess to really find out who Thor should really be fighting against. While I totally understand how this film is about Thor finding his way in the real world without any powers, it just is still a bit unacceptable to not build up a true villain.
13.) Captain America: The First Avenger
I have never really understood most of everyone's complaints with TFA. I always thought it was a well done and actually a very inspiring origin story. It shows the beginning struggles of Steve Rodgers all the way up until he is kicking the crap out of Red Skull very well. It also packs in a very intriguing love story with the addition of Peggy Carter. On top of all that, it is a war movie and Marvel does not shy way from its historical references throughout the film, which make it all the better.
The best thing that this film has to offer is its plot twist ending of Steve Rodgers being frozen over into present day. The shot of him being absolutely confused and scared in the middle of Times Square is unforgettable and is definitely one of my favorite moments throughout the MCU.
12.) Iron Man
Yeah, you read that right and no, I do not hate this movie. I like it a lot actually, I just believe it is a tad overrated. Iron Man is considered one of the greatest super hero movies of all time and I can see where people get that. It is has a phenomenal performance from Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and it kicks off the MCU in a great way with establishing one of its greatest heroes first.
I am in the group where I believe Marvel movies are actually getting better and since Iron Man was the first movie to come out in the series, a lot more have followed and a lot of them being superior. Of course, I can't deny that Iron Man executes the origin story perfectly. We get a clear understanding of Stark's character, while also understanding what he has been through and the film does a great job of being able to relate to Tony Stark, even though he is a billionaire.
Iron Man also has a great supporting cast with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Jeff Bridges as the villain, Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger. The reason I ranked this movie so low is not cause of my dislike for it, I really like this film. It just simply does not do it for me enough like the other 9 films in this list do.
11.) Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange was easily one of the biggest gambles Marvel ever took. Adding a brand new hero this late in the Marvel game was a bit nerve-wracking. You also have to add in the fact that Doctor Strange is no where near as well known as other heroes like Iron Man, Spider-Man and The Hulk. But, wow, Marvel really blew it out of the water with this movie.
Doctor Strange is an absolute visual treat. Of course, we are in a day and age where visual effects that are more realistic are not too hard to come by. But, Doctor Strange shows the industry that there can still be revolutionary effects that will make the audiences jaw drop.
The effects are not the only positive, Benedict Cummberbatch is a treat as Stephen Strange and even though is role was minimal I thought that Mads Mikkelsen as the villain Kaecilius was not as bad as some people made him to be. Sure, his screen presence wasn't that large, but I thought he showed himself to be enough of an intimidating foe for Doctor Strange.
Overall, Doctor Strange is one of the most unique and well-put Marvel films to date. Its got great action, humor, fantastic chemistry between all the cast members and a few suprises along the way to keep every audience member pleased.
10.) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians 2 had a lot to live up to. The first Guardians is highly acclaimed in the superhero movie industry, so to even make something close to that would be a challenge within itself. While I do not think Guardians 2 matches the over all quality of the first, I do believe this squeal is a great follow up and is an overall great time.
Guardians 2 is packed with humor, a great story, fun action and a surprising plot twist. Kurt Russel absolutely steals the show as Ego and there is no doubt that his character will go down as one of the greatest in the MCU. Of course, in Guardians 2 we also see the fantastic addition of Mantis and who could of course forget about Baby Groot. Guardians 2 may not live up to the first film, but it is far from forgettable.
9.) Thor: Ragnarok
At the writing of this, I have just seen this movie about 12 hours ago, so most of it is fresh in my mind. But I do have to say, this is one of the MCU films that I could see skyrocketing up the list after I watch it a second time.
If you ever were worried that Thor would never have an even slightly above-average film, I have great news for you. Thor: Ragnarok is an absolute blast and easily shows how Thor can be just as cool as all the other Avengers. Ragnarok is full of action and beatiful visuals, it also easily has some of the best laugh-out loud jokes that you will see in any MCU film.
While Thor is the main star and is absolutely fantastic, the supporting cast is what truly steals the show. Hulk makes a return and he is as ruthless as ever. Ragnarok even seems to set up a Hulk story arc that should hopefully take place over the next few Avengers films, so I am very excited to see that unfold. Along with Hulk the other two standouts in my opinion, were the Grandmaster and Korg. These two light up the house with some of the funniest one-liners and jokes that will make you laugh so hard that you will no doubt miss the next few lines of dialogue.
Ragnarok also does get very serious at some points and the villain of the film, Hela really takes over those brief dark moments. Ragnarok also sets up a lot of future Marvel films without t feeling like the whole entire film is just one huge set up. It really feels complete and it is just an overall fun time.
After all the behind-the-scenes drama that this film went through, I would have never thought that Ant-Man would make it this high on my list. But boy, did director Peyton Reed prove us wrong. Pitching a movie simply titled "Ant-Man" is definitely a hard sell. But with its quick humor, fantastic chemistry between all it's cast members and engaging action, you cannot skip over this movie.
Paul Rudd kills it as the troubled Scott Lang and he somehow finds a way to make a man with the ability to shrink to the size of an ant, one of the coolest additions to the MCU. While the film does struggle with its main villain, the Yellowjacket played by Corey Stoll. The film makes up for it with an amazing supporting cast filled with great actors like Micheal Douglas, Evangeline Lilly and Micheal Pena. Ant-Man is an all around good feeling and fun film and is one the best the MCU has to offer.
7.) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Coming in at number 6 is one of the darker and more serious films that the MCU has to offer. The Winter Soldier plays a lot on the Political/Thriller genre and it works. With the mystery of The Winter Solider on top of the Hydra plot twist, this film keeps the punches coming and it has you on the edge of your seat at every second.
