FilmFrak Jon’s Marvel Rankings

marvel_cinematic_universe

marvel_cinematic_universe

FilmFrak Jon’s Marvel Rankings

By: Jon Caron

Ever since I can remember, the numerous characters of the Marvel universe have been a giant part of my life. I’ve gone on countless adventures with these fictional beings that have shaped the way I view the real world and what could be possible in the infinite cosmos that we take for granted as we casually drift through it with our eyes forward, instead of up into the vast wonderment of it all. These heroes and villains, which make up this fantastical universe have gone through many iterations, changing throughout the years, dying, being reborn, finding love and losing it.

Part of what makes Marvel so wonderful, is their understanding of what makes a character great. Not just the powers they may possess, or how they use them, but how it shapes them…the decisions they make because of them. Spider-Man may be able to lift a truck over his head, but he remains terrified of the world discovering who he really is in case someone wants to do harm to those he cares about. For all his brilliance and gifts, he struggles, always; with the guilt of having let his arrogance cloud his judgment which in turn caused the death of someone he loved most dearly. It’s such a simple plot device, yet it builds a persona that is infinitely complex and at the same time, dependable and relatable. THIS is what Marvel does best, they create characters who you understand and care about.

It was with both great excitement and trepidation, when I had heard that these much beloved characters would be brought to the big screen over ten years ago now. After all, there had seen many attempts at bringing super heroes to the silver screen before, usually with either campy, or outright embarrassing results…but when Iron Man first premiered in May, 2008 without even knowing it at the time, would change the medium of cinema forever.

Ten years and an astounding nineteen films later, Marvel Studios has created a shared film universe. A place where each of these characters dominate their own world, but also stumble upon others in the same continuity…where the adventures in one part of the galaxy, could have dire consequences in another. This long form mode of storytelling is more akin to a TV series than cinema, and nobody thought it could be done. How wrong we all were. It has been nothing short of astonishing what Disney and Marvel have managed to create here, both in terms of long form storytelling which remains accurate to the characters and just the sheer visual spectacle of it all.

The latest in this series of films, Infinity War, has been a very long road. All leading to an encounter with one of, if not THE greatest of villains in the entire Marvel universe, the mad titan himself, Thanos. I have been eagerly anticipating this ever since he was teased at the end credits of Avengers in 2012. Thanos has always been one of my favorite villains, in any medium, period and I have been hoping that he would be accurately portrayed on the big screen. And he is. He totally is. But this isn’t a review on Infinity War (we’ll save that for Episode 24), I want to discuss my own adventure in re-watching the entire lineup of Marvel films sequentially leading to Infinity War and then ranking them from my favorite to least favorite.

ironmanIron Man (May 2, 2008)

Full of snappy dialogue and masterfully directed by Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr. perfectly brings the character of Tony Stark/Iron Man to life. In retrospect, it’s ironic that the stinger at the end of this films credits was done as kind of a joke; they had no idea it would be as well received as it was and begin something no one thought possible or saw coming.

 

 

 

 

 

incredible_hulk_the_2008

 

The Incredible Hulk (June 13, 2008)

Not without it’s problems, The Incredible Hulk is also the most underrated of all the Marvel films. Despite his problems with the studio, Ed Norton is great as Banner and all the moments of him focusing on his breathing, or learning ji jitsu to control his temper are really excellent. I think the problem lies inherently with the fact the Hulk isn’t particularly interesting and once the smashing starts, things can get a bit boring. I’ve always liked the Hulk better as a side character, similar to the Punisher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1fe9882091f41910fae12f881c6de592

Iron Man 2 (May 7, 2010)

Sorry folks, you’re wrong about this one. Iron Man 2 is nearly every bit as good as the first. This movie deserves none of the hate it gets. None.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thor_Official_Poster

Thor (May 6, 2011)

