*Note: The list below is mostly subjective.
The God of Thunder Thor played by Chris Hemsworth returned once again after his very first own movie Thor in 2011 in the new film Thor The Dark World. To be frank, this film left quite lots of things to be desired. To certain extent it can be considered to be a mess, but it is kind of a fun mess (according to Soren Andersen from Seattle Times). That said; it did a good job in setting foundation for Thor’s epic battle with the Dark Elf Malekith for the fate of the Nine Realms, and for the later movies of MCU. Furthermore, who can resist the charm of mischievous Tom Hiddleston’s Loki?
Way before Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, there was already an attempt of bring the Hulk to life: The Incredible Hulk released in 2008. The Incredible Hulk 2008 was not an extraordinary movie; however, it was a solid movie which successfully depicting the character of Bruce Banner the Hulk (played by Edward Norton). Interesting enough, it skipped the incident which transformed Bruce into the green-skinned giant. Instead, it picked up months after Bruce was hiding and trying to find a cure. It focused more on Bruce’s struggle with this “anger curse”, which was a great direction. It might not be the best Marvel movie ever made, yet, it truly captured the essence of The Incredible Hulk.
After the big success of the first Iron Man film in 2008, naturally fans would anticipate for its next sequel – Iron Man 2 (2010). As before, we had Robert Downey Jr. who was the perfect actor for Tony Stark/Iron Man character. Then we had James “Rhodey” Rhodes (played by Don Cheadle) as Tony’s new buddy, and Scarlett Johansson as the Avenger Black Widow. The most compelling part of Iron Man 2 was how it showed a desperate Tony Stark and his life struggle, as he found out that his arc reactor was slowly killing him. That said; the film failed in delivering good villains, thus, making the stake felt so underwhelming. But at the very least, we got to see more of Tony’s character and how fitting Robert is with this superhero figure.
It feels really difficult for fans when talking about 2015 Avengers Age of Ultron. The film had a huge potential; however, similar to Iron Man 2 (and many other second movie sequels) the film did excel in certain aspects yet fell greatly in terms of villain character. Ultron was an interesting villain as he was originally an A.I created by 2 genius Avengers themselves – Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. However, the film failed to build up this Ultron character. Fortunately, when it failed in villain character, the film did deliver more about our heroes’ stories like Hawkeye’s past, love affair between Bruce and Black Widow, and especially it set up a conflict between Captain America and Iron Man, which later on resulted in Captain America Civil War in 2016.
This was the very first Thor movie which introduced us with the God of Thunder Thor played by Chris Hemsworth. Considering for what this movie is, it is a really entertaining movie with balance between mild funny moments and seriousness. Chris Hemsworth showed himself to be a great actor for the role of Thor: light humor and burly physiology. It was quite interesting to see the fabled God of Thunder Thor was kicked out of Asgard to Earth and lived as a mortal. Overall, Thor’s path of redemption in this film was entertaining while not taking everything too seriously.
Captain America is the leader of the Avengers so obviously we would eventually have a movie introducing his character. Captain America The First Avenger took place way back when Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans) was originally an American soldier during World War 2 period. To certain extent, Captain America shares similar tropes like Superman from DC Comics: too noble, too square, and too upstanding. While they were indeed ones of Capt’s characteristic, it might make the character so boring in movie world. Thanksfully, Captain America The First Avenger brought a more original story about Captain America, a.k.a Steve Rogers and his origins. It also introduced us with arguably the most dangerous enemy of Capt – Red Skull. The bad news was: those elements still lacked impact to push this movie further into top 10.
The nice aspect about Iron Man 3 was how it further explored Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr. of course) as he suffered from PTSD. It was also the first MCU movie to portray what would happen to the heroes after experiencing terrible events. On the other hand, Iron Man 3 was more like a blend between comedy and action. It was not an extraordinary movie but at the very least, it was a solid MCU film.
Ant Man is a breath of fresh air since it did not deal with apocalyptic, world-domination type of story like many other MCU movies. Rather, it was more about classic heist: gathering a team, preparing and planning, and practicing and finally getting into the game. Ant Man seemed to know all of possibly cliché related to this kind of story, and it actually worked! Despite the issue when the original director – Edgar Wright – left due to differences with the studio, the final result was still a smooth, entertaining film with cool superhero Ant Man played by Paul Rudd. He, including supporting cast, successfully captured the humors and the emotions throughout the film. Ant Man might not be the best MCU movie ever made, but it was definitely a good and enjoyable Marvel film.
Just like Ant Man, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is a fun experience which does not have to deal with the “dark story” trope of many superheroes films since the Dark Knight trilogy by Christopher Nolan. As expected, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was filled with tons of fun, entertaining moments. And of course, it was an action-packed, thrilling experience which both critics and audiences enjoyed. Probably the most criticism about the film was its lack of creativity. But in any case, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was a good MCU full of entertainment.
Ant Man and the Wasp was released just right after Black Panther and Avengers Infinity War. And what do we know: it is a welcoming movie. The film picked up the plotline right after Captain America Civil War and alongside with Avengers Infinity War. But unlike those 2 movies which had plenty of intense, emotionally heavy moments, Ant Man and the Wasp was a pure fun treat. The story of Ant Man and the Wasp was simple, yet it worked perfectly for characters to shine. There were indeed emotion, but not in the kind of intense like previous MCU films. Judging by the time it came out, we say this is the best change of pace after all the wild journeys with MCU so far.
