Here’s the rest of the MCU Marvel movies ranked from worst to best!
6) Captain America: Civil War
Civil War seamlessly blends the events of previous MCU films and its characters, grounding the perspective on them down to reality. It’s a hard-hitting Avengers 2.5 brimming with emotional depth, also home to some of the significant action scenes in all of Marvel.
5) Spider-Man: No Way Home
Bringing together all three Spider-Man actors from different franchises wouldn’t have sounded possible years ago, but director Jon Watts pulled it off. Coordinating such a varied cast, Homecoming managed to bring out the best from the Peter Parkers of Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire – adding to each of their own arcs flawlessly. Meanwhile, Willem Dafoe’s returning Green Goblin ending being one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most haunting villains as a foe for all three.
4) Avengers: Endgame
It’s still hard to believe we got the all-round brilliant climax to Infinity Saga we got with Endgame. Despite having the most characters ever to balance, each got their right amount of time in the spotlight. Those uninitiated with the MCU will be more than lost on all the references and fanservice, but for the rest of us, that fanservice has been more than well-earned.
3) Avengers: Infinity War
Six years since the 2012 original, Infinity War is the modern day take of an Avengers film at its best. By having Thanos at the centre as the unofficial protagonist, Infinity War’s large collection of heroes are at their peak trying to come together against him – being all the more compelling as the villain achieves his goal. Endgame may have undone his victory, but Infinity War is still a heart-clenching story on the idea that the good guys don’t always win.
2) Iron Man
Being the cinematic universe’s first film, 2008’s Iron Man was entirely free from the MCU’s tonal formula – since it didn’t exist yet. With that extra bit of creative freedom for director Jon Faverau, Tony Stark’s blockbuster debut continues to stand as an even larger than life story that’s also relatable on a personal scale.
Incorporating outstanding action set pieces with technology grounded in reality, Iron Man is also a poignant story about a brilliant-but-flawed human being. That’s one who realises he needs to use his genius to take on his demons and combat war and global terrorism instead of fuelling it – after personally witnessing the pain and devastation of which we all know it can bring. There are so many elements that make Iron Man instantly rewatchable. Robert Downey Jr’s timeless take on the lead role, the rock-heavy soundtrack, Jeff Bridges as an over-the-top villain, the walkaway tank explosion, the “I am Iron Man”, the legendary post-credit scene: all of that and more add up to an electric ride that never fails to thrill, even in its more sombre moments.
1) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Among the many Marvel movies ranked here, a fair few can be described as a love letter to comic book fans. The reason that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the best Marvel movie though, is because it endures as a love letter to film fans altogether.
A conspiracy action thriller initially veiled as a solo Avengers sequel, Winter Soldier asks key questions around how much we’re willing to pay for freedom in this technologically advanced age, a theme that’s becoming even more relevant as the years go on. Using the perspective of Chris Evan’s perfected Steve Rogers – we’re presented a clash between our modern viewpoint and that of a WWII hero with a moral compass from another time, where the difference between good and evil was far simpler. It’s as timeless as any.
Taken to a larger scope by the directing Russo Brothers in Civil War, Infinity War, and Endgame – Winter Soldier is by far the best in grounding and humanising its characters, by being a far more focused film with a smaller cast. Outside of its jaw-dropping, fluid-yet-intense action scenes, the additional breathing room lets even the side characters shine in Winter Soldier’s more tender moments.
At its core, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is about both friendship and doing what’s right, even though not everyone might agree with you. Peel back the layers, soak in the exploration of genre, impeccable pacing, breathtaking performances, and magnificently suspenseful action scenes, and you’ll see it still holds the medal for one of the greatest action films ever made – and what the MCU can be at its best.
Featured Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures