#7 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.
#8 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.
#9 The Avengers
It’s hard to believe that at one point The Avengers was believed to be this massive risk that would crash and burn. People trashed the movie before it came out due to a “TV director” (Joss Whedon) being in charge of the movie, but it went on to become the third highest grossing movie of all time. The Avengers brought the fantastical element of comics to life on the big screen in a way that was never seen before, and there are still people who feel it’s the best Marvel movie even with The Winter Soldier out.
#10 Thor: The Dark World
This will be a controversial choice for #5, but the Thor sequel is one of the best movies Marvel has done yet and it sets the stage for something really big in the future. The first Thor felt a bit alien to fans of the comic, so a Game of Thrones director was brought in to give Thor a more fantasy-based Norse feeling. Alan Talor definitely did that, as The Dark World feels a lot more like a Thor story than the first movie did. The film also has the best musical theme of any Marvel movie by far, and it sets us down the path towards Avengers 3 where those Infinity Stones will come into play in a way comic fans have been dreaming about for twenty years.
#11 Captain America: The First Avenger
Prior to The Avengers, the first Captain America was my favorite Marvel film. Joe Johnston, who did The Rocketeer, was the perfect person to handle a WWII period piece superhero movie. They got the character of Steve Rogers absolutely perfect in this movie. In a world where comic book movies are failing to understand the title characters from the comic, the perfection of how Chris Evans pulled off Steve Rogers was impressive. The biggest problem with the movie is that Cap and the Howling Commandos turning the tide of WWII is reduced to a montage. We needed to see more of him and his team and how effective they were in the war.