Marvel movies, ranked from worst to best

eternals-tozrsk.jpg
Marvel

From the mutants of X-Men to the godly Eternals, Marvel movies have grown to dominate the 21st-century superhero genre. 

And, according to the numbers over on Metacritic, those movies run the gamut from flop to fantastic. Can you guess which 21st-century Marvel film is number one? And where do the most recent flicks, such as 2021’s “Eternals,” fit in? Here’s every recent Marvel movie, and where it ranks with critics.

58. “Fantastic Four” (Metascore: 27)

52.jpg
20th Century Fox

We’ll start with the lowest-ranking film, the 2015 “Fantastic Four.” 

“Someone forgot to put anything fantastic” into the reboot, according to the New York Daily News.

57. “Punisher: War Zone” (Metascore: 30)

51.jpg
Lionsgate Films

The “Punisher” reboot is the worst-performing Marvel film at the box office to date. The $35 million film earned just $10.1 million at the worldwide box office. The A.V. Club called the movie “junk” in their review. 

56. “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” (Metascore: 32)

Nicolas Cage
Columbia Pictures

The “Ghost Rider” sequel — starring Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze — “seems to have been ill-conceived from the very start,” says Slant Magazine.

55. “The Punisher” (Metascore: 33)

49.jpg
Lionsgate Films

Thomas Jane takes on the role of undercover FBI agent turned unstoppable vigilante in this 2004 film that is “moronically inept,” according to Entertainment Weekly. 

54. “Elektra” (Metascore: 34)

48.jpg
20th Century Fox

A spin-off of “Daredevil,” this 2005 Jennifer Garner action flick is “deadly dull,” per the New York Post.

52 (tie). “Ghost Rider” (Metascore: 35)

46-ghostrider.jpg
Sony Pictures

The Hollywood Reporter believes that “all of [Nicholas Cage’s] natural charisma is unable to compensate for the plodding narrative and thin characterizations,” in this 2007 film.

52 (tie). “Venom” (Metascore: 35)

HIPPO LOOKS LIKE VENOM
Sony Pictures

The first film in Sony’s Marvel Universe, “Venom” (2018) is “the dumbest movie ever,” according to CNET.

51. “Blade Trinity” (Metascore: 38)

Blade Trinity
New Line Cinema

The final film in the Blade trilogy (2004) is a “sucky vampire flick,” gripes the New York Post.

49 (tie). “Fantastic Four” (Metascore: 40)

43-fantasticfour.jpg
20th Century Fox

The Hollywood Reporter called this 2005 movie a “colossal snore.”

49 (tie). “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (Metascore: 40)

43-xmenorigins.jpg
20th Century Fox

The first film in the Wolverine standalone trilogy, this 2009 film is “something of a disaster,” according to Time Out London.

48. “Daredevil” (Metascore: 42)

DAREDEVIL
20th Century Fox

Starring Ben Affleck as the blind lawyer turned masked vigilante, “Daredevil” (2003) is “torn between moody grandiosity and cartoonish mayhem,” writes Newsweek.

46 (tie). “The New Mutants” (Metascore: 43)

44 (tie). "The New Mutants" (Metascore: 43)
20th Century Fox

The final “X-Men” installment was filmed in 2017. After several delays, it was released in 2020. The movie stars Maisie Williams (“Game of Thrones”), Charlie Heaton (“Stranger Things”) and Antonio Banderas. Total Film called the flick “a huge misfire that even the most hardcore ‘X-Men’ fans will find hard to warm to. Avoid, avoid.”

46 (tie). “Dark Phoenix” (Metascore: 43)

44 (tie). "Dark Phoenix" (Metascore: 43)
Walt Disney Pictures

This sequel to “X-Men: Apocalypse” — starring Sophie Turner from “Game of Thrones” — is a “joyless, lifeless, boring affair,” according to RogerEbert.com. 