All in all a pretty mediocre entry in the Marvel movieverse, but Asgard looks beautiful and Hemsworth is definitely believable as the god of thunder. It really gets bogged down when things go to Earth, Thor is way too powerful to be hanging out explaining his godly happenings to a bunch of nerds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain-America-first-avenger-vintageCaptain America: The First Avenger (July 22, 2011)

Our introduction to Chris Evans as Cap is still great. He absolutely nails both the look and feel of the man out of time and brings a sincerity and charm that is now hard to imagine anybody else trying to replicate. Evans IS Cap. The real tragedy of this film was another bad studio relationship, Hugo Weaving reportedly hated sitting in the makeup chair so much to portray the Red Skull that he said he would never return. Which is a damn shame, because he totally chews the scenery here and is still one of the best Marvel movie villains so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The_Avengers_Poster

Marvel’s The Avengers (May 4, 2012)

The Loki plot is a bit weak, but it brings the team together in the most splendid of ways. This is still a really fun film to watch and seeing that camera shot that circles the team together for the first time is still a wonder to behold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ironman3-imax-posterIron Man 3 (May 3, 2013)

Now, this has long been my least favorite Marvel flick since it came out and that’s still the case…it just feels off. As great as Shane Black is (and the dialogue really has his punch), this movie just doesn’t quite work. I like parts of it (the Mandarin) stuff is fun and the PTSD from Avengers works well, but I could do without just about everything else…especially the way it ends “Clean Slate Protocol”? Conveniently removes shrapnel from chest which apparently could have beendone at anytime? Ugh. This is also where the CGI Iron Man suit starts to take over for the practical fx one which is totally weak.

 

 

 

 

 

thor__the_dark_worldThor: The Dark World (November 8, 2013)

Much like Iron Man 2, I don’t see what all the hate is about. This is still arguably one of the most gorgeous and well made of all the Marvel flicks. Costumes, set design, lighting, color palette…all astounding. This is also probably my favorite use of Loki, giving him a great arc and use of his illusion powers, with that great betrayal at the very end. Malekith looks incredible, says some cool shit and while a bit forgettable ultimately, the displacement fight at the end is pretty sweet still.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain_America_The_Winter_Soldier_poster_011Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4, 2014)

The stakes are high and there are some serious reflective themes on the modern military industrial complex at work here as well. Smart, well made and all around a really solid film.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Movie-posterGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 (August 1, 2014)

There is very little I could say here that hasn’t been said a hundred times, by a hundred different people. Guardians RULES. That is all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

avengers-age-of-ultronAvengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015)

It’s a bit too bloated and Ultron himself is so tonally inconsistent that it’s hard to know if you’re supposed to be laughing at his genocidal plan or terrified. There are some really great moments here and there, but all in all this is one of the weaker entries in the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ant-man-international-2Ant-Man (July 17, 2015)

Everything from the shrinking fx to the humor are spot on. You can never really go wrong with Paul Rudd or Michael Pena. You can definitely see where the Edgar Wright influences are throughout and it’s a shame that he and Marvel couldn’t get along, but it’s a miracle the production didn’t suffer because of it as is often the case. Ant-Man is a really good time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IronManCapCivilWarOnePosterCaptain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016)

Unlike Age of Ultron, even with the numerous amount of characters, everybody gets their time in the spotlight without things getting muddled. We also get a really solid villain here with a by the books super villain plot that is so great in its simplicity. Plus, this finally introduces us to the version Spider-Man fans like myself have been waiting to see on the big screen forever.

