MCU Movies Ranked (Iron Man - Ant Man)

To prep for Captain America: Civil War here is a ranking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies so far: (Some of the reviews contain SPOILERS)

1. The Avengers (2012)- Joss Whedon's epic superhero finale to Phase 1 did not disappoint. Watching our favorite heroes on the screen together was a must see after four years of build up and held our attention for the entirety of the film. The Avengers had the perfect blend of every character and perfectly showed how they can all work together to defeat one of the better villains in the MCU, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). It had the perfect mix of humor and action, while also giving us a smart story to keep us engaged. The chemistry between our heroes was also one of the best parts of the Avengers, not to mention the Hulk, who stole the show in the final battle of New York. Epic, fun and entertaining, this is the ultimate blockbuster and Marvel film. A-

2. Iron Man (2008)- This incredible origin story, directed by Jon Favreau, was the first installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It told the engrossing story of how Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) a self proclaimed "billionaire, playboy, philanthropist" is kidnapped by terrorists and soon becomes the hero known as Iron Man. It's exciting, intense, and is very slightly weakened by a somewhat watered down villain and final fight. When audiences heard the words "Avengers initiative" uttered by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the post credits scene, everyone lost it. The best origin story yet by Marvel in its MCU. B+

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2914)- Captain America 2 felt didn't feel like just a superhero movie, it had an espionage and spy feel to it as well. We not only get to see Captain America in action but Black Widow, the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and even a badass Nick Fury. Captain America 2 is thrilling and original. The movie has a scale that feels as if the events of Captain America 2 involving SHIELD will affect not only this movie, but also all the MCU movies that follow. Winter Soldier was thrilling, exciting, fun and proved to be one of the best sequels in the MCU. B+

4. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)- This is by far the most unique film in the MCU and was one of the bigger risks for Marvel with one of the main heroes being a raccoon and another being a tree. The movie however, not only was received well by critics and fans alike, but also did extremely well at the box office (highest grossing "origin story" in the MCU). The movie benefited from outstanding direction and writing from James Gunn and a stellar cast consisting of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana. And the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, who voiced fan favorite Groot. And just to add to the greatness of Guardians, it had, hands down, the best soundtrack of any of the MCU movies so far. Guardians is definitely fun, adventurous and a stand out in the MCU. B

5. Ant-Man (2015)- After Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz) dropped out because of creative differences with Marvel, some were skeptical about Ant-Man. The movie turned out to be intriguing, fun and exciting. It was the perfect summer blockbuster and Paul Rudd brought the perfect amount of humor to the role. Although the movie certainly would have been better with Edgar Wright at the helm, it is still a solid origin story and his input can be felt throughout the film. B

6. Iron Man 3 (2013)- Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss, Kiss Bang, Bang) brings his iconic mix of action and comedy perfectly to Iron Man 3. It's a fun blockbuster that keeps the audience entertained between its laughs and superhero fights. The only negative part: Ben Kingsley. SPOILER ALERT. I was extremely disappointed that Kingsley was not the Mandarin as the marketing for the movie suggests. I was looking forward to a Kingsley vs. Downey Jr. Superhero fight, but was disappointed by a bizarre twist in the film. Other than the twist, this is one of the best MCU movies so far. The movie showed Tony Stark at his lowest point, and showed us a different side of the iconic character. The story was unpredictable and interesting enough that I was engrossed the entire (even after the unfortunate twist). Iron Man 3 definitely brought the franchise back after a disappointing sequel. B

7. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)- Captain America is one of the most iconic Marvel characters and this movie does a great job at telling his origin story. The movie is the only one in the MCU that is a sort of period piece because most of it takes place during World War II. This makes Captain America unique enough to hold our interest. Red Skull and Hydra also make great villains in the film and as you would expect Captain America himself is easy to like, relate to, and cheer for. Overall a solid origin story and everything you'd expect from a Captain America movie, the only thing it's missing is something unexpected. B

8. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)- Avengers 2 is a solid blockbuster and manages to stay fun but it pales in comparison to the first Avengers film. Joss Whedon's follow up film suffers from a weak final battle between The Avengers and the villain, Ultron. It introduces the characters of Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver well (although X-Men's Quicksilver is much more fun) but the film seemed a bit cluttered and anti-climactic. Age of Ultron is certainly not as fun as it’s predecessor, The Avengers, but it still manages to be at the very least, an entertaining movie. B-

9. Thor (2011)- Thor is the worst of the origin stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although it is still better than it’s sequel. Thor has plenty of humor and does a good job of introducing audiences to the God Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his world of Asgard. It also introduces Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and we learn a lot more about SHIELD. The things that keep Thor interesting are the world of Asgard, which is much different than Earth, and the presence of S/H.I.E.L.D. The character of Thor himself starts out interesting because he talks and acts strangely since he is not from Earth, but then gets predictable. Thor is interesting at times, but overall doesn’t bring much to the table. C+

10. Iron Man 2 (2010)- Jon Favreau's follow up to the massively successful Iron Man was a pretty big disappointment. It had a weak villain and was much less fun and exciting than the original. The only notable thing it accomplished was introducing Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) who would soon be a major part of The Avengers) and War Machine (Don Cheadle) The movie basically consisted of Tony Stark and the US government fighting over his technology. There were a few fun action sequences but not as many as one would hope. Iron man 2 was a huge let down of a sequel after such a strong original. C-

11. The Incredible Hulk (2008)- The Incredible Hulk is not an origin story, but it seemed like it was an attempt to reboot The Hulk's character before The Avengers and it failed. Yes, The Hulk (Edward Norton) is an interesting character, having to watch his temper at the risk of turning into an angry green monster when it gets to high. The storyline is certainly something we are familiar with which makes it very dull and predictable. The only redeeming factor is a pretty cool final fight between Hulk and Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth). The character is great but the movie? Not so much. D+

12. Thor: The Dark World (2013)- The worst of the MCU movies so far. Thor 2 is very forgettable and uninteresting. The only really notable thing that happens is SPOILER Thor gets his arm cut off and we find out about the infinity stones. Other than that, there were no consequences throughout the rest of the MCU. The storyline was extremely predictable and made me grow very tired of Loki as a villain since this was his third MCU movie. The jokes were old, the characters were uninteresting, and there was just not enough originality brought to the table. Thor is certainly the least necessary film in the MCU and I would honestly skip it unless you’re a huge Thor fan. D

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