The Marvel Cinematic Universe ranked


Brendan Sheardy, Staff Writer

  Every generation has their own franchise. The 70s and 80s had Star Wars, the early 2000s had Lord of the Rings, the late 2000s had Harry Potter, and now we have the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I believe that the MCU has topped every franchise that previously came to screen, simply because of its impossible accomplishments.

  Marvel has found a way to keep audiences invested in a single story with multiple characters for 22 films and 11 years, which is an incredible feat that had already cemented its place in cinema’s history books. With Endgame having just released, I thought it would be fun to share my ranking of all 22 installments in this franchise.

  1. Thor: The Dark World

  This is easily the worst installment in the MCU. The villain is more than forgettable, the plot isn’t interesting, it’s poorly written, and worst of all…it’s just boring.

  1. The Incredible Hulk

  The forgotten child of the MCU. It’s weird even considering this a legit installment since it’s never referenced at all. Edward Norton was fine as Bruce Banner, but I think Mark Ruffalo better suits the character, so I’m glad it was recast. This is a dull origin story with poor CGI and one of the worst supporting female characters in a superhero movie.

  1. Thor

  There’s no denying that Thor was a very uninteresting character in the early stages of the MCU. His first solo outing is a less than desirable superhero film, as nothing of importance really happens. Thor spends most of the runtime hanging out with Jane Foster in a small town, which takes away from the world building opportunities they could’ve had in Asgard. And don’t get me started on Kenneth Branagh’s decision to shoot most of the film is dutch angles…

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron

  When I first saw Age of Ultron, I thought it was the best MCU film, but upon every rewatch, it began to get worse and worse every time I watch it. It’s clunky, overstuffed, and ultimately a disappointing follow up to The Avengers.

  1. Iron Man 2

  Iron Man 2 gets a lot of unnecessary hate. No, it’s not a great film and has its ups and downs, but it’s an enjoyable superhero film with great development for Tony Stark. I love Don Cheadle as War Machine, too.

  1. Doctor Strange

  Doctor Strange has some visually stunning effects and a great performance by Benedict Cumberbatch, but it lacks in proper action and an uninteresting villain. The climax is very underwhelming, too. However, it’s a decent origin story that isn’t a pain to sit through, but it’s not particularly memorable.

  1. Captain Marvel

  I have most of the same issues I had with Doctor Strange in this movie. I wrote a full review on this film, so if you want my full thoughts, go check it out.

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger

  Steve Rogers’ origin story is one that I will always enjoy watching no matter what. Yes, its cheesy and has clunky action, but the heart of this film is something that cannot be matched by any origin story thus far.

  1. Iron Man 3

  I really enjoy Tony Stark’s final solo outing. Many people are still mad at its surprise twist, but I thought it made it more interesting. I also really enjoyed that we get to see our hero stripped almost completely of his powers, abd force him to finish the job as himself and not Iron Man.

  1. Spider-Man: Homecoming

  Homecoming was the first Spider-Man solo outing in the MCU, and in many ways, it did not disappoint. Tom Holland captures ever essence of the character, providing both a great Peter Parker and a great Spider-Man. It has a great supporting cast and a fantastic villain. However, it does feel a bit inconsequential and “safe,” which lands it in the middle of the ranking and not higher up.

  1. Ant-Man and the Wasp

  Much like Homecoming, this installment is endlessly entertaining with a great supporting cast and an excellent lead duo, but it feels unimportant, especially since it came directly after Infinity War. I hope they give Ant-Man and the Wasp another movie, because I love these characters.

  1. Black Panther

  Black Panther is in no way a bad movie, I just think it’s severely overrated. The last half of the film picks up tremendously and the rest of the film is very good, but the first hour is almost impossible to get through. However, Black Panther has one of the best villains in the MCU, and universal themes that propel the film’s story and importance.

  1. Thor: Ragnarok

  Taika Waititi was the perfect choice for this film. It’s  goofy, spontaneous, and hilarious and gives the character of Thor a much needed change. The way it was shot and edited makes Ragnarok feel like it was ripped straight out of a comic book.

  1. Iron Man

  The one that started it all. Back in 2008, nobody expected the MCU to be what it is today. To this day, Iron Man remains one of the best installments in the franchise.

  1. Captain America: Civil War

  What I love most about Civil War is how it’s large in scale, yet small in scale at the same time. It balances the large cast of characters while also being an intimate story that doesn’t need a city being destroyed to keep audiences invested. The action in this film is the best in the MCU, hands down.

  1. Ant-Man

  I love Ant-Man. He’s just such a great character; he’s funny and has a great backstory. My favorite part of this film is easily Scott’s group of criminal friends. They have the best moments and make the film so much funnier.

  1. The Avengers

  Once upon a time in 2012, The Avengers was the biggest movie ever made. Fast forward seven years later, and it almost seems like an indie film. This is still and epic and entertaining adventure with our favorite heroes coming together for the first time. You also can’t beat that arch shot with the Avengers standing back to back.

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy

  Nobody expected this. Marvel took the most peculiar and unknown set of characters from the comics and made one of the best MCU movies ever. This rag tag group of heroes band together in such a hilarious way, that it’s impossible not to fall in love with the Guardians.

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

  The sequel to the surprise that was Guardians of the Galaxy does not disappoint. The character development for each member of the team is next-level storytelling. Every single character’s backstory is deeply explored and gives the audience a much bigger emotional connection to the characters.

  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

  The Russo Brothers took a cheesy character in Captain America and made him one of the coolest characters in the MCU. The action sequences are intense and the story is so investing that I could not take my eyes off the screen. The was my favorite MCU film until last year.

  1. Avengers: Infinity War

  The MCU built up Thanos ever since The Avengers, and his inevitable appearance did not disappoint. Infinity War is a non-stop desperation action movie where everyone in the world is desperately trying to stop one being from eliminating half of the universe. It’s intense, heartbreaking, and beautifully shot. This was easily the best MCU film until now.


  • Avengers: Endgame


  The culmination of 11 years and 22 films of storytelling, and the epic finale was everything we needed and more- heartbreaking, intense, intimate, emotional- the list goes on. We finally got the finale to cinema’s greatest action franchise since Star Wars. This is one of the best movies of all time, and will go down in history as one of the most important Hollywood pictures ever put to screen.