Tag Archives: Captain America: Civil War

Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked


It’s been 11 years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe was created with the release of 2008’s Iron Man, and altogether there has been 3 phases with 23 movies. Since 2016 I’ve been meaning to write a list ranking all the movies (as you can probably tell it’s taken a while to write all of this up). The MCU is still very much alive, with Phase 4 starting from next year. With Phase 3 now at an end however, I couldn’t think of a better time to post my rankings than right now.

So I will be ranking all the MCU movies from Iron Man to the latest film in the MCU, Spider-Man Far From Home. I think I should clarify that I do like all the movies on this list. Many of them have flaws, some of them have major flaws, but I do enjoy all of them quite a bit nonetheless.

Also, I will be mentioning spoilers of some of the movies, so basically just assume that all of these movies will be heavily spoiled.

23. Thor: The Dark World

I actually didn’t mind this movie when I first saw it, in fact I originally liked it more than the original Thor. However, upon repeat viewings, I’ve been liking it less and less, now I consider it to be among the worst in the MCU, if not the worst. With that said, while it’s the worst movie in the series, it’s still a passable and enjoyable movie, if quite flawed and generic.

There are a lot of significant flaws in The Dark World. Malekith was such a generic and poor villain, he was another take over the world villain with no depth given to him (poor Christopher Eccleston’s given basically nothing to work with outside of delivering some typical cliché villain lines), I barely remember him, even after a few viewings of the movie. He wasn’t even memorably bad. For the most part, the comedy is really bad, especially when it involved Kat Dennings and the other human characters. While the movie didn’t spend as much time on Earth, every scene on Earth felt infinitely worse than the Earth scenes in the first Thor. However the worst part of this movie is that it just felt rather generic. It feels way too familiar, it’s difficult to care about what is going on, and it doesn’t really have a memorable style or direction. This movie is set more in Asgard than in the previous Thor, but since it’s not under the direction of Kenneth Branagh, it doesn’t have quite the same effect as when he directed Thor. With that said, there are aspects of Thor 2 which are legitimately good, Hemsworth, Hopkins, and Hiddleston were great as their respective characters of Thor, Odin and Loki, and the action scenes were entertaining, especially the final fight with all the portals. There are even some really good standout scenes, such as the funeral scene. Overall, Thor: The Dark World isn’t that good and is the worst in the series (in fact it’s commonly considered one of, if not the worst), but it is still somewhat enjoyable, I don’t dislike it by any means.

Review of Thor: The Dark World

22. The Incredible Hulk

Even though I didn’t rank it at the bottom of the list (though this and The Dark World are interchangeable), I’d probably consider The Incredible Hulk to be the most forgettable MCU movie, and so far it seems the rest of the cinematic universe have forgotten about this one (with the exception of William Hurt and his character of Ross). It’s such a strange movie that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the series. It does have some pretty good parts to it, but not enough to elevate it above being a somewhat decent and entertaining superhero flick.

There are parts of The Incredible Hulk that I do really appreciate. Hulk in this movie has some flawed visual effects but they really sold the whole horror and monstrous side to the character really well that the following versions of the character sadly didn’t explore or return to. The action scenes were also pretty good, from the human based chase/action scenes, to the larger scale fight scenes with The Hulk. The cast do well, from Edward Norton as a darker and conflicted Bruce Banner/Hulk than what we got with Mark Ruffalo’s version, to Tim Roth as a one off but still effective villain. I wouldn’t say that there’s a lot bad about the movie (outside of some dated effects) but it is a little weak. The story is very familiar, and not enough depth is given to that or the characters. While many of the movies in the MCU all need to be seen to get the full experience of the series, for the time being you really don’t really need to watch The Incredible Hulk. On its own, it’s okay but forgettable, and doesn’t do enough to make it worth rewatching.

I mean it’s at least better than Ang Lee’s Hulk.

Review of The Incredible Hulk

21. Iron Man 2

For many people, Iron Man 2 is the worst movie in the MCU. While I can understand why some people really dislike it, I’m one of the few people who actually liked it a fair bit. It has its faults, some of them are quite major but I still enjoy it whenever it’s on TV.

Robert Downey Jr was great as Iron Man (unsurprisingly), I liked Don Cheadle in the role of Rhodes (I don’t know if this is an unpopular opinion but I prefer him as the character over Terrence Howard), Sam Rockwell stole the show and it also introduced Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. The action scenes were also fun enough, even though there weren’t quite enough of them. The worst part of the movie is that it just felt like an expansion pack of Iron Man and in a sense it really just exists to help set up The Avengers. There were so many plotlines in the movie, it really could’ve cut a couple out and focussed on the rest, it would’ve improved the movie immensely. With that said, the plotlines were generally decent, and I liked watching them unfold. So overall, Iron Man 2 is not a great film by any means and is a bit of a mixed bag, but is still enjoyable nonetheless.

Review of Iron Man 2

20. Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel is among the more ‘divisive’ (if that’s even possible) movies in the MCU, and while I’m not on the giant hate train for it, it really isn’t as good as it could’ve and should’ve been. Captain Marvel doesn’t do a ton of things wrong, it’s mostly that it almost just does the bare minimum. The characters and world aren’t interesting, and they failed to make Captain Marvel a character to really like outside of her doing powerful things. Overall fine but lacklustre.

Captain Marvel’s main goal is to establish the titular character, and in a way they did that. However, it unfortunately doesn’t do much more than that. Compared to other origin stories for comic book movies, I feel like I didn’t really get to know Captain Marvel by the end of the movie. Even the action wasn’t as impressive as it could’ve been, with only the scenes where Captain Marvel reaches her fullest power in the third act really standing out. With all that being said, I still partially liked the movie, though I feel like it wouldn’t hold up well if I saw it again. The cast mostly did a good job, Samuel L. Jackson entertaining as a young Nick Fury, and Ben Mendelsohn stealing every scene that he’s in (though Jude Law was easily the most forgettable villain in Phase 3). As for Brie Larson as the titular character, she certainly elevated the role from how it was written and directed. However she can only do so much, the character doesn’t go on a particularly interesting journey and I wasn’t interested in her outside of how powerful she was. Hopefully Captain Marvel’s next on-screen appearance will be much better than what we got here.

Review of Captain Marvel

19. Ant Man

The Ant Man movies I’ve noticed got a bit of a mixed reception from some people. While they aren’t among the best movies in the MCU, they are entertaining and decent for what they are. As the light hearted final entry of Phase 2, Ant Man is a considerably smaller scale comic book movie that works very well in its simplicity.

Ant Man is a straight forward comic book movie, full of plenty of entertaining scenes and humour that makes it a fun time. The cast all work, from Evangeline Lilly, to Michael Douglas and Michael Pena, and even Corey Stoll made for a simple yet suitable and fun villain. However, it’s Paul Rudd who stands out as Scott Lang/Ant Man, very likable character and perfectly cast in the lead role. The movie also gets pretty creative with a lot of its scenes with the shrinking and enlarging visual effects, and they do take advantage of that aspect. Some people refer to the Ant Man movies as ‘flavour of the week’ and I can sort of see why. It’s a typical comic book movie that’s a fun time but you don’t remember much from it afterwards. Still if you haven’t seen at least the first Ant Man, it is worth giving a watch.

Review of Ant Man

18. Captain America: Civil War

It may be surprising to many that this movie sits so low on this list. I was greatly anticipating this movie, and I thought that it would end up being one of the greatest comic book movies ever. But it ended up being one of the more disappointing comic book movies that I’ve seen in recent years, even though it does some great things on its own. It’s a shame because it certainly has potential, some there are parts that I legitimately loved.

