(Photo by @ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, @ Marvel Studios)
All Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer
It takes a lot of effort to get audiences the world over to believe that the fate of the universe should be entrusted to a talking tree and a sarcastic raccoon. First of all, you can’t just jump straight into it – you’ve got build up to it. Begin with a story of the repentant millionaire playboy who builds an iron suit with a nuclear heart from a box of scraps in a cave. Toss in a super soldier thawed from ice after 70 years. How about a magic hammer man from space, or the turncoat Russian spy who loses her accent real quick? It’s a good start – just add a few dozen more characters, mix and match them across multiple serialized movies, and as the physics-defying superheroics pile up, all of a sudden, putting all your faith in a trigger happy trash panda makes plenty of sense in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Not a bad world to build up for Marvel Studios, which originally had to put up the rights to Captain America, the Avengers, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and more as collateral just to get the funding to make 2008’s Iron Man. Clearly, the movie bet of the century paid off, as an empire of 25 films (and counting) has flourished under Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige. The MCU has allowed generations of comic book fans to ascend to the highest throne in pop culture, while allowing millions more who have never visually connected comic page panels together to become versed in Wakandan politics as well as where to find the bathroom at the Sanctum Sanctorum. Iron Man, Guardian of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier are classics of the genre now, while Thor: Ragnarok, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther, and now Shang-Chi demonstrate superhero movies remain capable of reinvention for new relevancy.
The first 11 years of the MCU have spanned three so-called Phases, and the third closing after the epic battle royale of Avengers: Endgame and epilogue Spider-Man: Far From Home. The franchise barreled forward in a pandemic world with Black Widow, Eternals, Shang-Chi, and Spider-Man: No Way Home in 2021 alone. In 2023, we kick off Phase 5 with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which is drawing some of the weakest reviews of the franchise. We’re seeing a bit of a spring-back with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Now, we’re ranking all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Certified Fresh film first! —Alex Vo
CHECK OUT: Your Full List of Upcoming Marvel Movies | The Best Disney+ Shows and Original Movies
Adjusted Score: 122984%
Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.
After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place... [More]
Adjusted Score: 126283%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104753%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him... [More]
Adjusted Score: 124093%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise -- and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits... [More]
Adjusted Score: 113545%
Critics Consensus: A bigger, bolder Spider-Man sequel, No Way Home expands the franchise's scope and stakes without losing sight of its humor and heart.
For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero's identity is revealed, bringing his Super... [More]
Adjusted Score: 120109%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105569%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105952%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107236%
Critics Consensus: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings isn't entirely free of Marvel's familiar formula, but this exciting origin story expands the MCU in more ways than one.
Marvel Studios' "Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings" stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past... [More]
Adjusted Score: 116406%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Peter Parker's relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury shows up in his hotel room to recruit... [More]
Adjusted Score: 114731%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102492%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.
After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111272%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Strange artfully balances its outré source material against the blockbuster constraints of the MCU, delivering a thoroughly entertaining superhero origin story in the bargain.
Dr. Stephen Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104465%
Critics Consensus: A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser.
Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109827%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Adjusted Score: 115001%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.
Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104106%
Critics Consensus: A poignant tribute that satisfyingly moves the franchise forward, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever marks an ambitious and emotionally rewarding triumph for the MCU.
In Marvel Studios' "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M'Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96108%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104073%
Critics Consensus: A galactic group hug that might squeeze a little too tight on the heartstrings, the final Guardians of the Galaxy is a loving last hurrah for the MCU's most ragtag family.
In Marvel Studios "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" our beloved band of misfits are looking a bit different these... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90101%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111103%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101015%
Critics Consensus: Black Widow's deeper themes are drowned out in all the action, but it remains a solidly entertaining standalone adventure that's rounded out by a stellar supporting cast.
In Marvel Studios' action-packed spy thriller "Black Widow," Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91975%
Critics Consensus: With the help of its charismatic lead, some impressive action sequences, and even a few surprises, Iron Man 3 is a witty, entertaining adventure and a strong addition to the Marvel canon.
Plagued with worry and insomnia since saving New York from destruction, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), now, is more dependent... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87828%
Critics Consensus: A dazzling blockbuster that tempers its sweeping scope with wit, humor, and human drama, Thor is mighty Marvel entertainment.
As the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the Norse gods, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will soon inherit the throne... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90726%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82350%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.
With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95088%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness labors under the weight of the sprawling MCU, but Sam Raimi's distinctive direction casts an entertaining spell.
In Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further... [More]
Adjusted Score: 75919%
Critics Consensus: The Incredible Hulk may not be quite the smashing success that fans of Marvel's raging behemoth might hope for, but it offers more than enough big green action to make up for its occasionally puny narrative.
Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately seeks a cure for the gamma radiation that contaminated his cells and turned him... [More]
Adjusted Score: 77117%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the finest film to come from the Marvel Universe, but Thor: The Dark World still offers plenty of the humor and high-stakes action that fans have come to expect.
In ancient times, the gods of Asgard fought and won a war against an evil race known as the Dark... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83303%
Critics Consensus: In some ways, Thor: Love and Thunder feels like Ragnarok redux -- but overall, it offers enough fast-paced fun to make this a worthy addition to the MCU.
"Thor: Love and Thunder" finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he's ever faced -- a quest for... [More]
Adjusted Score: 69707%
Critics Consensus: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania mostly lacks the spark of fun that elevated earlier adventures, but Jonathan Majors' Kang is a thrilling villain poised to alter the course of the MCU.
Super-Hero partners Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66582%
Critics Consensus: An ambitious superhero epic that soars as often as it strains, Eternals takes the MCU in intriguing -- and occasionally confounding -- new directions.
Marvel Studios' Eternals features an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have... [More]
Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.
Thumbnail image: © Marvel Studios, © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, © Columbia Pictures/© Sony