10. THOR: THE DARK WORLD
Thor: The Dark World is the only Marvel movie that is arguably not good. It's a pretty inconsequential little sequel with a few impressive sequences and not too much else. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston have engaging rapport as always and Stellan Skarsgaard gives an absolutely bananas performance, but the rest of the cast seems to be phoning it in. The villain, Malekith the Accursed, is the worst and most unmemorable of the cinematic universe and the plot is pretty standard Marvel. At the time of its release, I appreciated that The Dark World felt connected to the Marvel world as a whole, but on rewatch, this film has only become more and more difficult to sit through simply because there's just not much there.
9. IRON MAN 2
Although this might be a controversial opinion, Iron Man 2 is not a bad movie. Sure, it's the weakest of the trilogy and it's a film that has little bearing on the Cinematic Universe as a whole, but it entertains in its own right. The racetrack fight and final battle are both very cool and all of the actors seem to be giving it their all. Robert Downey Jr. is charismatic and the supporting cast is led by solid players like Sam Rockwell, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mickey Rourke. There's too much going on with this movie, but if you go back and look at this film now, I think that you'll be surprised by how well it holds up.
Thor is a consistently entertaining film and it introduces some important threads into the Cinematic Universe. I really enjoyed this film when it first debuted and there are many aspects that are very impressive. However, there are some truly lackluster and cliched elements to Thor. The silly and forced love story between Thor and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). The blatant origin elements that never work out that well. Despite the flaws, Thor's major contribution to Marvel is Tom Hiddleston's Loki and he does a spectacular job. Thor is great entertainment and a fun time at the movies if you're able to look beyond its select flaws.
7. THE INCREDIBLE HULK
The most underrated movie in the MCU, The Incredible Hulk is actually a pretty good Bourne-style thriller when you take a closer look at it. There's nothing revolutionary about the film's plot, structure or acting, but it's an efficient film and it has one of my favorite action movie conclusions with the battle between the Hulk and Abomination. Mark Ruffalo has obviously surpassed Edward Norton at this point, but Norton still made for an effective Hulk and he brings depth to the character. I also enjoyed the fact that there was no real attempt at an origin story, which is refreshing for a superhero film. Overall, The Incredible Hulk gets a bad rap but it's surprisingly good in the end.
6. IRON MAN 3
Iron Man 3 doubles as both the best and worst Marvel movie. That's why it falls right in the middle of the pack. Director Shane Black gave a smart and witty edge to the film that allowed for some truly exceptional patches, while other parts of the film are dragged down by exposition and bland universe building. However, there are so many things that I love about this movie. The Christmas setting. Harley, played by Ty Simpkins. The spectacular action scenes and visual effects. Ben Kingsley as "The Mandarin" and the rather funny twist. But for every good decision that Black makes, it seems that there's a poor one waiting around the corner. Iron Man 3 ends up being a very good film, but shave off a few mistakes and it might be one of the best Marvel movies period.
5. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
4. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
3. IRON MAN
2. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
The Winter Soldier is the most perfectly scripted and energetically filmed movie in the MCU and it is nearly the perfect action movie, if it only did away with some of the more blatant world-building. The Winter Soldier has stakes, implications and consequences that will likely have a severe impact on the Marvel world in the future. It also has some brutal action that perfectly mixes well-choreographed fight scenes and big-scale discussion like no other Marvel film. The supporting cast is terrific and this film's ability to shock and surprise in a world dominated by spoilers was very impressive. The Winter Soldier is so close to being my favorite Marvel movie, but it just can't top.....
1. THE AVENGERS
Image Credits: Telegraph, Marvel wikia, Hollywood Reporter, YouTube, Forbes, Screen Rant, Hollywood Reporter, MTV, Digital Spy, Disney Wikia