Every Batman Movie, Ranked By Rotten Tomatoes Score | ScreenRant

Batman is arguably the superhero with the most disparity in his big-screen appearances. Zack Snyder may have given us a Superman with no red undies, but Joel Schumacher gave us a Batman with nipples on his suit, Chris McKay gave us a zany Lego version of Batman, and Christopher Nolan gave us a cinematic study of the American city disguised as a Batman movie.

RELATED: The Dark Knight: Top 10 Darkest Moments From Nolan’s Trilogy

The Batman movies are a curious thing, because a couple of them are considered to be among the greatest movies ever made and a couple of them are considered to be among the worst movies ever made. So, here is Every Batman Movie, Ranked By Rotten Tomatoes Score.

10 Batman & Robin (11%)

This movie was so bad that Joel Schumacher apologized for it. Everything in the movie looks like it was designed to be a toy, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze has far more corny one-liners than credibility, and by adding nipples and a codpiece to the iconic Batsuit, Schumacher managed to make the Dark Knight, the most serious character in comics history, laughable.

Some critics also noted the movie’s homoerotic overtones – not in a subtle Fight Club way; in a distracting, on-the-nose, closeups-of-Batman’s-butt way. Although it’s dressed up like a gloomy $160 million blockbuster, Batman & Robin feels like a bad, overlong episode of the ‘60s TV series.

9 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (27%)

Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has the components of a good movie, but it has the same problem as Iron Man 2 – focusing too much on setting up the wider cinematic universe to be a great film in its own right – and worse than that, the setup went nowhere. At least with Iron Man 2, all the Easter eggs were leading somewhere.

In BvS, it seems as though the producers were just throwing random flashbacks and flashforwards and Easter eggs at the wall to see what stuck, and sadly, none of it did. But Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight had the makings of an excellent Batman.

8 Batman Forever (39%)

Sure, Batman Forever is camp, but at least Jim Carrey’s performance as the Riddler works in the unusual tone’s favor, even if Tommy Lee Jones feeds off his energy and gives us a wackadoo Two-Face. Val Kilmer did a pretty good job of playing both a suave Bruce Wayne and a cool-as-a-cucumber Caped Crusader, but problems start to arise when Chris O’Donnell’s Robin shows up.

Robin is Batman’s young mentor. He works best as a naive kid who isn’t ready to fight crime. Their on-screen relationship should be similar to Tony Stark and Peter Parker in the MCU. O’Donnell’s Robin was in his mid-twenties.

7 Justice League (40%)

With Superman absent for most of Justice League, the burden fell on Batman to lead the team, and that felt disingenuous to the character. He’s not a leader; he’s a lone wolf. It’s a shame that Warner Bros. threw out a lot of Zack Snyder’s story ideas and instead reshaped the script to copy what worked with The Avengers (including hiring Joss Whedon to add humor, for God knows what reason), because it made the movie a total mess.

Snyder initially wanted a distant-future setting, an evil Superman in a black suit, and an expansion of the “Knightmare” concept. If Warner Bros. had been willing to take those risks, perhaps this would be a lot higher on the list.

6 Batman (71%)

Tim Burton was the perfect choice to direct a Batman movie, because his sumptuous gothic visuals go hand-in-hand with the world of Bruce Wayne. His Gotham City landscapes were inspired by Fritz Lang’s seminal sci-fi epic Metropolis, while Jack Nicholson’s Joker is straight out of a horror movie.

RELATED: Joker Movie: 6 Things We Want To Happen With Arthur Fleck (And 4 We Don’t)

Burton’s take on Batman is far more stylized than Nolan’s, but that doesn’t mean it’s worse. Batman is one of the most groundbreaking and influential comic book movies of all time, since it told studios that audiences would turn out in droves to see a darker, gloomier, more adult-oriented superhero film if it was well-made.

5 Batman Returns (78%)

The Rotten Tomatoes algorithm judges Tim Burton’s second big-screen take on the Batman comics to be superior to his first, and while Batman Returns wasn’t as revolutionary as the first one, Burton did go bigger and better with the sequel. This movie introduced the notion of two villains in the same movie – a perfectly cast Danny DeVito as the Penguin opposite an equally perfectly cast Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman – and that’s a formula that’s carried through the Batman movies ever since.

Batman Returns is a little gloomier and scarier than Batman (the rule of thumb with sequels is to go darker, but there wasn’t much darker territory for Burton to cover after his 1989 original), but the focus is still on character-building, plotting, and superhero action.

4 Batman Begins (84%)

Origin stories, by their very nature, aren’t very exciting. We don’t want to watch a guy training to be a superhero – we want to watch a superhero fighting crime. However, with Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan did a fine job of making an origin story movie that wasn’t boring.

When Bruce Wayne is training with the League of Shadows, we’re not waiting for him to become Batman, because we’re intrigued. What helps is that Nolan explores the origin of Batman beyond simply showing why he hates crime and dresses like a bat. For the first time on the big screen, Nolan showed us how Batman learned to fight.

3 The Dark Knight Rises (87%)

Third movies are tricky, because they have to build on the first two, conclude the trilogy, and live up to the enormous hype. In the case of The Dark Knight Rises, that hype was ridiculous. Christopher Nolan had to top The Dark Knight, which many critics consider to be one of the greatest movies ever made, and to his credit, he did a pretty good job.

He followed up the opening IMAX bank heist with an opening IMAX plane heist; he followed up Heath Ledger’s Joker with Tom Hardy’s Bane (not quite as chilling or mesmerizing, but arguably as iconic); and he followed up Batman sacrificing his reputation with Batman sacrificing himself. The Dark Knight Rises may not have bested The Dark Knight – and, to be fair, that was probably impossible – but it came pretty darn close.

2 The Lego Batman Movie (90%)

This Batman-centric spin-off from The Lego Movie was far better than it had any right to be, to put it lightly. Chris McKay used the opportunities presented by the silliness of Lego animation and no need to tie the film into a wider universe to throw everything we’ve ever wanted to see in a Batman movie at the screen.

RELATED: 10 Actors We’d Like To See Play Villains In The Next MCU Spider-Man Movie

On the whole, The Lego Batman Movie is a spot-on parody of the Batman comics – showing Bruce Wayne as an immature man-child who refuses to grow up, reducing Batman and the Joker’s relationship to a romcom-esque “will they/won’t they?” dynamic etc. – but it all has a lot of heart.

1 The Dark Knight (94%)

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight has the freshest Rotten Tomatoes score of any Batman movie, which will surely surprise no one. Heath Ledger set the gold standard for cinematic supervillains with his portrait of the Joker as an unpredictable agent of chaos, while Christian Bale added more depth to Batman’s dual nature than he did before and subtle performances from Michael Caine as Alfred and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon built on the film’s overriding humanity.

The Dark Knight is a Michael Mann-style thriller that explores crime and corruption in Gotham in a way that feels as real as The Wire’s study of crime and corruption in Baltimore.

NEXT: 10 Ways Robert Pattinson’s Younger Batman Could Change The DCEU

2019-07-13 09:07:01

Ben Sherlock

Spider-Man: Every Iron Man Reference Hidden In Far From Home

Warning: SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Far From Home ahead.

Spider-Man: Far From Home follows Peter Parker as he copes with the death of his mentor, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), with the film featuring a string of references to the fallen hero. The inaugural Marvel Cinematic Universe hero met his end in Avengers: Endgame after he made the sacrificial play to ensure the universe was free of Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) threat. Stark put on the secondary Infinity Gauntlet he made and wielded the power of all six Infinity Stones, snapping the Mad Titan and his minions away, which killed him in the process. Stark left a grateful world behind, but those who were close to him continue to grieve his demise, including Peter.

Stark’s death is an integral part of Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s story, so while he’s no longer physically present, his presence loomed large in the sequel. Spider-Man: Far From Home tackled how Tony’s death affects how Peter operates as a superhero moving forward. Plagued with questions about who’s going to be the next Iron Man, Peter was initially skeptical of becoming the Spider-Man again, opting to go on a recreational trip to Europe without the burden of being the friendly-neighborhood hero. Incidentally, the primary MacGuffin of Far From Home is a piece of Stark technology known as E.D.I.T.H. (Even Dead I’m The Hero). It’s accessed by the very same sunglasses that the genius, billionaire wore during the battle in New York against Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian at the start of Avengers: Infinity War. The glasses were left behind for Peter to use, while Mysterio’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) ruse was all to get his hands on them.

Related: All 8 Spider-Man Movies Ranked (Including Far From Home)

Spider-Man: Far From Home paid homage to Tony Stark in various ways throughout the movie. From murals to direct references, here are all the hidden tributes to MCU’s Iron Man in various forms in the Spider-Man: Far From Home.

MidTown’s “In Memoriam” Newscast

In an effort to fully acknowledge the ramifications of the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home opened up with an “In Memoriam” as part of MidTown Tech’s newscast. It addressed the events surrounding Thanos’ snap now called The Blip. Through the fittingly amateur-looking video set to the tune of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Aways Love You,” the high school remembered all those we’ve lost during the battle against the Mad Titan, such as Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Vision (Paul Bettany) and Tony Stark.

Far From Home’s Iron Man Murals

Throughout Spider-Man: Far From Home, Iron Man murals can be seen – even inside Peter’s classroom, supposedly made by the students themselves. Giant illustrations of the fallen hero, on the other hand, are visible in some of the cities, starting with a massive one in New York. Spider-Man attends the charity work hosted by Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), but as he was plagued with questions about who’s going to be the next Iron Man, the overwhelmed hero abruptly left and swung to a roof to get some alone time. There, he saw an artwork of Iron Man looming large, further highlighting the enormous void that Tony Stark left after his demise.

Peter opted to move forward by joining the much-needed recreational trip to Europe, but even across the pond, he’s haunted by the tragic demise of Stark as the world remembers Iron Man. He’s greeted by another gigantic mural of the fallen Avenger immediately after he lands in Venice. When the trip moved to Prague instead of Paris, thanks to Nick Fury-disguised Talos’ ministrations, Peter once again came across another street art of Stark. This time, however, it was in a smaller form at the side of the street. After he handed out E.D.I.T.H. to Mysterio, Peter excitedly walks back to their hotel when he passes by a graffiti of Iron Man with candles, photos, and flowers offered for the hero.

Out of all the three Iron Man murals in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the one from Prague is arguably the most meaningful. While its predecessors were more massive in scale, the smaller artwork also subtly featured Stark’s face mashed up with his Iron Man helmet. It was also spotted right after Peter haphazardly chose to fully take his hands off of the mission, easily giving up E.D.I.T.H. despite that fact that Stark had specific orders to give it to him.

The Heart of Iron In-Universe MCU Movie

Even high above the sky, it didn’t seem like Peter can escape his grieve over Stark’s death in Spider-Man: Far From Home. During his flight from New York to Venice, he was forced to sit with the chatty Mr. Harrington (Martin Starr) after his scheme to sit with MJ (Zendaya) backfired. Annoyed at the circumstance, he checked the in-flight entertainment aircraft and there were several in-universe films tackling some of the most recent events in the MCU, including The Heart of Iron: The Tony Stark Story. As the title suggests, the in-universe movie is a 114-minute feature-length documentary that chronicles the life and legacy left behind by the world’s greatest hero, Tony Stark.”

Related: Yes, Mysterio’s Henchman Really Was In Iron Man 1

AC/DC’s “Back in Black” Song From Iron Man 1

Outside of his budding romance with Aunt May, the involvement of Happy Hogan in Spider-Man: Far From Home is mostly in reference to Tony Stark. Jon Favreau’s MCU character was used sparingly in the movie, but he was utilized effectively. At his lowest point in the film having been defeated by Mysterio twice, Peter called Happy to pick him up in the Netherlands via the Stark Jet. The pair bonded over their shared loss during their heart-to-heart talk and it was an integral moment in the young hero’s arc as he prepared to fully take on the responsibility of defeating Mysterio.

