The Marvel cinematic universe is huge - from the iron suit that started it all to the last time the Avengers fought together. We're counting down some of the best movies in the MCU, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
30. Eternals (2021)
Ranked at #30 is Marvel's Eternals, with a tomatometer score of 47%. The film featured a knockout cast, including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and more. The film introduced a new set of superheroes.
When an evil force called the Deviants comes for Earth, the Eternals, a group of aliens with superpowers living secretly amongst humans, must reunite to defeat them. Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao took the lead. However, critics were not impressed. The Chicago Sun-Times said it was "one of the more forgettable MCU movies..."
29. Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Thor: Love and Thunder is the fourth Marvel movie about the mighty superhero god and the second Thor film to be directed by Taika Waititi. However, there was not much love or thunder for the film, with its 64% tomatometer ranking. The film follows Chris Hemsworth's Thor as his retirement is interrupted by Gorr the God Butcher.
Gorr, played by Christian Bale, wants to destroy all the gods, so Thor, with the help of a few friends, must stop him before it is too late. David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter said, "The movie feels weightless, flippant, instantly forgettable, sparking neither love nor thunder." Lightning doesn't always strike.
28. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
The sequel to Thor received a tomatometer ranking of 66%. Chris Hemsworth is back as the good-looking and witty god Thor who has to save his girlfriend Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, when she mistakenly becomes the host of the weapon belonging to an evil, ancient species, the Dark Elves.
Critics of the film were not super impressed by director Alan Taylor's take. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "Bigger is not always better. Thor: The Dark World pumps up the action and special effects and loses some of the human element that made the original Thor something charming and unexpected."
27. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Before Marc Ruffalo debuted as the Hulk in The Avengers, Ed Norton starred as scientist Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk. The film follows Banner as he tries to find a cure for the gamma radiation that has caused him to become The Hulk whenever he loses his temper and ends up facing an even bigger enemy - The Abomination.
The film received a 67% on the tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes. This reboot only came five years after Ang Lee's 2003 attempt with The Hulk. The Boston Globe wrote in their review of the film, "In their determination to make a reliable action movie, they forgot to make an interesting one." Ouch.
26. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
The sequel to the 2008 film Doctor Strange has a tomatometer score of 74%, jumping up quite a few percentage points from the last Marvel movie. Directed by Sam Raimi, who has credits like Evil Dead and the Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, the Multiverse of Madness goes deeper into the multiverse with Doctor Strange.
Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Dr. Stephen Strange in this mind-bending sequel. The Atlantic wrote, "Multiverse of Madness is overstuffed with the usual fan bait, but it's also undeniably a Sam Raimi movie, and a remarkably good one at that." It doesn't matter what multiverse this movie is in, it is still a fun ride.
25. Iron Man 2 (2010)
Sitting at #25 is Iron Man 2, with a 71% on the tomatometer. The sequel to the 2008 hit takes place about six months after Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., revealed his identity as Iron Man to the entire world. Now, Stark must deal with the consequences of his actions and face a new enemy.
Time Out described the movie as "Iron Man 2 is a lot of fun: it's shiny, likeable and never boring. But it's also wildly uneven and unnecessarily convoluted, leaving the viewer unsatisfied and hungry for something more substantial." While it may not have been as popular as its predecessor, audiences still enjoyed the sequel.
24. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers must reunite when the fate of the universe is in danger from Ultron, a technology that is determined to wipe out human existence. Joss Whedon returned to direct this action-packed sequel that is not as loved as its predecessor, scoring a 76% on the tomatometer.
Although it may not have scored all that high, the sequel was still an enjoyable experience for most. Vox wrote, "Not everything about Age of Ultron works... But long stretches of it are as good as anything Marvel Studios has produced, suggesting a bolder, more ambitious vision for the studio going forward."
