Ranked: 'Marvel Cinematic Universe' Movies (UPDATED: Thor: Ragnarok)

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1) Iron Man

"This is one hell of an action movie. It feels fresh, innovative and just downright satirical about the whole superhero genre. Robert Downey Jr. is perfectly cast as Tony Stark, a man of convictions that has also sold himself to the devil by being an arms dealer, but gets a wake-up call to do good upon the world. Mixing terrifically conceived action and comedy isn't an easy feat, but director Jon Favreau proves his worth as a major pop-culture filmmaker by taking advantage of Downey's charisma and downright satirical sense of humor. A comic book movie shouldn't take itself so seriously and Favreau proves here why." [A-]

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2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

"The film should be the blueprint for how Marvel should construct their future superhero films. There is a lot of influence from cinematic genres, especially the 1970s political thriller which this film is clearly inspired by. Classics such as "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of Condor" loom large in every frame of the Russo Brothers' finely crafted film. Tonally, The Winter Soldier is also the darkest and most pertinent story to have emerged from the Marvel Universe. It asks many questions about government and the cost of war. The film features the best action scenes to have emerged from the genre as well, eclipsing what Joss Whedon achieved with "The Avengers" in every which way. This suspenseful, tensely-driven film is the way forward for MCU" [B+]


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3) Guardians of the Galaxy

"Maybe it's about time Marvel looked at a film like "Guardians of the Galaxy" and rethought its entire plan for future films. That is meant as a compliment to James Gunn's silly, but fun pop culture ditty. The outcasts in the film are so well written and portrayed that the execution almost feels all-too effortless. Sure the plot is kind of silly and its over-the-top climax a little too contrived, but the film's good natured message of friendship is hard to not like. Gunn also shows surprising flair for visuals, which bode well for his future and Marvel's as well. There's a prison breakout sequence that is too great to miss and reinescent of watching Lucas' original 1977 "Star Wars" for the first time." [B+]

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4) Iron Man 3

"Shane Black, has taken over Jon Favreau's duties as director of the newest Iron Man. If Iron Man 2 was a total and utter disappointment, this newest installment seems fresh and newly invigorated. It helps that Iron Man 3's screenplay is written in a way that goes against the narratives we are used to now with the MCU movies, much kudos must be given to Shane Black and Drew Pearce who collaborated on the screenplay. In Iron Man 3 the baddies are played by capably brilliant actors -Ben Kingsley and Guy Pierce- that bring a real nice touch to a film that could have easily steered the wrong way. This is a film that doesn't take itself so seriously and that's possibly the best approach to have in making these kinds of movies. As an added bonus, this has he potential to be a Christmas classic." [B+]



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5) The Avengers

"It's not hard to see why Fanboys around the globe are creaming their pants at the recent summer blockbuster The Avengers. It has almost all -no Spidey- of the popular Marvel comic book heroes and is directed by Serenity and Buffy The Vampire Slayer helmer Joss Whedon. He directs the hell out of this movie. There is an action sequence that takes place on a plane that got my palms sweaty and the entire audience gasping for air by its end. It's a good time at the movies this 'Avengers' film, but if you think this is art then you're sorely mistaken. On a scene by scene basis this film works like a charm, but one cannot help but be concerned for the fate of movies when watching a film that seems to essentially be a commercial for many more Marvel films to come." [B+]



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6) Captain America: Civil War

"I was exhausted by the 150 minutes movie that was Civil War. It`s actually the lengthiest Marvel movie yet. So much stuff is jam-packed into this film, both good and bad, that some of the better moments get quickly forgotten once the next showstopper hits.  I don`t mind that, because this movie solely exists as a marketing entertainment, but I wish it somehow had time to just pause, refresh, reboot, breath before the next action battle comes. Captain America: Civil is entertaining, but it barely has time to have a concrete narrative happening. Are we not entertained? Of course we are, but this doesn't have the cinematic-ness of "Winter Soldier" [B+]


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7) Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok” is a vast improvement upon the first two Marvel installments, much of it thanks to director Taika Waititi (“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and “What We Do in the Shadows”) who infuses the proceedings with a healthy dose of wacky meta-humor. This latest “Thor” movie follows in the footsteps of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Deadpool,” Ant-Man” and, more recently, this past July’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” by not taking itself so damn seriously. The game-changing 2014 “Guardians of the Galaxy” seemed to have sparked a new attitude in Marvel movies — why be so serious about a movie essentially based on a comic book? DC seems to have gotten the memo as well with this year’s entertaining, highly successful and dour-free “Wonder Woman.” Waititi's colorful, entertianing and not-so-serious work is the kind of film that could build his career and future in droves. Marvel isn't done with him."

