Every Marvel Universe Film, Ranked From Worst to Best
By Lance Cartelli and Matthew Walden on
The 14th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Dr. Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Scheduled for release in November, the film will show Stephen Strange's transformation into the sorcerer supreme. But what about the rest of the Marvel films?
12. Thor: The Dark World (Metacritic Score: 54)
11. Iron Man 2 (Metacritic Score: 57)
After Iron Man became an international break out hit, the sequel frustrated many by being surprisingly soulless. Let's face it: competing with the charismatic Jeff Bridges as a villain may have been too tall an order for Mickey Rourke and an army of drones.
10. Thor (Metacritic Score: 57)
For a film adaptation of the legendary son of Odin's adventures, Thor is a rousing and exciting action fest, notable for its imaginative take on the world of Asgard. Ranked among its fellow Marvel films, however, Thor comes up slightly lacking with a plot bogged down in backstory and explanations. It's still worth a watch for fans of the Norse hammer-wielding god.
9 The Incredible Hulk (Metacritic Score: 61)
The Incredible Hulk may have arrived too soon on the heels of Ang Lee's awkward arthouse rendition in 2003 to receive a fair hearing. This update does a considerably better job at capturing the spirit of the character, and at the time, its special effects were unparalleled.
8. Iron Man 3 (Metacritic Score: 62)
After the disappointing Iron Man 2, Marvel swung back again with the third film in Stark's storied saga. While the plot of Iron Man's showdown with the Extremis virus never quite reaches the heights of the original film, it definitely manages to inject back some of the heart missing from Iron Man 2.
7. Ant-Man (Metacritic Score: 64)
Ant-Man might be the smallest of the Marvel superheroes, but he makes up for it with his big heart and super strength. Paul Rudd plays ex-con man Scott Lang who is out to save his mentor Dr. Hank Pym in this action-packed, yet hilarious summer blockbuster.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Despite his small stature, Ant-Man was a big hit in the box office. The film's success has led to the announcement of a sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, set for release in 2018. Paul Rudd will co-write the script, while reprising his role as Scott Lang in the upcoming sequel.
6. Captain America: The First Avenger (Metacritic Score: 66)
Captain America definitely scratches that retro itch for everyone looking for a classic WWII comic book fable. With a fun pulpy style reminiscent of Indiana Jones, Captain America finds the perfect balance between action thrills and corny nostalgia.
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Metacritic Score: 66)
Technically, Age of Ultron scores a direct tie with Captain America: The First Avenger in terms of critical reception, but its stellar box office opening gives it a slight edge. The second Avengers adventure doesn't quite top their first film; however, its sincere sense of fun easily secures it a top slot as one of the best Marvel movies.
4. The Avengers (Metacritic Score: 69)
You knew only good things would result when they combined the maverick talents of Joss Whedon with an all-star lineup of fan favorite Marvel characters. The Avengers runs neck and neck with Guardians of the Galaxy as the most fun of the Marvel films, with its witty script and playful banter.
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Metacritic Score: 70)
The second entry in the Captain America saga barely edges out The Avengers in a surprising critical upset. Steve Rogers may have a classically simple superhero name, but it's the movie's moral complexity and breakneck action that appealed to audiences, making it one of Marvel's highest grossing films worldwide.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Winter Soldier also had huge ramifications on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the dismantling of S.H.I.E.L.D., this film started Marvel's move to Phase 3, which will start with the Captain America sequel, Civil War.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy (Metacritic Score: 76)
Guardians of the Galaxy delivered a breath of fresh air to the often overly-serious world of comic book movies. A collection of scruffy underdogs with an unending barrage of witty jokes make it an easy film to fall in love with. An upbeat catchy soundtrack that captures the movie's energetic spirit catapults Guardians to its status as a new classic.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Volume 2 of Guardians of the Galaxy saga will be released in 2017, and it's currently one of the most anticipated Marvel films.
The sequel will have plenty of questions to answer. Will Star-Lord finally found out the identity of his father? Will Groot be fully grown again? How great will the Awesome Mix Vol. 2 be?
We'll find out May 5, 2017.
1. Iron Man (Metacritic Score: 79)
The film that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains king of the pack. The first Iron Man simultaneously revitalized Robert Downey Jr.'s career and, along with Batman Begins, made comic book movies very cool again. To this day, Iron Man is still the Marvel movie to beat when it comes to worldwide critical acclaim.