‘Doctor Strange’ gets some much-needed love as one of the MCU’s most important standalone stories

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

There aren’t many unpopular films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe lineup, but not all releases performed as well as their peers.

Among the MCU’s 30 theatrical releases, Eternals is a clear victor for “least popular film.” The 2021 release is considered by many to be underrated, but its finer moments aren’t enough to save the film from its “rotten” score on Rotten Tomatoes. Several other releases within the cinematic universe sport low scores and unenthusiastic reviews, but Doctor Strange was one of the first.

To be fair, Doctor Strange remains one of the mid-level Marvel releases, as far as viewers are concerned. The 2016 film is leagues above movies like the Eternals and even Thor: Love and Thunder, but reviews tend to paint the film as “lesser” than its peers. It didn’t have the humor and pacing to compete with other Phase One releases, leaving it to wallow in mediocrity in the eyes of many fans.

All of that is set to change if Twitter user @emmaforBC has anything to say about it. The far-too-rare Doctor Strange fan took to Twitter to celebrate the film’s many high points, and note the genuine success of the slept-on Marvel release.

Fans of the Benedict Cumberbatch-led film quickly chimed in with their own takes, adding in several additional factors that help to illustrate the unique success of Doctor Strange. These include its “niche” main character, being released in the midst of an election week — during one of the most highly-contested presidential runs in American history — and the fact that it was subject to widespread backlash over the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One.

These factors could have tanked a lesser film, but Doctor Strange was good enough to weather the storm. It’s not the most engaging flick in Marvel’s lineup and remains one of the franchise’s less-popular releases, but in retrospect, Doctor Strange remains a surprisingly solid film.