ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

So, here's the thing. While Netflix may be one of the greatest time-killers known to humankind - and possess a near superhuman ability to keep you watching just one more episode of Fuller House, a full two hours after you meant to go to bed - it's also inherently limited in its scope. With licensing deals being what they are (incredibly tough to negotiate and often extraordinarily complicated), even Netflix's thousands-strong back catalog is a drop in the ocean compared to the number of films and TV shows that could theoretically be on there.

Added to which, there are certain movie franchises that Netflix simply can't show, because their streaming rights are exclusively held by other companies. Which is why - despite Disney's recent deal to stream all its newly released movies on Netflix - it's extremely difficult to find any Marvel movies on the service. And, so, as a result...

The 5 Best Marvel Movies On Netflix Aren't Really What You'd Expect

Or, at least, they aren't if you live in the US. Had you moved to Canada by now, you could absolutely be watching a Captain America or Avengers movie right now, much as UK residents could be enjoying Thor's MCU-based adventures at this very second.

Instead, though, US Netflix users are limited to...this lot. First up?

5. Marvel's Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United (2013)

Marvel's Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United
Marvel's Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United

So, on the one hand, Marvel's Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United is the Science Bros. movie you've always dreamed of, in the sense that it's a movie starring Iron Man and The Hulk. On the other hand, it's a straight to DVD animated movie with Cartoon Network-level graphics. And no Robert Downey Jr or Mark Ruffalo.

So watch it, sure - but maybe keep hoping to see Hulk turn up in Iron Man 4, too.

4. Marvel & ESPN Films Present: 1 of 1: Genesis (2014)

Marvel & ESPN Films Present: 1 of 1: Genesis
Marvel & ESPN Films Present: 1 of 1: Genesis

Yup, that's right. This is a documentary, made by ESPN, about Marvel Comics. Or, rather, it's a documentary made by ESPN about the links between top level athletes and the Marvel universe's greatest heroes.

Also, it features Tony Hawk, which is a way bigger deal if you grew up in the early 2000's (doubly so if you owned Tony Hawk's Pro Skater on the PS1).

3. Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United (2014)

Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United
Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United

Remember how Marvel's Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United featured Iron Man and the Hulk, only not quite how you remember them from the movies? Well, Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United offers pretty much the same experience, only with added Captain America.

In other words? It's not quite Captain America: Civil War.

2. Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (2014)

In a change of pace from the previous animated entries on this list, Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher actually offers something pretty darned unique: a team-up adventure we're unlikely to ever see on the big screen. After all, Jon Bernthal's Punisher may have vigilante-ed his way to Netflix stardom, but the chances of him getting his own MCU team-up movie co-starring Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow seem slim.

Never fear, though, because their (vaguely anime-like) adventures can be enjoyed on Netflix. With added explosions.

And, finally?

1. The Punisher (2004)

The Punisher
The Punisher

Yes, The Punisher is at the top of this list. Yes, it's not actually a great movie, at least in a conventional sense. And yes, it is essentially here by default, because there are virtually no movies starring Marvel heroes on Netflix.

BUT, it's actually also a far more entertaining movie than you'd think - not least because it features a gloriously unhinged performance by John Travolta as the lead villain. Plus, it's really not Thomas Jane's fault that Jon Bernthal just trumped him in the 'best on-screen Punisher' stakes...

The main takeaway from all of that, though? It's a damn fine thing that there're so many Marvel TV shows on Netflix now...

What do you reckon, though?


Are you planning on watching any of the above Marvel movies on Netflix?


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