We all love a good superhero movie, and Marvel has been dominating the game for the past decade. With the introduction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel’s movie offerings really upped the ante for what a good superhero movie should be. So what are the best of the best Marvel movies? Let’s find out.
5. Captain America: Civil War
I have to admit… I’m a little bit biased with this one. Since Spider-Man made his MCU debut in this movie, I needed to put this on the list– but that’s not the only reason why it’s on here. The climax of this movie is enough to earn it a spot. The build of tension to that point (regardless of the slightly odd scenes that led to that moment) makes the airport sequence well worth it. The core conflict between two understandable sides of a tough issue is very relevant to current times. The movie is also peppered with hilarious moments–such as Bucky asking Sam to push his seat forward–but still manages to be gripping. Add in Black Panther’s long-awaited big-screen appearance, and you’ve got a great superhero movie on your hands.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy
Ooga-chaka! This movie was a total, enormous surprise. And I think that I can safely say that it was an awesome one. Even as a Marvel fan, I have to admit: when I first saw the trailer for GotG I was hesitant to see it. But when I came out of the theater I was sure it was one of my favorite Marvel movies yet. The humor is at the forefront of Guardians, which would’ve been harder for Marvel to do if the cast of characters was one that the audience was more familiar with. But thank Groot we weren’t. The action is amazing, the fight scenes are well done, and I don’t think I’ll ever want to see a dance-off so desperately again.
3. The Avengers
This one is the original team-up-and-save-the-world movie. That’s something that DC won’t ever be able to say, and maybe it’s for the better. The Avengers showed the world that Marvel usually knows what they’re doing when it comes to huge-group movies. It’s always thrilling to watch how our favorite heroes interact before becoming the team they’re meant to be. (Although I’ve watched this movie so many times, I like to skip to the part where they actually like each other.) The battle for New York is the high point, letting the Avengers do what they do best and trading snarky lines as they do it. That scene is enough to make it one of the best Marvel movies, period.
2. Iron Man
I’m sure I will probably get backlash for not putting this as #1. Let me defend myself here. Iron Man was a terrific way to kickstart the public’s excitement about the recently-announced MCU. And I’m sure I speak for most people when I say that Robert Downing, Jr. was born to play Tony Stark in all his cocky glory. The effects and the interaction between the characters bring me back to this Iron Man in particular– there’s such an energy behind the whole movie. In my opinion, Iron Man really helped shift the focus from Sony’s Spider-Man to the potential of future Marvel-produced movies. The writing is witty, the action sequences are unique, and Tony’s personal struggles give the movie depth. Plus, the part where he’s testing out the Mark II is one of my favorite scenes in the whole MCU.
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
It was hard to pick between this and Iron Man. Both are terrific movies in their own right. However, I’m going with my man Cap and the most unique of all Marvel movies. Winter Soldier lets us see Steve living in a present-day world, dealing with the aftermath of The Avengers. His relationships with Sam Wilson and Natasha Romanoff make the movie, adding some much-needed humor and a change of pace. Steve’s realization that the Winter Soldier is none other than his best friend Bucky is delivered as a sucker-punch even to those familiar with the comics. Bucky’s loss of memory is heartbreaking, and the end is bittersweet. The Winter Soldier‘s fight scenes are unparalleled in scope and sheer awesomeness, especially between Cap and Bucky. This movie tackles more than a typical “bad guy is bad, time to show him who’s boss” plot. It’s layered with emotion and action the whole way through. And that’s why it’s the best Marvel movie of the last decade.