If you want to have my full explanation and thoughts on this movie, I recommend having a look at my retrospective review on Civil War as it sets out all my thoughts really clearly. I’ll do my best to summarise some of my thoughts here though. The whole ideas of the conflict had potential but the setups were a little iffy. Deciding that the ultimate conflict would be over Bucky instead of the Sovakia Accords (which were set up but play little to no part in the second and third acts) pretty much made the whole Accords plotline pointless for the movie. Sure, the Accords may have partially affected some of the other movies but not by much, and you don’t really feel those consequences at the end of Civil War. It almost makes the movie feel a little meaningless at times. It’s not the only criticism I have but it’s one of my major criticisms.

However, there are some truly great parts in this movie. Robert Downey Jr gives one of his best performances as Iron Man, Chadwick Boseman stole the show as Black Panther and the final fight between Captain America and Iron Man is one of the best scenes in the entire MCU. I even like Zemo, who was one of the better villains of the MCU (even though I have some issues with how he was handled). Also most the action was generally good, all of them are really solid, with the exception of the airport scene, which I’m really not a fan of. The third act in particular is one of the highlights of the MCU in general. Also while the execution was a bit of a mixed bag, I do like how they really tried to end the movie as being much more of a personal and smaller conflict than a large scale one. Overall, I still say that this movie is pretty good, albeit with a lot of wasted potential. Not great, nor bad, just decent.

Original review of Captain America: Civil War

Retrospective review of Captain America: Civil War

17. Ant Man and the Wasp

What you think about Ant Man and the Wasp will probably be similar to how you’ll feel about the first Ant Man, people who don’t like the first movie will probably hate the second. However, as I liked the first movie, I enjoyed the second quite a bit, even though it’s not even close to being one of the best MCU movies.

Whether you like or dislike the two movies, they aren’t that far apart in terms of quality. The sequel is at least a little more creative with the shrinking/enlarging ability, and it feels like they really had a lot of fun with it. Generally the comedy works a lot better, the MCU has been known to have some humour that deflated a lot of the dramatic moments. However AMATW was a pretty light movie so all the comedy never had a moment where it ruined something. The first movie feels like it was going off of Edgar Wright’s involvement (before he dropped out), whereas here it feels clearly like Peyton Reed’s movie. It’s also a light hearted comedy and a familiar superhero movie, but still a step above the first movie. The cast as usual was really good, and Evangeline Lilly got a lot more to do as The Wasp. Outside of the credit scenes it seemed to be mainly meant as a much lighter movie to end the year on after Infinity War, however it was fun for what it was.

Review of Ant Man and the Wasp

16. Thor

Thor is a movie that some people are a little split on. People generally don’t like The Dark World, and people generally like Ragnarok, but with the first Thor I’ve seen mixed reactions. While it’s not one of the best movies in the MCU by any means, I liked it quite a bit, and has some elements to it that I wish was retained for the following Thor appearances.

Unlike Thor: The Dark World, Thor had a unique look and feel to it, that’s because of Kenneth Branagh’s direction. It feels a lot larger, and with the Shakespearian feel and dialogue, gives it this really grand and epic feel to it (dutch angles and all), which made it really stand out from other comic book movies in general. Like with Thor 2 though, there was the problem of too much time on Earth. While in the first movie it wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t a bad idea having Thor having to prove himself as worthy for his first appearance, the non-Earth parts are just way more interesting. Chris Hemsworth was great as Thor, even if the takes on his character changed with every single movie he was in, he brought it to each of his appearances. Although he was made iconic in The Avengers, Loki was an underrated villain in this first movie. He was quite well established, his motives believable, and the whole Shakespearian take worked perfectly for his character. The scene between him and Anthony Hopkins’s Odin after Loki realises who he really is really is one of the more underrated scenes in the MCU. I’m not really sure I can call any of the Marvel movies underrated, but the first Thor did some really good things that it really deserved more credit for, still a really solid movie overall.

Review of Thor

15. Captain America: The First Avenger

Not many people knew that this movie would actually work in the lead up to its release. Captain America was a well known comic book character but considering how silly he appeared on the surface level, it didn’t look good. Previous live action attempts to bring him to the big screen have been absolutely disastrous, so it was quite ambitious trying to make him actually work this time. With that said, the film somehow managed to introduce the mainstream audience to Captain America in a very credible way.

As I said above, the movie really could’ve been incredibly goofy and cheesy considering some of the concepts and the title character that would be leading the whole story. However, they really managed to find a way for us to take it seriously (enough). Chris Evans was about as perfect a Captain America as you could get, managing to elevate the character above just being a goody two shoes super soldier with a shield and really gave him humanity. Even Hugo Weaving worked really well as a perfect pick for Red Skull. The First Avenger is like an alternative World War 2 movie, and the setting (and especially with them sticking to that setting for almost all of the movie) was probably the best way to handle his first appearance. The First Avenger on the whole wasn’t great and not one of the best of the MCU but it does work well for what it is, and it’s at least worth praising highly for making Captain America successfully work for the big screen.

Review of Captain America: The First Avenger

14. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man Homecoming is a topic of debate, especially when it comes to comparing it to the comics and the Raimi trilogy, generally the MCU version of Spider-Man is a hot topic. I don’t consider Homecoming to be on par with some of the other Spider-Man movies, but it’s still good, much better than I thought it would be at the time.

Homecoming worked much better as a coming of age movie than the prior Spider-Man movies, with it actually being set in high school from beginning to end. I also like how the stakes are a lot more grounded and personal than large scale (even if that came at the expense of some rather lacklustre action scenes). Tom Holland impresses as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, I wasn’t sold on him in Civil War, but his performance in Homecoming got me on board with him as the character. And Michael Keaton worked greatly as the villain Vulture, making a rather ridiculous character in the comics work on the big screen, one of the best MCU villains. I also really liked Peter’s arc in the story, and the brief but significant appearances by Downey’s Tony Stark helped with it. Homecoming is neither top tier Marvel, nor lower tier, it’s somewhere in the middle overall.

Review of Spider-Man: Homecoming

13. Thor Ragnarok

Thor Ragnarok is one of the most offbeat, unique and entertaining movies in the MCU. It’s got some issues that prevent it from being much better than it could’ve been, but I still had quite a lot of fun with it, and it’s one that I’d really like to watch again.

Thor Ragnarok is one the funniest movies in the MCU, however it’s a specific type of humour, very similar to the humour seen in writer/director Taika Waititi’s other movies. Chris Hemsworth is given the freedom to let loose and play full comedy as Thor. Returns of characters like Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and additions of the likes of Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie made it even better. The movie is just so different compared to the other movies in the series. Some of the action scenes were pretty standout too, particularly Thor finally awakening his full power without his hammer. Now there are parts that don’t work as well. While the plotline with Hela (Cate Blanchett) in Asgard had genuine potential, it was clear that most of the focus was on Thor’s story, and every time it cut to her it felt out of obligation more than anything else. So they really didn’t explore the plotline of Asgard’s secret past as much as they could’ve, even though they could’ve potentially done a lot with it. Also while some of the visuals could look absolutely stunning at point, in others it looks surprisingly bland, and I just wished that it looked a lot more consistently great throughout. I’m not really confident in saying that it’s the best Thor movie, as it didn’t feel like a Thor movie. The earliest version of Thor wasn’t perfect but I kind of missed some of the more epic and Shakespearian aspects that his movies started with. I almost would’ve preferred if this movie was done with a different character but then again it also did some things with Thor’s character I also liked. Nonetheless I did enjoy the movie quite a bit, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.

Review of Thor Ragnarok

12. The Avengers

Nobody knew that this movie would actually work, getting a single comic book character to the big screen was in itself a big task. However, combining multiple comic book characters in the same universe in the same movie was not easy. While today I wouldn’t necessarily consider it to be one of the best comic book movies, it definitely did a lot for its time.

