Marvel Films – From Worst to Best

List compiled by Eddie on 24/05/2019

After 11 years, 20 plus films and countless cinematic memories, the “Infinity” phase of the Marvel cinematic universe has now concluded with the recent release of the box-office shattering Avengers: Endgame.

It’s been an incredible run for Marvel (and now Disney), with each high profile release garnering positive to rave reviews and dominating box office’s from around the world, in a successful run that is likely to never be bettered.

After so many feature film delights, it now seems only right to rank the MCU’s Infinity Saga from worst to best, no mean feat when there’s so many enjoyable entries!

Let the debating begin!

Happy reading and happy watching.

22. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

There are little moments of genius in Ant-Man and the Wasp but overall this is one of the most easily forgettable films of the MCU universe and a test case for the fact that Ant-Man is perhaps better suited for ensemble flicks. Not as inventive or humorous as it could’ve been, Wasp is acceptable MCU fair but far from the best.

Best moment – A Pez Dispenser becomes a weapon

21. Thor: The Dark World (2013)

The first Thor didn’t exactly break any new ground but its tiresome sequel took a backwards step with some dull storytelling and lackluster action spectacle. Australian Chris Hemsworth still gives it a good shake in the lead role, but Dark World is easily one of the MCU’s most uninspired offerings.

Best moment – The attack on Asgard by the Dark Elves

20. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

For all their wins Marvel have never been able to truly nail a solo Hulk outing and despite the fact they switched up previous Hulk Eric Bana for Edward Norton, it didn’t go about changing much for this fledgling and now seemingly dormant franchise offering.

Best moment – Hulk v Emil Blonsky

19. Iron Man 2 (2010)

After the highs of the original Iron Man many were eagerly awaiting the return of their favourite American hero but despite inspired casting in the forms of Micky Rourke and Sam Rockwell, Iron Man 2 is a mostly dull affair that is now mostly forgotten about entirely.

Best moment – Micky Rourke goes whiptastic at a Grand Prix race

18. Ant-Man (2015)

After years of production hell it’s a minor miracle the first Ant-Man arrived on our screens at all and while it’s not grand movie making, the addition of Paul Rudd in the lead role and some fun action set-pieces make this heist film with a difference solid entertainment.

Best moment – a train set becomes a battle ground

17. Iron Man 3 (2013)

Not many MCU films could be classified boring but that’s exactly what Iron Man 3 sadly was. With Shane Black taking over directing reigns and reuniting with his Kiss Kiss Bang Bang star Robert Downey Jr, many hoped that this Xmas film would re-jig the Iron Man series after the previous film but while it has its moments, Iron Man 3 is a so-so affair.

Best Moment – Mandarin’s real identity revealed

16. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

It’s hard to remember too much about Winter Soldier, other than the fact it was a perfectly watchable but highly generic comic book offering. The film featured some spirited supporting turns from the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Anthony Mackie and Evans gives it his all, making Winter Soldier a middle of the road MCU affair.

Best moment – Elevator brawl

15. Thor (2011)

Featuring one of the most interesting Marvel worlds around and a great double act of Hemsworth as the God of Thunder and Tom Hiddleston as one of Marvel’s greatest triumphs in the form of the nefarious Loki, Thor may not reach grand heights but it’s never less than entertaining and includes some dazzling imagery to boot.

Best moment – Thor’s first moments on Earth

14. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

One of the oldest Marvel creations finally got his chance to shine in The First Avenger and while one can’t help but escape the feeling Captain America deserved a more memorable debut, there’s a lot of fun to be had here thanks to Chris Evan’s spirited turn and some great villain work from Hugo Weaving.

Best moment – Captain beats up some bullies!

13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

The first Avengers was a genuine triumph of blockbuster and crowd-pleasing entertainment so Age of Ultron always faced an uphill battle beating its predecessor. A film with some great moments but an overwhelming sense that more could’ve been done with its intriguing villain and moral conundrums, Age of Ultron felt like a backwards step for the MCU’s biggest property.

Best moment – a drunken night out at Avengers HQ

12. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

The world certainly didn’t need yet another Spider-Man film but by forgoing the whole origin story arc that we’d seen countless times before Homecoming was able to introduce us to Tom Holland’s lovable new Peter Parker whilst also providing a few outstanding surprises along the way, not least in the form of Michael Keaton as chief villain Vulture.

Best moment – a prom night date pick-up with a difference

11. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Taking a dark turn, the Captain America franchise got a much needed boost with the loaded Civil War that created previously unseen tension in the Avengers group whilst introducing some new additions to the cause.

Best moment – the airport fight scene

10. Captain Marvel (2019)

For long stretches Captain Marvel just meanders about but when Brie Larson’s superhero teams up with Nick Fury and some surprising last act developments take place, Captain Marvel becomes a thoroughly enjoyable and re-watchable blockbuster with a difference.

Best moment – any time Goose the cat is on screen

9. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

I will be the first to admit that I didn’t think Guardians of the Galaxy would work to the level it did. The biggest gamble Marvel had undertaken at the time, no one could of confidently predicted just how fun and successful James Gunn’s wild outer space ride would be. Not many movies with a talking tree can count themselves as being successful, but Guardians is one of them.

Best moment – the prison processing sequence

8. Black Panther (2018)

A cultural phenomenon that also garnered Marvel the most critical and awards plaudits in its history, Black Panther is a finely made comic book movie that whilst arguably over-hyped, remains one of the their finest achievements and most important cultural touchstones.

Best moment – our introduction to Killmonger

7. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

After two rather lifeless entries the Thor series got a much needed boost thanks to a new look hero and the direction of Kiwi mastermind Taika Waititi. An absolutely wild ride that is more comedy than superhero film, Ragnarok is one of the great cinematic reinventions of all time.

Best moment – Thor v Hulk arena fight

6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Allowed even more freedom and budget after the success of the first film, James Gunn and his team returned with the goods with the 2nd installment of the Guardians franchise. With the same wit, imagination and chemistry as the first film, this extremely successful sequel is that rare beast of a film that topped its first installment.

Best moment – Groot searches for the keys to a jail cell

5. Doctor Strange (2016)

Whilst one of the lesser known Avengers members, Scott Derrickson kicked goals with his Doctor Strange movie that not only blew the mind with visual pizzazz but gave a heart and soul to a character that could easily come across as to arrogant to like. Lead by a great turn by Benedict Cumberbatch, this is Marvel operating at a very high level.

Best moment – Doctor Strange’s first experience with other dimensions

4. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

An above average blockbuster that somehow managed to combine 11 years of storytelling into one coherent epic, Endgame is a fine achievement by Marvel that may never be bettered in regards to pure scope and ambition. A fitting farewell to an end of an era.

Best moment – our introduction to a new look Thor

3. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

It’s hard to remember but back in 2012 the idea of The Avengers being a truly successful outing was but a pipe dream but thanks to Joss Whedon and a willing cast, The Avengers ended up being far better than anyone could’ve hoped for. A worthy cultural kingpin that will always be one of Marvel’s greatest achievements.

Best moment – Hulk teaches Loki a lesson

2. Iron Man (2008)

The film that started it all and reinvented Robert Downey Jr’s career, Iron Man is a blockbuster with heart and the granddaddy to all else that followed. A fantastic introduction to the universe that set in motion The Avengers to follow, Iron Man’s influence on all else that followed can’t be denied.

Best moment – Tony Stark’s first flight

1. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

A surprising, emotionally charged and unforgettable tentpole picture, Infinity War outdid all expectations with a stunning end product. Anchored by one of the great cinematic villains in the form of Josh Brolin’s Thanos and featuring one of the most shocking finales in blockbuster history, Infinity War is Marvel at its most daring and unpredictable.

Best moment – that finger snap

What are your least favourite and favourite MCU film’s? Let me know in the comments below! 

11 responses to “Marvel Films – From Worst to Best

  1. This is always going to be a list that everyone has a different opinion on!
    It’s kind of hard to rate so many good movies that are in a lot of ways very similar to each other, but here’s how I would rate them:
    22.The Incredible Hulk
    21. Doctor Strange
    20. Thor
    19. The Dark World
    18. Ant Man
    17. Avengers
    16. Iron Man 2
    15. Iron Man 3
    14. Civil War
    13. Black Panther
    12. Captain Marvel.
    11. Ant Man and The Wasp
    10. Iron Man
    9. Captain America The First Avenger
    8. Spider man Homecoming
    7. Guardians of the Galaxy
    6. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
    5. Age of Ultron
    4. Ragnarok
    3. Winter Soldier
    2. Endgame
    1. Infinity War

    • It’s a great list Imatang, I like how we have similar picks then completely different ones.
      Glad we agree on Infinity War though.
      E

  2. It’s not a list I’d want to make myself. I’m not sure if I’d rate it much higher, but I think the Dark World is a better movie if one thinks of it as being about Loki rather than as being about Thor. My other big disagreement is with Winter Soldier, given how the plot twist plays on Captain America’s status as the patriotic hero.

    • I do love how the Thor films used Loki, particularly as you say in number 2. If only the rest of those films were as good.
      E

    • Always tough with these films mate, I am not actually sure there is a “definitive” ranking because so many are quite good.
      E

  3. An interesting list with some unexpected placements. Most people including myself would have ranked Winter Soldier much higher but to each their own. Some valid insights are presented here overall and the highlights of each film are a good touch.

    • I agree Starloggers, that’s the one real surprise. Straight swap Winter Soldier for Doctor Strange and it’s a little more in line with popular opinion. Not that that is what Eddie was going for!

      Crazy that there are now 24 of these films

  4. Based on my own personal opinions, you’ve got some hot takes! Surprised to see Ant Man 2 at the very bottom; I thought that even at it’s worst it was at least cute, and personally Thor 2 is the only movie where I felt almost nothing.

    Personally, I prefer Endgame to IW mostly because its structure and runtime gave the movie time to both stew in its own misery and enjoy its own ridiculousness. I remember checking my watch during IW at least once, but not for a second in Endgame.

    Also, Guardians 1 will always have a place in my sci-fi action-loving brain. Easily one of my favorite movies

    • It’s hard for me to disagree with any ones personal takes on the best and worst of the Marvel series. I feel like a case could be made for most of them. I really did enjoy all the Avengers outings though, considering how hard it is to make those type of films work they did a great job.
      E

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