Ahead of the UK release of Captain America: Civil War on 28th April, I’ve been rewatching all of the MCU movies so far, and thought, what better time than any to let you wonderful people know how I rank them!
This list only includes the films considered part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is ranked from worst to best.
Let me know your favourites, and how you would rank them, in the comments below!
12. Iron Man 2 (2010)
Everything that was good about this film was spoilt in the trailer (briefcase suit), and in the grand scheme of things it is completely “skip-able” if you’re watching the MCU movies. It adds very little to the overriding story, aside from introducing Black Widow, and is definitely the worst of the 3 Iron Man movies. If you’re a big Tony Stark fan then maybe you’ll enjoy this, but it’s easily my least favourite.
11. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
There’s probably some people who wouldn’t consider this part of the MCU, but it very much is. I’d be willing to bet this would rank pretty low on most people’s lists, and I can understand why. It isn’t an awful film and is definitely the best Hulk movie we have seen, but there’s something about it which doesn’t seem to fit into the MCU. Sure, there’s the Stan Lee cameo, and Tony Stark rocks up at the end for good measure, but it just feels disjointed. Edward Norton does nothing wrong, but it probably doesn’t help matters that Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner proved to be much more popular.
10. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
I quite liked this film at the time and couldn’t really understand why people hated on it so much. In hindsight it is not a great film, and once again fairly inconsequential with the bigger MCU storyline. It introduces another of the Infinity Stones, and has a great mid-credits scene which nicely sets up Guardians of the Galaxy, but the villain is pretty dull and the storyline quite weak. It isn’t terrible but it definitely sits in the lower part of this list.
9. Iron Man 3 (2013)
This one is fairly interchangeable with Thor: The Dark World, but upon the most recent watch, I did enjoy it slightly more. I will forever be angry about what they did to the Mandarin character, but the showdown with the multiple Iron Man suits is pretty spectacular, and in a weird way, I quite enjoyed seeing Tony Stark suffer and deal with some issues rather than being overly smug and cocky like he normally is.
8. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Again, this one didn’t sit that well with fans, but there were a lot of aspects I enjoyed. I love the action, I love James Spader’s voice for Ultron, and I LOVE everything about Vision. It does however feel a lot like a “bridge” movie, neatly tying up Phase 2 whilst attempting to set up Phase 3. There’s a lot going on, and whilst I liked it on the whole, there’s definitely better movies.
7. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
I feel like this movie is really underrated, but I genuinely love it! I always watch this one first when re-watching all the MCU movies as I feel it’s a really good introduction to the characters we will soon know and love. I love Hugo Weaving as Red Skull, and I just find the whole “man out of time” thing with Cap really interesting. For me, he is the character who has the best character arc throughout the films, and it is always good to revisit this one, and see how it all began!
6. Iron Man (2008)
The one that started it all! This film is excellent, but it hasn’t held up as well as some of the other movies. This is probably the most likeable Tony Stark is in any of the movies, and nothing quite beats seeing that Iron Man suit for the first time. This was a great kicking off point for the MCU movies, but they definitely got better over time.
5. Ant-Man (2015)
I’m not sure if anyone was expecting this film to be good, but I always secretly had high hopes for it. It had been a while since we’d seen an origin story, but also a film which has a contained plot, focusing on one villain with motives that don’t span as far as global destruction. Paul Rudd is great as Scott Lang, and Michael Peña is an absolute scene stealer, and pure comedy gold. Whilst it does a good job of neatly slotting into the MCU, this is also a film which can stand on it’s own, which for me makes it worthy of a higher spot on this list.
4. Thor (2011)
Before seeing this, I had expected it to be rather dull. Indeed it could’ve gone that way, introducing mythology and gods had to happen at some point, and it was crucial to get it right. Fortunately they did get it right, and Thor turned out to be surprisingly funny, and easily one of my favourites. Chris Hemsworth completely nails the character of Thor, and with the introduction of Loki, portrayed perfectly by Tom Hiddleston, we have a great subtle introduction to the villain for The Avengers!
3. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
This is another one that I’m not sure anyone thought would be good, but it isn’t just good, it’s bloody marvellous! More of a space opera than a “superhero” movie, Guardians of the Galaxy was described by some people as the Star Wars for this generation. I wouldn’t quite go so far as to compare it to Star Wars, but it is still amazing. It’s hilarious, the character dynamics are great, the retro soundtrack is wonderful, and Chris Pratt proved to be the star (lord) that we were waiting for. Absolutely cannot wait for the sequel, and to see how these characters will tie in with the wider MCU.
2. The Avengers (2012)
I cannot describe just how amazing it was to watch this film for the first time. Seeing all those characters together for the first time on screen is not something that can be replicated. Marvel had put in the groundwork, building up each character in their universe and subtly intertwining them before unleashing the showdown to end all showdowns in the first outing of the Avengers. It’s no wonder Age of Ultron didn’t sit as well with fans; when comparing something to this, it was always going to struggle. Each character gets just enough screentime, and I love how they all interact with each other. The final battle on the streets of New York still makes me want to stand up and applaud every time I see it!
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Probably no surprise here if you follow me on Twitter/know me in real life/have ever spoken to me for 5 minutes! It needed a really special film to top The Avengers, but The Winter Soldier just about managed it. It ties together elements of The First Avenger and The Avengers, and has a plot twist that will immediately make you want to go back and watch all the previous MCU movies! The action scenes are pretty spectacular, but for me it is the hand to hand combat stuff which really makes this film stand out! The fight scenes are some of the best I’ve seen on film for a very long time, and with the Russo brothers also directing, Civil War, I cannot wait to see some more of this…hopefully!
Agree or disagree with my ranking? What is your favourite Marvel movie? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to look out for my review this weekend!