(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – Over the past school year, I’ve written a lot about the Marvel Cinematic Universe – it’s not my fault they have a monopoly on movie theaters – and now I’m going to write about the MCU some more.
Today, “Avengers: Infinity War” hits theaters. To celebrate it, and the franchise’s ten-year anniversary, here’s my list of top 10 MCU films.
Of course, in a perfect world, I would’ve seen “Avengers: Infinity War” before making this list. After all, the movie could be amazing, or not – of course, but also in a perfect world, Hawkeye and Black Widow would have gotten their own movies by now.
Judging each movie by their overall quality: story, acting, writing, characters, etc. Here is my list of the best movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe… so far.
Captain America: The First Avenger
“The First Avenger” provided a proper origin story on how Steve Rogers became Captain America and paid tribute to the character’s glory days in Marvel comics.
Anthony Russo, the co-director of “Winter Soldier,” said “’The First Avenger,’ was very much a love letter to the golden age of the character,” according to a Screen Junkies interview.
There are some flaws with its story, like World War II being portrayed as an action film, which is why it’s number ten. However, it featured an awesome performance by Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull – you can’t go wrong with a villain played by Mr. Smith from the “Matrix” franchise.
Unlike the other Marvel films, “Ant-Man” isn’t really a typical superhero story, as the main focus is actually on a heist. I feel like I should almost dislike this film somehow, but I don’t. Due to the humor and upbeat tone, there is a good deal of charm to the film, putting it at number nine.
I’m interested to see the sequel, “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” Although, “Ant-Man” might have been better had Edgar Wright stayed on as the director. He had to leave due to “creative differences” – I don’t really know what that means either.
Captain America: Civil War
Civil War had to juggle several superheroes at once, more than “The Avengers” did. With all these Marvel characters facing off against each other, the movie was able to find a proper balance and deliver some of the best fights scenes in the whole franchise. While it may not have gone quite into as much detail about morality as the comic series, it still raised interesting questions about the ethics of being a superhero.
Without this movie, the MCU may not even exist. From its success, came “The Avengers” and everything after. Robert Downy Jr. role as the cocky Tony Stark is now practically iconic – though, Downy has be accused as just playing himself. But that’s not surprising after knowing that much of his acting was in fact improv, because the movie didn’t really have a script.
“When studio executives greenlit the first entry into the modern Marvel franchise, they got a little too caught up in the special effects to worry about the script,” according to Cinefix.com. With that in mind, its impressive the movie was as good as it is.
The first two Thor movies weren’t bad, but they weren’t that great either. So when in film history has the third movie in a trilogy been far better than the ones before it? Ragnarok is a very entertaining movie, with its comedy, action and colorful characters. By all means it’s a movie filled with some mindless fun, but still a good time. Plus, Ragnarok gave the Incredible Hulk a chance to star in a movie that wasn’t bad. My hope is that one day, Hulk will have his own solo title and it will be good.
If I was basing my opinion off of nostalgia, Avengers would be number one on this list. I watched it on opening weekend with my friends and little brothers. The theater was packed, it was my best movie watching experience. Avenger” helped get me interested in the MCU – comic books and the films in general. In addition, this movie had to deal with a lot of pressure. It had to combine all of the other superheroes, each established in their own solo entry, into one single blockbuster. It succeeded, putting it in the top five.
This movie had a lot of expectations to meet. Before it, there were five other Spider-Man films. While it still is an origin story, Homecoming wisely choose not to repeat the same moments from the other movies: such as a spider biting Peter Parker or *SPOILER ALERT* Uncle Ben getting shot.
Tom Holland’s performance as the web-slinger holds its own when compared to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. When it comes to the best Spider-Man movie; it’s either “Homecoming” or “Spider-Man 2” – but that’s an article for another time.
Disclaimer: The final three films were hard to choose from because they are all so good in their quality, any of these could’ve been number one.
I’d like to list “Dr. Strange” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” as #11 and #12 respectively. They would’ve been on the list, but it would’ve made it too long and overall they have their flaws. Also, the Marvel television series can be just as good as the great.
Guardians of the Galaxy
How is this movie so enjoyable? Honestly, it should’ve been a flop. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” was based on a Marvel comic series that barely anyone read, starred some comedian named Chris Pratt and was written and directed by James Gunn, who started his career making gory horror films. And yet, it’s a really fun movie. The characters are great, especially how they work off each other, which forms some genuine comedy. It also has one of my favorite movie soundtracks.
Overall, most MCU movies can feel similar to one another. And by far, out of all the films on this list, “Black Panther” is an exception. Dealing with some complex themes and characters, it helped remind moviegoers that superhero films have the potential to tell meaningful stories. Despite there not being that much action, the rest of the film’s other aspects more than make up for it. It has set the bar high for “Infinity War,” that’s for sure.
Captain America: Winter Soldier
The Captain America films are the best trilogy out of the MCU – though more trilogies are underway. This is definitely an action movie and it’s a lot of fun to watch. Before, many comic fans and causal viewers thought of Captain America as a boring character. This included Joe Russo, who co-directed the film 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,” Russo said in a Screen Junkies interview.
The film provided awesome action sequences and more importantly some much needed depth for the character.