Every day, the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand. Either behind the scenes, in promotion, or in theaters, new and exciting movies are constantly being added to the catalog.
The MCU is already the most successful movie franchise ever, with twenty-eight films, one saga, and three different Groots. They are still going.
TheDirect.com has collected over a dozen different writers to rank the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. This is a mixed bag of die-hard MCU and third-party supporters of the fantastic. Nevertheless, these are professionals who have lived in these beloved universes.
Many writers who have voted on this list will not agree with the order, as well as those who may bereading. Virtually every project is wide, but this is the only consensus comic book writer rankings list of its kind.
Let''s dive into it.
28.The Incredible Hulk
In 2008, Marvel Studios pushed in all of their chips and bet it all on Jon Favreau''s Iron Man, which would be the foundation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, that was not the only movie released by the studio that year. They hedged their bets with The Incredible Hulk.
In Iron Man, they played it safely with a more traditional early 2000s-style superhero film in The Incredible Hulk. It''s a lack of the now-patented MCU style, but this one appears out of place on the list. However, it''s also disappointing that Mark Ruffalo is not Edward Norton.
It was unable to be a genuine component of the MCU. It adds in the most popular league recasting, and the result is the forgotten child of the family. It opens the groundwork for a core franchise member then, now, and moving forward.
27.Thor: The Dark World
Fans gathered for the Thor franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which was dubbed Thor and the stage one culmination of The Avengers. Marvel Studios was able to proceed with a series of sequels for the big three.
On paper, this teaser is a sophisticated galactic Thor story. It is the debut of the phrase "Infinity Stone" and features what many consider Tom Hiddleston''s greatest performance as Loki. It even receives superlative votes for one of the best death scenes in the MCU. This sequel also has the cardinal sin label:Boring.
The lack of energy in this film is magnified on rewatch. Thor: The Dark World is regarded as the weak link of Phase Two. It was also released ahead of what would become the foundation for the cosmic branch in the United Kingdom. This film is not a standout in its time, and a forgotten cosmic entry puts this movie consistently in the bottom five.
The first of its kind, MCU Cosmic, has evolved into a large-scale, colorful space opera. It all started with arguably the most mild-mannered movie of Phase One. Thor was the slightest delight of what would eventually become the brand''s most enigmatic genre of film.
Asgard''s equities and the connection between science and magic are felt throughout the Infinity Saga and beyond despite the lack of the tonal features that would eventually bring the Thor franchise into a top-tier discussion, the film''s focus ages surprisingly well.
It is worth noting that while Iron Man had a different approach, this was Marvel Studios testing the possibility of a subgenre superhero film. Hemsworth and her co-star Natalie Portman''s romantic comedy is a precursor to the genre-balancing act seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe till today.
25.Ant-Man and the Wasp
Some MCU films are embroiled in controversy by being such a vital part of the greater story. However, other films are also impacted by being a part of the greater story. Ant-Man and the Wasp is the latter.
This was a franchise that had already overcome the character''s obscurity following the Avengers: Infinity War. Regardless of their efforts, the charismatic roster on the team, and some of the best posters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date, nothing was preventing the start of Avengers: Endgame, and Ant-Man and the Wasp was a case of a wrong place, a wrong moment.
The film has a lot of pros and cons, but most fans will remember seeing the Avengers: Endgame poster more than the movie they saw.
24.Iron Man 2
Many MCU rankings list projects have found redeemability. This is a primary reason why the MCU bar is so high compared to other film environments. They usually have a handful of characters, concepts, or moments that shine throughout the rest of the universe.
Iron Man 2 is embodied in that philosophy as the only sequel in Phase One. Though it is incapable to fully recapture the original and without taking any significant steps forward in style, this movie''s quality is further from the medium than most. However, this is not to say that there isn''t a lot of to love about it.
It features a classic MCU side character that steals their roles in Justin Hammer. And finally, it strengthens Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Something that everyone can agree on is always a delight.
The peaks and valleys have large margins, but this is a Phase Two style film that is very out of place in Phase One.
