Before Avengers: Infinity War, here is a list of all Marvel films ranked worst to best

Anshu Lal

Apr,25 2018 15:26:49 IST

To say that Avengers: Infinity War will be a crucial milestone for Marvel Studios will be a gross understatement. This movie will be a culmination of ten years of movie-making. It will be like watching the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in one movie. Speaking of the MCU, there have been 18 films made in the franchise so far.

And because there can no better time to assess those films, here is a ranked list of the MCU films made till now, from the worst to the best:

  1. Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The DarkWorld. Image from Youtube.

This is the Thor movie which MCU fans pretend doesn’t exist. With a storyline that was as forgettable as the plot twists and character arcs in the movie, Thor: The Dark World is definitely the weakest MCU film made till now.

  1. The Incredible Hulk

The second film in the MCU, released in 2008, is definitely a weak one given how much potential the character of Hulk has. However, even though Edward Norton was replaced by Mark Ruffalo in the films to come, Norton’s performance was still praise-worthy.

  1. Iron Man 3

A still from Iron Man 3. Image from Facebook.

Iron Man 3 made it look like the filmmakers were convinced that the excellence of an Iron Man film depended on the number of suits shown in the movie. Pepper Potts’ character was given more significance but she still ended up looking like a pawn in the clash between male egos.

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron

The biggest problem with Age of Ultron was that it did almost nothing different from the first Avengers film. Replace the witty and cunning Loki with the pretentious Ultron, the army of aliens with an army of robots, and add a few cookie-cutter characters like Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and you have the mess that was Age of Ultron.

  1. Iron Man 2

A lot of important characters from the MCU were introduced in Iron Man 2. And Tony Stark was still the charming ‘genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist’ we saw in Iron Man. Mickey Rourke also played a menacing villain as Ivan Vanko. But the movie was bogged down by its attempt to create a plot based on the question of whether Iron Man should give in to government pressure to sell his suits. Also, Justin Hammer may just be the most annoying character MCU has ever created.

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Most of the aspects which made the first GotG film so special were ruined in this movie. One expects better humour from Marvel than Drax the Destroyer laughing about how his ‘turds are famously large’. And the villain is yet another megalomaniac who wants to take over the world (yawn). GotG Vol. 2 is the best example of filmmakers ignoring storytelling to focus on visual effects.

  1. Thor

In Thor, viewers got to see the impressive and colourful world of Asgard and all the characters on it. But Thor himself seemed like a boring, overly righteous hero who is a bit too obsessed with his hammer.

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger

Speaking of overly righteous superheroes, when Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers was introduced in this film, he was an annoyingly righteous protagonist. However, the Second World War setting of the movie was well-portrayed and it was a refreshing change from the usual worlds of superhero movies, even if it is a bit oversimplified.

  1. Ant-Man

A still from Ant Man. Image from Facebook.

Even though Ant-Man is a good film, Marvel Studios has made a lot of great films, many of which are much better and more relevant than Ant-Man. Even though Paul Rudd has been successful in bringing wacky humour into MCU films, a lot of the humour felt forced in this film. This was one of the few MCU films in which the filmmakers focused a bit too much on the humour instead of the plot. Darren Cross is one of the most forgettable villains in the MCU.

  1. Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange. Image from Facebook

Doctor Strange. Image from Facebook

Yes, Benedict Cumberbatch plays Doctor Strange. And yes, the visual effects are spectacular. And yes, the final showdown between the hero and the villain was much smarter than those in most other superhero films. That is why this movie deserves a place in the top ten. But Doctor Strange also suffers from some glaring, obvious loopholes. And the fact that the movie was accused of being whitewashed doesn’t help.

  1. Thor: Ragnarok

Finally, the MCU got the Thor it deserves. This movie is proof of the fact that Marvel Studios is receptive to criticism. When fans and critics complained that Thor was a character who took himself too seriously, Marvel transformed him into a funnier, goofier character. Even though there are still issues with the sub-standard plot and that horrible depiction of The Hulk which made him look like a giant oaf, Ragnarok is still one of the better MCU films.

  1. Spider-Man: Homecoming

A still from Spider Man: Homecoming. Image from Facebook

The most important character in Marvel comics was back where he belonged. And how! Tom Holland’s Spider-Man gave viewers everything they loved about the character in the comics: A web-slinging teenager who is goofy and awkward but also extremely witty and charming. Homecoming deserves a special place in the MCU for restoring the legendary status of Spider-Man.

  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The main reason why The Winter Soldier is one of the best MCU films made till now is the way it changed the image of Captain America. If Cap was this annoying boy scout in The First Avenger, he started becoming a stubborn rebel fighting against an oppressive system in this movie, something a lot of us will identify with today. Moreover, Bucky Barnes’ character and his development have been so successful that Barnes has been established as a crucial character in the MCU.

  1. Captain America: Civil War

That airport fight sequence between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man is probably the best action sequence made in the MCU so far. But apart from the stunning visuals and exceptional action choreography, the story behind the confrontation in Civil War was also well-crafted and carries a deeply personal touch, rarely seen in MCU films. With this movie, the meticulous and amazing transformation of Steve Rogers from boring boy scout to an angry, tough and non-compromising rebel was complete.

  1. Black Panther
A still from Black Panther. Marvel Studios

A still from Black Panther. Marvel Studios

Probably no other Marvel film has had the kind of cultural impact which Black Panther had. From the honest celebration of African culture to the portrayal of a great villain whose motivations are rooted in, and inspired from, the civil rights movement in America, Black Panther is the superhero film which should have been made a long time back. Had the movie not glorified dictatorship and been a bit less predictable, this would have easily been the best MCU film made till now.

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy.

This movie came at a time when superhero movie-making had turned largely formulaic. But Guardians of the Galaxy broke all those rules, by giving the world a “bunch of jackasses standing in a circle”. GotG is undoubtedly the dark horse of the MCU. Before the film was released, these characters were largely unknown. But with its unique sense of humour (which is copied even now), and amazing music, this film gave the MCU its very own group of weird, unconventional but lovable superheroes.

  1. Iron Man

The movie that started it all. Iron Man was the big bang of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let’s consider the fact that Robert Downey Jr took the role of a second-tier comic book superhero and turned him into one of the most popular superheroes cinema has ever witnessed. There has never been a superhero like Iron Man. And there will probably never be.

  1. Marvel’s The Avengers
The Avengers was one of the most successful films in the Marvel Cinematic Unvierse

The Avengers. Image from Youtube

Every generation has a movie franchise it takes pride in. Our parents talk about the magical times in which the original Star Wars trilogy was released. A day will come when the current generation will talk about the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the same way. And the first film that almost everyone will refer to will be The Avengers.

There were countless superhero movies made after The Avengers in 2012, many with better visual effects because of better technology. But there is something about the way all these superheroes assembled in The Avengers that makes it the best MCU film made till now.

The most remarkable achievement of The Avengers is that despite being an ensemble superhero movie, it never feels cluttered, something which cannot be said about most of the ensemble big-budget films made in today’s times. All characters in the movie were given importance and it all fit perfectly.

“There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people”. And it was one hell of an idea.

(Also read — Avengers: Infinity War movie review — Marvel sets the bar high with a film that's worth all the hype)

Updated Date: Apr 26, 2018 17:40 PM