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Ranking All Of Marvel's Phase 3 Movies Worst To Best

Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe surpassed Phase 1 and Phase 2's film count by a landslide, with five more films than its predecessors. Out of the three phases in the Infinity Saga, the third is easily the best, with more A+ films than bombs. It also doesn't have any true duds like Phase 1 ("Iron Man 2") and Phase 2 ("Thor: The Dark World"), and it contains five of the top 10 highest-rated Rotten Tomatoes films of the entire MCU thus far. On the opposite end of that spectrum, only one film from Phase 3 lands in the bottom 10 movies, based on their Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Marvel absolutely knocked it out of the park with Phase 3, ending the epic Infinity Saga with its best batch of films. It closed out the stories of some of our favorite heroes like Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) while also introducing us to some of the most promising newcomers, like T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). There were a handful of team-up films, crossover appearances, and origin films that perfectly rounded out the 11-flick phase.

We've ranked every film in Phase 3 of the MCU, and it was no easy feat. You probably have your own personal ranking, so take a scroll and see how closely we lined up.

11. Captain Marvel

We wish it didn't have to be this way, but "Captain Marvel" definitely falls at the bottom of the Phase 3 lineup. It would have been wonderful if the first female-led MCU film was a banger, but "Captain Marvel" is just boring. It's not an awful movie by any means, but it's so monotone that it's hard to care about anything or anyone in it. With a 79% Rotten Tomatoes score, the Brie Larson-led film is the only Phase 3 movie to fall in the bottom 10 MCU films based on the site's rankings. It's also one of the few MCU movies to have an audience score much lower than its critical score (44%).

Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, is a little hard to connect with, which is something the audience really should be doing in a superhero film. She is very one-note, making it hard to root for her. The villain, Jude Law's Yon-Rogg, is also highly forgettable, as is the storyline. The only big wins for "Captain Marvel" are Maria and Monica Rambeau, the two most interesting characters. It was also nice to see the MCU explain how Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) lost his eye, with Chewie the Flerken also being a scene-stealer.

Something that did not work in favor of "Captain Marvel" was its release date. Landing in theaters between "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame" was tough, as MCU fans were so heavily invested in the Thanos story. To analyze "Captain Marvel" objectively outside of that is different, but the first taste one gets of a film can have an everlasting impact on it. And that leads us to the second-lowest movie on our list.

10. Ant-Man and the Wasp

"Ant-Man and the Wasp" is actually a pretty fun movie, but it's rather lacking when it comes to substance. The film suffers from the same issue as "Captain Marvel," as its premiere landed in between "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame." Easily the most exciting part of the movie is its post-credits scene, where we find out that Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) dust away from the Snap while Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is in the Quantum Realm.

The second "Ant-Man" flick has what many MCU movies have — a villain problem. It's another classic baddie fakeout, where the audience is led to believe Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen), aka Ghost, is the villain when it's actually Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins). In one of the MCU's most forgettable roles, Goggins' portrayal of Burch is boring and predictable. His ultimate goal is to steal Pym's tech for profit, resulting in a dull story that followed perhaps the MCU's best movie ever ("Avengers: Infinity War").

"Ant-Man and the Wasp" has its moments, however. How could it not with Rudd as the lead and Michael Pena delivering monologues to perfection?

9. Spider-Man: Far From Home

After the event that was "Avengers: Endgame," we got "Spider-Man: Far From Home," which effectively closed out the Infinity Saga. This second solo Spidey flick was not quite as good as its predecessor — we'll get there in a moment — despite having a pretty stellar cast. Jake Gyllenhaal joined the MCU as Mysterio, a villain disguised as a hero who Peter Parker (Tom Holland) trusts entirely too much despite barely knowing him. Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders also reprised their roles as Nick Fury and Agent Maria Hill, who recruited Peter to help fight a non-existent villain.

"Spider-Man: Far From Home" is a very okay movie. It has some laughs and some good action sequences, but there's something about Peter just handing over his Stark EDITH glasses to Mysterio that makes it all feel very odd. This is invaluable tech, and something Tony Stark personally left to his ward, so Peter's disregard for that trust and relationship is quite shocking. "Far From Home" also had a little too much Tony Stark, especially after he was featured heavily in the previous film. Yes, he wasn't actually in it, but Mysterio's motivations mixed with the EDITH glasses and the many Tony mentions distracted from the real star.

