Marvel launched the most intricate cinematic universe of films. It was broke up into phases to help differentiate the storytelling. Previously, I ranked the films that make up Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This week, I’m going to rank the nine films that make up Phase 3 available on Disney+.
9. DR. STRANGE
This remains my least favorite origin story film. It’s still really good and I, thoroughly, enjoy it. But, Stephen Strange is way too similar to Tony Stark. He’s great at his job, but brash and arrogant. He needs to be brought down to earth before he can become a hero. The only real difference is he’s a doctor, not an inventor.
8. CAPTAIN MARVEL
The first female led film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a really good adaptation that introduces us to younger versions of Nick Fury and Phil Coulson. The 90s setting is very nostalgic for me. But, the way it shows Fury losing his eye causes it to lose points.
7. ANT-MAN AND WASP
This low stakes sequel to “Ant-Man” serves as a nice cool down movie between the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” and the much higher stakes introduced in “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame.” Its placement is a bit unusual, but it’s a nice sequel that helps set up Ant-Man’s role in “Endgame.”
6. BLACK PANTHER
One of the most inclusive films of the entire MCU, this film serves as an inspiration to many. It includes one of the most intriguing villains, who is correct in his criticisms of the actions of Wakanda and changes the opinion of the hero. It also gives the women in it the best story arcs as they are neither nagging wives nor damsels in distress. It’s one of the best origin stories of the entire MCU.
5. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2
The sequel to “Guardians of the Galaxy” features an excellent villain in Ego the Living Planet, the growth of each of the Guardians and one of the greatest moments of self-sacrifice by Yondu.
4. AVENGERS: ENDGAME
The movie that neatly wrapped up 10 years of storytelling starting with “Iron Man.” We get to see Tony Stark’s growth from selfish billionaire to self-sacrificing hero. We get to see Steve Rogers finally make a decision for himself instead of for others. We see every hero step up in some way. It’s the perfect team effort.
3. THOR: RAGNAROK
The film that proves a good “Thor” movie can be made. After a disappointing origin story and a downright awful sequel, “Thor” finally figures out a formula for success. Stop being serious and start being funny. Also, this is probably the only way we’re getting a “Planet Hulk” movie, so I’ll take it.
2. CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
The Avengers have had an uneasy alliance since forming, this is the film that breaks them apart. The Sokovia Accords lead to a rift between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers that splits the team in two. It shows their greatest threats will always be themselves should they turn on each other. But, the ending proves that despite differing opinions, Tony and Steve have the same goal.
1. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
“Civil War” may have torn them apart, but “Infinity War” brought them back together. The Avengers united to take on the Mad Titan, Thanos. We finally get to see Avengers who hadn’t interacted before do so. We get to see their core beliefs in action. And, we actually get to see them lose when the stakes are on the line. Too many Marvel movies have them lose a low stakes battle in the middle of the film only to come up big in the end. This film has them lose when the stakes are greatest. It sets up a sequel while throwing the formula off its axis.
That’s my Phase 3 ranking. I’m excited for the new series that will be coming to Disney+ and can’t wait for films to be released again to see Phase 4. How would you rank the films of Phase 3?