Total Recall

Marvel Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer

by | November 1, 2017 | Comments

With the arrival of this week’s Thor: Ragnarok, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is just about to the midway point in Phase Three of its ongoing quest for blockbuster box-office receipts — and brings the number of “official” Marvel movies to an impressive 17. Keeping track of all those titles can be tough, so we’re here to make your life a little easier with a list of every MCU release, organized by Tomatometer. Excelsior, superhero fans — it’s time for Total Recall!


17. Thor: The Dark World (2013) 66%

Thor-The-Dark-World
(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

Tom Hiddleston’s Loki was a scene-stealing delight in Thor and Marvel’s The Avengers, so a Thor sequel throwing his character into an uneasy alliance with the God of Thunder could only be a good thing, right? For the most part, yes, but 2013’s Thor: The Dark World still felt like something of a squib grounder after the solidly satisfying long-distance thrills of its predecessors. What it might have lacked in impact, it did its best to make up for with a wider scope — a storyline pitting Thor against the Dark Elf Malekith in a cosmic battle for the fate of the Nine Realms — as well as a few fresh strands of franchise-building to help set up the next round of MCU movies. “The picture is a mess,” admitted Soren Anderson of the Seattle Times. “But it’s kind of a fun mess.”

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16. The Incredible Hulk (2008) 67%

The-Incredible-Hulk
(Photo by Universal)

Ang Lee‘s Hulk left Marvel wanting another crack at establishing a franchise for the big green brute, and they got their shot with The Incredible Hulk in 2008. With Louis Leterrier in the director’s chair and Edward Norton taking over as the gamma-afflicted Bruce Banner, this pass at the character’s origin story offered a more thoughtful take on Banner’s tortured existence as the Hulk while taking care not to skimp on the rock ’em, sock ’em action. When the end credits rolled, it was still dismayingly clear that building a compelling franchise around a guy whose most exciting moments came after he morphed into a non-verbal human wrecking ball remained easier said than done, but the second Hulk had its fans. Calling it “Broad, loud, straight-ahead and raucous,” Tom Long of the Detroit News wrote, “The Incredible Hulk may not be the smoothest or smartest movie ever made, but it sure captures the spirit of its giant green protagonist.”

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15. Iron Man 2 (2010) 73%

Iron-Man-2
(Photo by Francois Duhamel/Paramount)

Even without the glowering good time Jeff Bridges gave us in the original, Iron Man 2 still has plenty going for it. In addition to returning franchise stars Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, the sequel added Don Cheadle (taking over as James “Rhodey” Rhodes from the departed Terrence Howard) and Scarlett Johansson as the superspy Avenger Black Widow, all while working in a story about the core of Tony’s arc reactor slowly poisoning him to death. The only problem? The movie’s two villains, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) and Ivan “Whiplash” Vanko (Mickey Rourke), failed to offer much in terms of compelling dastardliness or a truly high-stakes threat. Still, even if it was a step down from the original, Iron Man 2 nevertheless offered a reasonable amount of fun; as Scott Tobias wrote for the A.V. Club, “It’s a clean, efficient, somewhat generic piece of storytelling and most of the additions are not subtractions. This passes for success in the summer movie season.”

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14. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) 75%

Avengers-Age-Of-Ultron
(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

Given how tough it must have been to pull off the bajillion-ring circus that was Marvel’s The Avengers, it stands to reason that the follow-up would, to some extent, fall prey to the law of diminishing returns. And so it was with 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which added more of everything to the original’s CGI-coated stew and ended up with a sequel that most people liked well enough without being totally bowled over by it. Which is not to say there isn’t a lot to enjoy about the team’s second trip to theaters — or that the stakes aren’t appropriately high in a story that sees Tony Stark’s titular AI creation turning against him and deciding it needs to rid the world of the human race. “As he did in the first Avengers,” wrote the Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday, “writer-director Joss Whedon avoids the fatal trap of comic-book self-seriousness, leavening a baggy, busy, overpopulated story with zippy one-liners, quippy asides and an overarching tone of jaunty good fun.”

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13. Thor (2011) 77%

(Photo by Paramount)

On the printed page, Marvel has made a mint with characters far sillier than Thor, the mighty Asgardian God of Thunder — but on the big screen, it’s an awful tall order to take a guy with flowing blond locks and a hammer and turn him into a modern-day action hero. Yet that’s exactly what director Kenneth Branagh did with 2011’s Thor, which effectively straddled the line between building the mystic mythology of the MCU and dispensing good old-fashioned wisecracking and butt-kicking here on planet Earth. It certainly didn’t hurt that in the title role, Branagh was working with Chris Hemsworth, who brought the perfect blend of light humor and burly physique — or that Hemsworth shared the screen with Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, and Kat Dennings. Toss in Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo as our hero’s royal parents, and you’ve got a fantasy action thriller with epic heft as well as enough sense not to take itself too seriously. “For those with a taste for the genre,” advised the Atlantic’s Christopher Orr, “Thor is a worthy addition to the pantheon.”

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12. Iron Man 3 (2013) 80%

Iron-Man-3
(Photo by Walt Disney Pictures)

Enjoyable as the Iron Man movies are, the franchise has always had a big problem — namely, that Ol’ Shell-Head’s biggest comics villains aren’t exactly movie material. Director Shane Black took a novel approach to tackling this problem with Iron Man 3, wiping out the problematic stereotypes at the root of the would-be conqueror known as the Mandarin and reimagining the character as a nefarious warlord (played by Ben Kingsley) who turns out to be an alcoholic actor posing at the behest of the movie’s real bad guy, industrialist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). If it all sounds a little complicated, well, that’s to be expected from the third film in a trilogy—and after the relative disappointment of Iron Man 2, most critics saw it as a step in the right direction. “Downey is as funny as ever, if not more so,” wrote Bill Goodykoontz for the Arizona Republic. “He ensures that Iron Man 3 is a solid installment in the franchise, and helps to make it seem, at least for a time, that it might be something more.”

