The success of the MCU is one of the most impressive things in the history of the movie business. They decided to try something new in cinematic storytelling and they have undoubtedly accomplished a lot with a string of acclaimed and successful films. The Infinity Saga as a whole is one of the most stunning achievements movie-goers have ever seen.
As all-encompassing as the phenomenon has been, not every MCU film is perfect. That's impossible in the movie business. Reviews are sometimes kinder than the films deserve, while on the other hand, some of the best MCU films are forgotten or dismissed by the fans. Here are some solid picks for the most underrated and overrated MCU movies.
10 Underrated: Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel introduced the latest hero in the MCU, to a somewhat mixed reaction. The 90s-set adventure explored Carol Danvers discovering her identity, meeting Nick Fury and becoming a true hero. Some fans found the origin story to be bland, while critics awarded it a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the worst-reviewed film in Phase 3.
While the origin story treads over familiar ground, there's a lot to love about Captain Marvel. Brie Larson is a true powerhouse in the lead, the 90s setting is a lot of fun and the movie gives us the best use of Nick Fury to date.
9 Overrated: Ant-Man And The Wasp
Ant-Man and the Wasp continued Scott Lang's adventures as the smallest Avenger while introducing The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly). The sequel was still not a massive hit at the box office, but the film was praised by critics, receiving 87% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Though the movie certainly is a fun ride, it's maybe over-hyped, since it felt like a nice light follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War. However, it's arguable that the plot is not too interesting, the villains are lacking, and despite being the MCU's first headlining female hero, The Wasp is not given much screen time or personality at all.
8 Underrated: Thor
In the early days of the MCU, Thor was a big question mark. It seemed strange that a more grounded hero like Iron Man would be sharing the same universe as the mighty God of Thunder. The first solo film was a modest hit that proved the character could work on the big screen, but it received mixed reviews overall and even Chris Hemsworth criticized the movie.
Thor is certainly not the biggest or most action-packed MCU film, but it deserves praise for how successfully it introduced the world of Asgard. Hemsworth is a perfect fit in the role, Tom Hiddleston is fantastic as Loki and the movie is filled with a great sense of humor.
7 Overrated: Black Panther
Black Panther was a ground-breaking film for the MCU, comic book films and the film industry in general. The movie took us to the world of Wakanda, as T'Challa struggled with being a good man and a ruler.
There's no doubt Black Panther is a great movie and one of the MCU's best, but this is the best-reviewed MCU film according to Rotten Tomatoes and the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. As amazing as it is, it's not the best superhero ever made.
6 Underrated: Iron Man 3
Though the Iron Man franchise helped kick off the MCU in a big way, the sequels have not been as beloved. Iron Man 2 was rightfully seen as a dull follow-up and Iron Man 3 did not receive a much warmer reception. The third film was widely criticized by fans for its controversial take on The Mandarin.
Putting aside the twist, which was actually a pretty brilliant way to handle such a problematic character, Iron Man 3 is such a fun movie. Marvel allowed writer-director Shane Black to embrace his own style, which makes for a hilarious big-budget action-comedy.
5 Overrated: Iron Man
Without Iron Man, the MCU would likely not exist. This surprise hit about a lesser-known hero proved that this universe could actually work. It also gave us Robert Downey Jr in the iconic role of Tony Stark, an important figure in the MCU ever since.
Iron Man is absolutely a great movie filled with exciting and hilarious moments, but those who still call it the MCU's best are likely forgetting the film's third act, which can come off as a little rushed and not very exciting. Though it doesn't tarnish all of the good about the movie, it is a major flaw.
4 Underrated: Captain America: The First Avenger
Alongside Iron Man, Captain America has been the other key character at the center of the MCU. While his other solo films are highly praised, his origin story is oddly overlooked. Though the film has its fans, it was only a modest hit and is rated 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film is probably forgotten because it is a very different Captain America movie to the ones that followed. The movie is a World War II throwback adventure with a winning performance from Chris Evans as the unstoppable hero and one of the best origin stories in the MCU.
3 Overrated: Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange was an exciting addition to the MCU, as he helped introduce the mystical side of the universe. Benedict Cumberbatch starred in the origin story, which saw Strange turn from arrogant surgeon to sorcerer. The movie was a massive hit and holds an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.
While the character is certainly interesting, his first solo movie was actually a bit of a letdown. The unique origin had potential, but perhaps felt like a retread of the Iron Man story. Cumberbatch wasn't given much interesting stuff to do and the film suffered from a weak villain.
2 Underrated: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy was such a fresh addition to the MCU, but the sequel didn't get the same love. The story of Peter Quill meeting his father Ego (Kurt Russell) failed to capture the spark of the original for many fans. Some felt the humor was more forced this time around as well.
While the sequel could never recapture the freshness of the first film, there are many things the sequel does better than the original. The performances from the returning cast have all improved, there is a great villain, and there is a compelling and emotional story at its center.
1 Overrated: The Avengers
The Avengers was the movie that proved the MCU was a good idea after all. Joss Whedon managed the impossible by bringing together very different and iconic characters to share the big screen. Audiences went wild for the team-up movie and critics were also impressed, awarding it a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Like Iron Man, The Avengers is two-thirds of a very entertaining movie, but the fans that praise it seem to overlook the surprisingly slow first act. The fact that the first action sequence in this massive movie is a rather standard car chase shows how slow it is to get going.