The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) may be the most consistent hit maker. Still, in many ways the world has become overrated. There is an endless supply of content that seems to be churned out in a “paint-by-numbers” fashion. The studio knows what works and has done a good job of making sure each hero is well cast. While the strengths are replicated throughout, the flaws of each film seem to be replicated in later installments. Weak villains, generic set pieces and an increasingly large number of underused Oscar-nominated actors litter the MCU. In many ways, each film is less a standalone project and more an episode of a larger TV season. There are standout elements, but far from standout films.
For all the complaints that come with the MCU, it is hard to deny how great an achievement it is. This was a long game strategy that paid off in spades and has changed the way studios structure tentpoles. With the release of “Doctor Strange” this Friday, we will have another entry into the third phase of the MCU plan. Thus, we thought it would be great to take a look at the top 10 entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both in TV and film.
Click through the gallery and feel free to comment with your favorites:
10. “Iron Man 3” (2013)
Throughout the marketing for the third Iron Man feature, much was made of Oscar winner Ben Kingsley portraying the Mandarian, the main villain of the film. One of the biggest surprises of any of the films is how co-writer/director Shane Black spun this character on its head. In ways such as this, the movie rises above its average nature. Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow are both comfortable in their respective roles of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. Their chemistry, and an expanded role for Paltrow, make some of the more dull, perfunctory moments of the film sing. It’s not a particularly memorable entry, but certain risky flourishes help elevate the film ever so slightly.