• Ship It Studios

Power Rankings: MCU Films

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

"There was an idea...called the Avengers Initiative. The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together when we needed them to to fight the battles we never could."

―Nick Fury


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: Thor: The Dark World

Plot: 1.5/10

Character Development: 2/10

Villain: 1.5/10

Supporting Cast: 5.65/10

Action: 3/10

Intangibles: 4/10

Final Score: 2.52/10

Analysis: This film frequently shows up last on any consensus rankings list, so there is no surprise that it underwhelmed during our latest rewatch. Much like the final battle in the film, the plot is chaotic and all over the place. Fans showed up for a hyped Thor movie, but left disappointed after viewing an underwhelming Jane Foster movie. We're just glad that it gets better from here for the Thor character.


Film: The Incredible Hulk

Plot: 5/10

Character Development: 5/10

Villain: 4/10

Supporting Cast: 3.5/10

Action: 4.5/10

Intangibles: 3.5/10

Final Score: 4.4/10

Analysis: Not an awful movie, plus this is before Marvel perfected their formula to be able to pump out hit after hit, but the writing and characters are really subpar for what we expect from the MCU. It's too bad Edward Norton didn't continue in the role and we still have no additional Hulk solo movies on the horizon, but we should be thankful that Mark Ruffalo came in and has done such a great job with the character.


Film: Iron Man 2

Plot: 4/10

Character Development: 5/10

Villain: 3.75/10

Supporting Cast: 6/10

Action: 5.75/10

Intangibles: 3.3/10

Final Score: 4.51/10

Analysis: You could honestly watch our "Best Moments" rundown and Romanoff's breach scene and be set with this film. Outside of these moments it was pretty forgettable. If this was a brand new character it may have served as a fine MCU installment. Coming off of the standard that the first Iron Man set, it's a shame that we didn't get a better follow-up film. We will chalk it up as growing pains for MCU, as they were still figuring out how to piece this massive universe together.


Film: Thor

Plot: 5.5/10

Character Development: 5.5/10

Villain: 8/10

Supporting Cast: 6.5/10

Action: 6/10

Intangibles: 5.75/10

Final Score: 6.19/10

Analysis: We always go into watching Thor thinking it's better than it actually is because of what we know about the character today. This was still before Marvel really hit their stride with their movie formula and their utilization of Hemsworth in the role.


Film: Captain America: The First Avenger

Plot: 6/10

Character Development: 6/10

Villain: 6.75/10

Supporting Cast: 7.75/10

Action: 6/10

Intangibles: 5.5/10

Final Score: 6.28/10

Analysis: The first act of this film works pretty well for an origin film, but as soon as you hit the song and dance routine it starts to fall off a bit. It's not exactly a bad movie, it's just not memorable. That being said, this film still gave us the foundation of the character that we know and love today.


Film: Ant-Man & Wasp

Plot: 6/10

Character Development: 6.5/10

Villain: 5/10

Supporting Cast: 8/10

Action: 6.5/10

Intangibles: 7/10

Final Score: 6.29/10

Analysis: Remember, this movie came out right after Infinity War, so we needed something a little uplifting at that time. That's exactly what Ant-Man and the Wasp is. It won't ever be considered one of the best MCU films, but it's another very enjoyable entry.


Film: Ant-Man

Plot: 6.2/10

Character Development: 6.5/10

Villain: 5.25/10

Supporting Cast: 7.7/10

Action: 7/10

Intangibles: 7/10

Final Score: 6.42/10

Analysis: How do you make an Ant-Man movie work? Cast Paul Rudd and don't take yourself too seriously. Perhaps it isn't the most impactful film in the MCU, but it's fun, different, and the perfect way to bring this classic comic book character to the big screen.


Film: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Plot: 6.5/10

Character Development: 6.5/10

Villain: 6/10

Supporting Cast: 7.35/10

Action: 7/10

Intangibles: 6.25/10

Final Score: 6.52/10

Analysis: This movie had a few memorable moments that will stick with the audience, but overall it was a huge letdown coming off of the marketing. Even general fans knew of Ultron going into this film, but all we got was a shell of the character. Despite the few great moments, these weren't enough for fans to get past the disjointed big bad.


Film: Iron Man 3

Plot: 6.75/10

Character Development: 7.45/10

Villain: 5.5/10

Supporting Cast: 7/10

Action: 6.25/10

Intangibles: 6.25/10

Final Score: 6.54/10

Analysis: The biggest downfall of the previous solo MCU films released leading up to this movie was that they were too safe. Iron Man 3 does not fit into that category. They went for it in a lot of different ways. Some of these approaches stuck the landing, while others fell flat on their face.


Film: Doctor Strange

Plot: 6.5/10

Character Development: 7.5/10

Villain: 6/10

Supporting Cast: 6.5/10

Action: 7/10

Intangibles: 6.5/10

Final Score: 6.66/10

Analysis: Doctor Strange acts as a perfectly fine origin story for the Sorcerer Supreme and Cumberbatch has become the spitting image of the character. Once we get over the novelty of seeing Doctor Strange in a big time movie for the first time, the film falls in the middle of our overall MCU rankings.


