The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films Ranked No. 11 - 7

 Writing a ranking of the MCU films has been a lot harder than I thought because I always feel that I have ranked a film too low. If you look at my list you will see that most of the films I have mentioned so far have been mainly from phase one, I feel the early MCU films while good, were made with a tighter budget and thus the look of the films less dynamic than the films in phase two. The visuals and cinematography got better in phase two and I think in large part that was due to the budget and filmmakers. In my last article (The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films Ranked No. 18 - 12) I covered both Ant-Man films and a big reason they made it that high was because I think both of those movies are a lot of fun.  In the films I am covering today, I think the best word to describe four of the five films would be fun. The main reason why I think the MCU films are so popular is because they strive to be fun films, but they also have a lot of heart in them.  

11) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

The Guardians series has made everyone take notice of the talents of James Gunn (writer and director of both films). The series has an ensemble cast and is one of the funniest comic book films ever made, the sequel is just as funny (if not funnier) than the first film and a major character's death was by far the most emotional moment in an MCU until Infinity War. My biggest issue with the film was the villain, Kurt Russell does a fine job playing Ego, and he uses his natural charisma to make you like him. Ego's plan for the universe was not interesting and the big battle at the end had funny moments but was kind of boring. Michael Rooker who played Yondu had a key, but small part in Vol. 1 and in Vol.2 Yondu had more screen time and by the end of the film when he sacrificed himself to save Quill you felt heartbroken. Yondu's funeral is what ends the film, and it could not end on a more bittersweet moment. The film is crammed with jokes, but there is still a lot of time devoted to character growth. The action in the film was okay but I enjoyed the film because of the jokes, the characters, and the music. The tease at the end of the film for Guardians Vol. 3 looks incredibly interesting, and after James Gunn was fired (now rehired) there was a chance we might not get a Guardians Vol. 3. After what has occurred in Endgame, I am not sure what Guardians Vol. 3 will be like, but it will likely be great too.

10) Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

It is weird how good of a segue talking about Guardians Vol. 2 to now talking about Thor: Ragnarok, they are such similar films and that is a compliment. Thor Ragnarok was directed by Taika Waititi and it might not be a coincidence that Taika was hired since both he and James Gunn make movies that are hilarious while also imbuing the characters with a lot of heart. Thor 3 is the best Thor film made so far, and it is not even close. Ragnarok is funny, action-packed and features a great cast including Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Hopkins, Taika Waititi and Jeff Goldblum. The film is visually stunning and has a strong style to it which is something the previous two Thor films lacked. Taika is coming back to direct Thor: Love and Thunder, where Jane Foster (Natalie Portman returning) is possibly going to get the powers of Thor. Taika was able to tap into Chris Hemsworth's charm and his comedy chops and that combination has breathed new life into the Thor franchise.  

9) Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

When the deal between Marvel and Sony was announced it was something nobody expected and when Spider-Man appeared in Civil War fans could not have been happier with the results. There were high expectations for Homecoming and the film delivered on those expectations and then some. There has never been a Spider-Man film that spent so much time focusing in on Peter Parker in high school as Homecoming did. Having Tony Stark be a mentor to Spider-Man was a great idea, we get Robert Downey Jr., and we get the bond they develop in the film which is paid off in Endgame. Michael Keaton was coming off of Birdman and he was great as the villain Vulture, who was given a great motivation for his villainous turn. The reveal midway through the film involving Vulture and Peter was great and something I did not see coming. The film features some great action sequences and has a lot of humor and heart. Homecoming was such a fun movie to watch, you can just about watch it any time and always enjoy it. The film is a superhero movie set inside a John Hughes film and that combination works perfectly with a teenage Peter Parker.

8) Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther who like Spider-Man made his MCU debut in Civil War got his own film released right before Infinity War. The film is amazing and has many great moments, it is truly a shame that Chadwick Boseman died. Boseman was such a great actor and was the perfect choice to play Black Panther, he imbued the character with so much heart. Chadwick Boseman passing so early in his life has robbed us of seeing all the great roles he would have played, he has already played so many iconic people and we are all worse off for him having passed on too soon. Black Panther was an iconic Marvel character and Ryan Coogler made Wakanda feel real and he obviously put so much time and effort into creating the world of Black Panther. The film is perfectly cast and was released at the perfect time. The film's success at the box office was a testament to how good the film was and how important the film was to audiences. Michael B. Jordan was great as the villain Killmonger and no matter what he did you always could sympathize with him. The climax fight between Killmonger and Black Panther looked a little off due to subpar CGI but Killmongers death scene was a great end to a great character. I am looking forward to the sequel to see more of Wakanda but with the passing of Chadwick Boseman I could also understand if Marvel decides to not do a direct sequel. I want another Ryan Coogler film set in the Black Panther universe but I would prefer it to be another character taking on the mantle of Black Panther let Chadwick Boseman be the only actor to play King T'Challa (at least for awhile). If it were not for the fact that I have such a strong connection to another Marvel character I could easily say Black Panther might be in the top three.

7) Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Marvel's most recent entry into the MCU makes it to number seven on my list, I think it is a great new entry into the MCU. The cast was fabulous and I thought the story focusing in on family really delivered an emotional punch as the film reached its climax. I thought Simu Liu and Awkwafina were really good and had great chemistry together which made the film a lot of fun. Hong Kong movie star Tony Leung gave an incredibly powerful performance as Shang-Chi's father Wenwu. Leung's performance and his character were one of the main reasons I enjoyed this film so much. Shang-Chi has added a different element to the MCU that previously did not exist, this movie blends together a lot of themes and style. When I looked at where it belonged on the list I could not find reason to move it below seventh, the only weakness to the film was the final villain and the lack of fight choreography in the second half of the film. You can find my spoiler review of Shang-Chi here.

That is my rankings of MCU films 11 through 7, I hope you come back next week when I do films 6 through 2 (I'm saving number 1 as a whole article on the film). I hope you enjoyed today's article and I look forward to writing my article.   

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