The Avengers one of those movies that is just endlessly fun to watch, I’ve rewatched it plenty of times and every time I’ve had fun with what I’ve seen. With that said as a movie, there isn’t a whole lot to it, and looking at clips of it again, it looks quite dated and almost looks like a CW superhero show at points. However, it succeeds in its simplicity and is mainly good for what it is. Aside from the third act with everyone fighting together, what makes the movie work so well is that the dynamic between the characters are fantastic. Really the weakest link of the group is Hawkeye, who spends 2 third of the movie being brainwashed (but thankfully they made up for it in his following film appearances). It’s been a while since I’ve watched it, so I admit I’m just basing this off of memory, but it did a lot for comic book movies at the very least.

Review of The Avengers

11. Doctor Strange

When I first watched Doctor Strange, I’m pretty sure it was close to being one of my favourite movies of the MCU, and I may have liked the movie more at that point than I do now. Still, there’s a lot of things I like about the movie and I think it still held up pretty well.

Although I feel like he was utilised better in the Avengers movies, Benedict Cumberbatch really does well at bringing Doctor Strange to life. Strange’s character arc particularly was a standout among the MCU considering how far he changes. Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One also added quite a bit to the movie. Not all of the cast is utilised really well, Rachel McAdams made for a generic love interest, and Mads Mikkelsen wasn’t even close to being utilised to his fullest potential. One of the parts that I loved so much was the visuals used for magic and the like. I really like how the magic was utilised here, from the dark magic that Mikkelsen’s character uses, to the time travel infinity stone used prominently in the third act. The story may be pretty familiar, but the visuals alone make the movie stand out among the MCU. I’m looking forward to seeing more movies with Doctor Strange, with his appearances in the last Avengers movies proving to be even better, as well as Baron Mordo’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) already set up as a future antagonist in the credit scenes.

Review of Doctor Strange

10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I had some mixed feelings after watching Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 for the first time, it’s generally a movie that although having a generally good reception (as most Marvel movies do), some of the reactions were a little split. I’m so glad I re-watched this movie because I like and appreciate it a lot more now for what it is.

You really feel that James Gunn doubled down with some aspects of the movie, it’s visually stunning, the action scenes are good (although limited), and the music choices were even better than the first movie’s. As a movie about family, it was really fitting, whether it between Peter and Ego, Gamora and Nebula, and the like. Although in the third act it turns into a large scale save the universe climax, I really do like how small scale and personal they made the general movie feel, also it was separated from the MCU movies in general, it’s really its own movie and wasn’t forced to be another movie setting up things for Infinity War and Endgame. It’s also a lot more emotional with most of the characters, the Yondu death scene even worked on a first viewing, among the best scenes in the MCU. I still prefer the first movie quite a bit, some of the jokes in Volume 2 deflated the tension, but it’s very close. I’m going to need to watch it more, I feel like I’m going to like Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 the more I watch it.

Original review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Retrospective review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

9. Spider-Man: Far From Home

The most recent movie from the MCU, Far From Home was a lot better than I expected it to be. Not that I expected it to be bad or anything, but I just thought that Homecoming was pretty good. However not even the addition of Jake Gyllenhaal could make me super excited to see the movie, especially after Endgame feeling like a proper conclusion, Far From Home felt tact on at the end of Phase 3. It is probably the best live action Spider-Man movie since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.

Far From Home is overall an upgrade over Homecoming, it at least worked much better as a coming of age movie. Additionally, it seems like director Jon Watts is a lot more confident with his work, with his action scenes in this movie being a vast improvement over its predecessor (despite the occasionally iffy visual effects towards the end). A certain sequence involving illusions remains one of my favourite scenes in the MCU. Tom Holland once again proves himself a great Peter Parker and Spider-Man, he’s already played him 4 times before and he’s definitely got a handle on this role now. Jake Gyllenhaal made Mysterio, another over the top Spider-Man villain, work for the big screen. It was an almost perfect translation of the comic character, while changing some aspects so that we can actually take him seriously here, I hope we get to see him again. The first half of the movie is a pretty decent Spider-Man movie. However, after some revelations halfway through the movie, that’s when the movie really picks up. Not to say that I don’t have some issues. While I’m not as against it, the reliance on Tony Stark is definitely a little overbearing, especially seeing as how even Mysterio has some obligatory ties to him. Additionally, although I don’t have a massive problem with him not being constantly mentioned, the constant avoidance of even acknowledging Uncle Ben’s existence is bordering on embarrassing. However it’s just a minor annoyance to me even though some others take even greater issue with it. As long as the future movies don’t keep trying to bring in Tony Stark in the lives of Spider-Man and his supporting characters, I’ll be fine with it. With the point that the movie ends on, I’m definitely interested to see which direction they’ll take Spider-Man in next.

Review of Spider-Man: Far From Home

8. Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy was one of Marvel’s biggest risks, in their second phase they introduced 5 new characters, which sounded really random in concept (including a talking racoon and a tree who’s only line consists of him saying his name), and most people haven’t even heard of them. Considering the amount of money being put towards it, it could’ve ended up a disaster or a flop. Yet James Gunn and the cast and co. really came together to deliver on a very entertaining movie, and now the titular characters are now household names.

Guardians of the Galaxy is very loosely connected to the other movies, with the idea of the Infinity Stones seeming the only explicit connection made in the movie. Yet with Nicole Perlman’s writing and James Gunn’s direction, they do such a good job at introducing these new and different characters and worlds to the general audience. From beginning to end, it’s an entertaining sci-fi flick with quite a lot of effective comedy, with a few effective emotional scenes too. The cast were also great, with the highlights being Chris Pratt as Star Lord and the voice of Bradley Cooper as Rocket Racoon. One of the only weaker elements of the film again was the villain of Ronan the Accuser, but even he had a couple of good moments as well. I can’t wait to see where they will take these movies next.

Review of Guardians of the Galaxy

7. Iron Man

This is the movie that started off the MCU, and no one expected it to be as great as it was, let alone start off one of the largest cinematic universes. Director Jon Favreau and co. managed to pull together such a good movie that successfully brought the iconic Marvel comics superhero to the big screen.

Iron Man is very well known in Marvel comics but for the mainstream people at the time was very unknown. Now he’s known as one of the most iconic live action superheroes. It’s especially amazing considering that it had no script throughout, with it relying on a lot of improvising. When you look at Iron Man again after watching the movies following it, you’ll notice that there’s quite a unique tone to it compared to the other MCU movies. It’s got this level of grittiness and style that a lot of the other movies don’t have. Even if you treat the movie as its own thing and ignoring the following films, it’s already good. If anything, the credits scene with Nick Fury was tact on at the end, suggesting something they could pursue if the movie was successful enough. Even if the series didn’t take off like it did, they really did make itself quite a good origin superhero movie. Iron Man/Tony Stark was such a different character from the traditional superhero movies that he had seen on the big screen up to that point Robert Downey Jr was perfect as Stark/Iron Man, he basically made the movie. No one thought that he would work (especially considering him years before he accepted the role), but he really made the biggest comeback and surprised everyone. The rest of the cast were also effective, even Jeff Bridges does a pretty good job as the villain. 11 years later, Iron Man is still among the best movies in the MCU.

Review of Iron Man

6. Black Panther

Black Panther was a massive hit last year, even getting to the point where it became the first comic book movie nominated for Best Picture. While I wouldn’t even consider it to be among the best comic book movies ever made or anything like that, I still consider it to be very good, and definitely deserving of a lot of the praise.

While I don’t love it as much as I did when I first saw it, Black Panther is undeniably one of the best of the MCU. Director Ryan Coogler has done a great job at differentiating it from the rest of the movies in the series, both in story and the overall direction. With the themes and different directions they took the plot and characters, it’s for sure a breath of fresh air for comic book movies. The cast were all really great, with Chiwetel Ejiofor once again solid as the titular character and Michael B. Jordan made for an effective villain, one of the best of the MCU. Yes, some of the visual effects in the third act wasn’t perfect but none of that could negatively impact the movie all that much. There isn’t that much that Black Panther doesn’t do wrong honestly, sure some of the story is familiar but it doesn’t downgrade the movie that much. I’m interested to see a Black Panther sequel and I wonder where they’ll take it next.

