We’re doing it too! After 11 years and 23 movies, we at Nerdist have collectively spent roughly four billion hours watching and thinking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They’ve just completed the “Infinity Saga,” comprising some of the finest comic book movies ever made…and some not so fine. Using a very scientific voting method, and math skills I haven’t used since college, we now have Nerdist’s official ranking of all 23 MCU movies.
I asked members of our staff for their top 5 and bottom 5 movies and averaged them out to give you a good cross section of our tastes. Your personal lists will surely differ. Hell, most of our individual lists differ. But that’s the fun of this kind of thing. So, without further ado, the MCU, from worst to best.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Only the second movie in the nascent MCU,
Iron Man 2 (2010)
More than one of us count the first sequel in the MCU as the only one we actively dislike. And a couple really like it. Not enough, though.
Avengers: Age of Ultron(2015)
There are two or three excellent scenes in the second Joss Whedon
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
There are some people who staunchly defend this tale of magic and romance. It’s got a very exciting final act and some great Tom Hiddleston Loki action. But it’s overall pretty humdrum, and it didn’t let Chris Hemsworth explore his comedic space the way it should have.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Some fancy, trippy visuals, a clever and fun boss showdown (Dormammu! I’ve come to bargain!), and a Very Good Cape are marks for it. But the rest of the movie is definitely not as supreme as the sorcerer could be.
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 (2017)
The notion of finding your family among a group of outsiders is one we hold dear. And we relate to Peter Quill’s father issues and the sisterly bond that developed between Gamora and Nebula. But despite these things, and some beautiful colors,
Captain Marvel (2019)
Carol Danvers is a character we’re so excited to finally have in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her rapport with a de-aged Nick Fury and a terrific performance by Ben Mendelsohn aside,
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
One of the more divisive entries on the list. While the huge fight at the airport between all the heroes is comic book geek icing, the cake of the rest of the movie—pitting Steve Rogers and Tony Stark against each other—just doesn’t leave us with a great taste in our mouths.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
The first Phase Two movie was our number one most divisive. Three people had it in their top 5 and two had it in their bottom 5. A lot of issues voiced involved a muddy third act and the Mandarin fake-out. But those who love it take to its depiction of Tony Stark’s PTSD and fear of failure. And Shane Black dialogue is very Shane Black.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
I personally like this movie a whole lot more than some of the other folks on the crew. But, I also get it. Steampunk Nazis should have been a lot weirder than what we got, and maybe Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers wasn’t quite what he’d become. But it also has Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter in a role so beloved that she got a TV show out of it. In light of
11. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
A nice sort of denouement to the “Infinity Saga,”
Iron Man (2008)
The one that started it all. If
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
I’m actually fairly surprised this one’s so low comparatively. I think we all agree it’s a well put-together movie, and three of us even had it in our top 5. Thanos is a standout character who made the movie so much more interesting than it might have been. It’s also an amazing turn for Doctor Strange and Thor. But it’s a bummer! If you don’t want sadness from your Marvel movies, it’s not gonna be at the top of your list.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Maybe the most surprising placement on the list. A couple of us absolutely love this movie, and someone even had it as their number one movie of them all. Personally, I really enjoy the movie and think it’s a damn fun superhero caper. But top 10? I dunno, man.
Black Panther (2018)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
It took way too long to get Spider-Man into the MCU. Tom Holland and his portrayal of Peter Parker as an absolute highlight in
Here we go! Our Top 5 MCU Movies of All Time!
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Maybe we’re all working with recency bias, but it’s because of our love for this franchise that its final installment ranks so high. It paid off not only
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
There’s no getting around what a delightful surprise this movie was upon its release. It had characters most people didn’t know in a setting the franchise had barely touched. But it had heart, humor, true heroism, and a soundtrack that launched a thousand wedding reception playlists. It’s a big, fun space adventure with a team of a-holes who’ve become household names. And not for nothing, it’s the first appearance of Josh Brolin as Thanos.
The Avengers (2012)
If its big, rule-breaking team-up film hadn’t been the monster hit it was ($1.5 billion worldwide), the Marvel Cinematic Universe would have been but a fun novelty. Now it’s a global powerhouse.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Thor had always been a great character in team-ups but (as this list shows) his solo films weren’t always the most engrossing. With
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
It’s often said that Steve Rogers is the heart of the MCU. That happened, I think, because of
And there you have it. No doubt you’re very angry about this ranking. And you know what? So are we. Damn you, math. Share your own ranking in the comments below!