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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Despite strict formula blockbusterisms with an entirely-forgettable villain, IM2 skates just above the passability line by the magnetism of its lifetime RDJ casting, tonal balance before getting overly-childish and irreverent later on, vibrance of visuals, and fine introductions for Black Widow & War Machine. 6.7/10.
31. Hulk (2003)
Ang Lee’s 2003 stylistically fresh take on the Hulk, although plagued by an over-penchant for talking instead of smashing, still features plenty of cynical insight and duality exposition as well as comic visuals that aged better but still doesn’t (filmically) smash. 6.5/10.
Reinvigorating and fresh, The Amazing Spider-Man may lack finesse and have a subpar choice in (lizard-y) villain, but features top-tier action inventively shot, stunning visuals, and the best & most comic-accurate Spider-Man to date in Andrew Garfield. Adjusted ~6.5/10.
Though it’s the first bonafide sign of *any* remote appreciation and representation in the history of hollywood blockbusters for the world’s largest-but-forgotten minority [we’re a part of]: brown people & the casting and cultural themes are good, MM is a comprehensively-unoriginal CW Tween/YA knockoff retconning Khan’s powers to a badly-CGI’d Green Lantern ripoff [just like Capt. Marvel!] just to protect the white Mr. F4ntastic’s stretchy abilities: ~ruining and contradicting the very purpose of the show. 6.2/10.
Locationally-diverse with a better + more-accurate (independent) Spidey, spectacular VFX, personal-growth arcs, romance with a better Zendaya MJ, & good Gyllenhaal Mysterio, FFH corrects many of Homecoming’s flaws for fresh summer blockbuster Euro-adventure. 6.2/10.
Getting the Fantastic Four’s tone right with strong castings of mega-starpower – despite being admittedly not-yet the great actors they’d later become, nice era-CGI, fine storytelling, and iconic villain in Dr. Doom, 2005’s FF is the most underrated Marvel movie. 5.2/10.
36. Thor (2010)
Respectably serious tone with arguably the best and most dazzling visuals and cinematography of any Marvel movie to date, plus a well-cast mighty lead in Hemsworth and snakey Loki, Thor is almost passable but flawed & esoteric in ~contrived storyline. 5.2/10.
Marvel’s forgotten film but one that not only boasts strong lead acting by the incredible Norton but thrilling, bigger-than-life action and sets, Hulk may lack a strong villain and directorial finesse but does the More-Jekyll-Than-Hyde doctor ~okay. 5/10.
38. Blade (1998)
Despite the ensorcelling-badassery of Wesley Snipes’ half-human/half-immortal protagonist & fierce noir-like vision of a comic book genre future, Blade’s ridiculous plot/concept and laughable CGI coax this vampire-hunter back to shadows. 4.2/10.
An extremely weak AI-vision of Ultron & generic plot hold back AOU from its predecessor’s heights: decent popcorn entertainment with a surprisingly darker tone & great new characters led by Olson’s Scarlet Witch, but a mess of tonal gratings, direction, and antagonism. 4.2/10.
40. Ant-Man (2015)
Although funny with fine size-shifting VFX and good casting in Rudd against the hilarious Michael Pena, it’s downright impossible to take this (poorly-designed) bug copy of DC’s original shrinking hero The Atom, or lame yellow-jacket villain, remotely seriously. Adjusted ~4/10.
A retro military film vibe with a career-role lead casting in the charismatic Chris Evans and jubilant nostalgic Americana, but wasted potential having Cap go around campaigning instead of fighting Nazi’s the whole time – and criminally-underutilized Red Skull. 4/10.
Despite Guns N’ Roses SCOM Trailer, King Valkyrie, & Nathalie Portman’s Impressive Physique, Love/Thunder is quite plausibly the most comprehensively-unnecessary blockbuster ever made: a dumbed-down, giggly snoozefest for 5 y.o.’s, pimping the neon imagination of Ragnarok for box-office, humbling Taika’s ego, proving Scorsese right 10x over, and prismatizing why movies have gotten demonstrably worse over the last 30+ years. Oh, and shame on you for bottom-fishing, Bale. 4/10.
A paradoxical mess of a project off the MCU factory-line with a movie-star cast salivating for box-office formula checks, yet self-categorizing as a dark, complex, mature indie somehow because of a dull, prosaic, hyperborean visual-filter choice & prodigal-yet-blasé/apathetic directorial-choice in Chloé Zhao – a waste of tonal and POC diversification, decent-yet-scale-heavy cinematography, and comics mythology. 4/10.
A decade too-late for one of the original [& most forgotten] Avengers.. yet the 4th MCU release mercilessly-manufactured in a mere four months to prove the studio had no problem sexistly giving every D-lister from GoTG to Ant-Man trilogies until only WW saved her, BW is somehow-still not the grisly spy-thriller sendoff NR deserved – a lazy, heavily-clichéd, overactioned, choppily-toned, formulaic watered-down counterfeit with a selling-out Pugh, messy theme exposition, & apocryphal Taskmaster. 4/10.
A pretentiously-named revisionism of Marvel’s greatest superhero to a tech-laden Iron Man’s lackey with overloaded cringey jokes, mixed villain, stilted narrative, & miscasts in everyone but Holland, the aptly-acronymed SMH is an insult to real Spider-Man fans and lore. 4/10.
Despite a charismatic turn by MCU-veteran Clark Gregg & decent spy/operative exposition in accordance with its premise, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is underpowered, under-entertaining, & underserved by its [yawn-worthy] superhero-less canvas. 4/10.
After the freshness of ASM1, this dramatically-underperforms with too many & mediocre villain choices, meh CGI, & shockingly-bad acting from everyone but Stone/Garfield, whom I frankly feel bad for having such incredible talent & chemistry wasted. 4/10.