Thor: The Dark World (2013)
I had to google the villain from this film because I had no idea who he was. After discovering the villians name, Malekith, and seeing a picture of him from the film, I still have no idea who he is. Rewatching this movie did raise one huge question however. Why didn’t they have Anthony Hopkins transform from Odin and reprise his role as Hannibal Lector? Watching Anthony Hopkins attempt to eat all the characters in this movie would have been much more entertaining than the approved script.
That part where Clarice is in the dark basement and… sorry got a bit confused, wrong movie. Ummmmm, I guess I liked that part where Thor did that thing with his hammer? You know, when no one else can pick it up and stuff…I don’t know, there wasn’t much that stood out in this movie. I guess we can just go with a cop out and say Stan Lee’s cameo. RIP Stan, we miss you!
Iron Man 2 (2010)
“Iron Man 2” was saved from being in last place because of Scarlett Johansson. I think she’s a very nice lady and deserves respect, therefore any film she’s in gets automatic brownie points. Aside from her we’ve got some post plastic surgery Mickey Rourke as a Russian ex-convict who’s also a physicist in addition to having gold teeth and a plethora of tattoos. We’ve also got all the arrogance of Tony Stark without the sympathy and awe invoking genius from the first film. The script for this film obviously wasn’t that important, Marvel knew they would sell tickets coming off the first “Iron Man”.
If we’re going with the Scarlett Johanson theme it has to be the first time Tony meets Natasha Romanoff AKA Black widow. Tony’s sparring with his friend and chauffeur “Happy” Hogan when Natasha walks in. Tony is immediately “fascinated” with her, because she’s Scarlet Johanson, and then asks her to box. Shes goes on to “accidentally” flip Happy flat on his back after he attempted to cheap shot her. Pretty baller.
The Incredible Hulk(2008)
This may be due to the fact that I’ve only seen “The Incredible Hulk” one time over a decade ago, but the only thing I remember from this film is laughing quite a bit when Bruce Banner accidentally says “you won’t like me when I’m hungry” in spanish. You might be saying to yourself, “Well if that’s your only memory of the film, then all you have is fond recollections and it should be ranked higher”. While that is a fair point, I also vaguely remember greatly enjoying the “Dora the Explorer” Gameboy game around the same time. I’m going to leave it here near the bottom.
I have to go with the previously mentioned hungry scene. Bruce is just trying to warn this guy not to make him angry as he doesn’t want to turn into the Hulk. The problem is this guy only speaks spanish, and Bruce doesn’t speak spanish so well as he is continuously saying hungry instead of angry. The guys face slowly gets more and more confused each time Bruce repeats the word hungry . It’s honestly still pretty funny.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Coming off the success of “The Avengers” people had high expectations. Those expectations mixed with whatever kind of power-trip Marvel has been on since the first “Iron Man”, resulted in this film, a weirdly toned terrorist threat\comedy flick where the terrorist turns out to be a drunk English actor whose not actually a terrorist at all. Luckily, we have charming Tony Stark return from his pit of snarkiness we left him in during “Iron Man 2”, leaving this film somewhat enjoyable (as even the worst Marvel movies are). Unfortunately, this film destroys too many iron man suits to rank any higher.
When Tony “finally” finishes tinkering with his new Mark 42 suit. The music starts playing and random parts of his new suit start flying at him at speeds much to high. The leg slams into him, then the crotch, then the arms. Finally all that’s left is the mask which Tony does a backflip somersault to get on right. With his suit assembled on him , Tony then excalims to himself “I’m the best” which is immediately followed by some random suit piece smashing into him, disassembling the suit and leaving Tony on the floor groaning.
Introducing us to arguably the best Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) villian in Loki definitely raised this movie a few spots. Unfortunately, “Thor”’s lack of a coherent plot and forced in love story prevent this film from getting anywhere near Valhalla. The one saving grace is it’s who’s who cast of attractive people. We’ve got Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Alba, Natalie Portman and the very underrated Kat Dennings. However, my main issue is similar to my issue with the second film. We’ve got a whole not so great film here with Anthony Hopkins, you’re telling me there can’t be one small sub-plot where he tries to eat someone to spice things up a little?
