Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Showdown (Group Collaboration)


Marvel are in the process of unleashing the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the world. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's release marks an excellent opportunity to assemble my own team of film critics and bloggers and look back at the journey so far, where the Universe's strengths and weaknesses lie and to see which film comes out on top for general audiences.

Being tasked with reviewing and rating each films from the MCU, the team will give their brief thoughts on every film and score it out of 10; we will then use this to work out the average rating, completing an ultimate ranking of the fourteen films. Taking part alongside myself are All Access Movies, Angus (AngusMcGregorMovies), Josh (TarpleyMovieTalk), Lee (WeegieMovies), Maddy & Ryan (fivethreeninetywhittingham96), Martin (Through The Silver Screen), QF_Reviews (Quickfire Reviews) and Ryan (MorrisMovies). You can check out the fantastic work from the rest of the team by following the links provided alongside their handles!


Iron Man (2008)


"While never as refreshing as it's given credit for, Iron Man is nonetheless an engaging and well performed opening to a pantheon of superhero films that only occasionally live up to the one that kicked it all off" (7/10) - Ryan

"Robert Downey Jr shines in arguably the best ever superhero origin story. From Stark building the first suit to facing off against Obadiah Stane, this is one that fans of the genre will surely love" (9/10) - Angus

"Downey Jr's performance is just one of the many things 'Iron Man' does well to kickstart the MCU" (9/10) - All Access Movies

"The hero that started it all! Though the film is credited with starting the most successful franchise of all time, that doesn't mean it isn't good in its own rite. Robert Downey Jr.'s performance, Jon Favreau's solid direction make this one of the best superhero films ever made (9/10) - Josh

"MAN this was so fresh & exciting at the time & really solidified itself as the start of an era. Made everyone excited for Marvel films." (7/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"The movie that kicked it all off, Marvel proved from movie one that they have a vision and a solid grip on entertaining, if silly characters. Not to mention a keen eye for pitch-perfect casting. I mean, can you imagine anyone other than Robert Downey Jr. as the wise-cracking Tony Stark?" (8/10) - WeegieMovies

"Iron Man terrifically begins building the foundations for a strong Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a committed and impressive performance from Robert Downey Jr and excellent directorial work from  Jon Favreau setting the wheels in motion" (7/10) - Nathan

"The starting point for the Hollywood superhero/comic book renaissance? Smart, funny and a tremendous performance from RDJ that has since made him a household name." (9/10) - Martin


The Incredible Hulk (2008)


"The Incredible Hulk goes as far as threatening to undo the greatness of the previous film in the franchise, offering a largely forgettable and inconsequential entry into the MCU that can still be considered the biggest misfire of the bunch" (4/10) - Nathan

"An earlier MCU entry that's both cohesive and superior to the previous 2003 adaptation of the character, this comic-book film is in no way revolutionary for the genre, but it is perfect for those looking for nothing more than a vibrant piece of popcorn entertainment" (7/10) - Quickfire Reviews

"Every movie franchise has an 'oh yeah, I forgot about that one' entry, and this is the MCU's. Completely forgettable, unremarkable and has very little impact on the movies to come. For me, I am content knowing I have only ever seen this once and will most likely never see it again" (3/10) - WeegieMovies

"Although entertaining, The Incredible Hulk falls short ins one aspects that could have made it a great movie" (6.5/10) - All Access Movies


"I appreciate the comic book aesthetic they tried to pull off, but I didn't think the film was that all that INCREDIBLE." (4/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"Ahh, The Incredible Hulk, which is either known as 'at least it's better than the 2003 Hulk' or 'that's part of the MCU? It's not even Mark Ruffalo!'. While we may consider The Avengers as the best Hulk movie, The Incredible Hulk is a pretty solid entry. It delivered on the action beats we wanted, but left us wanting more when it came to a more fleshed out story" (6/10) - Josh

"Norton does well as Banner but this soon becomes a CGI fest that isn't very memorable. A step back from the success of Iron Man" (5/10) - Angus


