Number 2: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was the first real reminder of what the Marvel Cinematic Universe can be when it does things right. It was a movie many of us thought would be good, but no one really anticipated just how good this movie was going to be.
The success of Shang-Chi goes back to how well the entire MCU has been developed. It would have been easy to rely solely on the spectacular martial arts scenes we see on display in the film, but there was so much more to the film than just a bunch of guys fighting.
The stories between Shang-Chi and his father, Shang-Chi and his sister, and Shang-Chi and Katie were all well developed, and they elevated the movie to something more than just a bunch of well choreographed fight scenes. It gave us the origin story Shang-Chi deserved.
The movie also didn’t play it safe by just making it a street level film. By fully exploring the Ten Rings, the movie sets up for bigger stakes, and it allowed us to see exactly how Shang-Chi was going to rise to the power level we are accustomed to seeing on the Avengers. The movie worked on multiple levels.