To celebrate the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I’ve decided to count down the Top Five Marvel Universe Movies. While Disney Marvel movies get the most headlines nowadays, we’re not going to completely forget about the contributions made by Sony Marvel and FOX Marvel as well. Without them we wouldn’t have big screen adaptations of The Fantastic Four, The Punisher and Spider-Man. Every movie with a Marvel character has a chance. Yes, even Daredevil. Okay……you got me. It really, really doesn’t. But let’s not waste any more time on the bad. Let’s celebrate the awesome.
And with that, here are my Top Five Marvel Universe Movies.
#5: X2: X-Men United
Before X-Men: The Last Stand ruined the X-Men film franchise and X-Men: First Class revitalized it, X2: X-Men United was a pretty great example of what a “superhero movie done right” could be. Building off the stable of characters introduced in the first movie, United starts off with an amazing introduction scene for Nightcrawler. Darker, grittier and more complex, United is still the high-point for the franchise. With Days of Future Past set to release soon, this could obviously change. But for now, United still reigns.
#4: Spider-Man 2
After the horrendous Spider-Man 3, I wouldn’t blame you for pretending like Sam Raimi’s trilogy of Spider-Man movies never existed. While I thought the original movie was pretty good, I think Spider-Man 2 is one of the most underrated superhero movies ever. With the origin story out of the way, Spider-Man 2 did a great job of portraying the down side of being a superhero. Choices must be made, things must be sacrificed, pizza must be delivered. It was a great setup for what should have been a great finale for the trilogy. After studio tinkering, we all know how that turned out. Now that Spidy is in full reboot mode and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set to release soon, I hope to see him reach Spider-Man 2 heights again.
#3: Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. was born to play Tony Stark. We all know this now but at the time of his casting for Iron Man, there were many who had their doubts. Downey shut that down fast with the best embodiment of a Marvel character we’ve ever seen. Iron Man is also easily the best origin story in any Marvel movie. But because of that, it set the bar really high for itself. While its direct sequels haven’t turned out too great (Really Iron Man 3? You’re going to do that to The Mandarin?), Iron Man as a character is bigger than ever. With the success of Iron Man, a path to one day filming an on-screen version of The Avengers was made possible. And that will always be its greatest accomplishment.
#2: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I didn’t really know what to expect with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Cap’s first stand-alone movie was a bit of a snoozefest. But The Winter Soldier turned out to be anything but. Feeling more like an old-school spy thriller, The Winter Soldier fundamentally changes the direction that Disney Marvel is taking with their movies. It will even have you questioning situations and motives for characters all the way back to the original Iron Man. This is easily Scarlett Johansson’s best performance as Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson’s as Nick Fury. Both are featured prominently here and it really worked out. When the end credits came up, I was pumped to see more of Captain America’s story in the future. That’s something I never thought I would say.
#1: Marvel’s The Avengers
There’s a lot of things in The Avengers that don’t make sense. How did Thor get back to Earth with the bifrost broken? Why was Hulk able to control his anger during the final battle but not on the helicarrier? Why is Hawkeye even in this? But all of that doesn’t matter. The Avengers is something I thought I would never see on-screen. Thor vs. Hulk. Iron Man vs. Thor. Puny God. There’s just so much win for superhero fans. If you didn’t get a little too excited during the panaround money shot during the final battle, I don’t think I can help you. You’re a bad person.
Agree or disagree? Let us know your Top Five in the comments below.