Iron Man 2 (2010)


"This is where Marvel made it clear they have a weak point; their villains. It never quite reached the heady heights of the first Iron Man, but it was a thrilling comic book action movie that provided more than its fair share of fun" (5/10) - WeegieMovies

"This wasn't all that amazing. But it introduced us to Black Widow & for that we should be eternally grateful." (6/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"The introduction of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is the highlight in this disappointing follow up to one of the best superhero films. Downey Jr is great again as a poor focus on villain makes this a failure." (4.5/10) - Angus

"Iron Man 2 is a decent sequel to its predecesor, but is truly weak sometimes with its lacklustre story and villain." (6/10) - All Access Movies

"Less enjoyable and memorable in amongst much finer entries in the series, Iron Man 2 at least cements the fact this is the role Robert Downey Jr. will deservedly most be remembered for, whilst introducing a great new addition in Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow." (6.5/10) - Quickfire Reviews


"When a studio pumps out a sequel too quickly? Not as enthralling as its predecessor, but there's enough action here to keep the audience entertained." (2.6/10) - Martin

"In retrospect, Iron Man 2 works as part of the “weekly TV show” understanding of the MCU. There is a villain that takes Tony’s attention for a couple weeks, we get a little more interaction with his universe of characters (Pepper, Rhodey, Justin Hammer), as well having that now infamous shoehorning in of MCU material (Nick Fury, Black Widow, S.H.I.E.L.D.). Again, Roberty Downey Jr. earns a lot of good will towards the movie, but this rewatch is just for the die hards at this point." (6.5/10) - Josh

"Failing as a sequel in every way imaginable, Iron Man 2 is a woeful exercise in franchise film making and remains the MCU's lowest point to date." (3/10) - Ryan

"Iron Man loses the sensibilities of chapter one, with a storyline among the least memorable in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe arc. Despite this, the introduction of Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow is a great addition and Robert Downey Jnr continues to impress." (5/10) - Nathan


Thor (2011)


"There wasn't enough THOR-t put into making the story smooth - it's jolty & a little overwhelming to follow, but the cast makes up for it." (6/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"Let’s get one thing straight, Thor is a weird character. Norse mythology, shakespearean relationships, Kat Dennings, this should have never worked. But it did. Thor commits to it’s character’s strange origins and plays up the Asgard homeland of our hero. The performance and writing for Thor and Loki make for great drama, while the earth/S.H.I.E.L.D. integration is actually organic to the story, which makes the film a well rounded package." (9/10) - Josh

"While not particularly memorable, Thor is a well made and passably entertaining superhero flick that unashamedly soars into middle tier Marvel territory." (6.5/10) - Ryan

"This could easily have been a cheesy and unintentionally ridiculous film, but in anchoring a potentially bizarre lead character in a likeable and genuinely funny Chris Hemsworth, the audience immediately fall for his charm and are along for the ride. The production design is phenomenal, and we are introduced to Loki; a character whose mischievousness is matched only by the size of his Tumblr fanbase" (8/10) - WeegieMovies

Despite the difficulties surrounding the character, ‘Thor’ is a surprisingly decent film that is helped by strong performances from Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Again, it’s not the most exciting or memorable." (5.5/10) - Angus

"Thor is a more eclectic entry into the MCU and manages to forge a unique tone and quirky personality because of this, with a terrific turn from Chris Hemsworth as the crown prince of Asgard demonstrating some terrific casting decisions and resulting in an entertaining popcorn flick, if very little more." (6/10) - Nathan

"Shakespeare in space, but with a dash of Norse mythology thrown in there for good measure. Visually tremendous with a superb performance by Tom Hiddleston as the dastardly Loki." (8/10) - Martin


"Hemsworth and Hiddlestone shine in this film, proving to be a more funny movie than expected through its supporting cast and some great vfx." (7.5/10) - All Access Movies


Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)


