The Red Logo that’s grown to world-domination w 21st century blockbuster movies & dark-horse studio bets on characters nobody knew/wanted pre-08 MCU, Marvel isn’t the first s.hero brand & copied DC mythos 1940–, but now the biggest. Ranked.
Plot Synopsis: The Red Logo that’s grown to world-domination by the power of 21st-century blockbuster moviemaking & dark-horse studio bets on characters ~nobody knew/wanted pre-’08 MCU, Marvel wasn’t the first superhero brand when it opened doors in 1939 – copying nearly every hero they have from DC Comics’ pre-established mythology of comics, but later giving them more humanity.. & lots of movies & TV shows. Ranked.
CLC’s Official Marvel Ranking (ALL) [Movies & TV Separate Rankings At Bottom Of Page]
The beginning of a new TV-era for the MCU & type of creative avant-garde innovation we’ve craved by the franchise for years beyond safe blockbuster formula, WV+ is a beautifully-stylized canvas of TV-nostalgia and authentic period-detail set-design/touches paying homage and deconstructing its entire medium – a meta-sitcom/CBM/mystery of ignis fatuus, phantasmagoria, pure experiential joy, domestic life charm, Americana, cutting-edge innovation, slow-burn villainous intent, twists, & more of Elizabeth Olsen’s fantastic Scarlet Witch. 9.7/10.
A masterclass in character study and how to truly delve into the psychological implications of superheroics & its titular hero, along with an uncanny Doc Ock by Alfred Molina and romance escalation with Dunst’s MJ, SM2 is an All-Time great comic book film. 9.4/10.
3. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)
Brilliant in groundbreaking comic book visual style artfully innovating the genre, masterful scripting balancing decades of Spider-lore, perfect tonal mixing, & a magnetic Miles performance fueled by swanky jazz beats & graffiti. Best Marvel film of All-Time. 9.4/10.
A new era of comic book movies & paradigmatic shift in blockbuster history, the MCU was born a retro-futuristic blockbuster as lustrous, smooth, hot rod, & AC/DC as its once-a-generation perfection of casting: Robert Downey Jr. as the wry, idiosyncratic, x-factor, sarcastic genius/billionaire/playboy/philanthropist – the Malibu cliff-bedrock and shining exemplification of what the franchise could’ve [& should’ve] taken as zenith blueprint/diagram, balancing A+ CGI & big fun action scenes with (mechanized) heart and IQ by advanced capitalism x warfare x technology x responsibility themes crux to the 21st Century. 9.2/10.
5. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
A blockbuster cinematic event of a generation and the zenith MCU film experience of all-time, NWH is a comic book fan’s dream – balancing legendary history/lore with a hyperimaginative multiverse introduction, impossible cameos, epic-scale action, beautiful cinematography, acoustic poignance, and physics-defying tonal mixes juxtaposing three-dimensionalized pure sugary-cereal cartoon fun with a trilogy-fixing, dark, heartbreaking, character-synergized narrative of depth, humanity, grief exposition, coming-of-age, underdog spirit, personal growth, isolation, redemption, & sacrifice de/re-constructing Spider-Man and the very theme of heroicism to its crux. 9.2/10.
6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
A political, ~artistic spy-thriller/noir interpretation of government corruption and Cap’s fight to restore freedom with swift pacing, phenomenal direction by the talented Russo brothers, and an incredible villain, CA: TWS is The MCU’s 2nd best film ever. 9.2/10.
7. Logan (2017)
A final outing for Wolverine fret with neo-western touches, hard-R violence, & poignance in family backbone through a visceral character study, Logan makes efficient use of Jackman & grit – despite TDK-imitation, miscast X-23, & excessive edginess. 8.7/10.
Phenomenally acted with strong cast/performances led by show-stealing McAvoy’s Professor X & Fassbender’s downright-chilling Magneto, great visual FX, expert handling of the comics, compelling villain, & stylish direction/tone, First Class is the definitive X-Men film. 8.7/10.
