Let’s Rank The Marvel Cinematic Universe

used via creative commons from https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/20441093790

used via creative commons from https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/20441093790

With Civil War looming on the horizon, it’s time we took a hard look at the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and finally decide which movies should be considered the best–and worst. The staff of That Geek Show was asked to rank the movies from worst to best, so without further ado we present to you our definitive ranking of all 12 MCU movies to date!


12. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Hitting the bottom of our list with a resounding “thud” is the easily forgettable solo Hulk movie. What makes this movie so frustratingly bad is that it could have been so much better, maybe even great. How the studio that had just made Iron Man managed to take a talented lead actor like Ed Norton, an incredibly complex character like Bruce Banner/The Hulk, and a rich tapestry of settings like New York and Brazil and turn them into a steaming pile of garbage is beyond me. Perhaps it was giving the reigns of the movie to The Transporter director, or letting the guy who wrote X-Men: The Last Stand pen the story… who knows. One thing is clear: this movie is flawed beyond reason and should be ashamed it’s even in the MCU; I like to think Marvel is ashamed as well. – Erik


11. Iron Man 3 (2013)

I remember when I saw the trailer for Iron Man 3. The stakes looked high, the tone seemed dark and I was anticipating the kind of film that would have me leaving the theater ready to go buy another ticket! Instead, we got a film that pulled a huge bait and switch with two incredible actors, gypped the audience on a truly awesome character, and gave us an ending so full of cheese, I started getting bubble guts. While the film isn’t necessarily bad, it is one that I fond to be more than a bit disappointing, especially since it’s directed Shane Black – a director whose work I quite enjoy. Hopefully the rumors of Robert Downey, Jr. wanting to do one more Iron Man solo film are true, so they can make up for this one. – Mathew



10. Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Natalie Portman is gorgeous. That is all… What? I can’t just leave it at that? Ok. I guess I have to give you more. So this was interesting. It was a film that tried to go bigger in scope than its predecessor but didn’t quite manage to feel as epic. Though there are quite a few interesting plot developments that I am interested to see the fallout from in Thor: Ragnarock, this one just didn’t quite seem to match Kenneth Branaugh’s original installment. – Mathew


9. Iron Man 2 (2010)

This is the first movie in the MCU where we are treated with a public display of urination by the titular character… that line should be enough to sum up the sequel to the ambitious Iron Man. Jokes aside, Iron Man 2  is a pretty good sequel in an era where quality sequels are a rare commodity. We are introduced to Don Cheadle’s War Machine and Scarlett Johansen’s Black Widow for the first time on-screen, as well as the first mobile Iron Man suit. Marvel and Favreau do a good job here, but still follow some of the basic cliches — a hero coping with the down side of having his power, increasing the number of bad guys, those types of things. It’s a really entertaining movie, even if it doesn’t quite have the magic of the original. – Erik



8. Thor (2011)

Take a golden haired prince, give him a hammer and a huge ego, what do you get? THOR! No its not a joke, but it was a good movie. The story of a demigod from Asgard sent to Earth to learn a lesson about finding out your worth… or finding love… or fighting a giant metal destroyer that ends up being your brother’s bodyguard. Your choice. This was the first Marvel film to introduce the use of magic and God-like super powers to the budding MCU. Even though Chris Hemsworth did a great job as Thor and the imagery and effects allowed viewers to enter three of the nine realms, a majority of the movie was slow. It was a personal development that also tried to bridge the idea of using science to understand magic. –Conor


7. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

While I generally liked Age of Ultron more than the average person, it can’t be denied that it certainly has its faults that actually rank it a bit below the first Avengers film. However, it’s still a very fun ride, and we get deeper into characters not named Tony Stark or Steve Rodgers! Plus, there was a feminist backlash against probably the most feminist male director in Hollywood! So, between that and the apparent brutal undertaking of two massive ensemble films, Joss Whedon decided to quit social media and bow out of MCU altogether. But, hey at least we got the Hulkbuster, ammirite? – Mathew



6. Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man shook up the MCU by adapting a comic book movie into an action-comedy wholesale. Paul Rudd is funny and loveable as the small-time criminal who can’t catch a break, but finds out he’s been destined to don the shrinking Ant-Man suit and carry out a visualy-enjoyable heist. At its weakest, Ant-Man fails to digest the lumpy elements of comedy and conventional Marvel action. At its best, it quirkily shows how an insect-proportioned fighter can jiu-jitsu his enemies and use their bigness against them. Small is not as beautiful as we hoped, but it’s a fun adventure into a different chapter of MCU storytelling. – Erik


5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

When fans think of Marvel, Iron Man and Captain America are among the top noted characters. It was only right to follow the success of the Iron Man sequels and make the origin story of everyone’s favorite Captain. Running parallel alongside the comics Chris Evans captures Steve Rogers wonderfully when he is finally chosen to be a vital part in protecting his country and in the process is subjected to a serum that makes him jacked! The scenery, the cast and the little quips here and there were well placed and it was a great beginning to the opening a beloved comic book universe. –Conor


4. The Avengers (2012)

This is it! The first time we finally see the Avengers Assemble! Joss Whedon does an incredible job here, balancing all the characters and arcs that it never feels like there’s too much crammed in. The writing is fast and fun and the dialogue is vintage Whedon. The action is epic and Tom Hiddleston chews the scenery as Loki. This was an absolute blast of a summer movie, and the film that Marvel dropped the mic with, saying, “There’s more where that came from.” Also, shwarma… – Mathew


3. Iron Man (2008)

Leading the charge in a spearhead movement of Marvel superhero movies to come, Iron Man was a high-flying, fast-talking, bone-chilling sensation. Robert Downey Jr. became the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist douche that is kidnapped by a group of terrorists stealing and using his weapons. In an effort to escape he creates the first Iron Man suit that sparked the idea to stop weapons production and sales, and create the weapon to do what they were meant to do in the first place, protect his assets and the people he cares about. This movie set the tone for the Marvel movies that followed. It was real. It was dark. It was gritty. I think that really allowed it to take the world by storm as it kickstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe. –Conor


2. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

What to say, what to say about Guardians of the Galaxy… I’m hooked on a feeling. Much like the Avengers just two years earlier, Guardians of the Galaxy takes a group of roughed up, shat on outlaws who are looking get revenge and clam what’s theirs. And cause a little destruction on the way. The mix of action and comedic outbursts from Bradley Cooper, the voice of Rocket Raccoon, Chris Pratt as Starlord, and Dave Bautista as Drax allowed this movie to give Marvel fans what they wanted from these highly misunderstood outlaws. A little ass-kicking action with a few quotable one liners that are used daily. AND THE MUSIC! Bringing the music of the 70’s/80’s and reintroducing it the public. We are proud to put this towards the top of our list. –Groot


1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Topping the list and beating out James Gunn’s very funny space adventure is a comic book movie that looks at the political machinations of a post 9/11 world. Part Minority Report and part 3 Days of the CondorCap: Winter Soldier is very much a comic movie for grown ups. The Russo brothers did an incredible job and landed themselves front and center to not just do one of the greatest story arcs in Marvel Comics with Civil War, but also to fill the shoes of the very talented Joss Whedon in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity Wars. Whether you’re a Marvel fan or not, this is just a good movie–and the best MCU movie on our list. – Mathew

All images are courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

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