 

 

 

 

 

Doctor_StrangeDoctor Strange (November 4, 2016)

This flick is pretty fun, visually it’s insane, with all sorts of great fx both practical and cg…the time battle at the end alone is worth the price of admission on this one. Not the strongest in the series, but still a solid entry nonetheless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

guardians-of-the-galaxy-2Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017)

I like a lot of what this movie does, but I also feel that it goes too far sometimes…if I’m on board with a movie that has a talking raccoon and tree and can somehow lose my suspension of disbelief, well, somethings not right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spider-Man_Homecoming_posterSpider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017)

Spider-Man has ALWAYS been my favorite Marvel character ever since I was a kid and Holland absolutely nails both the personas of Parker and the ole webhead flawlessly. This is the Spidey I’ve been wanting to see ever since the Raimi efforts back in the day. Keaton rules as the Vulture and that speech in the car is still super badass. I also love low key the story is, because at the heart of Spidey that’s who he is, a neighborhood do gooder that only occasionally fights the bigger battles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thor-Ragnarok-international-poster-1-largeThor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017)

Taking the chance of going a bit more comedic, the result is one of the best Marvel films so far. Next to the original Guardians, this might be the most re-watchable entry in the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black_Panther_PosterBlack Panther (February 16, 2018)

I liked this one a lot more the second time I saw it. Wakanda is gorgeous and the mixture of technology and tribal traditions makes for a great combination. Plus, Danai Gurira instantly became one of my all time favorite female badasses. She is phenomenal in this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

avengers_infinity_war_Avengers: Infinity War (April 27, 2018)

Just…my god. Literally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now it’s time for me to rank these from my favorite to least favorite. Now, that being said, I really enjoy all of these films (with the exception of Iron Man 3) and it was an absolute delight to watch these again in preparation for Infinity War. So while something might be towards the end of the list, that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t like it, just that it doesn’t hold as much replayability for me.

 

FilmFrak Jon’s Rankings

Avengers: Infinity War
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1
Thor: Ragnarok
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Iron Man
Marvel’s The Avengers
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Captain America: The First Avenger
Ant-Man
Captain America: Civil War
Iron Man 2
Black Panther
Thor
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Incredible Hulk
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Thor: Dark World
Doctor Strange
Iron Man 3

FilmFrak Adam’s Rankings

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of The Galaxy
Iron Man 3
Thor Ragnarok
Ant-Man
Black Panther
Guardians of The Galaxy 2
Captain America: The First Avenger
Marvel’s The Avengers
Iron Man 2
Iron Man
Doctor Strange
Captain America: Civil War
The Incredible Hulk
Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Spiderman: Homecoming
Thor
Thor: Dark World

What is your ranking of the MCU films? Sound off below!

3 comments to FilmFrak Jon’s Marvel Rankings

  • Jeremy  says:

    1.) The Avengers
    2.) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    3.) Avengers: Infinity War
    4.) Guardians of the Galaxy
    5.) Captain America: Civil War
    6.) Black Panther
    7.) Iron Man
    8.) Thor: Ragnarok
    9.) Doctor Strange
    10.) Captain America: The First Avenger
    11.) Spider-Man: Homecoming
    12.) Ant-Man
    13.) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
    14.) Avengers: Age of Ultron
    15.) Thor
    16.) Iron Man 3
    17.) Thor: The Dark World
    18.) Iron Man 2
    19.) The Incredible Hulk

  • Scott Waldie  says:

    Marvel’s The Avengers
    Guardians of the Galaxy
    Avengers: Infinity War
    Captain America: Civil War
    Guardians of the Galaxy 2
    Iron Man
    Doctor Strange
    Captain America: The First Avenger
    Ant-Man
    Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    Avengers: Age of Ultron
    Spider-Man: Homecoming
    Thor
    Black Panther
    Thor: Ragnarok
    Iron Man 2
    Iron Man 3
    The Incredible Hulk
    Thor: Dark World

  • Jason King  says:

    Avengers: Infinity War
    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1
    Thor: Ragnarok
    Spider-Man: Homecoming
    Captain America: Civil War
    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
    Iron Man
    Thor
    Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    Marvel’s The Avengers
    Captain America: The First Avenger
    Thor: Dark World
    Avengers: Age of Ultron
    Black Panther
    Iron Man 3
    The Incredible Hulk
    Doctor Strange
    Ant-Man
    Iron Man 2

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