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11. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) 80%

Captain-America-The-First-A
(Photo by Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios)

While he’s easily one of the more recognizable heroes in Marvel’s stable, Captain America has spent the last several decades battling the same perception that’s dogged Superman — namely, that he’s too noble, too upstanding, and too square to resonate with generations weaned on more morally ambiguous anti-heroes. With Captain America: The First Avenger, director Joe Johnston hurdled that obstacle by embracing Cap’s WWII origin story and making his first movie a period piece with a colorful Saturday serial feel. Anchored by Chris Evans‘ suitably patriotic performance in the title role, and enlivened by a supporting cast that included seasoned vets like Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones, The First Avenger compellingly laid the groundwork for one of the MCU’s central stories — and served as a springboard for the Hayley Atwell spinoff series Agent Carter in the bargain. “Of course it’s loaded with CGI. It goes without saying it’s preposterous,” admitted Roger Ebert. “But it has the texture and takes the care to be a full-blown film.”

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10. Ant-Man (2015) 82%

(Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Walt Disney Studios)

Comics creators have dozens of weapons at their disposal when it comes to establishing a level of narrative context to aid the suspension of disbelief a reader needs in order to truly invest in outlandish stories. For filmmakers, it’s a little trickier — they don’t have dozens of comics issues, or those ever-so-helpful thought balloons, to lay the emotional groundwork that makes viewers ignore a silly costume and really care about the character. All of which is a long way to say that Ant-Man had a lot of cards stacked against it from the beginning, and the problems only seemed more insurmountable when the film’s original director, Edgar Wright, parted ways over creative differences with the studio. In the end, however, it turned out to be yet another smoothly delivered burst of superpowered entertainment for the MCU, with Paul Rudd proving a perfectly charming action hero while an ace supporting cast — including Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly — added the finely calibrated doses of humor, genuine emotion, and universe-building context Marvel fans have come to expect. Praising it as “One of the more entertainingly human fantasies to come out of the studio,” Time’s John Anderson added, “it also defies the bedrock fanboy aesthetic that you don’t want to merely watch the superhero — you want to be the superhero.”

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9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) 83%

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

When the first Guardians of the Galaxy arrived in 2014, it offered a colorful antidote to the serious tone that had gripped many superhero movies since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy proved fans were ready for their comics adaptations to go dark — and while the MCU has always made room for plenty of laughs, Guardians took it to another level while proving there were still vast unexplored reaches of the Marvel Universe just waiting to be adapted for the big screen. Needless to say, fans were eager for more in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — and the movie delivered, perhaps somewhat to a fault. While the vast majority of critics and moviegoers enjoyed the Guardians’ next adventure, more than a few reviews pointed out that the proceedings couldn’t help but feel a little familiar the second time around, and what once seemed effortlessly fresh had started to show some slight signs of creative strain. None of which is to suggest that Guardians 2 is anything less than an action-packed, quip-filled thrill ride; on the other hand, the laws of diminishing returns to seem to apply to us all, even if we’re a profanity-spewing raccoon-like creature or an adorable alien who looks like a teeny-tiny tree. “If it’s overstuffed in the way of most sequels,” shrugged the New York Post’s Sara Stewart, “well, at least it’s stuffed with good cheer.”

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8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) 89%

Captain-America-Winter-Sold
(Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Walt Disney Studios)

Death in the comics is a lot like death on your average soap opera: timed for maximum story impact, and very often temporary. It can have the unfortunate effect of undercutting the narrative stakes of a character’s demise, but it’s also pretty useful sometimes, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a perfect case in point. Mirroring the classic Marvel Comics story that sees Captain America’s old sidekick Bucky returning decades after his presumed death in World War II — only brainwashed into being the murderous bad guy known as the Winter Soldier — the First Avenger sequel dropped Cap into an emotional conflict that posed thought-provoking questions about real-life politics while paving the way for Civil War. As Owen Gleiberman wrote for Entertainment Weekly, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the first superhero film since the terrorist-inflected The Dark Knight that plugs you right into what’s happening now.”

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7. Doctor Strange (2016) 89%

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

In the early days of the MCU, it seemed perfectly reasonable to question the wisdom of bringing lesser-known — or simply weird — comics properties to the big screen. But as we approach a decade of Marvel cinematic supremacy, it looks like there might not be a title the studio can’t successfully adapt, and for further proof, here’s Doctor Strange. An eminently trippy comic book whose earliest adventures took Marvel in a thrillingly psychedelic new direction, Strange faced all sorts of obstacles on its way to theaters: Would audiences even be interested in suspending their disbelief long enough to watch a goateed dude in a cape save the world with magic? And how best to deal with the comics’ frankly dated racial subtext? With director Scott Derrickson at the helm, the 14th MCU movie sidestepped those potential troubles with dazzling special effects and a top-shelf cast that included Benedict Cumberbatch as the Doctor, Mads Mikkelsen as his adversary Kaecilius, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, and Tilda freakin’ Swinton as the Ancient One. Although it still added up to yet another origin story in a genre lousy with them, the end results were still thrillingly entertaining; as David Ehrlich wrote for indieWIRE, “If Doctor Strange can be dispiritingly safe, it can also be just as impressively bold – an hallucinogenic trip along a very familiar path, watching the film is like adding a large dose of LSD to your morning commute.”

