Both films and TV seasons ranked from worst to best.

Editorial Opinion
By Dandy - Oct 01, 2015 10:10 AM EST
Filed Under: Marvel Comics
Yes, just what you wanted! Yet another ranking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But I'm thinking of shaking it up a bit by including the TV series as well as the films. The TV shows are broken down into SEASONS, because much like a film, a single season usually tells its own piece of a story. 

With that in mind let's begin with the obvious...

16) Iron Man 2- 5/10- 
It should come as no surprise that this is the last on the list. Iron Man 2 followed up one of the best CBM's of all time with a film that worked as little more than an extended advertisement for future films. Iron Man 2 still has some cool action scenes and great chemistry between the leads but lacks an engaging storyline. Mickey Rourke is wasted as the lead villain and even the charismatic Sam Rockwell can't give the film any real tension or sense of danger. It's lazy screenwriting at its best, but, fortunately, it's never insultingly bad enough to wreck your MCU marathons.
15) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D- Season 1- 5/10
Not much higher is the first season of Agents of SHIELD. This show was one of the most hotly anticipated new series of the fall season in 2013 but failed abysmally to meet expectations. It's true that the season steadily improved, building to a legitimately engaging third act thanks to The Winter Soldier. Still, it's hard to recommend a show to anyone when the first season—consisting of whopping 22 episodes—is only "half" good, if even that. 
14) Thor- 6/10
This might be one a more controversial placements on this list. I know that there are A LOT of people out there who really like this film and rank it fairly high in the MCU. Unfortunately, I've always felt the story of Thor suffered from being grounded in an earth environment and being too similar to the plot of Cars. There is some great stuff in here. The cast is perfect, especially Hemsworth as the titular Thor and Hiddleston as his scheming brother Loki. All the Asgardian scenes are also a lot of fun and entertaining. Unfortunately being on earth is a bit of a drag, and most of the human characters are painfully boring or annoying. But, all things considered, Thor is easily the hardest Avenger to get right, and the filmmakers greatest accomplishment was making him fit believably into the MCU world. 
13) Thor: The Dark World- 6/10
Some may be surprised that I placed this higher, but don't be too confused, it isn't much better than the first film. The Dark World suffered from a troubled production with the film trading hands between directors and writing teams. It didn't help that the plot was uninspired, and the main villain was the most forgettable baddie yet (and for the MCU that's saying something). The only reason I place it higher is, frankly, the action scenes are a lot more fun. Thor spent the bulk of the first film powerless and wandering around the desert. At least in this movie, he got to engage in some entertaining action sequences, particularly his final battle with Maliketh.
12) Agents of SHIELD- season 2- 7/10
Though it had a rocky start, Agents of SHIELD picked up its game in the second season, effectively building on the momentum from the end of season 1. It introduced more rounded characters with comic roots and delved into a more interesting story involving a race between Shield and Hydra to find a secret race. It still isn't a perfect show. At 22 episodes, it has a lot of filler, and many times the show exceeds the restrictions of its budget, producing some lackluster special effects. All in all, though, this season was a huge step in the right direction for the ABC lineup and regularly delivered an engaging and satisfying 45-minute block of tv. 

The second film of the MCU made it seem like the first two films were deliberately made with two drastically different tones, as if to see where the series would go as a whole. Where Iron Man was a mix of fun action romp, comedy, and drama, The Incredible Hulk followed the Nolanization of many reboots from the 2000's, being darker and grittier. To this day, I maintain that this film is a criminally underrated member of the MCU. Though the effects leave a bit to be desired, the film delivers a solid classic fugitive story while blowing the abysmal Ang Lee adaption out of the water. Norton is a good pick for the role, even if he never reaches the heights of Mark Ruffalo's interpretation. 
10) AGENT CARTER- season 1- 7/10
A surprising winter show that worked as a pleasant companion piece to Captain America: The First Avenger. Building off a fan favorite character from the series, Agent Carter benefited from something that Agents of SHIELD sorely lacked—tighter writing and better characterization. Though it may suffer at points from overly blatant pro-feminist themes, Agent Carter undeniably has one of the most charming and entertaining lead characters on TV, one that you can't help but admire. Being a period piece helps the show stand out against the other CBTV options, giving it a unique feel while organically delivering backstory on such things as the Black Widow Red Room and the beginnings of the Winter Soldier program.  It's a miracle that it got a second season, but we'll take what we can get.

