All Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked in Order: Best and Worst MCU Films List | Fanboys Anonymous

Welcome to the Fanboys Anonymous ranked list of all the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

This list will be updated after each new film comes out for as long as the foreseeable future, comparing each and every movie the MCU has had to each other and keeping track of the tally from time to time.

Disney+ series will be counted in a way where each season will act as one entry on this list.

Once in a while, there will be adjustments made upon repeated viewings and future films being added into the list.



1. Iron Man (2008)

This and #2 are essentially tied to me, but I have to give the slight edge to the film that started it all, set the tone for everything to follow and did it without anything ahead of time to rest on.

Iron Man is just so goddamn good. All of the characters are engaging, the plot is incredibly tight and sound and has no superfluous elements while also managing to set up SO many factors of what's to come in the future, the humor is there, the action is's just pretty much flawless.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

The only reason Captain America: The Winter Soldier is #2 is because it couldn't exist without a handful of movies to set up the elements that pay off, similar to how you can argue Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope is better than Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back for the same reason, or The Godfather Part II relies upon The Godfather to execute half the story's setup.

Other than that, this movie is the one that I think is the most ambitious to change the tone and become something beyond a superhero film. It's a travesty that it wasn't nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay that year at the Academy Awards as I think it's one of the best political spy action films ever made while also setting the benchmark for how Phase 2 doesn't need to be just a repeat of Phase 1.

3. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

I know that this is hard to say, because it's the freshest at the time that I'm adding this in there (but, then again, so are the majority of these, as I started this back when Doctor Strange or something came out) but this was just balls to the wall fun the entire time.

It had the benefit of having 10 years to build up to this point and it really felt like the first part of the culmination of that in so many ways, that even though the film itself doesn't 100% come off like a "complete film" on its own, it's not supposed to, and I think that if we judge this based on the merits of what it was trying to accomplish, they knocked it out of the park. I'm SO pumped for the next film to finish off this storyline, and I have a feeling when it happens, I'm going to have to put it here tied with this as one big movie, rather than separate.

4. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

I don't know if this is as rewatchable as some of the other movies until I watch it for at least a second time, but holy hell, this film took me for a ride.

I feel so sad, but happy-sad, similar to how it feels to go through the series finale of a television show that has been on for a decade, even though we know things will continue for some of the characters.

Sure, I can nitpick some stuff that I didn't love 100%, or that I wish they would have included but didn't (like no Living Tribunal), but there were so many things I actually teared up about. For instance, Cap wielding Mjolnir and saying "Avengers assemble" with a MASSIVE army of characters behind him, to the little emotional moments like Happy Hogan saying "your dad liked cheeseburgers" good....SO GOOD....

"Awesome" is a word that has lost meaning, because it became a variant of "cool" instead of something wildly impressive beyond conception. As Thor says in Infinity War, this end of an 11 year journey was truly awesome, as I am in awe of how they pulled this off.

5. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Who would have guessed such a ridiculous movie would be so beloved? I went into this film expecting it to be the first bomb that couldn't possibly work, but it's just such a fun movie from start to finish that it's hard not to rank it up high.

Some movies on this list struggle to give you interesting characters to get attached to, but this movie managed to make every single one of the main cast (save for Ronan) someone you want to see more of, even though one of them is a tree that speaks five words and another is a raccoon.

This is also chock-full of Easter eggs like the Celestials, Howard the Duck and all sorts of things that were blowing my mind when I saw it in theaters. Never did I think we'd get to this point in superhero films where it could get that deep and geeky and it would be accepted as quality entertainment instead of just nerd noise, but they pulled it off.


6. Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

There are elements to this movie that don't work as strong as a standalone film, but when you consider it to be Act III of the setup of previous movies where it's predominantly just the fallout action set pieces, it's just so fun.

This film changed the movie industry forever, like it or not. It proved that such a monumental task could be accomplished and that the end result wouldn't be a total mess, but could still be an enjoying ride.

7. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Here's a case where so much of this is just bonkers awesome, but there are a few problems that put it below the other films.

For instance, Baron Zemo sucks. His plan is one of those film-specific things that is dependent upon the plot happening exactly how it does, which makes no sense when you start to analyze it.