But without any Spider-Man suit with him, Happy gave Peter access to Stark’s secret workshop in the aircraft. Peter gladly jumped on the  opportunity to create his own armor, and the whole sequence was executed that it paralleled to how Stark tinkered on his technology. In fact, a number of Spider-Man comic suits appeared in the Stark lab. Happy further highlighted that parallel when he put on AC/DC’s “Back in Black” – the opening song to Iron Man. It’s a meta-reference more than anything, but there’s something poignant about Happy watching this new hero work like he did with his deceased friend/boss.

Marvel Studios developed Stark and Peter’s relationship over the years after the former’s entry in the MCU via Captain America: Civil War. Since then, they’ve appeared in three more films – Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Spider-Man: Far From Home is the first film in this version of Spider-Man that Iron Man is no longer around, and obviously, Marvel had to acknowledge this significant change. But the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home also signals Peter coming out of the shadow of his mentor. While his relationship with Stark will remain to be an integral part of his character, he will have his own identity separate from Iron Man moving forward.

Next: Spider-Man: Far From Home Confirmed The MCU’s Civil War Is Over

2019-07-13 07:07:14

Ana Dumaraog

Every Marvel Movie Releasing After Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame may be the culmination of the MCU so far, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of upcoming Marvel movies on the way. Marvel Studios is currently keeping their long-term plans under wraps, with Marvel visionary Kevin Feige confirming no Phase 4 announcements would be made until after Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Avengers: Endgame is the swan song for the OG Avengers, but the future is bright for the MCU, with a range of new and diverse heroes – including Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel – ready to take center-stage. What’s more, now the Disney/Fox acquisition is complete, it’s only a matter of time before the Fantastic Four and the X-Men join the shared cinematic universe.

Related: Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie, Ranked Worst To Best

All that said, we still know a fair bit about the future MCU slate. Avengers: Endgame is the second of three Marvel blockbusters to drop in 2019, and a number of other projects are in development, expected to release between now and 2021. Sequels to the likes of Captain Marvel, as well as another outing for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, are certainly expected, but these are the ones that are confirmed.

Spider-Man: Far From Home – July 2, 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the last film in Phase 3 and first after Avengers: Endgame, and will serve as an extended epilogue to Avengers: Endgame. “So much happens in [Avengers: Endgame], as you can imagine,” Kevin Feige explained, “and so much is affected by it that we felt what better person to hold your hand and lead you into the next incarnation of the MCU, in a grounded, realistic manner, than Peter Parker?” The plot will see Spider-Man head to Europe on a summer vacation with some of his classmates, and he’ll team up with Nick Fury in order to take on the threat of Mysterio and the monstrous Elementals who are tearing through the continent.

Read More: Spider-Man: Far From Home – Every Update You Need To Know

Black Widow – Likely May 2020

There’s been clamor for a Black Widow movie since Scarlett Johansson was introduced playing the character in 2010’s Iron Man 2. The film is finally becoming a reality after Avengers: Endgame in Phase 4, however, with filming due to start in June. Johansson is rumored to be netting a $15 million paycheck for the movie, with Florence Pugh, David Harbour and O-T Fagbenle recently joining the cast.

Read More: Black Widow Movie – Every Update You Need To Know

The Eternals – Likely 2020

Marvel has always liked to toss in a curveball now and then, and The Eternals is definitely one of their most unexpected projects after Avengers: Endgame. Created by the legendary Jack Kirby, in the comics the Eternals are an evolutionary offshoot of the human race created by ancient, powerful aliens known as the Celestials. Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani are reportedly in talks to star, and there are rumors the film will introduce the MCU’s version of Hercules.

Read More: Marvel’s Eternals: Every Update You Need To Know

Black Panther 2 – Likely 2021

Black Panther 2 is a natural priority for Marvel Studios after Avengers: Endgame, given the first film was the highest grossing domestic film of 2018 and earned them an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Ryan Coogler is set to return as both writer and director, but so far he hasn’t dropped any hints about the plot.

Read More: Black Panther 2 Movie – Every Update You Need To Know

Doctor Strange 2 – Likely 2021

Doctor Strange played a major role in Avengers: Infinity War, and seems to have been set up as a major player in the future of the MCU after Avengers: Endgame. After years of rumors, at last Marvel is pressing ahead with Doctor Strange 2. C. Robert Cargill will reportedly return as writer, while Scott Derickson is on board as director. Benedict Wong has suggested filming could begin later this year, essentially confirming this for a 2021 release.

Read More: Doctor Strange 2: Every Update You Need To Know

Shang-Chi – Unknown

Another unexpected priority for Marvel after Avengers: EndgameShang-Chi will be a martial arts movie directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. No details have yet emerged about this project, but there are rumors it could be heading to Sydney’s Fox Studios to shoot in Australia.

Read More: Casting Shang-Chi In The MCU

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – Likely 2023

One of Marvel’s most troubled productions, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 looked like it may never happen after writer-director James Gunn was fired over social media messages he posted back before he worked for Disney. Convinced he was truly repentant, Disney rehired Gunn, but the result is a significant delay; Gunn has committed to shooting Warner’s The Suicide Squad before returning to Marvel. Production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is expected to begin in 2021, which essentially confirms this for a 2023 release.

More: How The MCU Will Look Completely Different After 2019

2019-04-25 12:04:12

Thomas Bacon

Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie, Ranked Worst To Best (Including Endgame)

Here’s our complete ranking of the MCU movies ahead of Avengers: Endgame. Marvel Studios has become the biggest force in Hollywood, earning $18.5 billion at the global box office in little over a decade and revolutionizing how studios approach blockbuster franchises. And while there’s a litany of reasons why, one of the most fundamental is that their films are, for the most part, really good.

It’s not that long ago that good superhero movies were exceptions that proved the rule about comic book movies, and even those shining examples – Superman: The Movie, Batman 1989 – eventually gave way to extinguished returns in sequels. Even after the triple-tap of BladeX-Men and Spider-Man at the turn of the millennium gave the genre a sense legitimacy, the scales were still tipped against costumed heroes; the third entries of each of the series those movies formed were duds that ended the trilogies or led to reboots.

Related: The Original Marvel Studios Plan Would Have Led To A Very Different Infinity War

Marvel Studios brought a sense of consistency, almost by accident. When the company moved into film production, they lacked the rights to many of their major characters (before 2008, all Marvel movies had been licensed) so had to build icons out of then-B-list characters like Iron Man and Captain America. The focus had to be on the storytelling as much as spectacle, something that allowed audiences of all creeds – from die-hard comic fans to those discovering the likes of Thor for the first time – to embrace these characters. That it was all interconnected in one world where heroes eventually started crossing over only compounded the excitement.

Typically, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is broken down into its chronological narrative Phases: Phase 1 (six movies released 2008-2012) shows the formation of the original Avengers; Phase 2 (six movies released 2013-2015) the impact of superheroes on the world; and Phase 3 (ten movies released 2016-2019) circles the Infinity War against Thanos, along with introducing a new generation of heroes. This idea of narrative blocks has been at the core of the series since the very start, doubling as a way to hyper-focus audiences on what’s important in the immediate future.

But it’s also legitimate to take a look at them from a more critical perspective. These films do tell a narrative tapestry, but each one needs to work on its own. And, while the overall quality is uniformly high (few are out-right bad, and most are at least above-average), MCU movies can be broken into clear strata of quality, ranging from the sure-fire classics to misfires. With Avengers: Endgame bringing an end to the full scale experiment, here’s our ranking of the MCU movies from worst to best.

22. Iron Man 2 (2010)

All of Phase 1 displays signs of a studio struggling to find its edge, but nowhere do you feel the strain of the shared universe as much as with Iron Man 2. Primarily, Jon Favreau’s sequel seems to exist to move Tony Stark backwards from where he was left by the two post-credits scenes of Iron Man and The Incredible HulkThe Avengers plan changed and having Stark at the forefront of the team was no longer the starting status quo – which requires a lot of confused setup for the future, none of it very interesting. But if you strip out the big picture wheel-spinning (which included not only Avengers but nods to Black Panther, Captain America and Namor), then it’s not got much to offer besides.

It’s really a half-dozen different stories all pulling in different directions. Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., Black Widow, Whiplash, War Machine, Justin Hammer and Pepper and Stark Industries all have their own subplots alongside Tony’s demon in an arc reactor plot, and they’re so disconnected that at one point Fury has to put the hero under house arrest so he can unlock enough power to get to the boss fight. So much of what made the first film work is undone, with confidence in the characters making way for repeated winking – Don Cheadle’s first line is “I’m here, deal with it“, Coulson draws attention to what may or may not be a prototype Captain America shield – and the distinct feel replaced with a visual style that jumps between generic late-2000s blockbuster and Bay-esque militaristic fetishism (and leery camera).

Robert Downey, Jr. and co. anchor the whole thing well, the Iron Man design and implementation is still amazing, and the goals are admirable enough, which is enough to make it passable, but it still pales compared to the rest.

Related: Every MCU Movie Iron Man 2 Set Up

21. Thor: The Dark World (2013)

While it’s often cited as an out-and-out bad film, Thor: The Dark World‘s real problem is that it’s bland. The story is – like other low-ranking MCU sequels – multiple different threads all undernourished. The tone never embraces the full-on Kirby cosmic side to the extent the movie thinks yet neither passes as a knockabout comedy either. And there’s so little ingenuity that its finale where all of reality hangs in the balance is set in one square at the University of Greenwich

Its relation (read: disregard) of the past is a particular problem. Alan Taylor took the broody, high-contrast style of Kenneth Branagh’s original and replaced it with clean CGI, expanding Asgard in a superficial way that comes across as cheap Star Wars; and if that’s what it was going for, the inconsistent story flow, set blocking and editing are more Attack of the Clones than The Empire Strikes Back. The director was allegedly picked to apply a Game of Thrones style to Marvel’s mythic franchise, but there’s no verve here and just a couple of bar scenes to pay lip service. Even the once good stuff doesn’t really work; Anthony Hopkins’ Odin performance is shocking and while Hiddleston is still fun as Loki, his arc and weird betrayal fake-out on Svartalfheim is amateurishly written. Later efforts from Taylor – equally unimaginative Terminator Genisys and Game of Thrones‘ dire “Beyond the Wall” reveal him as the likely core issue here.

What Thor: The Dark World does mark is the point where Marvel bias began to take hold. Thanks to the success of The Avengers and promise of growing inter-connectivity (this was the first movie to explicitly confirm the Infinity Stones), there was a lot of goodwill directed at Thor 2 upon release that feels incredibly in the moment and oblivious to its many flaws.

Related: How The Thor Movies Secretly Introduced The Multiverse To The MCU

20. Ant-Man And The Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp is the Marvel movie everybody who dislikes the MCU sight-unseen thinks Marvel movies are. It’s an unimaginative stringing together of multiple random plot strands that never fully pay off (the third act involves six different sets of characters and yet they barely connect up), instead repeatedly falling back on the charisma of its leads for quick laughs. The result is the most out-and-out boring entry in the series, one that does very little with its characters and is instantly forgettable.

With the production issues that restricted Ant-Man in the past and a cast family well-established, this could have been a real step up. It wants to be the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids family comedy of the MCU, yet Peyton Reed all-too-often falls back on formula meaning ideas are repeatedly left hanging: most applications of the Pym Particle size-changing are variants of “small thing becomes big” or “big things become small”, and when things are a bit different, there’s no story purpose (Scott Lang shrinks to the size of a child in a high school and nothing comes of it). It plays like a superhero movie of the 1990s, and not in an intentional way; at one point, the villain calls in motorbikes like he’s Mr. Freeze trotting out another piece of plastic merchandise.

Viewed in the context of Avengers: Infinity War, the film weakens further. Far from the palette cleanser promised, Ant-Man and the Wasp is lacking any substance at all, with the only moment that really captivates being the post-credits scenes that show the effects of Thanos’ snap. When the most exciting moment of a film is a reminder that a previous, better film happened earlier that summer, you know something’s gone wrong.