The film did progress Peter and MJ's relationship well, and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) was present, which is always a good thing. Mysterio was also one of the best looking villains we've had so far in the MCU, and Gyllenhaal nailed his performance. "Far From Home" just seemed a little too much like "Spider-Man: Homecoming" when it should have taken a bigger left turn.

8. Spider-Man: Homecoming

"Spider-Man: Homecoming" is better than its successor but hardly a fantastic MCU movie. It is, however, one of the better introductory solo flicks Marvel Studios has put out. After meeting Peter Parker in "Captain America: Civil War," it was nice to see Spidey have his time to shine in his first official MCU film. Tom Holland was a pretty perfect casting, but the script of "Homecoming" had some issues which kept it from the top half of this list.

Tony Stark kind of steals the show in the film, taking away from a lot of development we could have seen in Peter. People love Spider-Man, and Robert Downey Jr.'s presence in this movie wasn't needed — fans of Peter Parker were going to come out no matter what. It often felt like the Tony show, and while he didn't have as much screen time as Peter, the Stark tech in the Spider-Man suit felt like he was never really gone.

However, the saving grace to "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and what bumps it from a C to B movie is Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), aka Vulture. He is one of the best villains in the MCU to date, as he was well-developed. We knew why he was bad. We knew his motivations, his pain, and the immense pressure he felt. He didn't need to be a cosmic entity or a superhuman to be menacing, which made him all the more special.

7. Doctor Strange

While Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man were introduced in Phase 3's first movie, "Captain America: Civil War," "Doctor Strange" serves as the first new character introductory film from this period. With Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role, the trailers for the film promised a mind-bending visual spectacle, unlike anything we'd seen in the MCU before. And it was exactly that, mirroring films like "Inception" in terms of its visuals. The imagery is marvelous and one of the highlights of this solid superhero movie.

"Doctor Strange" is good, not great. However, it appears to be one of the few MCU movies fans are coming around to many years later, much like "Avengers: Age of Ultron." The story is good for the most part, and Cumberbatch nails Stephen Strange, but there are some weights pulling down on what could have been an A+ movie. For one, Wong (Benedict Wong), Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), and Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) are hugely underutilized. Wong is basically there to explain things to the audience, Christine isn't given enough time to shine, and Kaecilius doesn't get nearly enough screen time for such a compelling villain.

One supporting character that does shine is Tilda Swinton's Ancient One. A whitewashing controversy surrounded her casting (the character is Asian in the comics), but the Oscar winner shows her class when she's on the screen, elevating the movie with her performance.

6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

We've gotten to the point in our Phase 3 ranking where every movie from here on out is pretty solid, so it's time to get nitpicky. Because of some dumb moments, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" is the worst of the best of Phase 3 films. Some of its misses are easy to overlook, like Drax (Dave Bautista) laughing at Quill (Chris Pratt) as Mantis (Pom Klementieff) reads his emotions, a relatively slow first act, and the fact that Ego (Kurt Russell) is entirely too huge for just one movie. The guy is an actual living planet.

The sequel hits the mark more often than it misses it, however. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" does a fantastic job of highlighting abuse and how those affected by it can change. Nebula (Karen Gillian) and Gamora's (Zoe Saldana) sisterhood is a perfect example, as is Yondu's (Michael Rooker) redemption, which might be the best subplot of the film. His funeral is also one of the most beautiful moments in the MCU as a whole, delivering an unexpected emotional blow.

5. Thor: Ragnarok

It was the "Thor" film we desperately needed. Despite becoming a beloved character by Phase 3, Chris Hemsworth's Thor had back-to-back trash films, and redemption was overdue. Director Taika Waititi came through and not only created the best "Thor" film but one of the MCU's best. "Thor: Ragnarok" is a major departure from its predecessors, jumping from dull settings and poor stories to cosmic color explosions and an A+ script.

The film managed to still very much be a Thor flick, despite heavily featuring Bruce Banner/the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and Loki (Tom Hiddleston). "Ragnarok" is where Thor truly finds himself and embraces being the God of Thunder, as he finally understands that Mjolnir is only an extension of the power he already has. The movie also gave us our first female MCU villain in Hela (Cate Blanchett), who is a much better baddie than she gets credit for — she could have used slightly more character development, but she's still a terror.

A killer score, some great sets, a solid story — and let's not forget the introduction of side characters Korg (Waititi) and the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) — make "Thor: Ragnarok" one of Phase 3's very best.

