The MCU Movie You Should Watch Based On Your Mood

From its humble beginnings in its first film starring Robert Downey Jr., 2008's "Iron Man," all the way to the multiverse-shattering "Spider-Man" threequel "No Way Home," the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been dotted with films of all kinds. They run the gamut of superhero movies:  from unprecedented grand adventures of super-teams like "Avengers" and the "Guardians of The Galaxy" to the intimate, personal stories of "Black Widow" and "Ant-Man." Everything from moody tales to light-hearted romps. No matter what you are looking for in a comic-book movie, you're sure to find it in one of the MCU's wide array of films.

Such is the vast variety of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that you may often find yourself struggling to decide which one to watch. After a long day, not every film may satisfy you, depending on how you're feeling at the moment. But don't worry — we're here to help. We've run through every MCU film and picked out the best one to watch based on your mood.

Upbeat: Guardians Of The Galaxy

If you're in a good mood, feeling upbeat and positive, you probably don't want to let go of that amazing feeling. You'll probably want to sit back, grab a bag of popcorn, and switch on a film that will keep the good vibes going. If that's the case, there's no better movie in the MCU to watch than writer/director James Gunn's 2014 entry, "Guardians Of The Galaxy." The far-out space epic was the first truly cosmic adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and was nothing like anything audiences had seen before, with a cast of interstellar misfits that cross paths and join forces to save the universe from an galactic tyrant named Ronan.

Stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista — and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper — play a group of outer-space outlaws all seeking the same prize, a mysterious orb that contains untold power. But their fortunes bring them together to become a team, and once allied, they set out to change their ways and become heroes. Fast, fun, funny, and exciting — with a positive message of friendship, love, and togetherness — "Guardians Of The Galaxy" is perfect for the person who's feeling good and wants to stay that way.

Stressed: Captain America: Civil War

Feeling lots of anxiety and stress can leave you overwhelmed, at the very least. At its worst, you may not even want to leave your bed in the morning. If anyone can empathize with mind-numbing stress and crushing anxiety, it's Steve Rogers and Tony Stark in the MCU's first superhero showdown, "Captain America: Civil War." When the movie opens, things have been hard enough for Captain America adjusting to the 21st century, and the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" only made it tougher, as he has no more military home. With the Avengers he's at least found kinship, but when a mission goes awry, he's up to his neck in even more problems.

Forced to choose between what's right and what the government wants him to do, Steve is torn between morals and duty, and chooses his morals. But that's still not good enough, and only adds to the chaos, because Tony Stark takes the opposing side. Throw the government's hunt for Steve's old friend Bucky "Winter Soldier" Barnes — whom loyalty demands he help — and suddenly, even Cap's friends on the Avengers are his enemies. On the other side, Tony has lost companion Pepper Potts, and feels the weight of the world after the events of "Age of Ultron," making "Civil War" not just a clash of friends, but of stressed-out, overworked superheroes.

Determined: Black Panther

It's been one of your better days; you're feeling a real strength and power, enough to take on the world. No problem standing in your way seems too big to conquer, and you're determined to hit your goals and go well beyond them. Whether you have days like this often, or it's a rare occurrence, "Black Panther" is the perfect MCU flick to put on when that energy is flowing for you. The story of T'Challa and his fight for the throne of Wakanda isn't just a roller-coaster superhero adventure, it's a story of strength and determination, and actor Chadwick Boseman's impeccable portrayal of the hero is sure to keep you feeling the same way.

It all starts with the death of King T'Chaka. His son and reluctant heir T'Challa finds himself challenged for the leadership of his homeland by a twisted rival and long-lost cousin, American black-ops soldier Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). But even when he initially loses the throne, and finds himself the enemy of his own people, nothing can stop T'Challa from doing what must be done to save Wakanda — and the world — from the tyranny of his militant cousin. Black Panther's determined quest to take back the throne is one of Marvel's best, and the perfect watch when you're feeling like conquering your own world.

Frustrated: Doctor Strange

Everything just seems to be getting on your nerves today. Nothing is going your way, and everything you're trying to do is failing, leaving you tired and frustrated. You want to lash out, but you know that's not the right thing to do. So why not pop on the magical 2016 MCU adventure "Doctor Strange," directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch? A confident, brash surgeon, Stephen Strange has it all until the day he gets in a devastating car accident and finds himself lost and confused; his hands are useless, and he may never be the same brilliant doctor ever again. Frustrated by his inability to fix his situation, he seeks out help from a group of magical monks in the Far East.

After meeting the Ancient One, Strange comes to learn how selfish he used to be, and endeavors to change. He masters the mystic arts; while his hands heal, he realizes that his old life was a wasted one, and starts anew. When a villain named Kaecilius emerges, he uses his new abilities to become the superhero wizard Doctor Strange. The movie is a visual spectacle with wondrous and bedazzling FX that are sure to steady your nerves, and the Ancient One's message of embracing a new way of thinking could just show you the path to a calmer you.