But man is this a geek's dream for a lot of reasons. Hinting at a relationship between Vision and Scarlet Witch? Tony and Steve arguing? Steve finally kissing Sharon while his two best buds give him a "dude, nice" head nod? Black Panther being the shit. Spider-Man being Spider-Man again! GIANT-MAN. We get a payoff of Stark's parents being killed by Winter Soldier. We get Crossbones. We get The Raft prison! Thunderbolt Ross is back. Aaaaaaah.

8. Black Panther (2018)

I rank this above Spider-Man: Homecoming as far as pure quality goes, but not in terms of what I think will be rewatchability. What this movie lacks in the fun of putting it on at any time and sitting through it, it makes up for in terms of just being so well-rounded.

All of the characters serve a purpose and stand out in their own ways, the themes tackled in it are heavy but done in a very sophisticated way to avoid snagging any troubles, and it's just damn good. Upon seeing it, my initial reaction was that I had almost nothing negative to say about it at all, which is just amazing, and I'm so glad to see that the reception it's received has been positive by the vast majority.

I feel like this is a movie that even people who aren't well-versed in the MCU could still enjoy, whereas plenty of other ones on this list require you to have done your research ahead of time.


9. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

I love nearly every aspect of it. I still find it frustrating that they had Michelle say to call her MJ and why they felt the need to not write Liz Allan to be Liz Allan (and for her to be Vulture's daughter...they just couldn't resist doing that, just like the Terminator series wanted desperately to make John Connor a Terminator...ugh) - but the tone of this movie is perfect for a Spider-Man film.

I feel like this is a movie I'll be revisiting in the future and enjoying just as much, as it seems like it has a lot of rewatch value. I may have to adjust this up or down after a second viewing, but we'll see what happens and cross that barrier when the time comes.

10. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Solid movie that has some of the same problems as Homecoming, in that I still don't like how certain characters like MJ and Flash are plotted out, and I don't like throwing away the Nick Fury and Maria Hill characters with the Skrull finish kind of reshapes the whole movie (especially since I don't like how the MCU has "good Skrulls" and all), but I absolutely loved Mysterio's fight sequences with the illusions, I think they did a great job with the character as a whole, the story was interesting enough and I still enjoyed the movie a lot.

11. Thor (2011)

I get why people can dislike the human characters and feel like the New Mexico stuff feels like everything is on a minimal sound stage, but the Asgard content in this movie and the story itself of Thor becoming a hero is one of the best things the MCU has put out.

Loki's story is amazing. The integration of S.H.I.E.L.D is perfect for what they needed to be going forward. Hawkeye's cameo is a bit meh, but hey, it's Hawkeye! There's tons of funny moments in the movie and this was the first to step outside of the comfort zone of being more grounded in reality, and we all bought into it without thinking twice that aliens could be doing all sorts of crazy stuff.

12. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

On repeated viewings, I've liked this film more and more over the years, but I do find some sections of it to be a bit underwhelming.

In my mind, Red Skull isn't as captivating of a villain as others think. He kind of just has two scenes with Captain America and that's it.

The same goes for the romance between Peggy and Steve, which feels better in retrospect now that we've had Peggy appear in more films and the Agent Carter spinoff. Now, I buy into their love, but in The First Avenger, it felt rushed.

Bucky is good, though, and the world-building was decent. There's interesting little bits and pieces all throughout the movie—whether it's the reference to The Human Torch or it's just how tasty the steak and potatoes look—and it holds up.

13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

A lot of people shit on this movie and I don't quite understand why. Is it perfect? By no means. Is it awful? Absolutely not.

The biggest problem this film faces is that it has to cram in so much that it loses track of a few elements. For example, what's up with Thor's prophetic water dip? That just felt so strange seeing that for the first time and it seemed more like a necessary means to set something up for the future without serving much of a point in this individual film itself.

Quicksilver's death sucks, but where was the character going to go in the future? Plus, people say Marvel doesn't have the balls to kill a character and keep them dead. Well, have you seen him come back yet? Nope.