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6. Captain America: Civil War (2016) 91%

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

Comics are built upon the never-ending conflict between good guys and villains. But what happens when a pair of heroes find themselves so irrevocably at odds that the only solution is fisticuffs? The answer lies in Captain America: Civil War. With Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel laid the groundwork for a story about the real-world implications of super-beings; here, those ideas come rushing to the fore as Cap and Tony Stark find themselves on opposite sides of an ideological divide drawn when the world’s governments seek to impose regulations reining in the growing population of “enhanced” individuals. Naturally, there’s a lot of weighty sociopolitical subtext inherent in its themes, but this is still a Marvel movie, with all the action and quippy one-liners that implies — and a darn good one, according to the vast majority of critics, who deemed it one of the better efforts to come out of an increasingly complex cinematic universe. “With Civil War,” wrote Barry Hertz of the Globe and Mail, “Marvel Studios has proven, once again, that the world’s heroes remain in good hands.”

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5. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) 91%

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy
(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

It took a long time — and a lot of box-office receipts — before Marvel was finally able to eradicate the old notion that there was only one kind of “superhero movie,” and it needed to be based around immediately recognizable characters who fit a simple mold. Over and over again, pundits doubted that audiences were interested in seeing the big-screen adventures of characters perceived as either outdated (Captain America), silly (Thor), or second-tier (Iron Man) — but with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the studio may have erased those doubts permanently. After all, if you can score a hit with an adaptation of a comic about a team of do-gooders whose ranks include aliens that look like a tree and a raccoon, you can do anything, right? Of course, it didn’t hurt that director James Gunn took a suitably irreverent approach to the material, or that he rounded up an outstanding ensemble led by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel (those last two providing, respectively, the voices of the raccoon and tree). Like most Marvel movies, Guardians came packed with laughs and action, but this tale of intergalactic derring-do also boasted surprisingly poignant moments. Describing it as “Part George Lucas and part Chuck Jones,” TheWrap’s James Rocchi wrote, “Guardians of the Galaxy has enough scrappy heart and smart humor to make it seem like the best possible kind of product, one where the talent of all involved makes it easy to enjoy their hustle.”

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4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) 92%

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/Columbia Pictures)

Getting lightning to strike with one movie is hard enough, let alone an entire franchise — so when Sony’s plans for the first Spider-Man reboot fizzled after a pair of films, it wasn’t hard to understand why the studio turned to Marvel for a series-steadying hand. Sharing the creative reins turned out to be exactly what the web-slinger needed. After hiring Tom Holland to play Spidey, Marvel introduced his version of the character in Captain America: Civil War, which turned out to be a mighty effective teaser for the main event — Spider-Man: Homecoming marked a rebound for the flagging franchise while sending our hero back to his high school roots. Part superhero adventure, part coming-of-age story, it delivered the action comics fans craved — but the quieter moments in between the battles might have been its strongest. “It delivers eye-popping spectacle in spades,” wrote the Tribune News Service’s Katie Walsh, “but it’s the characters that make it count.”

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3. Marvel's The Avengers (2012) 92%

The-Avengers
(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

It’s one thing to turn a slew of comics characters into successful film franchises. But to fit them — and the actors bringing them to life — into a single movie? That takes moxie, not to mention millions of dollars. Fortunately, director Joss Whedon had both resources at his disposal when he wrangled the cast of the MCU’s Phase One into Marvel’s The Avengers, somehow managing to guideex his overstuffed assemblage of heroes and villains in an all-star bonanza. The movie’s 140-minute length suggested lumbering overkill, but even with a CGI-enhanced battle for the fate of humanity in the final act, Whedon’s Avengers remained light on its feet, balancing high-stakes action against an intoxicatingly zippy plot that gave each of its many characters at least a few moments to shine (not to mention a laugh-out-loud one-liner or two). “Audiences have been eagerly anticipating this first all-hero extravaganza for years,” wrote USA Today’s Claudia Puig. “The wait was worth it.”

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2. Thor: Ragnarok (2017) 92%

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Blond locks notwithstanding, Thor has been the black sheep of the MCU for some time — after all, his franchise’s second entry, 2013’s The Dark World, still stands as the saga’s low point on the Tomatometer. As it turned out, the secret to making the God of Thunder fun was always pretty simple: embrace the inherent silliness of the character’s cosmic roots, even when you’re depicting something as serious as the long-prophesied end of days. Director Taika Waititi went all in on the comedy for Thor: Ragnarok, taking a loose, improv-friendly approach to the dialogue and adopting a dazzlingly colorful aesthetic for a story that sees our hero exiled, imprisoned, mutilated, and orphaned; it isn’t a story that sounds like a lot of laughs, in other words, but it ended up being one of the funniest — and most all-around fun — entries in Marvel’s cinematic universe. As Philip de Semlyen put it for Time Out, “In a world of portentous blockbusters getting ever darker, it’s a joy to see one throwing on the disco lights.”

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1. Iron Man (2008) 94%

Iron-Man
(Photo by Paramount)

All these billions of dollars in box-office grosses later, it’s easy to forget how many people thought the idea of an Iron Man movie was a little silly — as well as the not-unpopular notion that Marvel was taking a major risk by handing a superhero franchise to Robert Downey, Jr. Needless to say, those doubters were quickly silenced when Iron Man arrived in theaters in 2008, proving a comics character didn’t need Superman levels of name-brand recognition in order to send filmgoers flocking. With Downey in rare form as a quip-dispensing playboy/action hero and Jeff Bridges chomping cigars while exuding oily villainy, Iron Man hit all the requisite origin-story beats while establishing the first cornerstone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and offered plenty of blockbuster action in the bargain. “If every superhero franchise had a Robert Downey Jr.,” mused NPR’s Bob Mondello, “the genre might actually be watchable again.”

