Binge Watch: Ranking the MCU, Pt. 2

The Summer Movie Season officially begins with Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, which opens on May 6. In the run up to that, I’m going to be offering my ranking for the existing films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are 27 released so far, so for the next three weeks I’ll be looking at nine films a week, offered in ascending order. Today I continue with films 18-10. Happy re-watching!

18. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
About:
Another one where I’m probably something of an outlier. I get it, this film is popular. And I think parts of it are brilliant. For three quarters of the film, I thought it might be one of the MCU’s best. But that third act… it lost me. So, for me, it’s always dropped in my estimation because of the ending, which felt like a pulled punch.

17. Captain Marvel (2019)
About:
Another film that is often polarizing. Some really didn’t like this one, but I enjoyed Brie Larson and the 1990s setting. It’s a decent showcase for Samuel L. Jackson and a film that I think gets too much hate. It’s middle of the pack for me, but I enjoy it.

16. Black Widow (2021)
About:
I guess this entire middle section is about my polarizing takes. Who knew? Was this an incredible film? No. But I thought it was fun with some good action sequences. I had a nice time watching it and it’s a decent re-watch.

15. The Eternals (2021)
About:
This was another release from last year that drew mixed reviews. Some absolutely loved it and some hated it. I enjoyed it and I enjoyed the craft. There is some beautiful cinematography, and it certainly has a different kind of style. It’s not a personal favorite but it’s a film that, despite some dense mythology, is a decent watch and an interesting addition to the MCU.

14. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
About
: I like the period setting and the story laid out here. This was the final piece needed before the MCU could launch The Avengers. Chris Evans is solid in the role and this one is an engaging film. It doesn’t feel special to me, or as emotionally engaging as some others, which is why it’s here. Again, the MCU from top to bottom is an incredible achievement. There’s no shame in being ranked in this spot.

13. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017)
About:
I love the Guardians. This second installment is fun. The humor and the drama all come in equal measure. It doesn’t quite live up to the first film and there are elements of the villain that don’t work for me despite how I feel about Kurt Russell. The opening sequence is a lot of fun though and I will never lose my affection for baby Groot.

12. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
About
: Tom Holland nails the role of Spider-Man and is first stand-alone adventure is a lot of fun. His relationship with Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man is great, too. I enjoy this film a lot, especially it’s style and sense of humor. This was just the tip of the iceberg for what’s the best trilogy any of the MCU characters has spawned.

11. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
About:
I had no idea what to expect from this film. What we got was some incredible stunt work, some great humor and a lot of heart. Simu Liu and Awkwafina are magic together and I thought this film was a real kick. One of the most pleasant surprises in the MCU.

10. Iron Man (2008)
About:
There would be no MCU without Iron Man. I still remember seeing this film in May of 2008 and being blown away. This film had to set a lot of things in motion and really tote the water for a burgeoning film universe for several years. It still holds up as a lot of fun, a credit to Downey and director Jon Favreau.

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.

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