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 conclude with my Top 9. Happy re-watching!
9. Avengers (2012)
About: It was hard to imagine how this sprawling group of films and heroes could come together. We hadn’t seen it happen yet. And, somehow, Avengers knocks it out of the park. I remember watching it for the first time. I thought it would be impossible to top it, but the MCU just keeps getting bigger and better.
8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
About: Captain America has never been my favorite of the MCU heroes, but his second outing is top shelf. It’s a spy drama in a lot of ways with a great appearance from Robert Redford and a number of moments that flipped the MCU on its head.
7. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
About: The third Avengers film begins the final phase for the original group. It also brings together characters from across the MCU, a huge under-taking, and introduces Thanos (Josh Brolin). It’s a fun and emotional film with some exceptional moments that leaves off on a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more.
6. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
About: This was the first film after the landmark events of Endgame. It puts a lot on Spider-Man to re-ignite and carry the MCU. Holland is up to the task and this is a film that I love a lot. It ends on one heck of a cliffhanger itself.
5. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
About: This is not only one of my favorite MCU films, but it was also one of my favorite films last year. Whatever my expectations for this film were, it surpassed it and then some. The way it brought the larger Spider-Man universe together was simply beautiful. It deserved more credit and acclaim. It was a near impossible task, and yet the filmmakers pulled it off.
4. Avengers; Endgame (2019)
About: How do you bring together more than a decade of stories and a universe that spans 20 films? How do you write an ending for some of these iconic characters and birth the next phase? This is a film that had a weight of huge expectations, and yet it delivered. It’s a three-hour film that leaves you wanting more. It has some of the biggest emotional reactions ever and it achieves its goals while creating a fun and satisfying film. It’s an incredible achievement.
3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
About: When you get to the Top 3, it’s about personal preference. This film is the one of the funniest in the MCU and a film that takes full advantage of Chris Hemsworth’s range. I loved it from the jump and have continued to enjoy it the nearly dozen times I’ve re-watched it.
2. Black Panther (2018)
About: Chadwick Boseman was incredible in this film from Ryan Coogler. The biggest shame of the MCU is that we won’t get to see Boseman continue as this character. This film was unlike anything I’d seen and remains one of my favorite entries in the large canvass that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Wakanda Forever!
1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
About: I had no idea what to expect when I went to see this film in the summer of 2014. It instantly worked its way into my heart and has become not only my favorite MCU film but one of my favorite films of all time. I love the casting and the writing. I loved the beauty of the production. When it comes to the top of a group of films made as well as the MCU, it’s about personal preference. Everyone has a favorite, and this is mine.
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.