If children in the 2000s had Harry Potter as their franchise that would define them, then 2010s kids had the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This 13-year long-running series has spanned movies, books, toys, video games; more than their comic counterpart and it is still going to this day in terms of Disney+ TV series. While series like Wandavision and The Falcon and Winter Soldier has come and gone, Loki recently premiered with high praise from critics and fans alike. This had many (and myself) pondering what are some of the best movies from this series. Today, I will look back on five.
5. Captain America: The First Avenger
I will still hold this entry in high regard. It plays off like a typical origin story of the main Avenger we all know and love but has this feeling like it was ripped from the 1991 film The Rocketeer. About a man discovering something he cannot be and will do anything he can to make himself a hero in the end. There are scenes that I believe stand out amongst other entries in this cinematic universe and this movie knows what it is and doesn’t do anything that it isn’t.
4. Avengers Infinity War
One of the bigger installments in this franchise, the one that made many fans cry after seeing many of their favorite characters become lost in the all-mighty Snap by the evil Thanos. This entry speaks to what my issues were with the MCU as a whole as they started to fatigue and became the standard, heroes win story. By letting the villain win, subverts expectations and makes everyone anticipated to see where the story goes from there. A rare case you see nowadays with Disney and their big franchise films. Infinity War is big, loud, action-packed, and exciting and is a great entry in the series!
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
James Gunn introduced us to this band of outlaws in the action-comedy Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn makes these characters feel like friends with a clever script that packs lots of heart and energy in this movie. This entry also has some of the series best visuals, instead of regular concrete Earth visuals, Gunn made this movie feel out of this world. The cast has remarkable chemistry with one another, making them feel like they have been friends for years rather than just starring in a movie in 2014.
2. Iron Man 3
Hot take alert! Iron Man 3 feels like a movie that really decontextualizes the character of Iron Man. Showing his true mental health at play and what happens if he is not a first responder to the citizens that need saving. In my opinion, Robert Downey Jr’s best MCU, showing so much more range than that quippy million playboy philamthropist. Cry about it but the twist with the Mandarin is very good and very funny. Again subverting with audiences’ expectations on what they would expect from a standard MCU flick!
1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Here it is, my favorite entry in the MCU. This is the one that will live in my heart forever and will genuinely call an amazing movie. Gunn continues to give these characters the same charisma and emotion from the first film but adds additional arcs within them to make storylines interesting and fun. If Gunn was making his version of Star Wars, then this is his own spin on the 80’s action genre. A big colorful, macho flick that packs the most emotion and heart than in any film in this series. May I also add the soundtrack kicks a ton of butt along with its very colorful visuals/cinematography.