We are finally here.
“Avengers: EndGame” premieres this week, and the world waits eagerly to see what will happen in the aftermath of the snap heard around the world.
No one could have imagined that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would span 22 movies after this weekend, yet Marvel Studios has been able to pull off the greatest cinematic universe in history.
But before looking forward to this week’s movie, let's take a look back at the previous 21 movies that lead to the monumental conclusion that promises to be “EndGame.”
21.) “Thor: The Dark World”
This movie failed to deliver in every way. Dark, brooding and not at all like other movies in the MCU, this movie served as nothing more than a means to introduce “The Aether,” which is actually the reality stone. It is such an awesome power to have, yet it was so underutilized in this movie.
Thor is also not a great character in this. I didn’t find myself cheering against him, but I wasn’t necessarily cheering for him. I could not have cared any less for the characters in this sequel.
20.) “Iron Man 2”
One aspect that made this movie so disappointing was that it had to follow up such a groundbreaking movie in “Iron Man.” This movie just didn’t seem to have a direction when it came to storyline. Two villains and lots of robots make up the antagonists. It baffles me to this day how they were able to mess up two of Iron Man’s greatest villains.
Tony Stark is also undesirable to me. I know it was one of his main character traits at this point, but it was hard to watch him push everyone away with his terrible and selfish attitude.
19.) “The Incredible Hulk”
I forgot this movie existed within the realm of the MCU, and it makes me sad to have to rank this movie so low. Especially since The Incredible Hulk has been my favorite superhero since I was 2.
The thing that bugs me most about these early MCU movies is the love interests who are brought in without much of a purpose, which is exactly what happened in this movie. Also, watching this movie back, I’m so happy that Mark Ruffalo is the current Bruce Banner.
As far as Phase One MCU origin movies go, this one is definitely the worst.
Although it wasn’t terrible, Thor really did get the short end of the stick when it came to his early movies. Minimal character development paired with an unnecessary love interest made this movie more difficult to watch than it should have been. At least this movie gave us Loki, and that is nothing to complain about.
17.) “Avengers: Age of Ultron”
This movie had so much going for it, yet failed to find its footing with a clear story line. Ultron, the entire cast and the plotline in general was sadly misused. There was so much potential for this story, and it wasn’t necessarily bad; it was just underwhelming. All of it could have been handled much better.
My favorite plot point, though, involved Hulk and Bruce Banner. The Hulk's departure at the end of the movie left so many opportunities open and was a perfect segue into one of Marvel Studio’s best movies.
16.) “Ant-Man and the Wasp”
This movie was unremarkable to me. I thought the storyline was good and the villains were captivating, but it didn’t feel like Ant-Man to me. The comedy wasn’t as good as the first one, and it didn’t have the tone a superhero like Ant-Man should have. I was disappointed in this movie, but it wasn’t a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination.
15.) “Iron Man 3”
I think I enjoyed this movie a lot more than most. This is the first movie with Tony Stark that was actually enjoyable. The PTSD he's suffering from after the events of “The Avengers” makes for interesting character development, and how he overcomes the challenges placed in front of him (challenges that he creates) makes for a great story.
I didn’t mind the plot twist halfway through the movie with the Mandarin being an actor and not the mastermind of the operation. Yes, it was a waste of one of Iron Man’s greatest villains, but I still found it entertaining. Plus, Marvel Studios retconned the Mandarin in an online video, seemingly fixing the villain.
14.) “Iron Man”
Opposite of my feelings toward “Iron Man 3,” I enjoyed “Iron Man” a lot less than most. This is one of the best origin movies of Marvel Studio’s Phase One, but looking back on it, those movies, as far as quality and storylines go, aren’t up to par with the movies that come out after it.
“Iron Man” is where everything started for Marvel Studios, though. The studio's first big success, the entire MCU is essentially built around the movie and Tony Stark. That can’t be taken likely.
“Ant-Man” is probably the funniest movie in the MCU. Paul Rudd does a masterful job with the character, and his comedy really makes the movie what it is. The comedy with the growing/shrinking technology and the situations Scott Lang ends up in really brings the movie together.
A movie that everyone thought would fail in the box office ended up becoming one of Marvel Studio’s most popular movies, and that is due in some small part to Paul Rudd’s comedy and acting, making Ant-Man feel like an actual hero.
12.) “Captain America: The First Avenger”
Captain America has always had my favorite movies in the MCU, and his first outing already set the bar high for what Captain America as a character can offer. He is one of my favorite superheroes. Unwavering in his beliefs, he always stands up for what is right and never back downs from a fight. This is the movie where we are truly introduced to Captain America and Steve Rogers.
Chris Evans does a fantastic job playing this character, who will always stand the test of time.
