We are less than 30 days away from finally seeing The Avengers: End Game that is viewed as the finale of the Infinity Saga, according to the man who is behind the MCU Kevin Feige has called it as. While we are waiting for the biggest highly anticipated The Avengers: End Game movie. I wanted to share my top 21 Marvel studio movies.
21. Iron Man 3
Just about everything in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 is forgotten or ignored. Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 is never mention again in any of the Avenger’s sequels. The biggest moment from Iron Man 3, that fans and myself want to forget is how Shane Black present the Mandarin. The Mandarin is Iron Man’s greatest villain from his mythology in the comic books. Iron Man 3 presented the character as non existing from the MCU, but as some English soccer fan putting on a show, and dope Iron Man, his fans, and comic book fans, who invest in seeing this movie. In my opinion Iron Man 3 is the most disappointing MCU movie on this list.
20. Thor: The Dark World
Thor: The Dark World is one of my least favorite MCU movie, because a lot of this movie feels like its all over the place. Loki is my favorite villain from the MCU, and he was entertaining in Thor :The Dark World, but it wasn’t enough to make this movie enjoyable. The writers and director did not have a clear direction with what Thor’s next sequel movie should be. Outside of Loki there is a lot of bad execution and forgettable movements. The only good thing about this movie was the ending credit scene.
19. The Avengers: Age of Ultron
What made Th Avengers: Age of Ultron one of my least favorite MCU movies, is that a lot of the continuity leading to this movie is ignored. Joss Whedon tried fleshing out the Avengers more as a team, without explaining why they are back together as a team, after how the individual past movies set each character up. However the way Joss, present the main villain Ultron as a robotic Tony Stark, is a bad direction in my opinion, and the popular villain from the comic books is wasted. Having Bruce Banner and Black Widow have some kind of romantic relationship as a sub plot did not execute well, and could’ve been better used at that time in a Hulk sequel or a stand alone Black Widow movie. Overall Age of Ultron was okay, but was nothing special.
18. Captain Marvel
I have seen Captain Marvel a few times already, before I made this list, and I can honestly say it does not hold up well, each time I have seen it. Captain Marvel continues to be a very forgettable and boring MCU movie. With the reveal of how Nick Furry loses his eye as a throw away scene into the movie really hurts any kind of enjoyment I have for Captain Marvel’s movie I might have had. With 5 writers, and 2 directors for this movie it’s clear nobody from the creative team had an idea as to how to make Captain Marvel connect with the general audience. When the word is the cat steals the movie. That tells you the movie was not that good in my opinion.
17. Doctor Strange
Benedict Cumberbatch is a great casting choice to play Doctor Strange, by Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios. However recycling a similar origin story to the first Iron Man film I believe doesn’t add anything new for Doctor Strange or the MCU. Doctor Strange is an enjoyable movie, but not everyone is excited to see another origin story, because audience today and at the time Doctor Strange was release wanted to see their heroes already established.
16. Ant-Man and the Wasp
I found Ant-Man and the Wasp to be a nice filler after Infinity War. The movie had some cool moments, but juggled a lot of subplots i did not feel was executed in my opinion. I did love the opening flashback scene of the original Ant-Man and the Wasp in action. Other than that the movie was fun, and possibly have a story connection to The Avengers End Game, but overall the movie is nothing special in my opinion.
15. Spider-Man: Homecoming
I found Spider-Man: Homecoming to be one of the best live action Spider-Man movies when comparing it to The Amazing Spider-Man series, and Spider-Man 3. Michael Keaton as the Vulture in Homecoming is the biggest highlight from the movie, and one of the best villains from the MCU. His performance carries the movie and connects with the general audience who are watching this movie. Tom Holland is a terrific Spider-Man/Peter Parker, however adding Iron Man/Tony Stark in this movie made me feel like I was watching the first sidekick movie instead of a true Spider-Man movie who makes mistakes along the way as a hero, and learns from those mistakes on his own. Having Iron Man helping him in some form to become a better hero takes away as to why people love Spider-Man.
14. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
I enjoyed every scene of Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon, and Michael Rooker’s Yandu in volume two. These two characters and Batista’s Drax are the highlights of the movie in my opinion. The story plot in my opinion was decent, but is a bit of a let down after some of the built up to Peter Quill/Star Lord in the possible reconnecting with his father from volume one.
When it was announce that Marvel Studios was doing a Thor movie, many people including myself was wondering how they are going to present Thor on the big screen, because he was not a popular character with general comic book fans and the general audience was not that familiar to Thor and his comic book mythology at the time. Using J. Michael Straczynski comic book story run as the tone influences to present Thor on the big screen is a smart move, while adding a lot of comedy and fun for his movie made it one of the most surprising enjoyable Marvel comic book movies. Thor introduce the magic side of the MCU and planted small build ups to The Avengers and a expanded MCU. Having two unknown actor at the time in Chris Hemsworth playing the titled character Thor, with Tom Hiddleston playing his brother Loki and surrounding the two with well-known talent such as Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. Brought tons of great chemistry to the movie Thor. The plot can be a mixed for some people, but the cast from Thor made the movie one of the most entertaining Marvel movie and holds up well almost 10 years later in my opinion.
