Ranking all 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies: Part 4

In anticipation of “Avengers: Endgame,” The Amherst Wire entertainment staff team up to tackle the pop culture phenomenon.


(Screenshot from “Spider-Man: Homecoming” trailer/YouTube)

In anticipation of “Avengers: Endgame,” Amherst Wire’s mightiest writers came together to take on the daunting task of ranking all 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. There was blood, sweat and tears put into the making of this list. Every day up to the release of “Endgame” on April 26, we’ll be releasing a part of the rankings. Be sure to check out part three if you missed it.

Now without further adieu, here is part four of seven in our MCU movie rankings.

12. Spider-Man: Homecoming

By Patrick Kline

Memorable moment: Peter Parker turns down the opportunity to be an avenger.

Spider-Man webs his way back to Marvel with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” arguably the best Spider-Man iteration to hit the big screen. After appearing in “Captain America: Civil War,” Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland) faces his greatest challenge: remaining a normal 15-year-old kid after fighting in the superhero civil war.

The best scene in the movie comes just before the final battle when Peter is trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building. He has sunken to his lowest all alone with no one to help him, suddenly the words of Tony Stark come to him: “If your nothing without the suit then you shouldn’t have it.” It is after this that he is able to lift the cement pillar and other rubble off him and chase down Vulture. In the end, he saves the day, decides to remain the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and ends up causing Tony and Pepper’s engagement.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is filled with easter eggs from other MCU movies, mostly “Captain America” movies. The “Sokovia Accords” are mentioned by one of Peter’s teachers; the Triskelion from “Captain America: Winter Soldier” is mentioned by one of the Vultures thugs; and Peter’s principle is even directly related to one of the Howling Commandos, Captain America’s team during World War 2, and has a photo of the unit in his office. Dr. Bruce Banner is shown in one of Peter’s classes along with several other notable scientists. Ultron, Chitauri and Dark Elf tech, from the previous two Avengers movies and “Thor: The Dark World,” are used by the Vulture and his crew to develop weapons.

With Sony owning the rights to Spider-Man on the big screen for so many years, moments like these that connect Spidey to the rest of the MCU feel that much more special.

11. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

By Julia Donohue

Memorable moment: Any scenes involving the soundtrack full of catchy oldies from a former Beatles to Fleetwood Mac.

A follow up to the highly successful “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Director James Gunn delivers another favorite with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

While they may not be the most integral elements of the MCU, the Guardians offer a gateway not only to another galaxy but to viewers unfamiliar with the comic book worship that lead to the Avenger’s popularity, a gateway into an entire cinematic world.

At its core, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a family drama with a phenomenal soundtrack. Unbeknownst to him, Peter Quill, portrayed by Chris Pratt, is about to encounter the truth of his lineage. Although this information is important to Quill, as a member of the Guardians, he serves proudly as leader to a family by choice. The Guardians are outcasts that are able to unite and truly care for one another. This is represented well in the cold open, where the Guardians are simultaneously fighting a monster and making sure Groot is safe.

It’s fun, it’s emotional, and it’s the perfect movie to just let happen in front of you. Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell make prominent appearances. Russell plays a younger version of himself and the deaging process is insane and oddly believable.

If you ever watched “A Star is Born” and thought to yourself, “Wow Bradley Cooper would make a great racoon,” then this is most certainly the Marvel film you need to see.

10. Captain Marvel

By Julia Donohue

Memorable moment: Captain Marvel interrogates Nick Fury (because the film is still in theatres, this is a teaser trailer.)

Captain Marvel was the final character to be introduced before Endgame, leading to intense anticipation for her film. One man in Wisconsin has apparently seen it 116 times. As it is still in theaters, it is difficult to discuss the longevity of the film. Still, it seems that it is successful for the moment, but falters due to the MCU tropes.

A soundtrack featuring ‘90s hits is used to present nostalgia for the audience and confusion for Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson who will become Captain Marvel. However, while “Guardians of the Galaxy” is able to use a nostalgic soundtrack to draw in the audience and exemplify Peter’s connection to his mother, “Captain Marvel” uses the soundtrack only to draw in audiences, coming across as cheap.

Brie Larson is an incredible actress, well known for her television series “United States of Tara” and her Oscar win for “The Room,” but this film did not allow her proper depth. While marketed as the new Captain America, the plot construction is ultimately too focused on her incorporation in the defeat of Thanos rather than a deeper character. At times, Larson is faulted and at times the script is faulted, but ultimately it is a serviceable performance. Hopefully, the first female-led Marvel film will result in excellent construction for Endgame, rather than a forgettable flick.

Email Patrick at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @paterickkline.

Email Julia at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @toomanyjulias.

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