The MCU: All the Marvel Films Ranked from Worst to Best

We've watched every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and ranked all of them from worst to best. Which Marvel film came out on top?

With the release of Captain America: Civil War last week, Marvel has once again struck gold with an exciting spectacle that matches up to its blockbuster billing. It’s not only a great popcorn flick, but one of the best and most mature picture to emerge from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU)

We’ve seen all 13 films to make up the MCU and have ranked them from worst to best. How does Civil War stack up against other great Marvel films like Guardians of the Galaxy or
The Avengers? Read on and find out!

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  • 13) Iron Man 2
    13) Iron Man 2

    What the critics said: "Everything fun and terrific about 'Iron Man', a mere two years ago, has vanished with its sequel. In its place, Iron Man 2 has substituted noise, confusion, multiple villains, irrelevant stunts and misguided story lines."

    Iron Man 2 sadly lost sight of what was great about the first film and merely served to lay the groundwork for the upcoming Avengers film with the introduction of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the after credits scene referencing Thor.

    Iron Man 2’s nonsensical plot and boring main villain make this, in our opinion, the worst film of the MCU.

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  • 12) The Incredible Hulk
    12) The Incredible Hulk

    What the critics said: "A very standard summer actioner that delivers reasonably well, if straight down the middle, on audience expectations."

    While it wasn’t the smashing success Marvel fans had hoped for, The Incredible Hulk is without doubt a better film than Ang Lee’s 2003 interpretation of the character. It also delivers a spectacular end fight scene between the Hulk and Abomination.

    The problem with The Incredible Hulk is that it’s all a bit formulaic and uninspired story-wise. It’s the forgotten man of the MCU.

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  • 11) Thor: The Dark World
    11) Thor: The Dark World

    What the critics said: "There’s a fleet and funny comic-book movie nestled inside Thor: The Dark World. You catch glimpses of it here and there."

    A strong performance from Tom Hiddleston as Loki isn’t enough to save Thor: The Dark World. The script is terrible and Christopher Eccleston is totally forgettable as main villain Malekith. It’s also lacking the theatricality and Shakespearean feel of the first film helmed by renowned thesp  Kenneth Branagh.

    Let’s hope Marvel have learnt their lessons for the upcoming Thor: Ragnorak coming in 2017.

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  • 10) Iron Man 3
    10) Iron Man 3

    What the critics said: "Iron Man 3 is an decent movie that really should have been far better with this pedigree."

    Given Shane Black’s pedigree as a comedy writer/director, the humour in Iron Man 3 is a a lot more miss than hit.

    Another huge problem is the film’s portrayal of ‘The Mandarin’ character. While Ben Kingsley is an excellent choice to play the role, the ‘twist’ that occurs halfway through the film is cheap and a huge disservice to the comic book character.

    Robert Downey Jr is as charming as ever playing Tony Stark, the series is starting to feel a little rusty.

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  • 9) Thor
    9) Thor

    What the critics said: "Thor is terrific fun! It's aware of its own silliness but made with complete integrity and heart."

    Kenneth Branagh brings a Shakespearean feel to his take on Thor. Chris Hemsworth is well cast as the titular Asgardian hero but it’s Tom Hiddleston who steals the show as his scheming brother Loki.

    Norse God Thor is banished to Earth by his father Odin after an act of brutality. Stripped of his powers, Thor must prove himself worthy to inherit the throne of Asgard.

    Entertaining and funny, Thor is a rollicking adventure that looks good with its depiction of Asgard a particular highlight.

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  • 8) Captain America: The First Avenger
    8) Captain America: The First Avenger

    What the critics said: "Though unfailingly earnest and cheesy from open to close, Captain America: The First Avenger still delivers everything it promises with plenty of endearing good humour and occasional pulses of exciting panache."

    Steeped in nostalgia and with a pulpy, forties radio serial feel to it, Captain America: The First Avenger is a fine superhero film.

    Scrawny Steve Rodgers wants to do his part for the war effort. He volunteers to take part in an experimental program that turns him into a supersoldier called Captain America.