12. The Incredible Hulk
Even tho Mark Ruffalo is a fun Bruce Banner in MCU, however Ed Norton as Bruce Banner in the Incredible Hulk movie I found to be something special with how he carried the movie and how everyone who’ve seen the movie bought Ed Norton as the true Bruce Banner. What made the Incredible Hulk unique from the other phase one and Marvel Studios movies is this was not an origin story but a flesh out Hulk movie that comic book fans was happy for. The Incredible Hulk movie I found to be very story driven with a dark an serious tone compared to the current Marvel studio movies are presented today. The dark and serious tone is executed very well for The Incredible Hulk movie especially how the Hulk is first presented when we first see him. Casting William Hurt as General Thunderbolt Ross was a fantastic casting choice, as he an Ed Norton carried the movie. The way the Incredible Hulk movie ends, has audiences like myself wanting to see more of this version of the Hulk.
11. Iron Man 2
Despite having a poor villain such as Whiplash played by Micky Rouke in Iron Man 2, however after watching Iron Man 2 more recently the movie holds up a lot better then it did in 2010, because of all the great connections to the expanded MCU that will lead to something bigger. Iron Man 2 displayed a great introduction to Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in her fight scene which in my opinion steals the movie in Iron Man 2. Watching War Machine in action and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in action is entertaining and you want see more. Seeing Tony Stark and the world of the MCU fleshed out in his sequel is something special I was very happy to see Tony Stark transform in the Iron Man armor from the suitcase, because that is something he did in the comic books. In my opinion Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer is underrated in Iron Man 2.
What made Ant-Man top 10 worthy is how it added superhero legacy from Hank Pym to Scott Lang as the new Ant-Man. Creating a fun superhero heist movie is a great addition to the Marvel Studio movies. The chemistry between Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas is fantastic in Ant-Man. The supporting cast of Michael Pena, and David Dastmalchian made you wanted to see more of them, because of how entertaining they are in this movie. Paul Rudd played a fantastic Scott Lang/Ant-Man. How Ant-Man is introduce in the MCU is unique and something new audiences wanted to see.
9. Captain America: The First Avenger
If you love World War 2, and the traditional Good vs Evil superhero movies Captain America displayed a lot of that with tons of heart. Captain America is presented as a character who wants to help people and is more of a soldier then a propaganda superhero like he was presented, before the Ed Brubaker Captain America story run in the early 2000’s, which serve as the inspiration on how to present Captain America/Steve Rogers on the big screen. The casting choice for Chris Evans to play Captain America and Hugo Weaving as Red Skull was another smart choice by Kevin Feige. Chris Evans displays fantastic chemistry with his costars Stanley Tucci, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, and Haley Atwell on screen. Haley Atwell as Peggy Carter was a giant highlight from Captain America The First Avengers as she got her own live action TV series spinning out of Captain America The First Avengers. One of my favorite moments from the movie is Steve Rogers ignoring orders and rescues his best friend and his only family he ever knew Bucky, and his brothers and arm. My second favorite moment is the final moments between Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter. In my opinion Hugo Weaving as Red Skull is one the best MCU villains. Captain America: The First Avengers follows the traditional Richard Donner Superman formula, and is executed extremely well.
8. Black Panther
Black Panther does a great job introducing the world of Wakanda, and fleshing out the Black Panther comic book mythology to the general audiences. Michael B. Jordan, as Killmonger steals and carries the entire Black Panther movie in my opinion. Killmonger easily connects with the audiences. Michael B. Jordan is very charismatic as the villain and you want to see more of him. I found myself rooting for him when he was facing off against Black Panther/T’Challa. Black Panther’s supporting cast also steals the movie from Black Panther himself. Letitia Wright who plays Shuri, Winston Duke who plays M’Baku, and Danai Gurira as Okoye all outshine Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. In my opinion I though Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther himself was inspirational however I found him to be very plain an did not add anything new to his own movie, after getting introduce in Civil War.
7. Thor: Ragnarok
Having the Hulk added into the third Thor movie, casting Tessa Thompson as Valkrie Jeff Goldblum as the Grand Master are all smart decision by Kevin Feige and director Taika Waititi. Thor Ragnarok is by far the best of the three Thor movies, and introduce a fun retro tone to grab the general audiences attention. Thor Ragnarok has a lot of great moments in the movie from Thor to Loki to Hulk, to Valkrie and Grand Master all have memorable moments that will last forever. Unfortunately The Enchantress played by Cate Blanchett I found to be flat and didn’t carry the movie well when she appears.
