(Photo by Vivian Zink / © Sci-Fi Channel / courtesy everett collection)
Every Stan Lee Marvel Movie Ranked
In his over nine decades of life, and especially during the 78 years spent working at all levels in the entertainment industry, Stan Lee established himself as a warm and affable figure across comics, movies, and television…who also happened to alter the course of sequential art history and laid the foundation for the biggest pop culture renaissance the world has known.
Without Lee, the superhero movie would never had strayed out of darkness, and it is through his creations that the genre now represents how we filter our dreams, hopes, fears, politics, and fantasies. Read on to see every movie starring one of his creations, ranked by Tomatometer. We’re including only movies that have a character of Lee’s in the film’s title, which will notably leave off Captain America, Wolverine, and the Guardians of the Galaxy (Lee approved the original ’60s team as then-Marvel editor-in-chief; the 2008 reboot is credited to other writers upon which the films are based). What remains is still the most towering list of comic creations ever attached to one person. Ever hear of Spider-Man, the Avengers, Iron Man, Black Panther, The Fantastic Four, Thor, Ant-Man, Daredevil, the Hulk, and X-Men? ‘Nuff said!
Adjusted Score: 118.959%
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.
"Black Panther" follows T'Challa who, after the events of "Captain America: Civil War," returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.554%
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.
Billionaire industrialist and genius inventor Tony Stark is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.775%
Critics Consensus: Boasting an entertaining villain and deeper emotional focus, this is a nimble sequel that improves upon the original.
Stan Lee's all-too-human superhero returns to the screen in this highly anticipated sequel to 2002's blockbuster hit Spider-Man. Peter Parker... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110.463%
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.
In Marvel Studios' "Thor: Ragnarok," Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108.455%
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.
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.128%
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.
Marvel Studios presents Marvel's The Avengers-the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.724%
Critics Consensus: X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments.
The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.089%
Critics Consensus: Not only does Spider-Man provide a good dose of web-swinging fun, it also has a heart, thanks to the combined charms of director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire.
After incorporating elements of comic book style and design into many of his films, director Sam Raimi helms this straight-ahead,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.207%
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.
A disgraced former surgeon named Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) becomes a powerful sorcerer under the tutelage of a mystic known... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106.109%
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.
From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink: "Ant-Man and The... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.056%
Critics Consensus: With a strong script, stylish direction, and powerful performances from its well-rounded cast, X-Men: First Class is a welcome return to form for the franchise.
X-Men: First Class unveils the epic beginning of the X-Men saga - and a secret history of the Cold War... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.141%
Critics Consensus: Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor -- and a benchmark for comic sequels in general.
When a failed assassination attempt occurs on the President's (Cotter Smith) life by the teleporting mutant Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), it's... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.128%
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.
An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Infinity... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.159%
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.
The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87.212%
Critics Consensus: Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus.
One of the most popular superhero teams in comic book history finally comes to the screen in this big-budget adaptation... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.28%
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.
Marvel's "Iron Man 3" pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.78%
Critics Consensus: A dazzling blockbuster that tempers its sweeping scope with wit, humor, and human drama, Thor is mighty Marvel entertainment.
The epic adventure Thor spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the mystical realm of Asgard. At the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.872%
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 jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81.927%
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.
In "Iron Man 2," the world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the armored Super Hero Iron Man.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84.238%
Critics Consensus: A well-chosen cast and sure-handed direction allow The Amazing Spider-Man to thrill, despite revisiting many of the same plot points from 2002's Spider-Man.
The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents... [More]
Adjusted Score: 75.594%
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.
Mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner has been traveling the globe in search of the antidote that will allow him to break... [More]
Adjusted Score: 71.669%
Critics Consensus: Though there are more characters and plotlines, and the action sequences still dazzle, Spider-Man 3 nonetheless isn't quite as refined as the first two.
Your friendly neighborhood web-slinger is back, only this time his sunny outlook has become partially overcast in the third chapter... [More]
Adjusted Score: 68.807%
Critics Consensus: While Ang Lee's ambitious film earns marks for style and an attempt at dramatic depth, there's ultimately too much talking and not enough smashing.
Ang Lee directs the live-action feature film The Hulk, based on the Marvel comic book created by Stan Lee and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 65.089%
Critics Consensus: X-Men: The Last Stand provides plenty of mutant action for fans of the franchise, even if it does so at the expense of its predecessors' deeper character moments.
The explosive X-Men motion picture trilogy officially draws to a close with this release that finds Rush Hour director Brett... [More]
Adjusted Score: 63.995%
Critics Consensus: While the cast is outstanding and the special effects are top-notch, the latest installment of the Spidey saga suffers from an unfocused narrative and an overabundance of characters.
We've always known that Spider-Man's most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter... [More]
Adjusted Score: 60.148%
Critics Consensus: Overloaded action and a cliched villain take the focus away from otherwise strong performers and resonant themes, making X-Men: Apocalypse a middling chapter of the venerable superhero franchise.
Following the critically acclaimed global smash hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer returns with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Since... [More]
Adjusted Score: 50.574%
Critics Consensus: While Ben Affleck fits the role and the story is sporadically interesting, Daredevil is ultimately a dull, brooding origin story that fails to bring anything new to the genre.
One of Marvel Comics' most popular characters comes to the screen for the first time in this sci-fi action-thriller. Matthew... [More]
Adjusted Score: 42.371%
Critics Consensus: While an improvement on its predecessor, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is nevertheless a juvenile, simplistic picture that has little benefit beyond its special effects.
The enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As the Silver Surfer races... [More]
Adjusted Score: 22.875%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Unreleased to the general public and infamous for its poor quality within geek circles, this Roger Corman adaptation of the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 33.998%
Critics Consensus: Marred by goofy attempts at wit, subpar acting, and bland storytelling, Fantastic Four is a mediocre attempt to bring Marvel's oldest hero team to the big screen.
Marvel's first family of comic superheroes takes the world by storm as the longest running comic book series in history... [More]
Adjusted Score: 18.611%
Critics Consensus: Dull and downbeat, this Fantastic Four proves a woefully misguided attempt to translate a classic comic series without the humor, joy, or colorful thrills that made it great.
FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel's original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to... [More]