Doctor Strange is an interesting case as it tried to do something different than what MCU did in the past, yet it seemed way too safe to be much, much more impressive. The film told about the origin of Marvel’s famous Sorcerer Supreme – Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, which was just a good set up for Avengers Infinity War 2018. Visual-wise, the film is a grand treat of incredible CGIs of magical power and Inception-style of presentation. To certain extent, it was quite a bold move for MCU while at that same time, it still lacked charismatic which made the first Iron Man great.
Morality is a difficult topic to explore, especially in movie field. Luckily, Captain America The Winter Soldier just did the right thing. The film introduced a new villain, or to be more precise, an old friend of Captain America named James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes (played by Sebastian Stan) who was supposed to be death back in World War 2. Bucky Barnes, the one who supposed to be dead, turned out to be brainwashed and became Winter Soldier – a cruel, murderous villain who pushed Capt into a difficult dilemma of morality. The film was great for its thought-provoking messages about real-life politic, as well as, setting up for the Civil War.
In 2012, The Avengers was undeniably a huge success as for the first time, all the famous Marvel heroes were brought together into a single film, an epic battle for Earth. It might easy in current time but back to the day, this was an incredible feat to pull off. Bringing all MCU popular heroes into a single movie was not a simple task, not to mention, it even cost millions of dollars. The overall plot of The Avengers could be considered as simple. But it worked wonderfully as it allowed all the characters to shine (including the villain Loki by Tom Hiddleston, c’mon! Who can forget this guy?), and of course, it filled with actions, stunning CGIs, and funny moments. Many, many people anticipated hard for this movie and needless to say, their anticipation finally paid off.
Introducing fans’ favorite cast from Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, to Cate Blanchett as Hela and Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, Thor Ragnarok was truly a delightful film to enjoy… except for those who sought a more serious MCU film. Taika Waititi’s Thor Ragnarok was surprising because it was unlike what many audiences expected: an action-comedy film. If we look at it as a comedy film, Thor Ragnarok is fantastic. It allowed Chris to show more of his fun, humorous side. It truly felt like Chris Hemsworth’s Thor as anything else. Some people may still not agree with the direction for this film. But personally, we think this movie was great and delightful, given the fact that Black Panther and Avengers Infinity War were coming next year.
Here we are, the film which started all: Iron Man. Back in 2008, the movie faced a bit of struggle, especially with the info of Robert Downey Jr. would play Tony Stark. But eventually, he proved otherwise that he was the best actor for the role of the millionaire, playboy, and genius man known as Iron Man. The film was a bomb; it hit all the requirements to make a superhero origin story great. And this very first MCU movie set up the foundation for the entire MCU roadmap we’ve seen today.
We all are too familiar with the story of heroes fighting villains and bad guys. But what about heroes fighting themselves? That was the theme Captain America Civil War aimed at. The film picked up the story after Captain America Winter Soldier and Avengers Age of Ultron. During this time, there was already a crack on Captain America and Iron Man’s relation. And when the government officially wanted to have regulation upon “enhanced” human, both of them along with their colleagues quickly formed 2 conflicting factions. The film presented with conflicting ideologies, including sociopolitical questions hidden within the context. Furthermore, it had cool introductions of Spider Man (played by Tom Holland) and Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman). After all, a civil war movie which made people struggling to choose their side should be a good movie.
To this point we cannot deny that Spider Man is among the most popular heroes in MCU besides the likes of Iron Man and Captain America. And to properly “reintroduce” Spider Man back to the MCU, we have Spider Man Homecoming which was a collaboration work between Marvel and Sony. Spider Man Homecoming was a traditional superhero film, yet included everything we wanted from it while still felt fresh. Tom Holland proved himself to be an excellent choice as a believable high-schooler Peter Parker. Not only that, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man and that sweet new Spidey suit also made appearance in the film. How cool was that?
The arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 was a big MCU hit and it proved one thing: you don’t always need to rely on already-popular superheroes to make a superhero movie great. The film is a lively treat with some of the most exotic locations in the MCU, aliens, and one-hell-of-a sci-fi adventure. It also filled with emotional, funny, and full-of-action moments. Overall, it was a refreshing movie with awesome soundtrack, hilarious script, unique visual, and a cast of bizarre yet fascinating characters. Despite feeling different than any previous MCU films, it still proved its strong connection with the MCU universe.
The critically acclaimed Avengers Infinity War was no doubt a massive bomb, not only among MCU films but also audiences’ heart. It did a spectacular job as a temporary “conclusion film” after all these years. Never before viewers witnessed such an enormous cast including almost all heroes the world has seen before like all of The Avengers, Black Panther, Spider Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and more… Combining with an imposing villain with believable threat – Thanos, this was definitely one of the best MCU movies ever made. Especially with that shocking ending, viewers will have to look at MCU movies in different way.
Honestly between Avengers Infinity War and Black Panther, it was difficult to decide which one was worthy of number 1. But for now, we had to choose Black Panther. Black Panther is spectacular as a MCU in every way: cool soundtrack, impressive visual, and especially that fascinating theme of black superhero and the mighty African country of Wakanda. Chadwick Boseman is perfectly suit as T’Challa the Black Panther – the new King of Wakanda. He successfully portrayed T’Challa struggling both as a successor of the throne and as Black Panther. And more importantly, it dealt with MCU’s “eternal curse” of weak bad-guy with Jordan’s Erik Killmonger – an understandable and even sympathizable villain. Putting the political-message stuffs aside, Black Panther is currently the best MCU to date and we surely wants to see a next Black Panther.
And that’s it folks! Which MCU movie(s) is your most favorite? Feel free to share with us and for now, thank you and stay tune for more news in the future!
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