9) IRON MAN 3- 7/10
That's right Iron Man 3 haters, rev up those engines. There is no denying that this film was a little divisive in the fan community, and for good reason. Most of the groans and moans revolved around a character that fans felt disrespected the source material. Another group of people were a little disappointed in the lack of appearances by the titular hero. Stark spends most of the movie outside of his armor. 
But wasn't that sort of the point of the movie?
The entire theme of the film revolves around the idea that the suit does not make Tony Stark Iron Man—Tony Stark is what makes the suit Iron Man. And the film does a very good job enforcing this theme. It also acts as a well-scripted techno-thriller with a more interesting villain than your usual MCU baddie. If you can get past the 2nd act twist, then there is a lot to admire and like about this movie. In my mind, it remains one of the strongest films in the MCU. However, far be it from me to stop the debate from raging on.

8) ANT-MAN- 8/10
I thought about placing this higher simply because of how much fun the second half is, but in the end Ant-Man does suffer from a very exposition-heavy first half, which brings it down a couple notches. Yet the film is undeniably a blast with colorful characters and a unique take on the heist genre. The second half delivered some of the most unique and creative action sequences. Ant-Man seemed the perfect little movie (no pun intended) to go between the colossal Age of Ultron and Civil War. It came at a time when people might have started to feel that Marvel was getting a bit too big and was at risk of crumbling under its own weight. 
Though it failed to meet expectations or the bar set by its predecessor, Age of Ultron is another rock solid entry into the MCU. It suffered from a few areas of cluttered characters, missing scenes, and a slightly underwhelming villain, but made up for it with the same cool action set pieces, great actor chemistry, and energetic comedy that made the first movie so much fun. The Hulk vs. Hulkbuster scene is a particular highlight. Ultron is a fun, memorable villain, but regrettably never feels threatening because he never really succeeds at anything. Given all the characters and plot lines, this movie should have been a mess, but somehow Whedon steers it through the crowded waters and delivers another fun action romp, even if it doesn't begin to reach the heights of the original.
One of the better solo movies in the MCU, The First Avenger suffers from problematic pacing between the second and third act, but overall does something that haven't been done right since Richard Donner's Superman. It gives us a morally righteous character we want to root for but doesn't bore us or seem one dimensional. Captain America benefits from the patriotism of its time to sell the character and offers one of the more character-driven pieces in the MCU. It also features strong ties to The Avengers, making it feel like a must see precursor to the big superhero team-up. 

