The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been the biggest franchise on Earth for the last decade, and rivals some of the greats for the title of “best film franchise of all time”. They continuously release great film after great film (with a few exceptions), and for as long as quality is this high I’ll be a big fan. There’s already been 23 films in the saga – but how would I rank them all?
You’ll find some of the films on this list in my “Every Film I Saw In 2019 Ranked” list as well:
23 – Thor: The Dark World
The biggest sin any MCU film can commit is being boring – and that’s exactly what this film is.
I can’t really remember anything exciting happening, and the villain is probably the worst in the series (they did Christopher Ecclestone dirty here). An easy last place.
22 – The Incredible Hulk
Similarly to Thor: The Dark world, this film is quite boring. It doesn’t help that, with Edward Norton’s departure, it doesn’t really link to the rest of the MCU either. The last battle is kind of cool, so that brings it up to second-last place.
21 – Iron Man 2
I have to admit, this is the film I remember the least from, since I watched it ages ago. That being said, I don’t remember any standout moments.
The rest of the internet seems to hate this one, so I’ll trust them and put it here in my rankings.
20 – Thor
Not a terrible film, just not one I plan on watching ever again.
It’s a decent “origin” story, but I feel Thor’s character is handled much better in later films.
19 – Captain Marvel
I was surprisingly disappointed by this, since I’ve come to expect good origin stories from Marvel.
I just feel like they could have done so much more with this film, and I’m reluctant to see Captain Marvel be the face of the MCU for the foreseeable future, but I won’t write her off just yet.
18 – Ant-Man and the Wasp
I had a decent time with this one, there’s plenty of fun action to please my simpleton brain.
My only gripe is it doesn’t feel too important – until the end credits scene suddenly made it the most important film up to that point. I can’t just rank it higher for end credits scenes alone, so it will have to settle for a fairly low ranking.
17 – Ant-Man
Slightly better than it’s sequel, Ant-Man is a fun heist movie that seemingly sets up all these rules about size manipulation only to break them all in the second half. Pretty average MCU offering.
16 – Black Panther
I let the hype get to me a little with this one – I heard how it was “one of the best MCU movies” and “will change superhero movies forever”, so I was a bit disappointed when it felt like an average MCU film.
Michael B Jordan gives one of the best MCU villain performances, but I blame the hype for Black Panther’s low ranking in my list.
15 – Captain America: The First Avenger
One of the best superhero origin stories the MCU has yet to offer, you can really connect to Cap right from the get go.
It’s not as bombastic as the later entries in the Captain America franchise, but you have to start somewhere.
14 – Iron Man 3
I never quite understood the problems people had with this film – I don’t read the comics, so I was fine with the Mandarin twist.
Iron Man is probably my favourite character in the MCU, so his presence alone elevates what many would consider to be a mediocre film.
13 – Spider-Man: Homecoming
This is going to grind a lot of people’s gears, but I didn’t really vibe with this film. It definitely has some great moments, it just wasn’t really what I was looking for (it leans heavily into teen drama / high school drama etc. and I’m not really a fan of that).
Michael Keaton’s Vulture is the stand-out of the film, and that car scene with him and Peter gives me chills every time.
12 – Doctor Strange
I consider this one of the best origin stories the MCU has to offer, and the special effects are absolutely breath-taking. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect in the role, and his final confrontation with Dormammu is amazing to watch unfold.
I don’t really have much wrong with this, I just think the other films are better.
11 – Avengers: Age of Ultron
This is definitely the worst Avengers movie, but any film with a cast like this is always going to be a good time at the movies.
10 – Spider-Man: Far From Home
There probably aren’t many people that think this is better than Homecoming, but I’m one of them.
It’s nice to change settings from the high school, and Mysterio is a fantastic villain that I hope to see in the future (Sinister Six maybe?!?). The cliffhanger ending was also one of the best cinema environments I’ve been in – the theatre collectively gasped in both anticipation and horror.
9 – Thor: Ragnarok
The funniest film in the entire MCU, Ragnarok saw a shift in the public’s perception of Thor – no longer was he the needy son of Odin who took things too seriously, now he was the witty hero that became everyone’s favourite overnight.
Hela is a great villain that really tests Thor to the maximum of his abilities, and the supporting cast is one of the best in the entire franchise.
8 – Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2
I love the Guardians movies, and this film is no exception.
The whole film is just an amazingly fun and exciting experience, and it rivals Ragnarok for the title of “funniest MCU film”. That ending almost put a tear in my eye, and there aren’t many films I’ve seen that can do that.
7 – Iron Man
The first MCU film is one of their best.
It sets the template for superhero origin stories (and MCU films in general), and holds up surprisingly well even to this day. There are definitely some aspects that are done better in later MCU movies, so I couldn’t put it past “Great”.
6 – Guardians of the Galaxy
The soundtrack alone was enough to put this in “Amazing”, but holy moly did this film come out of nowhere.
Nobody really expected anything from this random group of superheroes, but The Guardians are now one of the premier superhero groups in a franchise that is already full to the brim. It’s a shame the villain is a bit forgettable, but that almost doesn’t matter when the group of heroes are just too good.
5 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America is a hell of a hero – he’s the main character (or one of them) in all of my top 5 films.
This was the film that really put Captain America on the map, and my goodness was it a amazing film.
The political thriller aspect was not something anyone was ever expecting in a Marvel superhero flick, but they pulled it off flawlessly. The fight choreography is some of the best in the MCU, and that elevator fight scene is one the best scenes put to film ever.
4 – Captain America: Civil War
Now we get onto the big ensemble stuff, and kicking us off we have the fantastic “Civil War”.
I was so excited when this hit theatres, just the prospect of a rift between my favourite heroes was enough to put me in the cinema. It’s amazing this doesn’t even make it into a podium finish, but the other 3 films are just too iconic.
3 – The Avengers
While Iron Man technically started the MCU, this was the film that proved to the world that it could be the best film franchise on Earth.
There was so much hype around this movie, and they delivered a cinema experience that I’ll never forget.
2 – Avengers: Endgame
Now the highest-grossing film of all time, you could feel a palpable tension in the air in the months leading to this film’s release.
This is really the perfect conclusion to a 20-film arc, and although there are definitely some timey-whimey plot holes there’s no way this wasn’t finishing anywhere other than “All-Time Great”.
1 – Avengers: Infinity War
This was the biggest crossover event in entertainment history, and they delivered and then some.
I’ll never forget the feeling of watching that ending, and Thor’s arrival to Wakanda is probably the greatest moment in the entire MCU. Purely because this is the greatest cinema experience I’ve ever had, this film easily comes in at number 1.
Aaaaaand that’s my list. Blimey this was a long one to make, but I’m glad I finally finished it. Check out some of my other lists below:
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