A Completely Arbitrary Ranking Of The 8 Movies In The Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Marvel’s latest offering within its Cinematic Universe is Thor: The Dark World, marking the eighth entry into this rather ambitious attempt to apply rules normally reserved for comic books to movies. Film franchises have become commonplace by now, to the point where they’re frequently lambasted as the downfall of our cinema, innovation, civilization, etc. What Marvel is doing, though, is taking this wretched system of cynical sequels and tired remakes and doing something that, as far as I can tell, is completely new: establishing a multi-film-spanning universe with individual stories that intersect and influence each other over an indefinite period of time.

They’ve further extended this cinematic universe into television and shorts, most notably the ABC series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, which I have yet to get into (I’m hesitant due to the mixed reviews). There may be a learning curve for these ventures as there was for the movies initially, and a new partnership with Netflix certainly sounds promising. Their universe continues to expand, and if the quality can keep up pace with the quantity of output that Marvel is promising, it will be a fascinating and exciting era for innovative storytelling.

I’m not a comic book guy, but for as long as I’ve been aware of some of the conventional practices (so since like, a year ago), I’ve been deeply intrigued by the way storylines unfold across different series, and that projects as massive as big-budget movies are beginning to execute this with increasing agility is a tremendous development. I have little emotional attachment to Marvel as a brand, but what they’re doing is becoming pretty remarkable.

With that, here is a ranking of the 8 movies in Marvel’s current shared cinematic universe, based on the tastes and evaluative capabilities of a comic novice.

Continue reading on the next page…

Comments (80)

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  1. elitist-movie-snobsays:

    Totally agree that Iron Man remains the best film so far from Marvel Studios, but I’m surprised you ranked Incredible Hulk that high. Stylistically and story-wise, I though Captain America was vastly superior, but I can appreciate your reasoning nonetheless. Nice list!

    1. bfg666says:

      Captain America was a cheesefest.

  2. Jake Westonsays:

    The Avengers
    Iron Man Three
    Iron Man
    Thor
    Captain America: The First Avenger
    The Incredible Hulk
    Thor: The Dark World
    Iron Man 2

    In case you wanted an equally arbitrary rating.

  3. Julio Navassays:

    By far The Dark World is the most mediocre film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It´s not bad, but it ain´t as good as the others. I Enjoyed the first one more.

  4. stephentgsays:

    from best to worst: The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America (underrated), Iron Man 2 (highly underrated), The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man 3 (overrated)

  5. ⚔Christophuh⚔says:

    The Avengers was embarrassingly horrible.

    1. bfg666says:

      This comment was embarrassingly horrible.

      1. ⚔Christophuh⚔says:

        It took you 3 months to think of that? Sorry if insulted your favorite children’s movie. Does your butt hurt? i have ointment.

      2. bfg666says:

        Excuse me for having a life outside of the computer… Also, I feel fine, thank you. You, on the other hand, might want to substantiate your “criticisms” if you want to be taken at least a little seriously. Right now, you sound like a spoiled brat who got his candy bar bit off by a passing dog.

      3. ⚔Christophuh⚔says:

        your wife likes candy that much? tell her to buy her own.

      4. bfg666says:

        …Right.

        *sigh*

      5. ⚔Christophuh⚔says:

        Yeah doesn’t it suck that not everyone is as intelligent as you? At least you have your Satanism.

      6. bfg666says:

        And now, since you still have zilch to back your inane ramblings with, you’re pulling the religion card… Oboy, you’re a piece of work! Sorry, you lose again, I’m no satanist. I don’t believe in fairy tales and I most certainly don’t take myths for facts. Not that I feel the need to justify myself to trolls like you but for your edification, know that my username and avatar are direct references to the classic videogame Doom, nothing more.

        BTW, what’s that bit about intelligence? You’re a douche, that’s for sure, but I never said anything even remotely equating you to an idiot. That said, now that you’ve brought the subject up, you must have some level of insecurity to act the way you do. Not necessarily in the intelligence department (though your thinking skills remain to be seen) but it’s common knowledge that bullies are usually cowards who subconsciously feel the need to prove their own worth to themselves. IRL, it symptomizes in their fists and online, it translates into what you’re doing. It might be wise for you to ponder that…

        Also, for you to blindly liken a username to a religion without thinking, you probably aren’t the brightest lightbulb in the room but unlike your attitude, I can’t hold it against you: it’s not the hand you’re dealt that matters but what you make of it and right now, you’re far from putting it to its best use. Now, please go get yourself some manners.

      7. ⚔Christophuh⚔says:

        seek help.

      8. bfg666says:

        Sure.

      9. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        You are both idiots.

      10. bfg666says:

        …says the guy who claimed IM3 was one of the worst movies he’s ever seen. Please go insult someone else, asshole.

