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Ranking All 22 Marvel Movies

To put it simply, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has made a massive mark in cinematic history. The past 23 movies, all belonging to what we call the ‘Infinity Saga’ have set the tone for 21st-century action/superhero movies. Not only do they deliver perfectly choreographed fight sequences and mind-blowing computer-generated CGI, but they have written their characters so beautifully. They are flawed, they don’t always make good decisions, they step out of character, and their past haunts them. They are far from perfect. But they have a duty – a responsibility to do the next right thing, and they always come through. Furthermore, every single film in the Infinity Saga perfectly intertwines with the other ones, and plots discreetly connect at almost every turn. 

 

Arguably, the MCU has illustrated modern storytelling at its finest. In the spirit of the 2-year anniversary of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ approaching, alongside Marvel’s remarkable Disney Plus TV-series debuts with ‘WandaVision’ and ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,' it’s only fair that we go over the ranking of the movies part of the Infinity Saga. I will be determining their ranking based on three factors that I will rate out of 10 – (1) action sequences, (2) relevance to the storyline, and (3) character development. Disclaimer: due to my fondness towards Bruce Banner played by Mark Ruffalo, I (and many MCU geeks) have not watched the Incredible Hulk film.

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

1.     Action Sequences: 10/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 10/10

3.     Character development: 10/10

 

Overall: 30/30

 

If I could give this movie a million out of thirty points, I would. This political thriller is so beautifully done. It tugs at your heartstrings because Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes’ friendship is so pure. Sebastian Stan, who plays Bucky Barnes, does a terrific job at making the audience sympathize for Barnes and wishing he had never been put through all those dark times and everything Hydra had done to him. Every action sequence that Steve Rogers is in this movie is incredible. They are so well choreographed, and the camera work does its justice.

Avengers: Endgame

1.     Action Sequences: 10/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 10/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 29/30

 

I wish I could be back in a movie theatre and watch this movie for the first time again, just to feel all those emotions again for the first time. I couldn’t tell you how many times I teared up at every throwback or reference to a previous movie. Said references were calculated and carried out so well. Major props to the writers and directors of this film. The deaths are a different type of heartache that any fan of the MCU knows to be true, and although I wish things were different, this film makes me so incredibly happy. It does every prior MCU movie such justice and made the wait so worth it.

Thor: Ragnarok

1.     Action Sequences: 10/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 9/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 28/30

 

Words can’t explain the level of perfection that is this movie. The fight sequences leave the hairs at the back of your neck standing up even if it’s the hundredth time you’re watching it. I immediately associate Thor’s fight scene with the Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin after this movie. Taika Waititi, the director of this movie, really outdid himself and brought out the side of Thor that we were all hoping to see. I also love what this movie did for Thor and Loki’s relationship. We saw it under an entirely new light, and we can imagine a little clearer what their childhood looked like.

Avengers: Infinity War

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 10/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 28/30

 

As the MCU adds on its third Avengers movie to the infinity saga, the anticipation for the war against Thanos builds up immensely. The writers and directors did an amazing job on this one. The way the characters were grouped together was so chaotic, but that’s what made the movie what it is. Putting Stark, Strange, and Quill in the same room was a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, seeing Romanoff, Rogers, and Sam Wilson together just felt nostalgic. The fight sequences and CGI were, once again, fantastic.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

1.     Action Sequences: 10/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 8/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 27/30

 

Always a pleasure seeing my favorite MCU hero on the big screen. Some people’s main criticism is that this movie has too many bad guys… there are two bad guys. If two opponents is too many opponents for you, you shouldn’t be watching action movies, let alone superhero movies with such high stakes. The storyline in this movie was built up so well and is one that really tugs at your heartstrings. This is also the first time in MCU history that a female lead has her name in the title of the movie which is a big win. The end credits scene of this movie is very vital to the infinity saga, which leads me to my point that Ant-Man played such a critical and important role in Avengers: Endgame.

Doctor Strange

1.     Action Sequences: 10/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 8/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 27/30

 

Similar to the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, the graphics and CGI in this movie are stellar. They really outdid themselves. It was nice to see another character who has a slightly similar character arc to Tony Stark. I love every character in this movie and I’m really happy he made his debut in this movie and returned in the third and fourth Avengers movies. Personally, his upcoming movie, Doctor Strange 2, is highly anticipated by me. I can’t wait to see what the writers do with his character.

