Marvel Cinematic Universe

23 – Thor: The Dark World; This’s movie takes the worst spot in the MCU. It isn’t good at all. The jokes never really land, the story ends up meaning none at all, there is little character development, and the entire film is extremely bland. The visuals take the “dark” from Thor: The Dark World to an unnecessary level. The scenes lack color and feel lifeless. It is a filler movie for the MCU with a non-threatening villain. Nothing about it is memorable, much less great. Cinemaster Score: 4.8/10

22 – Iron Man 2; Iron man 2 manages to be the least memorable film of the trilogy, which is very hard to do. The villain is one of the worst in superhero movie history, the story is a bore, and not a single character is interesting. Except, of course, for Robert Downey Jr. who is putting in his best effort and is still the glue that holds the Iron Man movies together. Iron Man 2 also serves no purpose to the grand scheme of the MCU, besides introducing us to Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson). This movie is tedious and pointless – a bad combination. Cinemaster Score: 5.9/10

21 – Thor; Watching this movie is like watching an 18th century royal historical fiction, and somehow Thor manages to be more boring than even that. The dialogue is wooden, the characters look uncomfortable, and the plot is as thin as can be. The forced love interest storyline is as effective as it is in Attack of the Clones, and of course Natalie Portman is responsible for both. Action scenes consist of the most basic use of a hammer – i.e. (smashing, smashing and more smashing) – unlike it’s more creative use in Thor: Ragnarok. This movie’s only saving grace is that it’s not Thor: The Dark World.   Cinemaster Score: 6.2/10

20 – The Incredible Hulk; Hulk’s MCU standalone story is an okay movie. It has a plethora of problems throughout. The pacing in the film is terribly inconsistent. The movie oddly skips past all of Bruce Banner’s origin story in becoming The Hulk and rather explains it through the background of the opening credits. The Incredible Hulk also is under constant scrutiny for having Edward Norton portray the protagonist rather than Mark Ruffalo who does in future movies, despite the fact that Norton does play Banner well. While it is boring at many times, the final act makes up for it enough to top some of the MCU’s other movies. Abomination is a formidable foe and the action scenes in his battle with Hulk are great, but simply not good enough to make it an amazing film. Cinemaster Score: 6.4/10

19 – Captain Marvel; Captain Marvel’s placement on this list should not be a surprise (based on our review), as it does little to shake up the series’ formula. It is boring at times, but maintains a plot that pushes it above a couple of movies in the MCU. Brie Larson just didn’t show she had enough likeability or charm to carry a solo movie. As for the supporting cast, they do well in spite of the sub-par script and character work. But by no means is Captain Marvel a terrible film – it just has some big negatives that outweigh the smaller positives. For the first foray into female lead Marvel superheroes, Captain Marvel is a disappointing addition. Cinemaster Score: 6.8/10Fury

18 – Avengers: Age of Ultron; The first sequel to The Avengers was a step in the wrong direction. While it did introduce us to 2 of the most important characters to the MCU (Scarlet Witch and Vision), that’s about all it gives. Avengers: Age of Ultron is very boring. There are many scenes that are buildup to the final fight but most of them drag on and draw away from what will come. Ultron himself is not only easy to defeat for the Avengers, but he also has an odd sense of humor. Avengers: Age of Ultron is another movie from the MCU that just seems like 2 hours or so of setting up movies yet to come. Cinemaster Score: 7/10

17 – Iron Man 3; Iron Man 3 – while not particularly memorable – is still unique in that it shows how a superhero deals with PTSD from their line of work. In this case it’s Tony Stark dealing with stress after the New York incident in The Avengers. It is also unique in its use of its primary villain The Mandarin, but we won’t spoil the twist for you. Other than that, this is quite a bland movie with some good character development. Specifically with Downey and his significant other, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), as we see their relationship evolve since the first Iron Man. The side characters however, do drag the film down from being great, and the action scenes – while imaginative – do leave something to be desired. Cinemaster Score: 7.3/10