Ultron didn't measure up to the severity of an evil villain threat that he normally is, I'll admit that. We got Klaue, so that's cool. Also, we got to see The Avengers acting like The Avengers, along with S.H.I.E.L.D. stepping in for a cool scene at the end where we don't leave Rhodes out of the mix, nor even the one tech who supported Cap in The Winter Soldier. Nice touch.

I love parts of this movie for the references. Is Dr. Cho the mother of Amadeus? Does the healing skin machine come from Extremis technology? Vision as a byproduct of the Mind Stone is awesome. Even better, one of my favorite scenes of anything in the MCU is the characters all standing around, trying to pick up Thor's hammer, with Cap making it budge. That's how it should be! 

14. Ant-Man (2015)

I feel like an extra 20 minutes or so could have really helped this movie by bulking out some of the thinner elements, like the relationship between Hope and Scott.

It's funny, but the funniest part is Michael Pena. The powers are interesting, but I don't know how they can make a second film without retreading familiar ground. I applaud them for pulling off a Scott Lang film rather than a Hank Pym one, which worried me to no end at first, but I also just think it isn't one of the strongest entries.

Ant-Man works best as a break between the bigger and more standard films just to take a breath of fresh air with something different.

15. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

If we're looking at these in terms of episodes of a television show, this is one of those entries where it was a lot of fun and enjoyable as well as a big step up from its predecessor (Thor: The Dark World, not Spider-Man: Homecoming) but at the same time, it annoys me that they killed off The Warriors Three and that they didn't give me more information about the impending threat of Thanos, which of course might be things that I change my opinions about once we see future installments and see where this is all heading.

All in all, this is a very fun movie seeing Thor and Hulk team up, and I enjoy some of the additions and some of the tweaks to how things were told in the MCU, but I can't help but also feel like it was a random offshoot rather than something that has the same gravitas as the first Thor or something like The Winter Soldier. The jokier these movies get, the less weight I give them.


16. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

I was surprised at how good this was. It's not something I'll jump first to in terms of rewatching if I have an itch to see something from the MCU, but it was thoroughly entertaining and checked off pretty much every box.

17. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Fun, interesting, and entertaining, but while I enjoyed the movie, I don't think it stands alone as being on par with some of the heavyweights above. It was pretty generic in some ways, and I don't think it's as rewatchable as some of the other movies, so I just simply can't rate it all that super high.

18. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Liv Tyler was a fantastic Betty and I really want them to bring her back. I'm glad this movie acted as a sort of sequel to the original Ang Lee film without making it a TRUE sequel to it, as it didn't need to go over the exact same plot points, but just repackage a few of them in a different way.

Outside of a few decisions here and there in its execution, this is honestly the exact movie I would have made if someone told me to do a Hulk film at that point in time.

You're not wrong in thinking that it's a weaker entry, but I think if you act like it's an atrocious film, you're beating it up too much.

19. Iron Man 2 (2010)

A lot of the flack from Iron Man 2 comes from it not being as good as the first, but really, how could it have been? This movie is hindered by the massive need to build the world for the future and if you step outside of the bubble of judging it as a standalone movie, it ends up being enjoyable.

I can put this on in the background and get a kick out of certain elements to it. Robert Downey Jr. is always good to watch, for instance, and I like how they start to incorporate more elements of S.H.I.E.L.D. and even Captain America in the mix.

Yes, Mickey Rourke is awful, but Sam Rockwell is interesting. Yes, they didn't pull off "Demon in a Bottle" but they did a variation of it.


20. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

I was disappointed that this wasn't better. Basically, it feels like a kind of weak episode of a television series that happens to give us some good character moments, but seems like the story for that edition didn't quite come together.

The main driving force of the plot is that Rocket takes a few batteries? Really? The Sovereign only show up when we need an action sequence here and there, which is also kind of the same for The Ravagers, but I at least enjoyed Yondu's arc along the way.

If it weren't for the fact that these individual characters are so great, the movie wouldn't be as enjoyable, and I have a feeling I might end up moving this down the list upon a second viewing.

21. Iron Man 3 (2013)

The way The Mandarin was done in this movie just pisses me off and I have to rank it toward the bottom for that reason alone, at the very least. That was one of the biggest missteps in the entire MCU and it makes me wonder why they ever thought it was a good idea, knowing full well that people had been looking forward to seeing the character built up in the previous two films.

