If you've been living under a rock for the past 11 years, then let me tell you about the cinematic event of the century. "Avengers Endgame" comes out April 26th and is set to wrap up the storylines of the original cast of "The Avengers" which started all the way back in 2008 with "Iron Man." So it's only right that before this iteration of "The Avengers" takes one last stand we make a proper list to decide which movies separate themselves from the rest.
Criteria: I will be comparing these movies to each other and not superhero movies in general so if I rank a superhero movie you really like lower than you'd expect, don't freak out that doesn't mean it stinks. That being said let's get things started.
#21 "Thor: The Dark World"
Oh boy, where do I begin with this one? From the troubling production, the weakest MCU villain and the downright awful humor, "Thor: The Dark World" comfortably sits at the bottom of the list. Sure Thor and Loki's dynamic is always fun to watch but even that can not save this movie from mediocrity. This film also takes the weakest part of the first Thor movie and expands it's screen time. If you can't tell I'm talking about the human characters. Poor Natalie Portman's character is absolutely forced into this movie just to give Thor a love interest. And did I mention that the humor in this movie stinks?
#20 "The Incredible Hulk"
I wouldn't be surprised if many people see this and say "that's in the MCU" well if not for a post-credits scene where Tony Stark meets with Thunder Bolt Ross then this movie could easily be shifted out from the saga. But it's there and you can't change it no matter how much you'd like to. Look I am in the camp of defending this movie for the most part. I think Edward Norton was a good Bruce Banner and when the Hulk is on screen breaking stuff it's awesome. But for a movie that is called the Incredible Hulk, the dude is barely in it. It also doesn't help that the main villain the Abomination looks like a deformed Ninja Turtle rather than what he actually looks like in the comics. Other than that, the movie is pretty bland.
#19 "Captain Marvel"
Yes, you heard me correctly. To me, "Captain Marvel" was an utter disappointment especially with its release date so close to "Endgame." I understand that this movie has a ton of baggage where other Marvel movies don't. It's the first female-led Marvel movie, it has to introduce the character, it has to set up some events in "Endgame," it has to be a '90s nostalgia movie, it needs to introduce an incredibly popular alien race in the Skrulls and all of this must be done in under two hours. Even taking all of these factors into account the movie is so dull and lifeless. At the very least the directors could have made the action sequences unique and memorable. They did not. At the very least Brie Larson could have brought charisma and personality to the role. She did not.
I ended up caring way more about the Skrulls than Captain Marvel which is a big problem. The movie also wasted fantastic actors like Jude Law and Annette Benning in such throwaway roles they could've been played by literally anyone. But the one thing that hurts me the most is that this movie finds a way to ruin one of the coolest moments in the ENTIRE MCU. When Nick Fury got his eye scratched by the cat I thought "oh haha that's a funny way of foreshadowing what's to come" but next thing I know he's rocking an eye patch. It may seem like this is my least favorite MCU movie but admittedly I still think it paces better than the previous two. But to be clear the gap between this and the other two was razor thin.
# 18 "Iron Man 2"
Speaking of disappointments, "Iron Man 2" was a significant step down from its predecessor. Instead of telling another contained narrative that further develops Tony Stark's character this movie pretty much just sets up the Avengers. Although the plot and characters aren't as strong, there is still some entertaining action throughout the movie. Don Cheadle, in my opinion, is a significantly better Rhodey than Terrence Howard and he and Robert Downey Jr's chemistry really shines through. But the villains in the movie are also a pretty big issue. Even though they are somewhat entertaining to watch Mickey Rourke's character (whatever his name is) and Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer is barely utilized throughout. Hammer's decisions in the movie come off as idiotic, he trusts a supervillain to make remote-controlled drones for him and doesn't think he'll do anything bad. There is also a large chunk of the middle where the villains are literally sitting in a warehouse cracking jokes and not furthering the plot at all. But at least the final fight was cool.