"Remember when people thought Chris Evans wasn't a good choice for Captain America because he was already Johnny Storm? In another example of brilliant casting, Chris Evans brought the all-American hero to the big screen in the first version that isn't completely embarrassing. A little slower in pace and stakes than MCU movies before it, I remember this being a bit forgettable. But I had no idea Captain America would soon become pretty much the best thing in the whole MCU. Johnny Who?" (6/10) - WeegieMovies

"Solid if rarely spectacular, Captain America: The First Avenger is a fun origin story with impressive production design and infectiously enjoyable performances." (6.5/10) - Ryan

"Perhaps the most underrated of the MCU, CA is a good origin story that sets up the character into the modern world extremely well. Good action, emotion and humour, CA: TFA doesn’t get the recognition it deserves." (7.5/10) - Angus

"Chris Evans is truly the embodiment of Captain America. It sets itself apart from the other movies in the MCU and does a great job introducing Steve Rogers." (8/10) - All Access Movies

"The First Avenger lives in a strange dichotomy. On one hand, it is its own self-contained, separate from the rest of the MCU, story. We get a very solid Captain America vs Red Skull story, and Captain America is shown in the glory of the WWII era. On the other hand, because the film had to end with him in the modern day, all of the WWII storylines are crammed into this 2-hour movie. A solid origin story, but Cap’s best adventures are in front of him." (7/10) - Josh

"Captain America: The First Avenger feels like a smaller-scale Marvel film but perseveres to deliver an intriguing and exciting origin story, kicking off the strongest Marvel trilogy. Plus, it resulted in the strongest (and most underrated) Marvel television series - Agent Carter." (7.5/10) - Nathan

"The icon gets his stars and stripes, and you cannot fault this guy's patriotism and determination! Evans embodies the role tremendously well, and the film packs plenty of heart and emotion, but could have done with some more action sequences." (7/10) - Martin


"Nostalgia, a clear story & characters you really root for - this is how you make a superhero origins story." (8.5/10) - Maddy & Ryan


The Avengers (2012)


"The perfect superhero ensemble flick, one that fleshes out its characters to make them all relevant players, whilst also delivering some superb action sequences, and some truly tremendous humour." - Martin (9/10)

"Deliriously entertaining in all the right ways, Marvel's The Avengers pulls its band of heroes together with better results than it perhaps deserved." (9/10) - Ryan

"Joss Whedon writing & directing the first big huge superhero film in ages? Hell yes. The script, the story, the cast - amazing." (8.1/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"The dream of so many came true with this film as Joss Whedon does the Avengers justice. Nobody thought it was possible but ‘The Avengers’ succeeds on all levels and is a total joy to watch from start to finish." (9.25/10) - Angus

"Now a landmark in modern blockbuster film-making, The Avengers delivers a thoroughly entertaining, fast-paced, comic-book adventure, all the while taking beloved larger than life characters and bringing them down to a relatable and engaging level." (8.5/10) - Quickfire Reviews

"A truly joyous experience, "The Avengers" brings together all the heroes in a great manner without compromising screen time for anyone and letting everyone one shine." (9.5/10) - All Access Movies

"What more can be said about The Avengers that hasn’t already been said. What was once an impossible dream is now Joss Whedon directed reality. Whether it be the superhero action or the witty dialogue, Avengers is a total win across the board. Taking lead from the comics that inspired them, simply seeing these characters interact makes for an amazing experience." (10/10) - Josh

"The big one. Not since Ocean's Eleven had a movie's cast been so exciting. Every big name of the first four years of universe building finally came together to give us a genuine spectacle. It may not be as exciting or as impressive now that you've watched it at least half a dozen times (don't lie, you know you have) but the anticipation for the first Avenger's movie was palpable. It was pure fan service, and we all lapped it up. Shawarma sales probably skyrocketed too" (9/10) - WeegieMovies

