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Every Marvel movie ranked from worst to best

After 11 years, 21 films, and billions of dollars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe exhibits no signs of slowing down.

“Captain Marvel” hit theaters March 2019 and is respiration new life into what has been a lackluster box office thus far in 2019. “Avengers: Endgame” can also be projected to break data on the field office when it’s launched next month, and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” comes to theaters in July 2019.

However quite a bit will change for the MCU after this yr.

Disney, which owns Marvel, will personal the film rights to the X-Men and the Unbelievable 4 after merging with Fox. The producer Kevin Feige has stated he expects that to occur inside the first six months of 2019, at which level he’ll get the green mild to develop tasks with these characters.

It comes at an excellent time, as “Endgame” marks the top of this period for the MCU, and veteran actors like Chris Evans (who plays Captain America) are anticipated to retire from their roles.

However before the MCU faces an enormous shakeup, we ranked all 21 films — together with “Captain Marvel” — from worst to best.

Here’s each Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, ranked:

21. “Iron Man 2” (2010)

(Marvel Studios)

Directed by Jon Favreau

After the highs of “Iron Man,” it didn’t take long for the MCU to plummet to its lowest.

If the “2” in “Iron Man 2” meant that the whole lot had to be doubled — the villains, the characters, the variety of MCU films Gwyneth Paltrow is in that she didn’t watch— then “Iron Man 2” succeeds. Nevertheless it’s just too overstuffed for its own good in an attempt to get audiences prepared for “The Avengers” two years later.

The MCU has since develop into a well-oiled machine that is aware of how to stability it all. However in 2010, it was nonetheless engaged on that.

20. “Thor” (2011)

(Marvel Studios)

Directed by Kenneth Branagh

There’s nothing notably horrible about “Thor,” but there’s nothing memorable either. It’s spectacular that the movie works at all, contemplating that Thor, an alien god with daddy points, was such a little-known character at the time, and Chris Hemsworth was not the celebrity he is now. But James Gunn managed to turn even lesser-known and weirder characters into MCU standouts in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It might take some time for Thor to actually come into his personal.

19. “The Incredible Hulk” (2008)


Directed by Louis Leterrier

We now know Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, but within the second MCU movie, Edward Norton was in the position.

Out of all of the MCU films, “The Incredible Hulk” feels the least related to the universe. Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross, Banner’s love curiosity, has by no means appeared again, and neither has Tim Blake Nelson, who was teased as the Hulk’s archnemesis, the Leader.

However even with that tease, a sequel never occurred, and the one character apart from the Hulk to have any meaningful connection to the MCU has been Basic “Thunderbolt” Ross, played by William Harm, who popped up again in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War.”

18. “Thor: The Dark World” (2013)

(Disney / Marvel)

Directed by Alan Taylor

It’s virtually pointless to examine the primary two “Thor” films, as they’re each towards the bottom of the MCU barrel. But “The Dark World” is a tad extra enjoyable than “Thor,” and it’s integral in introducing one of the Infinity Stones (the Actuality Stone) that Thanos finally ends up utilizing to destroy half of humanity.

However Marvel nonetheless hadn’t realized that Hemsworth’s best attribute in the position is his humor, and the character — and the first two films — endure due to it.

17. “Doctor Strange” (2016)

(Marvel Studios)

Directed by Scott Derrickson

“Doctor Strange” is probably the most overrated movie in the MCU. By 2016, films just like the Russos’ “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Civil War” had progressed the MCU into new territory, but “Doctor Strange” felt like a step back. Positive, the magic was cool, however it additionally relied on a formulaic plot with a forgettable love interest. (How do you not give Rachel McAdams more to do?!)

16. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)


Directed by Joss Whedon

This “Avengers” sequel made the identical mistake as “Iron Man 2”: cramming an excessive amount of into its plot to serve the future of the franchise.

The movie options some cool motion sequences, notably the Iron Man-Hulk battle. Nevertheless it fails to distinguish Ultron, the Avengers’ largest enemy within the comics, from other two-dimensional MCU villains, and it spends too much time establishing future films. (What precisely is Thor doing?)

15. “Ant-Man” (2015)


Directed by Peyton Reed

“Ant-Man” is a fun little Marvel movie, but not a lot else. Paul Rudd is charming within the lead position, and Evangeline Lilly is more than only a love interest as Hope van Dyne (the longer term Wasp). But the movie still falls into familiar territory, including a lackluster villain in Corey Stoll’s Yellowjacket.

14. “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)

(Disney / Marvel)

Directed by Joe Johnston

“The First Avenger” is arguably the first movie that “mattered” in the MCU. Whereas “Iron Man” is best, “The First Avenger” sets up “The Avengers” better than “Iron Man,” which principally acts as a prequel to the large team-up movie.

“The First Avenger” would show important to the films that came after — even “Infinity War” with the sudden return of a personality thought to be lifeless.

13. “Iron Man 3” (2013)

(Marvel Studios)

Directed by Shane Black

“Iron Man 3” is probably the most divisive movie in the MCU, and for good cause. It takes some wacky turns, with a serious twist that ruined the movie for loads of individuals. However I like that Black just went for it with this movie and delivered something that fans still argue over.

12. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018)

(Marvel Studios)

Directed by Peyton Reed

While it’s not essentially an “essential” MCU movie, it improves on the first “Ant-Man” in almost each method, with plenty of coronary heart and humor.

