What is my entirely subjective choice for the best Marvel movie?
With Phase Three coming to a close in 2019, there are 23 movies in the Infinity Saga, the first ‘arc’ of the MCU, and it all began with Iron Man in 2008 and ended with Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home last year.
Say what you will about some of these movies, you can’t deny that it is actually incredible what Disney and Marvel Studios are doing – there has never been an interconnected cinematic universe on the Big Screen quite like this. Each movie is its own story but is also part of a character trilogy as well as a much larger narrative. The shared cinematic universe that was only hinted at after the credits of Iron Man became a reality when they announced The Avengers. Suddenly all of these heroes and comic book characters have their stories colliding just like they did in the comic books.
But enough about how monumental a cinematic event the MCU is or how controversial some of the movies might be. As people like to do, I thought I’d make a list, and rank every MCU movie from the Infinity Saga.
Full disclosure – I’m a huge fan of these movies, and I’m heavily biased. I’ve gone to see all of them in theatres, and while there are some that I don’t think are as fun or as narratively strong as others, I enjoyed all of them and have watched most of them many, many times. Objectively, none of these movies are bad. Which makes ranking them like this actually a lot harder than I was anticipating.
Starting at the bottom of the list:
From left to right: The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America The First Avenger
While these may be at the bottom, that doesn’t mean I don’t like them – only that they are the movies that resonated with me the least and that I found the least memorable. I actually feel a bit bad about placing The First Avenger so low, but I think there are other movies that are just more fun. I think the fact that World War II isn’t really something I find enjoyable to watch might be making me a little biased here.
From left to right: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man
You might think I’m not a fan of Captain America, but you would be very wrong. I guess I just find the other superhero movies more memorable because they have some twist to them. I love Captain America as a character, but I find his movies lackluster. The same could be said about the Ant-man films. I find the character really enjoyable, but the movies were nothing special. And to round off this round we have Age of Ultron, which I think took some weird turns. It’s actually my least favourite of the Avengers movies.
From left to right: Iron Man 3, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Black Panther
It’s a bit sad that Iron-Man 3 was my least favourite of the trilogy. I think they definitely wanted to do something new with it, but I just didn’t find the bad guy as compelling as I did in the first 2. There are a lot of criticisms regarding the lack of Tony Stark actually being Iron-Man, but I like that we got to see the man behind the suit. I just wish it made more of an impact. I also really enjoyed Captain Marvel, though I think it had some missteps, especially where the ending was concerned. I have nothing bad to say about Doctor Strange or Black Panther. Both were excellent movies, but there are just other movies I enjoyed more.
From left to right: Spider-Man: Far From Home, Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man 2
So my favourite Captain America movie is the one that looks more like an Avengers movie. What can I say, I like seeing Captain America lead the Avengers more than anything else. Far From Home was a solid movie, but I preferred the first one.
From left to right: Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Endgame, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers
Okay, and now we’re getting into the top-tier. I loved the Avengers movie and it was probably the movie that got me hooked on the MCU in the first place. It did such an awesome job of blending together the stories of all these different superheroes and uniting them to fight for a singular goal. It was so much fun, and I thought it was a fantastic introduction to the broader MCU. Spider-man was a phenomenal movie from start to finish, and I love how they blended it into the rest of the MCU. I’m also really glad they skipped the origin story as well. Spider-man is definitely one of the more well-known Marvel characters, and we did not need to waste screen time on that. Again. And of course, Guardians of the Galaxy. So different from any of the other movies in the MCU and such a refreshing change. I didn’t understand the hype at first, but every time I rewatch it, I love the movie a little more. And I also had to give it to End Game. Has there been a movie that has been able to tie together so many different storylines and characters into a single narrative arc? Was it perfect? No. But they managed to pull it off and I left the theatre a blubbering mess.
And at last, we reach the best of the best. These three movies are, in my opinion, the best of the MCU:
From left to right: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Iron Man, Thor: Ragnarok
Everything I loved about Guardians of the Galaxy I loved even more in Volume 2. It was so much fun, and I love both of the movies so much, but I have to give the edge to this one. Maybe because those found-family vibes were there right from the get-go it just had me by the heartstrings. And of course, I have to give Iron Man a special place in this tier list. It was what started this obsession with Marvel and the MCU for me, and Iron-Man remains one of my favourite characters of the franchise. And then we have the favourite – Thor Ragnarok. Looking back at this list, it’s wild to see the other two Thor movies at the bottom of this list and Ragnarok at the top. But I loved the direction they went with Ragnarok. Thor 1 & 2 felt very carbon-copy of every other superhero, and Ragnarok gave the character much-needed personality. It played with the MCU formula, and it was a ridiculously fun romp through…space? Also, it was incredibly meta, which I always appreciate. It was really hard deciding what order to place my favourites in, but if there was one movie from the MCU I would watch more than the rest, it would be Thor Ragnarok.
Wow. That was hard. But also interesting. Those are my rankings for the Infinity Saga of the MCU. I’ll be interested to see how these rankings change as we enter Phase 4 and beyond.
As I mentioned before, these are all excellent movies. Ranking them is really a game of subjectivity at this point. You can’t go wrong watching any of them because Disney and Marvel Studios continue to create quality films. And I’ll be excited to see what they do in the future.
What Are Your MCU Rankings?
Do you agree with how I’ve ranked them here? What are your favourites of the MCU? What are your least favourites? Let me know in the comments!