Captain America: Civil War is finally out, adding to the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2008, it all started with Iron Man. 8 years later we've had 12 movies in this epic world of superheroes. It got me thinking, with so many dramatic, thrilling and entertaining moments spanning across all these films, what are some of the best moments?
My choices span from action sequences, comedic moments, dialogue driven interactions and characters doing their thing in superhero style. There are so many to choose from, so this was a very hard list to put together, I'm sure I've missed some but I've compiled 20 that continue to entertain me and many others, even after multiple viewings. There are no rules, one film from the MCU can have multiple entrances on this list, but I've tried to keep it as even as possible! Let me know in the comments what your favourite Marvel movie moments are, and what do you think of my choices?
20. Iron Man 2 - Scarlett Johansson's entrance as Black Widow, the masterfully skilled assassin, is a riot! She is finally established as a key player not to be messed with! On an infiltration job, Black Widow takes out at least a dozen armed henchmen in spectacular style, utilising an impressive array of slick fight moves and brutal takedowns! What a way to make an entrance!
19. Thor The Dark World - I find the second Thor one of the funniest Marvel films, with consistently funny comic relief from Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Natalie Portman and the brilliant Tom Hiddleston as trickster god Loki. Amongst the laughs, The Dark World packs some great action beats, namely when Asgard comes under attack and takes a bruising from a bunch of enemy gunships! The landscape visuals are jaw-droppingly realistic, and the fast paced attack gets the heart racing!
18. Marvel's Avengers Assemble - Loki has to be one of the best Marvel villains hands down. One of his finest moments is an interaction between him and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow. Imprisoned in a glass container, Romanoff creeps up on Loki, who isn't easily deceived. The tension builds up swiftly as Loki, in a deliciously dark and violent monologue, threatens to kill Clint Barton in order to weaken her. The dialogue is sharp, how do you top a line like this? - "Slowly, intimately, in every way he knows you fear! And then he'll wake just long enough to see his good work, and when he screams, I'll split his skull! This is MY bargain, you mewling quim!" Flawless.
17. Captain America The Winter Soldier - Hydra thugs attempt to capture Captain America in a tightly packed elevator. Suspended several stories high, Cap suspects something is off when the soldiers are clearly perspiring. What follows is an intense, claustrophobic fight with clever camera angles capturing every bit of the action in such a tight space. The choreography and timing is on point, helped by smooth direction by the Russo Brothers.
16. Captain America The First Avenger - In my favourite Marvel movie comes one explosive battle midway through the film. Captain America frees a small army of captured soldiers, and as they escape, an assault of epic proportions is unleashed upon Hydra! Fleets of tanks, turrets, vehicles and structures are blown to pieces in an awesome fight, and the mixture of practical and visual effects together are a treat for the eyes, especially when Red Skull detonates his factory filled with weaponry.
15. Avengers Age Of Ultron - Seeing the team together, not fighting for once, is refreshing, as we get to see these superheroes just being themselves, their humanity is clear, and what better scene to see them all together than the hammer challenge, where Thor tempts Cap, Black Widow and the crew to try and lift his mighty hammer to see who is worthy. The chemistry, banter, interplay and Hawkeye's Hulk joke is pure gold, this is one of the lighter moments of the film, right before Ultron makes his entrance.
14. Marvel's Avengers Assemble - I know this film has already had an entry, and will probably have another, but I cannot forget one of my favourite Hawkeye moments in which his badassary and archery skills come into full play. Hawkeye dives backwards off a rooftop, fires his grappling hook and swings to safety. With Alan Silvestri's heroic score, convincing 3D that tosses debris right out the screen, this moment has been rewinded by myself way too many times to count.
13. Iron Man 3 - Nothing beats a grand entrance, and what better scene to make an entrance than the Iron legion, who come to save the day when Stark and Rhodes find themselves outnumbered. I found the bad guy to be very forgettable in this third outing but when you've got an entire army of Iron Man suits taking out enemies in creative ways, who cares about the villain?
Oh, and this shot of Pepper is something else!
12. Thor The Dark World - Portals and a whole barrage of chaos breaks out in the London based climax of the second Thor. As I mentioned earlier, the comic relief in the Thor films works terrifically, even when the action is on full pelt, and this scene boasts that! As Malekith's forces destroy a whole chunk of London, characters are tossed from planet to planet, watching Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgard awe and make quick quips against the backdrop of action works, along with Asgardian beasts, cars from Earth landing on Asgard, and spaceships crashing through the Thames, this is a pretty darn exciting scene!
