the mcu movies: ranked

Now that Avengers: Endgame has closed the first cycle of the MCU, all over the internet reviewers, columnists, bloggers and other people equipped with keyboards, opinions and either assignments or spare time, are ranking the 22 films in the series.  My friend B has been making a spreadsheet out of a collection of lists he’s found in various places and curated according to standards of his own devising (I won’t spoil any more what is sure to be an epic essay of his own posted somewhere or another), and he challenged me to make my own.  It will be fun, he said, and also you will get a blog post out of it.  The last point, at least, is true.  Thanks. B.

So here it is: The Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ranked from Best To Worst, According to Me, Pam Bliss. With occasional commentary, though I think the list stands on its own, mostly.

  • 1-2 (tie): Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger (two classic origin stories, one a modern action adventure, steeped in sarcasm and cynicism, one a period piece set in a theoretically more innocent time.  both excellent in their own ways, take your choice. )
  • 3: The Avengers (a core text for understanding both the superhero team and the superhero film)
  • 4: Black Panther (arguably the best movie of the bunch as a movie)
  • 5: The Guardians of the Galaxy  (this movie surprised me like a cotton candy meteor)
  • 6: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • 7: Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • 8: Avengers: Endgame

(I don’t see the MCU as having a Top Ten, but it definitely has a Top Eight and these are the ones.)

(The next sections of the list are the Very Good MCU movies, all quite entertaining and more or less equal in quality.  I think the ones in the first group are all better than the ones in the second group, but within each group making a more defined ranking would be purely a matter of personal taste.)

  • 9-10-11: Ant Man and the Wasp, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Captain Marvel
  • 12-13-14: Ant Man, Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok

(Then things start slipping.  Below this point, find some films with serious faults, but also plenty of the strengths weassociate with the MCU, including character stuff, punchy writing, good performances, and excellent design and special effects.  This group is still worth seeing, particularly for free.)

  • 15: Avengers: Civil War (the Airport Fight is an enduring classic of the genre.)
  • 16: Iron Man 3
  • 17-18 Iron Man 2, Avengers, Age of Ultron (one for Tony in general, the other for Tony and Bruce and for Tony and Cap chopping wood.)

(And now the clunkers)

  • 19: Avengers: Infinity War (Dark, dull, and depressing, valuable only as the first chapter of the excellent Endgame.)
  • 20-21 Thor, Thor The Dark World (no idea how to rank these as I have never managed to stay awake through either of them.)
  • 22: The Incredible Hulk (2008)  (Never seen it, not sure why it is included on the list; the MCU Hulk is Mark Ruffalo and that’s it.)

(* Or has it?  There is a strong possibility that the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home will act as a sort of coda or epilog to the story, if it does I will revisit this post.)

Feel free to discuss …

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4 Responses to the mcu movies: ranked

  1. Rick Santman says:

    Not much to discuss, although I DID enjoy the first Thor movie, and would move it up one notch.

    • Rick Santman says:

      Some time when you can catch it on TBS or elsewhere for free, give Thor another shot, worthwhile for the introduction of Hawkeye and The Warriors Three, and of course Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Be sure you’re well rested before starting, some of it DOES drag.

  2. Rick Santman says:

    Some time when you can catch if for free on TBS or elsewhere, give Thor another shot.
    When you’re well rested. Drags in spots, but notable for introducing Hawkeye, The Warriors Three, and of course Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. I enjoyed it enough to put it up in the “flawed but interesting” category.

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