45. “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” (Metascore: 45)

40-fantastic-four-rise-of-the-silver-surfer-d5eaf802.jpg
20th Century Fox

This 2007 Fantastic Four sequel — starring Laurence Fishburne as the Silver Surfer — is ” less offensive than its predecessor,” per Film Threat.

42 (tie). “Blade II” (Metascore: 52)

38-blade-2-5e8a6980.jpg
New Line Cinema

The 2002 sequel to Blade is “soulless,” according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

42 (tie). “Eternals”

eternals-mfkxog.jpg
Marvel

Critics were mixed on this star-heavy flick, featuring Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjani and Gemma Chan.

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times did not hold back: “Bloated… underwhelming, rambling, forgettable and average.”

42 (tie). “X-Men: Apocalypse” (Metascore: 52)

38-x-men-apocalypse-a7uim8.jpg
20th Century Fox

Released in 2016, the ninth film in the X-Men saga “feels flat, disjointed, with too many moving parts,” per the Arizona Republic.

41. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (Metascore: 53)

37.jpg
Sony Pictures

The 2014 sequel is “sufficiently giddy at first but eventually grows repetitive and wearying,” says RogerEbert.com

39 (tie). “Hulk” (Metascore: 54)

35-hulk-1sjsg6.jpg
Universal Pictures

The Miami Herald said that this 2003 superhero film starring Eric Bana has one major problem: “There isn’t enough Hulk in it.”

39 (tie). “Thor: The Dark World” (Metascore: 54)

35-thor-the-dark-world-2d0a52.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

This entry in the 2013 Thor franchise is “an awkwardly plotted extravaganza,” says the Boston Globe.

37 (tie). “Thor” (Metascore: 57)

THOR
Parmount Pictures

Chris Hemsworth’s first turn as the hammer-wielding god of thunder (2011) “is eminently missable, though the mosaic design of Asgard … is pretty cool,” says the Chicago Reader. 

37 (tie). “Iron Man 2” (Metascore: 57)

33-iron-man-2-a61607a2.jpg
Paramount Pictures

This 2010 sequel isn’t “as much fun as its predecessor,” according to Variety.

36. “X-Men: The Last Stand” (Metascore: 58)

32-x-men-the-last-stand-py6nve.jpg
20th Century Fox

The third film in the X-Men franchise, released in 2006, “lacks that crucial X-factor called inspiration,” per The A.V. Club.

35. “Spider-Man 3” (Metascore: 59)

31-spider-man-3-ba2b2e47.jpg
Sony Pictures

The third and final entry in the original Spider-Man trilogy (released in 2007) is “not dull, exactly, but neither is it much fun,” says the Philadelphia Inquirer.

34. “The Wolverine” (Metascore: 60)

30-the-wolverine-a89626.jpg
20th Century Fox

A sequel to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” this 2013 film “gets our hopes up, and falls short,” according to the McClatchy-Tribune News Service.

33. “The Incredible Hulk” (Metascore: 61)

29-the-incredible-hulk-80767c6e.jpg
Universal Pictures

The second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t so incredible, says The New York Times, which, in 2008, called the film “a middling superhero movie.”

32. “Iron Man 3” (Metascore: 62)

28-iron-man-3-cc573f.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

The third entry in the Iron Man saga (2013) is a “big, kabooming sequel that plays sleight-of-hand with its audience,” writes the Philadelphia Inquirer.

29 (tie). “X-Men” (Metascore: 64)

26-x-men-dqv06b.jpg
20th Century Fox

Released in 2000, the first X-Men movie is “a mixed bag with the promise of a better sequel,” says the San Francisco Examiner.

29 (tie). “Ant-Man” (Metascore: 64)

26-ant-man-royfoo.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

Paul Rudd’s 2018 appearance as the con-man Scott Lang “is infectious, silly entertainment, a popcorn flick that knows what it is and does what it does to an intoxicating degree,” according to the Austin Chronicle. 