"The Avengers is a top-class example of how to correctly build a cinematic universe, combining the best elements of previous solo entries and tying it into one, thrilling mainstream blockbuster. The performances are great, the action is exhilarating but the narrative feels like an afterthought and the pacing needs tightening." (8/10) - Nathan


Iron Man 3 (2013)


"Easily the most divisive MCU film to date. I fall in the camp of Iron Man 3 being a good Shane Black movie, but not a good Iron Man film. Mandarin controversy aside, Black was more determined to create buddy-cop film with a vulgar child performer than a film committed to Iron Man lore. Due to my love of the MCU, Iron Man 3 ends up infuriating on each rewatch." (5/10) - Josh

"Narrative is far from its strongest attribute, but Iron Man 3 narrowly avoids mediocrity thanks to its strong performances and unique approach to superhero villainy." (6.5/10) - Ryan

"Although focusing on the man behind the armor more than the armor itself, "Iron Man 3" is a very deep and dark movie that has Tony Stark dealing with his demons." (7.5/10) - All Access Movies

"With the trusty MCU formula of Coll action + semi-decent jokes + light tone = $$$bank$$$ well-established; again, the villain proved to be the weakest element of the movie. Guy Pearce's Killian was Tony Stark's most formidable (solo) foe, but we still never felt like Robert Downey Jnr was in any danger of not cashing in another $50 million dollar paycheque. Sir Ben Kingsley's Trevor Slattery was easily the best thing about this movie and should have been given more screen time. The ending felt a bit contrived, and din't land as we all knew Tony Stark's 'final' goodbye to his suits wouldn't last. I expected much more from writer/director Shane Black, but it was still a solidly entertaining movie, and a good chapter to end Iron Man's solo movies on" (6/10) - WeegieMovies

"Certainly one of Marvel’s more forgettable outings, Iron Man 3 is at the very least moderately entertaining, largely benefiting from Robert Downey Jr.’s typically superlative work as the titular character and Marvel’s usual doses of superhero fun." (7/10) - Quickfire Reviews

"Shane Black only half hits the mark with the third instalment of Iron Man. As a Black film, it is very enjoyable but there isn’t nearly enough Iron Man or classic Tony Stark to allow this film to really succeed." (6.5/10) - Angus

"Certainly an improvement from IM 2, offering lots of exciting action sequences and a much more grounded performance from RDJ, and one of the more interesting villains in the MCU's history." (3.7/10) - Martin 

"A thrilling way to wrap up the Iron Man trilogy, number three once again demonstrates RDJ's tremendous performance and the action beats and set pieces are exciting. It may be somewhat forgettable but it is an excellent example of a popcorn flick." (7/10) - Nathan

"IRONically is full of other iron men & not the one you went to go see. But, does finally give Pepper Potts some badass moments." (5.5/10) - Maddy & Ryan



Thor: The Dark World (2013)


" Its titular character might be mighty, but this is not the mightiest movie that Marvel has ever produced. An interesting story, and more fine work from Hemsworth and Hiddleston but squandered on a really underutilised villain." (6/10) - Martin

"This was one of the most formulaic movies, which was a shame given the ambition of the first Thor movie. The spectacular production design and visual effects were still present, but they were not enough to save the movie from a predictable, and ultimately boring story. And the villain was, once again, woeful." (4/10) - WeegieMovies

"The MCU gets a lot of flack for weak villains and TDW is the biggest culprit for it. By far the least memorable and frankly boring film of the MCU." (4/10) - Angus

"Thor 2 isn't a disaster, but you will probably forget it in a couple of days due to its lacklustre story and villain." (6/10) - All Access Movies

"I've seen this film multiple times & I really can't properly tell you the plot. Again it falls down to the cast being the only redeeming thing that makes it worthwhile." (4.2/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"The character dynamics are as fun as ever, but Thor: The Dark World can't quite overcome the franchise's stale plotting and tiresome repetition." (5.5/10) - Ryan

