About a year ago, to coincide with the release of the final Fox X-Men film, Dark Phoenix, I did a reflection on all of the X-Men movies. It was a ranking of the movies in order from best to worst, as well as a paragraph accompanying each film that gave a brief synopsis of the overall takeaway from each movie. Now, during the quarantine summer of Covid 19 when everyone is still mostly staying indoors, and with Disney Plus streaming every Marvel movie, perhaps it is time to do something with those twenty plus Marvel Films, (although Martin Scorcese might not agree with the use of the word “films,” there.)

Unlike the X-Men retrospective, I will not be putting these in order from best to least. Not in the are where the paragraph synopsis are located anyway. Instead, I will offer that list, and then get into each movie, located in the order of which they were released. That means starting with Iron Man 1, (or just Iron Man, which coincidentally is also my favorite of the bunch.)

RANKING

  1. Iron Man
  2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  3. Captain America: Civil War
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy
  5. Avengers
  6. Avengers: Infinity War
  7. Thor: Ragnorak
  8. Avengers: Endgame
  9. Thor Ragnork
  10. Spider Man: Homecoming

One thing worth noting about this list is that all four movies made by the Russo Brothers have s prominent spot on the list. That means the two Captain America sequels (number 2 and 3 on the list,) as well as the two Avengers Infinity Stone – Thanos movies they made, (numbers 6 and 8.) Boy are those guys good.

Now for the chronological order and one paragraph analyzing…

IRON MAN

The best of the bunch. Perhaps the best superhero movie ever (a runner up would be Batman Begins, also an origin story.) Iron Man takes origin to the next level. It isn’t just a first half origin kind of thing, but instead nearly the entire movie is about the origin. It’s about figuring out the costume and the idea of why it is necessary. It is about Tony Stark going head to head with his board (also something that happens in Batman Begins,) only here, it is about having a moral awakening and realizing what his weapons are being used for around the world. The best thing about this movie is the way it takes its time to show us every new development in the Iron Man suit. The careful analysis of how they build the first version in a cave, early on in the film, is just the start. On top of that, Jeff Bridges is a fantastic villain and is truly menacing. The stakes might not be end of world domination like some of the other movies, but that’s another reason why this one is so good… it stays grounded and semi-realistic, taking the time to treat its subject seriously. Plus Downey Jr is just perfect in the part.