Ranking the MCU Films

Part 3 of my multi-saga review of Age of Ultron concludes with a recap of all the MCU movies and a numeric score.

I’ve grouped the movies into tiers, and indicate how many times I’ve seen each in parentheses following the movie’s title.

Amazing

Loki

The Avengers (four) 9.75: the near-perfect superhero movie. Even after the thrill of seeing the Avengers assembled for the first time wears-off, there is so much to love about this film. The steady ever-upward pacing, juggling all the characters and giving them their time to shine, Loki being Loki… the only real negative is wooden Hawkeye and how Cap isn’t quite as awesome as Thor, Hulk, and Iron Man (later rectified).

Iron Man (four times? best guess) 9.5: Gets a slight nudge over Winter Soldier and even was in consideration for the top spot… the first film in the MCU is such a great movie. Easily the best superhero origin story in the MCU, and perhaps in all of film… I’d certainly put it up against Batman Begins, Superman 1, and Spider-Man 1 (Supes probably wins that fight… too much nostalgia). Full of fun, laugh-out-loud moments and soaring bits of action. If not for the forgettable villain (War Monger), Iron Man would take the top spot.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (twice) 9.5: Finally we see Captain America being a super soldier! That boat raid where Cap just annihilates the enemy soldiers, kicking dudes off the boat and throwing them around like rag dolls is so sweet. The elevator scene is easily in my top 5 MCU moments, and Fury’s car scene is intense. As a nemesis, the Winter Soldier isn’t in Loki’s league but he probably gets next billing. Plus this movie does a much better job of integrating SHIELD and the broader MCU ramifications into the tale. Pierce doesn’t quite do it for me as the big-bad, he was obviously rotten from the start. But I love the reveal that Gary Chandler’s character is in Hydra!

Great

Ronan

Guardians of the Galaxy (once) 9.25: of any movie on this list, Guardians has the potential to move higher on repeat viewing. My initial and thus far only viewing was under less than ideal circumstances: theater was packed and noisy, and the audio was really low. Missed a bunch of funny bits. Tons of heart and plays like a Star Wars flick.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (once) 9: Alternatively soars to the highest of MCU highs and then crashes back to Earth. Wonderful spectacle marred by imperfect pacing, an uneven villain, and too many capes.

Good

Abomination

Thor: The Dark World (once) 8.75: Really enjoyed the return to Asgard. Loki at his best. Once again, the main villain is a bit of a letdown, but the scene of Asgard under attack is pretty sweet.

Thor (twice) 8.50: Great introduction to Thor, Loki, etc. The scenes of Thor on Earth are awesome. Jane is so-so as a love interest but she isn’t awful.

Iron Man 3 (twice) 8.50: was rather disappointed upon first viewing, but liked it quite a bit more on repeat. Love the ingenuity of Stark outside the suit. Villain is rather lame, and too many suits at the climax.

The Incredible Hulk (once) 8: been a long time since I’ve seen this but I remember liking it pretty well. Hard to think positively on Norton’s Hulk since we’ve gotten Ruffalo’s. Abomination is pretty freaky!

Average

Red Skull

Captain America: The First Avenger (once) 7.75: Film starts slow and then montages through all the interesting parts! Red Skull is rather forgettable.

Iron Man 2 (twice) 7.5: pace is all jacked up as the film inserts too much SHIELD nonsense to build-up to Avengers. Whiplash is the worst Marvel villain. Love Justin Hammer though.

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