One of the more obscure titles from Marvel, it was a pleasant surprise to see the studio leave its comfort zone in the superhero titles and head into space for a wildly unique science fiction adventure. Cluttered with colorful characters, Guardians biggest strength comes from the wacky nature of its director, James Gunn, who has no fear bringing this risky venture into weird and bizarre territories. Add in a career-changing performance from Chris Pratt and fan favorites Groot and Rocket, and this was a winning combination from beginning to end. 
4) IRON MAN- 9/10
This film is responsible for launching the MCU. Marvel Studios might have seen a quick and sudden death if not for the pitch perfect casting of Robert Downey Jr. and the unique choice of Jon Faverou as the director. Iron Man made the perfect counter argument to DC's darker and brooding Dark Knight, which came out the same year. Being a brighter film filled with colorful characters, slick action, and comedy, Iron Man set the overarching tone and approach that Marvel would take when adapting their properties to the big screen. To this day, it remains one of the best properties in their series. 
3) DAREDEVIL- season 1- 9/10
Speaking of adaptions that are dark and brooding, Marvel finally found the perfect venue for their more adult-oriented content. Netflix could produce shows at a quality matched only by HBO, FX, and Showtime. With a great cast and tight writing, Netflix and Marvel teamed up to provide a show that felt more like a 13 hour film than an episodic series. This allowed them to dive into the darker side of the franchise while providing one of the most popular characters from the 1980's and 1990's. Daredevil proved to be one of the best—if not the best CBTV show that we've seen yet. 
Unfortunately Marvel has a bit of trouble with its first sequels. Iron Man 2 is the worst of the series, Age of Ultron didn't hit the bar set by the first film, and Thor the Dark World really wasn't much to write home about. The only film that breaks out of that trend is the Russo Brother's fantastic Winter Soldier, which may very well be the best film in the series. The movie is a tightly scripted political thriller that plays to the strengths of Captain America and brings the MCU films to a more grounded and gritty place. Throw in two of the best MCU villains, Alexander Piece and the titular Winter Soldier and you've got a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat and will never let you feel safe. 

1) THE AVENGERS- 10/10
I went back and forth on whether to put the Avengers at number one or the Winter Soldier. They are equally good for very different reasons. Where The Winter Soldier is a bit more gritty and tense, The Avengers is more of a lighthearted, comedic, action romp in the same vein as Iron Man. Both feature some of the best villains, and both are very well scripted in different ways. In the end, the deciding factor more came from the producing side of things. The Avengers really is a marvel (no pun intended) of film production and a game changer in how Hollywood approached franchises—some say it created the modern Mega-Franchise. Never before had a studio specifically set out to make five movies, just to build up to one. The dedication and patience it took to get to this point is something that most people don't credit producers enough for. But here we have one of the best superhero movies of all time, and it is due to a great combination of writing, directing, producing, and luck. THAT is what makes the Avengers still the greatest film in the MCU. 
Agree, disagree? Tell me in the comments below. How would you rank the full MCU? 
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Wallymelon - 10/1/2015, 12:21 PM
dude... THOR the Dark World is the worst movie they have ever made! I dont understand any love for this film. It's full of ham fisted jokes, Jane was shoved completely to the side as useless passing out chick, Loki had more of an arc in the film than Thor, Malekith was underuilized, The action was cool and the funeral scene and frigga's death was the best part of the movie. There wasn't really a story. The warriors 3 got underused, There was a montage that just didnt work in this movie. The tone was all over the place. It's a terrible film, directed by a guy that clearly doesnt get how to make a good movie, based on both of his films suck. That's not just my opinion that is just the truth man.

I seriously don't get what people see is so great about this movie, when in at least Iron Man 2 you get some good comedy. The first Thor actually made sense as a film which is insane cuz it shouldn't have translated that well on screen. The chemistry actually seemed natural and no one looked bored. The dynamic between Odin, Loki, and Thor was established and laid the groundwork for what we would love about the characters. No one has treated Thor more than anything than a action guy and the dude that says some jokes randomly, except for Branagh. He treated him like a brash kid that was learning to become a man and Hemsworth rocked it.

Cant stand The Dark world... GAAAAAHHHBAGE!!
TucksFrom2015 - 10/1/2015, 1:08 PM
@ Wallymelon's comment

Forthas - 10/1/2015, 2:08 PM

I disagree about the Incredible Hulk being so far down. I would put it on par with Captain America The First Avenger (on a side note wouldn't Thor be the first Avenger because he is centuries older...but I digress). I also think Age of Ultron should be 5th. Guardians of the Galaxy is a good film but highly overrated.
dapug88 - 10/1/2015, 4:16 PM
I like all the marvel movies and your right even the worst of the bunch (Iron man 2) I don't skip over. I love the first Thor film. I have grown to like iron man 3. I was upset at the mandarin twist but after watching it over and over again I ended up really liking it. Most of the list I agree with.
Wallymelon - 10/1/2015, 5:07 PM