      11. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        What was that? All I heard was “Baaaaah Baaaaaaah Baaaaaah” Sorry, I dont speak sheep.

      12. bfg666says:

        You know what? I really feel sorry for you that you feel the need to troll others. Whatever happened in your sad life that you have such a desire to alleviate your self-loathing by acting as a pathetic excuse for a human being?

      13. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        “….you feel the need to troll others.” I dont really feel the need to but losers like you make it soooooooo easy and fun. Now go back to jerking off over Gwenyth Paltrow in IM3 since thats the closest you will ever get to a girl. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

      14. bfg666says:

        Obviously you do need it since you’re doing it repeatedly. The most tragic is that lowlifes like you don’t even realize how pathetic they are and that their persistence in bullying others actually makes them the butt of the joke, not the other way around. Heh, talk about losers! Oh, and for the record, my girl is doing just fine, thank you. She actually burst out laughing at your vain attempts to ridicule me when I showed her your delusional comments. Now if you want to keep on amusing us, be my guest, we’re making popcorn…

      15. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        “since you’re doing it repeatedly.” Pot this is the kettle calling. Whatever makes you feel better about yourself you sanctimonious little man. Remember I wasnt the one who called someone else an asshole because they had a differeing opinion on what a good movie is and feels the need to comment on every thread on here. Sure, you have a life. And I have a bridge to sell. PS Is your ‘girl’ your right hand or your left?

      16. bfg666says:

        No, I called you an asshole because you barged in calling me an idiot. Please don’t project your own shortcomings on me. That’s what your ilk tend to do. Also, “embarrasingly horrible” is not an opinion, it’s a bold statement backed with no reflexion. PS: She’s still laughing. Thank you.

      17. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        Yawn. Sure bfg. Whatever you say. You are right. etc. etc. No go tell mommy its time for your nap.

      18. bfg666says:

        Heh heh, not so funny anymore when you realize you can’t get a grip on your “victim”, is it? Poor Kevin… Who needs mommy now? And yet, like a rabid dog, you just can’t let go. It’s somewhat impressive to be that oblivious to common sense! Or at least it would be if it wasn’t so pitiful.

      19. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        Yawn. Sure bfg. Whatever you say. You are right. etc. etc.

      20. bfg666says:

        Hahaha! You can try as hard as you like to pretend you don’t care what I say but you’re not fooling anyone: you’re still here trying to save face by slipping a final word in…

      21. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        Yawn. Sure bfg. Whatever you say. You are right. etc. etc. btw: “And yet, like a rabid dog, you just can’t let go. It’s somewhat impressive to be that oblivious to common sense!” LMAO @ your hypocrisy!

      22. Guestsays:

        LMAO @ your hypocrisy.

      23. bfg666says:

        Oh riiiiight, hypocrisy… Kev, you’re cute, tell me about the speck and the log again! Yet again, you’re projecting your own failings on me. It’s not mine to quit, especially when the show is so hilarious: remember YOU barged in to insult me, not the other way around, and it just didn’t work. So bye now, unless you wish to embarass yourself in public once more and have everyone laugh at you… again.

        BTW, you might want to change your username to something more appropriate, like Harmless Twat. Sharks usually have plenty of teeth that bite hard. You, you don’t even have the creative energy to troll properly anymore: you’ve been copying/pasting your last feeble attempt at biting 3 times already…

      24. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        Yawn. Sure bfg. Whatever you say. You are right. etc. etc.

      25. bfg666says:

        …Aaaaaand 4! Bwahahahaha! Thank you.

      26. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        Yawn. Sure bfg. Whatever you say. You are right. etc. etc.

      27. bfg666says:

        Are you really gonna be that moronic? Oh wait… nevermind.

      28. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        Yawn. Sure bfg. Whatever you say. You are right. etc. etc.

      29. bfg666says:

      30. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        Yawn. Sure bfg. Whatever you say. You are right. etc. etc.

      31. bfg666says:

        Since you’re terminally impervious to reason, there’s no use for me to keep on responding to you so this is my last reply. But please be my guest, continue to amuse us by sticking to your daily broken record routine…

      32. Kevin Sharkeysays:

        Yawn. Sure bfg. Whatever you say. You are right. etc. etc. And you keep being the condescending, know-it-all douche bag we all know and love.

    2. Nolan Michael Gerickesays:

      how? why?

      1. ⚔Christophuh⚔says:

        so many reasons. A flying aircraft carrier for example. It just seemed like a bad tv movie. Only redeeming quality – Hulk.

      2. bfg666says:

        Bullshit as usual. The Hulk was great, I’ll grant you that, but you keep on stating opinions without the slightest argument to back them. Therefore, they’re null and void.