If Iron Man 2 is a Phase Two movie in Phase One, then Captain Marvel is a Phase One film at the tail end of Phase Three. Much like Ant-Man And The Wasp, this film is overshadowed by the hype of Avengers: Endgame.
Had everyone figured out how successful the MCU would be, this film would have been made in the early 2010s as part of Phase One or Two. By all accounts, the film is up to the same standards as other origin films in the league. However, being the first step to introduce such a powerful player so late leaves a flaw in a super fan''s mouth.
The greater story is a forum where to judge the individual installments. In addition, placing Captain Marvel at the beginning of the Infinity Saga enhances the experience.
This was a good idea to be made better by a sequel, which is, on the flip side.
As Captain Marvel previously said, Black Widow is a film that was well beyond its time. Natasha Romanoff of Scarlett Johansson has been a foundational element of this universe since Phase One. Her solo film debut was a simple tribute to the legendary actor and character, and she was able to launch it five years later.
Only the third Marvel Studios film, based on Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain Marvel, was somewhat of a challenge for fans to get TOO excited about the first post-Infinity Saga film being set in Phase Three. The COVID-19 delays made it more of a challenging task.
Despite advertising concerns outside this film''s control, it restores good graces with fans as it declares goodbye to the Black Widow of old and introduces the Black Widow of the future. A transitional project plays more like a second epilogue to Avengers: Endgame.
This type of Marvel Studios entry may not reach the top half of many lists, but it is believed to be a starting point for a significant player moving forward.
After telling the most successful cinematic universe story in movie history, Kevin Feige and his company wasted no time moving to the next chapter. To embrace the trust they have gained with fans and continue to push the envelope, new characters, bold stories, and unique filmmakers became a priority. Enter Eternals.
Risks must be taken for a franchise like the MCU to be as successful as it has been. However, Marvel Studios has constantly seen its most significant risks not only successful, but becoming elite-tier projects. Eternals was a Phase Four risk similar to Phase Two''s Guardians of the Galaxy. A huge galactic film with a comic book IP the most most avid fans do not follow, led by an extremely specific and stylistic director.
Eternals continues to make big swings throughout its long runtime and does so much to develop future stories for this corner of the universe. In this example, Marvel Studios is required to keep making the hit rate. It is too high for anyone to say they should stop taking them.
Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe plays like a prequel to the universe, with 2012''s The Avengers as the starting point. It''s difficult to imagine introducing four franchise characters (plus two super-assassins) that would be the center of the entire league. So when Phase Two began introducing even more characters outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was assumed that the universe was expanding.
Ant-Man is the first Earth-based hero to be introduced following The Avengers and has begun a trend of street-level players making a huge impact. The character''s small-scale nature and story make this cinematic universe feel like the outside world.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe lacks the star player''s appeal and the big-play excitement of the above projects on this list, but Ant-Man is a vital part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It opens the door for characters to live in this universe without being stuck to The Avengers, which has evolved into a bigger force.
19.Iron Man 3
Upon completion of the film, any filmmaker may begin planning a project, provided that the powers believe they are appropriate for his job. That is, for 14 years of largely successful filmmaking. However, there are requirements of the director coming in and taking stylistic risks, but for an established IP that will allow people to seat.
Shane Black and Iron Man 3''s first risks were discovered, although it is relatively flaunty to the MCU''s previous hyper-stylized films, although this was at the time something completely different for the MCU and the Iron Man franchise.
This film, which is now known as the most-beloved player in MCU history, is capable of receiving the most of Tony Stark''s admiration. Although, looking at it through a different scope doesn''t fit perfectly, but the character''s progression is worth it for what happens next.
18.Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
Catching lightning in a bottle is no small task. However, capitalizing on that power is arguably more difficult. Guardians of the Galaxy is the most unique and revolutionary MCU film ever made at the time. The sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, is everything in the first film from 11.
This includes more color, comedy, and an even more overwhelming attachment to D-list comic book characters. Taking an already obscure concept and magnifying what makes it unique allows less room for anyone who isn''t bought in. Guardians Vol. 2 is an example of this.
