The MCU is the highest grossing film franchise of all time internationally. Here’s my opinions and ranking of each film released to date, up to and including Civil War:
13) Thor: The Dark World (2013)
A fun but totally forgettable film. Chris O’Dowd was the best part.
12) Thor (2011)
Very CGI heavy but not in a revolting way. Getting the audience to root for an arrogant god is tricky therefore the film had conceptual flaws from the start. The execution however was decent and Chris Hemsworth was well cast.
11) The Incredible Hulk (2008)
This entry in the MCU is often overlooked. Edward Norton plays a good Bruce Banner, who seems ever on the edge of control. The Hulk and the Abomination were designed well and their climatic fight was thrilling.
10) Iron Man 2 (2010)
A great cast let down by a weak script (“I want my burd…”) is the best way to describe this entry. Whiplash was an underwhelming villain even though he was played by the intimidating Mickey Rourke. The film has many funny moments however and great action, such as the suit in a suitcase.
9) Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
A typical comic book movie but set during World War 2. I’ve seen this film a few times and enjoyed Evans’ Steve Rodgers’ transformation to patriotic super soldier every time.
8) Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Worst villain since Iron Man 3 – at least Kingsley was funny. Jeremy Renner stepped up his Hawkeye game giving the character a lot more depth. Loads of action in the third act.
7) Iron Man 3 (2013)
One of the funniest films of the franchise, but lacking the feeling of being an Iron Man film. Probably because Stark wasn’t in the suit for most of it. I understand that was the films motif, but I didn’t like it. The ending especially is one of my biggest issues I have with the MCU.
6) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
A bold new take on superhero films that fits in well with societies current fears of surveillance versus security. The Russo brothers set a new bar with this film. Herein is also my favourite Black Widow performance.
5) Avengers Assemble (2012)
The weak story was one of the only negatives of this movie. Action and comedy were aplenty, the villain was charismatic and the thrill of all the superhero’s together was a fresh concept at the time.
4) Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Marvel Studios with almost no pre-conceived concept of what to stick to- the IP was relatively unknown and no one really knew what we’d get. What we did get was a hilarious adventure through the stars, meeting all sorts of characters along the way.
3) Ant-Man (2015)
Find out why here in my review. The funniest and most heartfelt Marvel film to date. The small-scale (hah) is welcome after so many earth shattering events.
2) Captain America: Civil War (2016)
A spoiler free review. In the grand scheme of things this feels wholly important. It introduces everyone to everyone else. It deals with the differences in ideals of the Avengers, whose members have grown and include moral extreme’s from the simple Scott Lang to the undefinable Vision. A near perfect film.
1) Iron Man (2008)
The first of the MCU and in my opinion the best. Robert Downey Jr. was so perfectly cast, as were Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges. It felt like a superhero film set in the real world, at the time, in a way no other Marvel film previously had. Iron Man spawned the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and inspired DC to implement their own and other studios to create shared universe’s as well. It turned Robert Downey Jr. into an A-list star and was the most influential movie of them all.
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