      3. Nolan Michael Gerickesays:

        What superhero movie do you find realistic? Oh, is the man who walks around in black tights and the flying alien who shoots lasers out of eyes more realistic? yeah i thought so

  6. Nadersays:

    Iron Man
    The Avengers
    Iron Man Three
    Thor
    The Incredible Hulk
    Thor: The Dark World
    Captain America: The First Avenger
    Iron Man 2

  7. [a] proxysays:

    Iron Man
    The Avengers
    Thor: The Dark World
    Captain America: The First Avenger
    Thor
    Iron Man 2
    The Incredible Hulk
    Iron Man 3

    Obviously, this ranking will change with the Winter Soldier comes out which may even go as high to beat Iron Man & the Avengers…believe that.

    1. make moremoenysays:

      this is the list right here

    2. X-Mikesays:

      You were the first one to make a proper ranking. Kudos!

  8. Marcussays:

    Not being an avid comic book reader I am confused by the term Marvel Universe. Having seen every movie in which Marvel characters have been portrayed there are far more than 8. So really is this Marvel Universe more appropriately the Avenger Universe? If not then where are all the X-Men and Spider Man films?

    1. codysays:

      Marvel cinematic universe

    2. Lachlansays:

      The Marvel cinematic universe, or as you put it the Avengers universe, is the cinematic universe created by Disney. The movies in it are separate to the X-men and Spider man movies as the rights for the characters in those belong to other studios (Fox and Sony) and the studios.

      1. bfg666says:

        More appropriately, created by Marvel Studios, incidentally owned by Disney.

    3. Andrew Psays:

      “Marvel Universe” is the term used for the shared universe in which the main line of Marvel comics are set.
      “Marvel Cinematic Universe” is one of the names used for the set of movies set as all occurring in a specific shared universe
      [Actually years ago Marvel set up the idea of a multiverse where each was designated a number:
      The Marvel Universe (comics) = 616
      The Marvel Cinematic Universe (movies) = 19999]
      So it is just those 8 films (filmed as “phase 1” and start of “phase 2”)
      Others have made lists of the 30 or so marvel films made since Blade in ’89, this one only tried to rank this specific set.

  9. Chadsays:

    I have yet to see the two Thor movies, so I cannot accurately comment on this list from an objective standpoint. Even then, it’s an opinion-based thing.

    I have a hard time believing that Thor is worse than Iron Man 2, though, as I didn’t like the latter film much at all. It was stupid, and was partially ruined by the annoying scientist who was jealous of Tony Stark. I never want to watch that movie again.

    The first Iron Man is probably their best, though – I agree. The Avengers is also right up there.

    I want to see the first Thor, but can’t say I’m too interested in the second.

    In related news, I just watched The Wolverine and didn’t really enjoy it.

    1. bfg666says:

      As far as stupidity goes, Thor is miles below IM2. A very surprising (and disappointing) fail for someone like Kenneth Brannagh. Darren’s review is spot-on (well at least paragraphs 1 and 3, 2 is a bit more subjective) but only scratches the surface of everything wrong with this movie.

      Add to that the weapons and armors looking like cheap rubber and plastic, Hemsworth looking at all times like a GQ model instead of an actual warrior, full with rosy cheeks and heavily sprayed hair of which not a single strand ever moves, a Destroyer golem lasting approx 2.4 seconds (OK, I’m exaggerating a lot here but you get the idea: it could’ve benefited from extended durability), cheesy dialogue and corny humor (special mention to the Terence Hill/Bud Spencer routine that Thor and Volstagg have going) and last but not least, Asgardians speaking to each other in MODERN ENGLISH instead of some ancient Norse dialect. Let me say that again: MODERN ENGLISH! Way to ruin suspension of disbelief…

      The sequel fixes most of these problems except that Norglish thing (the dark elves do have their own language, though) and it’s generally much better as long as you’re cool with Loki being the reluctant sidekick rather than the antagonist this time around. It makes for new and improved dynamics between the two brothers, which is great. The downside is that the villain is much more monolithic, less complex than Loki, which is not so great. Then again, is everything exactly as it seems whenever Loki’s involved? You probably already know what I’m talking about but just in case, I won’t say more not to spoil it for you.

  10. Unknownsays:

    I have yet to see Thor: The Dark World, so I’ll just rank the movies I have seen.
    1. The Avengers
    2. Iron Man 3
    3. Iron Man
    4. Thor
    5. Captain America: The First Avenger
    6. Iron Man 2
    7. The Incredible Hulk

  11. William Cookston Igousays:

    Id through x-men first class above thor and captain america. def agree with top 2, What about Blade?

    1. Jesse Pepinsays:

      MCU = Marvel Cinematic Universe = Only films made by Marvel. They don’t do Blade or X-Men films.

