DVDCorner’s Ranking Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films
With “Captain America: Civil War” a few days away (hallelujah!), I’ve been in a total Marvel mood these past few weeks. In fact, I have gone back and rewatched every single Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film. To my surprise, some films improved with a rewatch, some films did not, while others remained great. Anyway, enough of my rambling, on with the list!
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier- From top to bottom, this is the most accomplished MCU film. Not only did it prove that Marvel could tackle other genres (in this case a timely political thriller), but it utilized every single character (especially Nick Fury and Black Widow) exceedingly well.
- The Incredible Hulk- To this day I will never understand why this movie is so underrated. I love every second of it. It wonderfully pays tribute to the entire history of Hulk, it’s filled with emotion and character, and the action is as intense as it gets.
- Iron Man- The first MCU film is still near perfect. Between Jon Favreau’s skilled direction and Robert Downey Jr.’s pitch perfect Tony Stark, it’s just a repulsor blast to watch.
- The Avengers- The first hour remains uneven to me, but the second half is pure gold. It’s still amazing to me that this movie got made, but it’s even more amazing that Joss Whedon pulled it off so well.
- Guardians of the Galaxy- The thin story is little more than a set-up for Thanos and the Infinity Stones, but the characters and humor are so good that it doesn’t matter. The sequel can’t come soon enough.
- Thor- I’ll be honest, I didn’t really connect with “Thor” the first time I saw it. I loved Chris Hemsworth as the titular character, but was underwhelmed by most everything else. Upon rewatching it, however, it really clicked with me. When you think about it, “Thor” is a really challenging project, but director Kenneth Branagh somehow makes it all work as he effortlessly juggles the comic book elements, the epic mythology, the humor, the grounded human drama, the blossoming romance, the S.H.I.E.L.D. subplot, the villainous Frost Giants, and the larger than life family drama.
- Captain America: The First Avenger- The Red Skull content is disappointingly flat, but the rest of the film plays like a rousing pulp adventure thanks to the assured direction of the underappreciated Joe Johnston.
- The Avengers: Age of Ultron- The hotly anticipated sequel wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, but how can you not love the first half hour and The Vision?
- Ant-Man- The plot is a bit generic and I can’t stop wondering what Edgar Wright’s version would have been like, but the great ensemble cast and inventive action set pieces make this one a winner.
- Iron Man 2- There was a time when I viewed this as the worst Marvel film, but after this recent rewatch, I found myself enjoying it a whole lot more. The movie still has many problems (mainly Whiplash), but the first half hour, the Black Widow action sequence, and the scene stealing Sam Rockwell make it all worthwhile.
- Iron Man 3- The third installment in the “Iron Man” series is perhaps the most divisive Marvel movie to date. Some love Shane Black’s take while others found it to be offensively bad. As for myself, I land somewhere in the middle. To me, it’s definitely the weakest of the trilogy, but I don’t hate it. There’s some fun action and RDJ is great as per usual, but the screenplay is riddled with baffling plot holes, leaps of logic, and an infuriating fake-out (you know what I’m talking about).
- Thor: The Dark World- Aside from the stellar performances by Tom Hiddleston and Stellan Skarsgård, this rushed and lazy sequel has very little to offer. The quirky humor from Darcy and Ian is largely irritating, Natalie Portman is emotionless, Thor is barely in the first 50 minutes, Christopher Eccleston has nothing to do, the big death scene lacks an emotional impact, and Idris Elba’s immense talent goes to waste as Heimdall (the most inept character in the MCU).
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