7 years, 11 films and billions of dollars later, Marvel has established itself as one of the most powerful studios working in Hollywood today. With the recent release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, we look back and rank every single movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), so far:
11) Iron Man 2 (2010)
Of all the Marvel movies that didn’t really offer much to the MCU, Iron Man 2 tops the list. Sure, we got to know more about Howard Stark and his role with S.H.I.E.L.D., and we were introduced to Black Widow, but nothing else really happened (however, kudos to Mickey Rourke for just being awesome as Whiplash).
10) Thor: The Dark World (2013)
While not the best of the MCU, it’s still a solid addition. We see Thor working alongside with, despite no other option, Loki, to destroy a weapon called Aether before Malekith can use it to turn the whole universe into a cold, dark abyss. We get more banter between Loki and Thor, and we get some insight into what might happen in Thor: Ragnarok.
9) Iron Man 3 (2013)
Deciding whether Iron Man 2 or 3 was better wasn’t easy. What makes 3 the better film though was that being the first film after The Avengers, we see Tony still struggling after the battle in NYC, and that alone puts it above 2. Plus, Ben Kingsley’s bone-chilling portrayal as “The Mandarin” definitely makes it a worthy Iron Man movie.
8) Thor (2011)
The first movie sees Thor (Chris Hemsworth) banished to Earth until he is worthy to reclaim his mighty Mjolnir and role as heir to the throne Asguard. His brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) wants to destroy him so he can be the next king.
It was entertaining, and the parts where Thor is on Earth were funny to watch. It’s a worthy addition to the MCU and offers insight into what happens next in The Avengers.
7) The Incredible Hulk (2008)
What I liked about this movie vs. the 2003 Ang Lee version was that it wasn’t another origin story. Instead, it takes place with Bruce Banner in hiding, working on a cure so he can get rid of the Hulk and finally go home. It felt more fresh, and it didn’t waste anyones time.
While Mark Ruffalo has been a stand-out as the current Bruce Banner/Hulk, Edward Norton was just as great and would have been an equally worthy addition to the avengers.
6) Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
To some, the first Captain America movie wasn’t as grand of a spectacle as hoped. To me, it was just good ole’ plain fun, and that was fine by me. Seeing Steve Rodgers become Captain America was awesome, and seeing Chris Evans’ portrayal on screen with the right amount of charisma and good-natured attitude, made the notion of anyone else playing the Cap look silly.
5) Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
The most recent entry in the MCU is a solid, action-packed movie. I thought there would be more gritty moments between the Avengers. With Civil War right around the corner, focusing on the feud between Tony Stark and Steve Rodgers, you’d think that there would be a more bigger set-up for that. However, we got to see more into all the characters, including what Hawkeye was up to since the last film, being that he hasn’t popped up in any of the other films. Also, James Spader is so equally frightening and funny as Ultron, making him the best MCU villain to date. There could have been more, but for what it was, it was solid.
4) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
This is the best sequel so far in the MCU. We see Steve Rodgers, a.k.a. Captain America (Chris Evans), struggling to find his place in a new world of good and evil. When S.H.I.E.L.D. is attacked from within, the Cap brings along Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) and new ally Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon (Anthony Mackie), to hunt down the truth, all the while tracking down the mysterious Winter Soldier.
Joe and Anthony Russo delivered the best film of Phase 2 by far, and they’re attached to direct it’s sequel Captain America: Civil War, as well as both parts of Avengers: Infinity Wars.
3) Iron Man (2008)
The first Marvel movie out of the gate, and it still holds up. Released in 2008, the world was introduced to Tony Stark, former arms-dealer turned Iron-Man. It was the beginning of everything, from S.H.I.E.L.D., all the way down to our own secret crush with Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). When Nick Fury popped in at the end-credits and said, “I want to talk to you about the Avenger Initiative,” it was only the beginning.
2) Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy was the best Marvel movie I’ve seen since The Avengers. It’s just as awesome, but does it with its own flair and style. James Gunn successfully established the space setting for the MCU, down to every last detail. I can’t wait to see what the sequel brings in 2017, being the most anticipated films of phase 3.
1) Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
Every time I watch The Avengers, I still relive the hype and excitement I felt the first time watching it. The payoff here was big, with all the Avengers in one movie for the first time. To me, it delivered on everything I wanted The Avengers to be, and then some. It still holds up to be the top Marvel movie to this very day.
And there you go! Our list of the best of the MCU so far. We’ll be sure to update this post when Ant-Man hits theaters this July.
Do you agree with our list? Sound off below and let us know what you think!
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