  12. Dudssays:

    What’s the point of making this article and not putting them in order? And not including more Marvel films? A complete waste of time…

    1. Michael Salt Thompkinssays:

      these are the films made by Marvel studios. Fox and Sony make the other ones

    2. bfg666says:

      Have you even read the title?

  13. Unknownsays:

    The Avengers
    Iron Man 3
    Iron Man
    Thor
    Captain America: The First Avenger
    Thor: The Dark World
    Iron Man 2
    The Incredible Hulk

  14. Otto Octaviussays:

    Thor is the best movie from Marvel Studios, i hated it the the first time. Now i can’t stop watching it.

  15. mightyfoolsays:

    1.Thor 2.Iron Man Three 3.Iron Man 4.Thor TDW 5.Iron Man 2 6.The Incredible Hulk 7.Captain America 8.The Avengers

  16. Rock n Rollllllsays:

    Here is the true list from good to bad
    1) The Avengers
    2) Captain America
    3) The rest is all garbage (ESPECIALLY IRONMAN 3)

  17. Jejmjr67says:

    Where are the Spiderman, Fantastic 4, X-Men, Daredevil, Electra films, Wolverine etc.? Also it seems that first in a series films have trouble because they are trying to tell the whole story to an audience that may not be familiar with the canon. I remember the same thing with first Star Trek film. Many said it dragged and lacked action but it was because they were re-introducing the characters to a new audience while filling in the years for the faithful.

    1. bfg666says:

      These are not Marvel Studios movies and are not set in the same shared universe.

  18. bfg666says:

    1. The Avengers
    2. Iron Man
    3. Iron Man 3
    4. Thor: The Dark World
    5. Iron Man 2
    6. The Incredible Hulk
    7. Thor
    8. Captain America

  19. make moremoenysays:

    Iron man three was crappppppp switch it with thor 1 and this list is perfect

    1. bfg666says:

      Hahahahaha! You’re funny!

  20. zvelfsays:

    1. The Avengers, 2. Iron Man, 3. Thor, 4. Thor: The Dark World, 5. Captain America, 6. Iron Man 3, 7. Iron Man 2, 8. The Incredible Hulk (easily the worst)

  21. Fizickssays:

    I’m surprised people rate Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 so highly. They’re easily the worst of the Marvel movies. Especially Iron Man 3, which is HUGELY overrated.

  22. Kevin Sharkeysays:

    IM# ranked #3?! Are you kidding me? At best, Iron Man 3 should be an honorable mention on this list. This movie has been completely overrated by marvel fanboys. One of the worst movies (let alone comic book movies) I have ever seen.

  23. XaZsays:

    I’m just curious why they only picked the marvel movies based around the avengers. Hello there’s a lot more. Worst marvel movie is daredevil

  24. Bererker 37says:

    How can you rate a movie you’ve only watched once??
    1.) Avengers
    2.) Iron Man
    3.) Captain America
    4.) Thor: The Dark World
    5.) Iron Man 3
    6.) Iron Man 2
    7.) Thor
    8.) The Incredible Hulk

  25. Captain Finlandsays:

    From Best to Worst:
    1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    2. The Avengers
    3. Iron Man 2/Thor: The Dark World
    4. Captain America: The First Avenger
    5. Incredible Hulk
    6.Iron Man 1
    7. Iron man 3
    8. Thor
    Reply if you agree 🙂

  26. Padresays:

    from best to worst (didn’t get too watch Iron Man 3 and Thor 2):
    1. The Avengers
    2. Thor
    3. Captain America
    4. Iron Man
    5. The Incredible Hulk (not great but still quite nice)
    6. Iron Man 2 (really quite diappointing)

  27. jerrydwizsays:

    On Thor – too bad you missed a really good film. You sound easily distracted.

  28. jerrydwizsays:

    For what it’s worth – here’s my list: Avengers, Thor, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Cap America, Iron Man 3, Incredible Hulk, Thor 2. I have not yet seen Winter Soldier so it has no ranking on my list. In effect I think Avengers and Thor are really too close to call at the top and the last 3 listed can be interchanged as the bottom 3 of this group.

  29. rosie1843says:

    [“Film franchises have become commonplace by now, to the point where they’re frequently lambasted as the downfall of our cinema, innovation, civilization, etc.”]

    Film franchises have been around since the 1930s. The first one I can recall was the “TARZAN” franchise, released by MGM.

  30. rosie1843says:

    As far as I can recall:

    1. The Avengers
    2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    3. Iron Man 2
    4. Thor: The Dark World
    5. Captain America: The First Avenger
    6. The Avengers: Age of Ultron
    7. Iron Man
    8. Thor
    9. The Incredible Hulk
    10.Iron Man 3

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