"Thor: The Dark World ends up being the most “play it safe” MCU film out there. The jokes are here, we get some MCU cameos, and the blandest villain in the entire universe. There’s nothing necessarily bad about The Dark World (Loki works all the charm he can), but the film plays it safe in every regard." (6/10) - Josh

"Thor: The Dark World retreads a lot of old narrative ground, striving to capture what made the first Thor film so enjoyable, but falling short of the mark, sticking to a well-worn formula and failing to offer anything new or substantial." (5.5/10) - Nathan


Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)


"Captain America: The Winter Soldier remains one of the strongest MCU efforts to date, smartly infusing elements of the spy-espionage thriller and political undertones into the superhero template to deliver a well-balance, nicely-acted and sophisticated picture." (9/10) - Nathan

"When sequels are done right, adding real depth to existing relationships in the universe whilst introducing some great new characters. Not to mention the extremely suspenseful script and with some of the best action scenes in the MCU to that point." (10/10) - Martin

"BUCKING amazing. Some incredible fight scenes & a brilliant continuation on from the first Captain America with so much heart in the story too." (9/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"It's frequently entertaining, but Captain America: The Winter Soldier's predictable formula and general lack of new ideas prevent it from standing out against other superior Marvel efforts." (5/10) - Ryan

"A superhero movie hidden in a spy-espionage thriller, "The Winter Soldier" is one of the best superhero movies in recent times and certainly a great entry in the genre." (9/10) - All Access Movies

"Who would have ever thought that the directors behind episodes of Arrested Development and Community would make what might just be the best solo MCU film? The Winter Soldier is firing on all cylinders. Both a great Captain America story and the perfect example of how to integrate in a larger universe, The Winter Soldier is the most thrilling adventure in the franchise." (10/10) - Josh

"The best of the MCU, ‘The Winter Soldier’ is perfectly executed bringing excellent action, characters and memorable moments. The Winter Soldier delivers everything that you could ever want in a superhero film." (9.5/10) - Angus

"Captain America immediately went from near the bottom to near the top of the list of my favourite characters with this suspenseful, action-packed sequel. I may have best known the Russo Brothers for directing some of the better episodes of Community, but they proved to be the best match of director(s) and material since Joss Whedon's Avengers. A solid spy thriller with political overtones, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is right up there with the best of the Marvel standalone movies." (8.5/10) - WeegieMovies


Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)




"GOTG is a real breath of fresh air as it brings something new to the MCU. A space comedy that made a talking raccoon and walking tree people’s favourite characters was a complete surprise. The best soundtrack of the MCU by far but has one of the weakest villains unfortunately." (8.5/10) - Angus

"Marvel’s biggest gamble pre-release, nobody was expecting this kooky group of aliens to be the freshest, funniest movie of the summer. With an excellent 70’s and 80’s soundtrack, vibrant visuals and a sense of B - movie fun, James Gunn manages to feel original while still sticking to Marvel’s unwavering formula" (7.5/10) - WeegieMovies

"While never quite as bold and refreshing as it thinks it is, Guardians of the Galaxy remains a brilliantly entertaining entry into Marvel's franchise, with enough energetic action to match its smartly plotted story." (7.5/10) - Ryan

"GoTG shouldn't have worked on its premise, but its great soundtrack, cast, and comedic tone truly elevates this movie to a great Sci-Fi Marvel Movie." (9/10) - All Access Movies

"Though I don’t love it nearly as much as some, Guardians of the Galaxy is brimming with eye-popping visuals, eccentric yet loveable characters and confirms that Chris Pratt is a star that will be around for many, many years." (7.5/10) - Quickfire Reviews

"Guardians of the Galaxy proved the flexibility found in the MCU. Whether it be the wacky characters, the new intergalactic setting, the amazing soundtrack, or the 5 great characters, Guardians of the Galaxy owns its sensibility and tells a great story. Though I may not have connected with it as much as others, I still see the magic that was created here." (8.5/10) - Josh

