In 2015, Marvel Studios released the sequel to its first major ensemble film, The Avengers. Given the critical success and fan approval of its predecessor, there was a lot of hype surrounding Avengers: Age of Ultron, and everyone who saw it had their own expectations out of Earth's Mightiest Heroes' next big battle.
But while the film managed to earn over $1.5 billion at the worldwide box-office, Age of Ultron isn't looked at too fondly by many fans. Critically speaking, the film sits at a 75% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, ranking behind 2011's Thor, and ahead of Iron Man 2. What's more, in terms of total earnings, it keeps falling behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe pack, with Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War both outgrossing it in 2018.
Writer/director Joss Whedon famously clashed with Marvel during the production of the film, and had no idea what to do with Thanos, showering the villain's teaser into the movie at the studio's behest. The film is infamous for introducing the now-forgotten romance between Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff, and for featuring an iconic villain that could have been much more of a threat than he turned out to be. It's also been heavily criticized for being over-stuffed and too similar to its predecessor in structure, particularly in its third act.
But here's the thing: Age of Ultron gets a bum rap from MCU fans and critics. It had the daunting task of following one of the most successful movies of all time. Sure, it might not be your favorite MCU film, but Age of Ultron doesn't deserve as bad a reputation as it's built. It's likely better than you remember, and it was far more important to the overall MCU narrative than anyone realized at the time.