I saw Captain America: Civi War on Monday, so I’m now up to date on the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As of this moment, here is how I rank the thirteen movies, from worst to best.
13) The Incredible Hulk
This movie was just bad. Contrived and boring. It’s a good thing Iron Man had come out a month or so before it to show what the MCU potential way.
12) Iron Man 2
I’m a fan of Jon Favreau’s work, but this one didn’t work.
11) Avengers: Age of Ultron
The second Avengers movie suffers somewhat from impossible to live up to expectations, but executive meddling in Joss Whedon’s vision lead to an overblown mess.
10) Captain America: The First Avenger
At this point, we’re into decent movies, which shows the high bar the MCU is setting. While the first Captain America movie wasn’t brilliant, it was mostly entertaining.
To be fair, if it hadn’t co-starred Hayley Atwell, it would have easily lost two spots on this list.
There are those that don’t love this movie, but Thor was one of my favorite characters as a kid, and I thought the movie delivered. It was simply fun.
8) Iron Man
The one that started it all. Tightly scripted and directed, and Robert Downey Jr. perfected portrays Tony Stark.
7) Thor: The Dark World
The complexity of whether Loki could be trusted gave a fascinating dimension to this story.
6) Ant Man
Sometimes, low expectations lead to pleasant surprises. Paul Rudd is a solid actor, but can he carry a movie? Especially when the character isn’t exactly a huge personality?
Apparently, he can. Ant Man was funny and even charming. It was an understated, but well told, story.
5) Iron Man 3
After the snooze-fest that was the previous Iron Man movie, I feared that this one would be worse.
But instead, a well crafted script with a couple of real surprises and solid action, led to a very entertaining movie.
4) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I was probably one of three or four people in the theater that didn’t know that didn’t already know the story, so I was completely surprised by the Bucky reveal. But even if I had already known the story, it was well written and politically savvy.
And the fight scene in the elevator is perhaps my favorite of all the MCU movies.
3) Captain America: Civil War
Expectations for this were sky high, but it delivered. Good action scenes that didn’t drag on too long (pay attention, Peter Jackson) and a story that was solid enough to stay out of it’s own way.
While darker than most of the MCU cannon, it had a solid dose of humor to move things along.
I almost ranked this as the second best MCU movie, and time may move it up there, but for now, it’s…
2) Marvel’s The Avengers
Many people probably put this as their top MCU movie, and my only counter to that is the ending. So, they close the dimensional portal, and all the aliens collapse. Why?
Besides that, it went quickly from action scene to quiet drama and back to action, never losing its footing.
And, it showed us how Banner/The Hulk should be done.
1) Guardians of the Galaxy
A cybernetic raccoon? A walking and talking tree? Wait, what?
I never read the comic back in the day, so knew nothing about them, and the premise is preposterous. But it just works.
It’s funny when it needs to be, remarkably poignant at times, and fantastic action. And it showed that Chris Pratt is a megastar.