Which is the best Marvel movie of all time is a question that has had fans at loggerheads and critics at debate ever since the time Marvel Cinematic Universe made its foray into churning out an array of superhero films. In their larger than life depiction of the fantastical and successfully inciting the supposed existence of a whole parallel universe, MCU has indeed been nothing less than a phenomenal itself. Be it the most powerful Marvel characters or the best Marvel movie, there would never be a single opinion or an agreement on a single ranking. Yet here we are, offering our take on the best Marvel movies ever in an attempt to end the debate only to know that we will be igniting up all the more!
#23 Thor: The Dark World (2013)
It’s hard to imagine that a film- a Marvel one would that- would still fail to make it matter even when they have Chris Hemsworth exercising his might every now and then. Perhaps it helps that the 2013 offering is the lowest rated Marvel movie on IMDB that we don’t have to lose much sleep over how to delegate out very dear Thor to so, so low on this list.
And it isn’t just the story that sought to shape up the character of Thor that was unimpressive, the sequel even fails to stay up to the non existent hype of the Thor origin movie! Thor had been a lot more fun in the other movies that weren’t centered exclusively around him- at least not in the title- so expectations ranged high when The Dark World came to be released. However it tried to be so very flamboyant that it ended up being a really ridiculous watch to endure.
#22 The Incredible Hulk (2008)
It’s perhaps to Marvel’s credit that even one of the most unremarkable films churned out under its banner isn’t outright outrageous to say the least. With Edward Norton at the helm of affairs back then as the green skinned Hulk, the film failed to establish its hero as one that possibly and inevitably should have been more intricately brought to emerge from the superhero universe. Needless to say that with such less development of the titular giant itself, even when the prospects were widely sought out, the other characters left only figments of impression, most of which were easily wiped away from public memory once better made and more cinematically developed names saw the light of day. In parts though, the 2008 flick can impress but in the gamut of offerings it seeks to deliver, The Incredible Hulk sadly fell flat.
#21 Iron Man 2 (2010)
As a sequel to the movie that set the MCU juggernaut rolling, you would obviously expect a hell lot more from Iron Man 2. But this 2010 film fails to deliver on the heights of fantasy that had come to be expected courtesy its really flattering first installment even when Robert Downey Jr put up yet again an impressive performance as Iron Man. Perhaps it was the pressure of having to stand up to limits they had already expanded and precedents already set that Iron Man 2 tried too hard too much and ultimately ended up only a bummer.
#20 Thor (2011)
We don’t know just why Chris Hemsworth has to have to his reputation two of the lowest ranked among Marvel movies in its 23 films strong universe. Thor might be deemed as quite an interesting flick but when you make note of the point that it is one among the best characters of the MCU that is caught bamboozled in all the guffaw that follows even when it happens to be kinda serious stuff.
As a superhero origin film, you can’t really discredit Thor as a good film but that has more to do with Hemsworth’s deftness with histronics rather than the development of his character as the titular one in this 2011 film. It would be safe to say that Thor could very well have been a boring movie even with all elements of the superverse if it was not for the very charming Chris Hemsworth on board to pull off this phase I offering from Marvel.
#19 Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
The origin story of Captain America in The First Avenger isn’t half as bad as you would want to make out from the rankings. In fact as a Marvel movie that dwells on a singular character rather than the entire universe itself, this 2011 flick might even come across as one of the more enjoyable among the others, specifically when it comes to developing a single strand of personality. Even with a superhero story with definite elements of romance, Captain America sure could have fared way better if not for its not very charming story progression. Captain America’s first standalone outing sure would have made continued to harbour much more command had it not harked on things somewhat too simple to be the stuff of the superheroes.
#18 Iron Man 3 (2013)
The fact that we have to say Iron Man 3 was a tad better than Iron Man 2 already takes much of the credibility away from this mostly Tony Stark film because when you need to make a comparison with one of the lesser lauded names, the writings already there on the wall for all to see. And the reiteration that it was just a little better to its prequel sure renders it more ignominy that it would have cared to endure. However in cutting away from the Marvel premise of churning out sequels that tend to drop down in stature by notches, you can argue that Iron Man 3 is a winner. But because this 2013 film appears to be one of character more than the universe itself, relying on individual tricks and action to deliver, is exactly the reason why it does not particularly satiate the fancy of die hard Marvel fans.
#17 Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Age of Ultron tried so much to do everything all at once that it ended up being nowhere within the ambit of the maverick flicks that Marvel has incredibly dished out every now and then. The 2015 Avengers offering goes so over the top in what it does that it ends up being too overwhelming to handle both in the haywire plot and in the huge amalgamation of sorts that commences, only to morph into something crazier in every passing moment. And not surprisingly, Age of Ultron being a sequel may have boded well for the Marvel reputation of destroying its brilliant originals into equally ineffective sequels.