Not for everyone, but for the people it is for, it is widely regarded as one of the most underrated projects in the United Kingdom.
17.Captain America: The First Avenger
One trilogy was regarded as the greatest in the league for The Infinity Saga''s entirety. Captain America: The First Avenger is the beginning of that trilogy and the introduction of the central CU.
This film is a great example of how great the MCU was in Phase Three. Because these flaws in this film are simply that movies progressing have done what this film does in a more significant way. Period piece unlocking the universe''s history with one primary goal make people fall in love with Steve Rodgers.
Although this film as a solo project does not match up nicely with its predecessors as far as rankings go, some top-ranked projects on this and all lists owe their foundation to The First Avenger.
After Phase Three rolled around in the MCU, Kevin Feige and his team were left-handed without missing a beat. Finally, through high-risk and high-reward success stories such as Guardiansand Ant-Man, Marvel Studios was ready to take the gloves off and begin pulling up from half-court. And it worked.
Doctor Strange, a visual and conceptual program aimed at bringing new characters, concepts, and stakes into an already established cinema universe. Many key events are pushed forward by establishing the magic rules and regulations in the MCU. And Benedict Cumberbatch''s Stephen Strange is now being positioned to be the focal point of the league.
Doctor Strange is a great example of a film being released at the right time. Allowing this IP to be a significant player at the end of a dynasty and building block moving forward.
15.Avengers: Age of Ultron
There are particular case studies throughout the MCU that demonstrate why fans and audiences around the globe trust in Marvel Studios, and why even the most senior-tier of MCU movies appear to get rave reviews from Marvel fans. Avengers: Age of Ultron might be the best example.
The movie was initially released in theaters but was deemed a plateau of the original. It lacked significant influence, especially coming off of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. However, the seeds planted throughout the movie would turn into the main plot for some of the MCU''s best entries.
Most fans subscribe to the notion that even the movies that aren''t their favorites are crucial to the whole story because of aging like Age of Ultron.
14.Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness
Phase Four of the MCU appears to represent the "MCU Formula" on hyperdrive. In the first year of Marvel Studios (primarily due to the COVID-19 epidemic), fans took this as an expedited reference to Doctor Strange in The Multiverse Of Madness, as it was seemingly tied into four of the nine previously released projects.
While many anticipates that this movie about the MCU''s future would not exceed expectations, there is no shortage of Multiversal action in this Sam Raimi thriller.
Multiverse of Madness, which features some of the most fantastic players in the game, is another example of Marvel Studios'' desire for their product to take a big swing. The first actual horror project in the MCU shatters a few traditional elements of the universe in order to favor a niche and specific thrill ride.
MCU fans believe that every big film of all time is the next biggest movie of all time. While the actors at Marvel Studios continue to play a patient and cerebral game for the long term.
13.Spider-Man: Far From Home
Ant-Man and the WaspandCaptain Marvelfelt the effects of being the movies betweenInfinity WarandEndgame. On the flip side, Spider-Man: Far From Home feels the need to follow up on what many considers to be one of the most satisfying endings of all time.
If Marvel Studios is going to put a movie in a difficult position, Spider-Man is the film to do it with. Considering where this movie is compared to the other projects, you''ll notice that the Infinity WarandEndgame shows that this movie has its own.
This balancing act, which is based on an epilogue to The Infinity Saga and a sequel to Marvel''s most important character, has a significant role in establishing the screen of the infamous Infinity Saga trilogy.
12.Shang-Chi: And The Ten Rings'' Legend
Phase Four has been a mix bag for MCU fans, with expectations, budgets, and green lights at an all-time high. Some projects leave fans who want that Phase Three back disappointed. Others suggest that even in managing the biggest story ever told, there are still new characters to be introduced and grounded stories to be told.Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings falls under "others."
While focusing on the origin story, Simu Liu becomes the most popular character in the Marvel Studios scene. Expanding the already monopolized roster of players that the creators of the studio can work with.