you are allowed to like the film, but you cant tell me that it is a better film in terms of structure, story, writing, acting, direction, editing... pretty much everything that creates a film. TDW was clearly a film that was troubled to begin with, with the director changes, and writer changes, and Joss coming on to help write. If you own the blu Ray and check out the commentary you'll hear Kevin Feige and Tom hiddleston talking more than the director, which kinda shows me that Feige and Latcham were the ones that really directed this film in the editing bay. They knew they didnt have anything great and they slapped that crap together. You're also trying to tell me that in Phase 2 when Winter Soldier and Guardians and Ant Man and even Iron Man 3 is a solid film(it's not a great sequel to the Iron Man Trilogy because it doesnt fit with Jon favreaus tone). Age of ultron another clear indication of studio meddling and not a clear vision. With Ant Man it seemed like Peyton Reed fell into a great position just like James gunn and embraced the marvel formula to make it there own, when directors clash with the producers you get films like, Thor TDW and Age of Ultron, and Iron Man 2.

All 3 very clear of producers and directors not fully agreeing on a vision.

TDW is not a good movie man. You can like the film all you want. I like movies that arent technically good too. Technically is the word I put emphasis on. Because Its a poorly put together film. No story, No arc, No vision besides lets see Thor in Asgard and give him some jokes and some action.

I just saw your list and I see that you're clearly into a certain type of film. Which is fine. I'm glad you like the movie, I just dont at all. I need more depth and more of a story and I want to see my characters change by the end of the film. I'm not just into seeing eye candy for 2 hours. If I wanted that I would go to Fast and Furious. I personally want more from marvel not the same formula, and I love marvel. love what they do, just want them to never do what they did with Thor 2 again. Dont ever really want to see them play it safe anymore, I want to see something crazy happen in Phase 3.
DerekLake - 10/1/2015, 5:59 PM
I mostly agree with this list, though I would put Avengers underneath Guardians and Thor the Dark World under Thor. TDW was just boring, with a mundane story and an even more mundane bad guy. Not even Loki could save it.

While Avengers was unprecedented, I don't think it was as well-written as the other tip films, and more importantly, I don't think it used all of the characters particularly well. By that I mean this: the greater part of the film concerns Loki's attempt to use the Tesseract to bring through an alien invasion force. The first part of the film was ok (not spectacular) but the use of aliens highlighted just how out of place Black Widow and Hawkeye were. While that was mentioned in the film, Whedon could have done a better job of choosing enemies that would best showcase each team member's abilities (particularly Black Widow, who just felt completely underutilized). Perhaps a different sort of alien would have been better.

But I think this list is on point.
gamecreatorjj - 10/1/2015, 9:51 PM
i completely agree with this list, but honestly I consider everything below Cap1 to be mediocre to trash.
Wallymelon - 10/3/2015, 2:05 AM
@mexicansuperman you are describing Thor the Dark world buddy
ThunderKat - 10/6/2015, 8:51 AM

Interesting selections all around. Good effort.

Anyone wonder why people comment with their own lists? Strange.
yourdaddy - 10/6/2015, 9:53 AM
(rating: 5 is average, anything above is good, anything below is bad)


guardians of the galaxy - 7.5/10
avengers - 7/10
iron man 1 - 7/10
iron man 3 - 6/10
ant man - 6/10
captain america 2 - 5/10
captain america 1 - 5/10
avengers 2 - 4/10
hulk - 4/10
thor 1 - 3/10
iron man 2 - 3/10
thor 2 - 2/10
DarthTano - 10/10/2015, 5:54 AM
WOW this list is really wack! I've watched the MCU so many times and I feel Marvel Studios has only gotten better with Time! I'd rank the MCU/TV:

16) The Incredible Hulk was cool n has one of the BEST Supervillians in the MCU that never gets enough credit Emil Blonsky aka Abomination! (Who's still alive, a plus since most MCU villains DIE after 1 film.

