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IRON MAN to ANT-MAN: Ranking Every MCU Movie

Ant-Man is out now around the world, and with 12 Marvel Studios movies officially in the bag, and the next- Captain America: Civil War– not arriving for 10 months, it’s about time we ranked this dozen of superhero films the BuzzHub way…

maxresdefault-512. THE INCREDIBLE HULK

Marvel’s first Hulk reboot as their own studio (following Ang Lee’s experimental 2003 take) isn’t so much bad as unmemorable. Ed Norton does a decent job as Mr Hulk, with a good supporting cast that includes Liv Tyler, Ty Burrell, William Hurt and Tim Roth. The action is nothing special, and the general sense that Marvel don’t want anybody to remember this film doesn’t help it.

iron-man-3-51308d760738c11. IRON MAN 3

Following up The Avengers was never going to be easy for Marvel, and hiring Shane Black- the human embodiment of 80s hardcore action- to co-write and direct was very much a bad decision. Iron Man 3 is long, slow and boring, with a frankly stupid villain twist and the worst ending Marvel have ever done. When the highlight of your film is the end credits music, you should see a problem.

avengers-age-ultronlarge10. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Yeah. Age of Ultron has been out for over two months now, and it’s pretty bad. The eponymous bad robot is unbelievably uninteresting, the characters don’t gel well together and the lack of an exciting climax leaves the audience with a great amount of disappointment. Joss Whedon has quite the MCU, and it’s not hard to see why.

Ant-Man-Hope-Scott-and-Hank9. ANT-MAN

The newest addition to the Marvel family is a terribly flawed film, but its cast and script are too much fun to not enjoy to some level, and it’s far less pretentious and aggressive than Age of Ultron.

maxresdefault-68. IRON MAN

The first Iron Man isn’t the classic people remember. It’s overcrowded, badly structured and has a boring villain (in the form of Jeff Bridges) that paved the way for all future boring Marvel villains.

the-winter-soldier-in-captain-america-the-first-avenger7. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

Chris Evans’ Captain America teams up with SHIELD team members Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L Jackson in this obnoxiously humourless conspiracy thriller. It’s more stylishly directed than any other Marvel film, and directors The Russo Brothers show legitimate action promise, but it’s no fun and really doesn’t hold on upon repeat viewers thanks to countless plot holes and, yes, an awfully unoriginal villain.

Photo credit: Zade Rosenthal / Marvel Studios Left to right: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.

© 2011 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2011 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.6. THOR

Thor’s first outing has a lot of problems, but director Kenneth Branagh does an excellent job of establishing the MCU-beyond-earth and playing up the absurd plot with a ton of great gags. Chris Hemsworth does a terrific job in his best performance to date.thor_tenspot01


Substantially more thrilling than the original, Hemsworth’s lack of humour is compensated for by a great Loki/Thor dynamic that the first didn’t fully capitalise on, and some shiny scenes for the delightful Natalie Portman.

iron_man_2_024. IRON MAN 2

The team-up of Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell is to date the closest Marvel has come to a truly great cinematic villain, and Jon Favreau’s staging of the action is far superior to that in his first Iron Man. Downey. Johansson. Cheadle. This is great entertainment.



No matter what anyone says, this is great, pure old-fashioned adventure cinema at its best. Joe Johnston directs Chris Evans’ first outing which, while lacking humour, is buckets of fun and has the best ending of any of these films.

guardians-galaxy-rocket-groot2. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

This is the shit. James Gunn enters the Marvel arena, and brings his crazy sci-fi sensibility with him- unfiltered. Rocket Raccoon and Groot are the standouts, but Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista are the most charming Marvel leads we’ve yet to see (sorry, RDJ) and Gunn creates a beautiful, funky universe.

the_avengers_movie_2012-HD1. THE AVENGERS

Nothing beats The Avengers. Joss Whedon’s script is laugh-a-minute brilliant, availing of his entire cast to extraordinarily enjoyable effect. Villain Loki is, while not as amusing as Iron Man 2‘s bunch, utterly fantastic, and the decision to keep the heroic team trapped in the confined space of the SHIELD heli-carrier for the second act is the best any blockbuster director has made this century. If only Age of Ultron had been one-tenth as much fun…


1 Comment

  1. Shane noble says

    For sure the most different ranking of the MCU that I’ve seen here is mine……

    12. Iron man 2
    11. Thor: The Dark World
    10. The Incredible Hulk
    9. Iron Man 3
    8. Thor
    7. The Avengers
    6. Ant-Man
    5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
    4. Iron Man
    3. Captain America: The First Avenger
    2. Guardians of the Galaxy
    1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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