Review of Black Panther

5. Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 is quite a divisive movie for some people. Some people really like it, others really hated it for certain reasons. I liked it when I saw it, but it grew on me the more I watched it, to the point where it’s one of my favourite movies in the MCU now.

Writer and director Shane Black really made this movie his own, it’s the funniest, yet darkest of the Iron Man trilogy. It’s also rather standalone from the rest of the MCU movies (even though it’s clearly connected), outside of a mention to The Avengers. Robert Downey Jr as usual is Iron Man but you really see him more as Tony Stark, and this is really more of a Stark movie than an Iron Man movie, personally I really liked that about this movie. Many of the action scenes were also memorable and good, from the plane scene to the climax with all the Iron Man suits. Honestly aside from the twist with The Mandarin, I don’t really get why this movie gets hate. This twist is something I have mixed feelings on, not because of it not being comic accurate but because the build up with him was fantastic, only for it to turn out to be completely fake. Now I thought the actual villain that we got was alright, but kind of a bait and switch at the same time. If I had to come up with one other flaw, it’s the fact that even though Tony’s PTSD plays a part in the movie for quite a bit, it doesn’t have an ending for it, it’s very prevalent in the first two acts and in the last act it was just forgotten. It was mostly handled very well so it was a shame it wasn’t really resolved. On the whole though, I really liked Iron Man 3 and I think it’s rather underappreciated.

Review of Iron Man 3

4. Avengers: Age of Ultron

I liked The Avengers, it was a very entertaining movie and as I said earlier, it did the impossible and successfully pulled off the first superhero team up movie. However, Age of Ultron to me is a much superior film, from the direction, to where they were taking the plot. It just generally felt like a significant improvement.

Age of Ultron balanced the fun, and the dark elements quite well, I really liked where they took the story and characters. You can also tell that Joss Whedon got a lot more of a budget to work with, feeling less like a higher budget TV show and more like a big budget superhero movie. The addition of characters like Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) were also very welcome. Obviously this movie has some faults. Ultron could’ve been a far more effective villain and maybe toned down the jokes just a little bit (I still liked him though, and James Spader was absolutely perfect in the role). While I get that some people didn’t like how similar it was to the first movie, I do feel like it does enough to make itself stand out from that. Age of Ultron is one of the more divisive of the MCU movies but I actually consider it to be one of its best entries.

Review of Avengers: Age of Ultron

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier took a different direction than what was expected. It took a much more serious tone that most of the MCU movies didn’t have. It is highly regarded as one of the best of the MCU for very good reason.

The First Avenger made Captain America work in a World War 2 setting. However, the question was whether how Captain America would work in a modern setting, ignoring his appearance in The Avengers. The solution was having a much more serious tone and opted for a spy and espionage movie. The action scenes were all really memorable and impactful, from the opening scene to the final confrontation between Captain America and The Winter Soldier. This is probably one of Scarlett Johansson’s best outings as Black Widow (for the time being), same with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, and Robert Redford was effective as one of the MCU’s more underrated villains (and yes the titular Winter Soldier was also very threatening). From beginning to end, the movie doesn’t have a weak link at any point. From the cast, to the story and the direction, it was great, and also had a lasting impact on some of the other movies set in the universe. For a while The Winter Soldier was for me the best movie in the MCU.

Review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier

2. Avengers: Infinity War

Infinity War is an event movie has been anticipated for many years, it did not seem like it would live up to it. Despite my scepticism (especially following Captain America: Civil War), the Russo Brothers delivered on the promise.

The way the MCU characters were brought together in one movie and cut between them, yet not making it feel too overstuffed was great. It may not have the same effect if you’ve missed out some of the movies but if you’ve been watching the entire MCU you definite got a lot out of it. Thanos had been built on for 6 years, ever since he was teased in the post credits of The Avengers. With mostly passable villains in the MCU in the movies leading up to Infinity War, he didn’t seem like he would live up to the hype but they met and surpassed expectations. Josh Brolin’s Thanos remains one of the best motion capture performances in a movie, not only is the visual effects on him fantastic, but they make him very memorable and give him well defined motives, making him probably the best villain of the MCU thus far. It’s no exaggeration saying that Infinity War really is Thanos’s movie, he is present throughout, he ends up winning, and the movie even ends on him. And then there’s the ending, with the infamous snap wiping out half of the population, including half of the Marvel characters that we know. Although I knew that more than likely everyone was going to come back in some action to reverse it (save for Loki and Gamora), the fact that they actually went there was really effective, and I can’t believe that they did it. However, whether the movie still held up on the whole all depended on how they would handle the follow up. Speaking of…

Review of Avengers: Infinity War

1. Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame is one long epic conclusion to the culmination of 22 movies before, one of the most anticipated blockbusters ever. Even though Infinity War delivered on its promise, it still seemed like Endgame had a lot that it had to live up to. It worked as the final outings of many of the major Avengers, as well as bringing to an end the Infinity Saga that audiences have been invested in for 11 years.

While some people complained about the long runtime, on my one viewing I felt that it worked perfectly well and I’m definitely glad that they took as much time as possible so they could get it right. The first hour took its time really showing the aftermath of the snap for each of the main characters. Surprisingly Endgame works much better as a character based movie compared to the other MCU movies. Infinity War was Thanos’s movie, Endgame was the surviving Avengers’. The second hour was the Avengers going back in time to certain events that longtime MCU fans are more than familiar with. I’m glad that they even brought back familiar characters like The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford, making this his last film appearance). I mean it even manages to retroactively make Thor: The Dark World better. The last hour is the conclusion, with the final battle being one of the best sequences in a comic book movie. Yes. there is plenty of fanservice throughout the movie, but it feels very fitting (especially considering it’s the last time we’ll be seeing some of these characters). Seeing certain things happen like Captain America finally using the hammer was quite the sight to see. Even most of the divisive character decisions like the takes on Hulk and Thor I was on board with. I’ll admit that I get the feeling that this movie won’t hold up as well on a rewatch, with some elements of time travel not exactly making sense (not to mention I’m not exactly sure that what Captain America does at the end didn’t break the rules the movie tried so hard to emphasise and define). However, my viewing in the cinema was amongst the best experiences I’ve had watching a movie in the cinema. While the MCU is far from over, this is where a lot of people will be dropping off the series, it concluded the main 11 year long story arc, and it did it fantastically.

Review of Avengers: Endgame

What is your ranking of the MCU?

Captain America: Civil War (2016) Retrospective Review

Time: 147 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon
Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther
Paul Bettany as Vision
Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man
Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter
Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones
William Hurt as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross
Daniel Brühl as Helmut Zemo
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must pick a side.

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Captain America: Civil War was a movie I was meaning to re-watch for some time now. Every time I thought about Civil War, I just got this incredibly underwhelmed feeling. I didn’t dislike it but after greatly anticipating it, I was relatively disappointed by it. Now that it’s been years and I decided to give it a rewatch in the lead up to Endgame, I was hoping for a turnaround on it like what happened with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. While I definitely do like the movie more than when I last watched it, I still have some issues with it, and it’s a real shame because there are a lot of parts about the movie which are legitimately great.

