Unless you've been living under a rock for the last eleven years, chances are you've heard of a little film series called the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What started with 2008's "Iron Man" quickly turned into a global phenomenon, with multiple films coming out yearly and completely revolutionizing the concept of the movie theater blockbuster. Almost overnight, characters such as Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor had emerged from being known just by the comic book community and had become household names.
Other more obscure movies such as the "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Ant-Man and the Wasp" have also gained a huge fan following in such a short amount of time. Suddenly, the world had found heroes they could root for and follow their story.
In April of this year, "Avengers: Endgame", the stellar conclusion to the highly popular "Infinity" saga, hit theaters, and everyone and their brother saw it at least twice. This movie was wildly popular and eventually claimed the title of the highest-grossing movie of all time, earning approximately $2.8 billion at the box office.
And that's not the only Marvel movie that's included on this list. An impressive five more movies are on this list, including "Avengers: Infinity War", "Black Panther", and "The Avengers".
With these numbers, it's clear to see that people around the world have always loved Marvel movies.
And that's not the only impact Marvel movies have left on the world of film.
I have seen only a few things truly unite people, and one of those things is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Everyone I knew was on their feet cheering when the first Avengers movie premiered, cried together when Spiderman stammered the now-infamous line, "Mr. Stark...I don't feel so good," and straight-up screamed when Captain America lifted Thor's hammer for the first time and ultimately proved he was worthy all along.
Everyone fell in love with these characters and became incredibly invested in these characters and their stories. Moviegoers of all ages grew to love these characters, and they all followed their story with such intensity because, over the years, it had become their story, too.
However, there are some people who do not feel this way.
A few weeks ago, famed director Martin Scorsese stated his opinion that Marvel movies should not be considered "cinema". He said in an interview, "I don't see them. I tried, you know? But that's not cinema...It isn't the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being."
And he's not the only famous filmmaker to make such statements. Francis Ford Coppola, director of "The Godfather", has also since said that Scorsese was being a bit too kind to Marvel movies. Coppola believes that Marvel movies are "despicable." He also said that when people go to the movies, "(they) expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration."
If you think those accusations are too harsh, I'm right there with you.
Not every film is going to be "The Godfather" or "Taxi Driver". Not every film is going to clean up at the Oscars or be a critical darling for that film season. And, as crazy as it may sound, that's OK.
Marvel movies are not prestigious films to ever hit the silver screen, but that doesn't mean they still aren't great. These are rare films that have brought the world together, and that's the purpose of films like these.
Sometimes, people just need to watch a movie to forget reality and just get sucked into a good story. Those films are just as important as any other high drama.
And while I know "The Godfather" is one of the most influential films of all time, no movie scene will ever energize me more than the scene of Captain America lifting Thor's hammer for the first time.