And the plot thickens. A long time ago, Marvel was making small, simple movies with heroes they had at their disposal (since they didn’t have cinematic writes for many of their big characters back then). Some were more successful than others, but the whole scenario changed with The Avengers, crossing over content and characters from their previous films and putting them all together.
What’s next after a big crossover? Well, the show must go on, and people started building expectations. Still, Phase Two from the MCU has a lot of fun and magnificent movies, as well as some that weren’t quite popular. It was quite the rollercoaster.
Honorable Mention: Marvel’s Agents Of Shield
This series is a curious case, as it’s Marvel’s first attempt at tying in movies and TV together. However, it was not a healthy relationship: Agents of Shield constantly connected its events with movies, but the movies rarely reciprocated.
Only Age of Ultron did, in fact, and barely. However, the show eventually ignored the movies and did its own thing.
It got a lot better for that, adapting interesting comic arcs and characters, such as Deathlok, Quake, and Ghost Rider. They even do the Darkhold better than the movies.
In fact, this series is better than some of the movies here, but it’s not really part of the MCU, so it’ll stay an honorable mention. Besides, comparing a movie’s story with seven seasons of television is unfair.
6 Thor: The Dark World
Thor 2 isn’t bad like most of the internet claimed it to be, with many people even considering it the worst movie of the MCU. However, it’s not the best thing to come out of it, either. It kept the theatrical style from its predecessor and has a somber tone, at least most of the time (and the comedy bits don’t always mix well with this tone).
There are many exciting moments here between Thor and his family, but the movie can be slow in many of its moments, too. Loki carries a good part of the movie, with most of the best scenes it has to offer featuring him in some way.
However, this movie, and many others from this list, has a sad trend that greatly compromised them: Forgettable villains. Here we have Malekith, the Dark Elf, and a very compelling character in the comics.
He’s also portrayed by Christopher Eccleston, showing that we have a powerful actor behind him. But the script didn’t help the character, with few appearances, where he just stays there, barely showing off emotions as he speaks.
Overall, it is still an enjoyable movie, especially if you want more serious hero stuff, but it can’t compete with the rest here very well.
5 Iron Man 3
Imagine Iron Man 2, then replace a few names. Iron Man 3 is entertaining to be fair. Still, it follows a similar situation with a bad guy who Tony Stark is indirectly responsible for creating (many movies in the MCU did that, actually), and he has to fight it while also having personal problems to deal with.
Still, the PTSD he struggles with makes it far more compelling than the poisoning from his previous movie. And it also shows that the true hero is Tony and not the suit, having him overcome many ordeals by himself.
Most people dislike this movie due to the villain plot twist, however, and that is fair. We’ll be vague to avoid big spoilers.
Essentially, the movie promised a powerful and exciting villain, only to offer a forgettable one (and this is the movie that started this villain trend since it’s the first one from Phase Two). Still, seeing Robert Downey Jr. as Tony is always a joy, so the movie will offer you a good time regardless.
It just won’t be much more than that.
Ant-Man’s movies are sometimes ignored for being small-scale adventures – figuratively and literally – compared to all the big events most movies have. However, the simpler, personal stories featuring Scott Lang’s life, his family and friends, and his goals are the highlight of this movie, and it’s what makes it so endearing even today.
Paul Rudd was a fantastic choice, and his charisma carries every scene he’s in – which is most of the movie since he’s the protagonist. His romance with Hope, portrayed by Evangeline Lilly, is also a big highlight here – Paul Rudd may leave romantic movies, but apparently, these movies won’t leave him.
This movie also fell victim to the forgettable-villain curse, with the bad guy with the same powers as the hero and mainly being a bad-person caricature than a character, at least most of the time. Still, that’s just a tiny part of the movie (pun intended), and the whole thing is very much enjoyable.
3 Avengers: Age Of Ultron
The second crossover movie got a lot darker. Okay, maybe not a lot, but it got a bit darker. This movie had the challenging task of keeping the ball rolling after the first one’s success, and it is a fantastic movie, too.
Still, it has a few problems, such as pacing and focusing on foreshadowing the future instead of the movie itself. Luckily, that doesn’t happen much, so it doesn’t destroy the experience.
We get to see our heroes in friendly interactions, their dynamics evolving, a more interesting villain than the previous entries, and the debut of the Scarlet Witch, portrayer by Elizabeth Olsen, and the Vision, portrayed by Paul Bettany, and both of them do excellent jobs with their characters here and in the future, as they become integral parts from future phases.
The movie also gives a well-deserved highlight to Clint Barton, who is sidelined in most movies. Still, some characters get wasted quickly, as they could’ve appeared in more movies, but that would get us into spoiler territory.
2 Guardians Of The Galaxy
It’s curious to think back on this one; Few people knew about these characters, and most found it odd to see a movie with a walking tree and a talking raccoon being green-lit in the first place. Now, they are some of the most iconic characters in the MCU, with a near-perfect trilogy that started right here.
Here we were introduced to Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoë Saldaña), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel). Though this is another movie with a forgettable villain, it easily makes it up with an extensive cast of main characters, who are all well-written and portrayed, with compelling dynamics between them as well, showing that characters (aside from the baddie) are the movie’s strong suit.
Guardians of the Galaxy also features an intelligent mix between drama and humor, going back and forth between these two organically, making one support and highlight the other instead of having these two genres get in each other’s way. Both fun and sad times are guaranteed here.
1 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
What happens when you put a good man representing his country against politics, secret organizations, and secret organizations inside secret organizations? You get a magnificent movie!
In the modern world, Steve Rogers faces a spy-thriller filled with intrigue, mystery, plot twists, and action, which is still one of the best experiences Marvel has put on cinema to this day. The main badie is more interesting here, but the Winter Soldier himself makes this movie shine, mixing the plot with personal stories in a compelling and dramatic way.
Wonderful performance by Sebastian Stan, by the way.
Natasha and Fury have always been good characters, too, but this movie also gives them their moments to show off why they’re super, despite not being literally supers. This film also debuts Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, the perfect support character, who grows more and more in future appearances, as he deserves.
You don’t even need to be a big comic movie fan or watch previous MCU stuff; If you are a fan of good action movies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has got you covered.
Here are the best movies of phase two in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Read More