Are you a Marvel fanatic? Do you sit up at night wondering what the best Marvel-based films are? Well, you are not alone in your MARVELous quest for triumph. One person asked a popular online community to “rank your top ten Marvel movies.” Here are the top-rated responses from a celebrated group of Marvel enthusiasts.
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Steve Rogers/Captain America(Chris Evans) finds himself trying to adjust to a world he feels he doesn’t belong. Rogers teams up with Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) and Sam Wilson/The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) following an attack on a friend and fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to expose a web of lies and conspiracies.
This widening net of intrigue introduces a powerful new enemy they did not anticipate. After he crashed into the icy water during WWII in 1945, the world thought Captain America was lost forever. Fast forward seven decades, Steve Rogers is living in Washington, D.C, following the events in New York and the aftermath of the first Avengers film.
2. Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man is a superhero film about a genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who inherited his father’s lucrative weapons manufacturing company. Once, while on a weapons demonstration in Kunar, Afghanistan, Tony was attacked, kidnapped, and held for ransom.
Enter the birth of Iron Man; to save himself and a fellow captor, he develops the first Iron Man suit (Mark I). When Tony is back where he feels safe, he exposes himself as the hero everyone has come to know as Iron Man. This stunt introduces a whole new set of hazards into Tony’s life, but it’s nothing Iron Man can’t handle, right?
3. The Avengers (2012)
This film is the first significant team-up movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It features Tony Stark/Iron Man, Thor, Steve Rogers/Captain America, Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, and Clint Barton/Hawkeye. They assemble to fight the God of Mischief, Loki of Asgard (Tom Hiddleston). Little do the newly formed Avengers know that Loki has help from a mysterious figure who potentially poses a larger threat than they could have imagined.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Many believed Guardians of the Galaxy (G.O.T.G.) to be the first film out of the MCU stable to flop; boy, were they wrong. Instead, this movie turned out to be one of the best movies MCU produced to date at its release, with a star-studded cast that included the voices of Bradley Cooper as Rocket Racoon and Vin Diesel as the voice of the loveable idiot man-plant, Groot.
It also includes Zoë Saldana as Gamora, Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Starlord, and David Bautista as the big oaf Drax the Destroyer. What starts as many individual quests for personal gain evolve into a family and a team whose humor rivals the might of the Avengers in an effort to guard the galaxy.
5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Steve Rogers wants to do his part and join America’s armed forces during the war of 1941, just like his best friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Unfortunately, the military rejects him because of his small stature, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. Rogers is handpicked for a secret super soldier program transforming Steve Rogers into Captain America, the first Avenger. When Nazi-led Hydra captures Bucky and The Howling Commandos, Captain America leads a fighting force to bring his battle buddies home.
6. Black Panther (2018)
In 2014, we were introduced to T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), son of King T’Chaka, during the conflict in Avengers: Civil War. In his solo film debut, we get more of T’Challa’s backstory and the history of the Black Panther.
Once a nation shrouded in secrecy, Wakanda, the home nation of King T’Challa, has been attacked, and the intruder stole a large quantity of Vibranium, the strongest metal on earth. Black Panther’s attempts to apprehend the perpetrator lead to discovering his family’s deepest darkest secret.
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
We all know the story Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is adopted by his grandparents. Then he is bitten by a radioactive arachnid and develops superpowers. After that, Uncle Ben is killed, and then Spider-Man is born!
This iteration of the friendly wall crawler’s story gently bypasses all of the sad stuff of his origin to take a deeper look at Spider-Man’s beginnings. We get to see how Peter is struggling with his developing powers and developing into a young adult at the same time. It’s also pretty awesome to see the on-screen relationship between Peter Parker and Aunt Mae (Marisa Tomei), or just M.A.E., as Peter refers to her.
8. Blade (1998)
Absolutely one of the best films based on a Marvel character to grace the big screen. Blade was one of the first introductions to a Marvel anti-hero character, and it was terrific. Starring Wesley Snipes as the title character and protagonist of the story.
The film also features Kris Kristofferson as Blade’s mentor and father figure, Abraham Whistler, Stephen Dorff as the main antagonist Deacon Frost, N’Bushe Wright as Dr. Karen Jensen, the brilliant hematologist and an appearance by Sanaa Lathan as Blade’s mother. Being half human and half vampire gives Blade all of the strengths of a vampire and none of the weaknesses. However, he doesn’t know how key his role is in Deacon’s sinister plot to bring an end to the human race.
9. Black Widow (2021)
This entry in the MCU was a different approach. In this case, we are getting a backstory on a character we know to be dead in the current universe. That means the entire story of the Black Widow film was a flashback. Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow was introduced in the 2010 film Iron Man 2 as a quiet, observant personal assistant to Tony Stark.
When we see her again, she is on the run from Thunderbolt Ross, played by William Hurt, following the events of Captain America: Civil War. In her solo film debut, Black Widow has to confront her painful past as an X-KGB assassin to embrace her future as an Avenger.
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10. The Punisher (2004)
Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) is a top-notch F.B.I. agent on an undercover mission to bust a smuggler named Bobby Saint. The bust results in Bobby Saint’s death and Frank undercover’s assumed death as a criminal named Otto Krieg. After this colossal bust, Castle retires from the agency and heads to Puerto Rico for a family event.
Howard Saint (John Travolta), the father of Bobby, orders the death of Castle’s entire family, but they leave one person alive; Frank. He is nursed back to health by a local fisherman, and he vows to get revenge for the death of his family.
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Featured Image Credit: Marvel Studios