Film: Captain Marvel

Plot: 6.55/10

Character Development: 6.95/10

Villain: 6.05/10

Supporting Cast: 7.25/10

Action: 6.75/10

Intangibles: 7.25/10

Final Score: 6.7/10

Analysis: This has been such a polarizing release by the MCU. Larson hasn't been the best spokesperson under the Marvel umbrella, but the internet campaign to troll the film's Rotten Tomatoes score was completely childish and unnecessary. To combat that, we feel like some people have gone widely to the other end of the spectrum trying to defend it. We feel like this film falls somewhere in the middle. Is it one of Marvel's better origin films? Of course. Does it stand up to other great MCU films like Ragnorak, Winter Soldier, or Black Panther? Not even close.


Film: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Plot: 6.5/10

Character Development: 7.75/10

Villain: 7.5/10

Supporting Cast: 8.7/10

Action: 7.5/10

Intangibles: 7.5/10

Final Score: 7.45/10

Analysis: This film is a fun ride. The plot isn't as tight and well-paced as the first film, but it does a great job expanding on the entire roster of characters. The audience walks away from this film with tears in their eyes and a smile on their face. Damn you Cat Stevens. Damn you.


Film: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Plot: 7.5/10

Character Development: 7/10

Villain: 8/10

Supporting Cast: 8.5/10

Action: 7.5/10

Intangibles: 8.5/10

Final Score: 7.73/10

Analysis: Anything other than a smash hit would have been a colossal failure for this movie. Luckily, Marvel hit their mark and cashed in on this golden opportunity to bring Spidey into the fold. Here's to hoping we get to see Miles Morales in the MCU soon as well.


Film: Thor: Ragnarok

Plot: 8/10

Character Development: 8.25/10

Villain: 8/10

Supporting Cast: 8.5/10

Action: 8.5/10

Intangibles: 8.5/10

Final Score: 8.23/10

Analysis: What makes the MCU unique is that they continue to build upon each character with every installment they put out. Ragnarok is no stranger to this. We finally got the perfect explanation as to why Thor and Hulk weren't invited to Civil War.


Film: Black Panther

Plot: 8.1/10

Character Development: 7.5/10

Villain: 9.5/10

Supporting Cast: 8/10

Action: 8/10

Intangibles: 8.25/10

Final Score: 8.26/10

Analysis: This film quickly became a powerhouse in the MCU's lineup. Not only did they do a great job executing the overall plot and characters, but this film transcended the overall franchise, earning a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.


Film: Guardians of the Galaxy

Plot: 8.25/10

Character Development: 8.25/10

Villain: 6.75/10

Supporting Cast: 9.5/10

Action: 8.75/10

Intangibles: 9.65/10

Final Score: 8.31/10

Analysis: The main thing holding this movie back from being at the very top of the MCU rankings is the villain. While that would normally bother us, the lack of a compelling villain really doesn't hurt this movie in our eyes. It's still one of the most fun and refreshing films in the series and the Awesome Mix is always great to take on a road trip or to get a party started.


Film: Iron Man

Plot: 9.5/10

Character Development: 9.1/10

Villain: 7.4/10

Supporting Cast: 7.5/10

Action: 8.5/10

Intangibles: 9.5/10

Final Score: 8.7/10

Analysis: The perfect origin story. The film that kicked off the behemoth we know today as the MCU. The revival of Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man is important for so many reasons, but it's also just a damn good movie.


Film: The Avengers

Plot: 9/10

Character Development: 8.5/10

Villain: 8.5/10

Supporting Cast: 9/10

Action: 8.5/10

Intangibles: 9.5/10

Final Score: 8.8/10

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.


Film: Captain America: Civil War

Plot: 9.5/10

Character Development: 8.5/10

Villain: 8.5/10

Supporting Cast: 9/10

Action: 9.5/10

Intangibles: 9/10

Final Score: 8.99/10

Analysis: There's a reason this film is often referred to as "Avengers 2.5". There are so many characters involved, but this also acts as the perfect cap on Cap's trilogy. It's safe to say the Russo's did justice to one of the most iconic comic book storylines in this adaptation. Even if you aren't a comic book fanatic, this movie is thoroughly enjoyable and one of the MCU's very best.


Film: Captain America: Winter Soldier

Plot: 10/10

Character Development: 9.2/10

Villain: 8/10

Supporting Cast: 8.5/10

Action: 10/10

Intangibles: 9.65/10

Final Score: 9.25/10

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.


Film: Avengers: Infinity War

Plot: 10/10

Character Development: 7.5/10

Villain: 9.5/10

Supporting Cast: 10/10

Action: 10/10

Intangibles: 10/10

Final Score: 9.4/10

Analysis: Our absurd expectations were somehow exceeded. Thanks Russos, now just do that again, but even better with Endgame. No pressure.

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