"Designed to be fun & oh god it is. Best soundtrack in the galaxy." (8.2/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"Guardians of the Galaxy boasts an impressive ensemble cast of dedicated actors and characters and takes its off-beat set-up in its stride - but it is never as bold as it wants to be and lacks the emotional satisfaction of many other superhero films." (7/10)

"What could have been the biggest risk ended up being one of the biggest successes. With terrific well developed and extremely entertaining characters, and some first rate visuals. We are Groot indeed." (9.5/10) - Martin


Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)


"Age of Ultron" falls short from it's predecesor, compromising some things to focus more on the character's backgrounds. That doesn't stop it from being highly entertaining." (8/10) - All Access Movies

"Classic case of a sequel being pumped or too quickly without waiting to see if it was any good. ULTRa boring, but worth it for Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver." (5/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"Great to see the team reunited, and Whedon serves up more enthralling action sequences, but cannot quite make the movie that topped its predecessor." (8/10) - Martin

"Bigger than the first Avengers Movie in every sense, Marvel double up on scale and destruction to prove their trusty formula makes them untouchable. Joss Whedon pulled off a small miracle in taking a cast so large it could sink a boat, yet somehow giving them all their own moment to shine. It was especially nice to see Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk come into his own. But even with all the polish and big budget carnage, it’s hard to ignore the feeling that this was nothing more than a feature - length setup for whatever was coming in Phase 3." (7/10) - WeegieMovies

"Tonal imbalances and a lack of originality weigh it down, but Avengers: Age of Ultron is a satisfyingly epic, action packed sequel that reminds audiences why Marvel are at the top of the current superhero chain." (7/10) - Ryan

"This is the film where my fanboy shows in that I will admit I forgive this movie a lot. It is definitely overstuffed with the burden of universe building. They are paying off storylines from the past while setting up double that amount for the future. But like the first Avengers film, Age of Ultron is satisfying due to Whedon’s commitment to character development and everyone gets their moment to shine here." (8.5/10) - Josh

It was never going to top the first Avengers but AOU is an adequate follow up to the mass team up of all the characters. The introduction of Scarlet Witch and Vision are personal highlights but the villain Ultron was criminally underused. This could’ve been much better but is not a bad film in any means." (7.5/10) - Angus

"Energetic and action-packed, this sequel is seemingly ripped from the comic-book pages, making for a marvellously good-viewing experience with brilliant characters old and new." (8.5/10) - Quickfire Reviews

"Working well as a superhero film but weaker as an Avengers team follow-up, Avengers: Age of Ultron suffers from an inflated cast and a well-worn template. That said, it is thrilling and entertaining enough to be enjoyed and hints at some satisfying thematic material." (7/10) - Nathan


Ant-Man (2015)


"Delightfully small-scale and relatively younger-skewing Ant-Man is a joyful, goofy and charming addition to the MCU, though will do little to that desiring greater depth in their superhero films." (7.5/10) - Quickfire Reviews

"Ant-Man diversifies Marvel Studios' portfolio with a Heist movie that delivers some great comedic moments and a excellent supporting cast." (8.5/10) - All Access Movies

"An extremely fun addition to the MCU that was underrated with its comedy and CGI effects. Ant-Man was much better than expected with Paul Rudd and Michael Pena shining with their comedy chops. Finally asks why they don’t just call up The Avengers when trouble arises." (8/10) - Angus

"It suffers greatly from a tiresome plot and weak characterization, but Ant-Man is a consistently funny and entertaining adventure that benefits from a tone unlike anything Marvel have offered before." (6/10) - Ryan

"An absolute good time from start to finish, Ant-Man struck gold with the casting of Paul Rudd, who brings the comedic chops needed for a movie like this. Does the movie follow the standard three-act hero’s journey? Yes. But does it also have a lot of heart and some creative action? Yep!" (8/10) - Josh

