Top 10 Best Marvel Movies Of The Decade


If there’s been one topic of conversation in the movie world over the past ten years, it has to be Marvel and its ever-expanding cinematic universe. Having raked in over $21bn since 2010, these superhero movies have dominated screens through the past decade. But which of them is best? Here are my picks for the top 10 best Marvel movies of the decade.

10. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

While hardly the breath of fresh air that its predecessor was, James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 sees Marvel at its most powerful, taking the universe’s quirkiest team and handing them a sprawling 137-minute blockbuster on a par equivalent to The Avengers themselves.

Notable for its gorgeous, kaleidoscopic colour palette, as well as another toe-tapping soundtrack, GOTG Vol. 2 features everything that an anarchic, action-packed and fun-loving Marvel movie should, and as it builds on the delightful energy of the previous film, it takes you along on another thoroughly enjoyable ride through the stars.

It may not have the fresh, almost innocent qualities of the first film, and its story does feel very bloated at points, but with such great energy and humour, along with those stunning visuals, it’s an undeniably striking watch all the same, and with its seven post-credits scenes to boot, it’s an absolute delight for any Marvel lover.

Read a full review here.

9. Doctor Strange (2016)

Released when Marvel was aiming to expand its cinematic universe beyond the core Avengers characters, Doctor Strange is a film that offers a memorable side away from what had come to feel like ‘the Marvel formula’.

Starting off in the vein of a genuinely serious, sombre drama, the film follows the origin of Dr. Steven Strange’s journey to discovering a world of magic on his way to joining with The Avengers to protect and save the Earth from destruction. In that, there’s an impressive combination of fresh ideas and typical superhero fare, more than enough to make for an entertaining and still surprising watch.

After all, as the 14th MCU film, a bit of originality is exactly what this film needed to bring to the table, and although I wouldn’t put it as the most deliriously enjoyable or endlessly action-packed of the Marvel movies, it’s one of the best of origin story films in the franchise, and a genuinely memorable watch.

Read a full review here.

8. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor and its sequel, The Dark World, are the two worst films in the MCU. By a long way. So, for Thor: Ragnarok to not only be a massive improvement on its predecessors, but also one of the best Marvel movies of the decade, was an enormous surprise.

The biggest difference between Ragnarok and the two previous movies is the massive shift in tone to a chaotic, fun-loving comedy. That came in part with a changing trend in the MCU more generally, but most of all with the appointment of Taika Watiti as director.

Taking a then relatively unknown indie comedy director and throwing him into the chair of an international blockbuster might have sounded like a mad idea, but Watiti proves his incredible talents with Ragnarok, turning the MCU’s dullest character into one of its most charismatic, and along with his inimitable Kiwi sense of humour (and his appearance as the hilarious Korg), delights with a rollercoaster of laughs, gorgeous visuals and great action.

Read a full review here.

7. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

The big one. A three-hour epic with its origins in the original Iron Man film over 11 years before, everything about the MCU had been building up to Avengers: Endgame, and what a smash hit it was.

The highest-grossing film of all time, Avengers: Endgame’s unprecedented $2.8bn run at the worldwide box office is the greatest indicator of Marvel’s sheer dominance and popularity over the last ten years at the cinema. But it’s not just about the box office numbers, because the film itself isn’t half bad either.

Bringing a satisfying, memorable and often emotional conclusion to the biggest film franchise in history, Endgame feels brilliantly epic, and its three-hour runtime only serves to intensify those stakes. Its visuals are exceptional, its action exhilarating, and although it may not feature the same riveting dramatic depth that better Marvel movies have pulled off, it’s still a hugely enjoyable watch over those 181 minutes – no mean feat even for the world’s biggest blockbuster studio.

Read a full review here.

6. Captain Marvel (2019)

Over the decade, with each new movie, the MCU became more and more complex, intricate and inter-connected. A bold strategy that’s seen it streak light years ahead of its competitors at the box office, but also something that’s meant none of its recent films stand on their own particularly well, especially if you’re coming in never having seen another Marvel movie.

That’s why Captain Marvel was such a surprising breath of fresh air. Taking a step back from the intricate wider scope of the MCU, the film is a refreshingly simple watch, telling a classic superhero origin story more akin to the original Superman than what we’ve become used to through the last ten years.

Captain Marvel still features the same great humour and stunning visual effects that the MCU is so well-known for, but most importantly, it doesn’t over-indulge itself in Marvel lore, instead putting entertaining, easy-going storytelling as a priority above all else. And on top of all that, with a kicking ’90s soundtrack and a delightful lead performance from Brie Larson, Captain Marvel proves to be one of the decade’s most purely entertaining Marvel movies.

Read a full review here.

5. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Before Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War was the juggernaut of the MCU. The first half of the series’ big finale, it brings stakes, peril and intensity to the franchise like no film beforehand, and with it enormous box office success around the world.