Killian isn't a good villain, nor are the henchmen interesting. Happy Hogan gets put out of action for a good portion of the film to be replaced with a little kid, which starts to give it a vibe of a standard action flick and not something in this series. It's almost like this is the shell of another movie that they slapped Iron Man onto and tweaked a few elements of the script to fit it.

22. Black Widow (2021)

So far, as of the day I saw this on the premiere, this is the most generic spin-off feeling movie of the bunch. It kind of feels phoned in, like it's a paint-by-numbers action flick with exactly the same stereotypical characters and beats that every other film of this genre fits into.

Everything down to Taskmaster being changed to a woman so she can battle the titular heroine more "fairly", the old overseer Ray Winstone plays that has no character other than "evil" (seriously, tell me one thing about the guy other than that he's the bad guy) and even the jokes were things you could see coming a mile away.

It's perfectly fine, but it's not something I'd imagine I'm going to want to revisit often. It'll likely go down as one of my least-watched of this series, because it doesn't do anything good enough to stand out. The music isn't memorable, no action scene is stunning, all the characters are one-note and most likely won't be seen again, and it just felt like filler, ultimately.

I'm extremely glad Black Widow got her own film, though. That was necessary and a long time coming. Frankly, it should have happened prior to Infinity War and I think it would have come off better, too. However, if it were the exact same script (since the story would still be the same), it still wouldn't make it a better movie, fundamentally.

23. Doctor Strange (2016)

This is controversial, I'm sure, but Doctor Strange is a flat film to me.

None of the characters are interesting or different enough. Strange is just Tony Stark but not charming. Christine Palmer is one of the most under-written female leads in the MCU (and Rachel McAdams deserved better than that). Kaecilius is as generic as most villains. Baron Mordo is on par with Sinestro from Green Lantern where his turn to evil isn't justified enough. I do like Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, and I do agree that the visuals are interesting, but that isn't enough.

People like to argue that other MCU films are "too similar" but can you really tell me anything other than the visuals for the magic scenes that are different about this film? It's a generic origin story, which in itself isn't bad, but since I don't like any of the characters, I'm not interested in their origins.

24. Loki (2021)

This was better than WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier mostly because it didn't feel like it was dragging. However, I don't think these shows are sticking the landing for anything.


25. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2021)

Frankly, I was disappointed. This felt like it could have been on par with Captain America and The Winter Soldier, which is one of my favorites, as indicated above. I guess the title was just too deceiving.

Instead, we got a weak villain in Karli Morgenthau, who didn't need to be changed to a teenage girl as that did nothing to help the character. I didn't like the twist that everyone saw coming but it doesn't make too much sense about how Sharon Carter is now the evil Power Broker. The John Walker stuff had some serious potential, but was unfortunately super rushed in order to spend more time talking about Sam's sister and the boat, which just dragged.

They missed out on the madbomb and dropped the ball with this in a lot of ways. I found myself each episode more interested to see if they'd turn it around the next time to make it better than what it had already been, rather than thinking to myself "That was so great and I can't wait for the next episode."

26. Captain Marvel (2019)

Before you complain, no, this isn't so far down the list because the protagonist is a woman. I'm not some stupid bigot sexist. Get off your horse. The problem I have with this movie is that I feel like it's incredibly bland and people are going to overlook that. What does it really give the MCU that it didn't already have? Carol Danvers isn't a fully fleshed out and interesting character with traits that separate her from anybody else (Stark is the smart asshole, Cap is the morally perfect perpetual good guy, Black Widow is the spy, Hawkeye's the broken down dad, Thor's the fish out of water, Hulk is the tragic monster, Ant-Man is the goof as are the Guardians of the Galaxy who bring the cosmic side of things to the what is Danvers?)

There was no reason this needed to be set in the 90s and it just creates continuity errors. The supporting characters are pretty bland (like the Kree soldiers). The villain is weak. It's just a very generic movie.

It's not a BAD movie. I enjoyed it. But it's just not anywhere near most of the other movies on this list and I feel like I got more for the MCU out of Iron Man 2 and at least with GOTG 2, the end made me get a little choked up. This didn't make me feel much of anything. It was like being on autopilot. 