As this is a retrospective review, this will be spoiler filled, it’s the only way I can talk in depth about what I think about the movie. Generally, at around 2 hours and a half the movie is paced pretty well all things considering, and I was surprised that most of the humour didn’t detract from the more dramatic moments. The highest praise that I can give in terms of plot is the third act, which is largely done well. None of the ‘twists’ really hit hard at all for me but I really liked certain reveals, such as the subversion of the randomly introduced extra Winter Soldiers as just red herrings. You really feel the emotion with every character, Rogers, Stark, Barnes, T’Challa and even Zemo, and it was all handled very well. There are a lot of great parts to Civil War as well, however they also don’t handle it in the best way and so it detracts from the movie. For example, while I liked the idea of the Sokovia Accords, the introduction of them in the movie was pretty messy. One explosion during a mission by the Avengers is what sets off the creation of the Accords, which is something I really don’t get. There’s even a bit where during a meeting, General Ross showed a montage to the Avengers of the amount of destruction that the past films have caused, considerably higher casualties and damage, however this one relatively smaller even is what got the world thinking “these guys need some oversight”. It wouldn’t be so bad if almost all of the MCU movies didn’t have some large destruction during it and most people just brushing it aside easily. Age of Ultron was the most destructive, so it was the perfect Segway into Civil War. I’m not quite sure why they didn’t directly link it with the Sokovia events (you’d think they would given the title of the Accords), after all it’s what led Tony Stark and Zemo to make their decisions over the course of the movie. With all that being said, I do like the debates about the Accords with all the characters, and they do make some interesting points. I do like how they managed to make the change from ‘superhero registration’ to ‘Avengers Oversight’, the superhero registration thing definitely wouldn’t work in the MCU, even the large amount of characters that exist in it would be too small for an event of that size.

The problem is that despite all this, this still ends up being a movie about Bucky. Both of the major ‘versus’ battles, the Airport scene and the Cap, Iron Man and Bucky fight at the end, are all surrounding Bucky. While people are split into ‘teams’ because of the Sovokia Accords, they aren’t battling because of their positions on it, that’s just a background event that coincidentally splits them on the sides fighting during the airport scene. It feels like there was no point in having it in the story, even without the Sokovia Accords, the idea of Bucky Barnes being framed and on the run with Cap trying to protect him would’ve worked well (on a side note though, wasn’t that invested in the Bucky Barnes story in this movie either). I’m not making this a MCU vs DCEU thing, but it’s worth pointing out that once WB announced that they would be making Batman v Superman, Marvel gave the Russo Brothers the go to do Civil War. I don’t know for certain what their plans for the third Captain America movie were beforehand but I’m guessing it would’ve been more consistent than what we got at least. As for the impact of the Sokovia Accords on the other movies, I guess it’s mentioned briefly like in Ant Man and the Wasp and maybe some of the other movies, but all in all really didn’t have too much impact on the other characters and movies that much. The reason I’m mentioning this is because I’m wondering how much impact Civil War really had on the MCU, and it doesn’t seem to have much, there really weren’t many consequences, any problem that was raised, many of the characters seemed to bounce back from pretty easily. Even when Rhodes crash landed at the end of the airport battle and needed exo-sketal leg braces to walk again, in Infinity War he’s back flying and fighting in the suit like nothing ever happened. The only thing that was really impacted was the relationship between Steve and Tony, which was fractured during the last act of the movie. The thing is that at the end it almost feels like they resolved it and that they regret fighting each other at the end, and they aren’t at odds with each other anymore, as evidence by that message from Cap at the end and Tony’s lllleaction to it, so even then it doesn’t feel significantly damaged. Not to mention by the time the events from Endgame come around, what happened between them in Civil War will be relatively unimportant in Endgame considering The Snap and the aftermath. That last bit however is just speculation, maybe Endgame addresses those events (I hope so at least).

The cast generally do a good job in their roles. Chris Evans once again does a commendable job playing Captain America, though I can’t help but feel like he was robbed of a proper conclusion to his trilogy. While The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier were definitely Captain America movies, Civil War doesn’t feel like that, even if he definitely is the main character of it. His story arc was relatively weaker as well and he didn’t seem to go through as much in comparison. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Don Cheadle as War Machine and the rest of the Avengers cast that appear here do well once again. Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Paul Rudd Ant Man feel shoe horned into the movie just for the airport scene (even if both actors played their roles as best as they could), but at least Hawkeye has a reason for being there, with him repaying a favour to Scarlet Witch after the events of Age of Ultron. Ant Man was just sort of put there in the scene with really no motivation behind his actions. When I first watched Civil War, I was very mixed about Tom Holland as Spider-Man, he just felt so out of place. Now after watching Homecoming I’m much more into his version of Spider-Man and so he came across better here, however like Ant Man, still feels a little forced into this movie just for an action scene. I think the part that annoys me so much about his appearance in the airport scene is because he’s only there because Tony Stark wanted another person to help him stop Cap, if he at least knew what was going on and why everything was happening, it would’ve been a lot more tolerable. Let’s just say that I liked him a lot better in his Peter Parker scenes, based off those scenes along he’s a perfect Peter Parker. Robert Downey Jr. gives one of his best performances as Iron Man, even if his sudden change in character was a little shaky. For whatever reason I guess he never realised that people died in Sokovia and it took Alfre Woodward’s character to confront him about her dead son to actually realise it. With that being said, Downey is fantastic in the role as usual and was one of the highlights from the movie. Chadwick Boseman made his strong debut as Black Panther here, and it was actually a great storyline for him, with him starting out wanting revenge for the death of his father and when he does find the man responsible, he chooses to stop him from killing himself. It’s by far the best character arc/story in the movie, as well as the best character in the whole movie. Daniel Bruhl is the main villain Zemo and a lot of people have questioned whether we even needed a villain for the movie, given that it’s mainly Cap vs Iron Man, while I get that perspective, he set the events of the movie into motion and I was fine with him. It’s a very different kind of antagonist compared to the other villains, with almost all of them being super powered beings, and if not that they’d have powerful suits or something. He’s much more of a human based villain, very intelligent and making well laid plans and successfully breaking The Avengers apart (sort of). Also he’s driven by revenge, and it’s a revenge story you can really buy. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot to him outside of that, however Bruhl did such a good job at playing him that I’d be open to seeing him again in another movie (even if I don’t think there’s much more you could really do with him).

Most of the Russo Brothers’ direction is pretty good here. The action scenes are mostly good and I appreciated it a lot more than the last time I saw them. The opening action scene in Lagos was better than I remember it being, it is a little too shaky but still good. There’s the Bucky chase scene with him, Captain America and Black Panther, also very good. Most of the other action scenes were also well done. The final fight is one of the highlight action scenes from the MCU, you really feel the weight of every blow and it was all handled very well. The cinematography is not as grey as a lot of people have said it was, it’s actually pretty good for the most part. The score by Henry Jackman is also much better than I remembered it being, with most of the themes being quite memorable, even if some of his other scores are a little better.

The one scene you’ve probably noticed I left off mentioning was the Airport Scene, it’s so far removed from the rest of the movie and I have so much to say about that I had to dedicate an entire paragraph talking about it. Generally, it is widely known as one of the best scenes in Civil War and one of the best scenes of the MCU. Many people have described the scene as the cinematic version of smashing action figures together, and I can’t think of a more apt description, though you can probably tell where I’m going with this that I mean it in a bad way. It honestly brought down the movie for me, it doesn’t feel like it belongs in the movie at all. The tone is completely different, even if the some of the other action scenes have some humour, it still managed to maintain a sense of tension and weight throughout, just like what the Russo Brothers did with The Winter Soldier. This scene on the other hand was like cheesy ‘fun’ comic book mayhem that doesn’t particularly progress the story like the other action scenes did. Really everyone is pulling their punches too (except for Black Panther of course, who’s trying to kill Bucky), so you feel no tension whatsoever. Even on a technical level it’s a bit of a downgrade from the rest of the movies. As I said earlier, most of the movie isn’t that grey but this particular scene definitely is, it’s not visually appealing to look at, even with all the battles that are going on. Most of the CGI in the movie is actually pretty good but in that scene, it is hit or miss, whether it be the green screen backgrounds, Giant Man or even the effects on Iron Man and War Machine. The best part about the scene I guess is that it does show off everyone’s abilities well, particularly Scarlet Witch and even War Machine gets to show off more than in previous film appearances. Despite its issues, on its own the scene isn’t terrible, and it would’ve fitted in a much more lighthearted movie, like the first Avengers. In Civil War however, it doesn’t belong there at all and the movie would’ve been better if it didn’t have it.

