The Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ranked, 2016 Catch Up Edition

Posted by Matthew on February 17, 2017
Editorial, Movies / 1 Comment

We’re continuing to shake off the dust around here at Awesome Friday HQ, and one easy way to do that is to update the Marvel Fanboy Marvel Cinematic Universe Rankings. Last year there were two additions to the canon of films, Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. Each were good, but where do they fit? Let’s take a look.

Last time I did this I grouped the films into three categories, this time I’m doing a straight up ranking. Feel free to agree or disagree with me. In fact, I encourage it.

Now let’s get to it.

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The Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ranked, Ant-Man Edition

Posted by Matthew on August 10, 2015
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It’s been a while since I made one of these lists! There have been two new Marvel films since last time so it’s time to see where they fit into the mix. I rewatched all the Marvel films in the lead up to Avengers: Age of Ultron so the films are still pretty fresh in the mind.

While the movies here are ranked from worst to best, I’m also grouping them into three categories: The ok ones, the good ones, and the great ones. If you’re wondering why there’s no “bad” category it’s both because I still enjoy the “ok” ones and because I can still appreciate the bad ones for the development of characters, story, and themes that run through the entire MCU (even if they’re pretty thin at times). Also also, it’s an exercise in being less negative.

Anyway, let’s get on with this.

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Here Are Your Avengers Character Posters

Posted by Matthew on April 12, 2015
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Avengers: Age of Ultron / Full

Ed. Note: I’m not dead, i was just resting. Time to start catching up.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is out in just two weeks. Here are posters for each of the characters.

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Marvel Catch Up: Entire Phase Three Line Up Revealed!

Posted by Matthew on November 03, 2014
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Marvel had a special press event while I was on hiatus. Let’s take a look the films they HOLY SHIT THEY ANNOUNCED ALL OF THE MOVIES??

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The Films Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ranked, Guardians of the Galaxy Edition

Posted by Matthew on August 03, 2014
Editorial / 1 Comment


Guardians of the Galaxy finally hit theaters this week and absolutely no one should be surprised that it’s really good. The first question I was asked this morning was “how does it stack up compared to the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films?” So here’s my shiny new updated list which not only adds Guardians but also mixes things up bit from last time after a recent re-watch of all the movies.

Fair warning: minor spoilers for all the Marvel movies, including Guardians of the Galaxy, to follow.

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Awesome: Marvel Comics Thor Is Now A Woman, Captain America Is Now Black

Posted by Matthew on July 17, 2014
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Captain America


So if you’re a misogynist or a racist you’re having a bad week.

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The Films Of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ranked

Posted by Matthew on April 12, 2014
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So you read my breakdown of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and are now wondering how I think the films stack up so far? Well, I thought you’d never ask!

No, seriously, what took you so long to ask?

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The State of the Universe: The Current State of, and Speculation on What’s To Come In, The Marvel Cinematic Universe **Updated**

Posted by Matthew on April 05, 2014
Editorial / 4 Comments


I’ve been thinking a lot about the Marvel Cinematic Universe lately. There has been nine feature films to date as well as five short films and sixteen episodes (out of twenty-two) of the television series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. That’s a lot of storytelling right there so as much for my own benefit as for yours I’m going to run down the current state of the universe as it stands right now, immediately post Captain America: The Winter Soldier and after episode 16 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as I see it and offer some speculation as to where things are going.

This is obviously going to contain spoilers for, well, everything in the MCU so far so my recommendation is to get caught up before you read this. Either that or no complaining. I’m also making predictions about what I think is going to happen moving forward so if I’m right, and I all but know that I am about one thing in particular, then consider this your spoiler warning.

Also go get yourself a cup of coffee or something because this is going to take a while.

Ok? Ok. Let’s do this.

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Podcast Episode 55: Thor: The Dark World, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, and The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Posted by Matthew on November 15, 2013
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Awesome Friday

We’re back with a aother new episode of the Awesome Friday Podcast! Two episodes in two weeks? Who can live at that speed!? We’re talking about Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, Thor: The Dark World, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as a few other tasty treats.

So get yourself comfy and let’s do this!

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Everything Wrong with Thor in 8 Minutes Or Less

Posted by Matthew on November 05, 2013
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Thor: The Dark World

Thor is out in many place already, that’s how our UK Office was able to see and review it already but here in North America is debuts this weekend. What better way to lead into that experience than by reminding yourself that the first Thor movie wasn’t all that good!

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Review – Thor 2: The Dark World

Posted by Steve on November 02, 2013
Movies, Reviews / 2 Comments


The latest edition of Marvel’s assault on cinemas everywhere is a charming little beast. Thor was always going to be one of the more difficult characters to make the transition from inky page to silver screen, (certainly when compared to his Avengers brethren) but given most of the legwork was done in Thor and The Avengers, very little time is wasted getting on with the plot, such as it is. Rather than The Dark World, they should have called it The Wibbly Wobbly Time/Space Shifting Shenanigans. Anthony Hopkins knocks out a bit of exposition (primarily to let you know who to boo – it’s evil elves this time, led by Malekith, played by a virtually indistinguishable Christopher Eccleston) and on with the show we go.