6. Captain America: Civil War
Captain America Civil War is the ultimate team up Marvel Studio movie. We get our first debut of Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man who both get a great superhero introduction in Civil War. Both superheros are displayed to show the best of why we love Spider-Man and Black Panther. The subplot between The Vision and Scarlet Witch romantic feelings are explored just like the comic books which is a nice nod to comic book fans. The Civil War movie is different from the comic book story-line but some of the template from Mark Millar’s story is used in the movie. We see a lot of great Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes moments. The twist at the end has you questioning both your favorite superheros of Captain America and Iron Man. The only reason why this movie is not higher is because of how Captain America’s villain Zemo is presented, which continues the negative trend Marvel Studios has when presenting their villains on screen.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1.
When Marvel Studios first announce Guardians of the Galaxy many comic book fans such as myself, was wondering how this was going to work with the general audiences,. What we did not see but Kevin Feige did see was James Gunn. James Gunn direction and writing of Guardians of the Galaxy hit every connecting note with the general audience, and made the Guardians of the Galaxy huge in pop culture. James Gunn introduce the Guardians of the Galaxy with tons of personality that was not seen from their comic book counterparts. Almost everything in this movie has tons great moments. James Gunn made James Pratt who plays Peter Quill/Star Lord and Dave Batista a box office super stars. What made this movie a top 5, is how well the characters are written, and the introduction of the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe.
4. The Avengers: Infinity War
The Avengers: Infinity War is an emotional roller coaster ride from start to finished. The jaw dropping ending will leave everyone in shocked. The crossover between the Avengers and Guardian of the Galaxy is an awesome moment in every way. The two writers did a fantastic job Presented Thanos played by Josh Brolin as the villain and the main character. Having Thanos as the main character makes it easier for the Avengers an Guardians of the Galaxy to cross worlds in the movie. So many heroic and villain moments happen in this movie. Chris Hemsworth give his best performance as Thor in my opinion and is the biggest highlights from The Avengers: Infinity war, outside of Thanos.
3. Iron Man
The first Iron Man movie hits all of the right cylinders to start the MCU. Robert Downey Jr will forever be known as Tony Stark/ Iron Man just like Christopher Reeve will always be Superman, and Hugh Jackman will always be Logan/Wolverine in my opinion. Iron Man is a giant game changer and throws out the whole traditional superhero movie stereotypes audience are use to seeing at the time. Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jon Favreau delivered one of the greatest comic book superhero origin movies of all time. Iron Man presented many memorable moments and rejuvenated Robert Downey Jr’s career. The only reason why this movie is not number one is because of Jeff Bridge’s villain role as the Iron Monger is forgettable.
2. Captain America: The Winter Solider
What makes Captain America: The Winter Solider different from all of the other Marvel Studio movies is how very story driven, character driven, and presented with a serious tone compared to the other marvel studio movies. This is fully fleshed out Captain America movie that hits all of the right notes if you are a fan of the Ed Brubaker Captain America comic book run. Captain America The Winter Soldier is political thriller and has many great moments and twist that changes the landscape of the MCU moving forward from their movies and TV series. The story takes the man out of time elements and challeges Steve Rogers character as what is making the right decision after the way the world has changed compared to his old life in the 40s. Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Solider is intimidating and is a great foe against Chris Evans/Steve Rogers. Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and Anthony Mackie as The Falcon all shine in every moment they get in this movie. Chris Evans delivers his best performance as Steve Rogers/Captain America, and change many of the general audience opinions of Captain America. That fight scene in the elevator is the best fight scene in the MCU.
1. Marvel’s The Avengers
Everything in Marvel’s phase one was built to bring The Avengers movie to life. This movie introduces the first cinematic crossover that we have never seen in pop culture history or movie history. Everything in Marvel’s Avenger movie in my opinion is flawless. All of our favorite superheros that we love in Marvel Comics in the Avengers shine in their first movie together. Presenting a great villain like Tom Hiddleson’s Loki does a fantastic job carrying this big team up movie and steals every scene he is in, and you don’t know what he will do next. There’s A lot of memorable and defining moments happening in the movie that still holds up to this day. I would never thought as a comic book fan I would see something like this in theaters that made a giant impact.
My Final Thoughts
One thing Kevin Feige and Marvel studios has done after 21 Marvel Movies is that as a comic book fan or a movie fan. Each of these movies has a personal connection to all of us in some form. We all have a personal favorite or ranking of these movies and this is my personal ranking. I never would have thought something Kevin Feige and as comic book fan would think comic books movies would be this popular thanks to Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige. I. can’t wait to see how everything concludes in Avengers: End Game next month.