Iron Man 1

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 9/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 27/30

 

Tony Stark’s first debut. This movie is definitely going down in the books. Who knew back in 2008 that this would kick off one of the biggest franchises of the 21st century? This is another movie that I could watch 100 times and never get sick of it. I love seeing Stark’s character evolve. I think it’s interesting to see the side of him even when he is alone – strong-willed and determined. Love him or hate him, you’ll love him throughout this movie. His charm and charisma really adds to his character but I love seeing his serious side more and more throughout the course of the storyline.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 8/10

3.     Character development: 10/10

 

Overall: 27/30

 

I almost wanted to give this one a 10/10 for its action sequences, which is what it deserves, but I felt this is an appropriate spot in the overall ranking. It’s a little hard for me to watch because the wound from Endgame is still very fresh, and that’s what this movie revolves around. Insanely good character development, though. Parker, in addition to mourning, is now wondering what he has to prove and struggles with what the world needs from him. Who he becomes by the end of this movie left me in tears. The fight sequence and CGI are on a whole different level in this movie. I dare you to watch it and lie to me that you didn’t get goosebumps at least 15 different times. 

Ant-Man

1.     Action Sequences: 8/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 9/10

3.     Character development: 10/10

 

Overall: 27/30

 

If I had to tell you who my favorite Marvel superhero is, I’d tell you it’s too difficult a question. But deep down, Scott Lang pops up in my mind. He has such good intentions, does what he does for the right reasons, and is ever so intelligent. People often forget it takes a good set of brains to do what these guys do… not just muscle. I adore Ant-Man, and this movie was written so well. Lang’s motive to be successful is to be able to provide for his daughter and be the man she thinks he is. And that’s very admirable. He is also a strong and determined fighter which makes for very well-choreographed action sequences. Another round of applause for those behind the scenes working that CGI.

Captain America 3: Civil War

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 9/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 27/30

 

Civil War is a very enjoyable movie and I’m always at the edge of my seat watching it, even though I’ve watched it fifty times already. We see heroes making decisions based on their own selfish reasons. Of course, this isn’t ideal, because global peace is at stake. But it was so interesting and captivating to see what lengths Captain America would go to protect his best friend, who was tortured against his will for the majority of his life. It’s mind-blowing seeing Rogers stepping out of his “good man, good decisions” side of his personality and instead of making decisions out of the fondness he has towards Bucky Barnes. 

Spider-Man 1: Homecoming

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 8/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 26/30

 

I watched Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man movies with my elder brother all the time as a kid, so when Peter Parker was introduced in Captain America: Civil War, I was the happiest person ever. Tom Holland does an amazing job at playing both Peter Parker as well as Spider-Man so well. The storyline feels so original and captivating, and it was also refreshing to see a movie with superheroes my own age. I loved watching what writers did with Parker’s character and what they did with his relationship with Tony Stark. This movie instantly became one of my ‘go-to’s.

Guardians of the Galaxy 1

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 8/10

3.     Character development: 8/10

 

Overall: 25/30

 

A massive part of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies is the graphics and the fact that it is in outer space. The CGI team did one heck of a job making it a treat to the eyes. Seeing Gamora on the big screen as a 12/13-year-old girl was amazing. She’s so bold, self-sufficient and determined. Which is what little girls deserve to see on screen. The group turns out to be quite chaotic but that’s the fun of it. It’s such a fun watch and I’ve watched it with my family plenty of times. I’d recommend it to anyone who says they want to get into the MCU movies.

Captain America 1: The First Avenger

1.     Action Sequences: 7/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 9/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 25/30

 

I loved watching Steve Roger’s backstory, contrary to many people. Their main criticism is that it was predictable. I think we could use a little predictable and old-fashioned these days. Instead of seeing a bad guy turned good, or a good guy gone bad, why don’t we just sit back and watch a good guy stay good and do the right thing? It’s a really fun watch and restores my faith in people. I don’t care that it’s a fictional story, people really can be good and put others before themselves so it’s very tender to watch.

Black Panther

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 7/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 25/30

 

Black Panther was another highly anticipated film. The graphics, the fight sequences, the storyline, and what they did with King T’Challa’s character, it definitely all lived up to the hype and I think communities all around the world were able to come together and celebrate seeing a black superhero on screen.

Iron Man 3

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 7/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 25/30

 

Iron Man 3 is another one of my go-to movies. The storyline is unpredictable, and it can be very funny where it has to be. I think that this movie was a perfect way to close the Iron Man franchise and it did his character justice. It shows what a long way Stark has come, and his relationship with Potts too. I think it also touches upon some themes that we don’t often see in superhero movies, such as trauma.