Related: Ant-Man And The Wasp Was The MCU’s Biggest Missed Opportunity

Page 2 of 6: Avengers: Age of Ultron & More Of Our MCU Ranking

19. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron remains the biggest disappointment in the MCU. It was admittedly the most hyped entry up until that point also, carrying the weight of the 2012 original and the many excellent standalones since, but that doesn’t make the fall any less painful. Whereas with most Marvel films you can at least understand what the intent was, here many ideas feel misguided; this was positioned as Whedon’s Empire Strikes Back (bigger, deeper, darker) yet doesn’t have the plot urgency or consequence to make the new themes, characters or threats have any proper impact, while the bolder moves it does make – the twins, Nat and Bruce’s relationship – are interchangeably underserved and insulting.

It’s easy to nitpick the narrative (Scarlet Witch’s dream-visions are so ambiguous in intent it hurts) but that’s only because the filmmaking is overall considerably weaker. While it’s common to claim this is better directed than The Avengers, that’s only on a superficial level; the original looks a little too like a TV show at points, sure, but its sequel doesn’t offer much more beyond a more experienced CGI team with its considerably weaker script. What really stands out is the editing – scenes have no placement and most are cut down to the point big moments don’t land because they have no setup or breathing room. All this together leaves a disjointed experience, one all the positive elements – Vision (especially his origin), the core three, Andy Serkis, the Hulkbuster fight – are struggling to combat.

One the one hand, Avengers: Age of Ultron is very much the result of the infamous Marvel Creative Committee, who by most accounts were meddling with the film’s direction to a damaging degree. On the other, many of its missteps have come to define the MCU going forward: comedy undercutting sincerity (see: Ultron’s “children” line); slow scenes filling in for genuine character development (see: Hawkeye’s farmhouse); and a disregard for the continuity (see: the mid-credits scene with a totally new Infinity Gauntlet).

Related: Avengers: Age Of Ultron Is The Moment Marvel Gave Up On Their Continuity

18. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

It’s not the worst MCU film, but The Incredible Hulk is undoubtedly the black sheep. The only actor who’s returned so far is William Hurt as a changed General Ross in Captain America: Civil War, and the primary event referenced later by Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner is a deleted opening scene (that thanks to a Captain America Easter egg is patently non-canon). Despite that, The Incredible Hulk is a solid piece of world-building. It’s full of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Stark Industries Easter eggs that build on Iron Man, roots Hulk’s origin in Captain America’s super soldier serum three years ahead of Steve Rogers’ debut, and directly builds to the Avengers with its ending and immediate credits scene (even if the idea of Iron Man recruiting a team against Hulk was canned).

All of that is great flavor to an otherwise generic 2008 blockbuster. Louis Leterrier’s direction is off the shelf, with high contrast, sweaty night-time scenes style du jour, and its story is any werewolf narrative turned action movie. Edward Norton may have had grander plans in mind, but The Incredible Hulk is lacking anything unique.

The MCU connections actually highlight a lack of identity. For all the aforementioned setup, the movie is also trying to honor the 1970s TV series; Lou Ferrigno gets an ingratiating cameo, the theme tune plays throughout, and the ending appears to be almost indicating this is intended as a quasi-remake. Worse, it betrays one of the biggest rules of Marvel Studios: it doesn’t explain what the Hulk is and how he could work in a wider context.

Related: The MCU Didn’t Have A Good Plan At First – And Incredible Hulk Proves It

17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor: Ragnarok is the epitome of Marvel fun. It’s an entertaining but flippant movie, one that prioritizes in-the-moment laughs over anything of greater weight; its subtext – how colonizers hide their dark pasts – is given brief mention before being relegated to background references. That is fine enough as mid-tier entertainment, but it can’t help but feel a little lacking considering where the MCU had reached at this point.

Comedy is Thor: Ragnarok‘s best and worst quality. Being from Taika Waititi, the jokes have slightly more edge than standard Marvel and set the tone differently, but it’s a shame so much improv led to rather static scene blocking and unrefined editing. What’s really lacking from the director, though, is his trademark balance of emotion with his comedy: both What We Do In The Shadows and Hunt For The Wilderpeople used their wit to accentuate tragedy, but none of that’s here. In fact, Thor: Ragnarok actively bypasses letting sadness sink in: Odin’s death was reshot to be blandly spiritual after it made test audiences feel too sorry for him, and the loss of Asgard is undercut by both a lack of connection with its people and a Korg joke immediately after.

With all that said, there’s plenty that works. Both Thor and Hulk are well-defined enough at this point to thrive in this new environment and, while most new characters are a little exasperating (see: Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster), Valkyrie is a fully-rounded delight. The less-improv heavy moments bring that Kirby style to the fore without much resistance. It’s just hard to not want something a little more balanced given how impactful it feigns to be.

Related: Why Thor: Ragnarok Was A Divisive MCU Film

16. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has a lot going for it. It looks absolutely incredible and there’s a cast of likable, offbeat heroes to provide a string of great moments. It’s just a shame the movie doesn’t have a proper story. The movie begins with the team on the run from Sovereign, then they’re saved by Ego, then Ego reveals he’s bad and they have to stop him. That’s pretty much it, and it leaves a film with plenty of style but no momentum; once Ego arrives, everything grinds to a halt for 30 minutes where there’s no direct threat (something that makes Hawkeye’s farmhouse look positively riveting). It highlights the problem Marvel has with first sequels, wanting pure character development but not knowing how to realize that beyond a string of scenes where characters explain how they feel.

If you break it down, on paper Guardians 2 is about fathers absent and adoptive, and the nature versus nurture debate. Unfortunately, while plenty of sides to this are raised – every single character has a part to play in the theme, one way or another – it never comes together to be anything more than individual. There’s a sense Baby Groot was supposed to be the uniting aspect given his hugs at the end, but his role for most of the film is that of comic relief.

As already mentioned, the characters keep James Gunn’s head above water. Star-Lord gets a payoff to his backstory that honors a lot of seeds in the first movie, although Rocket comes across the best by far, his personality painfully laid bare without having to lean too heavily on the whole scientifically-altered raccoon thing, and gets the fair share of great moments; were it better set up “I’ve lost too many friends today” would be an all-timer.

Related: Should Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Have Had More MCU Connections?

Page 3 of 6: Ant-Man & More Of Our MCU Ranking

15. Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man was the first in a new type of Marvel origin film. Here was a character becoming a superhero in a world where the Avengers already exist, where namedrops and cameos were de rigor, and the formula was down to a tee. But this was also a movie where the production limitations (Edgar Wright was infamously fired three months before production began, replaced by Peyton Reed) and the high hit-rate of said formula made for safe choices. The result is actually the median Marvel film, overall competent but with little ambition, and where the character would only truly shine when part of the wider ensemble.

What Ant-Man gets unavoidably right is the casting. It’s a shame we never got an in-his-prime Hank Pym, but Paul Rudd as Scott Lang is an effective twist on the typical Marvel hero (this one is a real criminal, no questions) and Michaels Douglas and Pena add edge as aware mentor and hyperactive buddy respectively. There’s also a large, affable supporting cast (Bobby Cannavale as an upending of the step-father is an underrated highlight) that take audiences through the rather standard story and making a more overtly comedic movie pop.

It’s one the superhero side where Ant-Man struggles. The action, in particular, is a major let-down, with a constant uncertainty in how to shoot the micro-sequences. Are they told from Scott’s shrunken down perspective or a full-size human? With minimal pre-production, Peyton Reed doesn’t have an answer so goes for an uneasy blend of the two, which is disorienting and sometimes interesting, yet never that innovative.

Related: Ant-Man’s Spider-Man Reference: Who Else Was Luis Talking About?

14. Captain Marvel (2019)

Unlike most MCU movies where there’s a degree of consistency to the quality throughout, Captain Marvel is the one that varies the most. Some moments and long stretches of story are very strong – anything involving the Skrulls and their true purpose is fascinating – yet many decisions have more mixed reactions.

It’s all rooted in a welcome, non-linear change-up to the formula; Brie Larson enters as Kree Starforce member Vers and only gradually uncovers her past as Carol Danvers, eventually choosing the hero persona entirely of her own accord. It’s strong messaging, having the first solo female MCU hero emerge from a place of external restrictions to define herself, but also leads to unclear audience perspective – even at the end, viewer and star aren’t on the same page – and turbulent narrative. Not to mention some classic concerns aren’t adjusted; villain Yon-Rogg who earlier warned humor was a distraction is beaten in a gag beat.

Operating as the MCU’s first lore-heavy prequel, Captain Marvel does a good job of expanding the world. 1990s period details are mostly background (bar specific music choices), and the Marvel references are mostly organic and expand known ideas without contradicting (just don’t ask Nick Fury how he lost his eye or where the name Avengers came from). And, of course, with clear connections to Avengers: Endgame (which Larson shot first), it exemplifies origin stories as dry runs for bigger adventures; Brie Larson is more Hemsworth than Evans (strong, promising, not fully there yet) but it doesn’t matter because this functions as just one piece of a whole.

Related: Captain Marvel Points Out The MCU’s Biggest Problem (But Can’t Quite Fix It)

13. Thor (2011)

For a movie that every subsequent outing for the character seems to have been trying to somehow “correct“, Thor really is a forgotten MCU hit. The Dark World attempted to go more grounded, Ragnarok more all-out comedy, but they miss how Kenneth Branagh pretty much nailed the balance between both first time out. The story mixes the fish-out-of-water comedy with faux-Shakespearean drama (the plot as much as the dialogue is rooted in classical storytelling) well, the filmmaking choices (dark-lit sets and dutch angles) accentuate the otherworldly feel, and it was overall the most earnest embracing of comic weirdness up to that point.

Chris Hemsworth isn’t as out-of-the-gate perfect as Thor compared to Evans’ Cap or RDJ’s Tony Stark, but the sillier Earth-side of the story allows him to ease into the role. On the other side, Tom Hiddleston is a revelation as Loki, who’s never been more complicated than here, and the supporting cast like Anthony Hopkins as Odin is inspired. There’s no specific weak aspect, more a general sense of good-not-great; Jane Foster is a solid love interest but underserved, the same with the Warrior’s Three.

Thor is an overall affable movie, balancing big world building for the franchise and universe (the “magic as science” descriptive is non-aggressively pushed) with more internal character debates. It was only by Avengers: Infinity War where Thor truly became a worthy MCU lead, but you feel that if the ideas raised by his first movie had been followed through on, he’d have reached that point a lot sooner.

Related: Every MCU Character Who’s Lifted Thor’s Hammer

12. Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron Man 3 is far and away the most underrated movie in the MCU. Coming off The Avengers and returning straight to standalone stories with the odd nod to Thor and Captain America was a tricky ask, but Marvel went for broke with what will likely be the last Robert Downey, Jr-led outing. It’s a Shane Black movie through and through, from the stylish ephemera – framing narration, Christmas setting – to more fundamental aspects – the wry humor, the focus on buddy-cop escapades – and doesn’t fall into many of the Marvel formula pitfalls that later movies would (the Whedon influence was yet to sink in). Plainly, Iron Man 3 has one of the most distinct personalities in the series (even more so than Guardians of the Galaxy).

Much of the backlash rests at the feet of the Mandarin. The movie marketed itself on seeing Tony Stark showdown against a modern update of his archnemesis, and that’s exactly what it delivered; just not in the way many were expecting; the Osama Bin-Laden channeling Mandarin was just an actor, the Eastern-influenced Ten Rings all part of a terrorist front by vengeful Western tech genius Aldrich Killian. But while that’s not accurate to the comics, it is to the real world. Terrorism is a performance and the real threats to our society are at home, making the Mandarin as thematically rich as it is hilarious.

If Iron Man 3 has a villain problem, it’s everything else. Maya Hansen was the secret big bad in earlier drafts but studio rewrites make her character-less, the Extremis soldiers are vague goons without any clear weaknesses, and while Killian being a suave rich guy is accurate to what the movie is spearing, it’s doesn’t make for an interesting final battle.

Page 4 of 6: Doctor Strange & More Of Our MCU Ranking

11. Doctor Strange (2016)

It’s easy to be glib about Doctor Strange. An origin story for an arrogant, sarcastic, rich man with a goatee who suffers a life-changing injury but directly through that discovers new powers – on paper it transplants Iron Man‘s formula to Stephen Strange to a tee. Yet this is a wholly unique film that simply uses the tropes to tell a much more offbeat story than Marvel was used to. Benedict Cumberbatch is easy casting but gives his all, as do the often underutilized cast, while the humor that waylaid many Phase 3 movies is worked into the character beats more organically than most.

