Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Top 13 Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Movies: Part 2

My ranking of the Top 13 best and worst Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Movies continues with more entries! If you missed Part 1, click here to check it out.

9: Iron Man 3
Easily the most divisive of Marvel films, Iron Man 3 continues to leave the community split. Some continue to say that the film is a failure, while others, like myself, say that it is a mostly strong character study of Tony Stark, despite a few nagging issues.

However, the main point of contention is the big twist *Major Spoilers* that the Mandarin is a fake. Many viewers were sorely disappointed that Ben Kingsley's long anticipated role was all just a facade created by the trailers. For me, and a few others, the deception is one the best twists that I have seen in cinema. Right up until the release, the whole thing was kept underwraps; it is a real feat in today's world of trailers that spoil major plot points (*coughTerminatorcough*). For the first time, I was truly shocked by the turn of events, and for someone that often predicts what is going to happen next, it was a real pleasure to be genuinely surprised.

However, the Third Act suffers from a lack of a strong antagonist. A better way to do the twist would have been to replace Guy Pearce with a Chinese actor, so that when he says "I am the Mandarin" the dragon tattoos and other things all make sense. However, considering the latest Marvel One-Shot about the Mandarin, “All Hail the King,” there is a real one out there that we might see in the future, although that continues to be less and less likely. *End Spoilers*

As for the movie itself, Shane Black's witty script and Downey’s brilliant delivery make for an exceptional combination. Even if the plot is not as well crafted as the first film, the interaction, character development, and pure entertainment make it one of the most fun Marvel films to watch.

8: Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The First Avenger is distinctly different than the other Marvel films in both tone and style. Director, Joe Johnston, gave the film a retro period look that is reminiscent of older serials, while still being serious. The blend of styles works for the most part. However, the standout is Chris Evans as Captain America himself. As a Captain America fan since childhood, there was no character that I wanted to see done right on the big screen more. However, when Evans was cast, I was confused. He was a decent funny guy in Fantastic Four, but could he play Cap? And the answer was an astounding yes! The First Avenger was far from his best work as the character, but he really nailed the physicality and heroic personality that the character required.

In retrospect, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter turned out to be pitch perfect casting with her spinoff series, Agent Carter, being one of Marvel's best works to date. Actually, if I were to rank Agent Carter versus the films, it would probably be number five (unless Daredevil counts).

7: Avengers: Age of Ultron
My initial review of Avengers: Age of Ultron was definitely bit too positive. In retrospect, the film certainly had its narrative flaws. It should have been at least 30 minutes longer, and inclusion of a romance took away from necessary plot development. 

However, upon later viewings, the first 45 minutes of the film are so much fun. Whedon's witty dialogue and character interaction is at its strongest when the characters are given time before setup scenes for future films are crammed into the last hour. Honestly, the party scene could have lasted two hours, and it would have been a blast because the characters act so real, like a group of friends with different dynamics between them.

Ultimately, where the film falters narratively, it takes strides and bounds in establishing new characters and providing much needed characterization to others. Hawkeye benefits the most as the inclusion of his family and actually personality traits make him more than just the “guy with a bow.” Vision is setup to be such a fascinating and unique character, and Scarlet Witch’s foundation as a character in this film made her part in Civil War much more powerful. Of course, James Spader as Ultron was an endlessly entertaining villain, even if his role was not as well realized as it could have been. All in all, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a thrilling piece of entertain with exceptional parts, yet a few key flaws that keep it from true greatness. For more thoughts on the film, read my review here.

What do you think of these picks? Please comment below and let me know!

If you want to contact us or have any questions please send an e-mail to


  1. Good points on these James. I overrated Age of Ultron too! It's just that it was exactly like the first Avengers... so I had no reason not to. But then I realized that I just didn't like it that much. But now I've found that I enjoy whenever I watch it, so it's really not bad. It's not outstanding, but it is a cool movie all-around. :D I do rate Captain America: The First Avenger above it though. It's cheesy and not as good of an action film, but I really love it anyways. :) Guy Pearce was my favorite part of Iron Man 3, so I didn't mind all that controversy.

    1. Exactly. :) AoU isn't perfect, but it's a great movie. And I agree, The First Avenger isn't a great action film. They just didn't figure out how to make Cap into a cool fighter. But it was a lot of fun otherwise. And I didn't mind IM3's controversy much either. Thanks for the comment!



One rule: No strong profanity. If you want to link to one of your posts, please do; I am always interested in other reviews and such.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...