As a totally unashamed Marvel junkie, I have given leave of my eyes to feast upon the delectable superhero goodness that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe on a near constant basis -- much to my wife's chagrin -- and with the sheer volume of awesomeness Marvel -- arguably the greatest comic book company in the history of comic book companies -- has put out in the cinema, I feel it's time to slap together a list of my top five favorite movies featuring the greatest superheroes on the planet.
Now that I've officially assassinated the English language with the world's longest sentence, let's jump right into the list!
5.) The Incredible Hulk
The Incredible Hulk has to be the most underrated and under appreciated film in the MCU, and it's definitely not because of any flaws in the movie itself.
Edward Norton -- a freakin' fantastic actor and extremely good casting choice -- does an absolutely spectacular job of bringing out the depth and complexity in Bruce Banner, particularly with how he relates to Betty Ross and her ginormous jerk of a father, General "Thunderbolt" Ross.
The action sequences were stellar and the final fight between Hulk and Abomination was close to pure comic book nirvana.
The only reason this movie didn't do so hot at the box office was due to an extremely poor marketing campaign. Otherwise, this would be considered a classic.
4.) Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America is my all-time favorite superhero, and has actually had a pretty profound influence on my life and career.
I mean for heaven's sake, I have a tattoo of the shield on my elbow. I literally shed blood for Cap. That's dedication.
I absolutely love this film because it clearly demonstrates Marvel movies aren't just silly little superhero tales. They can be period pieces, political thrillers, action blockbusters, science fiction -- and now with Ant-Man a heist film -- that just so happen to feature super powered dudes in tights.
Captain America: The First Avenger is a superb origin story, with absolutely amazing set pieces that really transport you into the MCU version of the 1940s.
I'm a HUGE sucker for an underdog story, and with my own tales of personal struggle, I can relate a lot to the weak and frail Steve Rogers who desires to give his all to make the world a better place.
Hugo Weaving, who plays Steve Rogers' nemesis Red Skull, is a perfect antagonist who offsets Cap's gung-ho all-American patriotism with crazy, big government, Communist-like beliefs, which make their interactions all the more interesting as they somewhat reflect the political climate of our day.
With great action sequences, stellar story telling, and an amazing performance by Chris Evans as Captain America, this is a flick I love watching over and over again.
3.) The Avengers
It's a pretty safe bet that The Avengers is going to be on everyone's top whatever list of Marvel movies, given the fact it was a super fun film and totally broke ground by providing a killer story featuring a super team compromised of Earth's mightiest heroes on screen together for the first time ever.
Joss Whedon has a knack for creating fun, action packed stories that have just enough depth to make you feel something, but not so much weight you feel like jumping off a bridge.
The witty banter and somewhat adversarial dialogue that transpires over the course of the movie between the heroes is always good for a character study, as well as providing comic relief before, during, and after intense action sequences.
The Avengers marked the official beginning of Marvel's plan to take over the world and has solidified them as being the best there is at what they do.
2.) Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy was forecasted to be the first real, true box office bomb for Marvel Studios, and who can blame the critics for making such a prediction?
I mean, come on.
A movie with a talking raccoon as one of the lead characters? Seriously? That could never work!
Yet it totally did.
This was Marvel's big risk, a project that could've and probably should've totally failed. It's a space opera about an outlaw, an assassin, a raccoon, and a walking tree for crying out loud!
Yet Marvel managed to put together a charming story that was equal parts heart and action, but sprinkled with stellar humor and deep character interactions. Not to mention it had one of the best dang soundtracks I've heard in years!
Star-Lord and Gamora -- a truly unlikely pair of friends -- become the glue that helps hold a band of misfits and criminals together and unwittingly helps create a team of heroes out of what others would consider the riff-raff of society.
1.) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Okay, I know what you're thinking. I already have Cap on this list once. Am I really such an obsessed fan I would put him on here twice, even though there are other decent movies featuring different superhero characters to choose from?
In all honesty, I put this movie on here because I feel it's truly the best film Marvel has produced thus far, and it's going to be super tough to knock this out of the number one slot.
This film is an action-packed political thriller that asks the question just how much government oversight is too much, while also espousing a patriotic message about the importance of freedom.
Captain America -- who is apparently libertarian in the MCU -- fights against the powers that be in order to stop HYDRA from destroying liberty, while also facing off against his greatest foe yet, the Winter Soldier, who just so happens to be his former best friend originally believed to have died in World War II.
See what I mean?
The movie is stuffed to the gills with great character interactions and development, and once again, this story reflects our current political culture and delivers a subtle commentary about the failures of our nation's leadership that will suck in any person who takes an interest in politics.
I also placed this move in the top spot because it actually helped me along in my career path, as I followed the Captain's orders and got involved in the fight for freedom by becoming a professional political writer.
Well, there you have it. My top 5 favorite MCU movies. Keep in mind this is just my opinion, and if your list looks different, hey, that's totally cool.
What about you? What are your top five Marvel movies and why? Tell me in the comments below!