My Personal (and Possibly a Controversial) Ranking of MCU Movies


It might be because one of its movies won three Oscars, or maybe because another broke the box office records as the highest-grossing movie of all time, but in present days, practically everyone has heard or seen something regarding the Marvel franchise. Many may think, “it’s just another superhero movie”, but I guarantee you it’s not that simple. The way the producers and writers managed to fit all 23 movies into one huge storyline is beyond impressive. As a huge Marvel fan, I think every movie is great in its own way and made its own contribution to the Marvel Cinematic Universe– except for The Incredible Hulk, as I refuse to watch it because it feels wrong to have someone other than Mark Ruffalo play the big green hero but I have personal rankings and explanations for why I each film accordingly. . However, before beginning this long list,

I would like to acknowledge that a few members of the Graded community are also MCU fans who shared their thoughts in this article. From Iron Man to Spiderman: Far From Home, here are my rankings. 

Illustration by Maria Nobrega

Warning: Spoilers ahead, read at your own risk


  1. Thor: The Dark World

Although this movie had some funny lines and beautiful shots, not even Chris Hemsworth was able to save this one from the bottom of the list. The whole storyline was boring and Loki would have been a more interesting villain than Malekith ever was. 


  1. Iron Man 2

I had very high expectations for this movie after watching the first one and unfortunately, it didn’t live up to its predecessor. The characters were amazing and there were several comical moments, but the plot wasn’t exciting. As we see Tony Stark struggle with a challenge that he can’t just “fight off”, the movie doesn’t surprise us or leave us in suspense.   


  1. Captain America: The First Avenger

Many people would rank this movie higher; however, I found myself rather bored while watching it. Though I enjoyed seeing a superhero movie set in a time where a real Captain America would have come in handy, I felt the whole story was pretty predictable. However, I have to acknowledge that it was pretty fun seeing Chris Evans with a tiny body and a disproportionately large head. 


  1. Ant-Man

With one of the goofiest and most entertaining storylines, Ant-Man was a nice break from the darkness of the previous movies. Paul Rudd is perfect for this character, and his charisma makes the audience want to root for Ant-Man even more. However, I’m not going to lie; I had to do a Google search in order to remember exactly what happens because it’s a little bit forgettable. Even though it was a great movie, nothing really stood out to make it amazing.


  1. Iron Man 3

This movie is set in the aftermath of the biggest fight of his life. How does one react after nearly being killed by demigods and aliens while fighting side by side with a group of extraordinary people? Despite this, I found the movie extremely similar to the first one; Tony goes missing, builds (or in this case, rebuilds) a suit, fights the enemy, and it ends with a happy ending. Of course, you will have fun watching it, but it’s a pretty average Marvel movie. 


  1. Thor

The highlight of this movie is with no doubt the introduction of possibly the most powerful siblings. With mischievous Loki and dreamy Thor, the duo can make a simple plot more interesting and humorous. With this new addition, a whole new world for the MCU was opened as they explored Norse mythology. Even so, there are many inconsistencies, and the idea that a god needs to learn to be a man is rather curious but could have been better executed. 


  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

It is agreed upon throughout the MCU fanbase that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 simply does not live up to the standards that its prequel created; sophomore Inacio Johannpeter shared my sentiment regarding the movie. “Although the movie keeps the same comedic and, for lack of a better word, ‘laid back’ characters, the plot is definitely one of the weaker ones among Marvel movies. With that said, however, this is definitely a humorous movie worth watching with an amazing soundtrack”, said Inacio.


  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron

For a long time, this movie was one of my favorites because it was the one that made me fall in love with this whole universe. The first Avengers movie was primarily about the physical fight, while this one includes the emotional aspect of their journeys. However, it doesn’t really show the character’s development they had in their individual films. In addition, Ultron had a plain personality; rather, the Maximoff twins were the antagonists who added flavor to the movie. Yet, I still think Pietro deserved better. 


  1. Ant-Man and the Wasp

This movie was great comic relief after the events of the Infinity War. With Ant-Man in it, we can always expect jokes and creative ways to play with space and size. At the same time, this is one of the most interesting stories, different from the previous one as it brought relevant information and discoveries that would affect other movies. Not only that, but the antagonist is one of the most mysterious and compelling characters in the MCU, as they also showed her human side. 


  1. Doctor Strange

Just like the title suggests, this movie is definitely strange. The sorcerers, the spells, and the magic (which always gives me Harry Potter vibes) all opened new opportunities for the MCU universe. Though it takes a while for the fun part of Strange’s story to start, and it’s slightly suspicious how fast he learned how to fight using his power, his character development and the outstanding special effects make up for it. However, the most shocking thing to me was definitely seeing Rachel McAdams playing a serious and nerdy role compared to the iconic Regina George in Mean Girls.  


  1. Spider-Man: Far From Home

The sequel to Tom Holland’s first Spider-Man movie is a fun twist on the hero’s story.  The movie is packed with action, romance, strong friendships, and the classic light comedic touch which most modern MCU movies seem to incorporate. “Even though the plot falls short at times and the movie’s twist villain isn’t shocking, the film is still charming and enjoyable. While it definitely isn’t one of the most ground-breaking Marvel movies out there, its script is witty and humorous, and has plenty of emotional and exciting moments along the way.”, said tenth-grader Alice Xavier.


  1. Captain Marvel

The long-overdue female-led movie finally came out and I wasn’t disappointed. As arguably the strongest superhero, Carol Danvers’ backstory is uniquely filled with twists, comedic scenes, and the appearance of beloved characters (especially for Agents of SHIELD fans). I am aware that many didn’t enjoy it because of the lack of emotion and limitations to her story. Nevertheless, it gave women a voice in a world where men have clearly been favored. The best part was definitely learning about the reason for Nick Fury’s iconic eye patch. 