29 (tie). Captain Marvel (Metascore: 64)

captain-marvel-fnobx1.jpg
Walt Disney Studios

“What it lacks in grace it makes up for in charm,” according to Meg Downey at IGN.

This was the critical consensus as of March 8, 2019.

27 (tie). “X-Men: First Class” (Metascore: 65)

24-x-men-first-class-d6a2142a.jpg
20th Century Fox

This 2011 prequel — set primarily in 1962 — “is good enough to rejuvenate a franchise stuck on idle,” per the Arizona Republic. 

27 (tie). “Deadpool” (Metascore: 65)

24-deadpool-rywjwv.jpg
20th Century Fox

Ryan Reynolds’ 2018 standalone film as The Merc with a Mouth “feels liberating, allowing for a sexier, dirtier, more hilarious superhero movie than the typical all-ages Marvel affair,” per Screen International.

24 (tie). “The Amazing Spider-Man” (Metascore: 66)

21-the-amazing-spider-man-4a700e33.jpg
Sony Pictures

Andrew Garfield’s 2012 debut as the friendly neighborhood Spidey is “not as good as you hoped or as bad as you feared,” according to Movieline.

24 (tie). “Captain America: The First Avenger” (Metascore: 66)

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
Walt Disney Pictures

Salon called this 2011 summer blockbuster “curiously fun, surprisingly imaginative and unashamedly old-fashioned.”

24 (tie). “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (Metascore: 66)

21-the-avengers-age-of-ultron-rznabi.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

“‘Age of Ultron’ is all rush and sensation with little substance,” the Miami Herald said in 2015.

23. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (Metascore: 67)

20-guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2-xfct4x.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

Though many critics enjoyed James Gunn’s 2017 follow up to the first Guardians flick, the Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan wrote that the sequel is “trying too hard” to recreate the attitude of the original.

20 (tie). “X2: X-Men United” (Metascore: 68)

17-x2-3c41f329.jpg
20th Century Fox

The Washington Post praised this 2003 installment of the X-Men franchise, writing, “The fantastic and at times deliciously nihilistic world of X2 is fully, believably three-dimensional.”

20 (tie). “Deadpool 2” (Metascore: 68)

17-deadpool-2-n4j5qa.jpg
20th Century Fox

This 2018 entry into the franchise is “funnier, filthier, and damn entertaining,” according to Empire’s John Nugent.

20 (tie). “Avengers: Infinity War” (Metascore: 68)

17-avengers-infinity-war-rbr0nx.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

Vulture’s David Edelstein described the 2018 blockbuster as “flagrantly, bombastically extravagant.”

18 (tie). “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (Metascore: 69)

spider-man-far-from-home-llmhs7.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

The “Spider-Man: Homecoming” sequel is “a bouncy addition to a bulging franchise, with just enough fringe zaniness to help it stand out from the pack,” per The Atlantic.

18 (tie). “The Avengers” (Metascore: 69)

16-the-avengers-9s3n2m.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

The San Francisco Chronicle praised director Joss Whedon for his contributions to the 2012 blockbuster, writing that the film “pops with a knowing, loving, Whedon-world jokiness that keeps everything barreling along.”

16 (tie). “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (Metascore: 70)

14-captain-america-the-winter-soldier-7c90f0.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

Chris Evans’ acting in this 2014 flick is “a home-run movie star lead performance,” per Hitfix.

16 (tie). “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (Metascore: 70)

null
Walt Disney Pictures

Cinevue’s Joe Walsh praised the 2018 film’s “well-balanced humor” and “heartfelt father/daughter narrative.”

15. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (Metascore: 71)

shang-chi-and-the-legend-of-the-ten-rings-qjcjn2.jpg
Disney/Marvel Studios

“They’d be crazy not to give Meng’er Zhang, as Shang-Chi’s ferociously watchable sister Xialing, her own spin-off,” EW’s Leah Greenblatt says

“And Awkwafina, who spends at least a third of the movie in a fanny pack and lime-green parachute pants, polishes her sardonic slacker M.O. to a high one-liner shine.”