Culturally-authentic, powerfully anchored by Chadwick Boseman’s royalty of presence, fluid in action sequences, afrofuturistic, & one of the most compelling villains in the villain-problematic MCU by Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger, Black Panther is one of the best MCU movies – and a groundbreaking milestone for representation & cinematic globalism. 8.7/10.
10. Shang-Chi & The Legend Of The 10 Rings (2021)
A revolutionizing mixture of kaiju, manga, oriental mythology, kung-fu movies, dragonball z animé, etc. references atoning for past franchise [IM3] sins with franchise-evolving cinematography, the best fight choreography of the MCU, heritage themes, groundbreaking cultural authenticity/representation, & a remarkable find in Simi Liu. 8.7/10.
11. Daredevil (2014)
Dark, mature, brooding, cynical, heavy, & chiaroscuric with a career-role by Charlie Cox juxtaposing a complex, show-stealing villain by Vincent D’Onofrio, Daredevil is one of the best Marvel projects & the king of the M.-Netflix consortium – despite it, like its character, copying ~heavily from pre-existing Batman mythology/aesthetics. 8.5/10.
12. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Expansive in scope and detailed in execution with a praise-worthy (mostly) non-childish tone, political undertones in its smart deliberation of superheroicism casualties/side effects, thrilling pacing, great new additions, and a stunning final Iron Man/Cap battle, despite a much smaller scale than the comics’ Civil War and few jarring joke placements, this version delivers a powerful and important contribution to the MCU. 8.5/10.
13. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (2022)
From Necromonicon To Darkhold, Raimi conjures a wild return to CBM’s, Marvel, and early career filmography origins 40+ years later in a multiversal haunted house on the biggest and most epic scale in horror genre history imaginable – able to honor WV+-legacy & evolve/diversify the fast food MCU factory-line w. caviar Olsen SW & B.C. performances, batsh*t crazy drug/acid-like hyperimagination, fixes of ~every 2016 DS flaw, real complex avant-garde cinematography/VFX technique, pure [body-count heavy] malevolence, layered YT America allegory x masculinity deconstruction x mental illness destigmatization, R-auteurism, dark score, and fandom service – despite a flawed Chavez, one badly-written scene, and choppy exec-mandated quips diluting the prestidigitation. 8.5/10.
Brutal, masochistic, gloom/chiaroscuro-laden, original, socially-incisive, character-driven, veteran-analytical, and unconscionably-dark w. hyperviolence, The Punisher diametrically opposes everything the MCU is & corporate G-friendly franchises rules demand – and is all the better for it; Marvel-Netflix’s arguable best project, thanks foremost to a career performance from Bernthal. 8/10.
A neon-colored, pop-infused sci-fi/fantasy epic from the wildly-imaginative mind of Taika Waititi, Thor: Ragnarok boldly reimagines the CBM & MCU – with nice Hulk v. Thor action, bleeding-edge Led Zeppelin-fueled idiosyncrasy, apocalypica, and [though at-times juvenile and with a continually-miscast Ruffalo Hulk] good comedy reframing dark Norse mythology. 8/10.
16. Deadpool (2016)
A wildly-refreshing subversion of everything comic book films often take too weightily beforehand, Deadpool is a bold, hilarious, & perfectly-irreverent hard-R take on the genre – with stereotypical superhero plotting but a career-definitive casting in Ryan Reynolds. 8/10.
Expertly weaving multiple superheroes for the first time on the big-screen in live-action – with amazing set pieces, skilled character balances, psychologically-tricky villain, & epic action scenes, The Avengers innovates blockbuster moviemaking – the Marvel comic book you read as a kid come to life. 8/10.