While this movie is often compared to Inception, the Christopher Nolan this Doctor Strange has most in common with is actually Interstellar: the idea that time is the true enemy and death the ultimate fear is a heady topic for a superhero blockbuster, yet it’s one that Scott Derrickson takes to its natural conclusion with the Ancient One’s reflective death and series high-mark “Dormammu, I have come to bargain.

Going from themes to visuals is where Doctor Strange loses itself a little. Derrickson certainly offers up some strikingly weird imagery, yet a lot of it is odder for the sake of it than having some greater visual purpose. Claims Doctor Strange was “like nothing you’ve ever seen” act like 2001: A Space Odyessy didn’t do it better almost 50 years earlier. This problem is most evident in the action, which are rather flat chase scenes with impressive CGI grafted on them; only Marvel would have a sequence where characters must defend against reversing time and set it in a bland alley set.

Related: Why Didn’t Doctor Strange Trap Thanos In A Time Loop?

10. Iron Man (2008)

It’s easy to heap a lot of importance on Iron Man for how it kickstarted the MCU, marking Marvel Studios out as a blockbuster force to be reckoned with and in its post-credits scene building directly to The Avengers. But all of that ignores that, at its arc reactor core, Iron Man is just a good movie.

At this point in time, critics were starting to question if superheroes were going out of vogue – the previous two years had dud third installments for trailblazing X-Men and Spider-Man franchises – only for 2008 to offer two rebukes. The Dark Knight got a lot of the spotlight for its high-end removal of all genre tropes in favor of a stripped back crime story (and indeed remains the superior film), but that doesn’t mean Iron Man was by the numbers; it took the basic origin story playbook but subverted much of it. Robert Downey, Jr. is an off-base superhero protagonist, Jon Favreau gave his cast freedom to adlib, and in its final moments undoes the entire secret identity trope (something not even Spider-Man could maintain for more than one movie in the MCU).

What’s so amazing about Iron Man is how so much of it holds up on a filmmaking level. The cinematography is clean, the CGI refined (the same can’t be said of that year’s Visual Effects Oscar winner The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), and even the pacing modern. Were this released today, audiences may question the lack of any fantastical elements, but they’d engage with it in much the same way.

Related: Iron Man’s Most Important Moment Wasn’t Nick Fury

9. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

I had a date.” Few MCU moments have quite the same heartbreaking gravitas of Captain America: The First Avenger‘s final moments where the inescapable sacrifice of the man out of time comes crushingly real. That ending sequence is shared universe building done right, with an emotional payoff to the film’s core themes beelining into a tantalizing bigger picture, yet it only works so well because of everything that came before.

The best MCU origin movies get to the core of their titular character, but with Captain America, Joe Johnston goes one better and thoroughly deconstructs who exactly this former propaganda piece is and makes a detailed case for why he’s still relevant today. Whether it’s being crushed by his song-and-dance number or betraying orders to become a true hero, the delineation of the Captain from his namesake country is so effortless. Much of that praise has to go to Chris Evans, who is such perfect casting as the Star-Spangled Man that he almost single-handedly pivoted Cap as the lead of the franchise in place of Iron Man (and comes across fairly convincingly as a weakling despite the shrunk CG body).

Above all, Captain America is an Indiana Jones-style adventure, a fantasy World War II romp with a visual style straight off the cover of a Boy’s Own sci-fi collection. The Red Skull is a deliciously teased villain, the dancing-and-fighting montages captivating, and there’s a greater foreknowledge of where the story will go – the filmmakers know Steve isn’t making it out alive and Bucky’s death is done with knowledge of the future. Captain America has far-and-away the best standalone Marvel series, and while his Russo-directed efforts are stylistically different, the core of the character and themes are all in The First Avenger.

Related: Why Captain America Is Greatest MCU Hero (& What The Avengers Movies Miss)

8. Black Panther (2018)

Just because something works doesn’t mean that it cannot be improved,” Shuri says to T’Challa. She’s talking about his Kimoyo Beads, but is very much summing up the creative drive of the film. Black Panther is how to do Marvel right while evolving it. It presents the character full-on, building on the Captain America: Civil War introduction and deconstructing the ideas that define him, but goes a step further than even The First Avenger and adds on proper social commentary.

Ryan Coogler proves himself like no other breakout director has in the MCU, crafting a story that at every turn is using the superhero genre to explore the ills of colonialism and question what we can do today to correct the mistakes of the past. It’s rarely preachy or obvious, and builds to a rational conclusion in a tough manner. The chief stroke of brilliance is Killmonger. Marvel corrected their villain problem by developing them as if they were heroes, which for Erik means making him come from a logical place but then extend to an extreme level: Killmonger is right but his actions are wrong.

While the movie can’t totally escape Marvel formula – jokes are hit-and-miss, while the scale of the final action scene feels mandated – the next-level world-building, seamlessly creating an afro-futurist land that feels truly real (bar the recurring street set), marks Black Panther out as something beyond its ilk (and more than worthy of its game-changing Oscar wins). Franchise connections are light, but that’s only because that approach is the future of the franchise.

Related: With Black Panther, The MCU Finally Steps Out Of Iron Man’s Shadow

Page 5 of 6: Guardians of the Galaxy & More Of Our MCU Ranking

7. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

The narrative is that Guardians of the Galaxy was Marvel’s biggest gamble thus far, trying to sell a talking raccoon and a walking tree to general audiences. That’s true to a point, but it must be remembered that there was a point when a Norse God or World War II relic or robot suit named after a transition metal were similarly confounding to the mainstream; Marvel never had safe bets by nature of not having A-list characters. This reading does, however, highlight Guardians of the Galaxy‘s biggest strength – its swagger. From the moment Chris Pratt starts dancing to Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love” as the title fills the screen, this is an incredibly confident, blended riff on Marvel superhero and Star Wars sci-fi tropes that has no interest in whether you’d heard of them before SDCC 2012 or not.

Much of the credit rightly goes to James Gunn, who melds his personality sensibilities with that of the cosmic Marvel comics and the MCU without sacrificing much of any individual part. If Star Wars was a used future, this is a casually-zany future. Everything is weird, but when everything is weird, nothing is: the vibrancy is charm, not in-your-face spectacle; the stilted yet straight dialogue is making for comedy without undercutting the scale of the story.

Where the movie does struggle a little is in its plotting, with the mix of team-up and origin story formulas buckling around the second act; the Knowhere sequence slows the pace, drops exposition and then needs characters to act out of sorts to get towards the final act. This problem would return in the sequel, but it doesn’t bring the movie down too much because of the effort put into making sure each character is defined and the MacGuffin has meaning way beyond purple whisps.

Related: Thanos’ MCU Introduction Doesn’t Make Sense – Here’s How We’d Fix It

6. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Sold as the culmination of the entire MCU (but really just Part 1 of 2 as Marvel always promised), Avengers: Infinity War is barely readable by any standard narrative means. It has two dozen heroes each with their own interlinked arcs, but even at 160 minutes long, the film can only develop them incrementally, with a handful getting anything approaching proper focus. It’s certainly entertaining to see Bucky and Rocket live out a meme or Steve Rogers meet Groot, but the only way to really parse down its story is from the perspective of villain Thanos, which may be the Russo brothers smartest decision in the entire MCU.

In direct contrast to Killmonger (right motives, bad actions), Thanos is misguided to the bone, his plan horrific and means distressing. Wanting to destroy half of all life in the universe is utterly insane, but it’s framed in something approaching a Campbellian hero’s journey that makes the drive understandable, if not relatable. And that is why, even when he and Thor, the closest thing the film has to good protagonist, come face-to-face, the Mad Titan still wins: he is a force of pure will, who is able to collect the Infinity Stones because at every stage he’s willing to do what none of the heroes are capable of.

Infinity War is a hard film to assess on its own merits considering its cliffhanger ending leaves everything up in the air ahead of Avengers: Endgame, but there’s no denying the audacity of the mass decimation at the end (even if a return is oh-so-obvious). It’s grim storytelling done on a scale only possible with blockbuster budgets and the sheer weight of what’s to come. Avengers: Infinity War ignores so much of the set up (Thanos is a different being) but it works because it fundamentally understands the core of the Marvel universe is character.

Related: Avengers: Infinity War’s Ending Was Very Different In The Comics

5. The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers is where the MCU truly became the mega-franchise it is today. Up until 2012, Marvel Studios had marked themselves out as being able to produce consistently “good” action movies with strong characters (Iron Man 2 notwithstanding) that challenged superhero norms of recognisability and marketability, but it was only with Joss Whedon’s team-up they truly became “great“. It released in May 2012, two months before highly anticipated conclusion The Dark Knight Rises, yet not only made more but ended up being the most influential. Many studios tried to build their own shared universes (none quite as successful) and Whedon’s blockbuster style became the norm for this franchise and many more.

But The Avengers wasn’t just bringing the characters together and riffing humorously on their differences. It could have been that sort of gimmicky movie, sure, and would have likely still passed $1 billion, but what really made it work was how energized and focused it was. There’s not really a plot, more a chase for the magical MacGuffin, yet the character interactions provide a story backbone – in the first 40 minutes or so, every scene transition connects directly to the previous one – that remains tight. And that allows the movie to do more than bring heroes together: it analyzes the notion of a team-up in a mildly-meta way, responding to preempting critics and making the eventual group shot a triumph even if you’d not seen a single previous film.

Even then, not everything works – some of the earlier action sequences are very televisual, Hawkeye’s entire arc is undone by a complete lack of setup – but those are overridden by the smart script (what seem like improv asides become emotive throughlines in stark contrast to Whedon’s reshoots on Justice League) and an explosion into three-dimensional action. And while the base thrill of the Avengers coming together is now part and parcel of any random MCU film, it’s been allowed to retain its special feeling by future films thanks to a careful honoring of its core ideas (and a movie-long tease of the purple alien behind it all).

Related: Marvel’s Original MCU Phase 1 Plan Ended With A Very Different Avengers

Page 6 of 6: Our Top 4 MCU Movies

4. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Much was made at the time how Captain America: Civil War was similar to Batman v Superman, from the macro – the shared universe is split in two as the major heroes duke it out – to the micro – the fights are dictated by characters’ emotions for dead mothers. But what’s so striking is that, when both movies landed on the May weekend, it was DC who balked, moving Dawn of Justice to a less competitive March. This was the moment where the MCU’s scale became next-level, where former B-list characters were a bigger draw than the World’s Finest.

Civil War uses that growth and development very much to its advantage. Threads established in as many as nine previous movies (Iron Man 1-3, Captain America 1-2, Avengers 1-2, Ant-Man and The Incredible Hulk) are brought together to tell a story that grapples with the real world applications of having superheroes leveling cities outside your window, and the more personal story of Bucky that’s been simmering for the past two Cap films. And this is a Captain America film first and foremost; Steve Rogers’ responsibilities and guilts power the narrative and resolve the identity exploration of the previous films by having him desert the Avengers and the shield, yet remain the hero. Not that the solo movie arc means the Russos don’t elevate every other character; Tony Stark’s arc is extended, Hawkeye gets more development than in Age of Ultron, Ant-Man gets the showcase he deserved, and in Black Panther and Spider-Man two major heroes are introduced fully formed.

That said, it would be a lie to say some of the shine hasn’t worn off Captain America: Civil War over the past few years, inevitable for such a sprawling tale. The Sokovia Accords are really a plot device and characters – Black Widow especially – choose sides based on narrative requirements, not their past, which means the film doesn’t have as much to say as it thinks. But considering the scale Marvel was now working on, in stark contrast to the twin movie, that didn’t really matter.

Related: What Sides Marvel Heroes SHOULD Have Taken In Captain America: Civil War

3. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

The MCU is greater than the sum of its parts, but if there was any one movie that best represented that sum, it would be Avengers: Endgame. It’s the Marvel Cinematic Universe in microcosm, with all the good and bad that brings. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s messy, it has a very confusing approach to micro-continuity, but it’s ultimately incredibly character driven and delivers an emotional catharsis beyond what any solo movie could do.

