... being good, while The Incredible Hulk would be in deep shit(you forgot to include this movie). Also I'm surprised you did not consider Iron Man to be grounded. You have Tony Stark here who becomes Iron Man in order to atone for his mistakes, and takes on the MIC(Military-Industrial Complex) that would prefer to see wars rage on, rather than work towards a peaceful solution, in order to maximize profits. This movie was just as grounded as much as the winter soldier and was the reason it got so many good reviews, and was one of the reasons A.O Scott(movie reviewer,NYT), considered 2008 as the best year in superhero movies. Zack Snyder is better than Joss Whedon,seriously? You are saying that the guy who gave us Sucker Punch is better than the guy who gave us Buffy, or Firefly? Joss might not have directed any big budget movies, but he had more than proven his talent as a very good writer and storyteller. Even now, after nearly 12 years people talk about Firefly, and lament as to why it was cancelled. You seem to be the kind of guy, who thinks that making a movie dark automatically makes it very grounded, meaningful and deep. The Dark Knight Trilogy and Daredevil are good examples of how awesome dark stories can be, not Man of Steel or Amazing Spiderman-2. Man of Steel had huge destruction, loss of lives and Superman killing someone. Now if Supes were to learn from it, and modify himself, then it would make sense. But look at the trailer for Batman vs. Superman, you once again see destruction and Superman actually trying to kill Batman, now where is the lesson he learnt in Man of Steel? And the Amazing Spiderman 2, that was a crappy movie having multiple bad villains(at least marvel caps the number of bad villains per movie to one), functioned the same role as Iron Man 2, i.e, to set-up an interconnected universe, and had a meaningless death. Whenever a major character dies, it has to have some effect on the hero, or in his universe. Rachel's death in Dark Knight resulted in Harvey 'Two-Face' Dent being born, Phil Coulson's death resulted in the Avengers being born, Uncle Ben's death resulted in Peter learning responsibility, what was he supposed to take away from this death? She was killed just for the heck of it. Even Andrew Garfield, himself criticized the movie, which is why, so many fans wanted to see him join the MCU. While The Dark Knight Trilogy and Daredevil were praised near unanimously by critics and fans alike, Man of Steel and Amazing Spiderman-2 were criticized by critics and fans for getting so many things wrong. Really? Joel Schumacher's Batman was better then GotG? I mean, Batman and Robin had such an illogical script, that it made even Bollywood movies such as 'Dhoom 3', or 'Kick' seem intelligent. Even Academy Award winner Al Pacino, praised the film highly and said that, because of it, he went and talked to Marvel about a possible role in one of their future movies.