The Marvel Cinematic Universe – Worst to Best

After watching every single movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (OK, every single MCU movie except for The Hulk) over quarantine with my girlfriend, we finally crossed the finishing line last week with Spider-Man: Far From Home. I have obviously written about each one after I had watched it, but this is somewhat of an epilogue, compiling my experience. I kind of have to post-MCU blues now.

Also, I need to start a new movie series marathon, so if you have any ideas give me a shout (no, I’m not doing Star Wars. So burnt out by Star Wars I don’t wanna watch it again for ten years.)

22. Thor

I have absolute no interest in ever watching this movie ever again. From the terrible human characters, to the god ugly CGI rendered Asgard, to the atrocious acting. It’s no exaggeration when I say that Thor is one of the worst movies ever made.

Original review HERE.

21. Thor: The Dark World

Just as above, but this one has a fun cameo from Chris Evans as Captain America.

Original review HERE.

20. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Eugh. What a fall from grace this was. The movie inroducing the three least interesting and most pointless characters in the whole series (Vision, Scarlett Witch, and Quick Silver,) tried hopelessly to give Hawkeye character, and had an un-followable and plodding final act compared to the rich and clean battle of New York in its predecessor.

Original review HERE.

19. Iron Man 2

There were great moments in the movie, but when I think of Iron Man 2 all I remember is Tony Stark pissing in the Iron Man suit and Sam Rockwell turning in a strange performance as a weapons manufacturer with happy feet. The whole movie was a rodeo and it’s premise was a copy/paste of the first Iron Man, only this time with an Elon Musk cameo.

Original review HERE.

18. Captain America: The First Avenger

The First Avenger was the first interesting result of this marathon. After my first and only viewing of the movie back in 2011 I couldn’t stand it, but upon rewatching it I found it to be a serviceable origin story with ugly CGI.

Original review HERE.

17. Guardians of the Galaxy

Little has changed of my opinion of ‘Guardians’. It’s still the most overrated movie in the MCU, it still has one of the dullest final acts in the MCU, and it’s silly planet names and creature designS are sci-fi for sci-fi sake. Though the chemistry between the Guardians is second to none (that even includes the Avengers) and Bradley Cooper’s role as Rocket as the best casting in the whole of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Original review HERE.

16. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2

Controversially, though I hadn’t seen it before the marathon, I enjoyed vol. 2 more than its predecessor, albeit very slightly. There are way too many jokes, most of which don’t even land. In fact, the first half is like a test; it’s so bad that it is seemingly encouraging you to turn it off. But if you do manage to make it to the second half, you unlock a fantastic and emotionally driven story.

Original review HERE.

15. The Black Panther

Upon reflection, The Black Panther is another overrated entry in the MCU. It’s a fantastic display of African culture that embraces real tribes of African countries, and its premise uses America’s colonising of Africa as a reason why Wakanda doesn’t trust the western world. It’s a brilliantly written movie that unfortunately suffers from it’s poor CGI, and underdeveloped characters, while trying all too hard to sell its soundtrack.

Original review HERE.

14. Iron Man 3

Not only is this entry a fun movie, but it Iron Man 3 deserves a lot more credit than it gets as it set a lot of precedents for the MCU the we currently know. It was the first movie in the series to really do anything risky and subvert expectations (the contro take on The Mandarin), which the franchise has become known for. And the movie lays down the fundamentals of Spider-Man: Homecoming with Tony Stark’s relationship with the child.

Original review HERE.

13. Thor: Ragnarok

This was a huge lifeline for the Thor series thanks to director Taiki Watiti’s unique artistic vision. I had no interest in ever seeing Ragnarok after the first two movies, but after the marathon my opinion on the movie keeps increasing. Though Marvel can’t fool me with throwing a Led Zeppelin track over a mundane CGI battle to enhance the excitement, this movie is all about aesthetic.

Original review HERE.

12. Captain America: Civil War

Not as perfect as everyone thinks it is. Far from it in fact. Besides the spectacular 20 minute airport scene wherein Ant-Man becomes the MVP of the movie, you’ve got a six out of ten film. The plot makes no sense and the villain who is causing all this tension amongst the Avengers is… a guy. It’s just that the 20 minute airport scene is really fucking spectacular.

Original review HERE.

11. Captain Marvel

After being endlessly criticised by fans and critics alike, Brie Larson’s take on the first Marvel female superhero might not be perfect, but it’s as good as Evan’s performance in the first Captain America movie, and with time he grew in to the role. Captain Marvel is entertaining and gripping from start to finish thanks to its unique ways of storytelling, and with more movies Larson’s only gonna get better.