  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Finally, the top ten. Full of plot twists and fight scenes, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a much more ground-breaking affair than its previous movies. Dealing with corrupt organizations, spies, and fighting actual humans, it is by far one of the most inspiring and relatable plots. The improvement from the first movie is astonishing and adding beloved characters like Black Widow, and Sam Wilson only makes it even better. The one thing I would change? I don’t think anyone ever believed that Fury was really dead… 


  1. Spider-Man: Homecoming

After a few unsuccessful Spider-Man movies and sagas, Marvel really worked wonders with this one. Not only did Jon Watts create a relatable storyline with a villain that was realistic for a 16-year-old boy to go against, but Peter Parker actually looked his age this time. Although Aunt May keeps getting younger every time we see her, this was one of the best movies which gave a new character a lead role.


  1. Avengers

“I began watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe recently, and I expected nothing less from the first Avengers movie. It was so fun to see iconic heroes fighting together for justice,and we were all on the edge of our seats throughout the movie. Apparently, I am the only person Ingrid knows who cried over Agent Coulson’s death, and she’s concerned for when I watch the following movies. I hope my high standards for the upcoming movies won’t let me down, and it will be very difficult for a character to find a place in my top three when Tony, Thor, and Black Widow have already won my heart”, said Camila Clark, grade 10.


  1. Avengers: Endgame

“Part of the journey is the end”. The OG’s saved the universe one last time by sacrificing their lives despite the odds being 1 in 14,000,605. I’m sure we will be seeing some of them again; however, it’s extremely sad to think it was their last movie together. Still, this movie has some epic and memorable moments. Watching it for the first time, I remember having chills as the portals started opening, and it was electrifying to see my favorite superheroes together in a single location, all fighting for the same cause. I, like the entire audience, cheered when Captain America lifted Mjölnir. Though this was the end of an era, I’m sure the universe is in great hands with the next “set” of Avengers. 


  1. Iron Man

I have to say, this movie was one of a kind. I could rewatch it as many times as I wanted and I would still laugh with the characters and Tony Stark’s self-assuring comedic acts. Although I thought the antagonist himself wasn’t the most original, the entire plot of the movie definitely overcame all of its small defects. Not only will this movie provide you a roller coaster of emotions, but it will give you one of the best cinematic experiences in the Marvel industry. Being an MCUl fan myself, Iron Man has been way up on the list for its distinct plot and differentiated perspective of a hero”, said Victoria Chang, grade 10.


  1. Captain America: Civil War

Although this movie is in my top 5, sophomore Tomas Etlin thinks it should be in everybody’s top three! He says: “It’s the only Marvel movie where the plot has superheroes fighting each other;  two teams are led by two of the most beloved characters. The big battle at the airport is iconic, as it’s one of the only scenes where they highlighted every ability from each of the characters involved, while also showcasing both Steve Rogers and Tony Stark’s leadership skills. However, the scene that really touched all of our hearts was the final fight. Not only did it leave us in tears, but it also showed how even superheroes have human flaws.”


  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1

Guardians of the Galaxy is a light-hearted yet heartwarming movie. Whether it was the iconic “I am Groot”, or the classic 60’s & 70’s soundtrack, this movie won the hearts of all MCU fans. The star-studded cast featuring Chris Pratt and Vin Diesel is a must-watch for all audiences, and helps create one of the best Marvel movies of all time”, said former Graded student Adrian Carrillo.


  1. Black Panther

Not only is this movie filled with extremely likable characters and compelling adventures, but it’s also the first Marvel movie that consists of most characters being black. It has an important context that includes the Civil Rights movement and slavery and does so while including fight scenes and breathtaking views. The story makes you feel like you’re part of something important and gives you the opportunity to embrace the Wakanda within yourself. 


  1. Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok definitely revolutionized Marvel movies with its incredible mixture of humor and action; it is arguably one of the best Marvel productions. As beloved characters come back, and new, charismatic characters arrive, the story highlights how one single movie can redefine the whole series. Through a journey of sarcastic comments, vindictive villains, and literally out of this world fight scenes, it has the perfect combination of what any great movie should have.


  1. Avengers: Infinity War

As I awaited this movie’s release, I watched every YouTube video with theories and trailer analysis that I could find, and the film certainly didn’t disappoint. Incorporating practically every mighty hero from the universe and finding a worthy opponent was a challenge, but the execution was perfect, as each and every one of them had their moment to “shine”. This, in addition to keeping the storyline intriguing, was what made the movie so amazing. Even though I could imagine that it wouldn’t be a happy ending, every scene had a witty comment or a surprising turn of events which made it every second worth it. Additionally, the way the writers were able to maintain different adventures and always keep us on the edge of our seats are brief reasons why Avengers: Infinity War is the best MCU movie. 

“There was an idea. To bring together a group of remarkable people, to see if we could become something more. ” For those who are not aware, this quote is by Nick Fury, who in the movies, had the idea to create and unite the Avengers. I truly believe this phrase defines exactly what Marvel did in these past twelve years. Outstanding actors, directors, producers, and crew members were able to make this fantasy universe inspire us all in real life. It’s an impressive job of how 23 movies are able to connect and create an enormous storyline, the best of them all. Although all fans naturally have a preference between movies, we appreciate each and every one of them in their own way. I can’t wait to see the next surprises Marvel has prepared for us!