Ranking all 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies: Part 7

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


(Screenshot from the “Iron Man” 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 six if you missed it.

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

3. Iron Man

By Kacey Connolly

Memorable moment: Iron Man sports the red and gold for the first time.

The first “Iron Man” will always remain at the top of my personal Marvel list. Not only is Iron Man the best Marvel superhero, but he is a self-made hero. A genius billionaire, Tony Stark invented a weapon that would prove to beat all other weapons, a handmade armored suit equipped with technology that is truly out of this world.

While the plot of “Iron Man” lifts it higher than others — a rich, cocky weapon inventor taken hostage, eventually building a superhero suit that leads to his escape — it is Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man that really sells this movie for me. It is truly a pleasure to watch a superhero so sarcastic, yet equally serious, glide through his character development with dignity and finesse.

For me, “Iron Man” is not only what kickstarted Marvel’s lengthy array of films, but it is where I fell in love with the Marvel Universe, as well.

2. Captain America: Civil War

By Oliver Sampson

Memorable moment: Iron Man finds out that Bucky Barnes killed his parents.

“Captain America: Civil War” represents all of the best elements of the MCU wrapped into one film. Even though it is technically a Captain America movie, this acts as another addition to the Avengers story and was the most consequential to date. Witnessing 12 of the biggest superheroes face off against one another gave Marvel one of the defining moments of the franchise.

Helmut Zemo is the antagonist and acts as the wedge that forces the Avengers apart. Despite this, the main conflict comes between the heroes themselves and the question about the morality of their group and if they should be monitored by the UN. The basis already brings something completely different and provides some of the more intense moments of the MCU franchise. “Civil War” isn’t just a summer blockbuster, this was a well thought out thriller with major character development that has a massive effect on the overall MCU arc.

Where this film shines the most is in its ability to challenge the audience and make them side with one group of heroes over the others. When it’s clearly shown in the first act that the Avengers can be a dangerous and reckless group, it forced me to question the likes of Captain America for the first time.

This is some of the best writing we’ve seen in the MCU, yet the action still delivers and brings many of the highlights of the film. The battle between the Avengers at the airport and the last fight between Captain American and Iron Man are some of the best choreographed and exciting scenes of the franchise. While there is a lot going on and the plot jumps quickly from setting to setting throughout, it all flows seamlessly leading up to the final act.

I was basically on the edge of my seat for the entire last hour of confrontation between the heroes. It completely throws a loop into the dynamic of the group and poses many questions for the future. When Iron Man finds out it was Barnes who killed his parents and that Captain America knew, everything changed. Until Thanos snapped his fingers, this film had left the largest impact on the MCU universe. That is why it lands so high on this list.

1. Avengers: Infinity War

By Jonathan Kermah

Memorable moment: Iron Man, Spider-Man and Dr. Strange meet the Guardians of the Galaxy

This had to be number one right?

A decade’s worth of Marvel films cumulated in “Avengers: Infinity War,” and the film still somehow exceeded expectations. With so many characters and worlds colliding, it’s easy to underrepresent some characters, but Kevin Feige and the Russo brothers managed to give just about every character a meaningful moment.

You have great moments like Iron Man, Spider-Man and Dr. Strange meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy, or Black Panther ensuring someone gets Captain America a shield. But above all else, this film is the greatest Marvel movie to date because of its antagonist, Thanos (Josh Brolin). No other superhero movie that I’ve seen has ended with the villain being triumphant, but no other villain has felt as powerful as Thanos. Mix that in with a nuanced motivation to be “the bad guy,” and you’ve got the greatest villain to ever hit the big screen.

While “Avengers: Infinity War” is nearly three hours long, it has endless rewatchability. Every time I watch, I find a different intermingling of characters to enjoy and still feel emotionally invested when many of these characters turn to dust. The action and stakes are unmatched, and for this reason, it’s number one on this list.

“We’re in the Endgame now.”

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

Email Oliver at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @_theycallmeo.

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

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