A complete list of Marvel movies from best to worst

With “Avengers: Infinity War” breaking box office records the world over, Marvel is at the top of the superhero game. The multi-hero blockbuster makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe the highest-grossing franchise of all time, and with another three films slated for 2019 release, they’re not slowing down anytime soon.

Although the Marvel Cinematic Universe officially began in 2007 with the release of “Iron Man,” Marvel has been in the movie business since 1986—with the release of the critical flop turned fan-favorite “Howard the Duck.”

Putting revenues aside, which heroes have been the most popular with fans? Has the dawn of the MCU given them more to celebrate, or has the glut of superhero movies led to “Avenger fatigue?

Using data from IMDb, Stacker has assembled a ranking of every live-action movie released by Marvel. This includes all MCU films, the X-Men and Spider-Man franchises, as well as one-off features like “Electra” and “Punisher: War Zone.” Each film is ranked according to its IMDb user rating, with the total number of user votes considered in the event of a tie. Read on to find out which Marvel movies had fans flying high, and which left them calling out for someone to save the day.

You may also like: 100 best action movies of all time

#54. Captain America (1990)

#53. Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998)

IMDb rating: 3.7

Director: Rod Hardy

Runtime: 2 hours

Before Samuel L. Jackson became known as the no-nonsense, one-eyed leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., the eyepatch was donned by none other than former “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff. In this TV movie, the super-spy comes out of retirement for one last battle against HYDRA. Although this particular mission didn’t go over well with fans, Hasselhoff would later make a return to the MCU—with a cameo as himself in “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.”

#52. The Fantastic Four (1994)

#51. Man-Thing (2005)

IMDb rating: 4.0

Director: Brett Leonard

Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes

This little-known horror take on the superhero film centers around the attempts of a Florida sheriff who must investigate the rumors of the titular murderous swamp creature. It premiered on the Sci-Fi channel (now SyFy), followed by a limited international theatrical release, grossing less than $150,000. In retrospect, the film’s failure isn’t too surprising; even its creators were skeptical of the swamp monster’s potential during filming.

#50. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)

IMDb rating: 4.3

Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Runtime: 1 hour 36 minutes

The sequel to 2007’s “Ghost Rider” finds protagonist Johnny Blaze doing battle with Satan himself in order to exorcise his titular alter ego. Although the film’s box office failure spelled the end of the Ghost Rider series, star Nicholas Cage has advocated for a grittier, R-rated reboot in the vein of “Deadpool.”

#49. Fantastic Four (2015)

#48. Howard the Duck (1986)

IMDb rating: 4.6

Director: Willard Huyck

Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes

The hero of Marvel’s first official theatrical release had neither a cape nor a mask—but he did have webbed feet and an orange bill. “Howard the Duck” follows the profane waterfowl from Duckworld as he struggles to save Earth from an intergalactic invasion. Although the film was a flop back in 1986, cameos in both “Guardians of the Galaxy” films have led to a renewed interest in the characteralthough Guardians director James Gunn has publicly dispelled rumors of a reboot.

#47. Elektra (2005)

IMDb rating: 4.7

Director: Rob Bowman

Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes

This spinoff of 2003’s “Daredevil” follows female assassin Elektra (Jennifer Garner) as she tries to protect a father-daughter duo from rival mercenaries. The film has faded into obscurity in the wake of today’s superhero boom.

#44. 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

IMDb rating: 5.6

Director: Tim Story

Runtime: 1 hour 32 minutes

In this sequel to 2005’s “Fantastic Four,” the superhero family teams up once again to prevent the mysterious Silver Surfer from destroying planet Earth. Although this film is the only sequel to any of the “Fantastic Four” movies, it didn’t perform well enough to warrant a third film—signaling another bitter defeat for the Fantastic Four’s movie career.

#43. The Punisher (1989)

IMDb rating: 5.7

Director: Mark Goldblatt

Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes

Ironically Marvel’s first superhero movie centers on one of the company’s most violent characters. Similar to “Daredevil,” the film’s reputation has been usurped by the Netflix show “Punisher,” but some fans still wax nostalgic about this direct-to-video, quintessentially ’80s superhero drama.

