We polled our entire team and ranked every MCU film across six categories. We weighted each category based on their overall value to the success of the movie.
Plot - 25%
Character Development - 20%
Villain - 20%
Action - 12.5%
Intangibles - 12.5%
Supporting Cast - 10%
Film: Captain America: Winter Soldier
Release Date: April 4, 2014
Rotten Tomato - TOMATOMETER: 90%
Rotten Tomato - Audience: 92%
Opening Weekend: $95,023,721
Gross US: $259,766,572
Gross Worldwide: $714,766,572
Synopsis: As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.
Analysis: Cap's second solo adventure is a far more interesting story than his first which had a clear enemy to defeat with his pure goodness and new steroid body. This time around, Steve is questioning S.H.I.E.L.D.'s decisions as opposed to blindly following orders and doesn't know who he can trust. Seeing him struggle as a soldier from a different era while unraveling the mystery of the Winter Soldier and corruption within S.H.I.E.L.D. helps this film stand on its own, even outside of the grand picture of the MCU.
Analysis: Steve Rogers was ok in First Avenger, great in Avengers, and amazing in this film. This character is built on loyalty, and he was tested on every level throughout. It shows what this character can do with the right material. This arc propelled him into the fan favorite that he is today.
Name: Alexander Pierce
Bio: Alexander Goodwin Pierce was one of HYDRA's leaders and its top undercover operative inside the United States Government, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the World Security Council.
Evil Plan: He commanded the HYDRA forces within S.H.I.E.L.D., working to create the Project Insight that would have given HYDRA absolute control over the world, inciting the HYDRA Uprising.
Analysis: It says a lot that Robert Redford's portrayal here is one of the best villains in the MCU without having any superpowers or enhanced abilities. Pierce is calculating, sinister, and captivating whenever on screen. Growing HYDRA within S.H.I.E.L.D. and coming close to taking out all of its current and future threats in one fell swoop made him one of the most credible evildoers in this connected universe.
Eye Love A Good Pun
The Faceless Woman
Y'all Wanna Buck With Me?
The Spy Who Loved Me
Analysis: Bucky could easily fall in the villain category, but we're going to give him a pass due to mind control. This film might be the best performance that we've seen from Nick Fury and Romanoff. We also got treated to an amazing intro of Sam Wilson as Falcon. These side characters have more interesting storylines to follow because Steve doesn't always know who can be trusted.
Analysis: There are so many great scenes that could throw in for best fight. We wanted to highlight the opening scene, because it perfectly sets the tone of the movie. This film isn't wasting any time with any fancy CGI monsters. It's built from the ground up with gritty, tactical action. It could easily be argued as the best action film of the franchise.
Analysis: Trouble in paradise? We saw the start of the "Barnes and Noble" bromance in First Avenger, but Winter Soldier brought this to another level. This was one of the first MCU films to really drive the feels throughout the entire plot. Eat your heart out Wanda and Vision.
Steve's Handy Dandy Notebook
Analysis: Coming off of the success of The Avengers, we had a shaky Iron Man 3 and an underwhelming Dark World. Fans probably didn't know what to expect going into this film, especially since The First Avenger was average at best. That's probably why it ended its box office run as only the 12th highest grosser in the franchise. It might have been a bit under the radar when it came out, but it's without question a top 5 film in the MCU. This film helped set the standard amongst fans that they needed to check out every MCU release, even if it didn't carry the "Avengers" title.
Image Credits: Disney