Thor having coffee for the first time is the highlight for me here. After landing on earth for the first time, Thor finds himself seated at a diner with Dr.Selvig(Stellan Skarsgard), Jane(Natalie Portman), and Darcy (Kat Dennings). He then proceeds to hammer down an entire plate of what appear to be pancakes, before draining his first ever mug of coffee. After finishing his coffee, Thor proclaims “This drink, I like it”, which is followed by him smashing the mug on the floor while yelling “Another!”.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Look, all I wanted was to see Captain America beat-up a bunch of Nazis, but what we got was a corny movie with no Nazi punching. The World War II setting is fun and seeing Steve Rogers transform from stick figure into literal superhero in a matter of minutes is cool but aside from that, this movie hasn’t got a lot going for it. The films main villain, Red Skull, is way over the top and somehow looks like a Halloween costume version of himself. Thankfully, Chris Evans is able to flex his ridiculously huge pecs and save this film from being a complete disaster.
The army training sequence, with super scrawny CGI Chris Evans. First and foremost, the fact that they were able to make Chris Evans look convincingly this small is impressive. Second, watching Steve Rogers struggle to perform even a single push-up is just amusing knowing what he eventually becomes. Finally, when Steve outsmarts his whole platoon by unscrewing the flag pole and obtaining the flag, and then watching him jump into the back of Agent Carter’s truck is very satisfying.
Avengers:Age of Ultron(2015)
Typically when a film is named after a specific character, that character tends to be quite memorable. Sadly that isn’t the case here as I had to google Ultron just to remember what he looked like. This film was a cash grab, banking off the “Avengers” name and success of the first film, we all know that . That doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable in some ways though. No matter how spotty the pace or jumpy the plot is, when an entire city is uprooted and held high in the sky, resulting in what can only be described as an extremely Avengersy fight scene, I’m going to be entertained.
With Ultron unleashing his full robot army, the Avengers are forced to fight back to back in order to defend themselves. Hulk is straight up eating robots, Thor’s hammering people, Captain America is using his shield, Hawkeye is trying to prove he’s not the most useless Avenger by shooting one arrow at a time, which somehow simultaneously proves that Hawkeye is in fact the most useless avenger, you get the picture. It all culminates with Vision mindstoning Ultron with the help of Thor’s hammer lightning and Iron Man’s hand blasters.
This film is solid but nothing spectacular, the acting is good and the plot is pretty straightforward but again, nothing special. “Doctor Strange” however, does one thing very well, and by very well I mean exceedingly well. It’s visuals will have your jaw dropped and glued to the floor. The CG moments however, are the only things keeping this movie from being forgettable. I really wanted to put this movie higher on the list but aside from the effects, I found this film pretty boring.
The opening fight between main antagonist Kaecilius and Ancient One is one of the most visually stunning scenes in recent memory. After stealing a few pages from a mystical text belonging to Ancient One, Kaecilius and his followers escape into the city. Ancient one, obviously having scene “Inception”, turns the worlds orientation side-ways, and has them fight standing on the entrances of residential streets buildings. Kaecilius is only able to escape after Ancient one turns the worlds orientation upside down, allowing him a split second to conjure a portal to another location through which he can fall through. Yup, it’s as crazy as it sounds.
Ant-Man and the Wasp(2018)
We have now entered into the realm of Marvel films I like to call “Films I actually enjoyed rather than just sat through”. If you didn’t catch on from that, I enjoyed “Ant-Man and the Wasp”. Paul Rudd brings the perfect amount of humor to this character while also having excellent chemistry with female lead Evangeline Lilly. A lot of people complain about the “Ant-Man” films because they aren’t as connected to the MCU and the stakes aren’t as high but I think their smaller scale helps me enjoy them more. Now, was this film amazing in any way? No not really, but I still enjoyed it.
