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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Our Top 10 Marvel Films: 5-1 (REVISITED)

Our list concludes with Hammers, Shields, wheelchairs, and at least 2 epic superhero mashups.

Story by Matt Cummings

We've been counting down our top 10 Marvel films - which you can see 10-6 HERE, which wasn't an easy thing considering how much our list changed from the last time (you can see those lists HERE and HERE). We even felt a little Green Rage Monster inside of us at having to decide. But decide we did, and so here is the rest of our list. Please read our full reviews under each number:

5) X-men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Fox achieved so much with First Class, but many were concerned that the prequel was nothing more than a happy accident. Not so: DOFP was filled with so many memorable moments that we'd fail if we tried to mention all of them here. From Quicksilver to the pitch-perfect performances of both future- and past-X-men, Director Bryan Singer made a passionate point: he owns this series and should be allowed to make as many of them as he wishes. It certainly endures, both as a top-flight superhero flick and as a well-built character drama.

4) Iron Man (2008)
This is the one that started it all, but the press weren't particularly enthused when the film was originally announced. Director Jon Favreau changed all of that by producing a great action flick with a terrific human story of struggle and growth. The casting of Robert Downey Jr. was genius, and the entire film just screams love and affection for the genre. If Stan Lee is credited as the father of Marvel Comics, Favreau should be the father of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Regardless of what's happened to the property since then is another matter entirely. For now, Hail to you sir!

3) Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014)
Nothing makes a franchise better than a gamechanger, something that takes our conceptions and throws them out the window. Winter Soldier is just that: a terrific 70's spy thriller about Captain America's struggle in the 21 Century, with enough reveals to make any comic book geek happy. When S.H.I.E.L.D.'s very existence is challenged, it's up to Cap, Black Widow, and The Falcon to set things right. But it's not merely the return of the Status Quo - Winter Soldier ruthlessly blows the entire MCU out of the water, leaving us to wonder what things will look like on the other side. It's not often that something vaults ahead of Iron Man and almost bests The Avengers, but The Russo Brothers made an instant classic in The Winter Soldier.

2) Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have crafted a powerful right-cross to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Filled with strong veterans like Evans and RDJ, CW also excels in its introduction of Black Panther (Chadwick Bozeman) and of course Spider-man (an impressive Tom Holland). We get several well-shot action sequences, a terrific introduction to a new/old character, and enough witty banter inserted at just the right times. But its ending will shock and surprise everyone, elevating the level of battle, not because its violence is so awesome, but that it's watching mom and dad fight. I don't know about you, but I never liked that at all. What's left will move this universe headlong into a seemingly darker Phase 3, as Thanos will soon arrive for Infinity War.

1) TheAvengers (2012)
Duh. If this superhero mashup isn't at the top of your list, it's time to go find something else to do and probably stop watching movies altogether. From the scale of the battles to the thought that human-trained assassins are no match for Gods and Hulks, The Avengers satisfies on every level. Joss Whedon created an instant army of followers with a great mix of wit and tips-of-the-hat, refining Favreau's vision to epic proportions. But it's also the leadership of Marvel President Kevin Feige that allowed such a big film to be produced. His fight to build a slow-burn universe that lead to The Avengers was a genius move, making its release an event rather than just another Friday To-Do. You know a film is great when you find yourself watching it over and over and still enjoying every scene. That's just one of many reasons why The Avengers will top our list for quite awhile.

With Marvel planning films through 2028, we know this list is sure to undergo significant changes, especially with Phase 3 jumping off so spectacularly. For now, what's your top 10 Marvel films? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below!

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

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