"Ant-Man doesn't carry the consequences or stakes of previous films, threatening to render it unnecessary and a tad pointless, but an enjoyable performance flexing Paul Rudd's comedy chops in the titular role saves it from ending Phase 2 on a completely weak note." (6/10) - Nathan

"Sometimes the smallest hero can provide the audience with a giant amount of fun, and that is what Ant Man gives you, with an excellent cast, a truly humorous script and some very well done action sequences." (8/10) - Martin


"Paul Rudd proved a great addition to the MCU, but he’s in the unfortunate position of having to share a movie with the delightfully comical Michael Peña. Which mean that even though Rudd is the star and has phenomenal comedy chops on his own, he is routinely upstaged and has the whole movie stolen out from under him by his counterpart. Ant Man was funny and light entertainment, but by this point it was hard for any Marvel film to feel fresh when every second movie released in the cinema was another superhero movie, and Marvel’s formula remained entirely unchanged." (7/10) - WeegieMovies

"Ant-Man took a semi-silly idea & made it something real & relatable. And come on - PAUL RUDD. AS A SUPERHERO." (8.1/10) - Maddy & Ryan


Captain America: Civil War (2016)



"Let’s be honest, this wasn’t Captain America 3. This was Avengers 2.5. Clearly Kevin Feige watched Wall Street and took Gordon Gekko’s “greed is good” speech a little bit too seriously, as he attempted to give literally every actor in his phonebook a role in this film. The title “Civil War” was enough to instill mass euphoria and hysteria in equal measure, as there was just no way a movie version of arguably the most iconic graphic novel could ever be fully realised, right? Obviously the scope of the Civil War graphic novel was unreachable in a conventional movie, but Captain America: Civil War still gave us the most exciting comic book movie, hell, movie… period, for a long, long time. Not since The Avengers had I been genuinely impatient in the lead up to a comic book movie release." (9/10) - WeegieMovies

"I remain ridiculously impressed by this. A whole fuck-ton of superhero's thrown together to make fans excited, but pulled off in a really well thought out way that doesn't make it messy. Captain America films lead the way for me." (8.2/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"Intelligent, sophisticated and refreshingly willing to subvert its own formula, Captain America: Civil War is both Marvel's strongest film to date and a consistently compelling character study in its own right with much more on its mind than eye popping set pieces." (9.5/10) - Ryan

"Much like ‘The Avengers’, ‘Civil War’ is a total joy to watch as all of these characters come together to create something special. The film has the best scene ever in a superhero film with all characters getting their own moments to shine. In a year of underwhelming superhero films, ‘Civil War’ put them all to shame." (9.25/10) - Angus

"Civil War is a child's dream come true, putting all our favorite heroes and making them collide in a realistic, grounded movie." (9.5/10) - All Access Movies

"In my opinion the best entry in the MCU to date, Civil War delivers everything you would want in a summer blockbuster, with stunts, jokes and action scenes galore, yet never forgetting to tell a far more complex tale than any film previous." (9.5/10) - Quickfire Reviews

"After surprises like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, you would think we would stop being surprised by Kevin Feige and company. Captain America: Civil War (again) does the impossible. It is both a satisfying Captain America story while also telling a better Avengers story than the previous Avengers film. The best part of Civil War is that it ends not with a huge battle to save the world, but rather with a character-driven fight between two friends." (10/10) - Josh

"Captain America: Civil War is Marvel at its peak potential, offering a plethora of interesting characters, terrific performances and intriguing thematic considerations, all of which is superbly brought together with a thought-provoking and engaging narrative that provides thrills and stakes. In short, Civil War is a breath of fresh air in the superhero genre." (9.5/10) - Nathan

"Continuing directly from Winter Soldier, this latest Cap flick brings deep and thoughtful themes whilst offering some of the best action scenes that the MCU has ever brought to the table." (9.5/10) - Martin


Doctor Strange (2016)


"Despite finding fleeting moments of excitement with its solid cast and dazzling effects, Doctor Strange doesn't work hard enough to disguise the stale narrative and uninspired character beats that hide beneath the spectacle." (5/10) - Ryan

