The Best and Worst of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

By Ben Barker - April 29 2016


Today marks the release of the much anticipated, Captain America: Civil War. Since the first time a Marvel superhero zoomed out of the pages of his comic book and on to the big screen, the world has gone crazy for more. So much more, in fact, that superheroes are making the jump into movies on a regular basis. But have they all translated successfully on to the screen? Here are the best and the worst offerings of the Marvel superhero film genre to help you to decide.


1. The Avengers

They don’t come any better – Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and Hulk are all on the same team, standing shoulder to shoulder to defend New York from alien invaders.

2. Spider-Man 2

Everything that’s best about the web-weaving superhero, without losing the unique tone from the first film. So the Spider-Man rules are broken, but the end result justifies it.

3. Avengers: Age of Ultron

A genuine immersion in the comic book genre, this is a masterpiece of superheroism from director Joss Whedon.

4. Iron Man 3

Great Action, unexpected plot twists and well developed villainy marks this out from its two predecessors.

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America offers the moral compass to a backdrop of assassination attempts, espionage plot and political intrigue.

6. X2

Hugh Jackman at his best as Wolverine.

7. Captain America: The First Avenger

Every aspect of this cool superhero is fully embraced as he sticks up for humanity.

8. Thor: The Dark World

Norse gods and elves with laser guns create something of a culture clash.

9. Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr shows his rock star character as an armour-clad reluctant superhero.

10. X-Men: Days of Future Past

A fast pace and good acting create a dramatic movie that paves the way for future films.

11. Punisher: War Zone

A great film of excess that never got the audience it merits.

12. The Wolverine

Unlike other X-Men movies, this one is character-driven and full of action.

13. Thor

Fantasy and comedy are well balanced, with success resting on Chris Hemsworth’s lead.

14. Spider-Man

The movie that pointed the way for all other superhero movies, the comic book hero is convincingly turned into a film.

15. X-Men

Setting the way for the next decade of Marvel movies, good casting and quality acting define this classic.

16. X-Men: First Class

Strong lead performances as the X-Men save the Mutant race.

Middle of the road movies

17. Guardians of the Galaxy

Colourful and fast moving, even if the plot is sometimes wobbly.

18. Ant-Man

Less pacy than other Marvel movies, it’s nevertheless charming and witty.

19. The Incredible Hulk

No finesse – just a movie about a big green monster smashing his way through the film.

20. Spider-Man 3

Occasionally sloppy, this film ties up the loose ends from the trilogy while being packed with humour and feel-good factor.

21. The Amazing Spider-Man

Well made and well acted, but it won’t leave any lasting impressions.

22. X-Men: The Last Stand

Not as popular as other X-Men movies, this nevertheless packs in action and style with an unforgettable climax.


23. Hulk

Made by Ang Lee, but probably one of the worst superhero movies ever.

24. Iron-Man 2

A mess of a movie with seemingly disconnected scenes put together.

25. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

A wreck with a poor script and an illogical plot.

26. Daredevil

Some good highlights from this superhero who is competent, but not as memorable as his other Marvel counterparts.

27. Elektra

A spin-off from Daredevil and a highly forgettable movie.

28. The Punisher

Cliched and goofy, so the vengeance theme doesn’t really work.

29. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and The Thing do actually save the world, but that’s about all that can be said about it.

30. Fantastic Four

A lot of arguing and in-fighting between characters spoils the comic book original.

31. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Poor scripting and poor cinematography – a poor film all round.

32. Fantastic Four

Various reshoots and poor quality film sets spoil what should have been a good movie.

33. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Too many people involved in scripting and special effects didn’t do director Gavin Hood’s work justice.

34. Ghost Rider

The superhero isn’t convincing, the screenplay is poor, so it’s best forgotten.

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