The Marvel Cinematic Universe has established itself as a force in cinema. With 10 years of film in this world, it’s hard to ignore the impact they’ve had. With the anticipation for Avengers: Endgame, I thought now would be the perfect time to spotlight my top 5 films from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy
This film could have gone one way or the other, but Guardians of the Galaxy was a breath of fresh air for the Marvel franchise. To start, it has the best soundtrack, but this was also the first Marvel film that really let itself loose with its comedy. That mainly comes down to the brilliant dynamic between our main characters as we explore the dysfunctional partnership between these ragtag group of individuals. They’re not your traditional heroes, they’ve done some shady things, but when the time comes you know they’ll be happy to throw down in a dance-off to save the world.
4. Thor: Ragnarok
The first two Thor films were okay. The highlight being the dynamic between Loki and Thor. Ultimately, those films just fell a bit flat. Ragnarok rejuvenated the Thor franchise and it allowed Chris Hemsworth to have a lot more fun with the character and build on the established chemistry with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Mark Ruffalo’s The Hulk. It’s a fun film and introduced us to the Valkyries, who have such an interesting history in Norse mythology.
3. Black Panther
Black Panther was everything I hoped it would be and more. Yes, the plot is one that’s been done before, but what Black Panther did was explore the complex narratives that can be found within superhero films. Wakanda is a country that has traditionally secluded itself from the rest of the world, but with T’Challa’s coronation, he’s faced with the task of upholding the beauty and strength of Wakanda, but also acknowledge its place in this fragile world. It’s an interesting quandary, made all the more complex with the introduction of Killmonger, a villain that was shaped by the actions of Wakanda’s previous leaders. Black Panther deserves the recognition it’s getting as one of the best superhero films of our time.
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Now, a case can be made for Civil War to be on this list. It is an incredible film and spotlighted the crumbling friendship of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. What started as a political division quickly turned personal and the friction is created is evident. I also think that Captain America’s solo franchise was the best of the lot in terms of storytelling and character building. However, Civil War felt like a mini-Avengers film more than it did a pure Captain America film and that is why The Winter Soldier comes in at number 2 on this list. The Winter Soldier is a true testament to why the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so successful. There is a lot to love about his film. From the corruption within, the thriller-like action sequences and the personal stakes that follow, Winter Soldier set the bar as a superhero film.
1. Avengers: Infinity War
There is no way that Infinity War could not make this list. It was the most anticipated cinematic events of 2018 and it delivered on its promise. This film could have easily been a mess as they had to navigate so many characters into these plot threads, but they did a great job at setting us up with three distinct groups and having them all linked in some way. It also gave us a chance to explore different character dynamics with some character’s meeting for the first time. Infinity War was a treat and the brilliance comes in the way they established Thanos a legitimate threat, but also showed hints of vulnerability to him making him a more complex villain than those featured in the previous films. Infinity Wars was a great set up to Endgame which will definitely act like a swan song for some of our most beloved Marvel superheroes.
What is your favourite Marvel film?