16 – Ant-Man; Ant-Man is a good movie. It isn’t one of the best though. It has a decent amount of comedy but it’s only moderately funny. It also has a bad villain (and not in the way a villain should be). Yellowjacket does have some cool fight scenes with Ant-Man and doesn’t look half-bad for being all CGI. Despite this, Yellowjacket’s only motive is business related and he isn’t a very challenging opponent. The plot is good though, as Scott Lang strives towards redemption for himself and his relationship with his daughter. It is heartfelt but with the weak villain and only decent humor, Ant-Man is just a bit more than 100% mediocre compared to the MCU’s other films. Cinemaster Score: 7.5/10

15 – Ant-Man and the Wasp; At first, Ant-Man and the Wasp may seem like an inconsequential filler movie, considering it came out right after big event movies such as Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. In actuality, the movie’s use of the Quantum realm is crucial to the future of the MCU, and will serve as the driving plot in Avengers: Endgame. The rest of the movie however, is a relatively small journey that is once again about the relationship between Scott Lang and his daughter. The humor is a little better than in the first Ant-Man but does feel forced at times. The novelty of shrinking and growing in size does wear off after the 100th time you see it. But there is heart in this film, a decent villain in that their motives are justifiable, and a supporting cast that holds their weight. Ant-Man and the Wasp is an ant-sized step above the original. Cinemaster Score: 7.6/10

14 – Black Panther; Black Panther was disappointing. He was possibly my favorite character in Captain America: Civil War, and yet, he felt completely different in his solo movie. While he did seem more regal in this movie, he lacks a certain ferocity, a warriors spirit that he had in Captain America: Civil War. On top of that, there is one good set piece in this movie, and that’s the casino fight. The rest is a barrage of bad CGI (don’t tell me the rhinos looked remotely real), and a botched special effects fight at the end that I’m sure turned most people off. The story is very predictable but still deviates from the typical Marvel formula. One praise is the costuming and music, not the rap which was not heard very much, but the tribal music which fit very well and sticks in your head afterwards. But other than that, I expected much more from Black Panther, and hope his next movie will be better.   Cinemaster Score: 7.8/10

13 – Doctor Strange; Doctor Strange is one of the MCU’s greats. It has everything that makes a superhero movie good with few flaws. The most major criticism is about how boring it is at times. It is true that Doctor Strange can be boring but that doesn’t mean the best parts should be overlooked. This film is a visual masterpiece, with plenty of wild angles and stunning use of scenery. It also has one of the strongest antagonists in the MCU with Dormammu. Better yet is the resiliency toward being a hero that Strange has – paired with an awesome ending that will be rewatchable well into the future – making Doctor Strange of the much better films in the franchise.  Cinemaster Score: 8/10

CACW12 – Captain America: The First Avenger; Captain America: The First Avenger is one of the better films from this franchise. It is a prototype of how the Marvel movies should be and is the MCU’s first movie chronologically. It would be higher on the list but the other films are so great compared to being just slightly above the level of greatness. This film has some downsides – such as Red Skull not having much of a direct battle with our hero – but for the most part it is a good movie. It keeps the audience entertained and can be slow at some parts but is still interesting through them. Most importantly, this film shows the pure heart of Captain America and what makes him a hero, making it one of the better stories the MCU has to offer. Cinemaster Score: 8.1/10

11 – The Avengers; The Avengers is one of the MCU’s most iconic, well-known films. It takes the best parts of any Avengers comic and implements them in the movie. For the first time, our heroes are brought together to face a bigger threat. The only notable issue is some bland dialogue between characters. Other than that the story and character arcs are well-written to fit the situation. The character interactions are interesting and realistic. The conflict is one of the biggest yet seen in the MCU and impacts each person differently. The acting is great with each actor portraying their character perfectly. Tony Stark faces the worst troubles and the events result in him having PTSD. The situations all through the film seem like a reality. Director Joss Whedon brings a film four years in the making to life in great fashion. Cinemaster Score: 8.3/10

