By the time Phase 3 of the MCU came along, the cinematic universe that once seemed like a crazy dream had become the biggest thing in the movie business. It seemed like the whole thing was ready to come crashing down at any minute but Phase 3 took things to a whole other level.
Not content with the massive success they already had, Phase 3 had some ambitious goals. It sought to continue the big franchises. It began introducing new and diverse characters. Most importantly, it needed to bring the Infinity Saga to a close. Not only was it a hit with audiences, but it resulted in some of the best-reviewed films in the MCU. Here are all Phase 3 movies ranked according to Rotten Tomatoes.
11 Captain Marvel (78%)
The MCU had long been criticized for its lack of female representation with its heroes. After ten years, they finally delivered their first solo female superhero movie with Captain Marvel. Taking place in the 90s, the movie follows Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), a Kree warrior with immense power who tries to uncover her past life on Earth.
Though critics seemed to agree it took too long to introduce such a character, most agreed Captain Marvel was a worthy addition to the MCU. The 90s setting was highlighted as fun while the chemistry between Larson and Samuel L. Jackson made up for too much CGI.
10 Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (84%)
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was such a unique and exciting addition to the MCU. By the time the sequel came around, it was one of the most popular Marvel franchises. The sequel finds the Guardians being hunted by multiple enemies and eventually meeting a being named Ego (Kurt Russell) who claims to be Star Lord's father.
As if to be expected, the second film failed to recapture the fresh feel of the original according to many critics. But while some of the comedy felt forced, there were plenty of laughs to be had as well as some truly touching moments.
9 Avengers: Infinity War (85%)
Avengers: Infinity War was the film that kicked off the end of the Infinity Saga in the MCU. After years of being teased, Thanos finally made his appearance as he attempted to collect all the Infinity Stone across the universe in order to achieve his goal of wiping out half of all life.
The movie was a huge undertaking and some critics thought it took on too much. Though the frantic pace was pointed at as an issue, many praised the ambitious storytelling, the epic scope, and Thanos as the long-awaited villain.
8 Ant-Man And The Wasp (88%)
True to his name, Ant-Man was one of the MCU smaller heroes with his first film telling a much smaller scale adventure. That approach was maintained in the sequel but now there were two headlining heroes. The movie found Scott Lang partnering with Hope Van Dyne as the Wasp to rescue her mother from the Quantum Realm.
Even for a comic book movie, the plot of Ant-Man and the Wasp was considered a stretch in logic. However, the inventive action scenes and the fun humor of the film made this yet another light and worthwhile adventure.
7 Doctor Strange (89%)
Doctor Strange was a hero that never seemed able to get his live-action film off the ground. But with the MCU ready to take risks, they finally introduced the mystical side of their universe. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a brilliant surgeon who loses the use of his hands. While searching for a cure, he meets the Ancient One and begins his path to becoming Sorcerer Supreme.
The mind-bending visuals of the film were like nothing seen in the MCU at the time. Critics noted that this new kind of hero was a refreshing change from the typical Marvel characters and opened up an exciting new door for the MCU.
6 Spider-Man: Far From Home (90%)
Spider-Man: Far From Home had the difficult job of following up on the epic of Avengers: Endgame. The film found Peter Parker (Tom Holland) dealing with the aftermath of the battle against Thanos. While taking a school vacation in Europe, Peter meets a new hero named Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).
The movie continued the entertaining high school adventures of Peter which proved to be an ideal setting for the character. The young romance of the film and the comedy has a great antidote to Endgame. But most critics agreed it was Gyllenhaal that stole the show.
5 Captain America: Civil War (91%)
Though it was technically a solo film, Captain America: Civil War was one of the biggest MCU films to date. The film found the Avengers split over whether to become government agents or remain independent heroes. Tensions grow worse when Bucky Barnes becomes a fugitive.
The movie was praised for its ability to tackle more serious subject matter while still keeping things light and fun. It also managed to not only bring in several Avengers but introduce Black Panther and Spider-Man in satisfying ways.
4 Spider-Man: Homecoming (92%)
The excitement of seeing Spider-Man join the MCU was one thing, but then fans got a whole movie in which Peter Park lived in this cinematic universe. Spider-Man: Homecoming explores Peter's dreams of becoming an Avenger while balancing high school life and battling Vulture (Michael Keaton).
The high school comedy feel of the film was widely praised for feeling like a fresh take on the character. The small and fun connections to the MCU were a hit and Holland's performance was praised as charming and moving.
3 Thor: Ragnarok (93%)
Thor had not been the most critically acclaimed franchise and still seemed to be finding its footing. That changed with Thor: Ragnarok which followed Thor on an intergalactic adventure where he met old and new friends while trying to free Asgard from his vengeful sister Hela (Cate Blanchett).
The movie felt like a completely new take on Thor with director Taika Waititi infusing the film with his unique and wacky humor. The vibrant look of the film was so fun and Chris Hemsworth was having a blast with his new take on the character.
2 Avengers: Endgame (94%)
In many ways, the entire MCU up to this point was leading to Avengers: Endgame. After Thanos fulfilled his master plan, the remaining heroes try to cope with the immense loss. After an opportunity arises to potentially fix everything, they embark on their biggest mission.
Despite the lofty goals of the film, critics praised the epic movie as a thoroughly entertaining conclusion to an incredible cinematic story. The humor, the stakes, the surprises and the heart of it all made for a crowd-pleasing experience.
1 Black Panther (96%)
Though Black Panther was introduced in Civil War, it was his first solo film that showed what an important cultural phenomenon the character had become. After the death of his father, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) must become king of Wakanda. But soon the mysterious Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) emerges to challenge him for the throne.
Black Panther was an incredible success both commercially and critically. Writer-director Ryan Coogler created a personal story that explored deep subject matter surrounded by a rousing action-adventure. It became the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.