18. Loki (2021)
A sybaritic, dark romance/comedy/mystery/scifi/adventure CBM with identity, ego, hedonism, religion, time, and megalomaniacal themes alongside a cavalcade of paradoxical variants, ’70’s synthesizer minor key chords, epic visual world-building & cinematography technical canvas amongst franchise-best, character-growth with a decadent TH performance juxtaposed by felicitous O.W. & Sophia Di Martino reciprocity, & unpredictable multiversal twists of glorious purpose and hyperaddictive detective storytelling, Loki is a synergized apotheosis of the god of mischievous trickery and first major villain of the MCU – one that takes us back in time to its early days with the modernized diversification & skillset since-acquired to overcome sidelines-miscastings, a ~stilted narrative, & mixed comedy-stylization. 8/10.
19. Moon Knight (2022)
Though M.K. is a heavily-unoriginal/imaginative Batman-clone by comics design, his pago-ouroboric TV reincarnation is a pharaohic chef d’oeuvre of pyramidic scale – 10x amplifying the hyperimaginative lore-fascination of ancient Egypt w. kaiju, mystery, dissociative identity disorder, psychological terrorization, & a pedigree acting showcase from Oscar Isaac: nouveau kryptonite to its comparatively-tame/domesticated and increasingly-corporatized franchise, even if the punches of darkness are ~pulled from NC-17/R. 7.6/10.
20. Legion FX (2015)
Extremely trippy in VFX-artistry and distortion-laden visuals with a strong lead performance, Legion is – although a bit too esoteric – a great psychic X-Men trip. 7.6/10.
The first comic book movie I ever saw and the start of a generation of Marvel movies, SM’s impressive character-based storytelling, lovable (albeit old-looking) Maguire-lead, heart, romance, & good action against Dafoe’s chilling-yet-inaccurate Green Goblin compel. 7.6/10.
22. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
An emotionally-rich sequel tackling the legacy of protagonists & complex/intricate time-travel storyline, although ~wholly ripped-off from DC’s Flashpoint Paradox & Terminator 1/2, DOFP is a great continuation of Fox’s modern X-Men series. 7.6/10.
23. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Epic and action-packed with a monstrous canvas of superheroicism, reality-wielding tyrannical villain, & stunning ending, Infinity War overcomes pacing, Thanos design, and narrative-overstuffing problems to deliver a colossal crossover event. 7.6/10.
The end of an era, Endgame wraps up the Infinity Saga in epic style with massive fandom service, emotional gravitas, a darker Thanos, psychological war-aftermath reflection, & one of the wildest and best final acts in blockbuster history – despite a safe exploration of IW’s cliffhanger potential, ~clichéd time-travel arc, and Fat Thor/dabbing Hulk. 7.5/10.
25. Guardians of The Galaxy (2012)
An imaginative sci-fi saga respectably developing complete unknown characters into a plucky antihero cast by Gunn with a fantastic funk ’80’s soundtrack, but joke of a villain, juvenile comedy oversaturation, and moronic dance-off ending amongst the most anticlimactic & puerile in movie history. 7.1/10.
26. X-Men (2000)
One of the biggest milestones in making superhero movies as popular as they are today (after 1978’s Superman) & introducing iconic characters, 2000’s X-Men doesn’t entirely hold up to today’s CBM standards or visual capabilities, but is an important classic. 7.1/10.
A shockingly-indie feel for a Marvel movie with mega-ambitious action sequences, phenomenal new castings, and fantastic trilogy-ending character development, challenged by one of the most inane twists in movie history – wasting Kingsley & insulting comics-lore. Mixed. 7.1/10.
Fine as a crime drama with a great villain in Kilgrave, good lead in Ritter, and okay pacing occasionally tiptoeing pretty slowly, plus outward political pimping and a few questionable plot threads in S1/S2, Jessica Jones is serviceable TV but not really a superhero show. 7.1/10.
The finale of Raimi’s game-changing Spider-Man trilogy is fine, but worst of the series. Boundary-pushing & singularly-dark with Venom thrills and well-executed jealousy arc, SM3 is passable entertainment but suffers from an overly-split narrative, CGI, & overcrowded canvas. 6.7/10.