11. Ant-Man - Seeing Paul Rudd's Scott Lang discover the power of the suit is very entertaining! Standing in a bathtub, unsure of whether to push the buttons on his gloves or not, he gives in and activates. The visuals go into overdrive and they certainly impress, as Lang shrinks in milliseconds and lands in the bath, which looms large overhead, especially in terrific 3D. Crashing through the floor landing in a neighbours house amidst a party, he then gets sucked up into a hoover and tossed out a window, this uniquely visionary sequence is unforgettable.
10. Guardians Of The Galaxy - This is an easy one In my number 10 spot..."I am Groot". After dozens and dozens of that one line, you can never tire of this sweet giving tree. In the action packed finale, Groot lets out some anger and kills over a dozen men with ease. His response to his actions: The biggest and proudest sweet grin.
9. Thor - After losing his powers, briefly, and battling against the destroyer in a small town that gets levelled, it all seems pretty doom and gloom for Thor. However, he sacrifices himself, therefore making him worthy to hold the hammer, regaining his power and the hammer to wipe out the destroyer, ending the epic battle. Whilst I don't think the first Thor is a great Marvel movie, it still has its moments and this one is a standout.
8. Iron Man - Captured, held hostage and left with only a select bunch of tools, genius inventor Tony Stark deceives his captors by building a weaponised suit of iron. Faced by a small but heavily armed army, Stark shoots, blows up and beats the living daylights of our his enemies and it's awesome, and even though it isn't the official Iron Man suit we see today, what a way to start Marvel phase 1 with Stark's beginning of building the legendary Iron Man suit.
7. Ant-Man - My childhood was nearly all Thomas The Tank Engine related, so imagine the glee and hilarity I felt when in the finale of Ant-Man, the biggest threat, literally, is a toy train track with Thomas rolling around on it. One of the films biggest laughs sees the Yellow Jacket hit by Thomas. Then Ant-Man tosses one of his discs that enlarges Thomas, who bursts into a giant life-sized train and crashes through the roof. The inventiveness and genius visuals go hand in hand for this hugely enjoyable climax.
6. Avengers Age of Ultron - In one of the biggest action movie climaxes I've ever seen, the expanded Avengers team save a city and its civilians from the onslaught of Ultron's robotic army. The visuals are flawless, the sound design is crisp and packs a punch, the action is non-stop and deftly handled by director Joss Whedon. In a standout moment, the Avengers use all their skills and teamwork to destroy Ultron's army in one ultra-magnificent and jaw dropping unbroken take, what a triumph of CGI and an unforgettable Marvel moment.
5. Iron Man 3 - We know Tony Stark enjoys a life of luxury in his amazing condo on the ocean, why would anyone want to destroy such a lovely home? Well, ask The Mandarin. Starks sends an open invitation to a bunch of terrorists via live TV, and they accept the invitation by blowing his house to pieces. The attention to detail regarding CGI is tremendous, especially when the house slides down the hill and crashes into the water, followed by a barrage of falling debris and Stark's supercar collection. No pun intended but this scene is an utter marvel that you'll be left in awe of.
4. Captain America The First Avenger - Sometimes you just can't beat a montage! The First Avenger is a delightfully retro superhero movie that brought us the great Captain America, and in one prolonged sequence, cap and his fellow soldiers take down Hydra enemies in the most epic, patriotic and well staged montage I've seen in a long time. The slow motion beatdowns, fiery explosions and non-stop thrills make this one of the most memorable moments of the MCU.
3. Guardians Of The Galaxy - The film begins its intergalactic story with Peter Quill on an alien planet. It is seemingly abandoned, with only water geysers spewing water into the air showing any sign of activity and life. Quill enters a desolate ruin and looks at his surroundings. He then reaches down and grabs a Walkman, puts some headphones on and begins to dance and strut around to "Come And Get Your Love" by Redbone. This highly amusing, strange opening to Guardians sets the tone for the rest of the movie, and it couldn't be any more entertaining! Chris Pratt is the man!
2. Captain America The Winter Soldier - Captain America, Black Widow and Falcon are pursued by Bucky and his accomplices, leading to a deadly shootout and one of the most high-steaks, crisply choreographed hand to hand combat sequences ever, between Cap and Bucky! The choice to have a very minimal musical score amplifies the violence and tension superbly through crips sound effects. The fight moves are impeccably staged, the explosions hit hard and each Avenger gets their fair amount of screen-time to boast their skills. It's one of the most realistic and grounded fights in the MCU! Oh and the moment Bucky punches Cap's shield is just epic.
1. Marvel's Avengers Assemble - It just had to be number one. The Avengers assemble to face Loki and his army with New York City as the backdrop for this absolutely mind-blowing action finale. It's a crowd-pleasing moment as you get to see all these heroes work together. This is one of the best action sequences ever, seeing our favourite heroes kick some ass!