#41. Fantastic Four (2005)

IMDb rating: 5.7

Director: Tim Story

Runtime: 1 hour 46 minutes

2005 saw the first Fantastic Four film to receive an official cinematic release. Although this origin story was the only Fantastic Four film to do well enough at the box office to warrant a sequel, it was not a favorite of critics. The only hero to escape from the wreckage was actor Chris Evans, who would later lead the Avengers as the MCU’s Captain America.

#40. Blade: Trinity (2004)

IMDb rating: 5.9

Director: David S. Goyer

Runtime: 1 hour 53 minutes

In the final film of the “Blade” trilogy, the no-nonsense vampire hunter goes toe-to-toe with Dracula while on the run from the FBI. Although “Blade III” failed to meet the critical and commercial highs of its predecessor, it’s notable for the casting of Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King. Reynolds would be no stranger to high-flying franchises in the years to follow, starring in both the unsuccessful “Green Lantern” and the box office smash “Deadpool.”

#39. Punisher: War Zone (2008)

IMDb rating: 6.0

Director: Lexi Alexander

Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes

This reboot of 2004’s “The Punisher” did little to help get Marvel’s violent veteran off the ground. At the time of release, it was the lowest-grossing Marvel movie ever made, returning only $10 million of its $35 million budget.

#38. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

IMDb rating: 6.2

Director: Sam Raimi

Runtime: 2 hours 19 minutes

In the final film of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy, Peter Parker has to juggle his newfound celebrity with his developing relationship with Mary Jane Watson, all while doing battle with three of the series’ most beloved villains: Sandman, Venom, and Green Goblin. While the film was mocked for its ridiculous plot at the time of its release, some fans have come to applaud Raimi’s ambition, if not his execution.

#37. The Punisher (2004)

IMDb rating: 6.5

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh

Runtime: 2 hours 4 minutes

“The Punisher” marked the first theatrical appearance of Frank Castle’s violent alter ego since 1989. Although Marvel planned to release a sequel, it was scrapped after director Jonathan Hensleigh and star Thomas Jane left the project, citing creative differences. The planned sequel became the 2008 reboot “Punisher: War Zone.”

#36. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

IMDb rating: 6.6

Director: Gavin Hood

Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes

This first spin-off of the “X-Men” franchise tells the tale of how Hugh Jackman’s mutant got his iconic metal claws. Despite a successful box office gross and multiple sequels, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” is most notable today for Ryan Reynolds’ appearance as Deadpool, although Reynolds would later mock this cameo in the anti-hero’s 2016 film.

#35. Blade II (2002)

IMDb rating: 6.7

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Runtime: 1 hour 57 minutes

In the sequel to 1998’s “Blade,” the half-human, half-vampire assassin battles a gang of vampire mutants who threaten to wipe out both humans and vampires. The film was directed by future Best Picture winner Guillermo del Toro, whose success with “Blade II” led to later blockbusters like “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hellboy.”

#34. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

#33. The Wolverine (2013)

#32. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

IMDb rating: 6.7

Director: Brett Ratner

Runtime: 1 hour 44 minutes

“X-Men: The Last Stand” closes out the original X-Men film trilogy with a war among the mutants following the discovery of a cure for their powers. Although the film was the highest-grossing entry in the franchise at the time of release, its dual plot lines were the result of creative differences between its writers and the studio—resulting in a conclusion that left many fans unhappy.

#31. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

#30. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

IMDb rating: 6.9

Director: Joe Johnston

Runtime: 2 hours 4 minutes

Captain America’s origin storyand introduction to the MCUtakes viewers back to 1941 as the Avengers’ leader leads the Allies to victory in World War II. Two Captain America sequels, three Avengers films, and millions of dollars later, it’s hard to believe that actor Chris Evans originally turned down the part three times.

#29. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

#28. Thor: The Dark World (2013)

IMDb rating: 7.0

Director: Alan Taylor

Runtime: 1 hour 52 minutes

In the sequel to 2011’s “Thor,” the golden-haired Norse god teams up with his mischievous brother Loki to save the universe from evil dark elves. Critics felt that Tom Hiddleston stole the show as the sly, downtrodden Loki, standing out among an all-star cast, including Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, and Idris Elba. Despite the mixed reviews, “Thor: The Dark World” grossed nearly $650 million worldwide.