Bitter: Iron Man

A bad day or week has left you dissatisfied, resentful, and in a really sour mood. You're bitter and ready to toss everything into the trash, but you'd be better off watching one of the MCU's early bests instead: the first one — in fact, the 2008 classic "Iron Man." You'll likely empathize with an imprisoned, tortured, and bitter Tony Stark, held hostage with his new friend Yinsen in Afghanistan and forced to build weapons for his captors. Instead, he builds an advanced suit of armor to mount a daring escape. You'll connect even more when he comes home to find his colleague and former mentor Obadiah Stane plotting against him, and stealing his technology to build his own armored suit and take over his company, Stark Industries.

But you'll also get the satisfaction you're looking for when Stark crafts a new, more advanced suit, and becomes the superhero Iron Man. Using his high-tech red-and-gold suit, he goes back to Afghanistan, gets revenge on the terrorists who killed his friend, and takes back Stark Industries from Stane. Stark's famous final quote in the film will surely make you smile, too.

Amused: Thor: Ragnarok

Sometimes you're just feeling silly, and in the mood for something lighthearted and funny. On your worst days, it may even make you burst out laughing, but when it seems like everything you see elicits a giggle, "Thor: Ragnarok" will have you rolling on the floor in hysterics. After two overly serious entries, the third "Thor" film took another direction, and recruited Taika Waititi to write and direct one of the most colorful, fun, and charming films in the MCU, a movie that finally took advantage of actor Chris Hemsworth's impeccable comedic timing. The visual style of the movie will also have you looking all around the screen to fully absorb the silly touches from scene to scene.

The story of Thor's exile to Sakaar, his battle with the Hulk, and facing down his villainous half-sister Hera with the fate of Asgard hanging in the balance, is much funnier than you might expect. Actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk and his alter ego Bruce Banner, also gets a chance to show off his funny side, and the film becomes a buddy comedy when the pair team up after one of the MCU's best punch-ups. Looking to laugh? "Thor: Ragnarok" is the MCU movie for you.

Hopeful: Captain America: The First Avenger

If the future seems bright, things are looking up, and you're filled with confidence in tomorrow, the best MCU film to watch would be "Captain America: The First Avenger." Since it's set during World War II, you might not expect this to be a hopeful picture, but this is Marvel's version — fun and cheerful despite the gloomy backdrop. The film sees a young, skinny Steve Rogers hoping against hope to lend his hand to the war effort, but he's turned away every time. Then one scientist, Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), offers him a chance: Be the test subject of an experimental new serum, and become the first in a new army of super soldiers.

He takes his chance with dreams of glory on the battlefield. When Erskine is killed, and the secret of the serum dies with him, Rogers becomes the last best hope for ending the war: Captain America. Battling the dastardly Red Skull — Erskine's first and more twisted test subject, played by Hugo Weaving — whose HYDRA army is attempting global domination, Captain America and his allies, the Howling Commandos, become war heroes. Even a somber climactic conclusion can't dampen the hopeful tone of "The First Avenger," as the final scene shows Nick Fury recruiting him for the Avengers

Exhausted: Shang Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings

After a long, hard day, you get home, and you have nothing left to give. You're sapped of all your energy and want to sleep, but your body just won't let you. You plop down on the sofa and start skipping through Disney+ for an MCU movie to watch, but can't decide what's best given your haggard state. Well, we've got the answer for you: the epic 2021 martial-arts adventure "Shang Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings." Starring Simu Liu as the titular hero, the movie finally gives Marvel fans the Mandarin they've been waiting for, with legendary Hong Kong actor Tony Leung filling the role of the immortal warlord and wielder of the Ten Rings of Power — and father to Shang Chi himself. Though a high-concept affair, this is one movie that won't require a lot of deep thought, and you can just sit back and enjoy the action and spectacle. 

As we meet Shang Chi, he's trying to live a normal life, having long escaped the clutches of his overbearing father, who now — some 20 years later — wants his son to return to his side. With the help of some new friends, though, Shang Chi will accept the awesome responsibility his family legacy has forced upon him, and use it to confront his father and save the world from an evil power the Mandarin threatens to unleash.

Impatient: Ant-Man and The Wasp

Whether it's a one-time feeling or it's just the way you are, when you're impatient, not every MCU entry will satisfy. You might not have the time or patience for a two-part "Infinity" film, and the slow burn of "WandaVision" just might have you looking at your watch while waiting for the action. Might we suggest "Ant-Man and The Wasp," then? It's a fast-paced, straightforward adventure that gets right to the point and doesn't stop the action and excitement until it all comes to an end. A relatively brief affair, it's no three-hour "Endgame" epic, either.