A problem with some Marvel films is that they only have the "wow" appeal the first time you watch it. Every time after, just feels not as exciting. I have watched TWS at least 5+ times and every time I feel fully engaged as if I am watching it for the first time all over again. The suspense, plot twists and action sequences are the true keys to this films greatness. Who could ever forget the amazing unveiling of The Winter Soldier? It is moments like that, that really solidify TWS as not only one of the best superhero films, but one of the greatest Action movies in recent years.
6.) Iron Man 3
Yeah, you read that right, I put Iron Man 3 above The Winter Soldier. Let me explain.
I absolutely love Iron Man 3. It kind of borrows from the first Thor movie as most of the time Tony is left without his "powers" throughout the entire film, but this time, it does it right. This then sets up some great development for Tony, which I honestly did not even know that we needed.
After the events of NYC, it was very intriguing to see Tony deal with his PTSD and on top of that, facing off against a villain who wants to destroy and take away everything from him. While I do understand everyone's problem with the plot twist, I believe in the end it made it more of a personal situation for Tony. Something that he did in the past came to haunt him, just like the events of NYC were. It is a great correlation that the film makes and that is why Iron Man 3 ranks at number 6 on my list.
5.) Black Panther
Black Panther is easily the best debut solo film from Marvel since Guardians of the Galaxy. They hype leading up to Black Panther has been massive to say the least and BP delivered in almost every way. One of the best aspects of BP is its reliance of being a self-contained film. While it might not seem like that with how immersive, huge and wonderful the city of Wakanda is, Black Panther is very much a Black Panther story. While I am a bigger fan of Marvel films where it has more characters involved, it was definitely a fresh of breath air to just get a film based on one characters story.
T'Challa has easily become one of my favorite heroes in the MCU after this. His pride, love for his family and determination make him the standout star in the film. But you also cannot forget about the villain Erik Killmonger.. Killmonger finally gives us the true Marvel villain that we have been waiting for. Killmonger gives us plenty of reason to actually feel for him and his motivation in a way actually makes sense. Marvel went through a string of underwhelming villains, but as of late Ego, Vulture and now Killmonger have really stepped up to the plate. On top of the great villain, you also get a great supporting cast with the tech-genius Shuri and the spear-fighting Okoye. The action sequences are also a blast, with a car chase sequence throughout South Korea being a standout.
Black Panther is no doubt one of my favorite MCU films and it deserves it in almost every aspect. While the film does struggle a bit in its 2nd act due to a spoiler-ish aspect and some mediocre CGI, it makes up for it with it's phenomenal world building, great character development and unique take on the superhero film genre.
4.) Captain America: Civil War
The Captain America trilogy is the only set of films in the MCU, where each film kept topping the other. While, you honestly could make the argument for this movie actually being Avengers 2.5, it is still a Cap story and a great one at that.
Tony and Steve's tensions meet an all time high after a new law is passed that all of the Avengers can only be called to duty when the government says so. Half of the Avengers including Tony like, Steve and the other half do not as much. This then leads to an all out war and an absolutely phenomenal action set-piece at the airport.
With so many characters on one screen at one time, the movie still manages to introduce two new characters, those being Black Panther and Spider-Man. The two actually mesh into the film almost perfectly and nothing feels too crammed in or messy. Also, the villain of the film Baron Zemo is one of the most underrated villains in the MCU. His master plan is genius and while it is a bit of a convenient plan, it is something so clever and so brilliant that it still shocks me how he pulled something like that off.
3.) The Avengers
The Avengers for the longest time was at my number 1. Without this film, there is no doubt that I would not have fallen so in love with the Marvel films like I have. This is one of the best team-up films in recent memory and will definitely stay that way for generations to come.
With all of the origin stories out of the way, we finally got to see all of our heroes on the screen for the very first time. Watching them all banter with one another and seeing them all fight together on the big screen just an absolute joy for the nerds and general audience alike.
While a bit slow to start, this film goes full speed ahead and keeps giving you new things to make you laugh and just go "wow". To anyone who has not seen The Avengers I do not even want to spoil the slightest thing, so I will not go into too much detail. But to everyone who has seen it, it is obvious that The Avengers deserves a high spot on this list and that is why it deserves the number 3 spot.
2.) Spider-Man: Homecoming
I have already written a review on this film, which you can find on the blog! As most of you may know, this is my favorite Spider-Man film of all time. It excels on every aspect that it trys to accomplish. With 2 other Spider-Man entries in the back burner, this film does a great job at really making it different from that others. With a great villain, great laughs and a unique story for Peter to go through, this is easily the best solo outing that Marvel has to offer.
1.) Guardians of the Galaxy
Back in 2012 when this movie was first announced, I was baffled. I had no clue who any of the lead characters were, where they existed or why they were making the movie to begin with. It was obvious from the start that THIS was Marvel's biggest gamble. And just like Doctor Strange, it paid off, big time.
When explaining this film you could say that it is just The Avengers in space. But there really is just so much more to it than that. GotG shows a story of a bunch of troubled people, with a terrible past coming together to save the day. Not only is GotG one of the funniest Marvel movies, it has the most heart of any MCU film. Star-Lord's backstory connection with his mother is truly a tearjerker and is unlike anything we have seen in the MCU.
There has been great chemistry in the MCU, but nothing works better than the GotG cast. They all work together perfectly. From Star-Lords and Rockets banter, to Drax's one-liners to the motivational scene they all share in the quin-jet. GotG is filled with everything that will please any fan or general audience member, guaranteed. That is why there is no doubt in my mind that Guardians of the Galaxy is the best the MCU has to offer.