MCU Ranking of all MCU Films: Pre-watch

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MCU Ranking
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 25: Mjölnir, Thor's original hammer, from the film franchise on display at the Marvel Studios's "Avengers: Endgame" opening day marathon event at El Capitan Theatre on April 25, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Welcome to a new series where we will be looking at every MCU movie that has come out and ranking them. This MCU Ranking will have many parts. First, we will start by ranking them as remembered. This will be based on plot, characters, development and overall enjoyment among other things. Next, we will watch each movie separately and break down what is good and bad about it, as well as if it is rewatchable. Last, we will revisit the MCU ranking and make a new one having freshly watched each movie. With that being said, let’s get on to the MCU ranking.

MCU Ranking

22. The Incredible Hulk

The Hulk gets 22 in this ranking more so because it is the only one that I personally have not watched. It will get an in-depth analysis as we go through, however, if you ask many people they will have it ranked near the bottom. It really just does not stand up to Marvel MCU standards and some forget to include it altogether.

21. Thor: The Dark World

Once again, a very common consensus for near the bottom of MCU ranking when it comes to movies. It is usually not a great sign when your lead actor says he doesn’t like the film. As a one-off movie, it is a fine watch, however, when it comes to rewatching it and overall exciting or memorable parts, there really isn’t much of it here.

20. Doctor Strange

When doing this original ranking I kept thinking this seemed too low for this movie. It very well could be one that rises up the ranks in the list. However, as far as the MCU goes, off of first memory, it once again doesn’t bring many memorable moments. Part of this is (needed) character development and the Doctor Strange character has been a very good one in other movies. A Doctor Strange 2 has lots of potential, but for now, this stays near the bottom.

19. Iron Man 2

The Iron Man trilogy came very early in the MCU. Some of this may lead to underrating of certain movies. But in this case, the movie just wasn’t great. What can easily be argued as the worst of the three, this one just didn’t have a great villain and felt kind of forced on first memory. Like many on this list, however, it should be good to rewatch it and see what was missed and catch up on old Tony Stark again.

18. Ant-Man and the Wasp

As a one-off movie, this was pretty enjoyable. But where it really loses points is trying to do too much. With lots and lots of villains and almost too many storylines jammed into one movie it sometimes felt like too much. Paul Rudd is incredibly funny as usual, however, it felt like they dumbed his character down almost too much at times. Watching Scott Lang and Hope Pym redevelop their relationship was also an up and down throughout.

17. Avengers: Age of Ultron

This is one movie I see potential to drop when it comes to the rankings. The movie as a whole wasn’t great when it comes to this MCU Ranking. But the redeeming factor was just having the whole group together made it seem much better. The Thor hammer lifting scene was also one of the better ones in any movie and is even cooler when you see the Easter Egg in Endgame. Overall, the Villian feels lackluster, if we want to give setup points though this led to the Civil War and the Vision character, which both rank strong.

16. Guardians of the Galaxy 2

It says something about the strength of the MCU that the 16th best movie will still be very rewatchable. Maybe not compared to some others, but this movie does have some bright points. Some of the jokes land and the soundtrack is pretty solid. However, at times it felt like they overdid it with comedy. As well, the Peter Quill Dad villain wasn’t really great. It at least did do a good job explaining why Quill could hold an infinity stone in the first movie. Overall, it just didn’t live up to the first one, but a Guardians 3 has tons of potential.

15. Thor

This is another movie that has a lot of potentials to fall. It is quite amazing that Ragnarok was as great as it was, given the first two. Looking back on it, after these first two films, one could easily have seen why it may have been easy to not want to do a Thor 3 at all. Or just to “get it over with.” However, when it comes to the original Thor, it’s a fine movie. Again about character development. It does an OK job, but the entertainment and rewatchability feels low for this one.

14. Iron Man 3

A pretty solid movie with a decent villain for Iron Man to face as well. The “getting retribution for something that happened years ago” was not only solid but also fit the Iron Man character perfectly. Over the course of the MCU, we see Stark turn from an insufferable businessman to everyone’s hero. This movie was a big part of getting that going.

13. Ant-Man

Another potential one that could rise, both Ant-Man movies were hard to rank in this. They are both exciting and pretty funny. This one is a decent character development film. However, the bad guy in Yellowjacket wasn’t the best by any means. Also, not that it was this film’s fault but it will get docked marks for the whole film being about how Scott wants to be a better father and then in Civil War immediately disregards all of that.

12. Iron Man

This movie was a very fun one. There isn’t anything insanely special about the movie in terms if super memorable scenes, however, it certainly needs to bonus points for being the movie to kick it all off. This will be the first one to be rewatched in the series and it should be a good one. For this MCU ranking, it gets a middle grade because it was good, however, nothing super special.

11. Black Panther

This was the hardest movie to rank. On one hand, for a character development movie, it wasn’t the best there was. On the other hand, it really was a fun movie. It is probably overhyped when it comes to the average, but it is a great movie nonetheless. The acting in it is amazing and the plot is kind of fresh for MCU terms which were nice too. This could be a riser when it comes to reranking.