What gets me about Captain America Civil War is that there are some legitimately great parts to it. Even if you remove the frustrating Airport scene, it’s got some issues in its story which keeps the movie back from how it could’ve been. It’s not bad by any means, it’s decent, just unfortunately with a lot of problems. With talk about how Endgame makes the previous MCU movies even better in hindsight, I really hope that it’ll retroactively improve Civil War too.

Top 20 Anticipated Movies of 2016

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Because of the big Oscar movies coming out in January-March, I’ll hold off my best and worst of the year for February/March. 2016 will be a big year for movies. It will have many comic book movies, a Star Wars spin off, a Harry Potter spinoffs and some video game movies that might actually be good. Most of these movies look like they are going to be great but then again so did the movies on my most anticipated of 2015 list and many of them disappointed. So this time I’m looking at these movies from different angles and I do hope that they turn out to be good in the end.

Honourable Mentions

The Legend of Tarzan

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Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard), having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

There has been a lot of live action Disney films, there’s another on the list that I’ll get to. This movie can go both ways, it could be good or could be a failure. I’m starting to feel a little sceptical of these types of movies, we recently had live action interpretations of Maleficent (the story of Sleeping Beauty from a different perspective) and Cinderella. The more modern live action Disney adaptations haven’t always been great, Alice for Wonderland (which is for some reason getting a sequel in 2016 as well) being an example. However given the cast and the director, I think that this movie has a shot at being at least decent. This movie stars such actors like Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson and will be directed by Harry Potter director David Yates. It’s strange since Yates is also directed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them so 2016 will be a big year for Yates. I’m still interested in this movie, I’m just not holding my breath on it.

The Legend of Tarzan is scheduled to be released on 1 July 2016

A Monster Calls

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The monster does not come walking often. This time it comes to Connor, and it asks for the one thing Connor cannot bring himself to do. Tell the truth. This is a very touching story about a boy who feels very damaged, guilty and mostly angry. He struggles at school with bullies, and pity looks from everyone, and at home with his mother’s sickness. Will Connor overcome his problems? Will everything be okay? Will Connor be able to speak the truth?

All I know is the cast and the director and that A Monster Calls is based on a short story. The cast is pretty big with Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Toby Kebbell. The director is J.A. Bayona who did The Orphanage and The Impossible and although I haven’t seen The Orphanage, his work on The Impossible was tremendous. The teaser trailer also intrigued me, there is quite a bit of mystery that it had and I am interested. However my lack of knowledge is probably the reason that it doesn’t make my top 20.

A Monster Calls is scheduled to be released on 14 October 2016

The BFG

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A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because unlike his peers refuses to eat boys and girls.

It’s strange that A Monster Calls and The BFG have very similar teaser trailers. My main interest in this movie is of course the fact that Steven Spielberg is directing. I haven’t actually read the BFG novel, so I don’t know what I’m in for, which is probably why I’m not as hyped to see this movie even though it is Spielberg. However I am still interested in checking this movie out.

The BFG is scheduled to be released on 1 July 2016

Una

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Two people who once had a passionate affair meet again fifteen years later. Ray (Ben Mendelsohn) is confronted with his past when Una (Rooney Mara) arrives unannounced at his office, and they are forced to revisit their relationship. Ray has made a new life for himself. Una is looking for answers. What follows in this emotional thriller is an unflinching excavation of damaged love. The consequences are shattering.

I’ll be honest, it was Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn’s involvement that caught my interest in this movie. The plot is pretty daring and I was surprised to hear that it was already a stage play. This looks to be a dialogue driven movie and seeing as how it is these two great actors leading the movie, I’m very interested and although I don’t know that much about the movie, just the two lead actors are enough to get me interested.

20. The Jungle Book

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This was the second live action Disney movie that I was referring to when I was talking about Tarzan. I was surprised when I heard that there was going to be a live action Jungle Book movie. Jungle Book doesn’t seem like it could translate well as a live action film. From the trailer and the fact that Jon Faverau is directing this though, I’m starting to think that this film might be really good.

An orphan boy is raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther.

This movie also has voice work from Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Christopher Walken and many other great actors working on the film. I think overall I’m more interested in this movie than Tarzan because visually it looks fascinating and because of how hard it will be to pull off. I just hope that this movie doesn’t result in a live action adaptation of The Lion King, we really don’t need that to be a thing.

The Jungle Book is scheduled to be released on 15 April 2016

19. Warcraft

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Video game movies are at best enjoyable (Mortal Kombat) and at worst painful (Any Uwe Boll video game movie). Mortal Kombat is really the best video game movie we have and that’s not saying a lot. 2016 might be the year when that changes however. Warcraft has some great people working on it and it has a pretty good trailer to showcase it. Duncan Jones, who directed Moon and Source Code (the latter which I’ve seen), is doing this movie and his involvement has me thinking that he has something special planned with the movie. I haven’t played World of Warcraft so this is all new to me but I’m still interested and I hope that it is actually good.

The film portrays the origin story of the initial encounters between the humans and the orcs, with an emphasis upon both the Alliance’s and the Horde’s sides of their conflict. Featuring characters such as Durotan and Lothar, the film will take place in a variety of locations established in the video game series.

The only thing that the movie has to overcome is that a lot of it is CGI. Don’t get me wrong, this movie probably can’t avoid that. I just hope that it doesn’t get tiresome and that it can have a great story attached to it. The trailer makes it look like it has a story and less ‘videogamey’ than most of the other video game movies. I hope that is the case with the entire movie.

Warcraft is scheduled to be released on 10 June 2016

18. Kung Fu Panda 3

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It seems like the only sequels that are guaranteed to be good and mostly likely better than the original are from animated movies. Toy Story, How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda have shown that. I really liked the first Kung Fu Panda and I loved the sequel even more so it makes sense that the third film would be even better.

When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible-learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas.

There really isn’t that much to talk about Kung Fu Panda 3. It’s the second sequel to a good animated film and I’m interested in seeing how it delivers. Also Bryan Cranston and J.K. Simmons will be in this movie voicing some characters. Although it’s not really high on my radar I am interested in seeing Kung Fu Panda 3, and I’m sure it will deliver in being a great movie and better than the previous two instalments.

Kung Fu Panda 3 is scheduled to be released on 29 January 2016

17. Hail Caesar!

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I generally like the Coen Brothers but haven’t seen many of their movies. The movies I’ve seen by them I really liked though (with the exception of Raising Arizona). Looking at the cast, the director and the premise alone, this has the potential to be a fantastic movie.

A Hollywood fixer (Josh Brolin) springs into action when a movie star (George Clooney) gets kidnapped and an actress becomes pregnant.

This movie has Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johannsson, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fieness, Jonah Hill and many more popular actors, it’s ridiculous how huge this cast is. This movie is one of the Coen Brothers’ comedies, with a bit of mystery in it. As I said before I haven’t watched many of the Coen Brothers’ movies but most of them delivered in what they set out to do. I have a feeling Hail Caesar will do the same.

Hail Caesar! is scheduled to be released on 5 February 2016

16. Assassins Creed

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It’s weird when I’m living at a time when two video game movies are some of my most anticipated movies of the year. With Warcraft, it’s pretty clear that movie will be visually appealing at the very least. But what about a movie that has a focussed story with not as much fantasy elements? It didn’t seem like Assassins Creed would be a great adaptation. However the fact that this stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and is directed by Justin Kurzel (who worked with both Fassbender and Cotillard on Macbeth), makes me think that this might be something interesting.

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

As I said earlier, I initially thought that it would just be another ‘fun’ video game movie and that there probably wouldn’t be a lot of depth put into the movie. This movie not only attracted the director of 2015’s Macbeth, but actors like Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons and Brendan Gleeson, which makes me think that Kurzel has something interesting planned. From what I can tell, this film won’t be based on any of the Assassins Creed videogames but will be pretty similar. Often video game movies are restricted to their story, which can often lead to their failure and having an original story is probably the best way to go. From what I can see this movie could be something special but only time will tell if it will actually deliver. If both Warcraft and Assassins Creed end up to be great than there might be a resurgence in video game movies (hopefully for the better).