    It’s a little on the slow side but Chris Evans is perfectly cast as the patriotic Steve Rodgers. The writing’s good and it gets the Captain America trilogy of films off to a good start.

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  • 7) The Avengers: Age of Ultron
    7) The Avengers: Age of Ultron

    What the critics said: "Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe."

    Age of Ultron is undoubtedly an inferior sequel, lacking the first film’s humour and warmth. It’s also a bit on the bloated side and can drag in parts during its 2 and a half hour runtime.

    Despite its flaws, Avengers: Age of Ultron is still an entertaining sequel with a stand-out performance from James Spader as Ultron.

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  • 6) Ant-Man
    6) Ant-Man

    What the critics said: "Ant-Man is a largely self-contained, breezy, hilarious and gorgeous heist film that manages a feat few recent superhero films do: It stands up well on its own."

    Charming, hilarious and full of heart, director Peyton Reed and the affable Paul Rudd knock Ant-Man one out of the park and deliver one of Marvel’s best films.

    Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), is a master thief just released from prison. Lang is then recruited and trained by Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to use a suit that allows him to shrink in size, possess superhuman strength and control an army of ants.

    Given the behind the scenes problems Ant-Man faced, this film should have been a huge disaster. Its success is further proof that you should never judge a film until you see the finished product.

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  • 5) Iron Man
    5) Iron Man

    What the critics said: "Director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. make this smart, high impact superhero movie one that even non-comics fans can enjoy."

    Iron Man is all about Robert Downey Jr’s performance. He brings a swagger and arrogance to the role that is captivating and funny.

    After being kidnapped by terrorists and made to build weapons of mass destruction, Tony Stark builds an armored suit and upends his captors. Returning to America, Stark refines the suit and uses it to combat crime and terrorism.

    It’s an important films as Iron Man resurrected Downey Jr’s career and also without Iron Man, there’d be no MCU. Director Jon Favreau had to personally vouch for Downey Jr for the lead role. However, it’s a gamble that paid off for Marvel.

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  • 4) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    4) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    What the critics said: "Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes."

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a fantastic entry into the Marvel canon that’s half comic book film, half 70s spy thriller. An old face from Captain America’s past comes back to haunt him and has him questioning everything he believes in.

    This is one of Cap’s most personal missions and packs an emotional punch. It’s also one of Marvel’s more sophisticated films, mixing comic book thrills with politics and murky conspiracies.

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  • 3) The Avengers
    3) The Avengers

    What the critics said: "Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of super powered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies."

    Joss Whedon of Firefly and Buffy fame brings his trademark humour and snappy dialogue to The Avengers, resulting in a film that’s joyous, fun and just plain awesome.

    Earth’s mightiest heroes join forces to repel an alien attack.  Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) all make up the ‘Avengers’.

    With it’s exciting set pieces and fantastic ensemble cast, The Avengers not only won over the fanboys but those uninitiated in the ways of Marvel comics.

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  • 2) Captain America: Civil War
    2) Captain America: Civil War

    What the critics said: "Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes."

    After an incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team.

    This fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps-one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight.

    Civil War introduces a welcome change of tone for Marvel films, bringing audiences a film that’s darker and grittier.

    As they did in Winter Soldier, Marvel have achieved a balance of plot and action, humor and drama.

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  • 1) Guardians of the Galaxy
    1) Guardians of the Galaxy

    What the critics said: "Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor."

    Guardians of the Galaxy, like the best of the MCU’s output, hinges on its cast. The chemistry is fantastic, funny and totally bonkers,  Who’d have thought a raccoon and a walking tree would form one of the best comedy duos ever?

    Space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the target of bounty hunters after he steals an orb coveted by a powerful villain. Quill is then forced into an uneasy alliance with four misfits: gun-toting Rocket Raccoon, treelike-humanoid Groot, enigmatic Gamora, and vengeance-driven Drax the Destroyer.

    Guardians of the Galaxy is a film that’s full of heart with an awesome 70s/80s inspired sountrack. Probably the best bit of space opera since Star Wars came out in 1977.

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