14. “Doctor Strange” (Metascore: 72)

13-doctor-strange-642pjd.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

“Doctor Strange doesn’t always make sense,” Calvin Wilson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote of this 2016 film, “but so what?”

12 (tie). “Spider-Man” (Metascore: 73)

11-spider-man-vggqdw.jpg
Sony Pictures

Tobey Maguire’s 2002 debut in the spider suit won critical acclaim. Film Threat’s Michael Dequina wrote that the film was “just about the truest and most satisfying screen adaptation most anyone could have ever hoped for.”

12 (tie). “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (Metascore: 73)

11-spider-man-homecoming-3p55xe.jpg
Sony Pictures

Joe Morgenstern wrote of this 2017 film in the Wall Street Journal, “Only now is this series coming of age.”

9 (tie). “Thor: Ragnarok” (Metascore: 74)

8-thor-ragnarok-emm5qi.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

The third film in the Thor franchise (2017) is “a jokey, unapologetically nonsensical romp that makes ‘The Avengers’ look like ‘The Godfather,'” per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

9 (tie). “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (Metascore: 74)

8-x-men-days-of-future-past-chv8kn.jpg
20th Century Fox

According to The A.V. Club, this 2014 time-travel flick “is the first Marvel movie to truly embrace comics-style storytelling.”

9 (tie). “Big Hero 6” (Metascore: 74)

BIG HERO 6
Walt Disney Pictures

Total Film’s Kevin Harley called this 2014 animated adventure “a heart melter.” He also predicted a sequel, writing, “Big Hero 7 is practically a given.”

8. “Captain America: Civil War” (Metascore: 75)

7-captain-america-civil-war-7wjf1i.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers wrote that this 2016 Avengers installment is “smart, snappy, politically savvy and blessedly fast on its feet.”

7. “Guardians of the Galaxy” (Metascore: 76)

6-guardians-of-the-galaxy-956fe4.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

USA Today called this 2014 summer blockbuster “perfectly pitched escapist fun.”

6. “Logan” (Metascore: 77)

5-logan-o69c0s.jpg
20th Century Fox

Matt Donato of We Got This Covered wrote of this 2017 film: “It’s not just one of the best superhero movies ever — it’s a damn-fine cinematic representation of the human condition in all its agonizing forms.”

5. “Avengers: Endgame” (Metascore: 78)

avengers-endgame-u1wsze.jpg
Walt Disney Pictures

CNET says “Endgame” is “a genuine emotional roller coaster, delivering a satisfying if safe conclusion for these much-loved icons.”

4. “Iron Man” (Metascore: 79)

4-iron-man-44160572.jpg
Paramount Pictures

Robert Downey Jr’s 2008 debut as Tony Stark was a game changer for Marvel movies. Premiere’s Glenn Kenny wrote, “‘Iron Man’ is the first Marvel Comics superhero movie I would willingly sit through a second time.”

3. “Spider-Man 2” (Metascore: 83)

3-spider-man-2-b3031268.jpg
Sony Pictures

The Miami Herald called this 2004 film “a masterpiece of pop filmmaking.”

1 (tie). “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Metascore: 87)

1-spider-man-into-the-spider-verse-mrg2og.jpg
Sony Pictures

This 2018 animated spidey flick won the Oscar for best animated feature. The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern wrote, “The story is deliciously witty and preposterously complex.”

1 (tie). “Black Panther” (Metascore: 87)

null
Walt Disney Pictures

This 2018 movie was nominated for the best picture Oscar. “Black Panther could have been just another Marvel Romp… But Ryan Coogler and company had the power, and perhaps the responsibility, to do much more,” Slate’s Jamelle Bouie wrote, “And they did.”

Shaer This Post