I recently had a chance to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, the latest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. As I was leaving the theater I was thinking about how it compared to previous films and thought to myself, Marvel just doesn’t know how to make a bad movie! Even the worst Marvel movie is still a fairly entertaining film. But which one is the best? Not an easy question to answer. So I decided that in order for Mega Dads to be taken seriously as a website, we need to do what all successful websites do. Create unnecessary lists ranking completely objective opinions on popular films. So without further ado, I present The Complete & 100% Right On Top 11 Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!!
11. Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2 is not a great film by any stretch of the imagination. Let’s be honest, when Mickey Rourke is your main villain you’re gonna be fighting an uphill battle. But that’s not to say the movie didn’t have it’s high notes. There were still some entertaining battles (mostly the Stark Expo battle at the end) and the introduction of both War Machine and Black Widow into the MCU gave the film just enough fun to make it an okay way to spend a lazy afternoon.
10.The Incredible Hulk
I don’t know why it’s so hard to make a really good stand alone Hulk film. I think the Avengers films have maybe proven that the character is just much more affective in small doses rather than having 120 minutes dedicated to him. That being said, Edward Norton was a pretty darn good Bruce Banner and there are some really good battles in the movie. From the college campus fight with the army to the knock out brawl with Abomination in Harlem, Director Louis Leterrier (The Transporter) knows how to stage a good fight scene.
Thor gets a bit of a bad rap but I find both of the Thunder God’s films very entertaining. The world of Asgard is brought to life by Director Kenneth Branagh complete with a touch of Shakespearean drama that the filmmaker is known for. The trademark humor of the Marvel films is on display and it features an outstanding supporting cast including Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins and of course Tom Hiddleston who as Loki, is perhaps the best villain in the MCU.
8. Iron Man 3
In the (presumably) final installment of the solo Iron Man films, Tony Stark tries to come to terms with the events at the end of The Avengers. The movie does a great job of showing how such a traumatic event could change someone. New director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) also brings a fun, stylish new take to the series. And while the surprise twist with The Mandarin is clever, the series continues it’s problem with never having a really compelling villain to go up against.
7. Thor: The Dark World
In Thor’s second film, the god of thunder faces off against the Dark Elves and we get an even better look at the world of Asgard. I continue to be impressed by the fantasy world that they’ve created for this corner of the Marvel Universe. It’s colorful, fun and full of great characters. And the final battle scenes in particular are a tremendous mix of humor, cleverness and great action. The Thor films are a whimsical change of pace from the rest of the MCU but blend seamlessly when brought together.
6. Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The First Avenger is another film that I think gets a bit of a bad rap. The film that introduces the Steve Rogers is a fun retro romp through the 1940’s. While some of the effects aren’t superb, the puny Rogers before getting juiced up is impressive and the Red Skull is a truly menacing figure. Seeing Cap as a propaganda figure to sell war bonds is funny and the movie maintains it’s sense of fun and light hearted entertainment throughout. It might not feature the same level of high intensity action as some of the other films but it does a good job of telling the origin story of the future leader of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
5. Iron Man
The movie that started it all still holds up as one of the best in the series. One of the keys to Marvels success has been its perfect casting, and Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark. He is the perfect blend of genius, smart-ass and reluctant hero. When I first saw this film I couldn’t believe we were getting a big budget film of Iron Man, and this movie laid the foundation for everything to come. It set the style for the MCU with it’s blend of action and humor and aside from a weak villain to face off against at the end, there aren’t too many faults to be had with this blockbuster.
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron
More than any Marvel movie thus far, Avengers: Age of Ultron fully embraces its comic bookness. It is wall to wall action with some amazing action sequences. It introduces many new characters who should seem ridiculous but somehow manage to be awesome. And it even manages to give some great back story to an often overlooked member of the team. While the plot may not be as great as some of the other movies on this list, it is incredibly entertaining while also setting up multiple MCU movies coming in the next few years. Oh… and James Spader makes an awesome killer robot.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
It never ceases to amaze me how Marvel can find a relatively obscure director like James Gunn (Slither) and charge him with an obscure comic property and come up with one of the best comic book movies ever made. Guardians is an amazing space opera with the most charismatic group of misfits for “heroes”. Starlord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot & Drax are such great characters, all with unique and interesting personalities and back stories. It’s also by the far the funniest Marvel film and had me laughing out loud over and over. And of course the soundtrack is absolute perfection.
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
While Guardians showed that Marvel could do a straight up action/comedy, The Winter Soldier showed they could pull off a more serious action/thriller. The directing team of the Russo brothers took on the issue of an overreaching government agency and brought in the always awesome Robert Redford to lend some weight to the story. The story also tackles the issue of Steve Rogers adjusting to missing decades of time very well. But probably the best part of the film is the Winter Soldier himself. A Terminator-esque unstoppable enemy who creates fear and tension every time he appears. Cap 2 raised the stakes for the MCU and proved that the future of the Marvel films (Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War) are in very good hands.
1. The Avengers
The Avengers is just about cinematic perfection in my opinion. Seamlessly bringing together all of the pieces of the Phase One movies into an epic action masterpiece. Joss Whedon brings his trademark humor and wit to the movie , ensuring that when you’re not on the edge of your seat you’ll be laughing out loud. And while it features an epic conclusion that leaves New York devastated, the carnage never feels gratuitous and the teams is always looking to protect the civilians…like the heroes should (lookin at you, Man of Steel). The Avengers is the movie I had been dreaming about since I was a kid, and it didn’t disappoint. That’s why it’s not only the best Marvel film, but one of my favorite movies of all time.
What’s your favorite Marvel movie? Let us know in the comments section!