All the Marvel Big Bads, Ranked By Badness

michael keaton as the vulture in spiderman homecoming

I totally get that you don’t want to read an introduction about how there’s a new (great) Marvel Cinematic Universe villain because of Spider-Man: Homecoming. You’re skipping this to get right to the list so you can get right to the comments section. No sweat. You’ve earned it.

If you’re still reading, there are two things to keep in mind regarding this particularly ranking of Marvel’s bad guys. One, I’m judging them all based on Personality and Plan Points. How magnetic are they? How stupid is their plan for world domination (or whatever else they’re seeking)?

Two, Thanos isn’t on it because he doesn’t count. He’s not a villain; he’s a Postmates customer with the munchies. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to Infinity War when he can legitimately join this list.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked

It’s become a tradition at this point: whenever a new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is released, everyone ranks the movies. And now that everyone on the /Film staff has had a chance to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and spend a few days digesting it, it’s time to completely refresh our list.

We invited the site’s core staff as well as our various contributors to rank all 15 movies in the MCU, with each movie earning points based on its placement in each list. This resulted in a ranked list that reflects the site as a whole rather than the opinion of Just One Person. So here it is: the world’s most accurate ranking of Marvel Studios’ output.

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Stan Lee

Greetings, true believers. There’s yet another Marvel Cinematic Universe film tearing up the box office – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As with all MCU films, there’s world-building, in-jokes, action, adventure, and of course, the prerequisite Stan Lee cameo. For more than 40 years now, Lee has been the most recognizable public face for Marvel properties, even the ones he had nothing directly to do with. Much like the Marvel post-credit sequence, a cameo from Lee is expected from fans; fans who will inevitably lean over to their theater mates and loudly whisper, “That’s Stan Lee!” when the moment arises. 

Because I’m committed to doing world-changing, issue-driven film writing, I’ve decided to rank every single Stan Lee cameo to date from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the sake of brevity I’ll only be dealing with the MCU films, and not the wealth of other Marvel-related films and TV projects, all of which Lee appears in one form or another. Excelsior!

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked

In less than a decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone from an ambitious pipe dream to an inescapable box-office juggernaut. Now, as Doctor Strange kicks off the first major new sub-franchise of Phase Three, we wanted to take a look back at the fourteen films released so far. Which soared? Which fell flat on their faces? After the jump, get our rundown of all fourteen films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ranked.

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rebecca hall iron man 3 character

Someday, someone is going to write a tell-all book exploring the history of Marvel Studios, and it will almost certainly be a compelling read. The company’s rise has been nothing short of astonishing, but the stories emerging from behind-the-scenes have often been bizarre and inexplicable, the result of battles over creative control between several different captains trying to steer the ship in different directions. Specifically, we’re talking about the clashing between Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

A little over a year ago, Feige won this particular war, essentially cutting Perlmutter out of the decision-making process at Marvel Studios. However, the fragments of their years of strife are still apparent and still being talked about. Case in point: Rebecca Hall still isn’t euphoric with what went down on Iron Man 3.

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Violence in Shane Black Movies

There’s no shortage of violence in movies today. Whether it’s superheroes fighting each other, spies being betrayed by their superiors, sentient foods being eaten by people or even frustrated fowl, almost every movie has a little bit of violence. But when it comes to the movies of writer/director Shane Black, there’s probably a little more than usual. However, as a new video essay points out, there’s something special about how the director of The Nice Guys and the writer of Lethal Weapon uses violence in his films.

Watch the video essay on violence in Shane Black movies after the jump. Read More »

Iron Man 3 Female Villain

There have been some disappointing decisions on the merchandise side of things from Disney and Marvel Studios, specifically with regards to their treatment of female characters. Black Widow, once the only female member of the Avengers, had a rather disappointing shortage of toys, so much that Avengers star Mark Ruffalo lamented that his daughters and nieces couldn’t find many at the store. In fact, Black Widow was even left out of an action figure playset inspired by a key scene for the character in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Now some more upsetting details from behind the Marvel machine have been revealed.

Director Shane Black has been out promoting The Nice Guys (in theaters this weekend), and a recent interview saw part of the discussion steer towards Iron Man 3 and some of the difficulties he had on the production. One surprising revelation that came from the discussion was that the primary villain in the movie, played by Guy Pearce, was originally slated to be a female character. But Marvel forced a change in the character’s gender because they believed a female villain action figure wouldn’t sell as well. Wow.

Find out more about the axed Iron Man 3 female villain after the jump. Read More »

marvel cinematic universe phase two collectors set

Disney Home Entertainment has announced they will be releasing the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two Collection as an Amazon exclusive for this holiday season. Hit the jump for details on this 13-disc Blu-ray set.

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Crimson Peak

Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak is a deliciously dark and twisted piece, set in the most gorgeous, most decrepit haunted house you’ve ever seen and anchored by three mesmerizing performances from Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, and most especially Jessica Chastain. It’s also not the horror movie that’s being sold in the trailers, but a Gothic romance. Think Jane Eyre plus ghosts, not The Conjuring plus corsets.

That’s not such a bad thing if you happen to love costume dramas, but it can be an unpleasant surprise if you don’t. And that misleading marketing doesn’t seem to be doing it many favors. I’ve seen a lot of critics ding it for being ineffective as a horror movie — which of course it is, because it isn’t really one. The B- Cinemascore and limp box office might also reflect the discrepancy between what Crimson Peak seems to be, and what it actually is.

Admittedly, it’s not difficult to understand why Universal chose to market Crimson Peak as a horror movie. A Brontë-esque romance is a much harder sell outside the arthouse than a spooky, seasonally appropriate haunted house flick. And it’s hardly the first time a marketing team has chosen to sell a completely different movie. Sometimes it’s part of a savvy strategy and sometimes it’s a desperate ploy; sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Below, let’s look back at 15 movies with misleading trailers. Warning: Some spoilers ahead.  Read More »

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Even though special effects have never been better than they were today, there’s always room for improvement. For example, even though we’ve had stellar digital visual effects at our disposal awhile now, there have been plenty of disappointments on the big screen. In fact, one area where Hollywood sometimes had difficulties was in creating realistic movie explosions. But thankfully, science stepped up to help.

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