Ranking all 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies: Part 6

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


(Screenshot from the “Black Panther” 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 five if you missed it.

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

6. Marvel’s The Avengers

By Kacey Connolly

Memorable moment: It’s a powerful image when the Avengers assemble at the Battle of New York for the first time.

I’m sure nobody would have guessed that the very first Avengers movie, the one that originally brought Marvel’s greatest heroes together, would be up in the top 10. “Marvel’s The Avengers” introduces the super group of heroes — Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, Captain America and Hawkeye — in a thrilling chase to catch Loki, Thor’s evil brother, who holds an infinitely powerful energy cube, the Tesseract.

The film puts the heroes together on the battlefield for the first time in a movie filled with stunning battle scenes. The battle for New York is the quintessential Marvel battle scene. Hordes of aliens flyover the city in Loki’s epic invasion. The heroes’ teamwork is on display for the first time. From Hawkeye lighting up aliens to Iron Man using his blasters off Captain America’s shield, the battle itself is a true spectacle as the film’s major piece.

This movie is one of my personal favorites in the Marvel universe. Not only is it jam-packed with high-intensity scenes, killer twists and witty one-liners, but it is the one that brought the gang together. Even if the plot was mundane, this movie would still find its way near the top of the list; it is where The Avengers began and it is where so many people fell in love.

5. Thor: Ragnarok

By Trevor Wilson

Memorable moment: Hela challenges Thor’s dignity, and it doesn’t go so well for her.

Some of the writers may tell you I really pushed to get “Thor: Ragnarok” to the five spot. Well, they’re right. I firmly believe that the third installment in the “Thor” saga should be in the top five. This is my favorite Marvel movie to date, and while I expect to catch some flak for this, I don’t care. I fight for what I believe in.

In what is undoubtedly the best installment in the “Thor” series, “Thor: Ragnarok” revitalizes Thor as a character and develops him into one of the Avengers’ strongest (literally and figuratively) characters. Packed with all the elements of a great Marvel film, “Thor: Ragnarok” stands out to me as one of the series’ most action-packed, conflict-driven and energetic films.

“Thor: Ragnarok” has a whole lot going on, but the film never feels bogged down. While Thor and Loki are ejected into the planet Sakaar, their once-banished sister Hela wreaks absolute havoc on their home, Asgard. Thor is forced into battle by the planet’s Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) in a gladiator-style battle to the death against…the HULK?!

The reunion of Hulk and Thor is one of the best scenes in the film and serves as a great preview for the rest of their struggle in the rest of the film. Like the majority of the film, the Thor and Hulk relationship is filled with humor. Neither can take the other seriously and they develop some great chemistry going forward. Packed with action, humor and stunning new worlds and battle scenes, “Thor: Ragnarok” is the height of the “Thor” saga and one of the peaks in the MCU.

4. Black Panther

By Jonathan Kermah

Memorable moment: The waterfall battle scenes.

“Black Panther” is number four on this list and easily number one in my personal list of black superheroes to hit the big screen. What’s that? Oh, you want my full top 10. I got you.

1. Black Panther
2. Frozone
3. (Place Terrance Howard as War Machine here)
4. Blade
5. Hancock
6. Jules from “Pulp Fiction”
7. Clarence, I mean Falcon
8. Meteor Man
9. Blank Man
10. Don Cheadle as War Machine

I present you with this ranking “Inception” to hammer across the point that “Black Panther” is a black superhero movie in every way. It’s got a black director in Ryan Coogler, a nearly all-black cast and tons of black culture. That alone made the film’s release a moment, and it happens to be a great film on top of that.

“Black Panther” is visually one of the greatest movies Marvel has ever made. From the beautiful aerial shots taken in Africa to the waterfall scenes filmed in Argentina; to the futuristic city of Wakanda, to the African inspired wardrobe; there is always something captivating to draw your eye in Wikanda scenes. Alongside “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Black Panther” also holds some of the most unique soundtracks to hit the MCU. The car chase scene between Ulysses Klaue and T’Challa, Nakia and Okoye is only enhanced by Vince Staples and Kendrick Lamar rapping about “opps on the radar” over an African inspired instrumental.

While the “Black Panther” stands out sonically and visually, the film wouldn’t be as special as it is without strong writing to add depth and personality. Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan) isn’t just another world eater looking to destroy the planet. Instead, the central conflict is more nuanced, being based on real-world oppression that black people have faced throughout history. This makes you almost want to root for Killmonger, until he does something really evil to counteract those feelings.

Aside from T’Challa’s highly improbable survival and Jordan’s slightly overacted villain performance “Black Panther” is nearly perfect. It follows the MCU movie formula to a certain extent but still feels like a breath of fresh air.

Wakanda forever.

Email Kacey at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @kaceyconnolly1.

Email Trevor at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @TrevorWilsonOG.

Email Jonathan at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @JKermah98.

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