10 – Iron Man; This is the movie that started it all. A shift in the superhero medium that connected hundreds of superheroes and villains into one larger universe. If this movie was a bust, we may not be in the current phase of MCU movies. Robert Downey Jr. was cast perfectly as the suave, charismatic playboy who cared little about the effects of his actions. His evolution from a weapons dealer to a superhero is interesting, and is boosted by the story being constantly entertaining. The villains are more realistic, the action and CGI still hold up, and this is one of the best written MCU films. Cinemaster Score: 8.5/10

9 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Captain America: The Winter Soldier was when we first started to realize what Captain America was capable of on his own. The action scenes alone elevate this movie above most superhero films, with memorable set pieces and pulse pounding fights. Winter Soldier as a villain is intriguing as it leaves an interesting parallel between him and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). Characters are realistic with their motivations, the story is full of twists and turns, and the script highlights relevant issues such as government surveillance and the price of freedom. The only problems with this is that the film is quite bland in its tone and can be slow at times, but is punctuated by moments of thrilling revelations and strong acting to drive it above most movies. Cinemaster Score: 8.7/10

8 – Spider-Man: Far From Home; The second Spider-Man film for the MCU was a pretty great one. Sure there are some flaws – such as an odd script in the first act – but the flick as a whole is pretty great. Tom Holland reminds us he’s fit for the titular role and Jake Gyllenhaal joins in to prove himself as an A-lister of the franchise. Spider-Man grows quite a bit as a character – though not as much as he did in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The villain is interesting and poses a much different type of threat to our hero than seen before. It’s a more entertaining and enjoyable flick than many others in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Its story is a bumpy, lovable ride. As a follow up to Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home holds its ground and Jon Watts keeps from cracking under the pressure. Although it isn’t one of the absolute best put out by Marvel so far, Spider-Man: Far From Home finds itself high in the ranks – a great movie in its own right. Cinemaster Score: 8.7/10

7 – Guardians of the Galaxy; Guardians of the Galaxy is an awesome movie in every sense of the word. Each character has so much heart and grow quite a bit through the story. The story is pretty good with one of the most powerful villains in the franchise. Guardians of the Galaxy has great comedy within all the emotion and action. The movie brings misfits together on a journey to save a world. It has very few notable flaws but doesn’t have quite as much audience impact as some of the other MCU films. In the long run though, James Gunn – no matter how controversial his ethics are – is an indisputably phenomenal director and shows off his skill with this truly amazing piece of the MCU. Cinemaster Score: 8.8/10Heroes6 – Thor: Ragnarok; No one expected this movie to be good. The first 2 Thor movies are some of the worst MCU movies and Thor was quickly becoming boring. That was until Taika Waititi (Director) changed Thor from the boring royal setting of Asgard, into the zany colorized world of Sakar. He made the movie into a comedy to great results, everyone has a legitimately funny line of dialogue and each character is uniquely eccentric. Mark Ruffalo is in top form as the Hulk, and provides a hilarious parallel between the two characters. Loki is at his most likeable as he revels in Thor’s absence throughout the majority of the movie, and Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster is a stroke of genius. For the first time, a Thor movie isn’t boring, has funny and unique action sequences, and pushes the evolution of the character to new levels. Chris Hemsworth perfectly embodies his character and catapults Thor to the tops of best MCU heroes. The chemistry between the actors is phenomenal, the script is absolutely hilarious, action is coherent, and this is very well one of the most fun movies in the MCU to date.        Cinemaster Score: 9/10