11.) “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”
The second outing for the Guardians of the Galaxy was a great movie, but it isn’t as high as other people might put it because of the comedy. Most of the time it hits in all the right spots and feels just like the first “Guardians of the Galaxy.” But at its worse, the comedy just feels like too much. It feels as if everyone is trying too hard to get a joke across that isn’t funny.
It’s still a good movie, though. The story is engaging, the soundtrack is fantastic and everything falls into place well. I can’t wait for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
10.) “Black Panther”
I’m ready for people to hate me for this one.
Obviously, I have ranked “Black Panther” a lot lower than where others might rank it. “Black Panther” is a good movie, and a significant movie. It’s just not one of my favorites. For me, it was overhyped. I was not impressed with the movie. My favorite character was actually Michael B. Jordan’s depiction of Killmonger. All of the acting, though, was fantastic, which is why it is so high on my list.
9.) “Captain Marvel”
“Captain Marvel” is one of Marvel Studio’s best origin stories of a single character. I instantly loved this movie, and knowing that Captain Marvel is going to be a major player in “Avengers: EndGame” makes me excited.
The movie itself was well done. The spin on the classic Phase One origin story works well and kept the plot from being predicable. The inclusion of characters like Nick Fury and Ronin made for an awesome peek back into the history of the MCU.
8.) “Doctor Strange”
I remember getting so excited when Benedict Cumberbatch was announced as Doctor Strange and thinking, "What a perfect fit for that character." Strange’s development throughout the movie makes him a captivating character and brings this movie full-circle in the end.
“Doctor Strange” is the perfect mixture of action, drama and comedy, with the comedy serving as a huge sticking point in the grand scheme of the movie. It’s a prime example of what an origin movie should be like.
7.) “Spider-Man: Homecoming”
Finally, Spider-Man is in the MCU. This was one of the most anticipated Marvel Studio movies in a long time. It was awesome to finally see Spider-Man in the MCU in a great movie.
Tom Holland portrays Peter Parker nearly to perfection, and if Marvel Studios keeps using villains like the Vulture, who haven’t had their chance to shine on the big screen, then Spider-Man’s movies are going to continue to be some of Marvel Studio’s main attractions. I could see Tom Holland becoming the next Robert Downy Jr., eventually allowing Marvel to build the rest of its universe around him. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” was the perfect cornerstone for it.
6.) “Guardians of the Galaxy”
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is another one of Marvel Studio’s movies that was supposed to fail, but through the acting of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, one of Marvel’s most popular superhero groups was created.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is the first time I can think of in the MCU where they went all in on the comedy. The comedy isn’t overbearing, either. It’s the right mix of comedy, action and drama that has become a standard of the MCU movies succeeding it.
5.) “The Avengers”
No one can dispute the significance of this movie. This was the greatest crossover event in history up to that point, and not enough can be said about how good this movie is. The cast was fantastic. The storyline was fantastic. This movie really can’t do any wrong.
A fantastic villain, excellent plot points and a team that has to learn to work together makes for a fantastic story and one of the best movies Marvel Studio’s has to offer.
4.) “Captain America: Civil War”
“Captain America: Civil War,” otherwise known as “Avengers 2.5,” shows that superheroes are people, too. They all have their own beliefs and motivations, and just because they are heroes doesn’t mean they always get along.
Bringing everyone in for the epic fights between Captain America and Iron Man was a great choice, and it forced people to choose a side.
Who could forget the epic fight at the end between Captain America, the Winter Soldier and Iron Man?
3.) “Thor: Ragnarok”
This is by far the funniest movie in the MCU. Chris Hemsworth found who Thor was as a character in this movie. This movie changed everyone’s perception of Thor. To me, he was one of the most boring and one-dimensional characters the MCU had to offer. Now, he is a complex character and I can’t wait to see more of him.
The comedy of this movie cannot be overrated. It is honestly perfect. It hits in all the right spots and never seems like too much.
2.) “Avengers: Infinity War”
Absolutely the largest crossover event in history, this movie had everything and everyone any comic book fan could want. Comedy, drama, action, a great cast of heroes and one of the most captivating and scariest villains in modern cinema. This is what all of the previous 21 movies were leading up to, and it absolutely did not disappoint.
1.) “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
This is Marvel Studio’s best movie to date. The action, comedy and drama have not been matched in another Marvel Studio movie. The plot, with Hydra infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D., is very well executed, and the character development with the unwavering Captain America has not been matched. All characters played their parts perfectly, and the tension between Steve Rogers and his friend Bucky is captivating.
There it is. All Marvel Cinematic Movies ranked from worse to best. Let us know your opinions on Twitter or in the comments, and don’t forget to watch “Avengers: EndGame” premiering April 26.