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Ranking Marvel Movies

Since Thor: Ragnarok is coming out next week on November 2nd, I think that now is the perfect time for your favorite movie ranker (me) to rank the Marvel movies.


Friendly reminder that Marvel is separate from DC, so Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, etc., do NOT qualify for this list. Additionally, Marvel movies made by other studios–i.e., the X-Men movies and Deadpool–are not on here; we’re just looking at the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) movies. Also, the ranking is based mostly on plot, characters, effects/ cinematography (to an extent), and whether or not it generally is a good superhero movie. Rankings do NOT include how true the movie is to the comics, how hot the actors are, or which Chris is my favorite. As always, this is somewhat subject to my opinion, but I have tried to be objective about this. Also, SPOILERS just across the board. Okay, so without further ado, from Worst to Best:


16. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

There has never been a good Hulk movie. Ever. This one is no exception.

15. Iron Man 2 (2010)

Like…why? What was the point of this movie? The Marvel Cinematic Universe just did not need it. It is not important. Let’s just forget it exists.

14. Thor: The Dark World (2013)

I love Loki, and he is the only redeeming thing about this movie, but MAN, what the heck was Jane even doing?? Like at every single point, she was just an idiot? And not even in an endearing way? Useless.

13. Thor (2011)

Ugh. I mean, it introduces Thor, and Thor is great, and in general the plotline isn’t terrible, but this movie is honestly a snooze.

12. Iron Man 3 (2013)

Oh man, what a letdown. The Mandarin is such a good villain, and they totally blew it!!!! And then Iron Man blows up all his suits for freaking Pepper, who got like fire powers for a hot second?? What the heck?? No.

11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

What a plot in this one. We’ve got Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (who are never referred to as such?) on the scene, then we’ve got Ultron and Vision (what are they exactly?? What can they do?? Not clear), plus we’ve got a whole side plot for Hawkeye (literally no one’s favorite, so what was the point??), plus the infamously terrible romance between Hulk and Black Widow….this movie was kinda a mess. Still all right, cause it is an Avengers movie, but…..yikes.

10. Doctor Strange (2016)

This movie was TRIPPY. It’s basically Iron Man on drugs–arrogant white guy has a physical disaster, looks for some way to heal himself, gets some sort of powers through a hard-work-montage, and then proves himself worthy of said powers in a big fight scene. But WOW, all of the special effects in this movie were a wild ride. Do not watch this movie if you’re prone to motion sickness, and definitely do not watch it if you’re high, because the movie will do it for you.

9. Ant-Man (2015)

Paul Rudd is an American TREASURE that we do not deserve. And his squad, starring Michael Pena, is one of the best things the MCU has offered this world. Buuuuut, this movie is kinda predictable. Ant-Man just wants to protect his adorable daughter, there’s a bad guy, he stops the bad guy, he saves his daughter. It’s a good time, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a little bit run-of-the-mill.

8. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

This is a fun movie. It came pretty much out of nowhere, since literally no one has ever read the Guardians comics or heard of them whatsoever, but they really pulled it off. It is pretty much just Avengers in space (Peter is Captain America, Gamora is Black Widow, Groot is Hulk, Rocket is Iron Man, Drax is Thor), but hey, Avengers is great, so keep it up.

7. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Try to tell me that you didn’t cry at all during this movie. I cry like ten different times, every time. When Bucky leaves to go to war? Cry. When Cap thinks that Bucky died? Cry. When Cap finds Bucky and he’s not dead? Cry. When Bucky and Cap are working together to take down Nazis? Cry. When Bucky falls off the train? Sob. When Cap tries to get drunk but can’t and he’s crying because of Bucky? Cry.

6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Okay, for stealing their plot from Star Wars (kid who thinks he’s an orphan finds out that his mother was great but fell in love with an actual lunatic who is super evil, father then makes himself known, tries to get son to join him in evil plans, son says I Will Never Join You Father!! and father dies), this movie is super original. I truly and honestly did not see it coming.

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

What a great time. Tom Holland is just so cute and, dare I say, for yet another Spider-Man reboot, this one really did add something new. Michael Keaton as The Vulture???? That car ride on the way to Homecoming scene??? One of the best things I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. Plus, Zendaya is a QUEEN and I’m in love with her. More of this, please.

4. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Man, this movie is great. The big action scene is in the middle, with lots of punching and all the stuff you’d expect, but then the climax of the movie is more about emotional trauma?? It’s so moving?? With Black Panther talking to Zemo at the end there, and Bucky trying to reconcile with his past, and all of Iron Man’s family issues, and Cap trying to protect Bucky from his own best friends??? So good, man. Complex stuff here.

3. Iron Man (2008)

The one that started it all. Captain America might have been the First Avenger since he was born first, but Iron Man was the first movie, and that’s sort of more important. So, this movie is a classic. I mean, it’s the best Iron Man movie without a doubt, and Iron Man is a pretty big deal, soooo here it stays.

2. The Avengers (2012)

I mean, this movie brought everyone together. Sure, the beginning is a little bit slow, but that action sequence in New York with everybody? That group shot? We had all been waiting our entire lives for that group shot, and it delivered. Also, who better to kick off the Avengers movies than Loki? I mean, I’d say that up until 2017, Loki was the only really good MCU villain (in a movie).

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Two words: Game. Changer. I mean, until this point, sequel-type Marvel movies had been bad–Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World. But then Captain America 2 happens, and WOW. Thrills, plot twists, emotional complexity, an eerily relevant plotline (the government stealing our personal information?? Ooof), and Black Widow and The Falcon’s roles in this movie add so much. This movie is truly, unbelievably good. The Best.


Well, there you have it! A definitive ranking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let me know what you think, and be sure to check out Thor: Ragnarok on November 2nd!!!!


Grace is a JCU senior, double majoring in Theology & Religious Studies and Political Science. She loves social justice, Disney, and joking about absolutely everything. Her specialty is ranking movies.
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