Following from the events of "Captain America: Civil War," in which Ant-Man went outside the law to aid Steve Rogers, Paul Rudd's Scott Lang finds himself not just in trouble with the government, but with his mentor and friend Hank Pym. More importantly, Pym's daughter Hope — Scott's girlfriend, played by Evangeline Lilly — is also on the outs with him, and this time she's got her own superhero suit as the winsome Wasp. But when a corporate raider steals intel and hardware from Pym, Scott and Hope team up to save the day. Easy, breezy, and sure to please, if you're feeling anxious and impatient, "Ant-Man & The Wasp" will do the trick.

Angry: The Incredible Hulk

It happens to all of us from time to time: We get angry and filled with rage, and just need to let it out. It doesn't matter what caused it, but the 2008 film "The Incredible Hulk" is sure to help you release that pent-up aggression. Seeing the classic green hero who represents all your aggression smash everything onscreen — from tanks and cars to Harlem itself — is the perfect catharsis for your seething anger. Like you, Bruce Banner (played in this installment by Ed Norton) has managed to contain his Hulk persona for a while, until a new incident sparks his latest transformation. 

General Ross (William Hurt) wants to capture and use the Hulk for his own ends, and is hunting Banner with the aid of a new enemy called the Abomination, created from a new, corrupt version of the serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America. All Banner wants is to get rid of the rage he's feeling, but when the Abomination becomes too big a threat for Ross to contain, Banner must embrace the Hulk within to save New York from the new menace. With citywide destruction and over-the-top action, "The Incredible Hulk" is joyously fun thrill ride that will act as a vicarious release for all the ire inside you.

Lonely: Avengers

All your friends aren't talking to you. Maybe you've had a falling out, and you've got nothing to do but sulk, feeling alone and isolated. You could go vent on social media, or play some video games, or maybe just sleep it off, but we've got a better idea to cure your loneliness: Go to Disney+ and fire up the 2012 team-up, "The Avengers." The landmark film brought together Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk from their prior films, and added Black Widow and Hawkeye to deliver one of the best action movies of the 21st century. You won't be feeling lonely when Marvel's best superheroes are on the screen defending Earth from an alien invasion led by Thor's evil stepbrother, the diabolical Loki.

The heroes all start off not getting along, and fighting amongst themselves, in some truly memorable scenes that find Cap, Iron Man, and Thor duking it out, and the Hulk tearing through the whole team. By the climax, however, they're working together to stop the evil Asgardian. From "Avengers," you'll learn that no differences can't be overcome, and that working together and caring for one another — even when feelings aren't their best — is just part of having good friends. 

Proud: Captain Marvel

Your recent accomplishments are many, and you can look back on them with pride and the self-assurance of a job well-done. You've faced many struggles, and defeated every obstacle, and now it's time to relax and enjoy a movie. If you're feeling prideful, "Captain Marvel" is the perfect match for your mood, as this MCU movie will have you beaming by the end of its grand adventure. It's a classic story of self-discovery, a hero's journey from underdog to champion.

"Captain Marvel" is the story of a young woman (Brie Larson) living amongst the stars as a soldier of the Kree Empire, and trained by the hardened Yon-Rogg to be a cunning warrior. But while battling the Kree's mortal enemies — the shapeshifting Skrulls — she discovers her origins on Earth, realizes she's been lied to, and begins to question all she's been taught. With the help of Nick Fury, she must fight back against the people who raised her, and defeat her former mentor to become the proud hero she is destined to be. In the end, when Carol Danvers stands tall as Earth's mightiest hero, your heart can't help but swell with pride. 

Depressed: Spider-Man: Homecoming

If you're down in the dumps and staring into that endless void of despair, maybe you're looking for an MCU movie to get you out of the doldrums. Jon Watts' "Spider-Man: Homecoming" isn't just an upbeat, happy-go-lucky superhero adventure — it's also the first Spider-Man solo adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Marvel Studios was able to strike an unprecedented deal with Sony Pictures to share the character and drop him into the world of "The Avengers." Do you remember how amazing it felt to see Tom Holland, in his Spidey outfit, in the character's triumphant introduction to the MCU?  Relive the excitement of "Homecoming," a positively feel-good flick that'll get the blood pumping and the good vibes flowing.

Watch a young Peter Parker struggle to prove to Tony Stark that he belongs in the Avengers. Along the way, he'll face down a nefarious weapons dealer called The Vulture (Michael Keaton), clash with his electric-fisted henchman The Shocker, and come back from his own low place by embracing his inner strength. Parker's story in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" may even motivate you, and show you a young man able to overcome his lowest moment. But even if it's just a nice diversion, it's sure to put a smile on your face.