All 61 Marvel Movies Ranked, Including ‘Shang-Chi’

·6-min read
All 61 Marvel Movies Ranked, Including ‘Shang-Chi’

This year will end up bringing us five (5) new Marvel movies, but somehow we’re just getting started. “Shang-Chi” is the second after “Black Widow” — let’s see how it stacks up against all the previous theatrically released Marvel movies, both inside and outside the MCU.

58. “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”

It’s just a nightmare. A total nightmare. There have been a bunch of bad superhero movies, but this one transcends bad.

57. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”

A totally chaotic stir fry of nonsense that tells the story of how Wolverine got his claws. Features a version of Deadpool that has his mouth stapled shut, which should tell you all you need to know about it.

56. “Elektra”

That five minutes where they tried to turn Jennifer Garner into an action star really didn’t work out well, huh.

55. “X-Men: The Last Stand”

Just a total mess, incoherent from the word “go.” Might have killed off the superhero genre were “Spider-Man” not blowing up the box office.

54. “Fantastic Four” (2015)

There could maybe be a good movie in here somewhere. The cast (Michael B Jordan, Miles Teller, Kate Mara) certainly would warrant one. But this Frankenstein of a film is a behind-the-scenes horror story and you can see it all through the totally disjointed final product.

53. “Daredevil”

This was basically “Early-2000s: The Movie,” with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and Michael Clark Duncan as the main players. The cherry on top of this turd sundae was that damn Evanescence song.

52. “Fantastic Four” (2005)

Tim Story‘s first “Fantastic Four” was not good, but in a very mundane sort of way. It’s just sort of there, challenging you to remember it exists. With Chris Evans, who played the Human Torch here, going on to embody Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that gets tougher every year.

51. “Iron Man 2”

Swaps Terrence Howard for Don Cheadle, while Mickey Rourke breaks cars with laser whips. Who knows what was going on in this movie, but it was almost OK anyway.

50. “The Punisher” (2004)

This is the Punisher as a straight revenge thriller, and it’s OK. Thomas Jane performs admirably, but the whole thing is missing that extra something that could elevate it beyond standard genre fare.

49. “Spider-Man 3”

Maybe the bad outweighs the good here, but I will never fall out of love with Emo Peter Parker’s dance number, one of the greatest single moments in any comic book movie.

21. “Venom”

How can anybody resist the pull of Tom Hardy doing comedy? This movie knows exactly what it’s trying to be, and what it’s trying to be is dumb and fun and nothing else. And it is extremely fun.

17. “Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2”

An improvement on the first film, and an absolute delight from moment to moment — but it never quite coalesces into a coherent whole because so many subplots distract from the core story and rob it of its emotional impact. Would be a top 5 comic book movie if it had just reigned in the plot.

17. “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”

The main series “X-Men” movies have never achieved any sort of greatness, but at least “Dark Phoenix” ends the whole thing with one of the best efforts of the bunch. And that sequence on the train in the third act is easily the best action sequence of these movies.

16. “Spider-Man: Far From Home”

It’s frustrating that it doesn’t really deal with the immense fallout from “Avengers: Endgame,” but it’s still as visually creative as any movie in the MCU, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio is an all-timer of a villain. Dude goes all the way out in this.

9. “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

Not quite the best “Spider-Man” movie, but still an absolute delight, with a cast full of scene stealers. Michael Keaton as the Vulture makes for one of the best Marvel villains ever.

8. “Thor: Ragnarok”

A thorough delight, but a movie this silly can’t help but have some issues with abrupt tonal shifts. Even so, this might be the most fun we’ve had at the movies in all of 2017, and so we can’t help but love it.

7. “Doctor Strange”

If it weren’t hamstrung with all the requisite elements of an origin story, “Doctor Strange” might have been the best Marvel movie ever. That’s the power of the astonishing visual imagination on display here. People love to talk about the nebulous concept of capturing some long lost childlike sense of wonder though the magic of cinema — “Doctor Strange” is one of the only movies I’ve watched as an adult that really accomplishes that.

4. “Black Panther”

It’s held back a little by being saddled with standard “origin movie” issues — introducing audiences to the world of Wakanda isn’t a quick and easy task, and it could use an extra 15-20 minutes to flesh out the supporting characters — but still manages to be the most substantial superhero movie ever. It’s kind of amazing that Disney let writer/director Ryan Coogler make this overt a political statement — it’s the most openly political mega-budget movie I’ve ever seen . Also, while I’m listing superlatives: Michael B Jordan delivers the best performance ever in a superhero movie. Good lord.

3. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

The best superhero movies, and movies in general, are the ones that are truly most human. And “Spider-Verse,” despite being animated, despite the wacky cast of Spider-People, despite the outlandish premise, is as real as movies get.

2. “Logan”

James Mangold’s small-scale western is a game changer for the entire superhero genre, daring to defy pretty much standard by which you expect these movies to operate. It’s just a great movie by any normal standard. Where “Civil War” elevated the genre, “Logan” opts instead to be something else entirely and we’re all the better for it.

1. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

The Russo brothers, who made their entrance to the MCU directing “Winter Soldier” before taking the reigns on “Civil War” and, eventually, 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” really impressed with “Winter Soldier.” It’s a classic spy thriller with a superhero twist. And Robert Redford as the bad guy is a really nice touch.

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