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New Thor: The Dark World Malekith The Accursed Character Poster

Posted by Matthew on September 05, 2013
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Thor: The Dark World, Malekith

Try saying that five times fast.

So far we’ve had character posters for Thor and Loki which were kind of bland. Now Marvel has released one for Malekith, The Dark World’s big bad. It is, in a word, way better.

Oh wait that’s two words.

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Thor and Loki Character Posters from Thor: The Dark World

Posted by Matthew on August 26, 2013
Posters / 1 Comment

Thor: The Dark World

Promotion for Thor: The Dark World is starting to ramp up as it’s out in the fall, and now we finally have some character posters and of course one of them is Loki. Heaven forbid we highlight the rest of the cast.

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Thor: The Dark World Trailer + Poster

Posted by Matthew on April 23, 2013
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Thor: The Dark World

While we were wrapped up in Fan Expo stuff the next Marvel film got a new poster and a new trailer. Let’s take a look after the jump…

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Matt’s Most Anticipated of 2013

Posted by Matthew on January 10, 2013
Editorial / 14 Comments

2012 was one of the best years for film that I can remember and I’m honestly hoping that 2013 meets or beats it in terms of number of quality releases, and more importantly in the quality of those releases. There’s a lot coming out this year so here’s the ten that I am looking forward to most.

I’m listing these in order of release and not order of anticipation, partly because I find them hard to rank but mostly because I am looking forward to them all for different reasons.

And with that, here are the movies I am most looking forward to this year.

Gangster Squad (11 January)

Gangster Squad

I’ve actually been waiting for this since last year since its original 2012 release was pushed after the Aurora Shooting.

Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Sean Penn in an old school cops vs. gangsters film is a hard recipe to screw up. I love the cast, I love the premise, and while director Rueben Fleischer has only made a couple of films, they were both good and he’s made a host of music videos and commercials which were also good.

I worry about the re-shoots that happened following Aurora last year but not very much considering the scene had just been relocated and re-staged rather than excised entirely.

The Place Beyond The Pines (29 March)

The Place Beyond The Pines

Yes, another Ryan Gosling movie. It’s true: I’m a fan of the baby goose. More than that though, I’m a fan of Ryan Gosling because he’s a great actor.

Gosling previously teamed with director Derek Cianfrance in 2010s Blue Valentine and in that film both Gosling and co-star Michelle Williams knocked it right outta the park. Seriously, if you haven’t seen that movie just go find it and watch it (but be aware, it has some hard to watch scenes).

Ryan Gosling playing a stunt bike rider robbing banks to provide for his son while being chased by Bradley Cooper as a cop mixed up with some crooked colleagues? It’s an intriguing set up and one I can’t wait to see.

42 (12 April)


I’ll admit this one is a bit of a wild card pick; chalk it up to my love of baseball. On the other hand this is the story of a modern American legend in Jackie Robinson and it’s being directed by Brian Helgeland, the guy who wrote L.A. Confidential, A Knights Tale and Mystic River. There’s a lot to like about that fact alone but when you add in Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey (the guy who dared to sign Jackie Robinson in an era when racism was still an OK thing) things get more interesting.

Chadwick Boseman is a relative newcomer here, but if this works out this could be a star turn for him and I’m always interested in seeing that.

Iron Man 3 (3 May)

Iron Man 3

I’m a huge Marvel geek and I’m a huge fan of their grand experiment to bring comic book continuity to the big screen. If you’ve been paying attention you may have already gotten this impression.

Robert Downey Jr. is among the best cast of the Marvel Heroes currently on screen and it’ll be a pleasure seeing him as Tony Stark again. Hell, even in the kind of boring Iron Man 2 he was fun to watch and with Shane Black directing and Don Cheadle returning as James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine one can only assume that there’ll be some great “buddy cop” kind of sequences as they battle the armoured bad guys.

Sir Ben Kingsley is playing the Mandarin, a character with supernatural powers in the comics, so it will be cool to see how they reconcile that with the technological world of Iron Man (that is, does he even have his powers or are The Ten Rings from Iron Man all he controls or will they be technological or what?).

Another exciting tidbit is that the story is based on Extremis by Warren Ellis, which is one of my favourite Iron Man stories and sees Tony Stark go through some interesting stuff.

Plus, this is the first film in Marvel’s second phase so I’m looking forward to seeing if I can pick out any world building or portents that’ll give me an idea what they’re planning for Avengers 2.

The Great Gatsby (10 May)

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is an American classic, a fact that even though I am a Canadian I can certainly appreciate. I’m not going to sugar coat this though: I’ve never actually read it. I’ve always meant to but for some reason it’s just never happened.

Now there’s this, Leonardo DiCaprio re-teaming with director Baz Luhrmann in what looks to be a perfect part for the former and potentially the best looking film from the latter. The film is full of talented people not the least of which is Carey Mulligan who has shone brightly in everything I’ve seen her in, even as Sally Sparrow in Doctor Who.

