Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies

Ranking The Marvel Cinematic Universe After ‘Black Panther’

Kieran ranks the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe including the latest instalment, Black Panther.

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is the latest instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it currently sits comfy with an impressive 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critically and financially, the film is proving to be one of Marvel’s best yet, but it’s time for me to stack it up against the rest of the MCU and see how T’Challa’s first solo adventure ranks among Marvel’s previous adventures.

It’s worth saying that I recently went back and binged every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is why this list might have some large and some small differences from some of my previous rankings. I also feel like I should state that this is just my personal opinion. Please, let me know how you would rank the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the comments section below.

Check out my ranking below:

18. The Incredible Hulk

Director – Louis Leterrier

Release Date – June 13, 2008

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 67%

Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately seeks a cure for the gamma radiation that contaminated his cells and turned him into The Hulk. Cut off from his true love Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) and forced to hide from his nemesis, Gen. Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), Banner soon comes face-to-face with a new threat: a supremely powerful enemy known as The Abomination (Tim Roth).

Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk is directed by Louis Leterrier and stars Edward Norton (Hulk), Liv Tyler (Betty Ross), Tim Roth (Abomination), William Hurt (Thunderbolt Ross), Tim Blake Nelson (Samuel Sterns) and Ty Burrell (Doc Samson).

17. Iron Man 3

Director – Shane Black

Release Date – April 25, 2013

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 80%

Plagued with worry and insomnia since saving New York from destruction, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), now, is more dependent on the suits that give him his Iron Man persona — so much so that every aspect of his life is affected, including his relationship with Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). After a malevolent enemy known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) reduces his personal world to rubble, Tony must rely solely on instinct and ingenuity to avenge his losses and protect the people he loves.

Directed by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Jon Favreau (Happy), Guy Pearce (Killian), Rebecca Hall (Maya Hansen), James Badge Dale (Coldblood), Paul Bettany (Jarvis), and Ty Simpkins (Harley)

16. Thor: The Dark World

Director – Alan Taylor

Release Date – February 25, 2014

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 66%

In ancient times, the gods of Asgard fought and won a war against an evil race known as the Dark Elves. The survivors were neutralized, and their ultimate weapon — the Aether — was buried in a secret location. Hundreds of years later, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) finds the Aether and becomes its host, forcing Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to bring her to Asgard before Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) captures her and uses the weapon to destroy the Nine Realms — including Earth.

Directed by Alan Taylor, Thor: The Dark World stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Kat Dennings (Darcy), Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Christopher Eccleston (Malekith), Zachary Levi (Fandral), Stellan Skarsgard (Erik Selvig), Rene Russo (Frigga), Tadanobu Asano (Hogun), Ray Stevenson (Volstagg) and Chris O’Dowd (Richard).

15. Iron Man 2

Director – Jon Favreau

Release Date – April 30, 2010

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 73%

With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from all sides to share his technology with the military. He is reluctant to divulge the secrets of his armoured suit, fearing the information will fall into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) by his side, Tony must forge new alliances and confront a powerful new enemy.

Directed by Jon Favreau, Iron Man 2 stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jon Favreau (Happy), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Mickey Rourke (Whiplash), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury), Clark Gregg (Coulson), Sam Rockwell (Justin Hammer) and Paul Bettany (Jarvis).

14. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Director – Joss Whedon

Release Date – April 23, 2015

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 75%

When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the rest of the Avengers to reassemble. As the fate of Earth hangs in the balance, the team is put to the ultimate test as they battle Ultron, a technological terror hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they encounter two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.

Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), James Spader (Ultron), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), Paul Bettany (Vision/Jarvis), Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Anthony Mackie (Falcon) and Andy Serkis (Klaw).

13. Thor


Director – Kenneth Branagh

Release Date – April 27, 2011

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 77%

As the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the Norse gods, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will soon inherit the throne of Asgard from his ageing father. However, on the day that he is to be crowned, Thor reacts with brutality when the gods’ enemies, the Frost Giants, enter the palace in violation of their treaty. As punishment, Odin banishes Thor to Earth. While Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor’s brother, plots mischief in Asgard, Thor, now stripped of his powers, faces his greatest threat.

Marvel’s Thor is directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif), Kat Dennings (Darcy), Stellan Skarsgard (Erik Selvig), Ray Stevenson (Volstagg), Tadanobu Asano (Hogun), Rene Russo (Frigga) and Josh Dallas (Fandral).

12. Captain America: The First Avenger

Director – Joe Johnston

Release Date – July 29, 2011

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 80%

It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his part and join America’s armed forces, but the military rejects him because of his small stature. Finally, Steve gets his chance when he is accepted into an experimental program that turns him into a supersoldier called Captain America. Joining forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), Captain America leads the fight against the Nazi-backed HYDRA organization.

Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger is directed by Joe Johnston and stars Chris Evans (Captain America), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Hugo Weaving (Red Skull), Tommy Lee Jones (Chester Phillips), Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark), Stanley Tucci (Abraham Erskine), Toby Jones (Zola), Neal McDonough (Dum Dum Dugan) and Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury).

11. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 

Director – James Gunn

Release Date – April 19, 2017

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 83%

Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter’s parentage is revealed.

Directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 stars Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Dave Bautista (Drax), Vin Diesel (Groot), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Kurt Russell (Ego), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Sean Gunn (Craglin), Elizabeth Debicki (Kismet), Chris Sullivan (Taserface) and Sylvester Stallone (Starhawk).

10. Doctor Strange

Director – Scott Derrickson

Release Date – October 24, 2016

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 90%

Dr. Stephen Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he looks for healing, and hope, in a mysterious enclave. He quickly learns that the enclave is at the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality. Before long, Strange is forced to choose between his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.

Marvel’s Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Tilda Swinton (The Ancient One), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Baron Mordo), Benedict Wong (Wong), Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecilius) and Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer).

9. Ant-Man

Director – Payton Reed

Release Date – July 8, 2015

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 82%

Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a master thief just released from prison. Lang becomes Ant-Man, trained by Pym and armed with a suit that allows him to shrink in size, possess superhuman strength and control an army of ants. The miniature hero must use his new skills to prevent Cross, also known as Yellowjacket, from perfecting the same technology and using it as a weapon for evil.

Marvel’s Ant-Man is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Michael Douglas (Hank Pym), Evangeline Lilly (Hope Pym), Michael Peña (Luis), Corey Stoll (Yellowjacket), David Dastmalchian (Kurt), TI (Dave), Bobby Cannavale (Paxton), Judy Greer (Maggie Lang), Anthony Mackie (Falcon) and Abby Ryder Fortson (Cassie Lang).

8. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Director – Jon Watts

Release Date – July 5, 2017

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 92%

Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine — distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighbourhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming is directed by Jon Watts and stars Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Jon Favreau (Happy), Michael Keaton (Vulture), Jacob Batalon (Ned), Laura Harrier (Liz Allen), Tony Revolori (Flash Thompson), Bokeem Woodbine (Shocker), Michael Chernus (Tinkerer), Jennifer Connelly (Karen) and Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts).

7. Thor: Ragnarok

Director – Taika Waititi

Release Date – October 10, 2017

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 92%

Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk, his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.

Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi and stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster), Taika Waititi (Korg), Karl Urban (Executioner), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Anthony Hopkins (Odin) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange).

6. Iron Man

Director – Jon Favreau

Release Date – May 2, 2008

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 94%

A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him to force him to build a devastating weapon. Instead, he builds an armoured suit and upends his captors. Returning to America, Stark refines the suit and uses it to combat crime and terrorism.

Marvel’s Iron Man is directed by Jon Favreau and stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Jon Favreau (Happy), Terrence Howard (War Machine), Jeff Bridges (Iron Monger), Clark Gregg (Coulson), Paul Bettany (Jarvis), Faran Tahir (Raza) and Shaun Toub (Yinsen).

5. Avengers Assemble

Director – Joss Whedon

Release Date – April 26, 2012

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 92%

When Thor’s evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of S.H.I.E.L.D., initiates a superhero recruitment effort to defeat the unprecedented threat to Earth. Joining Fury’s “dream team” are Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Paul Bettany (Jarvis) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye).

Marvel’s Avengers Assemble is directed by Joss Whedon and stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) and Clark Gregg (Coulson).

4. Captain America: Civil War

Director – The Russo Brothers

Release Date – April 26, 2016

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 91%

Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must pick a side.

Directed by the Russo Brothers, Captain America: Civil War stars Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), Paul Bettany (Vision), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Daniel Brühl (Zemo), Martin Freeman (Everett Ross) and Tom Holland (Spider-Man).

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

Director – James Gunn

Release Date – July 31, 2014

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 91%

Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain. To evade Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with four disparate misfits: gun-toting Rocket Raccoon, treelike-humanoid Groot, enigmatic Gamora, and vengeance-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when he discovers the orb’s true power and the cosmic threat it poses, Quill must rally his ragtag group to save the universe.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Dave Bautista (Drax), Vin Diesel (Groot), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Benicio del Toro (The Collector), Lee Pace (Ronan), Glenn Close (Irani), John C Reilly (Dey) and Djimon Hounsou (Korath).

2. Black Panther

Director – Ryan Coogler

Release Date – February 16, 2018

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 98%

After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as King — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.

Marvel’s Black Panther is directed by Ryan Coogler and stars Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (Killmonger), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Forest Whitaker (Zuri), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Andy Serkis (Klaw), Martin Freeman (Everett Ross), Winston Duke (M’Baku), Florence Kasumba (Ayo), John Kani (T’Chaka) and Sterling K. Brown.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Director – The Russo Brothers

Release Date – March 26, 2014

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 89%

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and stars Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Frank Grillo (Crossbones), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter) and Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Robert Redford (Alexander Pierce) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury).

Do you agree with my ranking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Be sure to let me know in the comments section below!



  1. For me Thor: Ragnarok is a joint number one with Black Panther – both totally different movies but with the same joy that only Marvel can bring to the Superhero genre. Great list!


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