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  • DanOne

    Not one Rotten film yet? Wow.

    • frankie

      based on Top Critics The Dark World, Hulk and Iron Man 2 are Rotten films

    • Kevin Wong

      course not, Disney pays big bucks to keep them from rotten

      • DanOne

        I agree. Disney pays big bucks to hire the right cast and crew to make great movies.

        • MovieBuff

          Bullshit. TFA was horrible in every way. It’s high score has no other explanation than payments.

          • Kidd Ruki

            Or that’s YOUR opinion, and the scores are built from a consensus. You represent the 20% that didn’t like it, and that’s fine. But just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean that everything is a conspiracy, and the truth is that your opinion is the consensus! I’ll throw in a: Dun dun dun!!

          • MovieBuff

            The scores are built from consensus of critics. Paid by Disney. And followed by the bandwagoners.

          • Kidd Ruki

            Okay bro, careful with that tinfoil hat when (if) you go outside.

          • Dennis Bowers

            So you also believe the moon landings were faked, That 9/11 was an inside job. That there was a shooter on the grassy knoll? Just trying to get a gauge.

          • MovieBuff

            Strawmans…..strawmans everywhere.

          • Kevin Wong

            If Moon was real how come we don’t go back? If 9/11 was real then where was the pieces of the plane which hit the Pentagon?

          • Drewskee122

            Theres nothing to do on the Moon =P

            Remember the plane melted due to the explosives…I mean the fire from the fuel! Haha

            Good Q’s

          • Kevin Wong

            If planes can melt then what about the debris from other flight crashes?

          • Drewskee122

            It was sarcasm, thats my point. Since when do planes melt…SMH

          • Kevin Wong

            did not know since some ppl argue with it lol Sorry thought you were Dennis

          • Robobob

            Oh, quit your crying. You don’t like a movie that is popular and enjoyed by most people. Boo hoo. Everything’s not a conspiracy.

          • MovieBuff

            Who said anything about a conspiracy?

          • Jeff Taylor

            Yes the lamest conspiracy in the world- also one that would literally be impossible to keep secret. I honestly think that the success of the MCU and the, so far, dismal showing from DC (hey I hold out hope Suicide Squad will be freaking amazing) has unhinged a lot of DC fans. Myself I am a Marvel fan first but still think Superman and Batman are the two best superheroes ever created (and deserve the best movies – at least BM got the Dark Knight trilogy).

          • MovieBuff

            I have no allegiance to either Marvel or DC. I don’t even read comics.

          • Octavision Vigo

            The Dark Knight Rises sucked, it’s so ridiculously pretencious and the way Bane dies it’s just really stupid.

          • Blurbwhore

            While I agree with almost everyone in thinking that you believing your opinion should be consensus is crazy, here are some arguments in favour of a positive, but moderated, viewing of TFA:

            -The films calls back successfully to Raiders of the Lost Ark
            -It does the only thing a superhero origin needs to do: make me understand why this person, why this hero. It makes me believe in Steve Rogers. The Winter Soldier and Civil War are pretty impossible without the foundation we’re given in this movie. (This is why Thor failed as an origin, I have no clue what the special thing is that makes Thor “worthy” after watching that movie, and also why GotG and Iron Man both worked)
            -The film is visually interesting

            Was it the greatest film ever made? nope. Did I enjoy it? mostly, but every time I rewatch it, I end up liking it more.

            It’s high score has a lot of other explanations other than payments: it’s well-acted, well-written and interestingly shot – all things critics look for in a film.

          • MovieBuff

            Are….are you getting confused about films? How does Star Wars have anything to do with Raiders of the Lost Ark or Captain America?

          • Blurbwhore

            Ah, my bad. I did think you were talking about The First Avenger, considering this is an MCU discussion thread, but obviously you were talking about The Force Awakens? You were saying that The Force Awakens is a horrible movie in every way?

          • MovieBuff

            Yes, I was saying that The Force Awakens is a horrible movie in every way.

          • Kilgrave

            oh my god, you created a flame war over nothing. You’re a legend in my eyes.

          • MovieBuff

            Thank you. I wasn’t actually trying to. I just really really hate The Farce Awakens.

          • Josh Jennings

            That was the point of Thor, he WASN’T worthy to begin with, hence why he got kicked out. Because he was, in the words of his own father, a vain, greedy, and cruel boy. Then over the course of the movie, he learns what it means to think not only about himself, but others too. This culminates in his giving up his now very mortal life in order to save his friends, even apologising to the one about to kill him for all the mistakes he’s made. That’s what ultimately makes him worthy of holding the hammer again.

          • Blurbwhore

            But unfortunately that’s not enough. The inscription on his hammer reads “whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor”, the film didn’t have to prove that he became someone of substance, but rather someone with UNRIVALED worth. Cap does a lot more that is selfless, humble, etc. and yet he can’t lift the hammer in Age of Ultron. Thor fails to explain what this worth is that Thor uniquely possesses and it failed spectacularly.

          • Neal

            I think TFA was amazing.

          • mscottwar6666

            Chris Evans owning Captain America in ways no one thought possible. Not really that stinky.

          • MovieBuff

            Captain America is great. I said TFA was bad.

      • Dennis Bowers

        I don’t get it. Warner Bros. also pays big bucks and a lot of their films end up rotten. WB broke the bank making BvS and got a terrible ranking. What does big buck have to do with making a good movie?

        • Kevin Wong

          not all companies are evil and greedy. Maybe you have their stock?

          • Dennis Bowers

            What does being evil and greedy have to do with making critical flops and how does my having stock in a company matter one way or the other? None of what you wrote makes any sense.

          • Beautrodamus

            He’s a DC fanboy. Don’t expect sense. They’re basically fascists.

