Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, ranked from worst to best, by Rotten Tomatoes

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Credit: Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures; from The Avengers (2012)

3. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Audience Score: 91%

"Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes’ humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies."

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

The Avengers was also listed as the third best Marvel Cinematic Universe film in my own rankings, too. I would add, however, that this movie didn’t just “raise the bar,” it defined the bar. Nor did it do so just for Marvel. Thanks to the critical and box office success, now every film studio wants their own “cinematic universe.” And yes, much of that success is indeed due to Joss Whedon’s writing and directing, but it’s also due to having a such a talented cast who are clearly having fun on the set and invested in their characters.

Credit: Marvel Studios/Paramount Pictures; from Iron Man (2008)

2. Iron Man (2008)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
Audience Score: 91%

"Critics Consensus: Director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. make this smart, high impact superhero movie one that even non-comics fans can enjoy."

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Here’s another issue I have with Rotten Tomatoes. Their determination of a film as “Fresh” or “Rotten” is based on critics are about the film at the time of the film’s release. It doesn’t take into account that better, more creative movies can come along and surpass it. Yes, Iron Man is very good, one which revitalized Robert Downey Jr’s career and was instrumental in defining what superhero movies could be. Even so, I wouldn’t give it the same “Tomatometer Score” as The Dark Knight (2008). Nor do I think it’s the second-best Marvel movie.

Credit: Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures; from Black Panther (2018)

1. Black Panther (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
Audience Score: 79%

"Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU’s most absorbing stories — and introducing some of its most fully realized characters."

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Yes, according to the Rotten Tomatoes score, Black Panther isn’t just the “best” Marvel Studios movie, but also “the best superhero movie of all time.” Look, I consider Black Panther one of the best films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, too. And If you read my list, then you also know I ranks in the top-five best MCU films. Nevertheless, this looks like a clear-cut case where the most critics judged Black Panther based on what they assumed it represented more so than its real merits as a film. It’s definitely also divided critics and audiences.

Next: Marvel Cinematic Universe: Ranking all 18 movies after Black Panther

As for the Rotten Tomatoes scores for Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and The Wasp? Those, of course, we’ll have to wait and see. Based on what we’ve seen from trailers and clips thus far, what do you predict that score will be. As for the scores we do have, do agree with Rotten Tomatoes’ assessment of the previous Marvel Studios movies? How would you compare their list to the one posted here at Bam Smack Pow? Do you also think the “Critics Consensus” for each of these films hold any merit?