10. Avengers: Infinity War - Average Score: 76
This may come as a surprise to some, given the attention and praise currently surrounding the record-breaking film, but critics did not enjoy the MCU's climactic film as much as other instalments. While fans continue to flock to the emotional roller-coaster of a film, critics were not impressed by its dizzying scale. The film holds a critic score of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes with a Metacritic score of 68.
Critics applauded the Russo brothers for their work. As Helen O'Hara of Empire put it, "this time the Russos achieved the impossible. Not only did they bring all these disparate characters and stories together, but they made it look effortless." Of course, some weren't nearly as pleased. A.A Dowd of The A.V Club wrote of the film that, like so many crossovers, the film placed "quantity over quality."
Avengers: Infinity War currently holds an audience score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Average Score: 79.5
Steve Roger's second solo film took Captain America away from the patriotic binds of his origin story and placed him in a slightly more relatable world, where questions about security and freedom need answering as we see in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (directed by Joe and Anthony Russo). The film currently holds a critic score of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes with a Metacritic score of 70.
Many critics praised the fresh story and the blend between superhero action film and spy thriller. Richard Roeper called it, "just the right balance of superhero fun, nods to the greater Marvel Universe and genuine dramatic tension." Few described the film as being void of real depth and creativity, most notable being Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times writing that the film was a "machine-made, assembly line product."
Captain America: The Winter Soldier currently holds an audience score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
8. Doctor Strange - Average Score: 80.5
Up until Doctor Strange (directed by Scott Derrickson), the Marvel Cinematic Universe was mostly comprised of sci-fi based stories and characters. With Stephen Strange, audiences were introduced to a different side of that universe, one filled with magic. It had its share of controversy and flaws but fans seemed to enjoy it nonetheless. The film currently holds a critic score of 89% and a Metacritic score of 72.
Though audiences were split, the film managed to satisfy some critics. "One of the pleasures of Doctor Strange is the way it both wholly embraces and gently mocks the unapologetic geekiness of the enterprise" wrote Justin Chang for The Los Angeles Times. Other critics expected more from the franchise's 14th film. Angelica Jade Bastien, writing for RogerEbert.com wrote, "for all its wondrous world-building and trippy effects, Doctor Strange isn't the evolutionary step forward for Marvel that it needs to be storytelling-wise."
Doctor Strange currently holds an audience score of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.
7. The Avengers - Average Score: 80.5
The shared cinematic universe was a fresh concept for cinema back in 2011. Joss Whedon's The Avengers was the culmination of several years of big budget solo films introducing one of several superheroes. It was a big moment for cinema, one that both fans and critics could enjoy it having seen nothing like it before; recognizing its significance to the industry. The film holds a critic score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 69.
Keith Phipps for the A.V Club wrote that Whedon had set "new expectations for what a big superhero movie ought to be" which perfectly described film's effect as almost every major studio with the rights to a superhero began attempted a shared universe of their own. There were some that remained unimpressed. A.O Scott wrote for The New York Times that the film was filled with "grinding, hectic emptiness."
Marvel's The Avengers currently holds an audience score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.
6. Spider-Man: Homecoming - Average Score: 82.5
Within the span of a decade, the audiences had been given three different version of Spider-Man. Keeping him fresh for the MCU was no easy task, but Spider-Man: Homecoming (directed by Jon Watts) managed to exceed expectations for both fans and critics by foregoing the origin story almost everyone had memorized. The film holds a critic score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 73.
Many critics praised the film for its fresh take and gave credit to its success in part to star Tom Holland, whose performance Sara Stewart of the New York Post described as feeling "like a real teenager and a genuine throwback to the comic book."
Spider-Man: Homecoming currently holds an audience score of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.
5. Captain America: Civil War - Average Score: 83
Far from being the typical superhero film, Captain America: Civil War (directed by Joe and Anthony Russo) centered on the epic confrontation between Iron Man and the titular Captain America. The film was well received by fans and critics alike. The film holds critic score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes with a Metacritic score of 75.
Critics praised the conflict between the characters for occurring organically. As Robbie Collin wrote for The Telegraph, "they're not wrangled into standing for anything other than who they are, with no gloss or reinterpretation or reach for epic significance required" though not all critics saw it that way. Stephen Whitty of New York Daily News, for example, described it as, "a super-sized Avengers picture-- overstuffed to bursting."
Captain America: Civil War currently holds an audience score of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.