Top 5 Movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Since Iron Man released in 2008, pretty much every year has been a good year for Marvel. Besides 2009, Marvel has released at least one movie a year since Iron Man debuted. Each of these films has been commercially successful, too, making Marvel seem like a can’t-lose studio.
However, the really impressive part about Marvel is their so-called “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Say what you want about the quality of the individual films, but there is no denying that Marvel has created a really cool universe that’s grown from including just Iron Man to just about everyone they can get their hands on (damn you movie rights).
2014 has been an especially good year for Marvel because both their movies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and this past weekend’s Guardians of the Galaxy, have been critically adored. And while Guardians just hit theaters, it looks like I can safely say both movies are huge financial successes as well.
So, yeah, it’s a good year to be Marvel.
Since I obviously adored Guardians of the Galaxy, I thought this would be a good time to place it within the ranks of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
Here is the Top 5 I came up with:
While I didn’t particularly care for Iron Man 2 (it felt like a rehash of the first film), I did think there was a lot of important things added to Iron Man 3. For one, Tony had a little more to live for and a lot more to deal with (coming off the events of The Avengers). When it was all said and done, I still didn’t quite like what they did with The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a character I had hyped up quite a bit; however, I did like that the whole thing felt like the end of a trilogy…even if that wasn’t the case.
The inverse of this list would obviously be my least favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger would be vying for the top spot. I’m telling you this because I didn’t go into Captain America: The Winter Soldier with any anticipation. Looking back on The First Avenger, I do think Steve Rogers/Captain America has an important backstory and, as a whole, I think Captain America is an interesting superhero. In The Winder Soldier, the Russo Brothers continued to show us his interesting character while giving us probably our second best villain in the whole universe.
Part of me wants to dislike Iron Man simply because it was released the same year as The Dark Knight. Even my personal biases can’t make me hate the first iteration. We can all thank Robert Downey, Jr. because he is the sole reason Iron Man works. He’s perfectly cast and performs better than our imaginations could’ve fathomed. Iron Man also gets props because it was the first movie to kick off the universe, giving us a good jumping off point for the rest of the movies.
Yes, Guardians of the Galaxy is that good. I know some of the appeal will tarnish as the movie gets older but, still, James Gunn rejuvenated the Marvel brand with a movie that feels wholly different from the rest. This could ultimately turn off some fans but for somebody that hates seeing watered-down projects, I’d rather see something a little outside the norm than the safe bet. I can finally say I am excited to see what this means for the next Avengers movie but, more importantly, what this means for the universe as a whole.
I don’t think people truly knew how good Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was until we got to see it put together. You can pinpoint that moment as the culminating movie The Avengers. This is also the first time I can mention Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who I felt was a bit wasted in Thor but utilized much better by Joss Whedon. Unlike a lot of the superhero movies, though, the quality doesn’t hinge on the big bad. Instead, The Avengers used their teamwork (or lack thereof) to create a story worth not only liking, but loving. In the case of The Avengers, the sum is truly greater than the parts, making for an unheralded cinematic experience.
Now that you know how I’d rank the movies, where would you make changes to the list? Sound off below in the comments!
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