Top 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe Films

The Chimes ranks The Marvel Cinematic Universe in preparation for “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Caleb Aguilera and Pierce Singgih

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has hyped up the appearance of the villainous Thanos for 10 years, preparing fans for the Avengers’ most difficult task. “Infinity War” promises hardships as Thanos seeks to destroy the entire universe, preparing audiences for the death of major characters. As the MCU has grown greatly since “Age of Ultron,” fans are excited to see the addition of characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Strange and Spider-Man as part of this historic team up. As “Infinity War” may be the largest event in cinematic history, poised to shatter box office records, take a look at the 10 best MCU films in preparation for our favorite characters’ deaths.


The introduction of Captain America into the MCU brought a new sense of depth to the universe. As the only period piece in the MCU, it brought audiences back to World War II, a unique setting for a Marvel film. It also laid ground for following films with the introduction of the tesseract, which played a significant role in “The Avengers.” Director Joe Johnston and star Chris Evans teamed up to create one of the central characters of the MCU, and they both managed to capture what makes the classic hero so beloved.


Alumnus Scott Derrickson’s Marvel debut brought audiences into the trippy and mind-bending world of magic and outer-worldly dimensions. Although “Doctor Strange” follows the same cookie-cutter Marvel formula for origin stories, Derrickson elevates the film through incredible special effects and creative action sequences. The film does not stand without faults, but its stylistic flair exceeds the normally bland aesthetic that Marvel films usually encompass.


Before “Ragnarok,” the Thor films were basic, boring and featured little innovation or creativity. “Thor: Ragnarok,” however, excites through director Taika Waititi’s unique direction as he brings witty humor, vibrant color and an overall lightheartedness that the Thor franchise so desperately needed. Although “Ragnarok” suffers from a forgettable villain and an uninspired plot, the film’s nuance and freshness only leaves audiences smiling.


Robert Downey Jr.’s debut as the “billionaire, philanthropist, playboy” of the MCU acted as the foundation for Marvel’s entire cinematic project. “Iron Man” quickly set the standard for every solo film that followed it. Its plot structure can be seen in films such as “Ant Man,” “Doctor Strange” and even “Black Panther.” Downey Jr. makes the entire film stand out as he embodies the character. His portrayal of the delightfully flawed superhero anchors the entire film and enabled Marvel to continue forward with its movie universe.


“Spider-Man: Homecoming” jumps off of comic book pages and onto the big screen as Marvel finally gets Spider-Man right. Although Spider-Man faced previous success in theaters, the latest iteration of Spidey finally strikes the right balance between comedy and drama as Tom Holland fully captures the character’s personality. The film also boasts of an incredibly unique villain with real purpose and drive instead of the evil carbon copy of the hero that Marvel so often deploys. Overall, director Jon Watts shows a real understanding of the iconic character and his story, bringing an incredibly fun time with great action and hilarious comedy.


“Guardians of the Galaxy” introduced audiences to the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe, something never seen before. With director James Gunn’sunique vision and style, this new team of heroes quickly became fan favorites with their unique backstories and quirky humor. It also started the major Hollywood trend of creating a soundtrack filled with ‘70s hits. This film delivered a fresh and energetic experience with a colorful backdrop at a time when Marvel films were growing stale and formulaic.


Directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo’s sophomore film went a step further than “The Avengers.” It not only found a way to effectively fit the majority of the MCU’s characters into one film, but it also managed to pit them against each other in a way that left fans drooling for the next chapter. Despite the plethora of characters and action pieces, the Russo brothers still manage to focus on Steve Rogers and develop his character along with several other areas of the Marvel Universe.


“Black Panther” brings a significantly important and representative addition to the MCU that has resonated greatly with fans and critics alike. The film impresses through incredible chemistry and range from the cast, exciting and inventive action and an outward celebration of diverse cultures. Director Ryan Coogler brilliantly leaves his mark on the MCU through intelligent humor and a streamlined story, while Michael B. Jordan also brings what may be the best Marvel villain yet through his depiction of substantiated pain and a sensible plan. “Black Panther” stands as an importantly fun film that champions minorities, leaving hope that the rest of Hollywood will follow suit.


Director Joss Whedon brought Earth’s mightiest heroes together for the first time in a marvelous experiment that shattered box office records and set a precedent for cinematic universes. As many major film studios have tried, with little success, to develop their own cinematic universes (the DC what?) none of them have come close to the superhero machine that is Marvel. Whedon entertains audiences with hilarious comedy, epic action and a surprisingly balanced story that highlights each hero. “The Avengers” brought new layers and levels to the superhero genre, further exciting audiences for more to come.


The Russo brothers’ directorial debut surprised audiences when they jumped from the niche network comedy “Community” and onto the Marvel movie train. The directors managed to deliver a fresh story about Captain America that revitalized the cinematic universe after “Thor: The Dark World” and “Iron Man 3” received mixed reviews. Many comic book films were following the “antihero” trend by portraying a morally conflicted hero who blurs the lines between right and wrong. However, the Russo Brothers defied that trend in creating an espionage thriller which saw Captain America hold fast to what he believes is right when everyone around him compromises. It also has the best hand-to-hand action the MCU has seen to date.

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