Over the past two years, I’ve written a lot about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the franchise. So in honor of “Endgame’s” release, here is an updated list of Top 10 MCU films.
Click the links to see full reviews of some of these movies, along with my original list for a Top 10 from last year, as my opinions change with some of these films.
10. Iron Man
Maybe “Iron Man” should be higher on this list. If I was judging it for its importance, it would be. It was the first movie of the MCU. But for its overall quality, “Iron Man” is a good movie, but not the greatest. It is impressive when you realize how good this movie is despite the people involved in it having no idea what they were doing. Basically, when shooting started, they didn’t have an official script, so most of the acting is improving.
9. Captain America: Civil War
Based off of one the most famous Marvel Comics storyline, this film delivered some of the best fight scenes and introduced some new great characters to the franchise. It also delivered a story as heavy as the comics. While in this regard, it does come a little short, due to some plotholes and the cause of the civil war coming off as forced. It isn’t a disappointment though, it did succeed it creating a very emotional climax.
8. Marvel’s The Avengers
I have a good deal of nostalgia for this film. It got me interested in the MCU, along with superheroes and movies in general. While it does have a slow start, toward the end, it builds into a very entertaining final battle, starring a bunch of characters that are fun to see onscreen together. From Phase One, many MCU movies weren’t the best, but “The Avengers” is the exception, that made audience members, including me, take notice of the MCU.
Now this movie is silly, over-the-top, making the big change of Thor being stern and turning him into a fun-loving goofball. And it’s awesome. This movie is so much fun to watch. Director Taika Waititi just embraces the ridiculousness. Chris Hemsworth shows himself to be very good at comedy. Who cares if Thor wasn’t a clown in the past two movies, those weren’t very good anyway.
6. Captain America: Winter Soldier
What these Marvel films have done is bring new life to comic book characters that were originally never very popular. That was the case for Captain America, who was never a fan favorite, including Joe Russo, who directed with his brother Anthony. “Our whole approach with the movie was how can we make Cap interesting to a comic fan, like myself, who didn’t love the character,” according to a Screen Junkies interview. In response, they made a movie about a spy conspiracy, which complicates Captain America beliefs, as he’s already trying to adjust to being out of his own time. After this, the Russos would direct many of the other films on this list.
5. Black Panther
This movie wasn’t afraid to take itself seriously, but it also wasn’t afraid to be entertaining, finding a nice balance between the two. Despite the lack of action and the poor CGI at times, especially in the final fight scene. But honestly, I don’t think about either of these when I watch this movie because I’m too wrapped up in the story.
Spider-Man has been done to death even at this point. Thanks to Tom Holland’s performance as Peter Parker, and an original take on the character, “Homecoming” wasn’t a problem. This movie is fun and uplifting. It made some thoughtful changes to the character while staying true to what made him so great in the first place.
3. Guardians of The Galaxy Volumes 1 and 2
The first “Guardians” received wide acclaim for both critics and audience members. But the second one, “Vol. 2,” not so much. I’m guilty myself of brushing off “Vol. 2” as OK when I saw it. After rewatching though, I’ve realized that’s it’s just as good as the original. “Vol. 2” makes the same comedy and fun, but also has more drama, character development and heart.
This movie blew it out of the park. It defied seemingly everyone’s expectations, including myself, and we had been waiting for years for this film. It feels balanced and paced, with some deep character development. What is truly great about it isn’t just it’s ending, but the fact that the heroes really could have won and due to personal flaws with some of the characters, that didn’t happen.
I can’t really go into details, but this movie is fantastic. Maybe not a truly great film, but watching it, I felt like it was. If a movie can make you feel certain emotions and do it well while building off 11 years and 21 films, in a satisfying way, then maybe it is a great movie after all?