Captain Marvel

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 7/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 25/30

 

This movie had a lot of built-up anticipation, and I think that it lived up to the hype. My main criticism would be that the timing was very odd. It was released right before Avengers: Endgame, which puts Carol Danvers at a good spot for criticism. This is because a few MCU fans felt that she had too big a role in the fourth Avengers movie. This is untrue. She had a total screen time of 15 minutes in Avengers: Endgame. So, I oftentimes immediately ignore any criticism regarding her role in that movie. Captain Marvel on the other hand, is actually a really good movie if you pay attention and don’t pinpoint everything they could have done better. People will never admit it, but a lot of their criticisms don’t really stem from the movie itself. Think about it – Tony Stark and Stephen Strange are two highly narcissistic, blunt male characters who do not receive a lot of criticism for the nature of their character. Carol Danvers, however, …

Iron Man 2

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 8/10

3.     Character development: 8/10

 

Overall: 25/30

 

Definitely never gets old, none of the Iron Man movies do. I loved Natasha Romanoff’s introduction to the franchise; as a little girl, it was great to see people like her and Pepper Potts on the big screen. The action sequences were really good for their time, and it’s always interesting analyzing where the writers were going with Tony’s character.

Marvel’s The Avengers

1.     Action Sequences: 8/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 9/10

3.     Character development: 6/10

 

Overall: 23/30

 

This movie’s a great kickoff to Avenger’s franchise and kicks off what becomes one of the most intertwined and ambitious plotlines in cinematic history. I do think that the characters that had individual movies prior to this one could have seen a little more development; I felt they took a step backward. However, I absolutely love Stark’s sacrifice towards the end, which we see once again years later in Avengers: Endgame.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

1.     Action Sequences: 9/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 8/10

3.     Character development: 6/10

 

Overall: 23/30

 

Similar to Thor 2, this is a movie marvel fans love to hate. Hate is a strong word, so let’s just say people love to criticize it. I’ll admit it was a bit dark to put our favorite heroes in such a difficult spot, but in the wise words of the co-creator of Ultron, Tony Stark, himself – I don’t trust a man without a dark side.” And I really don’t. Besides, the events that took place in this film were the product of the seemingly good intentions of Stark and Bruce Banner. Regrettably, their plan did not work out. But this movie gave us Wanda Maximoff and the Vision, which is a massive win. I love this movie a lot, but the characters seemed a little inconsistent.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

1.     Action Sequences: 8/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 6/10

3.     Character development: 8/10

 

Overall: 22/30

 

The Guardians of the Galaxy movies never disappoint with regards to graphics, CGI, and setting the overall stellar ambiance of outer space. That said, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is such a treat to the eye, but one fault that catches my eye is the lack of relevance to the overall infinity saga. But it is its own franchise so that isn’t the worst thing in the world. The movie was a little all over the place, but I love the fight sequence towards the end of the movie. Plus – baby Groot. I mean come on, he’s the cutest little thing.

Thor 1

1.     Action Sequences: 8/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 7/10

3.     Character development: 7/10

 

Overall: 22/30

 

I love Thor’s first movie. A lot of people tend to say they are not a fan of the way he was portrayed – “medieval” and that he spoke in old-timey English. I personally think this was necessary because that’s what distinguishes him from the rest of the avengers. We also feel a lot of sympathy for Loki because of everything he was put through. So, if you watched this movie before Marvel’s: The Avengers, you wouldn’t immediately hate Loki. I hate to rank two of Thor’s movies so low on the list, I genuinely love them. But I am more fond of his character and its portrayal in the Avengers movies and in Thor 3.

Thor 2: The Dark World

1.     Action Sequences: 6/10

2.     Relevance to storyline: 6/10

3.     Character development: 9/10

 

Overall: 21/30

 

Contrary to a lot of people, I genuinely do not dislike this movie. I actually enjoy it a lot. We get a better glimpse into Thor and Loki’s relationship, and while the action sequences don’t match those of Thor: Ragnarok, for example, they’re still very well directed and it’s always amazing seeing Thor using his powers and summoning thunder and lightning.

Hey, I'm Nikki and I'm a sophomore at North Carolina State University. I'm majoring in Criminology and plan to attend law school in the future, the end goal is being a criminal defense lawyer. I am a member of the Alpha Kappa chapter of Chi Omega. My favorite things include style, fitness, writing, chipotle, Taylor Swift, Harry Potter, and all things Marvel!
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