Power Rankings: MCU - Best Trailers
We rewatched every trailer from the MCU and ranked our favorites. There have been some great teaser trailers and Super Bowl promos along the way, but to give every film an even playing field we limited down submissions to the film's first Official Trailer release. This list is by no means a ranking of the actual films. These reviews are limited to the trailer itself without bias of what the actual film delivered on. Now, let's dive into the list!
Film: Avengers: Age of Ultron
Analysis: This may be the only MCU trailer that gives a majority of its focus to the villain. It may shift gears between our original Avengers, the tension between them, and new characters, but it routinely circles back to focus on Ultron. Even the score is built off of this character, which will give you chills every time you hear it. It compliments this with some nice teases of the Hulkbuster and Cap's broken shield. The audience is left wondering how the Avengers will be able to handle the new big bad of Ultron.
P.S. Can Marvel just redo this movie with the Ultron that they built in the trailer?
Film: Avengers: End Game
Analysis: I'm crying, Cap is crying. Just make sure you grab the tissues, because the weight, emotion, and feels are all there. It does a great job of re-establishing the state of the world coming off of Infinity War. This ultimately helps build on the anticipation and momentum going into End Game. Thank god Ant-man shows up at the end to lighten things up, so that we can breath again.
Film: Thor: Ragnarok
Analysis: At the time of this trailer's release we had two standalone Thor films. None of which looked or felt anything like this movie. Right out of the gate they cut his hair and destroy his hammer, two of his most iconic features. Even outside of his appearance, it just feels like a different Thor. All of his line deliveries in the trailer are much more fluid and natural and you can tell that he finally has a handle on the character. They are clearly making a lot of bold moves with this iconic character and they are pulling it off. If that wasn't enough they lay out what could be an entertaining team up plot and a great villain.
Film: Black Panther
Analysis: This trailer is entertaining enough with the build up of T'Challa vs Killmonger, but mixing "Bagpak" by Vince Staples with "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" by Gil Scott-Heron takes it to another level. It all comes together perfectly to lay out what ultimately became one of the MCU's biggest films.
Film: Captain America: Winter Soldier
Analysis: Similar to Ragnarok, this trailer does a great job at showing the potential of an already established character. Captain has always been a fan favorite, but his material hasn't always brought out his full potential. This is the film that took Cap to the next level, and it's alluded to perfectly in the trailer. It starts with a great opening sequence on the plane and immediately shifts into establishing the tone of the film. This trailer really starts to ramp up with the elevator scene. It also includes probably the best villain teases with Winter Soldier. You get a quick glimpse of the hand-to-hand combat with Cap and finishes with him catching the shield.
Film: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Analysis: This is probably the most entertaining MCU trailer from start to finish. It takes everything we loved about the marketing from the first Guardians and builds upon it. The best part of these movies is that they don't take themselves too seriously. That pays off for the audience and they have an epic roll call over some great music. Let's be honest, you could have an entire trailer just featuring Baby Groot and it would still probably end up on this list. Also, Drax is on a heater this trailer.
Film: Iron Man 3
Analysis: Set your mixed feelings about this film's ending aside for a second. This is an amazing trailer. This trailer marked a huge shift in the MCU's marketing approach. Outside of the first Iron Man a majority of the marketing from Phase 1 felt closely tied to your cookie cutter Action movie framework. During The Avengers you started to see elements of this approach shift from more upbeat rock scores to incorporating slow and heavy instrumentals. This ultimately leads to a much more impactful marketing strategy and it wasn't until this film that Marvel perfected it. It's also the first trailer to incorporate an extended action set piece with the house collapsing. They add in enough mystery around the Mandarin to create intrigue. They also book end the trailer perfectly by opening with a broken down Iron Man and closing with Tony walking in the snow.
Film: Iron Man
Analysis: When this movie came out no one had any expectations of what MCU was and ultimately what would come of it. This trailer doesn't have the luxury of having developed characters, a devoted box office following, or even Robert Downey Jr. at the megastar-level that is today. This trailer sells itself because of its great concept and perfect execution. From the first beat they leverage the music perfectly. These tracks would one day become synonymous with the character and it all starts here. The trailer touches upon the main points of the "origin" framework while leaving more to be desired. The closing sequence of the hero walking away to Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" is enough to leave comic book fans everywhere running to the theater.
Film: Captain America: Civil War
Analysis: Everything about this trailer works. The biggest question going into Civil War is how can they build up enough tension amongst the team to make their battle have enough weight. They set this perfectly in the trailer with the teased death of Rhodey and pitting Cap in between Tony and Bucky. The airport runway scene is a huge fanboy moment to think about what's to come.
Film: Avengers: Infinity War
Analysis: This trailer does an amazing job at encapsulating all of the weight of this franchise that has been in the works for the previous 10 years. They immediately call to this weight by opening with Nick Fury's Avengers speech broken down by various characters. This voice-over tied with the powerful MCU score immediately pulls you in. The trailer follows by teasing a onslaught of potentially great moments. This builds as we start to get a sense of the team interactions. Then we see Thanos roll up in style. We get a look at the new Spider suit. Wait, was that Veronica? Heck yeah, the Hulkbuster is back. It also includes possibly the greatest moment in any MCU trailer - "Get this man a shield". Also, closing with Thor and the Guardians is amazing.