#27. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

IMDb rating: 7.0

Director: Marc Webb

Runtime: 2 hours 16 minutes

Ten years after the premiere of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man,” Andrew Garfield swung onto the screen to reinvigorate the franchise after the critical failure of Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3.” The film sparked a heated debate among fans as to whether Garfield’s portrayal of the wall-crawler from NYC surpasses Tobey Maguire’s turn in Raimi’s series of films. This battle only got more complicated when Tom Holland entered the mix in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” giving fans plenty to keep their Spidey-senses tingling.

#26. Iron Man 2 (2010)

IMDb rating: 7.0

Director: Jon Favreau

Runtime: 2 hours 4 minutes

Just as the real world was starting to get used to the idea of the MCU’s regularly scheduled superhero blockbusters, “Iron Man 2” depicts Tony Stark’s struggle to adjust to his new life as a privately funded vigilante. In addition to an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Don Cheadle, the film had some superpowers behind the camera. The high-flying sequel was directed by Jon Favreau (“Rudy,” “Swingers”), and acclaimed screenwriter Justin Theroux wrote the screenplay.

#25. Thor (2011)

IMDb rating: 7.0

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes

Thor’s 2011 introduction to the MCU skirts the conventional origin story in favor of a family drama of godlike proportions. After being kicked out of his palace by his father, Odin, Thor must prove himself worthy of his powers by battling Loki, his conniving half-brother. The film grossed nearly $450 million worldwide, ensuring that Chris Hemsworth’s seat on the MCU throne would be secure for many sequels to come.

#24. Blade (1998)

IMDb rating: 7.1

Director: Stephen Norrington

Runtime: 2 hours

The first film to feature Wesley Snipes’ grizzled vampire hunter was Marvel’s first cinematic success, leading to two sequels and the emergence of the superhero genre as fans know it today. Although Blade has been absent from theaters since 2004’s “Blade: Trinity,” Snipes has hinted that he would be open to picking up the sword once again to reprise the role.

#23. Iron Man 3 (2013)

IMDb rating: 7.2

Director: Shane Black

Runtime: 2 hours 10 minutes

The final film of Marvel’s “Iron Man” trilogy once again had Robert Downey Jr. flying into uncharted territory. It was the first MCU film released after the legendary team-up that was 2012’s “The Avengers,” and its star handled this pressure with Tony Stark’s devil-may-care aplomb—ordering rewrites of his scenes throughout the filming process.

#22. Ant-Man (2015)

IMDb rating: 7.3

Director: Peyton Reed

Runtime: 1 hour 57 minutes

Despite its 2015 release date, “Ant-Man” had been in development since 2006—when “Baby Driver” director Edgar Wright expressed interest in bringing Marvel’s tiniest hero to the big screen. But in a shocking turn, Wright left the project in 2014, citing creative differences with Marvel. Despite this, the size-changing superhero heist was a hit in theaters, grossing over $500 million worldwide and paving the way for this year’s sequel, “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

#21. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

IMDb rating: 7.3

Director: Sam Raimi

Runtime: 2 hours 7 minutes

The sequel to Sam Raimi’s hugely successful “Spider-Man” showed Hollywood how a successful superhero sequel should be made. Depicting Peter Parker’s struggle to live a life of heroic responsibility while still maintaining his personal relationships, the film was a critical and commercial smash upon its release in 2004. Even amidst the big-budget success of the MCU years later, fans still consider “Spider-Man 2” to be one of the highlights of the superhero genre.

#20. Spider-Man (2002)

IMDb rating: 7.3

Director: Sam Raimi

Runtime: 2 hours 1 minute

Although this 2002 release now stands among a plethora of sequels and reboots, “Spider-Man” was a blockbuster like no other at the time of its release, becoming the first film to gross more than $100 million worldwide in its opening weekend. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco would lead the franchise through two more sequels, but this 2002 outing is still remembered by fans as the film where the wall-crawling fun began.

#19. X-Men (2000)

IMDb rating: 7.4

Director: Bryan Singer

Runtime: 1 hour 44 minutes

Twelve years before the Avengers would famously team up onscreen, Bryan Singer brought Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters to life through this 2000 origin story. After two sequels and two spin-off series, it’s easy to forget that at the time, this super-powered drama starring English theatre actors Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, alongside a then-unknown Hugh Jackman, was a radial twist on the genre.

#18. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

IMDb rating: 7.4

Director: Joss Whedon

Runtime: 2 hours 21 minutes

The second Avengers movie finds the team battling amongst themselves as one of Tony Stark’s creations goes awry, threatening to destroy not just the Avengers, but all of humanity. After finishing the film, director Joss Whedon left the “Avengers” franchise behind, citing fatigue from trying to make a film that met Marvel’s strict plot requirements.

