My Top 5 Favorite MCU Movies

With less than three weeks to go until the release of Avengers: Endgame, I decided to feed my growing anticipation by recalling my top five favorite MCU films. (May contain spoilers)

Tickets for Endgame went on sale last week, and sites like Fandango and Atom reported that the film had already set a new record for first-day pre-sales. A new trailer also came out with everyone's favorite baddie, Thanos, making his grand re-appearance in dramatic fashion. "You could not live with your own failure," he cryptically states. "Where did that bring you? Back to me."

Yeah, so I got goosebumps when I heard that. I also found myself cheering like a fangirl when I sang along to the theme song at the end, but what can I say? I will forever remain loyal to Marvel, to the point where my bias literally prevents me from seeing any DC films, including fan favorites like Aquaman and Shazam.

I have seen every Marvel movie at least twice, including those considered less than subpar like Edward Norton's Incredible Hulk or whatever mess they made of Thor: The Dark World. However, I still enjoy watching those films because they have their lovable attributes (by which I mostly mean that any film with Loki in it has a special place in my heart). This is why I was more than upset to see Loki go out so early in Infinity War.

Therefore, I'm more than capable of giving a fair, objective list of the top five best MCU films (excluding my inherent Loki bias). I also understand that it's super hard to get caught up now, but there's really great YouTube videos that can help you prepare for Endgame without having to sacrifice long hours re-watching all the films. Or, just maybe, you can study up on the films I've included on this list. Either way, I hope you can at least use this list as an opportunity to build anticipation for what will definitely become 2019's biggest film.

  1. 1. Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

    How can I not include this film? Before the release of Marvel's The Avengers, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still relatively unknown. When news came out about the film, and the ambitious project laid out thereafter, including a filming schedule all the way to 2021, people started to pay attention to Marvel. The film set an all-time domestic and international box office record, and it received an honorable score of 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It's the film that brought our favorite heroes together for the first time, introducing the vast complexities of the expansive universe in which they find themselves. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Nick Fury and Hawkeye became iconic characters, not just in comic books, but on the big screen, where audiences of all ages could appreciate them. It wasn't just a "nerd thing" anymore; it was something everyone knew about, and it set off a slew of successes for Marvel Studios. The film is packed with amazing action sequences, truly hilarious wit and a smooth pace from start to finish. If there's one movie you should watch before Endgame, then it's definitely this Joss Whedon masterpiece.

  2. 2. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

    This film was released in 2014 with low expectations. Why? Well, its source material was adapted from a comic book in which one of the "heroes" was a talking raccoon. Perhaps I can understand why critics were so quick to dismiss the film even before it came out. I was still in high school when I saw it for the first time, and my 17-year-old brain was enthralled from the moment I first realized Guardians was going to have a superior soundtrack (I immediately bought the CD). It's an unorthodox film because it takes characters you wouldn't expect to be protagonists (and they really aren't the "good guys" at first) and makes them lovable. I laughed at Drax's seriousness, found myself chanting "I am Groot" and applauded the twist ending (hint: Chris Pratt is a world-class dancer). I think people loved the film because it defied what we had come to expect out of a superhero movie. Unlike characters like Iron Man, Thor or even anti-hero Loki, the Guardians were an eclectic mixture of oddballs and outsiders who came together to defy the expectations that even their own society had against them. This movie is different from anything else on this list, and that's why it deserves a spot.

  3. 3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

    I'll be the first to admit that I was not the biggest fan of the Thor movies. In fact, I was never the biggest fan of Thor at all. Like I mentioned in the introduction, I preferred Loki, and honestly still do, but this film made me reconsider my attitudes toward the Son of Odin. With a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I think critics will agree that Ragnarok finally gives Thor the characterization and story that he deserves. Similar to Guardians of the Galaxy, this film takes place far away from Earth, and I'm not just talking about Asgard. Thor goes on one wild adventure, discovering that his long-lost sister is actually a power-hungry villainess who intends to claim her right to rule Asgard and its people. Those who stand in her way, like little brother Thor, will have to suffer the consequences, even if that includes fighting the Incredible Hulk for the viewing pleasure of Jeff Goldblum. Most importantly, is that little teaser we get at the very end, leading right into Infinity War. Basically, what I'm trying to say, is that you should include this film on your must-watch list before even thinking of buying Endgame tickets.

  4. 4. Spiderman: Homecoming (2017)

    Tom Holland is the Spiderman we deserve, not that I don't appreciate the efforts of Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield. However, Spiderman is portrayed as a high-school kid in the comic books, and Maguire and Garfield are too old. When Marvel finally regained the rights to Spiderman, we also got the correct characterization. It does make a significant difference, especially given how important the relationship between Spiderman and Tony Stark is. You know, the father-son dynamic we all get those warm feelings over? Homecoming also does a wonderful job of introducing Spiderman into an already crowded universe. At this point, we deserve a lot of credit when we remember everyone's name. Homecoming is also more than a stereotypical superhero story; it's also a coming-of-age tale about Peter Parker discovering his place in the world. He just happens to have really awesome powers to help him along. Sitting comfortably at 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this film is worth at least one watch, if for nothing else than the pleasure of seeing Zendaya in a well-suited role.

  5. 5. Iron Man (2008)

    In 2008, Marvel released Iron Man, and nothing has been the same ever since. Iron Man is the movie that started it all, and Tony Stark is the heart and soul of the MCU. A genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist (in his own words), Iron Man is the reason why Marvel Studios is so successful. Robert Downey Jr. plays Iron Man perfectly, and I can't imagine anyone ever playing the role again. It's the same way I feel about Hugh Jackman and Wolverine or Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool. It's one of the highest ranked Marvel films on Rotten Tomatoes, with a score of 93 percent, and it's about as perfect as you can get. Currently, Tony Stark is drifting through space somewhere, but at one point, he was manufacturing weapons for a living. He's come a long way since then, settling down with Pepper Potts, learning the value of teamwork and relying on other people. It isn't surprising that he's the most iconic Marvel character, and his mark on popular culture will be felt for years to come, even long after Downey Jr. decides to finally give up the role.

Agree with my list? What MCU movies do you like the best?