Being the ending – at least as close to an ending as a movie with seven movies confirmed in development for the next few years can be – Avengers: Endgame has a massive advantage in when it comes to stakes; so much of the legwork has done before a single frame of new footage. But the Russo brothers do not slack. The opening and closing scenes of Endgame eclipse anything in Infinity War (yes, even the snap), and the in-between journey is so sprawling yet focused in intention that moment after moment hits. Fan service is laid on thick yet feels earned and rarely Tumblr-bait, there’s no green screen flubs, and the ability to pull back from the jokes and let the darkest scenes land delivers what some previous films were missing.

But it’s not perfect. Some of the choices made to get to the ending are rather perplexing, doubly so considering how they seem so opposite to how things were set up in Avengers: Infinity War, a movie written and filmed alongside it. And long-predicted story turns are just as lacking in plot logic as feared. This may be the worst movie to introduce someone to the MCU with, but it’s the perfect one to express what’s made it so great.

2. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

After the second act of Spider-Man: Homecoming, it feels like Peter Parker has finally found some balance in life. His superheroics are taking a backseat and his life is together to the point he’s taking his senior year crush to the dance. He rings her doorbell… and then Vulture opens the door, crashing both sides of his life together. The greatest twist ever in a superhero film – the villain was the love interest’s father is a well-worn trope, but Homecoming buries it deep – that this happens purely on a character level, devoid of MCU or Spider-Man franchise context, is a shining example of just how well balanced Jon Watts’ film is.

Rebooting Spider-Man for the third time that was at once faithful and new was a tough order. Marvel decided to strip the character of what had been overdone before and built him up from what was left. This is a version of Spidey rooted most in the early Stan Lee and Steve Ditko comics, but transplanted to Generation Z to enable a modern-day deconstruction akin to what Phase 1 did for Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. And Homecoming certainly nails his balance of youthful, neighborhood vigilantism with the instantly relatable troubles of leading a normal teenage life, thanks to Tom Holland’s semi-awkward performance and a heavy dose of John Hughes referencing.

Eight years later aside (likely a result of needing Liz to be young enough to draw a picture of theAvengers in crayon), the movie’s placement in MCU canon is elegant as well. Tony Stark is a fitting father figure, the cameos are worth your patience, and, best of all, Peter (and Ned’s) wide-eyed passion brings “heroes outside your window” to life.

That all these three aspects – movie, character, universe – work so well results in one of the most satisfying Marvel movies, and one that has already aged better than its contemporaries (even if it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2).

Related: The Biggest (And Best) Change The MCU Has Made To Spider-Man

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Some of what makes Captain America: The Winter Soldier so effective was a complete accident; its story of modern espionage and invasion of freedoms lines up so well with the Edward Snowden NSA leaks that it’s amazing the film was in production before his story broke. However, that real-world caveat does nothing to take away from what the movie does with the character of Steve Rogers. If The First Avenger was about divorcing Captain America’s patriotic values from his propaganda origins, its modern-day follow-up is how you apply that to a morally-ambiguous, ostensibly peace-time landscape. This is there from the discovery his government bosses are corrupted to that the big villain is his former best friend.

This was the Russos brother’s first entry in the MCU and much of what made their subsequent team-ups so epic yet satisfying is rooted here. The action has proper heft – bullets wound and falls hurt – and there’s a deft balance of character and story, with every single player getting a proper arc that has a tangible impact on the plot; astounding as juggling two-dozen heroes in Avengers: Infinity War is, here there are still more than 10 essential characters interlocking. The core of it, though, is that Steve-Bucky relationship: the Winter Soldier twist is clearly signposted (and spoiled by anybody who was redirected to Bucky’s Wikipedia page pre-release) but that’s all effective setup for an emotional climax.

The weakest part about The Winter Soldier as an MCU film can hardly be blamed on the movie itself: its consequences are mostly meaningless. The Hydra-is-S.H.I.E.L.D. twist should have been seismic, yet Avengers: Age of Ultron not only mops up the fallout before the opening title but it has Nick Fury once again flying a helicarrier. In that regard, it highlights what a great Marvel movie should do – be as good as you can on your own.

Next: Every Upcoming Marvel Movie

2019-04-25 09:04:42

Alex Leadbeater

Every Returning Character In Avengers: Endgame

WARNING: Major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

Marvel Studios closed out their 22 film story in style with Avengers: Endgame and brought together one of the biggest casts ever put to screen to do so. The Endgame cast is even larger than the one that was made for Avengers: Infinity War and finally delivered on the every character scene that was hyped since last year.

For much of Avengers: Endgame, the main cast is reduced as much as possible. This is really the story of the original six Avengers and their latest, and some cases last, attempt to save the universe. In order to do this, it requires the remaining heroes to travel through time to try and bring back those who were snapped before by Thanos. This plot structure allows for many past MCU characters to return in Avengers: Endgame, as well as the snap victims to be brought back before everything is said and done.

Related: Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie, Ranked Worst To Best (Including Endgame)

The end result is a film that features almost too many characters to count. Luckily we’ve compiled a complete list of all the Avengers: Endgame characters. Whether they were alive from the start, returned at the end, or made brief appearances during time travel scenes, here’s everyone who appears in Avengers: Endgame.

Avengers In Endgame Who Survived The Snap

The Avengers’ ranks were depleted thanks to the Sokovia Accords, but the amount of people who have been true Avengers has never been that large. The original six Avengers were all noticeably still alive at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, with few additional survivors.

  • Robert Downey Jr. – Tony Stark/Iron Man: The first MCU hero to ever grace the screen makes his tenth, and ultimately final, appearance here. He helps find the solution to time travel and goes to the past to steal the Space Stone. Even though it is the snapping of his fingers that defeats Thanos, he pays the ultimate price to fix the universe.
  • Chris Evans – Steve Rogers/Captain America: The oldest MCU hero returns and remains integral to the story all the way through. He is responsible for getting the Mind Stone in the past, and proved his worthiness to wield Mjolnir as he attempted to hold off Thanos. Once they were victorious, he goes back to the past to return the Infinity Stones, but stays there to grow old with Peggy Carter.
  • Chris Hemsworth – Thor: The God of Thunder is an overweight drunk who must find the strength to face Thanos one more time. He’s tasked with getting the Reality Stone and eventually gets his rematch with the Mad Titan. He is not the one to ultimately save the universe, but accepts this, deciding to leave Asgard behind to join the Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Scarlett Johansson – Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow: She’s had red on her ledger as long as she’s been part of the MCU, and Natasha finally gets the chance to wipe it clean here. Nat makes the sacrifice play on Vormir to give the Avengers the Soul Stone, giving the Barton family a shot at a reunion.
  • Jeremy Renner – Clint Barton/Hawkeye: The sharpshooter is back after sitting out Avengers: Infinity War, but the latest MCU film doesn’t waste time showing he also suffered losses from the snap. Clint takes on the Ronin guise for the purposes of this movie, and even has to protect the Infinity Stones in the final battle. He does survive the fight and gets an emotional reunion with his resurrected family.
  • Mark Ruffalo – Bruce Banner/Hulk: After the complications Bruce and Hulk experienced in the past, the perfect medium has been found in Professor Hulk. He helps figure out time travel and has to get his hands on the Time Stone. He later volunteers to put on the Iron Man made gauntlet to bring back those who were lost in the snap. He’s successful in doing so, but the snap causes severe – and potentially permanent – damage to his right arm.
  • Don Cheadle – James Rhodes/War Machine: Rhodey is always surprised and somewhat confused by what he doesn’t understand (see Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron), and time travel is the latest example of that. He does come around to the idea and needs to steal the Power Stone from Morag. Ultimately reverting to a new look Iron Patriot armor, Rhodey is left mourning the loss of his best friend.

Related: Every Marvel Movie Releasing After Avengers: Endgame

Other Avengers: Endgame Characters Who Survived The Snap

Beyond official Avengers members, Avengers: Endgame brings back many other MCU characters who survived the snap. Some of them have been working with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes since the incident occurred, while others have not been seen or heard from in this universe for some time. Here are all the pre-existing MCU characters who survived the snap and returned for Avengers: Endgame.

  • Josh Brolin – Thanos: The Mad Titan is surprisingly killed off in the first 20 minutes of the film after already destroying the Infinity Stones, but his role grows thanks to time travel. The 2014 version of Thanos returns and attempts to protect his future self’s plan. He is ultimately defeated as well, as his own confidence in taking down Tony Stark allows the human to get the Infinity Stones back, resulting in Thanos and his entire army being dusted.
  • Paul Rudd – Scott Lang/Ant-Man: Thanks to a curious rat, Scott is able to escape the Quantum Realm five years after he entered, but it was only five hours for him. He devises the time travel solution to the Avengers’ biggest problem and becomes the guinea pig to work out all of the kinks. It is partially his responsibility to get the Space Stone, and then helps save Hulk, Rocket, and War Machine from drowning when Thanos attacks Avengers HQ.
  • Karen Gillan – Nebula: The daughter of Thanos is able to tell the Avengers what his location is at the onset, but continues to work the Avengers after the snap is not able to be reversed initially. She then has to find the Power Stone, but her memory network betrays her and the entire team. It alerts the past version of Thanos of what they are doing, bringing upon the ultimate destruction, but she kills her past self to help fix this and takes her place as an official member of the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end.
  • Bradley Cooper (voice)/Sean Gunn (motion capture) – Rocket Raccoon: The sweet rabbit is the last true member of the Guardians and once again has to be the captain to get Thor back in the game. Rocket gets the Reality Stone from Asgard in 2013 and takes part in the final fight that ends in their victory. He then recruits Thor to the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the team begins to search for a new mission.
  • Brie Larson – Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel: She joins the team shortly after the snap occurs, but she also leaves them almost just as quickly. After she saves Tony and Nebula and once Thanos is killed in the present day, Carol leaves Earth to go back to patrolling the galaxy. She only returns at the very end to help swing the balance of power in favor of the heroes.
  • Tessa Thompson – Valkyrie: Her absence from Avengers: Infinity War was highly recognized by viewers, but the Thor: Ragnarok breakout makes her return now. She’s living in New Asgard and joins the final fight with the return of her pegasus. After helping save the day, she is crowned the Queen of New Asgard.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow – Pepper Potts: The wife to Tony Stark, Pepper is happy to finally have a regular life with the billionaire after he steps away from the superhero game. She finally gets the chance to suit up properly in the Rescue suit and take part in the final fight at Avengers HQ, where she has to say goodbye to her love.
  • Benedict Wong – Wong: After quickly removing himself from the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Wong waits until the end to return. He helps teleport the Avengers’ own army to Avengers HQ to fight Thanos, with their spells helping protect them from the firepower raining down on the war zone.
  • Danai Gurira – Okoye: The head of the Dora Milaje remains in contact with the Avengers following the snap, but doesn’t get too involved in what they are doing. Okoye does make her grand return to combat with the rest of Wakanda at the very end to fight Thanos’ army.
  • Winston Duke – M’Baku: The Black Panther scene stealer and ruler of the Jabari tribe only returns for the final battle at Avengers HQ, where he’s shown running into the heat of combat.
  • Taika Waititi – Korg: The warrior days of the wise-cracking Kronan are behind him at the start, as he is busy playing video games, but Korg does get involved with the battle at Avengers HQ.
  • Jon Favreau – Happy Hogan: Tony’s former security guard is only briefly featured here, present for his longtime friend’s funeral.
  • Ty Simpkins – Harley Keener: Last seen in Iron Man 3, the Chattanooga native makes his long-awaited return, just not under the best circumstances. The special connection he shared with Tony Stark was enough to see him attend his funeral.
  • William Hurt – Thaddeus Ross: He’s been a longtime adversary to the Avengers, and despite their sometimes contentious relationship, Ross is shown attending Tony’s funeral.
  • Emma Fuhrmann – Cassie Lang: After the five-year time jump, an older Cassie is shocked to see her father after all these years. There’s no signs that she’s become a hero of her own during this time, but they are reunited for possible future adventures.
  • Miek: The insectoid creature is still alive after a brief scare at the end of Thor: Ragnarok and is largely relegated to eating pizza in New Asgard in his small appearance here.
  • Angela Bassett – Ramonda: The mother of T’Challa and Shuri previously stated that she survived the snap and returns here reunited with her children as they overlook Wakanda.
  • Marisa Tomei – May Parker: Confirmed to have survived the snap by the Russo brothers, Peter Parker’s aunt returns to attend Tony Stark’s funeral with her nephew.

