Our ongoing quest to find the best Marvel Cinematic Universe entry – or at least your favourite – enters a new chapter today with the final round of first round face-offs.
But which of this week’s entries gets your vote? Do you hold fond memories of the original Thor, the critically-acclaimed Captain America: Civil War, the gamechanging Spider-Man: Homecoming or the laugh-a-minute Ant-Man?
Or will it be Avengers: Endgame, the ending to end all endings for the MCU and cinema in general, that careers to victory ahead of the semi-finals?
Vote now and pick your favourite – or if you’d rather have a quick recap of the five films in play, check out our handy-dandy recap below.
Chris Hemsworth in Thor (2011)
If you lay out the Marvel movies in release order, Thor is Four – and apart from that pleasing synchronicity, this early MCU entry brought an awful lot to the wider franchise. Forget Chris Hemsworth’s Thunder God and his hammer Mjölnir – we also got Marvel’s best villain (aka Tom Hiddleston’s Loki), Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, the early days of SHIELD, Stellan Skarsgard’s Erik Selvig, Idris Elba’s Heimdall PLUS Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, soon to return for upcoming fourquel Thor: Love and Thunder.
Soon enough, there will be four Thors – and it all started here.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Marvel)
As Cap adjusted to the modern world and fought a deadly conspiracy within SHIELD, Chris Evans’ star-spangled hero smashed past his stuffy image to become the fan-favourite Avenger, a status which lasted until his departure in 2019.
Full of action-packed fight scenes, daring stunts and moments of real poignancy, it’s no surprise that the team behind this film – directing brothers Joe and Anthony Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely – were given the reins for the later Avengers movies.
Paul Rudd as Ant-Man with Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly (Marvel)
Paul Rudd’s big – and simultaneously small – entry to the MCU is a laugh-packed adventure in shrinking and heists, with Rudd’s character Scott Lang pulling his biggest job yet to save the Ant-Man technology from evil hands.
Also starring Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man may not be the most epic Marvel movie, but like the titular hero himself it packs a disproportionate punch. And if nothing else, Michael Peña’s hilarious monologues are worth a rewatch alone.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
After two previous franchises had fizzled out, the webbed wonder’s first solo MCU adventure firmly centres Peter Parker (Tom Holland) within the wider superhero world as he battles the Vulture, tries to get the girl and keep his secret identity intact while still wishing he could do more to help the Avengers.
And forget the action scenes – the tensest moment in the whole movie is still that car ride with Michael Keaton…
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
What more is there to be said about Avengers: Endgame? Following on from the epic adventure and bleak cliffhanger of Infinity War this sequel had a lot to live up to, and it more than delivered. Time travel! Two Thanos-es! Smart Hulk! Portals!
And if you didn’t shed a tear at Robert Downey Jr’s grand exit, you’ve probably got an arc reactor for a heart yourself.
Feeling fully caught up? Then time to head up and vote, or forever hold your peace – and join us next week for the first of the semi-finals…