10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Easily the hottest take on this list. As well, very likely the biggest possible riser when the films are rewatched. Everyone talks highly of the Winter Soldier movie. It was enjoyable with certainly some good scenes, but overall it just didn’t always stack up to the others in the top 10. This will no doubt be one to focus hard on when it comes to going through them again. It is a fun movie and has some great scenes, made even better by the addition of Endgame when they revisit or reference them.

9. Avengers: Infinity War

This was a solid movie all around. It is really easy for any Marvel movie to go back and rewatch. Some would say there is too much going on, however, it was needed for the setup. The Wakanda battle was solid, Thor’s entrance was a top moment in the MCU. When the likes of Doctor Strange, Ironman, Spiderman among others team up to fight Thanos is one of the coolest battle scenes out there too. Even if it ends in a stupid moment of Quill letting Thanos escape.

Overall, this was a really solid movie and the twist of Thanos actually succeeding and snapping his fingers was new for a Marvel movie.

8. Captain America: The First Avenger

This was one of the better first character development movies Marvel made. Having it ranked above the Winter Soldier is likely a hot take to many people and it may change. But the story of Captain America was great. From showing why Steve Rogers was chosen to become Captain America, to showing his character development throughout the story trying to figure out who the new “him” is. This was a very well done movie and one that is very easy to go back and rewatch. It is also why in this MCU ranking it gets a very high grade.

7. Captain Marvel

Another movie that would be in likely to fall category, Captain Marvel was much better than personally expected. This gets so many marks because it truly was one of the best character development movies the MCU has had, at least for a solo character. The plot twist was a very nice touch and kind of original. Captain Marvel figuring out who she really is and what she is meant for was also fun to watch.

Certainly, there are things to criticize, like how when she gets her powers she instantly knows everything about them. Or the somewhat overdoing it on the soundtrack. However, it was a very enjoyable movie with some good laughs and would be very easy to rewatch, this is why it ranks so high.

6. Guardians of the Galaxy

Unlike the second installment that missed on more of the jokes than it wanted to, this one delivered quite often. It was also a great story to see how the team develops and comes together. Starting off by all trying to fight and capture or kill each other, the team eventually forms into a close family.

The soundtrack and comedy along with the action made this a solid movie. If there was one thing to dislike it was probably that Ronan the Accuser wasn’t the greatest bad guy. However, introducing Thanos and another Infinity Stone was nice as well.

5. The Avengers

This is the first time we see the crew come together, and it was great. With Loki as the bad guy again, this movie really ticked all the boxes and was a big part of the MCU really taking off. The character interactions between each other were great and watching them become a team over time was amazing.

This is very easy to rewatch, as it’s filled with solid action scenes, including one of the best scenes of all: The Avengers getting ready to fight. It also has some decent comedy and a solid plot line. It’s easy to see why this ranks top 5.

4. Captain America: Civil War

This is my personal favorite, however, it gets bumped down from higher to “just” 4. The movie as a whole is great though. The bad guy never really showing his exact plan until the very end. Even if the reasoning is a little iffy, it makes for an amazing movie.

Watching the two sides actually disagree on something was nice. Then the airport battle scene was solid too. Truly introducing Spiderman gives this movie some bonus marks as well. Overall, it is a star-studded cast and a ton of fun to rewatch.

3. Spiderman: Homecoming

The MCU and Marvel really nailed a Spiderman movie given how many have already been done. Skipping over the whole “how he got his powers” thing the movie does a great job at developing Spiderman. Not only that, but the relationship between Stark and Parker is one of the best out there. The plot twist of who the bad guy really is had a bit of a new feeling. The scene of the “talk” in the car was one of the better ones too.

Not to mention, how can we forget Ned? For so little lines truly one of the best characters out there. This is an awesome movie.

2. Avengers: Endgame

Endgame is one of the best-done movies ever. The movie itself would be pretty bad if you had never watched a Marvel movie before. However, for wrapping up what was 10 years of development, it is so amazing. Between the hundreds of easter eggs placed in the movie, along with the reach back on so many other movies, this really was the greatest ending too. How they dealt with Stark and Rogers made complete sense as well. Overall, this was a perfectly executed finish to the MCU.

1. Thor: Ragnarok

Ragnarok gets number one spot here to both eliminate recency bias on Endgame, but also because of how great it was. It really is amazing how much better this was then Thor 1 or 2. This takes Thor in a whole new direction. Adding some much-needed comedy into his character. Along with that, still balancing it with the power we know of Thor and some great action scenes.

From his interactions with the Hulk to his constant battles with Loki, this really was an amazing movie from start to finish and it is the reason it gets to number one in the rankings.

Most Likely to Rise: The Winter Soldier, Black Panther, Ant-Man

Most Likely to Fall: Captain Marvel, Thor, Age of Ultron.

Moving On

So that is the pre-watch list and my MCU Ranking. Now, we will watch every single movie and post analysis of it again. What did you think? What movies did you have higher, lower, or the same? Let me know here or on Twitter and make sure to check in every week for analysis articles!

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