With Sonny Burch attempting to acquire Dr.Pym’s quantum technology at any cost, he ties down Luis (Michael Pena), Scott Lang’s best friend, in order to locate Lang and steal his Ant-Man suit. He injects Luis with “truth serum” and what ensues is a verbal diarrhea at its most comical. Luis goes on to talk for two straight minutes without stopping due to the serum, retelling how he met Scott Lang, Scott and Hope’s relationship issues and finally revealing that his company is days away from going out of business in front of his co-workers. All of this is reenacted by Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly as their respective characters, only with Luis’s voice coming out of their mouths. It’s a very enjoyable scene.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2(2017)
I’ll admit I might’ve fallen asleep in the theatre during the huge fight scene but in my defense, I paid extra for comfy seats and I had to take advantage of them. Now back to the movie, a lot of people aren’t very high on the second Guardians installment but I just love the Guardians universe too much to have this any lower. True, a lot of the jokes don’t land and the villain is more weird then he is intimidating but it was a fun time and that’s what I’m looking for.
During the opening credits, with the rest of the crew fighting a gigantic ten tentacled beast, Baby Groot plugs in his speakers and dances around to the always enjoyable “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra. Groot attempts to eat a fly and wrestles with some sort of space rat, all the while the rest of the Guardians are getting completely manhandled by the monster in the background. The fun ends when the monster lobs Draxx up into the air only to have him land on Groots speaker system, destroying them completely.
Captain Marvel (2019)
From the “good guys are really the bad guys” twist to the reason the Kree and Skrulls are fighting each other, a lot of this movie didn’t make sense to me once the credits rolled. Nonetheless, this film had too many great components to be dragged completely down. First and foremost, the chemistry between Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson is great, leaving every scene they’re in compelling. Second, young Nick Fury discovering what’s really out in the universe is fascinating as it’s such a departure from the character we’ve come to know. Third, that nostalgic 90’s setting, it’s just nice to see a Blockbuster again.
With Carol Danvers free of the restrictive Kree, she finally has access to all her arsenal of powers. Lets just say I now understand how she can single handedly save earth from the destructive forces of Thanos. Danvers flies into space, destroys an entire space fleet as if they were bubbles and intimades the Kree command ship to such a degree that they decide to retreat and run away. Again, this is a single woman against an armies worth of fighter ships…
Captain America: Civil War(2016)
With such intense, and some would argue politically poignant, source material to derive from (the comic series by the same name), a lot of people expected a bit more from this movie. What they ended up getting was more of an argument then a war. That’s not to say this isn’t a good film. We get to see Black Panther and 3rd reboot edition of Spider-man for the first time. On top of that, it gave us one of the most iconic MCU moments with that airport fight scene. Something about Spiderman and Captain America fighting is just entertaining.
Being arguably the best fight scene in the entire MCU, I have to give this one to the aforementioned airport stand off between Cap’s crew and Iron man’s army. There are too many cool moments to mention all of them so I’ll just list a few of them. Our first glances of Spider-Man and Black Panther in combat are awesome. Ant-Man going tiny to try and sabotage Tony Stark’s suit only to become a giant and then getting taken down by the combo of Spider-Man, Iron-man and War-Machine is cool. Last but not least, watching these friends struggle to put their personal relationships aside and fight each other is an extremely interesting dynamic. This is just a great scene.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier(2014)
This film is rightfully beloved by many MCU fans for the risks it takes and it’s change in tone from general Marvel movies. This is the grittiest we’d seen Marvel go until this point and it definitely paid off. The action feels real and consequential, unlike other over the top Marvel entries and the plot makes you think, again unlike other Marvel “turn off your brain” type action movies. We watch Cap struggle with doing the right thing or being the perfect soldier, adding depth not often found in the MCU.
Now that S.H.I.E.L.D is infiltrated by Hydra, Cap knows he can’t trust anyone. Standing in an elevator with his former allies, Steve realizes that as more and more agents fill the elevator, they are all there to take him down. Just him alone against ten hydra agents, Captain America utters probably the coolest line in MCU history, “Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?”. All ten men then attack Rogers at once, but because he’s Captain America, all ten are subdued within minutes. His subsequent escape by smashing through the elevator and then dropping at least 30 stories to destroying an armored fighter jet only add to the scene.