4. Captain America: Civil War

Kicking off Phase 3 was "Captain America: Civil War," which was technically the third solo Steve Rogers film. Of course, "Civil War" seemed to be just as much Iron Man's film as Captain America's, but it still worked — and it worked well. This was the first team-up film in the MCU that didn't have "Avengers" tacked onto the title, and so began the trend of throwing a whole bunch of massive characters into someone else's solo film (see: "Spider-Man: No Way Home").

"Captain America: Civil War" really had MCU fans choosing sides at home, with both Team Cap and Team Iron Man having their pros and cons. The Sokovia Accords drew a wedge between Earth's Mightiest Heroes which was driven even further by the meddling of kinda-sorta-villain Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl). "Civil War" also proved that MCU movies don't always need a villain, and ongoing tension between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers was enough to drive the film home.

The movie has, hands down, one of the best fight sequences in the MCU thus far. The airport battle is perfect, pitting hero against hero with no one seemingly having the upper hand. The final fight in the Siberian compound where Steve and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) take on Tony is also gripping, as you don't want anyone to lose or win. The fight choreography is excellent, especially the part where Steve and Bucky toss the shield back and forth to subdue Tony. And straight out of the comics is Steve and Tony's come-to-blows moment, where Iron Man's repulsors hit Cap's shield for a thrilling shot.

If only they could have left out the kiss between Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and Steve that nearly ruined the movie, this film could have ranked so much higher. Cringe.

3. Avengers: Endgame

Everything was leading to this. 11 years and 21 films built up to what is possibly the biggest cinematic experience ever, and boy did it not disappoint. MCU fans flocked to cineplexes in 2019 to see what the surviving heroes of "Avengers: Infinity War" were going to do after half of life was snapped from existence. "Avengers: Endgame" is three hours and two minutes of near perfection, with a scene that — no matter how many times you see it — will still give you goosebumps. 

One of the best things to come out of "Endgame" was the time travel in the second act. Viewers got to revisit MCU movies from the past by visiting points in time we've already been to, but this time from a different vantage point. We got to see what else went on in Stark Tower at the end of the Battle of New York, which was riveting as the future Avengers tried to avoid running into the past Avengers. We were also dealt two heavy blows with the deaths of Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). They were realistic necessities to drive the story after the Infinity Saga, no matter how bad they might have hurt. 

The final battle, with Cap wielding Mjolnir and "Avengers, Assemble" finally being muttered, made "Avengers: Endgame" one of the best superhero films of all time. The downside? Fat Thor was a little much, and the first act had some dragging, but it wasn't nearly enough to slow this juggernaut of a movie down.

2. Black Panther

If it weren't for "Iron Man," "Black Panther" would be the best origin film in the MCU. The films are pretty much tied in this aspect, as both are close to perfection. "Black Panther" was the movie the MCU desperately needed — a film with a Black hero at the helm for the first time, who was given justice with an incredible script. T'Challa was introduced in "Captain America: Civil War," but his story really begins in "Black Panther." The film has a tremendous supporting cast, including Lupita Nyong'o, Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, and Danai Gurira, to name a few.

The visuals are simply stunning, the fight sequences are enthralling, and Wakanda is so perfectly realized that it instantly feels like a real place. "Black Panther" also delivers on the villain front, as Erik Killmonger is easily the best solo-movie villain in the MCU. He is tremendously complex, and while you can sympathize with his reasons, you are still rooting for T'Challa to come out on top.

"Black Panther" changed superhero movies forever, and it marked the first time an MCU film was nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards. While it didn't take home the Oscar, it solidified itself as one of the most important movies ever made.

1. Avengers: Infinity War

The unforgettable "Avengers: Infinity War" takes our top spot, and it wasn't a hard choice. The third "Avengers" film is a perfect movie from start to finish, with absolutely no lag and action sequences and battles which will be hard to top for years to come. The anticipation for this film was through the roof, yet directors Joe and Anthony Russo somehow managed to deliver on a seemingly impossible order to bring dozens of MCU heroes into one cohesive flick which didn't seem overstuffed.

Every actor in "Avengers: Infinity War" brought their A-game and delivered fantastic performances, but perhaps no one better than Thanos himself — Josh Brolin. Serving as the Mad Titan's first non-cameo film, "Infinity War" gave us the best MCU villain ever, someone that may never be topped. There are so many incredible moments in this film, whether they be heartbreaking or goosebump-giving, and they all gel together for 149 minutes of sublime superhero action. Thor's landing in Wakanda, the death of Gamora, Wanda killing Vision, and the gutting experience that was the Snap — "Avengers: Infinity War" is an MCU movie like no other.