5 – Spider-Man: Homecoming; This is one of the total best movies the MCU has to offer. Spider-Man is the base of modern Marvel comics so it is crucial that the film is good. It lives up to all the high standards and the hype. Tom Holland plays what is arguably the best portrayal of Spider-Man and Peter Parker. The story is amazing with good action and heart. It also ties in well to the greater pieces of the MCU and has an unexpected twist that keeps the audience fully indulged. The villain is a classic and Michael Keaton brings a great sense of darkness to the role. The comedy is full of fun quips and Spider-Man: Homecoming not only is a great representation of the character but is also enjoyable for any crowd. Cinemaster Score: 9.1/10

4 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is simply the most fun MCU movie on this entire list. It never wastes an opportunity to either expand a character arc or simply awe you with its visual effects – and what visual effects they are! Beautiful planets are painstakingly detailed to make the universe the Guardians are a part of like a character of its own. The villain is one of the most charismatic we have ever seen, with us believing every word he says – no matter how outlandish. Music is crucial to the Guardians’ franchise, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has some of the best uses of it seen in a movie. The opening scene is instantly iconic and memorable thanks to James Gunn’s deep understanding of character development. Every character has a shining moment, or a deep revelation about their past lives. This movie often gets written off for not being as fresh as the original, when in our opinion, it improves upon it in every way. Cinemaster Score: 9.3/10

3 – Captain America: Civil War; Captain America: Civil War is not your typical MCU film. While there is one weak villain, most people brush him aside to look at the bigger picture. When it comes down to it, Captain America: Civil War is a masterpiece. It brings the Marvel comics’ story to life with great success. It is both fun and exciting but still proposes what no other MCU film has – a greater question of ethics. There is pure emotion from every character in the movie. There is a good political sense of issues and the audience can take sides. There is a much thinner line between wrong and right in Captain America: Civil War as well. The fighting scenes are choreographed with perfection. It is entertaining all the way through and introduces us to both the King of Wakanda and our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. This movie is also the climax of a storyline that crowds followed with Cap and Bucky for 5 years. Captain America: Civil War is one of the best superhero movies ever made and only slightly falls short of best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Cinemaster Score: 9.5/10

2 – Avengers: Infinity War; This was the culmination of ten years building the MCU. Avengers: Infinity War is one of the biggest event films ever with more superheroes on screen than we had seen before that time. The stakes are raised to the highest level as the MCU’s greatest villain, Thanos, battles with The Avengers on a galactic scale. Actors are no longer playing a part – they are living it, playing characters with great respect and charm. Every single one of them had a shining moment in this movie. Action scenes are filmed with some truly top notch special effects, particularly those used on Thanos. Josh Brolin puts in one of the most believable motion capture performances ever and makes Thanos feel like a living character. Every scene in this movie is memorable – packed full of amazing character depth, jaw dropping spectacle, and exhilarating set pieces. Tension and paranoia drive this space-opera tragedy, as our heroes must make ultimate sacrifices to win the war. This film is perfectly balanced in every aspect. It will hold on to you and keep you on the edge of your seat. The opening will shock you, the ending will scar you, and in between you will realize that this is one of the finest Marvel movies ever crafted. Cinemaster Score: 9.6/10

1 – Avengers: Endgame; In the history of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe there have been many, many films. Within this collection of both classic superhero stories as well as new adaptations are a fair mixture of great – and even amazing – movies. The twenty-second installment is where we find Avengers: Endgame. This blockbuster is the biggest event for the MCU so far, being the culmination of every film before it as one extensive “Infinity Saga”. That being said, Avengers: Endgame is an absolute masterpiece. This flick encompasses the greatness of each and every one of the previous films. To make it simpler, look at each component. The acting is top-notch, with more emotions than ever. Its script is well-thought-out in hiding key moments in plain sight. Avengers: Endgame’s characters are very deep and complex. Aiming at direction, the movie is a gem of pure Russo magic. The story is epic, unpredictable, and satisfying. Altogether adding up to a tear-jerking, fun, and awesome watching experience. Avengers: Endgame is a true achievement in filmmaking and easily the créme de la créme in Marvel cinema. Cinemaster Score: 10/10

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