Related: Avengers: Endgame Doesn’t Have A Post-Credits Scene (But Don’t Leave)

Characters Brought Back In Avengers: Endgame

The snap wiped out half of all life across the universe, but that’s reversed in Avengers: Endgame, meaning that everybody who turned to dust in the last movie is back for the final fight against Thanos.

  • Tom Holland – Peter Parker/Spider-Man: The friendly neighborhood hero returns after being snapped on Titan, making his grand entrance during the battle at Avengers HQ. He has to say goodbye to his mentor Tony Stark and then attend his funeral, before going back to school and trying to move on.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch – Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange: He sacrificed the Time Stone knowing he would be snapped on Titan for the chance that the only path to victory out of 14,000,605 scenarios came to fruition. Strange helped teleport an entire army to Avengers HQ so the final fight could occur, and got to see first hand how Thanos was defeated. He then attended the funeral (he knew was coming) for Tony Stark.
  • Chadwick Boseman – T’Challa/Black Panther: The recent star of the MCU was surprisingly snapped in Wakanda but returns here to lead the Wakandan army during the battle that ensues at Avengers HQ. He then heads back to Wakanda to watch over his country with his family.
  • Anthony Mackie – Sam Wilson/Falcon: Snapped after the Battle of Wakanda, Falcon returns for the final fight at Avengers HQ. He survives the battle and attends Tony’s funeral. Then, after Steve Rogers doesn’t return from his time travel mission, he sees an aged Steve sitting on a nearby bench, who offers him the Captain America title and shield to carry on the legacy.
  • Sebastian Stan – Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier/White Wolf: The first victim of Thanos’ snap shown, Bucky returns to fight at Avengers HQ. He isn’t who Steve chooses to carry on the mantle, but he doesn’t appear to be upset in the slightest with this decision.
  • Chris Pratt – Peter Quill/Star-Lord: His blunder on Titan was partially responsible for the snap happening at all, but he returns here to fight at Avengers HQ. He encounters the past version of Gamora and begins searching for the version he knows after attending Tony Stark’s funeral. We last see him aboard the Benatar with the Guardians of the Galaxy searching for a new adventure.
  • Evangeline Lilly – Hope van Dyne/Wasp: She disappeared at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, but Hope returns to join the fight at Avengers HQ in support. After the superhero adventure, we last see her spending a night relaxing with Scott and Cassie.
  • Vin Diesel (voice)/Terry Notary (motion capture) – Teen Groot: The anthropomorphic tree-like creature was snapped in Wakanda and now returns to fight at Avengers HQ. He’s protected by Rocket and attends Tony Stark’s funeral, before he rejoins the Guardians of the Galaxy aboard the Benatar to go on a new adventure.
  • Dave Bautista – Drax the Destroyer: He was snapped on Titan after failing to stop Thanos and returns now to join the battle at Avengers HQ. He attends Tony Stark’s funeral before heading off on a new adventure with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Pom Klementieff – Mantis: An addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, she was snapped on Titan and reappears at Avengers HQ. She attends Tony Stark’s funeral and then boards the Benatar with the rest of the Guardians.
  • Letitia Wright – Shuri: The Black Panther break out was snapped off-screen in Wakanda and makes her return during the battle at Avengers HQ. She then heads back to Wakanda to be reunited further with her family.
  • Michael Douglas – Hank Pym: Snapped at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hank returns at Tony’s funeral, but this isn’t all. He briefly is shown during a time travel sequence in 1970, where the young S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist is still perfecting his shrinking tech.
  • Samuel L. Jackson – Nick Fury: The man who started the Avengers Initiative and was snapped at the end of Avengers: Infinity War makes a quick return to attend Tony Stark’s funeral, remembering his first recruit.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer – Janet van Dyne: Snapped at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Janet only returns to attend Tony Stark’s funeral at the very end.
  • Linda Cardellini – Laura Barton: Laura is snapped right at the beginning of Avengers: Endgame, and it takes all the way until the very end for her and the three Barton kids to be reunited with Clint.
  • Cobie Smulders – Maria Hill: A recurring character throughout the MCU makes another return after being brought back from the snap to attend Tony Stark’s funeral.
  • Jacob Batalon – Ned Leeds: Peter Parker’s best friend from Spider-Man: Homecoming returns to have a reunion with Peter at school. His fate in the snap was never confirmed, but his lack of aging should point to him being a snap victim too.

Related: How Much Did Avengers: Endgame Really Cost To Make?

Avengers: Endgame Characters Who Return Via Time Travel

On the other side of this coin, Avengers: Endgame also brought back many characters through time travel. The film revisits five main times and locations – Camp Lehigh/1970, The Battle of New York/2012, Asgard/2013, Vormir/2014, and Morag/2014 – and each is used to bring back a familiar face or two. Here are all the characters who returned in Avengers: Endgame thanks to time travel.

  • Zoe Saldana – Gamora: The Guardians of the Galaxy star died in Avengers: Infinity War but returns here with the 2014 version of her, showing how she helped conquer planets and civilizations for Thanos. She makes it to the present day and her fate is unclear, as she could be among the latest batch of snap victims from Tony or be living a brand new life.
  • Tilda Swinton – The Ancient One: Doctor Strange’s mentor is shown fighting off Chitauri on top of the Sanctum Sanctorum during The Battle of New York from The Avengers. She encounters Professor Hulk during this time and, after initially saying no, gives him the Time Stone once he mentions Strange gave it up in the future.
  • Hayley Atwell – Peggy CarterCaptain America: The First Avenger‘s romantic lead and future founder of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns briefly during a scene in 1970 with Steve Rogers. She doesn’t see him during this scene, but the two are fully reunited during the end when Steve decides to stay in the past to grow old with her.
  • Tom Hiddleston – Loki: The trickster is shown briefly in captivity during Thor: The Dark World, but also is part of them revisiting the aftermath of The Battle of New York from The Avengers. He gets his hands on the Tesseract and teleports away, leaving his fate potentially up in the air.
  • Ross Marquand – Red Skull: The former head of Hydra returns in his new form on Vormir and guides Black Widow and Hawkeye through the process of getting the Soul Stone.
  • John Slattery – Howard Stark: Tony Stark’s distant father returns in a 1970 scene and sees him meet his fully grown son, although he doesn’t know it.
  • Natalie Portman – Jane Foster: Thor’s former girlfriend from the first two Thor films makes her return when Thor and Rocket visit Asgard during the events of Thor: The Dark World.
  • Rene Russo – Frigga: Thor’s mother gets one more encounter with her son during his time on Asgard as he revisits the events of Thor: The Dark World.
  • Robert Redford – Alexander PierceCaptain America: The Winter Soldier‘s villain was the head of Hydra and returns in the revisit to The Battle of New York from The Avengers.
  • Frank Grillo – Brock Rumlow/Crossbones: A side villain from the Captain America franchise was a sleeper Hydra agent in S.H.I.E.L.D. and returns as The Battle of New York from The Avengers is revisited.
  • Tom Vaughn-Lawlor – Ebony Maw: The intellectual Child of Thanos was killed by Iron Man and Spider-Man’s plan in Avengers: Infinity War, but returns in 2014 to help figure out Nebula’s memory network and then joins the fight at Avengers HQ.
  • Carrie Coon (voice)/Monique Ganderton (motion capture) – Proxima Midnight: A Child of Thanos who first appeared in Avengers: Infinity War and died at the hands of Scarlet Witch returns here in her 2014 form to fight with Thanos’ army at Avengers HQ.
  • Terry Notary – Cull Obsidian: The giant Child of Thanos introduced in Avengers: Infinity War was killed by Bruce Banner before, but his 2014 self now returns to help lead Thanos’ forces during his attack on Avengers HQ.
  • Michael James Shaw – Corvus Glaive: One of Thanos’ children was killed by Vision in Avengers: Infinity War and reappears now as his 2014 self at the battle of Avengers HQ.
  • James D’Arcy – Jarvis: The longtime Stark butler, friend of Peggy Carter in Agent Carter, and inspiration for Tony’s A.I. of the same name returns during a 1970 scene with Tony and Howard Stark.
  • Maximiliano Hernandez – Jasper Sitwell: A supporting character throughout MCU Phase 1 was secretly working with Hydra and returns in an elevator during The Battle of New York from The Avengers.
  • Callan Mulvey – Jack Rollins: Another sleeper Hydra agent from Captain America: The Winter Soldier returns here during The Battle of New York, but isn’t dismantled by Captain America in an elevator this time.

Related: Marvel’s Original MCU Phase 1 Plan Ended With A Very Different Avengers

New Characters In Avengers: Endgame

With so many familiar faces returning, Avengers: Endgame is short on new additions to the MCU. There are a few fun Community cameos that are included, but here are the few new characters that you need to know about.

  • Hiroyuki Sanada – Akihiko: The villain of The Wolverine, Sanada makes his MCU debut with a small role as a member of the Yakuza in Tokyo. He is hunted down and killed by Barton.
  • Morgan Stark: The daughter of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts was born after the snap. She spends most of her time in the film with Tony, but will now have to spend the rest of her life without him.

And there you have it, that is every character who appears in Avengers: Endgame. The cast is incredibly large, but so is everything – from the runtime to likely box office opening – about this film.

MORE: Everything We Know About Avengers 5

2019-04-25 04:04:46

Cooper Hood

10 Art Books Every Real Movie Fan Should Own

What many people don’t recognize is how much production, time, and money goes into making a popular film. Movies like Avengers: Infinity WarHarry Potter, or Toy Story didn’t and couldn’t happen overnight. They took planning, direction, editing, and more. One of the most important aspects of those movies is the artwork.

Some of the greatest movies of all time have stellar artwork behind them. There’s so much to learn from them, which is what makes the “Art of” books such a great investment. Learning more about how these movies got made is a fun experience. Here are 10 art books every movie fan should own.



Horror movies used to dominate Hollywood back in the day. They’re still made today, but not quite on the same level. Nonetheless, they were an important part of movie history. That’s why The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History makes for a great read.

This book is packed with information about some of the oldest and best horror movies ever made. All sorts of unique and exclusive images are contained within this book. There is also commentary from renowned figures in the horror movie genre in this book, making it the ultimate collection for fans of horror films. Movie lovers will appreciate it too.



While Disney might be a cinematic juggernaut that makes some people uneasy, it’s worth noting that there’s a reason the company got there in the first place. They learned how to create art decades ago. Some of their work is captured in The Hidden Art of Disney’s Mid-Century Era.

This book details the artwork and exclusive details on Disney’s movies from the ’50s to the ’60s. That was a time when important classics, such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, were released. This book holds new images from many of those works as well as the process that made them.



Pixar is one of the most renowned animation studios. When creating classics like Toy Story and Monsters Inc, the company made a name for itself as an artful studio that put a lot of passion into its works. Many of its films have been captured in The Art of Pixar 25th Anniversary.

Not only will readers get to see gorgeous artwork from all of the studio’s movies released up until that point, but they will also see the complete color scripts for those movies as well. The book also contains some words from John Lasseter (a name movie and Pixar fans should recognize), this is the book to get.



Despite Studio Ghibli releasing all sorts of phenomenal movies, the one that many people still regards as the best is Spirited Away. This whimsical tale of a young girl trying to get her parents back is captivating, relatable, and a treat for the eyes. Hayao Miyazaki himself wrote this book, meaning that there’s a sense of authenticity with its illustrations and depictions.

Readers will get to see beautiful paintings and works of art featuring the film’s world and its characters. The Art of Spirited Away also includes the full English script for the film, which makes it worth the purchase alone.