While at this stage of the MCU,Shang-Chimay may not be considered a big "risk" it is a traditional example of fans not expecting much but being given the world. This film, however, feels like a film that will be the worst of its franchise, despite being a smash hit among the MCU members.
All the scenes that include Wakanda inAvengers: Infinity War were shot well before the theatrical release ofBlack Panther. That''s how much trust Marvel Studios had in the franchise.
One of only three true spinoffs where the title character was introduced in another project, Black Panther became an instant classic. From the start to the end, Black Panther grew the genre, with a variety of highly acclaimed characters from front to the back. Over the years, players such as T''Challa, Killmonger, Okoye, and others became household names.
After the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, the future of theBlack Pantherfranchise is up in the air. For the time being, fans will always have the memory ofBlack Panther, and how large of a cultural event it was.
Power King is a power power queen.
It is fantastic to see what the University of Colorado has done in the late 2010s, how large this universe has gotten. However, it is even more remarkable to get back to the beginning, established in 2008, and trace the foundation for the entire universe.
Charismatic, energetic, heartfelt, and sincere. Those traits ofIron Manchanged the superhero genre forever and gave Marvel Studios the secret recipe for popcorn success. The risk spread throughout the MCU puts the league to a whole new level. Iron Manis is probably the greatest of those benefits that have paid off.
The players from Robert Downey Jr., John Favreau, and Ron Man were placed in the basket by Marvel Studios. If this film didn''t succeed, the MCU would have never existed. It was also directly responsible for the tone and style that enabled the MCU to achieve.
The quality of this 2008 film becomes more questionable as films improve and improve. This is a Hall of Fame film that will forever be remembered as one of, if not the most influential comic book movie ever made.
9.Guardians of the Galaxy
When a player takes a big swing in baseball, the chances are quite negligible. Either the player makes contact and hits a home run, or they miss it, and it''s a terrible visual. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been and continues to be built on a staggering amount of big swings, which result in home runs.
The Guardians of the Galaxyis is a great example of a big leap that might have resulted in a shady strike, but instead was launched into the next town over. James Gunn was given the keys to comic book characters that the most dying Marvel Comics fans knew almost nothing about. It ended up being the perfect combination of timing, style, and storytelling.
This movie brought the cosmic branch of the MCU into a whole new stratosphere while introducing a style that has influenced every film genre. The characters, music, visuals, actions, emotion, heart, and comedy of this film hold up to any other film on this list. As James Gunn once said, "You''re Enjoying."
Eight IPs in the MCU have received a sequel. Five of the eight have received the third film, with another on the way. No franchise has received a more dramatic glow-up from twoto threethanThor.
Thor: Ragnarokis is a model of knowing when to make the tough decision to rebuild an ongoing franchise. This is not a reboot of characters or stories, but a complete revamp in style and tone. Chris Hemsworth, the foundation that was established, was inspired by fans.
This movie was only enhanced when Marvel Studios relying on this new character inInfinity WarandEndgame. This is an instant fan favorite because of its intricate plot and character.
Fans and critics in the Marvel Cinematic Universe learned for a long time what Kevin Feige schischited to know. This thing is going to be bigger than anything else.
Six characters from five different films in four years were brought together brilliantly. The result of this film makes fans feel like children are watching the greatest cartoon they have ever seen. Then they realize this is a huge budget live-action film that includes some of today''s greatest working blockbuster actors.
One additional example of Marvel Studios doing what many thought were impossible. This film spelled out the term "cinematic universe" and became the norm for all movie franchises moving forward.
Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man are just a few of the most famous names in comic book history, no matter how they are ordered. This is why introducing Spider-Man into this cinematic universe was so a big challenge for fans everywhere.
After 15 years of Spider-Man production from Sony, there was an inherent risk to knock this out of the park. A soft debut inCaptain America: Civil WarallowedSpider-Man: Homecomingto hit the ground running to their first Friendly Neighborhood story with Peter Parker. Despite the expectations being so high, Jon Watts and the crew performed better than they could have imagined.