Reed got here again to direct after replacing Edgar Wright at the final minute on the primary movie, and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” feels as if he was extra adjusted to the job, with some well-polished motion sequences and an incredible handle on the characters.

11. “Captain Marvel” (2019)


Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

Perhaps in time “Captain Marvel” will inch larger on this record. However for now, it’s a strong entry into the MCU, but not a incredible one.

Boden and Fleck are at their best in the character-driven features of the movie. Unfortunately, it’s the motion the movie is lacking, which hurts it by the top.

Brie Larson is ideal within the title position, although, and her chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury makes the movie. There are additionally some shocking twists that elicited plenty of reactions from theater audiences. If anything, this can be a worthy appetizer for “Avengers: Endgame.”

10. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)

(Marvel Studios)

Directed by Jon Watts

I didn’t have a robust constructive response to “Homecoming” once I first saw it, nevertheless it’s grown on me. Peter Parker’s motivations throughout the movie to be a hero — impressing Tony Stark — rubbed me the flawed means at first. However it’s onerous not to like Tom Holland’s spot-on portrayal of the character, and the movie is aware of exactly what it needs to be: high-school ’80s basic meets trendy superhero flick. And Michael Keaton is actually menacing as Adrian Toomes/Vulture in what began a scorching streak for villains within the MCU.

9. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)


Directed by James Gunn

Although “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a step again from the first movie, it’s still probably the most underrated MCU movie. The “Guardians” films are unique entries within the franchise, and it’s a shame Gunn was given the boot from the third movie, which is in limbo.

8. “Iron Man” (2008)

(Marvel Studios)

Directed by Jon Favreau

The primary movie — and still among the many best — “Iron Man” kicked off what has develop into probably the most lucrative movie franchise of all time. But in 2008, it was just a enjoyable superhero origin movie that defied the chances.

Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark, and it’s onerous to think of anybody else who might have embodied the position with a lot of the required charisma to promote a personality who casual audiences hadn’t cared about.

7. “The Avengers” (2012)

(Marvel Studios)

Directed by Joss Whedon

4 years after “Iron Man,” “The Avengers” proved that Marvel had what it takes to pull off a related universe of flicks. It’s much more impressive considering that the early MCU films, like “Thor,” “Iron Man 2,” and “The Incredible Hulk,” are a few of the worst within the franchise. However “The Avengers” course-corrected, delivering a bona fide blockbuster that hadn’t been achieved before.

6. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)

(Disney / Marvel)

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo

2014 marks the purpose when the MCU really acquired it collectively. There have been minimal low factors since, and it’s because Kevin Feige and crew lastly had the machine operating smoothly with low-profile administrators who might ship shocking superhero films.

Amongst those filmmakers have been the Russos, who’ve grow to be considerably of the architects of the universe. After “The Winter Soldier,” an expertly crafted espionage thriller posing as a superhero movie, they went on to direct “Civil War,” “Infinity War,” and “Endgame.”

6. “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)

(Disney / Marvel Studios)

Directed by Taika Waititi

“Thor: Ragnarok” is probably the most absurd movie in the MCU, however that’s solely a part of what makes it so good. That is when Marvel lastly realized that Chris Hemsworth is a particularly humorous guy with loads of appeal and constructed a movie around that.

It’s additionally in all probability the closest factor we’ll get to another Hulk movie within the MCU.

4. “Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

(Marvel Studios)

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo

“Civil War” is loosely based mostly on a 2007 comic-book occasion of the identical identify that pits Marvel’s superheroes towards one another over the ethics of a registration act making it unlawful for any superpowered individual to not register their identities with the federal government.

The MCU model is obviously extra contained, but that’s what makes it so good. It takes a huge storyline and successfully tells it by way of Captain America’s perspective, making it even more personal.

three. “Black Panther” (2018)

(Walt Disney Studios Motion Footage)

Directed by Ryan Coogler

“Black Panther” is a whole lot of firsts: the primary superhero movie to be nominated for best picture, the first movie to win Oscars for Marvel Studios, the first superhero movie with a predominantly black forged.

It was extra than just an MCU movie — it was a cultural occasion. And its field workplace reflects that. It was the highest-grossing movie within the US in 2018, breaking limitations and driving its success all the best way to Oscar gold.

2. “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)


Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo

“Infinity War” is an order of magnitude greater than “Avengers” or “Civil War.” With a forged of over 20 characters, “Infinity War” is the end result of 10 years of universe-building.

The Russos pulled it off, they usually’re not finished yet. After probably the most surprising ending in an MCU movie, the story will proceed in “Endgame.”

However on its own, “Infinity War” is a powerful balancing act, and Josh Brolin’s Thanos lives up to the hype.

1. “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)


Directed by James Gunn

“Guardians of the Galaxy” was the first MCU movie that basically felt disconnected from the remainder of the universe, but not in a damaging method like “The Incredible Hulk.” It’s an essential entry in the franchise from a story standpoint — nevertheless it’s also only a hilarious, fun, self-contained movie that turned an unknown group of characters into fan favorites.

It’s probably the most rewatchable movie within the MCU, with an excellent soundtrack, nevertheless it’s the characters that basically make it, from the dynamic between Rocket and Groot to the oblivious Drax. They don’t like one another at first, however the audience loves them as soon as they’re introduced.

This text originally appeared on Enterprise Insider. Comply with @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

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