Dreamworks Animation doesn’t quite have the same credentials as Disney or Pixar, but the company was an important piece of animation history nonetheless. With a breakout classic like Shrek to pieces of art like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, the studio has left its mark on the industry.

The Art of Dreamworks Animation documents the history of the studio and how it grew from film to film. It includes concept art and sketches from every one of its films as well as commentary from the individuals who worked on them. Much of the information in this book had never been revealed before.



The Lord of the Rings became one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed movie trilogies in history. However, Peter Jackson, in many ways, had it easier than most directors. The ground was laid for him with the phenomenal artwork done by J.R.R. Tolkien.

In The Art of The Lord of the Rings, drawings, collections, and basic sketches from the esteemed author himself are all packed together. While that does mean the book is based on the novels, the novels were heavy backgrounds for the movie. Readers will get to see where certain locations and characters began and how they evolved over time.



If you haven’t seen Kubo and the Two Strings, now may be the chance to do so. This movie was a gorgeous work of art, using its simpler animation style to convey a heart-wrenching story of loss, betrayal, and legacy.

The animation is what made it so gorgeous, and that’s why The Art of Kubo and the Two Strings is a must-read. LAIKA, the studio behind the film, knew what it wanted to achieve with this movie and succeeded. This book details the visual designs and concept art for the movie while showing how that was accomplished through stop-motion animation.



It’s been seven years since we first saw Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assemble in The Avengers. Since that time, the Mad Titan has been biding his time, waiting for the Infinity Stones to reveal themselves. In The Road to Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, characters, concept art, and locations from one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises are all captured here.

Readers will see the growth of the franchise and its characters as the book moves toward Avengers: Infinity War, one of the biggest movies ever made. Movie fans will get a lot out of this, as there hasn’t been anything quite like the MCU before.



There is a lot to Star Wars. With so many films, video games, TV shows, and more, there’s almost no way that it can all be documented in a single book. Then there came Star Wars Art: Concept.

This book collects all sorts of visual history of George Lucas’ original trilogy, the prequel films, the games, and even the TV shows. There’s a lot to study when it comes to the success of Star Wars, which is why this book would be great for movie fans. However, the book also contains “preview” concept art for Star Wars 1313, which is now a canceled game.



Before the MCU was the biggest Hollywood franchise, there was Harry Potter. The fact that this series of movies was as successful and beloved as it was is an astounding feat. The movies forged an identity for themselves separate from the books but were loved just the same.

In The Art of Harry Potter, readers will get to see the visual tricks and inspiration that helped all sorts of brilliant minds translate Rowling’s popular series to the big screen. All sorts of concept art, visual sketches, and more will give fans more reason to dive back into the Wizarding World, and movie fans a reason to study it a bit more.

NEXT: The Ultimate Horror Movie Fan’s Gift Guide

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2019-04-22 08:04:51

Joshua Olivieri

Captain Marvel Has Grossed More Than Every Batman Movie

It’s official, Captain Marvel has now grossed more at the worldwide box office than every Batman film. The film stars Brie Larson as a Kree warrior named Vers who struggles to remember her previous life on Planet C-53 (otherwise known as Earth) while stuck in an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. The film was met with praise from critics and audiences alike, and Captain Marvel is now gearing up for a fight alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the upcoming superhero epic Avengers: Endgame.

Marvel’s first female-led solo superhero film has already gone higher, further, faster in theaters by breaking box office records and shattering glass ceilings along the way. During the film’s opening weekend, it grossed $456 million globally, making for the biggest opening weekend for a female-led film. The movie then went on to make over $1 billion at the box office in its first month of release, setting the record for the highest-grossing female superhero movie of all time. Now, Carol Danvers is giving Bruce Wayne a run for his money.

Related: Fixing Marvel Phase 3’s Broken Release Schedule

According to Box Office Mojo, Marvel’s intergalactic adventure has grossed $1.089 billion at the worldwide box office, surpassing Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, which grossed $1.084 billion at the worldwide box office. This now makes Captain Marvel the 9th highest-grossing superhero film ever and the 25th highest-grossing film of all time. With international box office numbers taken out of the equation, The Dark Knight Rises takes the lead domestically with $448 million, whereas Captain Marvel remains at $400 million domestically. Nonetheless, it’s an exciting accomplishment for a female-led and female-directed film.

These numbers also bode well for one of the film’s directors, Anna Boden. Previously, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman held the record for biggest opening weekend of any film from a female director domestically and, at the time, worldwide. Now Captain Marvel’s worldwide box office numbers have skyrocketed past Wonder Woman’s, making for major milestones domestically and internationally for both women as female directors in the industry. While the numbers obviously show that audiences want to see these movies, it’s also been proven that female-led films out-earn their male counterparts at the box office, which encourages studios to make more female-led and female-directed films in the future.

Captain Marvel‘s success says a lot about the direction in which the industry is heading. Record-breaking numbers prove to studios that audiences long to see female-led films and actually enjoy seeing them as well, as seen from glowing critical reviews. By allowing women to direct these films as well, it opens up the door for other women who want to work behind the camera, allowing for much-needed diversity amongst directors. Following Carol Danvers’ successful origin story, along with Black Panther‘s mega-successful theater run last year, Marvel’s president Kevin Feige has stated that diversity both in front of and behind the camera will be its gold standard moving forward. Hopefully more Hollywood studios will take on Marvel’s now gold standard to help advance the process of diversification. Representation matters, and it’ll only strengthen the film industry in the future.

Next: Did Captain Marvel Reveal How Thanos Got The Mind Stone?

Source: Box Office Mojo

2019-04-22 05:04:52

Hannah Hoolihan

Every Single Original TV Show & Movie Coming To Disney+

Disney is joining the streaming game with new service Disney+, set to launch on November 12, 2019, and the studio is bringing a big lineup of original TV shows and movies to the table. From Star Wars shows like The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars to Marvel Cinematic Universe spinoffs such as Falcon and Winter Soldier, Disney is planning to spend $500 million on original Disney+ content in 2019 alone.

With established competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime to contend with, Disney is planning to draw Disney+ customers in with a low starting price point of $6.99 a month, and a large library of archived Disney content at launch. However, in order to succeed in the streaming game, Disney+ will also need to offer a wealth of exclusives within its first few years.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Disney+

Though the launch of Disney+ is still months away, Disney already has shows and movies lined up through to 2021. Here’s what’s coming to Disney+, and when to expect it.

  • This Page: Original TV Shows & Specials Coming to Disney Plus
  • Page 2: Original Movies Coming to Disney+

Release: First year of launch.

Two of Captain America’s best buds will be teaming up for Falcon and Winter Soldier, a live-action series starring Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie. Not much is known about the series yet, most likely because Marvel wants to avoid spoiling the events of Avengers: Endgame. However, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson made a formidable (and funny) team in Captain America: Civil War, so it should be fun to see them exchanging banter and covering each other’s backs in their own show.

Related: These Marvel Shows Are Coming After Avengers: Endgame

Release: Second year after launch.

Thor’s trickster brother is getting his own live-action series in Loki, which will see Tom Hiddleston reprise his role. Rick and Morty writer Michael Waldron is in charge of developing the series and scripting the pilot, and according to an official synopsis the series will “follow Loki as the trickster and shapeshifter pops up throughout human history as [an] unlikely influencer on historical events.” This prequel approach gets around the rather sticky problem of Loki being killed off at the start of Avengers: Infinity War.

Release: Second year after launch.

The rather bizarrely titled WandaVision will follow romantic pairing of Scarlet Witch and the Vision, who are connected via the Mind Stone (it gave Wanda Maximoff her powers, and resided in Vision’s head until being rudely pried out by Thanos). Little is known about this series so far, except that Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen are expected to star and that, like the other series, it will intersect with the movie side of the MCU.

Release: First year after launch

An animated series inspired by the “What If…?” Marvel comics, Marvel’s What If…? is exactly what it sounds like – a series of stories based in alternate versions of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where one major element has been changed. The first episode of the series will explore what might have happened if Agent Peggy Carter became Captain America instead of Steve Rogers. Not to be left out, this universe’s version of Steve becomes the first ever Iron Man, with a suit built by Howard Stark.

Release: Episode 1 available at launch

Pedro Pascal leads the cast of The Mandalorian, the first ever live-action Star Wars series, which is set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi. The main character is a bounty hunter of questionable morals, whose identity will be a mystery at the start of the series. The Mandalorian will also star Gina Carano as Kara Dune, an ex-Rebel shock trooper, and Carl Weathers as Greef Marga, head of a branch of the Bounty Hunters Guild.

Related: Star Wars Theory Explains The Biggest Mandalorian Plot Hole

Release: First year after launch

Animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars is being revived for Disney+, with a trailer unveiled at Star Wars Celebration. The series focuses on Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan, and also features other characters from the movies like Yoda, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul. In season 7, Ahsoka has left the Jedi and is attempting to start a new life in the underworld of Coruscant.

Release: Second year after launch

Diego Luna’s ruthless Rebel spy Cassian Andor, who made his debut in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, will return in a live-action series alongside sardonic robot K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk). The Americans‘ Stephen Schiff will both produce the show and serve as showrunner. Set prior to the events of Rogue One, the show will explore Cassian’s history in espionage at the height of the Empire’s power.

Release: Available at launch

As you can possibly decipher from the tongue-in-cheek title, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is about a high school production of High School Musical. This is a ten-episode series set in East High, the real high school where High School Musical was filmed, and where students are now preparing to put on their high school’s first production of High School Musical. Got it?

Release: Second year after launch

Set six months after the end of Pixar classic Monsters, Inc., Disney Television Animation series Monsters at Work will follow a new monster character, Tylor Tuskmon (Ben Feldman), who works as a mechanic at the revamped Monsters, Inc. Tylor dreams of moving from his humble position up to the main team on the Laugh Floor (formerly the Scare Floor). The voice cast will feature several returning actors from the original movie, including Billy Crystal, John Goodman, John Ratzenberger, and Jennifer Tilly.

Release: First year after launch

Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez will be producing Diary of a Female President, a new series from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend writer Ilana Peña. The show will follow a 12 year-old Cuban-American girl with big dreams, “as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school and her journey to becoming the future president of the United States.”

Available at launch:

  • Encore! – Former high school musical castmates recreate their original performance.
  • Forky Asks a Question – 10 shorts featuring Toy Story 4 character Forky.
  • Marvel’s Hero Project – Show celebrating young real-life heroes.
  • SparkShorts – Short animated films from Pixar.
  • Untitled Walt Disney Imagineering Documentary Series – Docuseries about the history of Walt Dsney Imagineering.
  • The World According to Jeff Goldblum – Show hosted by Jeff Goldblum, offering his unique view on the world.

Released in first year after launch:

  • Be Our Chef – Cooking competition show.
  • Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies – Anthology show looking at the making of famous Disney movies.
  • Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 – Behind the scenes look at Frozen 2.
  • Magic of Animal Kingdom – Behind-the-scenes look at the Animal Kingdom theme park.
  • Lamp Life – Animated short film featuring Toy Story 4‘s Bo Peep.
  • Marvel’s 616 – Docuseries about the history of Marvel.
  • (Re)Connect – Series where families work out the issues dividing them.
  • Rogue Trip – Travel series with journalist Bob Woodruff.
  • Shop Class – Competition series with teams creating contraptions.

Released in second year after launch:

  • Earthkeepers – Docuseries about conservationists and the animal kingdom.
  • Ink & Paint – Docuseries about the history of animation at Disney.

Page 2: Original Movies Coming to Disney+

Release: Available at launch

Disney’s trend of making live-action adaptations of its animated classics gets a smaller-scale venture in Lady and the Tramp, a new take on the 1955 film featuring real live doggies. The film was written by Andrew Bujalski and directed by Charlie Bean, and features Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux as the voices of Lady and the Tramp. The film tells the story of a pedigree house dog from a wealthy family who crosses paths with a cheerful street mutt, and the romance that blossoms between the two of them. Also featuring the voices of Kiersey Clemons, Yvette Nicole Brown, Thomas Mann, Janelle Monae, and Sam Elliot.