#16 Doctor Strange (2016)
While on one hand critics laud the freshness and originality that Doctor Strange managed to bring about in the Marvel Universe there still have been notions that this 2016 flick relied more on its packaging than on its essence to deliver what it did. Doctor Strange sure shapes up as something indulgent, what with its mind blowing sorcery and adept eking out of emotions striving to make it a fancied film but that’s about it. Indeed, all these elements make it an enjoyable experience to savour as a movie treat and of course there’s Benedict Cumberbatch to give you yet another reason to be awed by this film but if you go beyond and attempt a derivation from what some other Marvel productions managed to dole out to emerge a cult genre of its own, it’s understandable why Doctor Strange is still claimed to be one of MCU’s overrated flicks.
#15 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Working too hard to make the magics of its firsts work a second time and not quite living upto it- seems like a classic Marvel thing to do. No wonder then that the 2017 sequel to the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy is also at least some meters of departure from its predecessor that was really well received in its refreshing film making. But at least this particular sequel is not outright outrageous like some other of the Marvel duds that have continually failed to make it matter as No. 2.
There’s nothing horribly wrong with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 but where it fails to deliver rests yet again in the impact its predecessor had managed in exerting. It’s the vulnerability of falling for the mediocres after having expanded to the horizons that make this film fall particularly mid- list even when it makes for quite an interesting watch in its encompassing cinematic experience.
#14 Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
For a universe continuously relying on the massive ambits it governs to deliver particularly when it comes to sequels, Ant- Man and the Wasp is a refreshing diversion. The adage of less is more is catered to so effectively here by Marvel that you are left pleasantly surprised. Equally surprising is that Ant Man and the Wasp does not yield in to the temptation of having to be bigger and better than its predecessor but ends up being all that all the same.
The 2018 film tended to be more sci- fi than fantasy and in doing that it managed to stir up the imaginative delight of viewers in a way that had them arrested. Funny and silly, without being nonsensical, and tapping more into the humour and the charisma of Paul Rudd to emerge as one of the few better prequels in the MCU history, Ant Man and the Wasp was as unexpected in being entertaining as it was in conception.
#13 Captain America: Civil War (2016)
With almost the entire universe coming to form the 2016 Captain America movie, you might be left wondering why it is named after a discrete character when it’s essentially an ensemble story. We think it’s just a catering to Marvel norms- of supersizing up things and characters so that the sprawling plot makes up for what audiences might tend to be left desiring. And Civil War manages to successfully draw some form of a balance so that the end result ends up being decent- there had been compromises but they do not take much sheen away from what was intended to be. It might tend to get somewhat exerting for folks who don’t know the Universe inside out and that’s perfectly okay we suppose. Given the vast legion of devoted Marvel fans who anticipatedly wait to shower all their love on every movie, it’s indeed reasonable that not every Marvel movie would cater to everyone. Captain America though tries to stay true to its personal lining even if that meant calling all superheroes aboard to churn out this film as one among MCU’s better cinematic offerings.
#12 Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
The 2012 The Avengers movie was a gargantuan exertion of superheroes teaming up to fight off some evil like the standard stuff superheroes are supposed to do. But in being the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to bring together such a wide squadron of characters that would be up to save the world, The Avengers ended up doing the unthinkable. Not only did it set the precedent of how Marvel needs to go about its amalgamation of characters in the future, it also brings to fore how the connection within the plot is more essential in developing a movie right than the development of the plot itself. But most of all The Avengers helped forge the franchisee a closer connection with its fans and paved the way for further glory that would invade the realms of the fantastical outside of the reality.
#11 Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Continuing from the finer act of balancing that Marvel started mastering since 2014, Avengers: Infinity War is a churn out by Marvel that might seem intimidating with all its furore of characters but as a necessarily Avengers movie, one that would understandably have something of and for everyone, is one that rests on the premise of being an out and out MCU flick. Infinity War might not have had fans particularly impressed by its storyline but in its amalgamation of its characters, the film did indeed manage to appeal at least to the loyalty of die hard Marvel fans. It can get overwhelming- what with that intense cast you might feel at some point that you want just one character, in solitary exploration but there is no denying the thrill the presence of the entire cast brought into it. In its anticipation as well as in its flabbergasting ending, Infinity War sure did enough to cement its place among the more memorable of MCU films.
#10 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Even outside the MCU and understandably inside it, Spider- Man resides in an aura that has earned him a flurry of fans. And with Far From Home, Spider- Man aka Tom Holland does ensure that he does not lose out on any of them. The 2019 film however behests itself as much in reality as it does in the fantasy world. A charming breezy ride made more enjoyable by Holland and Zendaya, Far from Home is easily impressive even when it’s not very typical MCU stuff; at least it does not let you ponder away your time in the theater even when it’s relaxing without however being too remarkable. It’s definitely good enough to have you hooked all through your ride along with it. But it’s perhaps its lesser impact as compared to its prequel that lends it a mediocre standing in the list of all the Marvel movies that have ever been made.
#9 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
The Winter Soldier might not have been a very definite breakaway from the definition of big that Marvel unfailing adheres to almost every time but this 2014 Captain America flick is memorable because of the fine balance it finally manages to bring into it. There is a certain thrill to this Marvel movie that is significantly wayward than what you would expect out of superverse, with action scenes so brilliant that they have you floored. Even in its emotional quotient, Captain America managed to match up to its technical brilliance with Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson making for an intense watch, their chemistry translating very effectively to lend some really tender emotions their rightful place even in an essentially superheroic movie.