Although its $2bn take seems rather measly in comparison to Endgame, Infinity War is arguably the more complete film, establishing a new benchmark in the MCU as it brings together heroes and more from all across the universe, and lets them all fight alongside one another to save the world one last time.

By far the most ‘epic’ film of the MCU, Infinity War is a hugely impressive spectacle, and despite the threat of a bloated, confused script with so many main characters, it manages to weave all its heroes’ stories together in exciting fashion that doesn’t get in the way of the brilliant action. It may still be a generic ‘save the world’ story at its core, but the unprecedented scale and stakes of Infinity War are what make it so memorable, and undeniably one of the strongest Marvel films of the decade.

Read a full review here.

4. Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

By 2014, Marvel had established itself as the unmatched frontrunner in the increasingly crowded superhero genre. With The Avengers a smash hit and its core characters hugely popular across the world, there was surely nothing more it needed to do to stay number one.

However, the arrival of Guardians Of The Galaxy was the first indicator that the MCU was something far more than just your average superhero franchise. Taking what was considered an almost unknown comic book property and turning it into a big blockbuster, the success of GOTG was one of Marvel’s greatest achievements, and its arrival on the scene was a huge breath of fresh air.

A hugely enjoyable space romp that pokes fun at Star Wars as well as Marvel itself, the film featured a hitherto unproved brand of hilarious, self-aware humour, a now-legendary pop soundtrack, stunning visuals and a delightfully weird bunch of misfits as its main heroes.

Guardians Of The Galaxy brought life and energy to the MCU like no other film, paving the way for its now-established formula that combines brilliant comedy and excellent action. As far as Marvel movies this decade go, there are few quite as special as this one.

Read a full review here.

3. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

After Sony dropped the ball with their Amazing Spider-Man series, Marvel managed to wrangle the rights to Spidey back in time to hammer him into a cameo in 2016. But in 2017, he got his MCU debut with the brilliant Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Starting off with the pitch-perfect casting of Tom Holland as the youngest big screen Spider-Man to date, the film is an energetic, youthful and wide-eyed blockbuster that’s full of great humour, engaging characters and brilliant action from beginning to end. It’s arguably the most likable Marvel movie of all, combining its chidllike sensibilities with the epic scope of an MCU budget and the appearance of Iron Man on the scene to link into the rest of the franchise.

Couple that with a heartwarming story that blends coming-of-age intrigue with pleasantly juvenile antics, and you have a Marvel movie that feels light years away from the big, outer-space thrills of some, and yet still connected enough to earn its place in the wider franchise. It’s easily one of the most entertaining Marvel movies of the decade, and with such great charisma and a thoroughly enjoyable story, will definitely stand as one of the most accessible and most memorable.

Read a full review here.

2. The Avengers (2012)

While it might not seem like much now, The Avengers was groundbreaking for its time, bringing together heroes from different movies under one roof in a satisfying, complex and exciting way that had never been done before.

The climax of the early universe-building of the MCU, it’s effectively genesis not only for this franchise, but the biggest movie trend of the decade, as countless other blockbuster properties tried to jump on the shared universe bandwagon, but never coming up quite as successfully as The Avengers.

In hindsight, The Avengers is an admittedly simplistic film when compared to the massive hits of the latter half of the decade – its ‘save the world’ story is nothing compared to the massive stakes and intricacy of Infinity War and Endgame – but the film is still a hugely enjoyable watch, combining its great action with hilarious humour and effortlessly charismatic performances that play off one another brilliantly, bringing an unforgettable dynamic to this unprecedented superhero team.

Probably the most important film of both the MCU and Hollywood this decade, The Avengers won’t be forgotten for a very long time, and although it may not be the world’s most enthralling piece of filmmaking, it’s an immensely entertaining blockbuster with bigger ambition than anything that came before it.

Read a full review here.

1. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Light years ahead of anything else Marvel have made this decade, Captain America: Civil War is the only MCU movie with real, captivating depth and conflict, thrilling with complex and intriguing drama that blends perfectly with some of the most spectacular action of the franchise.

Effectively another Avengers movie, Civil War brings together Marvel’s biggest heroes under one roof, but rather than seeing them fight together to save the world (again), the story focuses on a deep rift among their ranks, as they fight over their responsibilities as the defenders of the Earth, and the impact of their actions going unchecked on the world they are trying to protect.

In that, Civil War is the only Marvel movie with deep political intrigue, not to mention an introspective look at the true nature of herowork. It still has great humour, exciting visuals, and some of the best action the franchise has to offer, but it’s that brilliantly dramatic story that proves the strongest feature of all, telling a tale that’s far more captivating and with far higher stakes than any other from the MCU, and that’s why it’s my pick for the best Marvel movie of the decade.

Read a full review here.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: