A Hench-Sized Ranking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

With the whole world enjoying Avengers: Age of Ultron, I saw a lot of lists on the Internet ranking the best and worst of the Marvel movies. I will gladly go on record claiming that there isn’t a bad movie in the bunch. They’ve all been good to great so far, and I fully expect that trend to continue later this summer with Ant-Man.

Being a blogger of the people, and a self-proclaimed Marvel fan, I’ve decided to rank all of the Marvel movies from my most to least favorite. I love them all and, were I a healthier man, I would gladly have attended one of those massive, multi-hour marathons that were playing in major cities. But alas, I live in a dinky little city that doesn’t get that kind of awesome attention. I need to move somewhere cool…

Also, this seems like a great time to share the first official synopsis of Captain America: Civil War. It seems Cap’s new team of Avengers are going to fill the New Warriors’ role from the original comic, and the movie will feature a metric ton of characters, including War Machine, Vision, Ant-Man and General Ross from The Incredible Hulk! They’re really getting William Hurt to return! That’s amazing connectivity!

So join me after the jump for my personal ranking of all the Marvel movies! And feel free to share your own in the comments below!

11. Thor

I never really cared for Thor as a character before his popularity took off in the Marvel movies. He just wasn’t my guy, so I didn’t particularly care about his movie. I was excited that Marvel was going for it, and that they were building to the Avengers, but I didn’t have that personal connection. Still, the movie was fun. Chris Hemsworth is great as the lead character, Tom Hiddleston has become a legend due to his performance as Loki, and really the whole movie is a lot of fun. It’s funny and full of action…but for me, personally, I was never all that impressed. It was a fine movie, but I just didn’t really get into the battle for that little town in the Southwest, or the struggle between brothers for control of Asgard. Thor was good, but I liked it the least.

10. Iron Man 3

There is a lot to love about Iron Man 3. The action is great, Robert Downey Jr. is great, and I especially loved Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin at the start of the movie. Now there was a villain with gravitas! I wasn’t even angry about the surprise twist and Trevor Slattery. I’m fine with it. But Tony spends a lot of time out of his armor trying to find himself, and more often than not, the armor is remote-controlled drone instead of Tony actually being Iron Man. I didn’t care for that.

The Extremis villains never really struck me as all that memorable or interesting either. They were just orange-glowy bad guys. And their leader, Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pierce, is probably my least favorite of all the Marvel villains. He’s just not any good. I like Iron Man 3 just fine, but there was a lot of disappointment, looking back on it.

9. The Incredible Hulk

When Marvel announced that Edward Norton wouldn’t reprise his role as Bruce Banner in The Avengers, I was legitimately disappointed. I was dying to see Norton face off against Downey and Chris Evans. Of course, now I don’t want them to ever replace Mark Ruffalo.

I generally like The Incredible Hulk. The final battle is pretty cool, especially Norton’s heroic decision to unleash the Hulk to stop the Abomination. But as some people have pointed out, The Incredible Hulk treats the big, green guy as a burden, when we movie fans know he’s a superhero. That’s the Hulk we wanted to see, and that’s the Hulk we get in the Avengers movies. Still, I enjoy watching The Incredible Hulk just the same.

8. Iron Man 2

I do not understand the hate that people have for Iron Man 2. Thinking back on the movie, I have no idea what their problems are. This is a great film. It ups the action, ups the romance, has some neat set pieces, some cool villains, and even gives us a legitimately cool War Machine. Don Cheadle is a great addition to the cast, and Whiplash and Justin Hammer make for some great bad guys. We even meet Black Widow for the first time, and Scarlett Johansson is great! I honestly don’t have any complaints about Iron Man 2.

7. Captain America: The First Avenger

Deciding to make Captain America’s first movie a period piece was definitely the right call. Marvel could have easily had Cap wake up in the modern day at the start of the film, but it is far more impactful to see his origins in World War II. It’s a ton of fun watching the scrawny Steve Rogers prepare for the Super Soldier Serum alongside Peggy Carter and Stanley Tucci’s scientist. And when he’s finally on the battlefield, kicking ass and saving the day, he’s all the more heroic. This film was a great introduction to Cap, and Chris Evans commands the role.

My only real complaint with The First Avenger is that Cap is diverted into fighting HYDRA for the entire film. I hope Cap managed to find some time to fight Nazis while on the European front.

6. Thor: The Dark World

The biggest surprise from reading all of the media and Internet articles surrounding the release of Age of Ultron is that apparently people didn’t like The Dark World? Is Thor’s sequel looked down upon? How is that possible? Why is that a thing!? Thor: The Dark World was an amazing film! It’s got a great story, a great use of the whole cast, and really helps to flesh out Thor and his world as more grounded and human. The jokes were hilarious, Thor was heroic and the action and excitement were top notch. Malekith was a pretty ho-hum villain, but he served his purpose of being super evil. This movie was great.

5. Avengers: Age of Ultron

I love the Avengers sequel. My review may have been filled with all manner of nitpicks and the like, but I still loved the movie overall. I went and saw it a second time, and it was much better then, because I no longer had any expectations and I could just sit back and enjoy the big, superheroic blockbuster. Age of Ultron has a really cool villain and a ton of great moments throughout. It wasn’t as amazing as the first Avengers film, but it definitely succeeds as a follow-up. As I said in my review, it’s like another episode in the biggest, most expensive TV show of all time, and that’s pretty great.

4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier is probably the best action film Marvel has made so far, and solidified the idea, to me, that Marvel isn’t making superhero movies: they’re making regular types of movies, just with superheroes at the center. This Captain America sequel is an action/spy thriller, with political intrigue, badass characters and unforgivable betrayal. The lead spy/action hero just happens to be Captain America, and that helps to raise the excitement level even more. Chris Evans is once again great in the lead role, and both Black Widow and the Falcon make for great supporting characters. This was the Russo Bros.’ first movie for Marvel, and I’m very confident that both Civl War and Infinity War are in their hands.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy is easily the funniest movie from Marvel Studios. Writer and director James Gunn managed to out-humor Joss Whedon with his funky style, hilarious dialogue and just some fantastic character building. This movie was one of the biggest long shots from Marvel, but they knocked it out of the park with this weird, amazing movie. It’s a testament to all things Gunn and Marvel that Rocket Raccoon and Groot are now cultural icons. I wouldn’t be surprised if other movie studios do everything in their power over the next couple of years to copy everything about Guardians.

From great characters to hilarious dialogue to that amazing soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy is hopefully a sign that Marvel can do no wrong.

2. Iron Man

The movie that started it all is still one of the very best. There’s just something so perfect, so amazing about the first Iron Man movie that it’s still one of my favorites. Director Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. come together to create a bombastic main character who took audience by storm, and then they go and put him through an all around great superhero origin. The CGI in Iron Man is near perfect, stuffing Downey into a tin can, complete with the hilarious phase where he’s just inventing armor parts in his shop. Throw in some really amazing sequences, like Iron Man keeping pace with fighter jets, and you tap into that wonderful blend of the real world and the superheroic. I don’t think audiences had ever seen anything like it before. The Superman movies definitely never had him flying alongside fighter jets.

1. The Avengers

And here it is, the grandaddy of them all, the movie that changed Hollywood. The first Avengers movie is glorious cinema. Not only is it just a great movie, with realistic characters, larger-than-life action and mind-blowing spectacle, but it’s also a huge accomplishment in terms of bringing this cinematic world together. Marvel didn’t have The Avengers in mind when they made Iron Man, but due to the skill of some truly talented people, Marvel put in the time and effort to introduce each Avenger and then bring them together in one film. It’s mind-boggling to think back how they did it, but so completely satisfying to know that they’re still doing it.

The Avengers is everything you could want from a superhero movie. The characters all get time to shine, they’re presented both as big heroes and ordinary people, the villain is truly wicked and the destruction of New York never gets too out of hand. The Avengers has it all and makes me proud to be a Marvel fantastic.


So what’s your personal ranking of the Marvel movies? Or what about my list? Am I way off? Foolish, perhaps, for defending Iron Man 2 or Thor: The Dark World? Let me know in the comments!


About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on May 8, 2015, in Avengers, Marvel, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. 10.Thor
    9. Cap: First Avenger
    8. Iron Man 2
    7. Iron Man 3
    6. Winter Soldier
    5. Thor: Dark World
    4. Incredible Hulk
    3. Iron man
    2. Guardians
    1. Avengers.

    Haven’t seen Avengers 2 yet. So i can’t rank it. I really enjoyed Incredible Hulk and loved the whole ‘Hulk is a burden i must carry’ shpeel, because, well, he was. Banner is right when he says that he can’t control it, but maybe he can aim it, and that’s what the Hulk has mostly been like in the comics (when he hasn’t been super smart). I mean, he was only in the Avengers originally for like a few issues. I’m not saying they didn’t depict him gelling well with the Avengers team in the movie(s), just that the whole General Ross chasing Banner across the country was, in large part, what the Hulk was about in comics, so i liked seeing that in the movie. Also, Edward Norton’s hulk is my favorite of the 3 movie hulks, and Norton my favorite Banner, though i also like Ruffalo as well. And that battle tween Hulk and Abomination was epic, although i might contest the fact that it looked like Hulk was a bit weaker and maybe even on the ropes for a good chunk of that fight. Hulk is the strongest one there is after all.

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