Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe Films (Updated for Guardians Vol. 2)

#11 Iron Man


The first Iron Man movie is still the best. Compared to the movies that followed it, you can tell that Marvel was still trying to be a little careful back in 2008. If Iron Man failed, this whole superhero dynasty would never have happened, so the first Iron Man feels a bit smaller than the epics that followed it. Marvel is still carefully setting up their universe in the original and even if the whole Cinematic Universe didn’t happen after Iron Man it remains a great comic book movie.

#12 Thor


Kenneth Branagh’s Thor: The Dutch Angle had a huge challenge to overcome. Up to this point in the Marvel movie canon, there really wasn’t “magic”. Stephen Strange wouldn’t exist prior to the first Thor movie, so they explained that Asgard was more technological. This gave Asgard a more scifi feel than people are used to, which is why The Dark World feels a lot more like a Thor movie than the original. It still has it’s moments, but it’s a bit hard to watch now that the sequel is around.

#13 Iron Man 3


Of all the Phase 2 Marvel movies, Iron Man 3 has to be my least favorite. After the events of The Avengers, you could understand why they tried to make the third Iron Man a little smaller story, but that came at the expense of ruining Tony Stark’s arch enemy. What they did to The Mandarin is like making The Joker a birthday party clown who just has a nervous breakdown and is really sorry for killing people. Thankfully the All Hail the King short on the Thor: The Dark World Blu-Ray shows that Marvel is aware of how much fans hated The Madarin in this movie.

#14 The Incredible Hulk


There are actually a lot of people that don’t know that The Incredible Hulk is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It takes place within the same one-week period that Iron Man 2 and Thor take place in, and in addition to Tony Stark appearing in the movie footage of the Hulk’s college rampage is used in Iron Man 2 and The Avengers. The movie pays tribute to the television series by giving Bill Bixby a cameo of sorts, and even includes the television show’s ending theme at one point in the movie. The origin montage at the beginning is also based on the TV show.

#15 Iron Man 2


I think most Marvel fans are able to agree that Iron Man 2 is the weakest of all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. While I love the science quest Tony goes on, as that is definitely a big part of his character, combining Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash into one villain didn’t quite work out as well. The movie is still worth watching as part of the MCU canon as it does introduce Black Widow and begins to lay more groundwork for The Avengers.