15) Ironman2 was awesome up until the final battle with Whiplash where Stark n Rhodey murked him in a 2 minute showdown lol so stupid but everything else is exactly like the 1st Ironman so I don't see the problem ppl have with this movie.

14) Ironman3 was the WORST superhero movie I've ever seen in the Theaters and it really brought me down emotionally lol! How in the F*CK do you squander The Mandarin, THE F*CKIN MANDARIN!! I was so frickin hyped to see my absolute favorite Ironman villain come to life and Marvel shoved a huge Middle finger in my f*ckin FACE! But alas with time Shellhead3 has gotten really really good n I appreciate what Marvel was doing and I can't wait to see The Real "The Mandarin" activate and F sh*t up in the MCU! Eventually.

13) Ironman1=Revolutionary! Nuff said.
Honestly I don't think anything is wrong with this movie. It's a perfect MCU film, a great movie on its own, and it's only right here on my list because most MCU films has passed it in my eyes.

12) Captain America The First Avenger just gets my American juices flowing Lmfao "The Star spangled MAN with a PLAAAAAAAN" still gets played on my internal playlist! RIP to OG HYDRA head Red Skull, Hail HYDRA! It makes so happy one day Skull could return in a big way, better n badder n Redder.

11) Thor The Dark World is loopy and silly but never loses its focus and I've never understood why people hate it so f*ckin much! The 1st Thor spent to much time on Earth in some ppls opinions, so what did Marvel do? Switch it up and brought Jane Foster to Asgard, brought Loki back in a great way and delivered 1 of the absolute most POWERFUL villains in the MCU, Maliketh The Accursed! Why I say such a bold statement, because he f*ckin wielded the "Reality Infinity Stone" with ease and didn't ALMOST explode like a group of certain galaxy guardians.

10) Thor1 is my FAVORITE Phase1 solo film and just keeps me entertained throughout! I enjoy Loki's evolution as a classic Shakespeare tragedy into a str8 up villain. Thor just oozes from the screen and he's always MIGHTY, even a tiny puny Mortal.

9) Agent Carter really surprised me with its cool story n mystery of Howard Stark's "Babies" were stolen from under his nose and Carter had to secretly do covert Spy shit without the SSR knowing. Jarvis stood out as one of the BEST additions to the MCU and I can't wait to meet his wife Mrs. Jarvis lol.

8) Avengers AOU is more like Avengers Age of Ultra-Mistakes! The first SIN this movie gets is one I absolutely believe everyone can agree with n that's: THERE WAS NO FRICKIN 'PROLOGUE'!! It just starts in the middle of an action sequence, with the music blaring, characters speaking but not saying shit, it just badly Cold opens. Probably the Worst opening I've ever seen. Why I say this is because if you check out every single MCU film to date there has been a simple prologue/backstory given before the movie begins. Ironmans convoy attack, Ironman2's Ivan Vanko's building of the Whiplash Mark1, The Hulks origin in the 1st few minutes of the film, Both Thor movies Odin stories about the Frost Giants and Dark Elves, Peter Quills kidnapping in Guardians, SHIELD discovering Caps shield in the First Avenger, Falcon meeting Cap on their running route in Winter Soldier, Antman had Howard Stark n Peggy Carter pop up with a young Hank Pym and finally the AVENGERS had the intro with The Other speaking to Thanos while handling the Scepter over to Loki. Age of Ultron just starts without like addressing the world we're in at this point. Especially after All the CONFUSION ppl had with the ending of Ironman3 with Stark telling JARVIS to do the "Clean slate" protocol n blow up all those Lego set Ironman suits and start over. Lol ppl are so deaf because he even states that "I am Ironman" before the credits roll. I'm just sayin.

