Much like the mistake I made with my initial Disney/Pixar rankings post, when I ranked the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films a couple months ago, I forgot to explain why I put them where I did. Time to rectify that mistake.
[image from comicbookmovie.com]
Again, keep in mind that I have not seen Ant-Man and the Wasp or Thor: The Dark World and I have not finished Doctor Strange yet, either. Oh, and I did re-order a few since my last time ranking them all.
And away we go!
- Captain America: The First Avenger - A+++
While this was not my introduction to the MCU, this was the first time I realized just how great these films can be as one giant entity. Plus it was set in WWII which is one of my favorite historical periods and stars the recently retired Chris Evans as Cap and he's amazing in the role. There is nothing to not like about this film. I just watched it the other day for about the gazillionth time.
- Thor: Ragnarok - A++
By the time this film came around, I was getting pretty well burned out on the vastness of the Avengers universe. Those movies get really bogged down in all the characters and I found myself longing for fewer characters on screen together. That's exactly what this movie provided starring Thor, Hulk, Loki, and Valkyrie in a fight to save Asgard from Hela. So deliciously fun and dynamic and it has a great soundtrack and... everything. Just everything.
- Black Panther - A+
I had this film a notch higher last time but have since watched it a couple more times and, while I still love it, it wasn't really as great as I initially remembered it. But hey, if a movie can drop and still be an A+, that's good, right?
- Spider-Man: Homecoming - A+
I was more than happy when Tobey Maguire was replaced by Andrew Garfield and the Spider-Man films were rebooted. But to have it done again and have Garfield replaced by some nobody named Tom Holland? I wasn't happy. Then I saw him in Civil War and thought he showed promise. This movie, though, proves that Holland is Spider-Man. Sorry, Andrew.
- Iron Man - A
This movie was mind-blowing in so many ways. First, it was a return to form for Robert Downey Jr., an actor I've always loved but who has struggled with personal demons. Second, it showed just what a great director Jon Favreau can be. Third, it proved that a character like Iron Man, who I always viewed as a lesser character (flame me all you want) can be a viable lead. Damn was this fun.
- Guardians of the Galaxy - A
Talk about lesser characters. Before this film was announced, I had never heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy (sorry, but I'm clearly not the comic know-all that you may believe me to be). But then the casting announcements started leaking out and I just knew I had to see it. So I did. And it was glorious. Oh, and yes, I do have that mix tape on cassette.
- Captain America: Civil War - A
To this day, I do not understand why this wasn't an Avengers movie. Sure, the focus is still really on Cap and Bucky (Winter Soldier), but everyone is there. They even introduced new characters! This was the least Cap of the Cap movies, but it was great. So much better than all the Avengers movies, IMHO. Again, flame me if you want. I can handle it.
- Ant-Man - A-
I wasn't sure what to make of this movie when it was released and that's probably why I never saw it in theaters. So I rented it from my library and loved it! I even got Katie to watch it. Now we're both going to have to sit down to see the sequel, which, like this, I did not see in theaters. Oy. But, seriously, how often do you get to see Thomas the Tank Engine in a superhero film??
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier - B+
I feel like this film gets forgotten in the lexicon of the MCU for some reason. I wish I could explain why, but it is just such a great sequel to the predecessor and we finally get to see the Winter Soldier kicking some butt while Cap tries to defend him against SHIELD and whomever else wants to take him out. The build up to Civil War!!
- Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2 - B
When GOTGv2 first released, I immediately placed it up near the top of the list in my mind. I even had it higher than the original. I felt the cast gelled better, I loved the backstory, I loved the new characters. And the opening credits! But the more I watch them both, the more I appreciate the original. So this had to drop a bit. Sorry.
- Iron Man 3 - B
I haven't seen this film since it was in theaters, but I did see it twice and loved it. If the Iron Man movies did one thing for me, they made me actually like Gwyneth Paltrow as an actress. I never could say that before. But I do wonder how I would feel about this now. I feel like I need to go back and watch a lot of these films, honestly.
- The Avengers - B-
There are really only seven MCU movies I own personal copies of and this is one of them. Mostly because, when it first came out, I loved it. But the more I watch it, the more I realize it was specific scenes that I loved and not the film as a whole. I really hate that, comparatively speaking, this film doesn't have an identifiable bad guy in it (yes I realize Thanos is behind it, but that's just it, he's behind it). To me, it suffers for this reason. Otherwise it's an alien invasion film. Gimme Red Skull any day!
- The Avengers: Infinity War - C+
Sorry, my fellow geeks, as much better as this movie was than I expected it to be, that's still not saying much. I know how the next Avengers film is going to go and, let's face it, this whole film will be negated. Well, except for some of it. It was a very busy film although not as busy as it could have been. But it still jumped around enough that I just wasn't really enjoying it. Maybe another viewing...
- The Incredible Hulk (Ed Norton) - C
The Hulk has always been one of my favorite characters in comic book history. To this day. But I just couldn't get on board with the casting of Edward Norton as Bruce Banner. He's a great actor, but he's smarmy and slimy and untrustworthy and he does those great! But Banner? I want an actor I can feel sympathy for and root for and be willing to overlook the damage he does because he's a good guy at heart. Eric Bana did just that in Ang Lee's Hulk and Mark Ruffalo does it well, too. Just not Norton. Sorry, Ed.
- Iron Man 2 - C
Dave2 will tell you that this film is criminally underrated and underappreciated. I just don't see it. I was bored. I strongly disliked the baddie in it played by Mickey Rourke and about the only really good thing going on was that Terrence Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle as Rhodey. Cheadle is a badass.
- Thor - C
To this day, I really can't tell you much about this movie. Saw it in theaters and really liked Chris Hemsworth as Thor but the rest of it? Giant robot in the desert? Natalie Portman as a love interest? Mind controlled professor? And wasn't one of the two from Two Broke Girls in it as well?
- The Avengers: Age of Ultron - C-
I've said enough about this. Better than I expected, but still not good overall. When the best part of a superhero film is seeing his home life? Yeah, there are issues.