Movies | Marvel Cinematic Universe Rankings
With the Infinity Saga now over and a long wait ahead until Black Widow is released almost halfway through 2020, it feels like the perfect time for an update to the rankings with three more movies - Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home - to slot in. Each movie's previous ranking is in brackets - NE means new entry, appearing three times for the newest movies mentioned already.
(20) 23. Iron Man 2
Still the worst of the bunch, although the standard of the MCU is so high that this is still more disappointing than actually bad.
(18) 22. Thor: The Dark World
The fact that Avengers: Endgame had a scene filled with more emotion and heart set during the events of this movie than this movie did only makes it look worse than before.
(19) 21. The Incredible Hulk
Banner may be in discontinuity, but the continued presence of Thaddeus Ross (and potentially Betty if the rumours around the Disney+ She-Hulk show are to be believed) edge it up a little.
(17) 20. Thor
It's decent - that's about it really. No real change in opinion since last time.
(14) 19. Avengers: Age of Ultron
The excellence of the other three Avengers movies continue to make Age of Ultron looks worse and worse all the time.
(13) 18. Spider-Man: Homecoming
While I enjoyed this movie on release, that opinion has dimmed with time - it's a perfectly fine film, but there's just something about it that doesn't click for me.
(11) 17. Ant-Man and the Wasp
This is where the rankings get a little screwy - despite the drop in places, I actually like this movie more than I did when it originally came out, but I've grown to like the movies above it even more.
(NE) 16. Spider-Man: Far From Home
For me, the best live-action Spider-Man movie - there's still that nagging feeling at the back of my mind that Spidey doesn't really fit in the MCU.
(15) 15. Iron Man 3
Holds its spot thanks to still being a highly enjoyable Shane Black movie. Also, more screen-time for Don Cheadle as Rhodey which is always a good thing.
(16) 14. Ant-Man
I don't know why, but re-watching this movie in the build up to Endgame made me appreciate it more and nudge it up a few places.
(12) 13. Doctor Strange
Suffers a little from being an origin story and the title character being more enjoyable in the other MCU movies he's appeared in than he is here.
(9) 12. Captain America: The First Avenger
From here on out, the margins between these movies is wafer-thin - I really, really like The First Avenger and could easily see myself placing it higher on another day.
(10) 11. Iron Man
The movie that started it all is nudged out of the top ten, but is still a damn good movie.
(NE) 10. Captain Marvel
I really liked Captain Marvel, especially the relationship between Carol and Nick, and can't wait for the still-to-be-announced sequel.
(5) 9. Captain America: Civil War
Surely a first?: the bad guy wins, but has his plan undone by another bad guy winning and having his plan undone. That just drags it down a little for me though.
(8) 8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Holding firm as a bloody good sequel to an excellent first film - shame we have to wait so long for Vol. 3.
(3) 7. The Avengers
Like The First Avenger, this could easily rank higher on another day. Seven years since the proof of a shared universe working and no other studio has matched it yet.
(7) 6. Thor: Ragnarok
Probably the single funniest movie in the MCU so far and continues to prove itself even after multiple viewings.
(6) 5. Black Panther
It's so, so good. It makes me wish Wakanda was a real place to visit because it looks so fricking cool to live there - as long as Killmonger (as fantastic a villain as he is) isn't around.
(4) 4. Guardians of the Galaxy
I'm still amazed at how successful this movie was considering even a lot of comic book fans will have had no idea about most of these characters before release - oh yeah, it's awesome, that's why.
(2) 3. Avengers: Infinity War
Will be remembered by a generation of movie audiences around the world as a fantastic adventure, one of the best screen villains ever and a shocking ending leaving millions in shock.
(NE) 2. Avengers: Endgame
There could not have been a better ending to the Infinity Saga than this movie, cramming in as much of the MCU as could feasibly be managed in 3 hours - and I wish it were even longer still.
(1) 1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I said it last time and I'll say it again: I can't see Marvel Studios topping this for a long time, if ever. Still frighteningly relevant with the enemies being Nazis hiding in plain sight in the US government.