#8 Captain Marvel (2019)
Another superhero origin movie that plays out in the MCU gallery and wasn’t half as bad was the 2019 flick starring Captain Marvel. As the first solo female centric film you can’t help but give Marvel brownie points for the development but at the same time you can’t stop wondering whether we or rather Captain Marvel herself deserved the accolade long time back. Coming to the film however, Captain Marvel turned out to be pretty decent, in fact even cool on the face of all those far fetching expectations but what perhaps lacked in the film is some bit of conviction. Because it is one of the umpteenth origin stories that the MCU develops, you can’t deny traces of similaraities which does not really bode well when projecting a character in her own light after some really long years. For Brie Larson as Captain Marvel though, the film is nothing short of phenomenal for in projecting a female superhero, she does indeed feed many of our fantasies to fly their full and final flight.
#7 Ant-Man (2015)
Ant- Man sure aces the casting and delivers some wee bit of fun within its somewhat delightful premise. And it sure makes the heist movie thing work well in its favour but that’s almost all you have to gain from this MCU movie. In essence, Ant- Man remains a film that could have been much better made; however, if you still compare it to some of Marvel’s more ambitious offerings, Ant- Man isn’t half as bad as what it could have been in its lower prevalence. In fact if you see it in parts- specially in the way Paul Rudd goes about his character, you can actually end up thinking that Ant- Man is a nice, nice movie.
#6 Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
In its superhero essence that relies only on the fantastical, MCU have been producing movies that can be intense yet with sillier undertones that gives away its diversion from reality. The 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy is one such cinematic experience that delivers with its humour more than it does with its quotient of dwelling in the superverse. A forever fan favorite that owed to its lighter vein and extremely entertaining in its visuals, Guardians of the Galaxy is hands down one of the best movies Marvel will ever oblige us with.
#5 Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
While the first and second Thor movies failed miserably in eking out yet another superhero from the vast semblance of Marvel’s superheroes, the third of the sequence was as surprising a refreshing venture. In doing Thor: The Ragnarok somewhat of a less grim, more fun film, Marvel sure bowled the world out with its hilariously unexpected deliverance. MCU finally does a funny and charming Chris Hemsworth some justice with the 2017 Thor film.
#4 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Marvel’s Spiderman films are a very real diversion from what MCU seeks to do most of the time- making superhero movies that dwell every inch in the fantastical. Spiderman however stands out every time because here’s a superhero character so rooted in the real world that makes him instantly more relatable and therefore makes him more a part of the fantasies we hope would come true someday. Less intimidating and more friendly even when Spidey goes about his job of saving the world like his other superhero counterparts, Spider- Man: Homecoming sure is a welcoming whiff of air amidst the myriad of OTT explorations of power that characterise the fantasy world. And Tom Holland sure deserves accolades for all that awkwardness he brings into his character to render it even more likeable and some goofy kind of charming.
#3 Black Panther (2018)
Haters can be hating but the vast array of well developed characters that play out through the story of the Black Panther makes it absolutely impossible to not commend it as one of Marvels’ better offerings. And it isn’t just the experience of the film that has us recommending it as being one of the absolute best. As the first ever superhero film to be nominated for an Academy Award for the best picture, Black Panther already makes well known what it brought to the superhero genre at that time.
There has been a number of factors that worked in the favour of Black Panther. And one absolutely coherent reaction has been how well developed the characters in this Marvel flick have been, unlike most of its predecessors that lost track in its projection of the characters. A story that panned out nicely withing remarkable action sequences and well developed characters makes Black Panther deserving of a place among the top 3 of Marvel movies that have ever been made.
#2 Avengers: Endgame (2019)
After fawning over how much more better Infinity War could have been only if it had been the sum of spectacular parts rather than coming up as a whole of lesser developed components, it’s somewhat weird to say that even in its humongous premise Avengers: Endgame actually turned out to be a treasure of sorts. Even when there isn’t any spectacularly revelation in this supposed end to the MCU saga, it helps that the Endgame had a far better storyline that most of the others in the universe. Even then there’s considerable mess but Endgame played about so effectively in evoking emotions for its decade long enthralled masses that everything else was readily overlooked for sake of honouring this ultimate universe which had almost brought many of our fantasies to life. Equally at play however is also the turmoil that governs our superheroes, impactful enough to make this finale an epic one at both decoding and developing its characters and delivering a showdown that will remain etched in Marvel memory for long.
#1 Iron Man (2008)
The first ever film under MCU, Iron Man continues to be special for more than a few reasons. Of course it’s the innate charm of Robert Downey Jr that rules the roost and in all its importance you would be tempted to proclaim that Iron Man is a phenomenon. But the fact remains that the movie that started it all just was a good experience, elevated multiple times by the nostalgia that envelops it. But even then the film making that made Iron Man so much of a success was really brilliant minds at work. Indeed for reviving the superhero genre for all, Iron Man proved to be much more of a success that what it would otherwise have been.