I went into this movie not expecting much, it just seemed too disconnected from the MCU to really care about. Despite all it had going against it, this film could not have surprised me more. Michael Pena’s character was hilarious, and Paul Rudd was somehow relatable being an ex-con and a superhero. It’s light, it’s funny, it’s action sequences are as unique as action can get in a Marvel movie and overall it’s a really fun time. “Ant-Man” may have left this impression on me because of how low my expectations were but either way, I really enjoyed it.
To stop Cross from harming his daughter in the Yellow Jacket, Scott Lang sacrifices himself by adjusting his suit to subatomic size and going inside the Yellow Jacket . Knowing he won’t be able to come back from that size, he says goodbye to his daughter as she screams not to do it. He shrinks, sabotages the Yellow Jacket and keeps getting smaller and smaller until the atoms themselves are larger than him and he is lost in the quantum realm. Just as all hope is lost, Scott manages to reverse the effects and return to normal size against all odds.
If this list were ranking just the endings of each movie, “Infinity War” would take the top spot by a landslide. (Spoilers ahead) Possibly killing more than half the MCU in a five minute span is one of the coldest, most shocking moments in cinema history. While the rest of the film doesn’t hold up to the standards of its ending, this is still a great movie. In addition to all the classic Marvel action, it somehow manages to juggle all it’s star power while presenting a sense of grandeur that isn’t felt in any other Marvel movies quite the same way.
This one was easy. I know I just mentioned the ending to this movie but there really is no other choice for best scene. All the music cuts out and all you can hear is the shock of the moment. Heroes, thought invincible just moments ago, are now disintegrating before our eyes. The most heart wrenching being Peter Parker. He falls into Tony Stark’s arms pleading with Tony to not let him go, only to fall back, quietly apologize and turn to dust. I’ve watched this scene multiple times and it hurts each and every viewing.
When it comes to Spider-Man, I’m a bit biased. I grew up reading spidey comics and watching the Sam Reimi flicks (don’t worry, not the 3rd one). So while most people were uninspired when they heard another Spider-Man reboot was coming, I was over the moon excited. What I like about this movie more than any other in the MCU is that it humanizes it’s hero. Peter’s just a teenager, and for once it actually feels like it because by the end of the film, even though he’s saved the day, Peter still hasn’t figured the whole hero thing out which is a very refreshing take. Of course, it’s also got the trademark Marvel humor and over the top action sequences to balance itself out.
I’m going to go with the ferry scene because it really represents a lot of what Spidey is in this movie while still being very entertaining. After attempting to prevent a weapons deal on a ferry full of people, the Vulture attacks Spider-Man, eventually splitting the ferry in half. Peter does all he can to keep from having the boat sink by spinning web after web between the two ferry halves. However, his webs snap and he is forced to attempt pulling the two halves together with his hands before Iron-Man saves the day. The scene helps you realize that Peter really is just a teenager and not prepared for these kinds of situations not only because of his failure but because of the ease with which Tony remedied the situation.
In my opinion,“Thor: Ragnarok” more than made up for the two previous lackluster Thor titles. The jokes kept hitting, making this the funniest Marvel movie aside from the original “Guardians of the Galaxy” (which we will see a bit higher up on this list) and the side-plot (if you can call it that) with the Hulk was incredibly entertaining to watch. Further, adding Jeff Goldblum as the quirky Grandmaster was a stroke of casting genius. For the first time on this list, I can honestly say I didn’t want Anthony Hopkins to eat anyone in a Thor film and that is the highest praise I can give.
There are a lot of great scenes in this movie but the cake topper is definitely Hulk and Thor’s fight. Thor is in captivity and is forced to fight for sport against none other than Hulk. The entire fight, Thor is trying to remind Hulk of who he is but he doesn’t want to listen. Inevitably, the two titans of strength end up going at each other pretty hard with the Grandmaster and Loki watching on and making comments. Aside from the pure entertainment of two characters this strong fighting each other, it’s a great scene because of the relationship between the two.