      • AKA

        lol dude…if reviews could be bought so easily, do you really believe WB wouldn’t be spending money on them too?

        Just another dumb comment from someone who wants to explain away the MCU’s success.

        • Kevin Wong

          not all companies are evil and greedy

          • AKA

            What a naive thing to say. All for-profit companies are just that, in it for the profit. They ALL want to make a ton of money. WB sure as shit does, that’s why they rushed to copy Disney’s cinematic universe model.

          • Kevin Wong

            Marvel made films before DC? Maybe your culture sucks which makes you think that way. So you agree Disney is evil and greedy? If so, are you brainwashed?

          • AKA

            I’m not going to let you twist my words so here is what I am saying as crystal clear as I can make it:

            1. I don’t think any company is paying for reviews – I think Disney gets good reviews because they make generally inoffensive movies that play to audience expectations. DC fans don’t seem to get this and think there is a giant conspiracy against them but there just isn’t one.

            2. I don’t believe Disney is “evil.” I do think they make business decisions focused on maximizing their bottom-line and if that is “greedy” than every single for-profit public company is greedy.

            I work as a consultant and have had projects at over a dozen public companies over the last six to seven years. All companies strive to do what Disney has been able to do over that period.

          • Kevin Wong

            1. If they were how would you know? So, are you saying they play it safe? If so, then critics don’t like anything not safe and did not like BvS since it was different?

            2. I am looking at films like SW where they are even making one every year like Han Solo, seems as if they are milking everything they have and not creating anything new. They are going to make a live action off of every single film and make a animation off off live action like Pirates. They are going to reboot, re imagine etc every 20 years. It is good but not good as in terms of creativity/nothing new. I am a person who like to see changes/differences to everything made, not the same play it safe film

          • AKA

            1. I don’t know but neither do you, the difference between us is I didn’t use wild speculation to make a point like you did.

            And yes, I think it’s very easy to see that critics like things that fit into a neat box. That isn’t to say they won’t give high reviews to something truly great that’s different, like Deadpool, but it does mean they’ll be more scathing when an attempt to be different falls short, like BvS.

            And BTW I thought BvS was a terrible movie. I grew up on the DCAU and am a huge DC fan, probably more so than Marvel. So I don’t want them to fail at all and want to see a DC universe as big as the MCU and I also have no issues with them taking a more mature tone. But IMO the movie just wasn’t good, plain and simple.

            2. What? I have three counters to this:

            a. Disney paid $4 billion dollars for Star Wars, it’s ridiculous to not expect them to fully utilize what they paid for. Also Lucasfilms never tried to build an EU in film, so doing so does mean Disney is doing something new.

            b. Disney innovated by building a cinematic universe for Marvel – no one else had anything like what they did there. The fact that they’re now just oiling the big machine they’ve built doesn’t change that.

            And you can see how many studios are trying to copy them now. In addition to the DCEU (which launched six years after MCU began), we have a potential monster-verse, MIB / 21 Jump Street-verse, Scooby Doo-verse, Transformers-verse, and many more.

            c. Disney just released Zootopia, a worldwide hit movie with a brand-new story. Last year they had Inside Out by Pixar. They offer way more than you give them credit for.

          • Robobob

            I always thought Lucas was crazy for not making more Star Wars movies. He always said there was no story outside of the Skywalker arc. Well the EU pretty much proved him wrong. Bounty hunters, soldiers, fighter pilots, smugglers and Jedi. There are millions of stories to be told. I, for one, am glad Disney bought Star Wars and is actually doing something more with them on the big screen. I waited my whole life for this, so I’m also happy they’re making a film every year. Waste no more time.

          • AKA

            Yea…well Lucas clearly did damage to the franchise he built by the end. I mean he still got $4B for Lucasfilms, but I would bet it’s worth 2-3x that after just one movie by Disney. I’m glad Star Wars is out of his hands too.

          • MovieBuff

            Disgusting.

          • MovieBuff

            1.) Disney is not doing anything new with Star Wars. They are merely recycling plots and characters from the original trilogy. (and that’s being kind, since it’s mostly just A New Hope). Lucas was a million times more innovative than the Disney cookie cutter.
            2.) Disney is an evil as fuck company that deliberately fucks over cinemas and distributors. Disney charges 90% for the first week in cinemas, 75% for the second week, and 50% after that. All the other companies only charge 50%. This means cinemas make next to nothing from Disney films.
            3.) Since they make so much from fucking everyone over, they can afford to buy up all the properties. Securing billion dollar films every year.
            4.) With all that capitol, they wine and dine critics for good reviews. It’s already well known that if you make a bad review of a Disney movie, you will not be invited to a Disney Critic’s premier again. Disney essentially has the power to kill critic’s careers.
            5.) This makes it so that nearly all Disney films have glowing reviews, while critics take vengeance on the genres by slamming equally good or better films of the same genre. That is why films like BvS and X-Men: Apocalypse are being slammed, while everyone is sucking Disney’s dick over the inferior Civil War. Even Deadpool you could feel the critics really wanted to bash it but couldn’t cause it was too good – and yet it still has a lower rating than Civil War. This kills other studio’s profits, while making yet more bucks for Disney.
            6.) This goes into more original projects as well. Turds like Inside Out and Zootopia get amazing reviews, while being actually crap. Great animations like Hotel Transylvania get shit on.

          • AKA

            1.) Anthology movies aren’t anything new? You’re entire argument is based on one fucking movie dude.

