Where does Avengers: Infinity War rank compared to other films in Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Every film in the MCU ranked from worst to best...
The end is near. Sort of. Indeed, Avengers: Infinity War is almost upon us, which can only mean one thing: The Marvel Cinematic Universe bank balance is about to get another humungous boost. Okay, so there’s more at stake. This is, of course, the 19th entry in the MCU canon; the culmination of ten years’ worth of superhero movie magic, courtesy of Marvel Studios, and the beginning of the end for everyone’s favourite big screen, superhero soap opera.
Seriously, they’re calling it “the most ambitious crossover event in history” (whatever that means). So, is Infinity War any use? Does it live up to the hype? Has everyone forgotten that the folks at Marvel have already shot a sequel, due for release in 2019? Probably. To help you on your way, we’ve decided to rank every MCU film, from worst to best. Infinity War features, obviously. You can make up your own mind, when the film is released in cinemas tomorrow…
19. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Hey, remember when Anthony Hopkins set out on the promo trail for Thor: The Dark World (Thor 2, basically) a few years back? That was fun. The man who portrays Thor’s auld fella, Odin, had the following to say at a Disney expo in the run-up to the film’s release in 2013: “I haven’t seen the movie and I’ve forgotten it.” Yup, that pretty much covers it. Only, we have seen the film. But we’ve still forgotten it.
18. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Ah yes, the Incredible Hulk stand-alone flick, in which Mark Ruffalo does his best Edward Norton impression and…oh, wait. Hang on. What happened here? We’re not allowed to talk about it? That’s probably for the best.
17. Iron Man 2 (2010)
Mickey Rourke portrayed a Russian baddie armed with an electric skipping rope. It did not end well. Oh, and how about this one, fact fans? Recent Oscar winner, Sam Rockwell – who also features here – was originally considered for the part of Tony Stark / Iron Man.
16. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
So, we’re, um, just going to ignore the fact that Sylvester Stallone was in this one, are we? Yes? Good to know. All punchlines, no plot.
15. Thor (2011)
Kenneth Branagh shakes things up with a, um, Shakespearean superhero tale, featuring Aussie dreamboat Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-wielding God of Thunder. Far too serious for its own good.
14. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
AKA, the busy Avengers sequel that left poor old writer and director Joss Whedon questioning his career choice (it was a tough shoot, folks – you can Google it for yourselves).
13. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Let’s be honest, the GOTG franchise is in desperate need of a proper story. They’ve got the choons. They’ve got Chris Pratt. They’ve got a freakin’ talkin’ tree, for crying out loud. But what the Guardians of the Galaxy really need is a damn good plot on which to hang their many, many quips.
12. Iron Man 3 (2013)
Three words: Ben Kingsley rocks.
11. Ant-Man (2015)
Honey, I Shrunk the Superhero. Actually, this one really worked. Of course it did. A wise-cracking, arse-kicking Paul Rudd as a teeny, tiny crime-fighter in a onesie? Who wouldn’t want to watch that?
10. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
The one you’ve all been waiting for – and, it just about cracked the top ten. What we have here isn’t just the most expensive film of all time (it cost $400m to make), but probably the biggest superhero film of all time. And…it’s…well…it’s fine. It is everything you’d expect it to be, really. Noisy. Chaotic. Bonkers. Put it this way, there is a lot of it (149 minutes, to be precise). And, there is a lot of talk about magic pebbles. Plus, our very own Tom Vaughan-Lawlor plays one of the baddies (hidden under a mountain of CGI, we might add). It’s fun. It occasionally sags. It is sort of exhausting, but sure listen, Josh Brolin finally gives us a proper Marvel villain to talk about. Oh, and the ending is amazing. That’s not a spoiler. We just said it was amazing. Which it is.
9. Marvel Avengers Assemble (2012)
At least, that’s what we think it was called. It was just The Avengers in the US. On this side of the pond, however, producers were keen to avoid any unwanted confusion with the 1960s British spy series, or the horrid nineties film revival (the one with Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman). Because, apparently, Hollywood folks think we’re stupid. We’re not. And Joss Whedon did a fine job with this, Marvel’s first big superhero mash-up.
8. Doctor Strange (2016)
The trippiest Marvel adventure yet, in which a hyper-Americanised Benedict Cumberbatch grows a goatee and swaps a career in medicine for one in magic. Or something. Again, it works. The loopy third act is a game-changer.
7. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
The first Captain America flick, in which a skinny Chris Evans undergoes some freaky Operation Transformation in the middle of World War II. Incidentally, Captain America: The First Avenger also featured Tommy Lee Jones in a supporting role. Wouldn’t it be fun to see Jones and the aforementioned Anthony Hopkins promoting a Marvel movie together?
6. Thor Ragnarok (2017)
New Zealand film-maker, Taika Waititi, steps in to rescue the Thor franchise from oblivion. As it turns out, all it ever really needed was a barmy sense of humour. And a Led Zeppelin choon. And a bitta Hulk.
5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
The one where Steve Rogers goes on the run and Robert Redford shows up wearing a suit. No, not your favourite one. But it’s almost there.
4. Black Panther (2018)
The folks at Marvel kick things up a notch with their first big-screen superhero offering to feature a predominantly black cast. The great Chadwick Boseman takes the lead in a rich, imaginative and sensationally decorated fantasy that is as phenomenal to listen to (Kendrick Lamar produced the soundtrack) as it is to watch. Still in cinemas, by the way.
3. Iron Man (2008)
Where it all began, basically. Yes, the lads at Marvel had their big, epic plan in place from the get-go, but let’s face it, back in 2008, nobody could have predicted that a loud-mouthed comic-book film, starring Robert Downey, Jr (still climbing his way back up the tinseltown ladder) as a narcissistic billionaire / superhero, would change the way Hollywood makes blockbusters. That’s exactly what it did. Super cast, super lead, super story. That final scene is a cracker.
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
If John Hughes had written and directed a superhero movie, it might have looked like Spider-Man: Homecoming, a fresh, spirited and beautifully-constructed coming of age drama, all dressed up as a comic book flick. Tom Holland is a delight.
1. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Or, to give it its alternative title, Marvel’s Avengers Have a Giant Scrap in a German Airport. We jest. If you’re looking for a smart, slick and surprisingly sophisticated superhero mash-up, then look no further. Civil War was the ‘versus’ film that Batman v Superman could only dream of being. Plus, giant Ant-Man was a hoot. The best.