Assassins Creed is scheduled to be released on 21 December 2016

15. John Wick 2

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2014’s John Wick was one of the year’s best surprises, not only was it Keanu Reeves’s best performance (and in my opinion his best movie), it was also a very fun movie with a great world. I personally would’ve liked to have seen a prequel, to show some of John’s previous adventures before but looking at the world that the first film established, I think there’s plenty of opportunities for a fun movie.

Thankfully, one of the two John Wick directors Chad Stahelski (the other is David Leitch who is instead working on The Coldest City) is returning for the sequel, one of the best aspects of that original film is how the action was done. Instead of a lot of shaky cam, close up shots and fast cuts to create their action like a lot of modern action movies use, they let us to actually see the action unfold, allowing us to get more into it. Common is playing the villain, and he was effective as a villain in Run All Night (even though he could’ve been used more), so I think he will be quite effective here. I sure do hope that it lives up to the previous movie, the only possible way that I think this film could be flawed is that only one of the director is returning, we can only hope that one of the directors can deliver the same amount (if not more) as the previous film.

14. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Star Wars isn’t the only franchise to have spin offs in 2016. Harry Potter gets its own spin offs, following a briefly mentioned character in the books, Newt Scamander. This film will be ‘at least’ part of a trilogy, with an instalment being released every 2 years. This is definitely a movie I’m interested in as it’s not only part of the Harry Potter universe, it is also expanding it.

The adventures of writer Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

David Yates will be directing this movie and seeing as he directed many of the Harry Potter films, I think he’ll do a good job. One advantage to this film over the Harry Potter films is that although it’s based on a character in the same universe, this is an original film and not based on any of the books, so it won’t receive criticism for ‘not being accurate to the book’. It also helps that the script is written by J.K. Rowling, and because she knows the Harry Potter universe better than anyone else, it is safe to say that it’s in the right hands. Eddie Redmayne has been making quite a name for himself with performances in movies such as The Theory of Everything and I think that he will be even more known after the release of this film. This movie will probably explore more of the wizarding world and has no limitations, there are no strings attached. I have no idea what the plot is yet but because it’s connected to the Harry Potter universe I’m already sold.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is scheduled to be released on 18 November 2016

13. The Neon Demon

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I’ve seen one of director Nicolas Winding Refn’s films, Drive, and was very impressed by what I saw. One thing that you can definitely count on him is that the film will look great, and the cast looks quite good.

When aspiring model Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

Although I haven’t seen the movie, the trailer for Only God Forgives looks very nightmare esque, and ever since then I’ve thought that Winding Refn’s style would be great for a horror film and it’s great to see him actually doing it. It’s also got a pretty good cast, with Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Elle Fanning and Jena Malone. But mainly it was Nicolas Winding Refn’s involvement that interested me, Drive was a fantastic movie and I’m looking forward to seeing how he does with this.

12. Bourne 5

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Not much is known about the upcoming Bourne film, which sees Matt Damon returning (not Jeremy Renner) as Jason Bourne as well as Bourne Supremacy and Bourney Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass. But just the fact that those two are returning, as well as the fact that we are getting another Bourne movie excites me a lot.

Paul Greengrass is a great director of action and seeing him return with Damon to the Bourne franchise is really exciting. This movie also has a great cast with Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones as well as Vincent Cassel as the main villain. As I said before, nothing yet is known about the plot but the fact that it was a Bourne movie intrigued me by default.

Bourne 5 is scheduled to be released on 29 July 2016

11. Star Trek Beyond

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Star Trek returns for its third movie in the rebooted franchise. I’ve liked the previous two movies and I’m interested in seeing how it is, with a few doubts in mind though. From the trailer it seems much more action packed (as if the past movies weren’t action packed enough) but at the same time I’m not complaining. Its only problems is the direction they’re going in but we’ll find out when the movie is finally released.

Stranded on a hostile planet, Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the Enterprise crew face an alien threat.

The cast from the previous two instalments will be in this movie, which of course I’m happy with. These actors played very well off each other and it will be entertaining to see them in this movie. I am also excited with the fact that Idris Elba will be playing the main villain, it’s a hard act to follow Benedict Cumberbatch but I’m certain that he will be great. Because of his involvement in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams isn’t involved in the making of this film, instead we have Fast and Furious director James Wan. While I do like a lot of his movies, I’m not exactly sure that he’s the best guy for the job. From the trailers, it seemed a little like Fast and Furious in space, however seeing as how Star Trek Beyond writer and actor Simon Pegg didn’t like the trailer and says there’s more to come, the trailer is probably the product of mis-marketing. I’m still interested to see how this plays out, I just hope that Justin Lin can make a film as good as the previous two instalments.

Star Trek Beyond is scheduled to be released on 22 July 2016

10. Doctor Strange

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Doctor Strange is a big risk on the part of Marvel as it’s going to a direction that it hasn’t gone before – magic. However if it’s anything that Thor, Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy has proven, Marvel can do no wrong (and yes, I enjoyed Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World).

After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.

Benedict Cumberbatch is on the rise and it’s only natural that he’s finally playing a comic book character. There was a recent picture of him as Doctor Strange and he looks great, it looks exactly like he does in the comic books and I am hyped to see how he does in the movie. This movie also has Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, Chiwetal Ejiofor as Baron Mordo as well as Mads Mikkelsen possibly starring as a villain (hopefully Dormammu). I think that this film is going to be very different from the Marvel movies, seeing as how director Scott Derrickson had directed movies like Sinister and Deliver Us from Evil, both horror movies. This is a bit of a wild card for Marvel, but I’m pretty sure that we will be getting something special that can expand the MCU.

Doctor Strange is scheduled to be released on 4 November 2016

9. The Disaster Artist

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The Disaster Artist is the story behind The Room, one of the worst movies of all time. Although I haven’t seen all of it, I’ve seen many scenes from it and it is definitely something I want to check out. This movie is based off the book of the same name by Greg Sestero, actor from The Room and friend of Tommy Wiseau, the star, writer, producer and director of The Room. I myself have read the book, and was fascinated in how the making of the film went. This adaptation has the potential to be a modern day Ed Wood.

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (2003).

The Disaster Artist has a great cast, with James Franco as Tommy Wiseau, Dave Franco as Greg Sestero as well as Josh Hutcherson, Seth Rogen and Zac Efron and others playing real life people who worked on The Room. From the set photos, the actors even looked like the characters/people, so I think that they are doing it right. I think my biggest concern is how Franco can portray Tommy. Look at any clips of The Room, Wiseau acts a certain way and it’s hard to act like Tommy Wiseau without making it look like an imitation. Franco also has to nail the inner emotions of Tommy, as there are moments in the book where there are moments where that happens. I’ve been hearing about this movie for a while and seeing it finally get made is really exciting.

8. Story of Your Life

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Denis Villeneuve has been making a great career recently with films like Prisoners, Enemy and Sicario (I still have to see that last one). I don’t know much about the plot but apparently it’s based on a short story. Just the fact that Denis Villeneuve is directing a movie made me very interested alone. Denis’s films are usually set in reality so it will be interesting to see him taking on a Sci-Fi film. I think it will be a realistic take on this type of story that has been done many times before.

Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat.

The movie also has a great cast, which consists of Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forrest Whitaker. Once again I don’t know much about what the movie is about but the director, the cast and the premise are enough to get me interested to seeing the movie on the big screen.

7. Silence

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Last year I had Silence on my most anticipated movies of 2015 list. However it looks like it will be released in 2016. My thoughts on the movie are pretty much what I said back then so I might as well show what I thought to begin with:

Martin Scorsese is one of my favourite directors and has so far never failed in making a great movie. He just directs everything with style and every movie he makes feels complete, so naturally I would be very interested in him making a new movie. This type of story is much different than his previous film The Wolf of Wall Street, it’s more closely related to Kundun and The Last Temptation of Christ. I haven’t read the book it’s based on but nonetheless, I’m hyped to see it.