This is the film after which Marvel knew they had us. Watching it now, it’s hard to remember that this huge budget blockbuster was a gigantic risk. Nothing of this scale had ever been attempted and combining such huge characters wasn’t yet known to be the money printing license it is today. Fortunately for everyone involved, “The Avengers” didn’t disappoint in the slightest. Seeing all these heroes mesh for the first time was a delight and who can forget their initial, jaw-dropping response to the final battle in New York. “The Avengers” does raise itself a spot or two for jumpstarting the “cinema universe” trend we know today…and for shawarma. You gotta love shawarma.
The battle in New York seems un-sustainable and the Avengers are running out of options. Out of nowhere Bruce Banner drives up on a motorcycle. After having a little convo, he drops the best quote in the movie,”That’s my secret Cap, I’m always angry”, transforms into the Hulk, then single handedly destroys a titanic sized armored flying alien.The battle then continues and during a lul, Captain America begins to hand out orders and assignments of how to contain the alien outbreak. Hulk’s only instruction? To quote Cap’, “Smash”.
Did this film deserve to be nominated for a “Best Picture” Academy Award? Probably not, but that doesn’t take away from how culturally important and influential this film was and still is. It’s impact on the African and African-American communities was felt worldwide and that’s not just because of it’s casts lineage. This is a great movie. The acting is top notch, we’ve got an intimidating and sympathetic villain, a ludicrously cool setting in Wakanda and a meaningful plot that runs much deeper than it’s “superhero saves the day” roots. All I can say is “Wakanda Forever”!
While the first fight between T’challa and Killmonger may not have the usual MCU flare, it’s still one of the best fights in all the Marvel movies. The stakes, the setting, the score, the whole scene is just incredible. With whoever wins the fight becoming king of Wakanda, both men fight with every ounce of their being. Killmonger eventually over powers T’challa, killing his uncle Zuri in the process. The emotion of the scene is only heightened as T’Challa’s family is screaming from meters away. The fight ends with Killmonger throwing T’challa over the water and proclaiming “I’m your king”.
Bringing it back to the start. “Iron Man” helped us realize that a movie doesn’t have to star a big name hero like Spider-Man or Batman to be successful and helped pave the way for the superhero movie renaissance we are currently in. As general superhero origin stories go, this is close to the golden standard. I could write an endless list of things I like about this movie but well just stick with the top. Robert Downey Jr. resurrected his career with the now iconic role of the snarky yet kindhearted billionaire, Tony Stark. There’s a genuianly believable internal struggle within the main character. Most importantly, Marvel hadn’t entered that “we can do whatever we want” phase just yet, so we’ve got a script that’s aware of itself, and not crazy unrelatable like Marvel would become. Without this movie, I wouldn’t be writing this list, I have to give credit where credit is due.
After creating the first rudimentary Iron-Man suit with Yinsen, Tony fights his way out of the cave of which he was imprisoned. After disposing of all the terrorists in the cave quite casually, Stark walks out into the caves opening to a storm of bullets. Being in a bulletproof suit, Tony is unharmed, he then mutters “My turn” before mowing down the rest of the assailants with his flame thrower. Having become a changed man, he destroys all his companies weapons on the compound resulting in a rather large explosion, from which Tony’s only option of escape is to launch himself hundreds of feet in the air.
Guardians of the Galaxy(2014)
I love this movie. Each character dynamic is unique and hilarious in its own way. The settings are imaginative but not too “star warsy” so the film has its own identity and feel. None of the CG effects take you out of the movie and the story was believable and compelling. Not to mention it’s kind of funny with what seems like a laugh out loud moment every few minutes. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is entertainment in its purest form, authentic and unadulterated fun. There isn’t a single person who didn’t enjoy this film, and if you ever meet someone who says they didn’t, punch them in the face because they’re a liar and you deserve better than that.
Just as Ronan is about to destroy Xandar with the Infinity Stone embedded in his hammer, Peter Quill does the unthinkable, he starts dancing. Challenging Ronan to a dance off while singing “Ohh Child”, Ronan stares on in disbelief, screaming at Quill. That is until Peter reveals he was distracting Ronan so Draxx and Rocket could destroy the hammer and free the Infinity Stone. Peter jumps in mid air catching the Stone and as the music intensifies, each one of his friends grab his hand to help absorb the stones energy before harnessing the stones power and destroying Ronan.