Plus, if it turns out to suck I won’t have to be bothered by how the movie was a crappy adaptation of the book.

Star Trek Into Darkness (17 May)

Star Trek Into Darkness

To say I am anticipating this film is an exercise in understatement. Understand that I am a life long Star Trek fan, some of my earliest memories are watching The Original Series with my father. I’ve seen every episode of every show (including the animated series) and every movie. In 2009 JJ Abrams brought Star Trek back to the big screen in a big way and I fucking loved it.

Long story short: if this list were ranked, Star Trek Into Darkness would be #1 on the list.

I happen to think that the previous film was nearly perfectly cast so I seriously can’t wait to see the whole crew back again. Yes, even Chris Pine. More importantly, I can’t wait to see Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain in this. So far I’ve only really seen him play good guys so it will be nice to see him put on his evil face. The man is a hell of an actor and this will very likely be a hell of a film.

There’s so much more I could say here, but the bottom line is this: is it May 17th yet???

Much Ado About Nothing (7 June)

Much Ado About Nothing

So apparently while filming last years The Avengers Joss Whedon called up a bunch of his friends and shot an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in his own house over 12 days or so.

Let’s rephrase that: the guy making the biggest film of last year made an indie Shakespeare adaption in his home in his spare time. That alone is pretty cool.

But this is also Joss Whedon we’re talking about here. Love him or hate him he’s certainly done some interesting stuff and is really good at managing large casts. I’m also just curious to see what he does with Shakespeare and how he worked his house into the film.

Plus, this is full of his buddies like Nathan Fillion (playing Dogberry), Amy Acker (Beatrice) and Clark Gregg (Leonato).

So basically it’s a bunch of awesome people doing a version of a play by the greatest playwright ever as adapted by a fantastic director. So where do I sign, exactly?

Pacific Rim (12 July)

Pacific Rim

Let’s see, director with a crazy and unique visual style? Check. Giant Monsters? Check. Giant Robots fighting those monsters? Check. Two people whose minds link via a computer voiced by the same actress as GLaDOS from Portal? Check. A cast including Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam? Check.

I dunno, maybe this movie wasn’t made for me specifically but there’s certainly a lot of boxes checked off here.

Plus, it’s a disaster movie where people are fighting for humanity as a whole to survive (check) against ridiculous odds. I’m sure that the giant robot that turns the tide will be obsolete or broken or something too but cliches done well are still entertaining as hell, NS Guillermo del Toro is a pretty great director so I have little doubt he can pull this off.

The Worlds End (25 October)

The World's End

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright are finally going to release the third in their “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” each of which has been an homage to a certain type of film so far (if you’ve been hiding in cave these last few years, Shaun of the Dead was zombies and Hot Fuzz was buddy cop action).

In addition to apparently featuring the mint chocolate chip cornetto, apparently the boys will be on a massive pub crawl towards The World’s End Pub and the world might actually be ending while they do it. That description alone is enough to get me in theatres but rest assured the film will be full of their signature comedic style and mile a minute on the nose pop culture riffs that made the previous two films (and the series they did, Spaced) so laugh out loud funny.

Enders Game (1 November)

Ender's Game

I am of the opinion that if you have never read Orson Scott Cards phenomenal book Ender’s Game you should probably stop reading this right now, go find a copy and read it. There’s even a fantastic graphic novel adaptation if you’re so inclined. I’ll wait here while you do that.

All done? Good, then I don’t have to spoil anything. Now do you see why a movie version of this could be amazing? Harrison Ford as Commander Graff and Sir Ben Kingsley as Mazer? Asa Butterfield as Ender himself? There’s not a lot to dislike here. Well, except that Gavin Hood is directing, but remember that while he did direct X-Men Origins: Wolverine he also directed (and won an Oscar for) Tsotsi, which is an amazing film.

What’s Missing?

There’s certainly a lot more than 10 films coming out this year and more than 10 that I am quite looking forward to. Thor: The Dark World (8 Nov) and Elysium (9 Aug) both only missed being on the list by the skin of their teeth –if I wasn’t a baseball fan you can bet one of them would have made it– and then there’s the Spike Lee remake of Oldboy (11 Oct), Man of Steel (14 Jun) trying to get Superman right for the first time in decades and Tom Hanks playing Walr Disney in Saving Mr. Banks (20 Dec) and Movie 43 (25 Jan) doing it’s best to offend, well, everyone it seems.

It definitely looks like it’s going to be a good year for genre film in particular this year, which means this is going to be a good year for nerds like me.

You may have noticed that I didn’t mention The Wolverine (26 Jul) or The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (13 Dec) and that’s because while I am looking forward to both of these I’m not really excited to see either. That might change once I see some trailers though so time will tell.

Sometime toward the end of 2013 I plan to revisit this list and recap whether I was excited to see the terribly great or the greatly terrible. In the mean time, what are your most anticipated films of the year?

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