We like to talk about the MCU a lot, and for someone who talks about it as much as I do it’s kind of amazing that I haven’t ranked the 12 existing films yet. Marvel fans frequently debate what the best MCU movie is. There are many schools of thought: best action, truest to the comics, best acting and many more. But there is no real way to pick the “best” movie, just your favorite.
So here is my list of MCU movies from my least favorite to my favorite:
12. Iron Man 3
You’ll learn from this list that I am a fan of the comics and that’s why this movie is at the bottom of the list (I guess technically the top). My biggest complaint is the drastic change to the Mandarin. If I have to hear Aldrich Killian yell “I am the Mandarin” one more time, I think I’ll snap. If they had used Ben Kingsley to his full potential as a villain, I think this movie would be in the top five.
11. Iron Man 2
I only really have one complaint about this movie, and it’s one that is present in all of the Iron Man titles: the villain is weak. While Whiplash may be the best of the three Iron Man villains, the final showdown was very disappointing. Don Cheadle’s first appearance as War Machine and a huge Cap easter egg redeemed this one a little bit though.
I know how much everyone loves Loki, and I love him too. The first Thor title was his weakest role though. While most of the film focused on Thor on Earth, Loki was swept aside. Again, the final showdown left something to be desired. Still, it was the first appearance of the MCU’s best villain to date and that alone made it an enjoyable film.
9. The Incredible Hulk
The biggest knock on this film would be its inconsistency when compared to the rest of the universe. Ed Norton leaving his role of Bruce Banner gives this movie a disjointed feel. Outside of that though, it was very enjoyable. Abomination made a great first villain and it even set up a future villain in Leader. It’s too bad they had to change Banners, even though Mark Ruffalo has done a great job.
8. Thor: The Dark World
This one was a pleasant surprise. I went in with lower expectations than usual, with this movie being the sequel to one of my least favorite in the MCU, but it delivered. We saw Loki in a way we had never seen, an interesting new villain, some great humor and even an Infinity Stone. Not to mention a great post credit scene.
7. Iron Man
It all started here. This may be a little bit lower on my list than on most others but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. Robert Downey Jr. is still the star of the MCU and it’s because of this movie. We all fell in love with Tony Stark right from the start. Also, this movie made the post credits scene famous. My only complaint would be the aforementioned weak villains of the Iron Man series.
6. Captain America: The First Avenger
I’ll admit there may be some bias in this ranking as Captain America is my favorite Avenger (at least of the ones on the MCU roster). This film also introduced an iconic Marvel villain in the Red Skull. Chris Evans’ portrayal of Cap, in my opinion, is the most accurate in relation to the comics.
The best word I can think of to describe this movie is “fun”. It’s just a fun movie. Paul Rudd seemed right at home in this role and brought the perfect amount of humor that we are accustomed to seeing in Marvel films. The action was great and very different, and most of the characters were great. Michael Peña is downright hilarious too.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy
I’m sure I’ll take some heat for this one. A lot of people see this as the best Marvel movie to date, except for maybe The Avengers. I do really love this movie. I just love three others a little bit more. Guardians is probably still the funniest movie in the MCU and one of the all around best. Chris Pratt has become a start thanks to this movie.
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Being a fan of the comics, one thing I want to see in the MCU is more characters. This movie introduced Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, the Vision and of course Ultron, just to name a few. For the most part, all of those characters were awesome! This made all of us nerds very happy. We also got hints at future characters and a set up for Infinity War, which made use nerds even happier.
2. The Avengers
That’s right, this is not my number one. Surprised? I don’t blame you. I may be the only one that doesn’t have this at the top of their list. There’s no question that this is a groundbreaking movie. It brought all of our favorite characters together and pitted them first against each other and then against one of our favorite villains. The result was phenomenal and has been the foundation that the rest of the MCU has been built on.
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I told you Cap was my favorite. Setting aside my bias though, I really think this was the best movie. The action and fight scenes were visually stunning, the story was intriguing, and there was more than enough to make comic fans happy. As if bringing the Winter Soldier and Falcon to the big screen for the first time wasn’t exciting enough, we also got the first name drop of Doctor Strange. My only small complaint is that I wish the reveal of the Winter Soldier being Bucky Barnes was bigger, but I can live with that. I loved that this movie was a superhero movie with a more realistic feel. Instead of a huge war fought with superpowers, we got a battle fought with hand to hand combat, and it turned out great.