Two Jesuit priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francis Garrpe (Adam Driver), travel to track down their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson) in seventeenth century Japan which has, under the Tokugawa shogunate, banned Catholicism and almost all foreign contact. There they witness the persecution of Japanese Christians at the hands of their own government which wishes to purge Japan of all western influence. The film also stars Tadanobu Asano.

Silence is based off the book of the same name by Shūsaku Endō which is a historical fiction novel set in the 17th century. I’m looking forward to what Scorsese can bring to this movie, he has some good material to adapt and work with. The film also has a great cast, particularly Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver and I’m looking forward to seeing their performances. Everything I’ve heard so far about Silence is great and I can’t wait to see it when it comes out.

Silence is scheduled to be released in 2016

6. Deadpool

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Fox’s non X-Men superhero movies aren’t really good (Fantastic Four, Origins Wolverine), which is why I was nervous about Gambit, directed by Doug Liman and starring Channing Tatum. It has potential but it has the problem with it being a standalone Fox movie, it didn’t make the list because it is very unlikely that it will be released in 2016, it’s more likely to be released in 2017. Deadpool however looks like it might break the mold and become something great. Ever since the Deadpool test footage was leaked, people have been hyped to see him portrayed on screen. This will be groundbreaking for the comicbook genre, an R rated superhero movie, which hasn’t been done since Blade.

Based upon Marvel Comics most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

Although I was initially sceptical of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (because X-Men Origins Wolverine wasn’t a great movie) from everything that I’ve seen, I don’t think anyone else is as well suited for the role. It is going to be an R-rated superhero movie, and may lead the way for more of these types of movies. On top of that, the film looks like it’s doing the character justice, just based on the marketing alone. It will be the first comic book movie of 2016 and I am really looking forward to how it turns out.

Deadpool is scheduled to be released on 12 February 2016

5. X-Men Apocalypse

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The X-Men franchised returned to form with 2014’s X-Men Days of Future Past. Bryan Singer (director of X Men, X Men 2 and X Men Days of Future Past) is returning to deliver what is probably the darkest entry in the X-Men universe. It will be the end of the trilogy featuring the newer cast (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, etc) and it will feature one of the X Men’s biggest foes, Apocalypse. Everything looks perfect, the cast, the director, the characters used, I find it hard to imagine a world where X Men Apocalypse isn’t a great movie.

Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

The film will have younger versions of older mutants, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and introduce many new characters like Jubilee, Psylocke and of course one of the X-Men’s most dangerous enemies, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). I’ve not seen Oscar Isaac in much, I’ve seen him in The Force Awakens and Drive and from that I can tell that he’s a great actor, so I think he will do a phenomenal job as seen in the trailer. As I said earlier, it will end the trilogy of the newer cast (X-Men First Class, X-Men Days of Future Past and X-Men Apocalypse). X Men Apocalypse from the trailer looks great and seeing everything unfold will be a real treat.

X-Men Apocalypse is scheduled to be released on 27 May 2016

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars: Rogue One L to R: Actors Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen Photo Credit: Jonathan Olley ©Lucasfilm 2016

Rogue One is the first live action anthology movie in the Star Wars universe. This is very intriguing and I think that it will pave the way for more spin offs, with a Han Solo spin off in the works and potentially and Obi Wan Kenobi and a Boba Fett spin off. I loved The Force Awakens but I hope that there is a strong distinction between the trilogies and Rogue One. It needs to stand on its own as a great movie, with maybe some references to the other films and potentially a cameo from Darth Vader.

Rebels set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.

Rogue One really interests me because from what I can tell, this is going to be a very different Star Wars movie. It’s pretty much a war movie and from this picture, it can be seen that it’s going to be gritty and realistic. With Godzilla (2014) director Gareth Edwards directing it and a cast which features such actors like Felicity Jones, Forrest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen, I’m hyped.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is scheduled to be released on 16 December 2016.

3. Suicide Squad

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Suicide Squad initially looked like DC’s biggest risk (we’ll get to the biggest risk later). It has a lot of characters that most audiences don’t know of, except for maybe Harley Quinn and of course The Joker. However given the fact that more people have viewed the Suicide Squad trailer than the Comic Con Batman V Superman trailer released around the same time indicates that more and more people are learning about this movie, and are being intrigued by it.

A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.

This film is definitely taking a more realistic take on the comic book genre, which could be seen as David Ayer is the director, who did films such as Fury, End of Watch and Sabotage. The film also has perfect casting from Harley Quinn played by Margot Robbie (who I’m sure will steal the show) to Will Smith as Deadshot. It’s great that we can finally have villains as the main characters in a comic book movie. We will also get a bit of Jared Leto’s Joker, who I’m sure will do a phenomenal job. Although I was a little worried with his look at first, I think that it’s a very different take on the Joker that I think could be great and potentially the scariest Joker performance. I think that his overall design is nothing that we’ve seen before and it could actually work for the film. Except for that ‘Damaged’ tattoo on his forehead.

Suicide Squad is scheduled to be released on 5 August 2016.

2. Captain America: Civil War

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This film has the potential to be the best movie yet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is so far my favourite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it would only make sense that a film which has one of the biggest events in the Marvel Comics would be the best in the series.

After another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps, one led by Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr) surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.

Civil War for those who don’t know is a major event in the Marvel Comics, the film will be different from the comics however. Civil War in the comics were about superhero registration but in the film it will be more about world governments demanding accountability and oversight of superheroes, probably because identities don’t exist in this universe and the MCU isn’t that big. However this will still have the aspect of the Avengers split in two (except for Thor and Hulk, who will star in 2017’s Thor Ragnarok), Captain America’s team and Iron Man’s team. This film also introduces Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Tom Holland as the (Sony) Spiderman and (hopefully good for a change) villain Baron Zemo played by Daniel Bruhl. This film looks like it may be the darkest movie entry in the MCU and like Winter Soldier, will have significant consequences on the rest of the movies.

Captain America: Civil War is scheduled to be released on 6 May 2016

1. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

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I would never predict years ago that there would ever be a crossover between DC heroes. This film is written by Chris Terrio (Argo) and with his involvement, this film looks to be a great film. Even though I’m looking forward to this film the most, it’s also the film that I’m most nervous about. Suicide Squad has a better chance of succeeding because its biggest risk is having a lot of characters that most people don’t know, but that has been done well in the past (Guardians of the Galaxy). Other comic book movies that have so much in it have failed however, so with Batman fighting Superman, fighting a ‘threat’ (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the latest trailer) as well as the forming of the Justice League (and cameos from Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg), this film could end up as a disaster. However if this movie succeeds, it could end up as one of the best superhero movies to date.

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’ most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.

Man of Steel was a very dividing movie and one of the most divisive elements for some was the destruction of Metropolis. This film is taking that aspect and making it the catalyst for bringing Batman to fight Superman. The writing was really the weakest aspect of Man of Steel but with Chris Terrio writing the script, I have a feeling that there is something special. Although I was initially sceptical with Ben Affleck playing Batman, after seeing the trailers he has the potential to be the best live action Batman yet.

Now there are some things that I’m still not certain about. We don’t know what Wonder Woman’s part in this film will be, we don’t know how the film will introduce the Justice League without it being rushed and Jesse Eisenberg is playing Lex Luthor, although I’m starting to see him in the role, I’m not completely sold on him yet. There’s also potential for this film to feel bloated, with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor and cameos from Aquaman, Cyborg and potentially The Flash. It’s my most anticipated movie of 2016 but out of all of the movies on the list, it has a lot of potential to fail, and we can only hope that it delivers in the end.

Batman V Superman is scheduled to be released on 25 March 2016