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: The Avengers
Release Date: May 4, 2012
Rotten Tomato - TOMATOMETER: 92%
Rotten Tomato - Audience: 91%
Opening Weekend: $207,438,708
Gross US: $623,357,910
Gross Worldwide: $1,519,557,910
Synopsis: Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are going to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.
Analysis: The idea of a connected universe of films building up for years to a giant team up was unprecedented. It was only fitting that the plot of this culmination reflected that. It sounds easy enough to unite a bunch of incredible beings to protect the world, but it's not that simple when egos, hidden agendas, and deceptive villains get in the way. The payoff when our heroes finally learn how to make it all work is hugely rewarding.
Analysis: This film could have easily thrown these characters on screen together and relied on huge action sequences to entertain the audience for two hours. Being the first of its kind, fans probably would have still enjoyed it. The most impressive part is that they still found time give each avenger some runway to build upon their character. Even Hawkeye. Kinda.
Bio: At this point, we last saw Loki when he fell from the edge of Asgard into a wormhole at the end of Thor. Think back to your 2011 self - did you think Loki was dead? Well, you didn't have to wonder for long because he popped up in the end credit scene of that movie, teasing his control over Selvig and desire for the Tesseract.
Evil Plan: Loki acquired the Tesseract so he could use it to open a wormhole, allowing the Chitauri army to invade Earth and help Loki conquer it. His side plot was to slowly turn the would-be Avengers against each other and unleash the Hulk amid the chaos, hoping to bury the team before they could ever form.
Analysis: Although Loki had been recently bested by Thor, he had plenty of help this time. He was given the means to control people's minds and an army for him to command. We eventually find out that this is because Thanos is lazy, but Loki wants to get in the trenches and embrace the spotlight. In terms of level of destruction, Loki successfully brought an alien army to Earth and a nuke launched by the World Council was seconds from leveling New York City. All the man wanted was a planet of his own to rule. Is that so much to ask? Already a favorite from a previous film in this universe, we were excited to see Loki back as the main antagonist, on a grander scale this time.
Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist
Oh Captain, My Captain
Coming soon to ABC
Analysis: Where do the main characters stop and the supporting cast begin? We have no idea, but all we know is that this film is stacked.
Analysis: This movie gave us plenty of epic action sequences that made us all giddy inside. Thor's hammer meeting Cap's shield in the above scene after Thor and Iron Man go at it certainly qualifies. Banner converting into the Hulk as he drives a right hand into the giant Chitauri beast. Black Widow and Thor trying to hold off Hulk on the damaged helicarrier. We could go on. Even though some future MCU films would continue to raise the bar from an action standpoint, this one greatly upped the ante at the time and those moments remain legendary.
Analysis: This film is a fan boy's ultimate dream. Not only did we get to see all of our childhood favorites on screen together, but Marvel built in elements that would become staples of the long-tenured franchise. Joss Whedon did an amazing job at balancing the action sequences with cutaway comedic scenes, or one-liners, to give the audience an extra layer of enjoyment throughout the film. Plus, the ending credit shawarma scene showed that the MCU can make great movies, but still not take themselves too seriously. This would go a long way with the audience for years to come.
Make Ending Credits Great Again
Analysis: Epic cast. Amazing action. Great villain. Plenty of laughs. This film checked all of the boxes upon its release, and still holds up incredibly well to this day. It not only was a huge financial success, but it proved that Marvel films can be enjoyable for everyone, even if you've never picked up a comic in your life.
Image Credits: Disney