23. Thor (2011)
In 2011, the world was introduced to the Asgardian god, Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth. In the movie, Thor is banished to live on Earth without his powers, and he falls in love and becomes one of Earth's greatest defenders. The Kenneth Branagh-directed film ranks 77% on the tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes.
Audiences and critics fell in love with Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Thor's questionable brother, Loki, and were blown away by Hemsworth's charm as the god exiled to Earth. Rolling Stone even wrote, "Hemsworth, an Aussie actor with a vocal command to match his heaving brawn, doesn't just play the role, he owns it."
22. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
In this Marvel movie, there aren't any multiverses to go through or godly planets to visit. Captain America: The First Avenger takes a trip to the past during the Second World War. Rejected from the military draft, a determined Steve Rogers joins an experimental military program to serve his country.
Rogers is injected with a serum that turns him into Captain America. This origin story ranks #22 with a 79% on the tomatometer. This is what USA Today had to say about the film: "Yes, the characters are cartoonish (they're comic book heroes, after all), but this is the kind of old-fashioned popcorn entertainment summer is made for."
21. Iron Man 3 (2013)
Director Shane Black took over from Jon Favreau, who had directed the previous two Iron Man films, for the third installment. The film takes place after the events of the first Avengers movie. Tony Stark's world is tested even more when a new enemy, the Mandarin, defeats Stark in battle, leaving him with practically nothing.
The film has a 79% rating on the tomatometer. "It's undeniably entertaining - and worth seeing for Kingsley alone - with the misfires never fully overshadowing the moments of glory," Time Out wrote about the film. While it may not be one of Marvel's best, it is still a good time.
20. Black Widow (2021)
Ranked at #20 with a tomatometer score of 79% is the solo story of Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson. Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow follows Romanoff as she is forced to confront darker parts of her past when a dangerous conspiracy arises.
This is the first time the Avenger got her own film, despite being introduced in 2010. Critics and audiences were happy to see her shine. The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "This standalone proves a stellar vehicle for Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff, given first-rate support by Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour."
19. Captain Marvel (2019)
Brie Larsen stars in this action-packed film introducing Captain Marvel to the MCU. Captain Marvel is an intergalactic soldier who finds herself in a battle of worlds, but memories of Carol Danvers, a U.S. Air Force pilot, plague her. She must figure out the mysteries of her past and save the world.
A simple superhero formula, right? Captain Marvel has a tomatometer rating of 79%. Here's what USA Today shared about the film, "Although Larson's heroine is still a work in progress, Captain Marvel lays a solid foundation to follow her wherever she flies next."
18. Ant-Man (2015)
Ant-Man has a tomatometer score of 83%. It is no wonder why it is ranked so favorably with the lovable Paul Rudd starring as Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man. Lang is a burglar who is recruited by his former mentor to help save the world, using a suit that allows him to shrink to the size of an ant and possess superhuman strength.
Directed by Peyton Reed, who is also behind Bring It On and The Break-Up, this movie was guaranteed to be a good time. Critics and audiences agreed. Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Reed and Rudd's film is proof that no matter how silly some ideas sound at first, good things often do come in small packages."
17. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
The second installment of Ryan Coogler's Black Panther takes place as the nation of Wakanda must protect their nation from world powers as they mourn the death of king T'Challa, who was played by Chadwick Boseman in the first film and passed away after a battle with cancer in 2020. The follow-up film has an 84% on the tomatometer.
Vanity Fair wrote, "There is much to be admired here, a care for craft and detail on a higher plane than other Marvel fare. Still, some will no doubt miss the tight focus and energy of Black Panther. This sequel is more scattered, a vast expansion with a hole at its center." Wakanda forever!
16. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
In their second action-packed film, the Guardians are hired to protect certain items by an alien race. When one of the members steals the things they are meant to protect, mayhem ensues. The second Guardians movie received an 85% on the tomatometer and left critics mostly satisfied.
It is always hard to live up to the original film, and while it may never be as magical as the first, this sequel did a hell of a job stepping into the big shoes of its predecessor. Entertainment Weekly wrote, "It's a decent enough Marvel movie. But the original was a true lower-case-m marvel."
15. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Sitting pretty at #15 is Avengers: Infinity War. The third movie in the Avengers franchise received an 85% on the tomatometer and took its viewers on a wild ride. The Avengers have to assemble once again to battle Thanos. They must stop the intergalactic warlord from getting ahold of all six Infinity Stones before it's too late.
The third time the Avengers have all assembled, there is more action and more going on than ever before. While some critics felt things got bogged down, others were excited about what would come next. Vox wrote, "For the first time in a while, I can't wait to see what happens next."
14. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Ant-Man is back in this fun sequel to his first fantastic adventure that received an 87% on the Rotten Tomatoes tomatometer. This time he is fighting alongside the Wasp as they face a new mission and uncover secrets from their past. Director Peyton Reed is back again with Paul Rudd as Ant-Man and Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp.
Scoring higher on the tomatometer than the original movie, this sequel is a witty and fun ride from start to finish. In their review of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Rolling Stone said, "The thrill of the film is watching Ant-Man and the Wasp team up and raise hell together."
13. Doctor Strange (2016)
This origin story film is a mind-bending experience that brought Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch into the Marvel universe. Scott Dickerson, whose other credits include The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, directed the film, which the Seattle Times called "Big. Fun."
The movie follows Dr. Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon, who loses the ability to use his hands after a car wreck. He goes on a mystical journey that allows him to travel through hidden worlds and alternate dimensions. Doctor Strange received an 89% on the tomatometer, a warm welcome to the Marvel universe.
12. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Sliding in with a 90% rating on the tomatometer is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Chris Evan's Captain America teams up with his fellow Avenger, the Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, and a new ally, the Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie, to expose a dangerous conspiracy.
The directing duo, Anthony and Joe Russo, made their Marvel debut with The Winter Soldier. They certainly did not disappoint fans or critics. The Toronto Star wrote, "The best kind of blockbuster comic-book movie, tweaking the brain while dazzling the eye."
11. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
The third installment of Captain America's story also has a 90% rating on the tomatometer. There is trouble among the Avengers. Captain America wants the group to operate without government interference, while Iron Man disagrees and believes there should always be government oversight. The other Avengers must choose a side.
The Atlantic said, "As they did in Winter Soldier, the Russos have achieved an uncommon balance of plot and action, humor and drama, all of it once again deeply grounded in character." And Vox was bold enough to say, "This is one of the best movies Marvel has created."
10. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
The #10 spot goes to Spider-Man: Far From Home, with a 90% tomatometer score. The sequel finds Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, trying to enjoy his European vacation when Nick Fury, a recurring character in the Marvel universe played by Samuel L. Jackson, interrupts him. After all, he has a world to save.
The Toronto Sun had more than a few nice words to say about the sequel and follow-up to the mega-Marvel event that was Avengers: Endgame: "Far From Home is a fun-filled romp that checks all the boxes of a Marvel movie and adds bits of humour and teenage angst that give it a frothy bit of sweetness that's hard not to love."
9. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi, who goes by the name Shaun. He was trained to be an assassin by his father but left that life and the Ten Rings organization behind in exchange for a peaceful life. However, he is drawn back in and must confront his past. This Marvel movie scored a 91% on the tomatometer. Now that's a big debut!
It left critics and audiences wanting more of the kung-fu master and his wise joke-cracking best friend Katy, played by Awkwafina. The New York Post said, "It's fresh, it's alive, it's not the same old Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are also awesome dragons." Sounds like a superhero that the world can get behind.
8. Marvel's The Avengers (2012)
When a threat to planet Earth rises, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury has no choice but to initiate the Avengers initiative. He recruits the world's best superheroes to team up and save the world from doom. Landing a 91% on the tomatometer, Marvel's The Avengers is a dazzling spectacle.