            2.) How does maximizing their bottom line make them evil? This is such a stupid, naive argument. Every for-profit business in the world wants to make more money and would take the steps to do so if they could. Disney is able to charge a premium because demand is high for their movies (and BTW your numbers seem wrong so I’d ask you back them up with a source – every studio charges a premium on opening weekends and they end up making an average of 50% of the net box. Disney was trying to up their average to 60% by sources like the one below.)

            http://www.wsj.com/articles/disney-theater-operators-battle-over-new-avengers-1430733601

            Also cinemas make next to nothing on all movies – all of their profit comes from overcharging customers for popcorn, drinks, and snacks.

            3.) Again, every company in the world wants to grow and make more money. This is so stupid…you’re acting like WB, Sony, and others aren’t desperately trying to grow what Disney has.

            4, 5, and 6.) LOL….OK dude. Keep wearing your tin foil hat and believing there is some giant conspiracy why the general public didn’t like the shit-fest (IMO) that was BvS. Have fun with that.

      • Jeff

        Exactly. Disney makes sure none of the movies are rotten by using money to make genuinely good movies that people like.

        • Kevin Wong

          yeah using money for buy off critics. An expensive film does not equal better.

          • Jeff

            your conspiracy theories are pathetic. In fact disney is the most reputable company on earth and has outstanding ethics. Disney doesn’t even make expensive blockbusters. The company is cost effective.

    • makes owning the collection that much easier

    • Neal

      Fantastic 4 was ROTTEN

      • MovieBuff

        Fan4stic was not Disney.

  • World’s Finest Comments

    Glad to see First Avenger finally get bumped up to 80%, the most underrated film in the MCU.

    • OCD Geek²

      Me too. Even though 60-something and up is considered “fresh” by Rotten Tomatoes I look at 80-100 as the actual “fresh” sweet spot. It’s nice to see The First Avenger join the club.

      The Captain America Trilogy and The Dark Knight Trilogy are the high watermarks for superhero trilogies. Here’s hoping Marvel, Warner and Fox give us many more great movies over the next ten years. Zack Snyder directed movies aside, what a great time to be a geek!

      • ChefJeff789

        Agreed. I’m just not sure who keeps letting Snyder have a camera…

        • kid_a2

          Snyder SHOULD have a camera….he just shouldn’t be directing. His strongest strength is without a doubt his eye. He just can’t put together a coherent story. The closest thing was Watchmen, but then he muddled up the ending.

          • Spaceman Dan

            I kind of agree with this notion. However, seeing as how Larry Fong was the DP on BvS, Super 8, Watchman, 300, etc. I can’t help but think that Hollywood would be better off without Snyder and people should just hire Fong to make their films look really, really good.

        • SnidgetAsphodel

          Hey now, Olws of Ga’hoole was a legit good movie. Then… that wasn’t really “camera” work there. Watchmen, maybe.

      • frankie

        I Agree. I usually do an average of audience, all critics and top critics. If the film reaches 75 or more is good for me.

        Iron Man reaches 91
        The Avengers 88
        Guardians of the Galaxy 88
        The Winter Soldier 87
        Ant Man 79
        Age of Ultron 77
        Captain America 76

    • Rory Omalley Ellis

      Ant man?

  • Josh Leitzel

    If The Winter Soldier was just bumped up to number two I’d probably agree with this list 100%. Iron Man will always be number one for me though. Shame the sequels could never live up to it, although IM3 was still relatively enjoyable and the final battle in IM2 was pretty entertaining as well.

    • Mike Jones

      I think with IM2 that’s what was disappointing, it was great to finally see War Machine in action and loved that suit vs. the one in Avengers Age of Ultron or for that matter, Civil War. But up to that point, it was a slow, lumbering movie.

  • Christopher Garrick Zoller

    I know they go by tomatoreader but my list would be changed a little. #1 is Guardians, follow by Iron Man 1, followed by Cap 2. Avengers 1 I really liked at first but it has had diminishing returns on me. Did Avengers 1 do that to anyone else?

    • Μιχαλης Τζομπανακης

      Exactly my friend,Avengers was great when it came out but I feel it is getting a little bit blurry.Nevertheless is is a GREAT movie.But I feel individual films such as Iron man,Cap 2,Cap 3 are a little better.

      • Grant Voque

        Cap 3 was definitely NOT an individual film. In my opinion, it shouldn’t have even been called Captain America, because he was merely one side of the story. You had about 6 different heroes on EACH side, as it was a civil war. It was not solely Captain America, it kinda felt like a third avengers movie.

        • Jeff Taylor

          Ah but it was Captain America who, ultimately, draws that line in the sand and forces the heroes to choose sides. Iron Man does this as well but the story really focused more on Caps’ attitudes and actions than IMs.

        • Μιχαλης Τζομπανακης

          As Jeff Taylor said,it focused mainly on Cap’s relationship with Bucky,his actions,his feelings etc.But after seeing it 3 times,i will agree with you,in was not solely Cap’s movie.I feel that they should have renamed it Avengers:Civil War,give Cap a slightly smaller role ,increase some others roles and make another Cap movie with Cap,Iron Man,Barnes,Black Panther and minor roles for 3-4 others.I wanted to see more Vision,Ant-man,Sharon,Hawkeye,Zemo.These characters were a little bit underused,and would fit an Avengers movie better.

    • John Richards

      I’ve watched Avengers 1 several times, and I rarely see movies more than once or twice. Still my favorite. Next on my rung is GOG, AV2. Then Cap 2 and Ant Man. Then Thor, then the IM series & Cap 1. They are all fun, & I’m sure it all comes down to what you’re looking for in a movie – someone out there will turn my list upside down, and that’s fine. I”m usually pretty critical of movies, but I have a soft spot for these MCU movies.