Original review HERE.

10. Ant-Man And The Wasp

As I’m a sucker for Ant-Man and San Francisco happens to be my favourite city in the world, I could watch Ant-Man And The Wasp on a loop, but being objective here and taking off my rose tinted glasses, the 2nd entry in the series isn’t as great as it’s predecessor and has some villains that don’t quite work. With all that said, the movie is a hell of a lot of fun as it expands on the shrinking and enlarging of inanimate objects and vehicles to another level.

Original review HERE.

9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

It seems that back in the day I was unnecessarily harsh on Chris Evans as this was another movie that I heavily criticised to no end. Right up until it becomes a bog-standard Superhero final act, having to replace computer chips in ships in the sky (I don’t even fucking know), Winter Soldier is a fantastic and thrilling espionage movie, and the first in the MCU to have amazing martial arts choreography. From this point on, the rest of the list are all truly great movies.

Original review HERE.

8. Iron Man

The very start of the franchise, before they even really knew they had a franchise on their hands, stands out because of it clearly not following the production notes of Disney. As the movie was produced before Disney acquired the rights, Iron Man is above all else a fantastic story about a man who is conflicted between being a weapons manufacturer and being sickened by the result of his work all in the midst of the Iraq War. And then you’ve got a badass Superhero movie to go with it.

Original review HERE.

7. Avengers: Infinity War

What more can be said about ‘Infinity War’ that hasn’t already been said? The movie is insane, full of fan service, and a few embarrassingly bad jokes from the writing team can’t stop Infinity War from being a colourful, galaxy hopping spectacle. Thor’s eyes glowing lightning-blue is one of the most iconic shots in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his bromance with Rocket of all people is something to celebrate.

Original Review HERE.

6. Doctor Strange

After having watched Doctor Strange for the first time I had the most startling realisation of them all. After initially thinking the film would be a bunch of ugly CGI mumbo jumbo, I have fallen in love with this movie. As soon as it finished I wanted to immediately rewatch it. The world bending and time manipulation are stunning. The special effects in an MCU movie have never been better, and that includes any Avengers movie. The battle between Strange and Dormammu at the end is both impressive and amusing, being truly unique in that Strange defeats the movie’s villain by ultimately just annoying the shit out of him.

Original review HERE.

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming

There’s no doubt in my mind that Homecoming isn’t on of the best Spider-Man movies. Between Tobey Maguire’s dated but still very entertaining trilogy and Andrew Garfield’s messy failed series that was shockingly cancelled, no movie has really captured being Spider-Man like Homecoming does, and that’s thanks to director Jon Watts’ John Hughes-esq take on the character. This was one of my favourite MCU movies the first time I saw it, and though my opinion has changed a lot during this marathon, it still remains high on the list.

Original review HERE.

4. Spider-Man: Far From Home

After Michael Keaton’s extremely grounded take on The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, here is Mysterio, a villain who has a fucking fishbowl for a head. And I love it. Far From Home only just outshines it’s predecessor thanks to the reveal of J. Jonah Jameson’s return, but I also love the sequel because of the doubling down on the John Hughes aesthetic and capturing teenage romance more perfect than any movie I’ve seen in recent years.

Original review HERE.

3. The Avengers

The Battle of New York is the first huge battle in these movies that does not feel overly long. You really get a sense of where everyone is at that exact point in time and the way the characters interweave with each other is so satisfying. Every hero has their greatest moment in this action sequence (Black Widow riding on an alien ship is a personal fave.) Every frame is so detailed and the CGI is blended with reality much better than it ever has.

Original review HERE.

2. Ant-Man

This might be ranked higher than most people would agree with, but Ant-Man is a much larger movie than people give it credit for. It has some of the most inventive actions scenes, such as a whole fight scene inside a briefcase, and an intense battle atop a toy train set. You have an endearing performance from Paul Rudd and the best side kick in the MCU in the form of Michael Pena, who steals the whole movie. What I love most about the movie is that it’s family oriented and it doesn’t always revolve around a burning down city.

Original review HERE.

1. Avengers: Endgame

For an MCU movie, Avengers: Endgame is as close to perfect as it can get. How can one possibly fault this film? After having literally just written about it here, there isn’t much more I can say about Endgame, but Kevin Feige and his team have pulled off the impossible and built a world of superheroes that makes sense. Endgame is many things; it’s a time-travelling romp, a superhero team-up, but most of all it’s a sensational heartbreaking end to what has been the most investing movie series ever made.

Original review HERE.

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