The New Yorker said it best, "If you are a Marvel fan, then The Avengers will feel like Christmas. Thanks to the merry doings of the director, Joss Whedon, all your favorite characters are here, as shiny and as tempting as presents under the tree." The Avengers have assembled.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Not every group that assembles is filled with good guys. In Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn brings hilarious characters, an amazing soundtrack, and lots of fun to this Marvel movie. With a 92% rating on the tomatometer, critics definitely loved the movie.
Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt, is forced into a truce with a group of misfits to escape from an evil villain. However, when the universe's fate is in their hands, it is up to this ragtag group to save the day. Vanity Fair wrote, "Guardians bounces with the energy of pure invention." There's only one thing to say to that - Groot.
6. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
This coming-of-age Marvel movie scored 92% on the Rotten Tomatoes tomatometer. Tom Holland starred as Peter Parker, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. He must juggle his newfound powers under mentor Tony Stark's guidance and the woes of being in high school. Oh, and defeat the evil Vulture. Talk about a lot on the agenda.
Critics applauded how Marvel handled the third reboot of the comic book character in 15 years and how they fit him in the Marvel universe. The Atlantic wrote, "An utter gas, a fast and very funny superflick that inserts Spidey into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe without ever losing sight of what makes him unique and beloved."
5. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Peter Parker has a bit of a sticky issue. Parker's identity as Spider-Man is revealed to the world in the third installment. Desperate to get things back to normal, Parker asks for help from Doctor Strange, but the spell backfires and shatters the multiverse. Now Peter must save himself and the multiverse.
Coming in at #5 with a 93% score on the tomatometer, No Way Home is a web-binding spectacle. Critics agreed. ABC News said, "Tom Holland is better than ever in his surprise-packed, third solo outing as a teen hero in a onesie who's out to save the world.... But this time, the generic thrills are tempered with genuine emotion."
4. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
In the third Thor movie, Thor is in big trouble. Imprisoned and without his mighty hammer, he has to embark on a quest to save his home. Director Taika Waititi injected his signature humor into the superhero film. The threequel has a 93% rating on the tomatometer, the highest of Thor movies.
Critics and audiences alike loved the fresh take that Ragnarok provided. The Daily Telegraph (UK) put it simply, "It's funny, charming, dazzling, gorgeously designed, and full of actors you already like." This Marvel movie earned its spot in the top five.
3. Iron Man (2008)
Directed by Jon Favreau, Iron Man tells the story of billionaire Tony Stark. Held captive in a cave, he creates a suit of armor to escape and then decides to use his suit to fight evil. The film that started it all has a 94% rating on the tomatometer.
Who knew what was going to come in the future? Maybe The Hollywood Reporter had some idea when it wrote, "Iron Man may not make the A-list of Marvel Comics' stable -- home to Spider-Man, X-Men and the Hulk -- but he may be the cinema superhero for the rest of us."
2. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Coming in second place with a tomatometer score of 94% is Avengers: Endgame. Taking place after the events of Infinity War, the fourth installment of the Avengers franchise is as bold and big as every superhero within it. The Avengers must figure out a way to defeat Thanos once and for all.
While it clocks in as the longest Marvel movie to be made so far at 3 hours and 2 minutes, every single second of it was enjoyed by critics. Rolling Stone shared, "The MCU's long goodbye to the Avengers (is it really?) comes off as truly epic and thunderously exciting. But here's the big surprise-it's also an emotional wipeout."
1. Black Panther (2018)
First place goes to Ryan Coogler's Black Panther with a well-deserved tomatometer rating of 96%. The movie centers around T'Challa, also known as the Black Panther, who the late Chadwick Boseman played. T'Challa has recently been crowned the king and must team up with allies to save his kingdom.
From its intricate costume design to its brilliant soundtrack, there are so many elements of this movie to love, and critics and audiences did. The Chicago Sun-Times boldly stated, "Black Panther is one of the best superhero movies of the century." It is hard to argue with that.