  • Jermac

    It’s crazy to think Marvel used to be bankrupt and now they dominate the box office

    • Nina

      It’s crazy to think that The Avengers used to be considered a group of C-list Marvel heroes no one paid much attention to, and now they’re arguably Marvel’s biggest cash cow.

      • Lavante Torino

        It’s crazy to think only a dumb tramp with no real knowledge of comic books loves to parrot that The Avengers used to be a group of C-list Marvel Heroes.

        • Nina

          But it’s less crazy to think that only a stupid misogynistic lepton would refer to a woman who actually reads and has opinions on comics as a “dumb tramp”, because he can’t wrap his shrivelled pea brain around the fact that women’s hobbies extend far beyond hair and make-up.

          • Ready, willing and gable

            Marry me Nina.

      • Daniel Cofour

        wait, so Spider Man, Captain America, Hulk, Captain Marvel are considered C-list now? What are you on about?.. Yeah, maybe the original 1960s cast can be considered that, with Ant Man, Wasp and Thor in the mix, but since then a lot has changed.

        • Nina

          Much of the time, the team consisted mainly of lots of Marvel’s less well-known heroes, with only one or two of their “heavy hitters” on the roster, if any at all. Prior to the MCU films, characters like Iron Man, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Falcon, and Black Widow weren’t particularly mainstream, super ubiquitous icons in the same way that characters like Spider-Man and Wolverine were. You had to be a little more knowledgeable about geek culture to know about them. Now EVERYONE, regardless of whether they’re into comics or not, knows who the Avengers are.

  • FlavorFlov

    No Eric Bana Hulk?

    • Joe Mack

      That isn’t a Marvel produced film. It was Universal and not part of the MCU.

      • DavidHolt

        To be fair, I don’t count Incredible Hulk either. It’s all very well replacing War Machine before he’s War Machine, but a Norton Hulk film really doesn’t slot neatly into the universe.

        Admittedly I only watched it once – if you could block out the Norton/Ruffalo issue does the plot line up? Or is it something that stands alone?

        • Joe Mack

          The plot lines up but the film can stand alone other than a brief Tony Stark cameo in the after credits scene.

          That said William Hurt is reprising his role from Incredible Hulk in Civil War so the connection is there. We could also see Abomination or the Leader pop up in a future Marvel film as neither villain he was killed in the film. Both were establish to be in SHIELD custody by non film material.

        • Lucky Valentino

          Well General Ross of The Incredible Hulk plays an important part in Civil War so you have to include it…

        • SmarkoftheBeast

          Ruffalo mentions that he “broke Harlem” in the first Avengers. So yeah, it’s a direct line.

  • David Condori

    I think it was the other way around . 65 % to 30 % civil war was the worst movie of the avengers . not where he gets both percentage or possible for children 5 years old and thrown away ?

    • Dennis Bowers

      You can’t even string together a coherent sentence and you are judging others?

      • David Condori

        Lo siento mucho por el ingles. La película Guerra Civil desonrra todo el legados de las peliculas de basadas en historietas. la trilogia de Capitan América fue la peor de la historia de películas basadas en historietas. El título ideal para esa película deberia ser “I love Bucky”

    • Jeff Taylor

      What does this even mean? I’ve read this string of words 3 times and have no idea what point you are trying to make.

      • David Condori

        Lo siento mucho por el ingles. La película Guerra Civil desonrra todo el legados de las peliculas de basadas en historietas. la trilogia de
        Capitan América fue la peor de la historia de películas basadas en historietas. El título ideal para esa película deberia ser “I love Bucky”. El mismo desenlace fue estupida y el billano una porquería. La película esta clasificada como -G o T.

  • Kevin Wong

    The only good Marvel film was SM2. Everything else is for people without brains, little kids with jokes, no villain, story, characters.

    • Dennis Bowers

      You don’t seem to have much of a brain.

    • You know what people with brains tend to have? A sense of humour. Get one of those and maybe you’ll like Marvel movies a little bit more.

    • thegameplay ness

      That’s the usual criticism in regards to marvel films, however that criticism is usually parroted without any substantiation. I love these films a lot and I’ve sat down to actually think about them, and quite frankly they’re more than just popcorn flicks. I could see the heart put into IM, Civil War. Winter Soldier, and hell even some of the lower ranked movies like IM3, Thor, and Avengers 2.

    • John Richards

      Let’s feed the Troll! I”m not hurting in the IQ department, thank you, and I get a real kick out the MCU. If nothing else, it’s funny and has great action. The acting is solid, and the themes are basic but universal; and there’s even some grist for the adults. I can see we’re going to have to have a dance-off!

    • Jeff Taylor

      See? Unhinged DC fan. What is wrong with you Wong?

    • well it’s a good thing we don’t look to YOU for reviews then!

      • Kevin Wong

        y not yourself?

        • oh i do, but RottenTomatoes has proven to be a great metric to predict if i’ll like something. i’m willing to bet my tastes align with the site’s aggregate scores more than 9 out of 10 times. BUT then i actually do analyze and assess each film that i watch afterwards. but my comment was basically saying, “i disagree with you”. though i DO agree that SM2 was amazing and probably the best superhero movie to this date.

  • Rayo

    MARVEL has literally kept the superhero genre alive.

  • Rayo

    If it weren’t for MARVEL, the superhero genre would be dead.

    • Laura Fellomini

      Dumb! The Batman and Superman films are huge at the box office and huge fan favorites, esp. the Dark Knight films. Where the hell have you been living, under a troll bridge?

      • Bruno Donnángelo

        huge opening weekend yeah, the drop in the second week was enormous because the hype was crushed by the movie being bad. So he’s actually right

        • Laura Fellomini

          That’s one movie out of how many? Try to keep up. There have been numerous Superman movies and Batman movies, not just one with them together.