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8) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
"Guardians of the Galaxy" was a surprise hit in 2014. This was a summer movie that had the brains to pull off action, comedy and drama all in a single shot.  Now, fast forward 3 years later and we've received its much-anticipated sequel. Many fans will absolutely love this film and rightfully so. The movie is good. It is light and funny and digestible in ways that far too few summer movies ever are. The cast returns and delivers even more banter and jeering at each other, which is something I loved about the original. Also, Dave Bautista. I really do believe Bautista is the revelation of these movies, he's the funniest and quirkiest, that's for sure. His "dumb act" works so well that I just can't see anyone else pulling off the lines that he has in this movie. 

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9) The Incredible Hulk

"Edward Norton is excellent as Dr. Banner and the action is fast paced and in good quantity, with a surprising amount of it focusing around Banner himself rather than his green alter-ego. The battle scenes with General Ross's army and The Hulk are visually stunning. Director Leterrier gets the job done telling the compelling story of a man's search for peace within himself. It's a classic hero tale that gets the treatment it deserves, even though at times the story reveals to be a little too thin for its own good. Good thing the locations are stunning and the performances match Letterier's craft." [B]


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10) Captain America: The First Avenger

"Captain America: The First Avenger is, by all measures, a pretty decent film. Its colorful old retro style and production design must be credited to Joe Johnston whose work in "The Rocketeer" must have gotten him the job. Although it can, at times, be blend and uninvolving, the sheer joy in Johnston's direction and star Chris Evans' performance are more than worthy of a reccomendation. Plenty of things do work here, but there is an overall lack of muscle in the execution. I have now seen the film twice and both times I have come to conclusion of its merits: It feels like a campy, not too serious, throwaway comic book of the 1940s jumping off the pages and onto the screen." [B-]

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11) Doctor Strange

"Benedict Cumberbatch is well cast as Dr. Stephen Strange and, for a moment there, it looked like the film had a fighting chance. The movie's concept of magic is some kind of nonsense about the spiritual manipulation of quantum physics. There is banality in the way not just the filmmakers, but the actors as well buy the banality in their dialogue. The movie is meant to be a mindfuck, but it becomes such a disparaging barrage of nonsense that only a pre-pubescent boyed mindset could possibly salivate its "ideas." Director Scott Derrickson had at his disposal a unique story to add to the Marvel Universe, but he seems to have had a blueprint to follow the same trajectory as the other Marvel films. Don't get me wrong, the visuals are stunning in "Doctor Strange" and deserving of, at the very least, an Oscar nomination, but the movie feels stale and unforgiving." [C]


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12) Thor

"Kenneth Branagh's ambitious but mildly entertaining Thor, which is a disappointment. Not to say that it's a total failure, but Branagh's film starts and ends in dreadful fashion. I presume the real problem with Thor is the fact that it is based on a superhero that is one of the least interesting of the Marvel canon, not to mention one of the least humane and more far fetched ones at that. Then again there was potential, Branagh is a scholar of Shakespeare and the plot -involving father & son betrayal with Shakespearean dialogue no less- wouldn't be completely far off Bill Shakes territory. Why doesn't it work? well first off there are plodding devices that hammer it down, case in point the uninvolving love story. There's also the intertwining story lines that move back and forth from one realm to the other, this gives the movie no time whatsoever to build up its characters so that you care for them by film's end." [C+]

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13) The Avengers: Age of Ultron

"Now the story is where the problems come for me. The main plot is pretty much Tony Stark and Bruce Banner invent Ultron which was supposed to protect but then it decides to destroy. Ultron honestly didn't feel that menacing as compared to villains from other MCU films like Loki in The Avengers or the Winter Soldier in Cap. America 2. But he is hilarious. The story jumps all over the place with parties to small battles to large scale city battles. The Hulk vs Hulk-Buster sequence was probably my favorite scene of the entire movie since the final battle wasn't really impressive compared to the first Avengers. For all the other effects and action, it's been seen before in countless other action and superhero movies. Then there's this whole romance with Black Widow and Banner and it's like where on earth did that come from?? There were a few times when I felt flat out bored during this movie. Nothing of much interest happened in these scenes. However, the ending and the post credit scenes were pretty cool and make the future installments in the MCU look very promising." [C]


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14) Iron Man 2

"Iron Man 2 has an overstuffed script and not enough action scenes to sustain our interest. Is it worth shelling out  hard earned dollars to watch a movie that basically has no idea or direction in its path? Of course not. Director Jon Favreau brought a solid mix of action and humor to the 2008 original that we -as an audience- had the right to expect something special again. Here's another sequel that fails miserably at that. Mickey Rourke -cue the comeback- & Robert Downey Jr do their best to save a movie that is the equivalent of watching paint dry. They deserved better than this and so did the audience which has not much to cheer about." [C-]


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15) Thor: The Dark World

I walked out of this movie after about an hour. It was just too insufferable, which is why I don't really have a quote from a review I wrote because, well, I didn't write a review for it. There's a reason why they have waited this much time to make another Thor, I believe the next one will finally get released in 2017, but, man, this was brutal. A perfect example of special effects being completely overused and story being completely buried in the process. [N/A]

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