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The 10 Worst MCU Movies (According To Metacritic)

Marvel Studios’ run of interconnected movies based around Marvel comics superheroes has proven to be one of the most successful movie franchises ever in a relatively short amount of time, with the latest movie focussing on their superteam, The Avengers, breaking major box office records.

RELATED: Where To Watch All The MCU Movies Online (& Which Order To Watch Them In)

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, however, and, while both fans and critics have remained as generally upbeat as the movie’s themselves, there have been some duds in relation to the heights of the series’ successes. With the MCU’s latest movie, Black Widow, currently sitting with a score of 68 on review aggregator site Metacritic, it just escapes the rankings for the 10 lowest-rated movies from the franchise. Others have not been so lucky. But what is considered to be the worst MCU movie?

10 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (67)

Chris Pratt as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

● Available on Disney+

Despite massive successes, the MCU is yet to truly shake the image of being cursed by the sophomore slump when it comes to their movie series, even though their sequels are almost always financial and critical hits.

The sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge success on release, yet it was a softer hit with critics who, despite strong themes about family and progeny, found many of the typical problems of overstuffing and a lack of clear direction in the plot.

9 Captain America: The First Avenger (66)

Chris Evans in Captian America The First Avenger

● Available on Disney+

The first Captain America movie is, though not without its passionate cheerleaders, generally the lowest-rated of the trilogy with both critics and fans alike.

RELATED: Iron Man Vs Captain America – Which Was The Better Trilogy?

Joe Johnston’s introduction to the character encompassed their long-standing history and spun it into an old-fashioned adventure yarn that set up the first Avengers movie very nicely without yet finding the franchise’s signature style. Critics would respond much more positively to the character’s sequels.

8 Avengers: Age of Ultron (66)

Age of Ultron Tony Stark

● Available on Disney+

The lowest-rated of the Avengers movies suffers from many of the same problems as many of the MCU’s other sequels, containing a bloated plot that ultimately feels like filler between more ambitious projects.

Though it’s beginning to change now, the MCU has never had a good track record for retaining directors past a few projects, and Joss Whedon‘s second, and final, Avengers movie simply disappointed in relation to the original and failed to balance its huge action setpieces with the obligatory-feeling set up for later movies in the series.

7 Captain Marvel (64)

● Available on Disney+

One of the more controversial entries into the MCU overall, though not because of any content in the actual movie really, Captain Marvel debuted the titular character on the big screen and marked the arrival of the MCU’s first truly female-centric movie.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Why We Need A Captain Marvel Sequel (& 5 Why We Don’t)

Released months before the record-shattering success of Avengers: Endgame, its own success at the box office was all but guaranteed but the experience left fans and some critics underenthused about certain aspects of the casting and the story’s room for growth.

6 Ant-Man (64)

● Available on Disney+

Released just after Avengers: Age of Ultron, the first Ant-Man movie had a famously disharmonious production process in parts, replacing original director Edgar Wright at a relatively late stage. This perhaps played in part in hurting its score, as the tone can often seem inconsistent throughout the story.

Wright’s distinctive fingerprints can still be clearly seen all over the final product but critics were slightly less impressed with the comedy too, perhaps as an after effect of the previous movie in the overarching franchise.

5 Iron Man 3 (62)

● Available on Disney+

Another of the MCU’s movies that remains somewhat controversial and divisive with fans, partially due to its tone and its plot twists, Iron Man 3 released as the first movie of the MCU’s ‘Phase Two’ after the first Avengers movie and was a huge box office success.

RELATED: 3 Things Each Iron Man Movie Did Better Than The Others

Whilst delivering a semi-conclusive ending to Robert Downey Jr.‘s hugely popular run as the titular hero, some fans and critics took exception to its playing fast and loose with famous comic book characters and weren’t in tune with its buddy comedy aesthetic. Though it looks as if the controversy surrounding the villain could be rectified in the upcoming MCU movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

4 The Incredible Hulk (61)

● Available for purchase on Prime Video

The only real forgotten movie of the MCU, despite William Hurt remaining in franchise continuity as General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, Kevin Feige’s second attempt at a solo Hulk movie, and first in the MCU, didn’t quite capture the magic of Iron Man. Critics, and most fans, found it to be a much more generic comic book movie experience despite some big plus points.

Edward Norton is in the role of Bruce Banner in the movie and does a typically great job yet would not make it to the first Avengers movie, in which he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo. There were, however, several hanging threads left by the story, with the movie’s villain, Abomination, also set to return in Shang-Chi.

3 Iron Man 2 (57)

Iron Man 2 Suitcase Suit

● Available on Disney+

Jon Favreau‘s sequel to his hit MCU-starting Iron Man movie was the usual letdown for excited fans who wanted something that would surpass the first installment and quickly developed a reputation as a bomb within the franchise despite that not really being true.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Why Iron Man 2 Isn’t As Bad As People Say It Is (& 5 Reasons It Is)

Though Iron Man 2‘s critical score is much lower than most movies in the MCU, it’s still much higher than most franchise movies and committed the universe to some of its biggest goals. Critics were, nonetheless, unimpressed by the much less linear story compared to the satisfying simplicity of the first Iron Man.

2 Thor (57)

● Available on Disney+

Kenneth Branagh’s introduction to Chris Hemsworth‘s iconic take on the God of Thunder has its fans but has always been considered inferior to both Chris Evans’ and Robert Downey Jr.’s debuts.

Accusations of the character and their movies being placeholders within the wider franchise would persist for a long time and come into play again with the sequel. Nevertheless, the movie introduced iconic mainstay characters and actors, such as Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, not to mention setting up a great deal of the incredibly successful first Avengers movie.

1 Thor: The Dark World (54)

● Available on Disney+

Alan Taylor’s sequel to Thor, which incorporates story elements left over from the first Avengers movie also, is often touted by fans as the worst MCU movie and critics appear to agree with that sentiment. Though it is still far from being considered the worst Marvel movie overall.

Though by no means a movie devoid of positive qualities, its rushed story proved unsatisfying for fans and the character wouldn’t truly find solo success with fans and critics until Taika Waititi‘s very highly-rated threequel, Thor: Ragnarok, in 2017 and the character is due to appear again in Waititi’s follow-up, Thor: Love and Thunder.

NEXT: 8 Reasons Why Thor The Dark World Isn’t As Bad As People Say It Is (& 2 Reasons It Is)

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Benvenisti Eyal

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