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Re-Ranking The MCU Movies

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After finally seeing the cinematic crescendo of the MCU’s Phase Three in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, I decided to take a retrospective look at how the movies stack up against each other. For fairness, I brought in Jeff and Robbie to rank them as well and averaged out our picks. Let’s take a look:

21

‘The Incredible Hulk’ – This movie just stunk. A forgettable mess with a decent soundtrack and a re-cast character. Edward Norton is a legend in the game, but he straight up wasn’t right for this sort of work.

20

‘Thor’ – I thought ‘Battlefield Earth’ taught directors definitively that dutch angles fucking suck ass and do not work. Apparently a second lesson was needed in this trash bag movie that not nearly as cute as it thought. Thor looked terrible with his dyed blonde eyebrows and annoying rhetoric, and the final battle with the trash can robot was incredibly unsatisfying.

19

‘Iron Man 3′ – I like Shane Black and Guy Pearce a lot, but this movie was a big miss. Pearce was an unconvincing villain and “The Mandarin” switcheroo stunk out loud. The ending battle scene with the Iron Legion was sick as hell, though, as was the mid-air rescue of Air Force One.

#18

‘Thor: The Dark World’ – The best part about this movie was the development of Loki as a better, 3 dimensional mainstream villain. This is where it was known for sure that Jane Foster wasn’t going to work as a character, and where it seems they realized the noble warrior poet bullshit wasn’t going to work. I still laugh remembering how much Christopher Eccleston fucking despised making this movie, though.

17

‘Iron Man 2′ – The best parts of this movie were the introductory senate hearing, which is an iconic Tony Stark moment, and the Monaco race. Mickey Rourke was actually a decent bad guy, but the payoff and scale of this movie seemed a little repetitive from the first film. I mean, literally just another one of Tony’s dad’s former business partners trying to kill him with his own technology. I wouldn’t mind seeing Sam Rockwell back at some point as Justin Hammer.

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16

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ – I am a well known James Spader stan, but his performance of Ultron was a little too contrived for my liking. The movie felt a lot like a cash grab with not much substance to it outside of bridging a gap for the overarching plot of the Avengers.

152‘Ant-Man & the Wasp’ – I found this movie extremely charming and definitely one of the funnier MCU movies. It was nice to have a smaller scale villain that was three dimensional, but the additional villain was unnecessary and there was a little too much going on.

151

‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ – I love the character, but this origin story really stunk. I find that the best comic book movies are the ones that focus more on telling a story and less on feeling like a comic book. This felt corny, the visual effects/color palate were actively displeasing, and it felt like it took an extremely long time to get going. That all said, I’m always a sucker for some ole-fashion Nazi killing.

14

‘Doctor Strange’ – I don’t think this movie gets enough respect for being one of the best made MCU movies from a CGI standpoint. The effects felt like something out of ‘Inception’, except with the addition of a not overly corny feeling origin story. I didn’t love Tilda Swinton as the sorcerer supreme, but god damn if Cumberbatch isn’t the perfect Dr. Strange.

13

‘Captain Marvel’ – (Full Review here)

12

‘Ant-Man’ – Much like it’s sequel, this was one of the funnier MCU movies thanks to the talents of Paul Rudd and Michael Peña. It provided a nice break of world ending steaks in the small-scale villain Yellowjacket and had a brisk pacing I appreciated.

11

‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2′ – Another killer soundtrack, more great performances from the original cast and a KILLER job by Kurt Russell are what make this movie as good as it is. Michael Rooker also low-key brought it as Yondu, giving an extremely emotional climax to film. It was sort of bogged down by it’s length and over-reliance on SFX compared to its predecessor.

10

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ – What a treat this was. Tom Holland is the perfect Peter Parker and I will hear no arguments contrary to that fact. He is believable as a teenager, and he perfectly portrays the dual confusion of a child coming-to-age both as a person and a superhero. Also, Michael Keaton? Folks? Maybe the greatest bad guy ever. His speech to Peter in the back of his car is fucking sinister by any definition of the word.

9

‘Black Panther’ – One of the best villians in the MCU, the coolest world building, and some extremely well choreographed fight sequences. In addition to one of the coolest plot arcs, this movie also has the best original soundtrack in the MCU, shoutout Ludwig Göransson.

8

‘Captain America: Civil War’ – I really, really detest the plot of this film. Zemo the worst villain in the MCU in my opinion and had the most far-fetched plot I’ve ever seen. So much of his scheme dependent on chance and things happening that he had no way to predict at all. That all said, the avengers fight each other and that is sick as hell. I just wish the plotline wasn’t the afterthought to the conflict.

7

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ – We’ve said it before on the podcast, this movie is basically a Borne-style espionage thriller that happens to take place in a comic book universe. The film moves quick, has a ton of twists and turns and includes some of the first well-choreographed hand-to-hand fight scenes in the MCU. Fury’s chase scene, the highway fight, the Helicarrier battle??? I think I may go rewatch it now.

6

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – I think this is a top 5 MCU movie easily, but that’s why I brought in the guys. This film totally redeemed the character of Thor and THEN some. It made him fun and personable with some of the coolest world building alongside ‘Black Panther’. This film introduces The Grandmaster, Valkyrie and Korg who are all some of the better tertiary characters in the franchise as well. It’s biggest weakness was Hela being sort of a lame villain, but outside of that it’s truly a joy.

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5

‘Iron Man’ – The movie that started it all still holds up great. Remember when the bad guys were terrorists and not world-ending cosmic beings.
4

‘The Avengers’ – There was almost no single scene better than the first time the Avengers all get together. The recruitment, the conflict and the final battle of New York were basically porn of us comic book fans. 3

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ – One of my personal favorite movies ever, I think it is a total masterpiece. Perfect pacing, great acting, and the best soundtrack in the MCU. I loved the mix of practical and real looking special effects, and the humor is unreal. Who woulda thunk that Bradley Cooper voicing a CGI cartoon would be the best shit in the universe?2

‘Avengers: Infinity War” – Infinity War was a truly unprecedented experiment in filmmaking if you think about it. The connectivity and storytelling necessary to make this work at this scale is really unimaginable, but the movie made it work. It gave every character their due airtime while telling a compelling story with an incredible antagonist. It also set the stage for the eventual #1 on this list. 1

‘Avengers: Endgame’ – I really can’t say anything about this. If you want spoilers, listen to the pod for a full recap.

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