With the recent release of Captain America: Civil War or as some are calling it, Avengers 2.5, many Marvel fans like to look back at the movies that came before. While Marvel has had it’s ups and downs for the most part, they’ve been very solid. Here are my rankings from my least favorite to my favorite Marvel movie.
Note: I have not seen Iron Man 2 or The Incredible Hulk.
11. Thor: The Dark World
I really enjoyed the first Thor (As you will see it up a little further on this list). I thought it was well made and quite entertaining. The sequel however, was a gigantic mess. The story was sloppy and confusing, the villain was not very menacing and there was not a lot of fun in it. The movie as a whole is very forgettable and isn’t really a movie anyone will turn to when looking for a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to watch.
10. Captain America: The First Avenger
The movie does get better with repeat viewings, but the the first Captain America movie just doesn’t sell the character very well. It’s doubtful that not many people left the movie thinking, “Captain America is the best! He’s my favorite superhero!” Chris Evans CGI head over a small body is laughable at times and the again the Villain just isn’t very interesting. The movie is also very anti-climatic and the ending feels very sudden and rushed. There are some really good moments though with Captain America bursting through doors with the army taking out Nazis.
9. Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 is one of those movies you watch and think, “That wasn’t bad… but it also wasn’t great. I guess it was okay…” It just leaves a “meh” kind of feeling. Robert Downey Jr. gives a lot of life to the movie with his performance, but the movie as a whole kind of falls flat. They had great potential with the villain and he was quickly becoming one of the best Marvel villains, but then they throw a twist in the middle that completely ruins the villain and his potential. The battle sequences are great and with it being the first movie after the events of the Avengers, there are some really fantastic dramatic moments with Tony Stark dealing with the events of the movie.
8. Avengers: Age of Ultron
After the wildly successful first Avengers movie, it was going to a difficult challenge to make a satisfying sequel to it. However, that is the biggest problem with the second Avengers movie, it’s satisfying. The movie had a lot of potential and could have been so much more, but the movie spends too much time on Hawkeye’s farm, the villain has one of the most clichéd origins in storytelling, Quicksilver is wasted and is uninteresting, and the movie feels very choppy at times. The movie does soar when it comes to action sequences and it is great to see all the characters together again on screen, but as a whole the movie only satisfies, it doesn’t ever become more than that.
Thor was, in my opinion, a big risk for Marvel. A Norse God coming to earth? But the movie played beautifully. Kenneth Branagh was the perfect choice to introduce the character and direct the movie. Thor has a very shakespearean feel to it and Branagh’s experience with Shakespeare really propelled the film forward. It also introduced us to the best Marvel movie villain to date, Loki is really well developed and his motives are clearly understood. It’s also a great introduction for his role in The Avengers. Chris Hemsworth is perfectly cast in the title role and the movie just works. The only gripe is it is a slower paced movie and it does have a few lulls in it.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy
This may be a shocker with how low this movie ranks. First off, I do really like this movie. It’s fun, action packed, and extremely entertaining. The music is fantastic and all the actors are excellent in their roles. The movie never fails at being a fun Friday night movie with your friends and is one of Marvel’s best. The reason why it’s so low is because while it is a really good movie, it’s not a great movie. There are too many characters to develop well. They do the best they can, but not every character is fully realized. The villain is extremely uninteresting and it actually took me 3 viewings to finally remember his name. There is a short drag in the middle but other than that, the movie is a lot of fun.
Ant-Man was another really big risk for Marvel. First off, it was a character that didn’t have a big following and not many people had heard of, and also just the idea of a man turning small and being a superhero seemed quite ludicrous to a lot of people. Then creative differences caused Edgar Wright to leave the project and new writers and a new director were brought in. With these problems, the movie should have failed. Yet, the movie was a huge success. Paul Rudd was perfect as Ant-Man, the visuals were outstanding, and the movie had just the right balance of humor and drama. The action scenes were all well handled, the story was well told and the characters were all handled very well. It’s certainly very entertaining.
4. Iron Man
This is the movie that started it all. Without this movie, we wouldn’t be talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This movie hits all the right notes and is the perfect lead in to the other movies We have a great villain, great lead characters, and all of them are well developed. Robert Downey Jr. was born to play Tony Stark/Iron Man and it has one of the best endings to any of the Marvel movies. The post credit scene is also one of the best post credit scenes in any Marvel movie and just the tease of the possibility of an Avengers movie was outstanding.
3. The Avengers
This was the movie we had all been waiting for. Finally, we were going to be seeing all of these characters on the big screen together for the first time. The movie is incredibly entertaining from the very beginning right down to the end. Joss Wehdon was the perfect choice to direct the movie and he gives each character just the right amount of screen time. Loki was and remains to this day the best Marvel villain yet and Tom Hiddleston plays him to perfection. The moment in the final fight scene when the Avengers are together and the camera circles around them is one of the best moments in cinematic history.
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
It was hard to imagine a Marvel movie being better than The Avengers. I mean, it has one of the best moments in cinematic history as I just explained. How could a movie top such an amazing feat? Well The Winter Soldier did just that. Not only was it a gigantic improvement over the first Captain America, but it took his character into a whole new light. The movie played out almost like a Jason Bourne spy movie. It was action packed and thrilling. Full of twists and turns it puts you right on the edge of your seat. I was never a big Captain America fan, but once I saw this movie, I was a fan, it does a really good job developing his character and making him a lot more likable.
1. Captain America: Civil War
I’m doing it. I am making this my favorite Marvel movie. This movie hit every level it needed to. At a time where some people, including myself, have been beginning to grow tired of the superhero trend, and feel bogged down by the countless number of comic book movie we get a year, this movie rejuvenated my love for the comic book movie. This movie reminded me that comic book movies can not only be just mindless fun, but also smart, and taken seriously. The action scenes were all done extremely well, the stunt work was masterful, and to see all our favorite superheroes battling each other is just a visual feast. All the characters are given their moment to shine and it reminds us why we love each hero.