MCU Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked

19. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

“I am Queen of the most powerful nation in the world! And my entire family is gone! Have I not given everything?”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

As a standalone movie, Wakanda Forever occasionally stumbles under the weight of everything that came before. But, as a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, a film about processing the death of the Black Panther couldn’t be more fitting.

The Black Panther sequel turned out about as well as it could have done considering everything against it, from real-world loss to pandemic-worsened industry struggles. The film world expands and deepens, whilst characters (particularly Letitia Wright’s Shuri) grow and mature, the lavish production design bringing everything to tangible life.

The film also leaves us with some game-changing new players on board for the sequels, not least the powerful Namor.

18. Iron Man 3 (2013)

“You can take away my house, all my tricks and toys, but one thing you can’t take away – I am Iron Man.”

A back-to-basics Iron Man that was more character-focussed and comedic under the stewardship of director/co-writer Shane Black rubbed some fans up the wrong way but was a bold change of pace for the MCU immediately post-Avengers.

Is Iron Man still Iron Man without the Iron Man suit? That’s what Iron Man 3 sets out to explore with Tony Stark suffering from Battle of New York-related PTSD and a new threat destroying his gadget-filled home. This is a Christmas movie (as is Black’s default) that is funny, iconoclastic and full of surprises, with top work from Downey Jr, Ben Kingsley and Don Cheadle.

17. Ant-Man (2015)

“Okay. I just have one question… Who are you, who is she, what the hell is going on here, and can I go back to jail now?”

Marvel had to keep hybridising the superhero genre to stay fresh, and so their take on the heist movie is fast-paced, rip-roaringly entertaining and surprisingly emotionally grounded, following thief Scott Lang doing the wrong things for the right reasons, all to secure his young daughter’s future.

Edgar Wright leaving the project he had shepherded from its inception was disappointing, but Peyton Reed was more than up to the task, proving to be a real actor’s director who lets the stars’ natural chemistry shine and the multi-scaled, playful action scenes bring the smiles – one bizarrely featuring Thomas the Tank Engine.

16. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

“He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review

The first Guardians sequel brought the welcome return of everybody’s favourite bunch of a-holes and plenty of new needle drops and colourful pulp sci-fi flourishes. It also allows Chris Pratt to flex his acting chops as we dig deep into Peter Quill’s daddy issues, and it takes a refreshingly emotionally honest route to their resolution.

There’s no shortage of troubled father and son movies out there, but unless you’re directly adapting Greek myths, it’s unusual for the father to be actual devious god (small “g”). The film’s final act gets swallowed by VFX overload but in James Gunn’s capable hands, Vol 2 still ends up being one of the most audacious and moving entries in the MCU to date.

15. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

“No, Spider-Man isn’t a party trick! I’m just gonna be myself.”

Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

After memorably debuting in Civil War, Peter Parker’s first solo movie in the MCU May have seen him sharing his screentime with Iron Man but it brought plenty of pleasing teen movie hijinks and a memorable villain in Michael Keaton’s alien tech racketeer Vulture.

What if Ferris Bueller was a superhero? That seems to be director John Watts’ starting point for his take on the web-slinger. This is frothy, light on its feet and full of enough teen angst to make sure Tom Holland’s Peter Parker – balancing new hero responsibilities with extracurriculars and an upcoming prom – is the most troubled we’ve yet seen, even without having to pay his own rent.

Recommended for you: Spider-Man Movies Ranked

14. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

“I think Nick Fury just hijacked our summer vacation.”

Spider-Man: Far from Home Review

Put in the unenviable position of being the first film out post-Endgame, Far From Home sends its likeable group of super-smart high schoolers on summer vacation to picturesque Europe and packs in twists, turns and metatextuality to keep things interesting. 

Doubling down on the teens being teens aspect of the previous film and wryly acknowledging the shock of half the universe disappearing for 5 years then reappearing in the so-called “blip”, this is a bigger Spider-Man movie than Homecoming but a more original and self-aware one as well. It’s also got one of the great gasp-inducing endings courtesy of Jake Gyllenhaal’s high-tech fraudster Mysterio.

Recommended for you: Far from Home – Throwing Shade at the Superhero Factory

13. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

“Yeah, we compromised. Sometimes in ways that made us not sleep so well. But we did it so the people could be free. This isn’t freedom, this is fear.”

Understandably many fans’ favourite Marvel movie, Winter Soldier is a little unwieldy in its final act but is chock full of suspense, momentum and probably the best all-round action in the MCU to date.

Seeing Captain America on the run from compromised spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D, this is a popular choice for its dark, 1970s-era espionage thriller tone and visceral, crunchy fight scenes. It does become a little derailed with the hokum plot reveals of its second half, but it wins a lot of points for being different to everything else in the MCU at the time and for seeing its world-shaking premise through to its ugly end.

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