7) Agents of Shield season1 is some of the best tv I have ever seen and I can't imagine a world or the MCU for that matter without AOS!! It's just sooooo f*ckin good n compelling. Sure sooooo many people love to trash the series but quite frankly f*ck anybody who dislikes this show. Since the pilot I've been hooked on a FEELING lol and SHIELD has helped the MCU out so much I swear it's dumb. Firstly jus check out the Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron back to back. What's missing? An explanation for WTF happened to SHIELD! Fury pops up with a frickin HELICARRIER that is sloppily crammed into the film with no explanation whatsoever. You watch Agents of Shield and Marvel has to clean up that silly mistake by having the current Director, Phil Coulson let Fury borrow a saved HC he had for Theta Protocol. The introduction of the INHUMANS into the world at large changes the game and only solidifies it's place in the MCU.

6) DAREDEVIL season1 is the greatest superhero origin story since Batman Begins, exactly 10 years later lol! Wilson Fisk is the 2nd best Marvel villian only after Loki and followed after The Winter Soldier. Murdock is a street hero with nothing but his bare fists and heightened senses n cool Black ninja suit n Red Daredevil suit. Everything about this show works and it lays great groundwork for the rest of the MCU Defenders to kick ass on!

5) Antman was supposed to be Marvels First BOMB lol and now look at it past haters! Over $400 million worldwide and it deserves all the love it's receiving. Peña stole the show with Rudd killing it as Scott Lang. Hank Pym really really really made me want a Antman prequel movie lmfao. Yellowjacket was a crazy ass villain who I wish Marvel didn't MURDER!! Damn they need to stop KILLING these fools!

4) Guardians of the Galaxy surprised everyone but me lol naw I was jus as happy to see how great and fun the movie was! When Kevin Feige stated back in like 2010 that Guardians was a potential film they'd want to make, I immediately started buying all the recent Guardians of the Galaxy comics available even the original team from the 3000s Lmfao so cooky and zany. Rocket Raccoon and GROOT are my FAVORITE Duo of the Galaxy. I love the
music which introduced me to tunes I've never heard of and now I can't imagine my life without any of them! "I'm just like Star-Lord"!! WE ARE GROOT!

3) Agents of Shield season2 is what the MCU was made for. New Director, New agents, HYDRA everywhere, Lady Sif, a Kree named Vintak, Terrigenis, INHUMANS INHUMANS INHUMANS!!!! I f*ckin LOVE Agents of Shield that's why it's #3 instead of #12 or #15 lol
Hail HYDRA to that Baron Grant Ward. Oh yeah and frickin Daisy Quake Johnson!! I've always liked her in the comics but now shes one of my absolute favorite superheroes period. And she deserves to play in the big leagues with the AVENGERS someday.

2) Captain America The Winter Soldier is all around a perfect film and Civil War has a lot to prove. The Fall of SHIELD including the fallout throughout AOS is so EPIC and shatters the MCU in a good way. Its similar to Order66 in a way but not lol I'm a nerd. Cap has never been better, Falcon had to me the best role any side character has had! Now he's a frickin Avenger!! Bucky owns Cap in their final showdown even though Steve was capping (get it) and Widow finally starts to open up then she says to Cap, naw we shouldn't be friends lol b*tch! The Stephen Strange reference really really gets me excited. Alexander Pierce has the Head of HYDRA is one of Marvels best villains period. Hail HYDRA

1) The AVENGERS! WOW that's a perfect movie in every way possible. Could have been a total dumbass train wreck but it just brought us into the GOLDEN AGE of COMIC BOOK FILMS!! "You ppl are so petty and TINY" Every Avenger got their moments to shine even Director Coulson delivered a sucker punch to foolish Loki! I'm not sure if any superhero movie will surpass the AVENGERS on the all time money making list! If it's own sequel couldn't do it nothing can, unless they have a HULK!!

Well that's my dumb opinion on the MCU. I could change any film Or tv show on this lists order tomorrow if I'm in the mood, I jus love what Marvel Studios is doing to cinema right now

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