Release: First year after launch

Bill Hader stars in Disney+ original movie Noelle as Nick Kringle, the bumbling heir to the mantle of Santa Claus, who lets the pressure of Christmas get to him and vanishes in the lead-up to the holiday. The only hope to get Nick back and save Christmas is his little sister Noelle (Anna Kendrick), who has thus far lived a carefree life as a member of the Kringle family, but will have to take on some serious responsibility for the first time in getting her brother back. Also starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Billy Eichner, Julie Hagerty and Shirley MacLaine.

Related: Every Fox Movie Disney Is Still Going To Release

Release: First year after launch

Based on the book by Jerry Spinelli and directed by Julia Hart, Stargirl is about a teenage boy called Leo (Graham Verchere) whose life is changed by the arrival of a girl called Stargirl Carraway (Grace Vanderwahl) at his high school. Stargirl’s unusual, conformist behavior baffles the student body, who are at first charmed by her weirdness but then start to turn on her.

Release: First year after launch

Disney cartoon series Phineas and Ferb is getting the movie treatment in The Phineas and Ferb Movie (though that’s only the working title), executive produced by show creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh. The movie will see stepbrothers Phineas (Vincent Martella) and Ferb (David Errigo Jr.) go on a galactic mission to rescue their sister Candace (Ashley Tisdale), who has been kidnapped by aliens and taken to a far-away planet.

Release: First year after launch

Based on Stephan Pastis’ book Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made and directed by Tom McCarthy, Timmy Failure is about a young boy called Timmy (Winslow Fegley) who runs a detective agency with the help of his imaginary polar bear friend and his sidekick, Rollo Tookus. The film also stars Craig Robinson, Wallace Shawn, and Ophelia Lovibond.

Release: First year after launch

Directed by Ericson Core, Togo is based on the true story of a diphtheria outbreak that threatened the lives of children in the remote town of Nome in Alaska in 1925. The movie follows musher Leonhard Seppala (Willem Dafoe) and his sled dog, Togo, as they travel almost 700 miles through the harsh Alaskan landscape to bring medicine to the children. The film is based on the same story as 1995 animated film Balto, with Balto and Togo being the two most famous sled dogs in the team that saved the children.

More: Everything Available On Disney+ At Launch

2019-04-22 04:04:33

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Every MCU Post-Credits Scene Released Ahead Of Avengers: Endgame

Marvel releases every post-credits scene from movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe in anticipation of the premiere of Avengers: Endgame. Post-credits scenes have become an MCU staple, the thing that keeps moviegoers in their seats long after the credits roll. Some post-credits scenes have led to significant reveals, while others have teased future movies.

Avengers: Endgame will see the end of the massive story that has been a large part of Phase 3 of the MCU. In Avengers: Infinity War, the Avengers saw half of the universe’s population get decimated at the hands of the Mad Titan Thanos. In Endgame, the Avengers will deal with the aftermath of that destruction, as well as come together to figure out exactly how they can fix the world, or at least stop Thanos from doing more damage. Marvel recently released a series of posters highlighting those Avengers who were among the fallen, as well as champion the current team of Avengers moving forward into the new film. However, the plot for Endgame is so secretive that only one actor, Robert Downey Jr., was allowed to read the entire Endgame script.

Related: Is Captain Marvel’s Post-Credits Scene Really From Avengers: Endgame?

In anticipation of the release of Endgame on April 27, Marvel took to Twitter and released the post-credits scenes from each of its movies, from 2008’s Iron-Man through 2019’s Captain Marvel.

Although we’re less than a week away from Endgame, no one knows how the film will play out and how the Avengers will finally defeat Thanos. However, Downey recently promised that the last eight minutes of the movie are the best in the entire MCU. As the film helps wrap up the end of the MCU’s Phase 3, which ends with Spider-Man: Far From Home, it’s likely that some Avengers will die, or at least retire, with new team members taking up the helm, including Captain Marvel. In an Audi short film, it was revealed how Captain Marvel learned about the Avengers; that short film also confirmed that Goose, the Flerken disguised as a cat, survived Thanos’ snap.

Marvel has pulled out all the stops in promoting Endgame, spending a record-breaking $200 million on marketing. In comparison, the company only spent $150 million on Infinity War. It’s betting big on the finale to the story set up in Infinity War. It’s also likely that Endgame will become one of the biggest movies in box office history since the film has already substantially outsold Infinity War in pre-purchased tickets.

More: Captain Marvel’s End-Credits Scenes Explained

Source: Marvel

2019-04-22 01:04:23

Robin Burks

Every Single Call of Duty Game, Ranked

One of the most successful video game franchises in history is easily Call of Duty. The first-person shooter has spinoffs and trilogies, and all of the games have been financially successful, although the entertainment value and quality of the games vary slightly. With that said, the fact that Call of Duty still sells countless games every time a new one is released speaks volumes about the consistent nature of the games.

The first Call of Duty game came out in 2003, and a new game was released pretty much every year with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 hitting in 2018 — the 15th mainline game in the series in 15 years. Along the way, there have been games set during World War II and games set among worlds of monsters. However, not every game was created equal, and here is a ranking of every Call of Duty game.

Related: Next Call of Duty Game is Supposed to be Massive and The Best Yet

15 Call of Duty: Ghosts

Call of Duty: Ghosts was the first post-Modern Warfare game as well as the first for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and it fell short of what fans were used to from the series. Released in 2013, this game put players into a crippled nation fighting for survival. The game does get credit for allowing a player to create a female soldier for the first time, and the multiplayer online mode is fun, but the campaign leaves a lot to be desired.

14 Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

If there is one compliment to give to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, it is that this might have been a solid game if it hadn’t been called Call of Duty. This game, released in 2016, takes the battle off the planet Earth and has soldiers battling in outer space. It also has a great cooperative zombie mode, which is a plus.

Related: Call of Duty: Mobile is Coming to the Americas and Europe

The problem here comes, once again, from the lackluster campaign. The game also hit in a year where there were some amazing games released, which made the slightly boring gameplay a killer—which is crazy since the battles in outer space should have been hugely entertaining.

13 Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Call of Duty: Black Ops III hit in 2015 and continued the story from Black Ops II—a war in the future where climate change and new tech has pretty much changed everything about the world. The game also had 4-player co-op gameplay with large, open levels. The biggest problem here is not that the game is bad, but that it is a letdown following the great Black Ops II. It is an average game in a franchise built on great games.

12 Call of Duty 3

Released in 2006, Call of Duty 3 was the third part of the first storyline of games in the series that offers an open world concept. The story takes place in World War II in 1944 and puts the player in the shoes of either an American, British, Canadian or Polish soldier heading toward the Battle of Normandy. The game is fun, which is what most players at the time were looking for, but it was nowhere near as polished and fresh as the first two games in the series. Honestly, it offered almost nothing new to the franchise and that made it a disappointment for players looking to up their game.

11 Call of Duty WWII

In 2017, Call of Duty did what many fans were hoping for; it took the battles away from aliens and the vacuum of space and brought it all back home to World War II where it began. This game takes place in the European Theatre and focuses on a squad in the 1st Infantry Division and the real-life Operation Overlord event.

RELATED: Call of Duty: WWII’s War Mode Is Franchise’s Best Innovation In Years

While it seemed that fighting in World War II was no longer interesting, Call of Duty: WWII proved that it could be fun to battle the Axis again over a decade since Call of Duty made it trendy. Sadly, the game didn’t quite reach the level of the ones that came before it.

10 Call of Duty: World at War

In 2008. it was time for Call of Duty to try something new. However, Call of Duty: World at War followed the fantastic Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and had a lot to live up to. It never came close—which is not to say it is not a fun game, it just couldn’t match up to the best game the franchise ever created. The story takes place in World War II after Modern Warfare moved it ahead to 2011, and it just seemed like the franchise took a step backward. The idea to put it in the Pacific Theater was a good one to deliver something new, but the game jumped around a lot in time, making it less coherent than others in the series.

9 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was the franchise’s 2014 release and was the second for the PS4 and Xbox One, and it was a huge improvement over Call of Duty: Ghosts for those two next-gen platforms. Instead of taking on multiple characters, this release put the player in the boots of one soldier. The story takes place in the future where a Marine works with a private military corporation. The game is a nice mix of the military action fans love and the future tech that allows for some crazy battles.

8 Call of Duty 2

Released in 2005, the second game in the Call of Duty series puts the players in the boots of four soldiers—one from the United States, two from Britain and one from the Red Army. There are four campaigns and three stories with a lot of action to really dig into.

RELATED: 15 Times Call Of Duty Games Went Way Too Far

The game helped make the Xbox 360 a must-buy and delivered some great action with solid and stacked gameplay. The one thing that slightly holds this down is the lack of realism with the regenerative health, making a player more of a Captain America super soldier than a real military man trying to survive.

7 Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 came out in 2012, the last release before the PS4 and Xbox One launched. This was a very open-ended game that took place in both the past and future, with the player choosing how the narrative connected through gameplay choices. It was the first of its kind in the franchise, and that made the replay value immense. The story was also smart, as the villain was actually easy to empathize with. The fact that the end of the game and story was based on the decisions the player made was genius and helped create a new reason to play the CoD franchise.

6 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

The newest game in the Call of Duty series hit in 2018 with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. For the 15th game in the main series, this one tried something very risky by eliminating the single-player campaign mode. Instead of a campaign that the player could go through on their own, they instead introduced a series-first battle royale mode in keeping with recent industry trends. There was also a change to the multiplayer mode when CoD eliminated the health regeneration system while also changing the ballistics systems. The game did mark the return of the specialists to the gameplay, and also served as a continuation of the fan-favorite zombies mode.

5 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 came out in 2011 as the eighth version of the game, and it was a direct sequel to Modern Warfare 2 which picked up immediately after the events of that game. The gameplay here has the players tracking down the antagonist from the second game as he antagonizes most of the Western world. There is little new in this edition of the franchise, but following two of the best games in the history of the series means that isn’t that big of a deal. Why change what isn’t broken? This is one of the top first-person shooters out there, even if it is the fifth best Call of Duty game.

4 Call of Duty

In 2003, Infinity Ward and Activision released the game that started it all. It took the first-person shooters of the past and added a teamwork aspect that was fresh and new and changed everything about these sort of video games at the time. Call of Duty was arguably the best first-person shooter of its generation. While other Call of Duty games might have eclipsed this one in terms of gameplay, action, bonus features, and storytelling, there is no overlooking how important this game was, and it deserves all the accolades it receives.

3 Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops followed World at War and continued that story, which meant this started after the end of World War II. Black Ops took place during the Cold War in the 60s. The story focused on a CIA agent who was trying to stop a numbers station that planned to send messages to sleeper agents to start a chemical weapon attack in the United States.

RELATED: Next Year’s Call of Duty Will Have A Story Campaign

The game delivered a lot more fun in the storyline and offered players a lot to do in multiplayer modes as well. The game also offered a grey area between good and bad, making the choices the player made even more intriguing. The multiplayer party modes like gun game were also a fun addition, and this started a new era for CoD.

2 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 had a lot to live up to. It followed the best game in the entire series, and that meant that the margin for error was slim. The game was a success, though, and ended up as the closest the franchise ever came to matching the brilliance of the first Modern Warfare game. The single player is great and actually increased the scale from the original, and the multiplayer remained an almost perfect experience. There are just so many great moments in this game that it remains playable to this day for anyone wanting to relive past games.

1 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is not only the best Call of Duty game of all-time but is also arguably the greatest first-person military shooter on any console in history. This is a game that every shooter since has had to try to live up to, and few have come close. This offered multiplayer on consoles, something that fundamentally changed how people experienced video games. The missions were inspiring, unforgettable, and so fun that the game became instantly replayable. Things got better with the remastered version in 2016 which brought the pitch-perfect gameplay to next-gen consoles. For those who might only play one Call of Duty game in their lives, Modern Warfare is the only option.

Next: Call of Duty: ‘Marvel-esque’ Movie Franchise Planned

2019-04-22 01:04:15

Shawn S. Lealos