Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge fan of Marvel, and obviously, that includes the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and TV shows! In the following series, I’ve ranked all forty-some entries in order of my enjoyment (not necessarily in quality) from worst to best.
The following MCU products have not aired at the time of composition:
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Agents of SHIELD (Season 6)
Agents of SHIELD (Season 7)
Cloak & Dagger (Season 2)
Runaways (Season 3)
The following I have not seen:
The Incredible Hulk
The Punisher (Season 1)
The Punisher (Season 2)
#40. Thor: The Dark World
A mess of Marvel cliches, CGI, and rehashing of the first Thor movie, The Dark World lands firmly at the bottom of the MCU for me. Underdeveloped villains and a flat titular character (not to mention an overreliance on Loki) produced Marvel’s most uneven film to date, one that made every subsequent Marvel sequel seem amazing in comparison.
#39. Iron Man 3
I’m not a big Iron Man fan, despite the movies being my introduction to the MCU. Iron Man 3’s a bit of an odd duck, not truly good or bad, and I don’t have strong feelings on it either way but my dislike for the titular character and the somewhat slow pace of the movie sticks it low on this list. Almost every Marvel movie and TV show has an air of excitement, but Iron Man 3 was just… okay.
#38. Doctor Strange
Similar to #37, Doctor Strange is a much better movie than I give it credit for on this list. I’m a huge fan of the comics Doctor Strange, but several factors prevent this objectively good movie from being a favorite of mine, namely: the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch, who I simply dislike as an actor, the whitewashing of the Ancient One, the overreliance on the time stone at the expense of the actual Doctor Strange mythos, and the similarities to so many other Marvel movies.
Still, the Cloak of Levitation is iconic, and it was very, very fun seeing Doctor Strange in action on the big screen, even if I couldn’t appreciate it for what it was.
#37. The Avengers
I know, I know. Everyone loves this movie. And the first time I saw it, I did too. But honestly the first Avengers movie coasts a lot on nostalgia and novelty, being the first real superhero teamup movie. In reality, the odd pacing, cringey Cap costume, dull Hawkeye characterization, and a variety of other factors prevent me from enjoying this movie as much as everything else. Mostly, I’d say my disinterest in 2012’s Avengers stems from my love of the comics Avengers- I went into this movie with high expectations, and the choice to remove Ant-Man and the Wasp from the founding roster damaged it irreparably to me.
#36. Inhumans (Season 1)
The Inhumans TV show gets a bad rep, and for the most part, its justified. Cheap and melodramatic, the show made some truly uninspired choices (such as the immediate negation of Medusa’s superpowers). However, the show’s lead, Anson Mount, did a phenomenal job as Black Bolt, elevating the entire series with his silent pathos, and the show thrived in its unexpectedly complex treatment of Attilan’s flawed society. Inhumans deserved a second season, at least to try to make things right.