Top Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

With the second Avengers film in theaters, I thought it would be fun to rank my favorite films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are only 11 12 of them, spanning from the first Iron Man, to Avengers: Age of Ultron.

UPDATE: I will revisit this post whenever a new Marvel film is released and update this list. These scores may also change, but the ranks may not.

12. Thor: The Dark World
This is by no means a bad film, but I was not overly fond of it. It had a weak villain, a muddled plot, and several bland characters (I’m looking at you Kat Dennings). The action and special effects were both good, and Chris Hemsworth was great as usual, but the other elements of the film really brought it down for me.

SCORE: 6/10

11. Iron Man 2
I loved the first Iron Man film, but this one was a bit of a disappointment. Now, like Thor: The Dark World, this is not a bad film, just not as good as the rest. There are some definite bright spots to it such as the effects, Robert Downey Jr.’s performance, and the writing. However, the plot and the villain were not very well done. On top of that, the action was not all that entertaining.

SCORE: 7/10

10. Captain America: The First Avenger
I liked this movie quite a bit on my first viewing, but it did not age as well. The action is not very well done, and some of the special effects are not great. However, the plot is interesting, and Chris Evans proves that he makes a great Captain America.

SCORE: 7.5/10

9. The Incredible Hulk
This is considered by most to be Marvel’s worst film to date, but I really enjoyed it. Sure, some moments were not very well done. Some of the writing was also a bit contrived, but the acting was good, and the plot was well done. The effects were also lacking, but the action sequences were so entertaining that I was able to overlook that.

SCORE: 7.5/10

8. Iron Man 3
Iron Man pops up again, with another sequel that is still fairly disappointing. Even thought there was a lot in this film that I liked, I believe it could have been much better. The trailers were teasing a much darker film, but instead we got something that is fairly dark, but still far too comedic. Oddly enough, I do not think the effects were very good, and the villain was definitely lacking. But, the acting was good, the writing was sharp, and it made for an entertaining couple of hours.

SCORE: 7.8/10

7. Avengers: Age of Ultron
This may be relatively low for some people, but I did not like this film as much as I wanted to. I thought this was a perfectly fine film, but it had too much going on. If it were longer, or if they trimmed some of the fat, it would have been a much more concise film. However, the action was great, the acting was solid, and it had a fine bit of writing thanks to Joss Whedon.

SCORE: 8.1/10

6. The Avengers
I loved The Avengers when I first saw it, however, it has not aged well. While there are still elements that I like from the film, there were many problems that became evident. The plot is fairly thin, the writing is relatively inconsistent, the acting is passable, but most importantly the characters did not feel quite like themselves. This is something that the sequel certainly gets right, but this film is so entertaining. There are so many nostalgic features to it that it just barely edges out the second installment.

SCORE: 8.3/10

5. Guardians of the Galaxy
When this film came out, everyone said it was this generation’s Star Wars. While I did enjoy it quite a bit, I think people were really exaggerating it. The plot is not very original, the acting is inconsistent, and the villain is very generic (see a trend?). However, the actors have great chemistry, the soundtrack is fantastic, the visuals are breathtaking, and most importantly it is incredibly entertaining.

SCORE: 8.4/10

4. Ant-Man
This film took me by a pleasant surprise. While it continued Marvel’s trend in an underdeveloped villain, it had plenty of other aspects that impressed me. The acting, the comedy, the action, and the effects are all top notch. I would honestly say this is one of the funniest films of 2015. I also really like how it is not some big action film. There is action, but the film feels very contained. This allows the film to focus on the characters more than the action.

SCORE: 8.8/10

3. Thor
This may surprise some people, but I really like the first Thor film. It may not have too many action scenes, and it may dwell too long on Earth, but that is what I like about the film. In many ways, it does not feel like all the other super hero films because it is really a tale of redemption. There is some genuine character development with Thor, something that you do not see with other superheroes. Also, I think the score for the film is fantastic. It may be my favorite score from any marvel film

SCORE: 8.8/10

2. Iron Man
This is the film that started it all, and it was a great film to begin with. My biggest complaint about this film is the fact that it has a relatively weak villain. If you have been paying attention, this is a common theme with Marvel’s films. Most of their villains are not strong, and this is something that really brings down a film. With that said, the plot is engaging, the writing is good, and Robert Downey Jr. proves that he is Tony Stark.

SCORE: 9/10

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
This film has so much going for it. Aside for some issues with the plot, it has a great villain, great characters, great twists, with some aggressive action, and an aggressive score. This is the film that showed me how awesome Captain America really is, and cemented him as my favorite Marvel hero. Why? Well because he is a hero in the old sense of the word. He exists to serve others before himself. He is honest, and will do anything and everything to save the day. I look forward to the next installment of Captain America’s films. I hope it is as good, or possibly better, than this one.

SCORE: 9/10


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