"Doctor Strange proves how the MCU can take the same elements of simple stories but can still win by applying it character-based performances. With a cast full of Oscar nominees and a commitment to the inherent weirdness that comes with the character, Doctor Strange tells a very satisfying story with action scenes that are the most inventive in years." (9/10) - Josh

"Cumberbatch plays a Hugh Laurie as House-esque type of Doctor Strange, & the entire cast (besides a whitewashed Tilda Swinton) is fantastic. The special effects were also incredible - super trippy in 3D." (7.5/10) - Maddy & Ryan

"Doctor Strange is a fun thrill ride full with great special effects, a great performance from Cumberbatch, and certain trippy essence that makes this movie stand out from other entries in the MCU." (9/10) - All Access Movies

"A Sherlock Holmes actor plays an arrogant, super - rich, wisecracking man at the top of his field, who has a near - fatal accident which leads him to develop superpowers and save the world with his equally souped - up black sidekick. Tony St-  I mean, Stephen Strange is Doctor Strange in this mind - bending, visually stunning movie. But it’s impossible to watch this without feeling that we’ve seen it all before. Because we have seen it all before." (6/10)

"Working best as a gloriously dazzling special effects reel, Doctor Strange is in certain ways a breath of fresh air for Marvel, though it’s story and characters ultimately feel far more generic and forgettable." (6.5/10) -  Quickfire Reviews

"The MCU brings the magic courtesy of Doctor Steven Strange, with a superb performance from the Cumberbatch and some of the most visually breath-taking CGI perhaps of any superhero movie, ever." (7/10) - Martin

"Doctor Strange's mind-bending, psychedelic visuals and solid cast do just about enough to distract for some, but others will be frustrated with the film's low-stakes and forced character beats that lacks an emotional core and drive." (6/10) - Nathan

"‘Doctor Strange’ features dazzling effects which overshadows everything else in the film. The film does well to introduce this new character as well as a magical side to the MCU. Once again, though, a weak villain does not help the film at all." (7/10) - Angus


Early thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (not included on the below list)



"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is more of the same in an even more vibrant, visually-arresting and jaw-dropping package, delivering action, emotion and comedy because of its committed cast and likeable band of characters. Its narrative and script prove to be the biggest let down but there is more than enough to entertain audiences of all ages." (7.5/10) - Nathan

"This visual palette is as dazzling as ever, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 can't escape its scattershot narrative, forced humour and frustrating emotional immaturity". (4.5/10) - Ryan

(More to be added as they roll in!)



So, as a team, how do we rank the Marvel Cinematic Universe? 

A few fun facts first; the Captain America (8.4/10) trilogy is considerably favoured to the Iron Man trilogy (6/10); other than in the case of Captain America, the sequel always ranks below the original film; in years where two films were released, 2014 was the most popular year (8.425/10) and 2013 was the least popular (5.575/10) year for the MCU.

Let's get down to it: combining our scores and working out an average, how do the fourteen films (up until Doctor Strange) compare with each other? Be sure to send us your ranking!


14. Iron Man 2 -  5.01/10

13. The Incredible Hulk - 5.07/10

12. Thor: The Dark World - 5.15/10

11. Iron Man 3 - 6.0/10

9=. Iron Man - 7.0/10
9=. Doctor Strange - 7.0/10

8. Thor - 7.06/10

7. Captain America: The First Avenger - 7.25/10

6. Avengers: Age of Ultron - 7.3/10

5. Ant-Man - 7.4/10

4. Guardians of the Galaxy - 8.1/10

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier - 8.75/10

2. The Avengers - 8.9/10

1. Captain America: Civil War - 9.3/10


In this showdown, Captain America: Civil War has emerged the victor? While The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier were not too far behind, it's clear that Avengers 2.5  Captain America 3 is the MCU's high point right now. Can anything dethrone the current champ? We'll see in due course...