27. WandaVision Season 1 (2021)

This felt like it would have been much better as a two-hour movie where they would have had to trim down some of the ideas, flesh out some characters and take a "less is more" approach.

The first two episodes were largely just actual episodes of the types of shows they were parodying. Not much moved the plot along. Basically, what you would have gotten in a movie with that would have been maybe 20 minutes that would have been tighter and tied back into the overall narrative, rather than 60 minutes of "let's just have fun with this for a while." Since I'm not a fan of those types of old timey shows, that was more bothersome than charming.

Agatha Harkness as the villain the whole time was weaker than it should have been. Far worse, though, was the reveal of casting Evan Peters as Quicksilver just for him to be a throwaway random guy as a boner joke. They had to know that that would just upset people.

In fact, that was a theme of this. Everyone kept hyping it up as "OMG, you'll never believe what's going to happen with THIS character" and it turned out to be something underwhelming every time. Paul Bettany's actor he gets to work with and have great chemistry with? Just a joke about working opposite himself. The big reveal of the character Monica teased? Just a skrull. Main villain? The guy who was obviously the main villain from the start, and he's just a generic bureaucrat military guy created for the show rather than any of the dozens, if not hundreds of characters they could have at least pulled from the comics that were one-shot people to expand on, if not generally more interesting people from the start to do more with.

Even the positives aren't all that great. They brought back Darcy Lewis, but she was never a great character, and her exit from the finale is very indicative of COVID screwing over how this show played out, cause she does nothing and leaves. Randall Park is back as Jimmy Woo, which is awesome, but he barely does anything. The ship of Theseus discussion is one of the best parts, along with some parody elements like the take on Modern Family and The Office, but are those really worth saying this is on par with something higher on the list? Not in my mind.

This was absolutely underwhelming.

28. Thor: The Dark World (2013)

In my point of view, this is the hardest one to rewatch and it has the least substance to it. There are really only a few strong points to it, which include: 1) Odin revealing more information about the Infinity Stones, 2) Frigga's death, 3) Loki hinting that he might sacrifice his life for Thor despite all they've been through, 4) the Captain America cameo, 5) um.....hold on, I might be able to think of a fifth.

Everything with the humans is awful. Darcy is as annoying as ever, but she now has a pointless love interest buddy to tag along with. Selvig running around naked isn't funny. Jane just whines and looks confused the whole movie.

Malekith is one of the least interesting villains in the MCU, the action is forgettable, the film doesn't know if it wants to be a buddy team up with Thor and Loki or if it wants to be a story about Jane needing to be cured, the hybrid of medieval elements and spaceships feels jarring and every character that was charming the first time around seems wooden this time.

29. What If...? (2021)

Pending. The show is still airing, but I'll admit that I'm not enjoying the stories they're telling. Instead of being a fun theoretical, they have episodes like "What if Peggy Carter just did everything Steve Rogers did, until, I don't know, some space octopus attacked?" I wanted more out of this. Rather than "What If" this is more like "Whiffed".

Stay tuned for updates for the following projects:

Eternals (November 5, 2021)
Ms. Marvel (late 2021)
Hawkeye (late 2021)
Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 17, 2021)
Moon Knight (TBA 2022)
She-Hulk (TBA 2022)
Secret Invasion (TBA 2022)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022)
Thor: Love and Thunder (May 6, 2022)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (July 8, 2022)
The Marvels (November 11, 2022)
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (late 2022)
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February 17, 2023)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5, 2023)
Unknown (July 28, 2023)
Unknown (October 6, 2023)
Unknown (November 10, 2023)
Unknown (February 16, 2024)
Unknown (May 3, 2024)
Unknown (July 26, 2024)
Unknown (November 8, 2024)
Ironheart (TBA)
Armor Wars (TBA)
Untitled Wakanda series (TBA)
Fantastic Four (TBA)
Blade (TBA)
Deadpool 3 (TBA)
Captain America 4 (TBA)

What is your ranked order and why?

Tell us in the comments below!


Tony Mango is the founder, editor-in-chief, head writer and podcast host of Fanboys Anonymous as well as all other A Mango Tree branches including Smark Out Moment. He is a pundit, creative director/consultant, fiction writer and more. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.