ICYMI – read MCU ranked: part 1 before you continue!
10. Iron Man
The movie that kicked off the entire MCU. Realistically if this film failed, the MCU failed, but it was an absolute hit and for good reason.
The introduction to Tony Stark as a narcissistic playboy is fantastic – the first glimpse of Tony is from behind a whiskey glass. The sequence in which Tony is building the prototype Iron Man with Yinsen creates some excellent character development, as well as one of the best side characters ever in Yinsen, whose story is rounded off beautifully.
The villain might not be one of the most creative, but Bridges puts in a brilliant performance, by the end doing some truly despicable things, allowing the audience to loathe his character.
Overall, Iron Man kicked off the MCU perfectly and still stands as one of the top MCU movies to beat.
9. Avengers Assemble
Iron Man may have kicked off the MCU, but this is the film that really got the wheels in motion. This was the big moment that would decide where the MCU could, and would, go from here.
Avengers Assemble would determine just how much bigger and better Marvel could go with its movies and Avengers knocked it out of the park – it made 1.5 billion dollars and a lot of fans happy.
Avengers Assemble follows the earth’s mightiest heroes as they join together to form The Avengers and save New York. Seeing the turmoil within the group at the start creates some excellent sequences, all of which makes it even more pleasing when they join together to fight off the aliens invading New York in fantastic symphony with one another.
8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Whereas the first Guardians film is bursting with excitement, large action sequences and the hijinx of the gang, Vol.2 splits up the gang and takes a much slower approach in terms of its storytelling.
At first glance, this sequel to is a huge disappointment, but in reality, all of the differences that seem like problems are actually used exceptionally well to take the audience on a character study of the gang.
It does a terrific job of improving the characters that didn’t have as much time to shine in the first movie, especially Yondu who gets a wonderful rounding up of his story – leading to one of the most beautiful moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
7. Black Panther
MCU isn’t known for its groundbreaking villains, but Black Panther kicked it up a notch with the introduction of Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger – one of the greatest villains in MCU history.
Even though Black Panther features one of the MCU’s worst secondary villains in Daniel Kaluuya’s W’Kabi, it manages to stay at such a high spot on the list due to Ryan Coogler’s direction as well as the beautiful costume/set design and cinematography.
6. Thor: Ragnarok
Thor suffered terribly in the past, with two terrible movies to its name, but somehow when this movie was announced everyone had hope – mainly due to Taika Waititi.
Bringing Waititi in was the right choice as he brought in so much energy to the pretty lacklustre Thor series. He brought it back to life, instilled it with gorgeous visuals, vibrant colours and hilarious back and forth between Thor and Hulk. Plus, there’s the finest Matt Damon cameo there’s ever been.
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
MCU is filled with passion from all of those involved, but Spider-Man: Homecoming is a notch above the rest.
The knowledge and passion in the script and direction from Jon Watts is unlike any other from the MCU. From its subtle references to Uncle Ben’s death (without ever having to say his name) to both the visual and oral references to Spidey and his world (e.g. the references to Miles Morales and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2).
Through its setting, storytelling, acting, pacing and script, Spider-Man: Homecoming feels like something MCU has never seen before.
4. Captain America: Civil War
Following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War splits up the Avengers due to the Sokovia Accords which declare that the Earth’s mightiest heroes need to be controlled by the government – leading to some genuinely wonderful debate throughout the film as well as an excellent message for the viewers.
This debate also develops the characters of the Avengers and leads to some epic moments (the airport scene) in not only the MCU’s history, but in film history.
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Winter Soldier is a step above all over MCU movies. As soon as it begins, it’s clear that within the space of one whole movie, Marvel has upped its game massively.
Before this, every other entry had been mainly oriented to children in terms of their storytelling which seemed to be straightforward with each film, but with this movie came one of Marvel’s more complex stories.
It has some of the most stunning fight scenes of all of the MCU, terrific cinematography, a brilliant script, and fantastic chemistry between Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson and a Danny Pudi cameo.
And to think, the most action-packed properties the Russo Brothers got their hands on before this was Community.
2. Avengers: Infinity War
When I first saw Avengers: Infinity War, the hype was real and had been going on for months due to the movie being shot in Edinburgh, which was about forty minutes from my house.
My friends and I ran around the city trying to get a look at the shoot and meet the heroes themselves. Shooting in Edinburgh was such a big deal, Joe Russo even came back and showed a twenty-minute preview to some amazingly lucky fans (in which I was included). So it’s safe to say that when release day came, the screens of Scotland were packed with fans desperate to see the earth’s mightiest heroes in the capital on the big screen.
Taking one of the biggest crossovers in, probably, cinema history is one hell of a feat but pulling it off is even bigger. Marvel did it and did it wonderfully. Each character’s meeting seems natural, often hilarious and everyone’s chemistry with one another is fantastic, especially Thor’s chemistry and banter with the Guardians of the Galaxy which was so good it left fans hoping for more.
The writing is fantastic, as it manages to keep the whole film at a good, steady pace while continuing the stories of so many – the script is so well written it manages to make it look easy.
The darker side of the film also brings in a fresh feel for the MCU, while ushering in one of cinema’s greatest villains: Thanos. All of this leads to an amazing film, one of which that is probably at the top of the list for most Marvel fans but for me, it just got beaten by…
1. Avengers: Endgame
Kicking off right where Infinity War left off, Avengers: Endgame is the sequel that fans all across the world were desperate to see from the moment Infinity War’s credits finished rolling.
Not only was it finishing off the story of Infinity War but it was finishing the story of the last eleven years and twenty one movies. It tied everything up wonderfully, rounding off the last eleven years of a lot of people’s lives in beautiful fashion, with each respectful character getting their own moments, all of which were either insanely epic, unbelievably sad or both.
Admittedly when I first saw Infinity War I was extremely harsh towards the MCU and even, one could say, a little anti-Marvel. I originally perceived Marvel films as very samey, and cookie cutter-ish, but after rewatching all 21 films, plus seeing Endgame, it allowed me to see how unfair I was being.
Marvel has its share of films that aren’t quite as good or even a little safe, but it has also taken the regular risk and one thing that proves this is the first third of Endgame.
Going in a direction that I didn’t expect, I couldn’t help but respect just how ballsy each decision was. In the past, I also believed that the MCU, (while hiring some of the world’s finest actors), wasn’t the place to go to view some excellent acting.
But in Endgame, each actor portrayed their heroes excellently, proving why each and every single one of these actors were hired for their roles. The emotion is sky high and everyone involved puts in some of the finest acting of the year.
Given that it has a three-hour runtime, the movie flies by. Infinity War flowed better, but Endgame provides such perfect moments that fans have waited for patiently over the years.
Every one of the other twenty one films fuels the emotion going into Endgame, but it does a perfect job of rounding off the story otherwise and that’s why it’s number one on my list.
Agree/disagree with my list? Let me know how you’d rank the MCU movies in the comments below!