          • Bruno Donnángelo

            Of course, a lot too many, that’s the point, DC only makes Batman and Superman movies and mediocre at best lately. If it were for DC the superhero genre wouldn’t even exist as two characters don’t make a genre and at this point people would be done with that. Marvel makes more money and lately better movies with numerous different and diverse characters, that’s what keeps the genre alive.

          • MovieBuff

            >Iron Man 2
            >Better movies
            LMAO!

          • Bruno Donnángelo

            Didn’t know Iron Man 2 was the only movie in the MCU, thanks for clearing that up “Movie Buff”. Specially when I said “lately” and we all know Iron Man 2 is the most recent Marvel movie

      • Rayo

        The MCU just crossed $10 Billion. Batman and his friends are struggling. They killed Superman and nobody cared.

        • MovieBuff

          Batman films have made nearly 5 billion – and there are a lot less of them. And many of them were made long before billion dollar films were a thing

  • Rafael Ulloa

    agree with this list. except i think ant-man deserves a much higher rating. one of the best films in the MCU in my opinion.

    • Beautrodamus

      The problem w/ Antman was that its trailer spoiled the movie’s funniest moments. I think it would have scored better had Marvel Studios not over-hyped it in such a fashion.

      • bass dropper

        I believe they had to over hype it since it was such a risky concept to begin with

  • Skaught

    These are only the Marvel flicks that tie in to each other. There have also been a dozen X-men or Spider-man movies. Not all of those have fared so well with the critics.

    • Robobob

      These are all MCU. X-Men and the previous Spiderman were not of the Marvel cinematic universe.

      • Skaught

        I know, but that’s not what the title says. It just says Marvel movies.

        • Jeff Taylor

          Yes if you just read the title and not the first sentence of the article then it is only Marvel movies. You only have to lower your gaze by about 1 1/4 inches there, chief.

          • Skaught

            Don’t get snarky with me, jerkwad. It’s an inaccurate title, and I won’t apologize for pointing it out.

  • Spread Jermz

    Antman is more than 80% IMO. Though we have the same Top fight i have Winter soldier as 2 and ironman 1 as 3

  • PhenomsServant

    Sigh if only DC could pull there shit together enough to match Marvel’s success in the movies but no we get shit like BvS and the Green Lantern Movie

    • Jeff Taylor

      Wouldn’t that be awesome? 2 incredible series of linked movies one in the MU and one in the DCU? *That* would be true heaven for comic book fans everywhere,

      • dtam

        it could happen if they got rid of snyder

  • Jeff Taylor

    You know RT isn’t the one reviewing Marvel films, right? That they take the consensus from hundreds of movie reviewers and distill them down to fresh (60% or higher i.e 3/5) or rotten (less than that) and give the % of those who liked/disliked the movie.

    • MontyPythonFanatic2

      I KNOW HOW ROTTEN TOMATOES WORKS. Did I really have to write “Curious that the various hundreds of disparate reviewers that RT analyzes typically seem to enjoy Marvel a lot, and yet…” for you to understand my comment?

      • Jeff Taylor

        I don’t think you do sorry if I hit a sore spot for you.

      • it’s not fair to yell at us because we interpreted your comment the way you wrote it. use a little common sense.

  • “Keeping track of all those titles can be tough, ”

    LOL! This list clearly demonstrates that. Captain America: Civil War brings the number to 13, not 12.

  • Dragonborn399

    You know what is amazing here? Not a single MCU movie is below even 50%… and Batman VS Superman is like. what.. in the 30’s??? lol.

    • MovieBuff

      The power of Disney’s ca$hbook$

  • every score on here would be different if evaluated in 2016, versus the respective year of each release
    as long as everybody knows this, we’re good.

    • Sir Tapir The Based

      All Marvel movies should have 0% rating.

  • tomsawyer

    Ant man got 80% approved certification? its time to leave RT 🙂

  • Jack Dee

    Only man children still waste time watching this nonsense.

    • how’s your top hat and monocle? get it? cause you’re sophisticated

  • dark

    Shouldn’t movies that weren’t under the official marvel banner be listed as well since they do have “marvel” in the credits. Like: Blade, ghost rider,fantastic 4, x-men, daredevil, punisher, spiderman, elektra, & howard the duck etc.

    • adam98150

      No. They are not considered part of the MCU.

  • Drewskee122

    Pretty much all DC’s movies so far have sucked balls. I’ll give BvS some credit however the ratings put it in the same category as the rest. Marvel is CRUSHING DC without a skip of a beat!

  • MovieBuff

    13. Iron Man 2 – 2 stars
    12. Iron Man 3 – 2 stars
    11. The Incredible Hulk – 2.5 stars
    10. Iron Man 1 – 3 stars
    09. Guardians of the Galaxy – 3 stars
    08. Thor: The Dark World – 3 stars
    07. Captain America: The First Avenger – 3 stars
    06. Avengers: Age of Ultron – 3.5 stars
    05. Ant-Man – 3.5 stars
    04. Captain America: Civil War – 3.5 stars
    03. Thor – 3.5 stars
    02. The Avengers – 4.5 stars
    01. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – 4.5 stars

  • mhatter13

    Solid list. I’d rank Thor2, Iron Man2, and The Winter Soldier higher, and Iron Man 3 and Age of Ultron lower. Since…. nobody asked me.

  • Josh

    Personally, i’d make it something like : (i haven’t seen thor two as of yet)
    1. Civil War
    2. Winter Soldier
    3. The Avengers
    4. Iron Man
    5. Guardians
    6.The First Avenger
    7. Ant Man
    8. Iron Man 3
    9. Thor
    10. Age of Ultron
    11. Hulk
    12. Iron Man 2

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