It’s a pretty popular thing to rank the Marvel Studios movies from best to worst. Everyone seems to have their own personal list of which is the best of the current crop of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, so we decided to put ours out there. This list will be updated with the release of each new Marvel Studios film so here is how we rank the Marvel Cinematic Universe as of the release of Doctor Strange…
#1 Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War is the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films for bringing one of the most popular Marvel Comics stories to the big screen in a surprisingly faithful adaptation, while introducing a perfect Black Panther & Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It does all that while continuing to be an excellent Captain America movie and a fantastic third installment in what is now the best superhero movie trilogy of all time.
#2 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Captain America sequel was the best movie Marvel made prior to Civil War, and yes it’s even better than The Avengers. It expertly adapts one of the best comic book story lines in the last ten years while at the same time seriously shaking up the status quo for the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie does all of this in the midst of a 70s-style political thriller that gives Cap a new sidekick and forces him to face his best friend who he believed to be dead.
#3 Doctor Strange
The mystical side of the Marvel Universe is expertly introduced via the best Marvel big screen origin. The complicated (and weird) character and world of Doctor Strange is brought to vivid life with stunning visual effects that pay great tribute to Steve Ditko’s memorable psychedelic work in the 60s. Benedict Cumberbatch is born to play Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, making Doctor Strange a mix of perfect casting and amazing comic adaptation.
#4 Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy may be the box office hit of 2014, and loved by critics equally as much, but as awesome as the movie is it just comes in a close second to The Winter Soldier. As fun as Guardians is, the writing in the Captain America sequel is much more solid, hitting the emotional highs and lows that the story demands. Guardians of the Galaxy is probably the best debut for any of the Marvel big screen characters, and as the stakes will be much higher we expect the sequel to easily dethrone the original on this list come 2017.
#5 Ant Man
Much like Guardians of the Galaxy before it, many predicted that Ant Man would be Marvel’s first flop. It’s anything but and is an excellent installment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe mythos. It edges out Age of Ultron slightly by delivering some of the humor that many felt the Avengers sequel was lacking. It’s connections to the greater MCU are extremely cool, and it presents a great version of the Scott Lang Ant Man for future adventures in Civil War and beyond.
#6 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Many critics are trashing Age of Ultron to try to shove a mythical “Superhero Fatigue” story line down people’s throats. Age of Ultron builds on the success of the first Avengers movie, and improves on it by showing that (as in the comics) the Avengers team doesn’t have to be made up of the “Big 3” to be considered Avengers. The team line-up at the end of Age of Ultron is an interesting mash-up of Avengers and West Coast Avengers, and the sequel gets a huge plus over the original with the brilliant handling of The Vision…even in his limited screen time. If the original Avengers finally put a comic book world on the big screen, Age of Ultron comfortably lives in that world.