#17. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

#16. Black Panther (2018)

#15. Doctor Strange (2016)

#14. X-Men 2 (2003)

IMDb rating: 7.5

Director: Bryan Singer

Runtime: 2 hours 14 minutes

In the second film of the now-ubiquitous “X-Men” franchise, the mutants must work together to stop the evil Colonel William Stryker from eradicating all of Earth’s mutants. This highly anticipated sequel was a milestone for the genre: its 93-country debut was the largest international opening ever at the time of release. 

#13. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

IMDb rating: 7.7

Director: James Gunn

Runtime: 2 hours 16 minutes

The sequel to 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” sees Peter Quill and the gang struggle to function as a superhero team in light of their individual family issues—including the arrival of Quill’s father, Ego. True to the over-the-top nature of Marvel’s intergalactic crime fighters, this film features five mid- and post-credits scenes—more than any other Marvel film.

#12. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

IMDb rating: 7.8

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Runtime: 2 hours 27 minutes

The friendships forged among the heroes of the MCU are tested in this film, as Captain America and Iron Man lead separate factions against each other in response to governmental legislation of superheroes. In addition to massive success at the box officeit would become the third-highest grossing film of 2016the third Captain America flick features another accomplishment: the famous airport battle among the film’s protagonists was shot almost entirely digitally.

#11. X: First Class (2011)

IMDb rating: 7.8

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Runtime: 2 hours 11 minutes

After the epic battles of the original X-Men series and the deep character work of its Wolverine spin-offs, there was only one direction for the franchise to go: backward. The film follows Charles Xavier and Magneto during the Cuban Missile Crisis of the ’60s, as they begin the complicated friendship that will lead to the events of the first three X-Men films.

#10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

IMDb rating: 7.8

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Runtime: 2 hours 16 minutes

This second film of the Captain America series marked the first MCU film directed by Joe and Anthony Russo; the brothers would later helm the smash hits “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” They weren’t the only key players to be introduced in this film: through his portrayal of Cap’s old friend-turned-rival Bucky Barnes, actor Sebastian Stan’s contract with Marvel will run for a grand total of nine films.

#9. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

#8. Iron Man (2008)

IMDb rating: 7.9

Director: Jon Favreau

Runtime: 2 hours 6 minutes

As the first film of the MCU, this origin story of Tony Stark’s metal-suited hero introduced now-familiar MCU fixtures like Stan Lee cameos, post-credits sequences, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Surprisingly, as the film is the basis for the rest of the cinematic universe, much of the film’s dialogue was improvised by the actors.

#7. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

IMDb rating: 8.0

Director: Bryan Singer

Runtime: 2 hours 12 minutes

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender do the time warp again in this sequel to both “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “X-Men: First Class.” In order to prevent an apocalyptic attack on present-day Earth, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine travels back in time to the 1970s, where he encounters younger versions of Charles Xavier and Magneto.

#6. Deadpool (2016)

IMDb rating: 8.0

Director: Tim Miller

Runtime: 1 hour 48 minutes

Although Deadpool’s on-screen debut occurred in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” audiences wouldn’t get to see the origin story of Marvel’s infamous Merc With a Mouth until this 2016 film. Ryan Reynolds’ fourth-wall-breaking take on the superhero story was a hit at the box office, where it became the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.

#5. Deadpool 2 (2018)

IMDb rating: 8.1

Director: David Leitch

Runtime: 1 hour 59 minutes

The sequel to 2016’s “Deadpool” finds the wise-cracking hero trying to become more responsible. Unfortunately, his mission to protect a young mutant is complicated by the arrival of Cable, a cybernetic soldier with a grudge against Deadpool’s young charge.

#3. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

#2. The Avengers (2012)

IMDb rating: 8.1

Director: Joss Whedon

Runtime: 2 hours 23 minutes

This ensemble superhero film was an unprecedented hit for Marvel, bringing in over $1 billion at the box office. However, the process that brought “The Avengers” and all its preceding standalone films to the big screen was a gamble: Marvel offered the movie rights to its “Iron Man,” “Captain America,” “Hulk,” and “Thor” as collateral to receive funding from Merrill Lynch.

#1. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)