Peter Parker, who plays Tom Holland, embodied the character''s spirit that many generations love, blending perfectly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These films that can accomplish multiple tasks simultaneously appear to be higher on these lists consistently.
Overachieving high expectations is a guarantee for an elite-tier MCU film. WhichHomecomingis.
5.Captain America: The Winter Soldier
While Phase One was popular, there was a need to strike.Iron Man 3 was a stylized Tony Stark story with polarizing a reception. So Marvel Studios needed Captain America: The Winter Soldier to be something special. It was.
When it comes to the MCU''s capability to create a genre movie that just so happens to include superheroes, this is the film used the most. The Winter Soldierdelivers is a political spy thriller that features some of the most consistent players in the league.
This one plays as a stand-alone, builds upon everything you needed in Phase One, and has tremendous implications for the franchise''s future, which is undoubtedly the most well-rounded entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
4.Spider-Man: No Way Home
Another movie is another example of Marvel Studios winning the fight. When showrunners for this film sat down and decided what they would be, they didn''t have to make it the climactic event of 20 years of movies and fans. But they did.
One of the best character arcs ever told is a huge amount of fan service and big moments. Being able to simultaneously reintroduce legacy characters from another universe while also telling a personal 616 Peter Parker story seemed impossible. However, they did it.
Despite the amount of pressure from two decades of avid comic book readers and twice the length of time, Jon Watts and his team succeeded to enliven Marvel''s MVP to the final stage of one of the greatest trilogies ever told. While simultaneously playing it as a three-part origin story.
They should not have been able to make it work. However, they did it. They did it.
3.Captain America: Civil War
This is how a comic book can be brought to life. Most people consider it because it isn''t their number one overall. Things along the lines of "It is Avengers 2.5," "It is just as much a Tony Stark story as it is a Steve Rogers story," and "It includes a Spider-Man."
Fans claim these are "unfair" to other solo films that don''t have these items. This movie DOES have most of the Avengers. It DOES have a massive dose of Tony Stark. It DOES include Spider-fusher into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This movie, with all of that on top of a well-crafted and hyper-interesting Captain America story, makes sense. This is the sixth in a row.
The final chapter of what many believe to be the greatest comic book series of all time plays as a masterful part of the larger MCU puzzle. What happens today is the Aftershock of the Civil Waris.
Sticking the landing has proved to be one of the most challenging things to do in long-form storytelling. Especially when the story you have been telling has built its reputation on the payoff and satisfying resolution.Avengers: Endgameis is one of the most remarkable feats of sticking the landing ever made.
Being able to balance this many characters coming off of one of the greatest cliffhangers in cinematic history is seemingly impossible. However, to do it with such a lot of care and satisfaction left MCU fans speechless. A true clinical of how to make fans feel all they are capable of feeling.
This was the culmination of MCU films that have turned into sporting events. This was the Super Bowl of comic book movies. These reactions, however, are some of the greatest fandom content ever made.
Hollywood film studios are examining their available IPs and trying to find a way to create theirEndgame. Good luck.
1.Avengers: Infinity War
The debating back and forth over movies or shows you like more than others. After the credits roll, the discussion in movie theaters is one of the greatest aspects of fandom.
There are a few exceptions in which everyone in a group of fans seems to agree universally. Infinity War, the one of the greatest comic book films ever, seems to be one of those universal agreements.
Fans are constantly being encapsulated by the story being told, while being dealt with with payoff at the same time. Every line of dialogue and movement by the countless heroes is like a personal thank you to everyone who followed along. Throughout this nearly 150-minute journey, every time someone begins to wonder what is happening with a specific character, they appear on the screen.
It is difficult to discover a flaw in this one, accompanied by a vast array of emotion and delight to finish the film, even if half the cast is faded? It''s the most powerful balancing act in movie history, despite what is widely considered the greatest villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But, to give everyone a sense of adventure and joy to finish the film, while retaining half of its cast?
How do you stay away from becoming more romantic about the Marvel Cinematic Universe?