Ranking the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

So far, there have been 16 movies in the MCU, or Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Spider-Man: Homecoming just having come out in July. This is a ranking of all 16 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

16) Iron Man 2– Even if you’re a HUGE Iron Man fan like me, don’t watch Iron Man 2: it’s boring, unentertaining, has a weak villain, and only has one really good fight scene. 2.5/5

15) The Incredible Hulk– The Incredible Hulk has a few impressive action sequences, but it lacks humor, the fun elements of other Marvel movies, and major connections to the rest of the Marvel Universe. If you’re new to the Hulk character, and want a decent origin story, watch The Incredible Hulk. 3/5

14) Thor: the Dark World– Thor: the Dark World is an awesome movie. The Dark World has some really funny moments, as well as breathtaking action and special effects. It shows the audience more of Loki, and his chemistry with Thor is one of the best parts of the movie. Overall, Thor: the Dark World is an entertaining movie worth watching. 3.5/5

13) Thor– Thor wouldn’t have been this far down on the list if it hadn’t been for all the other Marvel movies. Don’t get me wrong, Thor is awesome- the action’s great, it’s pretty funny, and the special effects are amazing- but it’s not as good as some of the more recent additions to the MCU. 4/5

12) Captain America: the First Avenger– The First Avenger is a great movie, although not as good as it sequel, the Winter Soldier. It has some funny moments, spectacular action, and likable characters. However, it does start a little slow.  It also boasts a strong performance on the part of Chris Evans. If you like Captain America and want a good story packed with action and humor, watch the First Avenger. 4/5

11) Avengers: Age of Ultron– Age of Ultron is definitely not as good as its predecessor, but is still pretty good. It has amazing special effects, awesome fight sequences, and is pretty funny. But it is also overstuffed and and the romance between Bruce Banner (Hulk) and Black Widow is hard to watch and terrible. While the villain may seem a little generic,  James Spader is great as Ultron. For die hard fans, Age of Ultron will please, but probably not as much for casual fans. 4/5

10) Iron Man– The one that started off all the MCU movies and created the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist we’ve all come to know and love. And it is a pretty good movie. It serves as a great origin story for Iron Man ( ’cause let’s be honest, who knew about “Iron Man” until 2008?), provided really good action, and was pretty funny. It also picked the PERFECT person to play Tony Stark: Robert Downey Jr.- could we now imagine anyone else playing him? Looking at it now, it may not seem as great as all the new ones, but it was quite original in 2008. 4.5/5

9) Ant-Man– In spite of its silly concept, Ant-Man turned out to be a wonderful Marvel movie, different from the norm that the Avengers set. Yet it’s still full of humor, action, and dazzling special effects that’ll prove this unique Marvel movie is up to par with the rest of them. Ant-Man isn’t only a superhero movie, it’s also a heist movie- Ant-Man has to steal a similar suit from his mentor’s rival who will use it for evil (yes, I am aware that sound almost identical to the first Iron Man, but there is still a bunch separating it from Iron Man). Paul Rudd also provides a great everyman performance as Scott Lang, an ordinary thief who becomes a superhero. Ant-Man is one of the best Marvel movies that is definitely worth watching. 4.25/5

8) Doctor Strange– This movie just proves that Marvel hasn’t lost their hot streak in 8 years because, wow, it is good! Doctor Strange may follow a similar formula to Iron Man and story to Iron Man, but it definitely feels fresh throughout. Doctor Strange has amazing character development, and acting by, well, the whole cast! And the visuals…The visuals in Doctor Strange warrant it the best-looking Marvel movie ever, and it explores the more…mystical and magical realm of the MCU. Its action bounces off these visuals and is…different, to say the least, than the rest of the Marvel movies. Finally, its score is amazing and it has humor and comic relief sprinkled throughout, that hits at all the right moments. 4.25/5

7) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2- Guardians Vol. 2 is fantastic. The first movie being the intergalactic, heartwarming delight that it was, there were some pretty high expectations going into this.  Guardians 2 meets those expectations for sure: it doubles up on what we loved about the first one, including its action, comedy, dazzling visuals, intriguing characters, and heart, but also tries something new. Guardians takes each of its characters and gives them an arc, exploring their distinct backstories and dynamics. Baby Groot is just…aagh, SO CUTE, and the movie packs the biggest, most impactful emotional punch yet in the MCU.  Kurt Russell is spectacular as Ego, Star-Lords father, and also, that soundtrack.  However, the plot is messy and you don’t really know what the overall purpose is until the end of the second act: it lacks urgency and can get choppy at times. 4.25/5

6) Iron Man 3– Iron Man 3 is a truly spectacular movie. It’s an entertaining movie full of action, special effects, wit, and humor. Iron Man 3 not only shows  the suit in action: it shows Tony Stark without his suit of armor, which some say worsens the movie, but I think actually betters it: it’s not all about the suit, but about what Stark would do without it. One down, though, was that the twist on the villain was smart, but disappointing. Iron Man 3 is a funny, smart, well-acted, and action-packed Marvel movie, and considerably one of the best. 4.35/5

5) Spider-Man: Homecoming- The movie that brought Spider-Man back to Marvel, Spider-Man: Homecoming not only gave us the best version of Spidey ever put to screen, but also hysterical comedy, great action, and awesome characters. Spider-Man: Homecoming has the classic high school feel of a John Hughes movie, but doesn’t skimp on the CGI action. It has great, interesting characters, but never ceases being entertaining. It has a charismatic, believable performance from Tom Holland, but also a surprising, engaging plot. And Peter Parker’s best friend, Ned was pretty great as well. It might have some low stakes and a tad too many characters (not to mention the spoilery trailers), but those are minor gripes on an otherwise fantastic movie. 4.5/5

4) Captain America: the Winter Soldier- Many have called it the greatest Marvel movie of all time. And it is truly an AMAZING movie. Its plot is great, it’s action is some of the best we’ve seen from a Marvel movie, and it has a huge plot twist that is actually permanent, unlike some other superhero movies. It’s thrilling and always keeps you on your toes. It even has lots of humor to lighten the mood when it gets dark. Also, Chris Evans gives a great performance as Cap, who has a hard time accepting the world as it is today. 5/5

3) Guardians of the Galaxy– The movie that everyone, including myself, were skeptical about, with characters that literally no one knew. It actually turned out to be AWESOME! There’s a certain magic to seeing Guardians for the first time, and that retains even on repeat viewings. Guardians is probably tied for funniest MCU movie with Ant-Man, and had moments that made me laugh out loud. It embraces its Marvel movie core, with huge CGI battles, and great special effects, and has a ton heart. Its characters were unique, likable, and hilarious, with some of them being a walking tree and a machine gun-wielding raccoon (yes, those are actual movie characters). It provided us with a new tone for Marvel movies, being more of a space opera movie, and I truly love this movie. Guardians of the Galaxy is a really good movie that, despite all doubts, will entertain you for a good two hours. 5/5

2) The Avengers– The Avengers is a movie for fans of all Marvel superheroes- whether it’s Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, or Black Widow. It managed to bring the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes together without being overstuffed. Its acting as well is really strong. The cast and their chemistry is a major highlight of the movie. It also has a strong story, and a great villain, unlike other MCU entries.  It’s super funny, has awesome large-scale special effects and action, a great cast, and is the second best MCU movie yet. 5/5

1) Captain America: Civil War– The movie that all the others have been building up to since The Avengers. And Civil War definitely delivers.  It is action-packed, contains one of the best fights in the MCU- the airport fight- and has lots of humor throughout. Newcomers Spider-Man and Black Panther are wonderful, and the first adds great comic relief.  Even the villain, Helmut Zemo, was pretty strong and had believable motivations. This movie basically hits every spot, with well-developed characters, a smart plot, great action, staying light-hearted, and going into darker ideas. Not to mention the fantastic acting from the entire cast, that really brings out each characters motivations. 5/5

That’s my ranking of the MCU movies, but what’s yours? Tell your opinion in the comments section below.

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