Michael’s Rankings: Studio Ghibli Films

Having seen all the Studio Ghibli films (until the new one that will be released in 2020), I figured I’d write down my thoughts and rank all the films.  This is one of the hardest rankings to do, which is probably why it’s taken so long for me to write.  So here are my rankings from 22 to 1 (technically there are only 21 films because 1 released prior to the studio being formed but it’s generally considered a Studio Ghibli film):

22) Pom Poko

This film ranks at number 22 more so the fact that I like all the other movies better.  In and of itself it’s not a bad movie…just different.  It is very much a Japanese movies when it comes to culture.  Released in Japan in 1994, the film centers around a group of “takunis” (a kind of magical creature in Japan that was kinda the basis for the Takooni suit in the Mario games, they also look like raccoons) who are having to deal with the humans encroaching into their living space.  It’s an interesting film but if I’m giving someone a Ghibli film to start out with, I’m probably skipping Pom Poko in recommending first.

21) My Neighbors the Yamadas

This film, released in 1999 in Japan, centered around the Yamada family and their everyday lives.  The animation style is more comic strip style than traditional animation and it is presented in more like a series of vignettes.  It is interesting enough the first Studio Ghibli film to be completely digital.  It is also the only Studio Ghibli film (that I’m aware) that has not been released on blu-ray in North America.  But as a whole I’m less inclined to have it higher on the list.

20) The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Yes this film was an Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature.  However the last film directed by co-founder Isao Takahata isn’t higher because there are other films that I’d much rather watch more often.  The film, released in Japan in 2013, is a take on the classic Japanese folk tale about a princess found by a bamboo cutter and who raised the girl as her child.  Like My Neighbors the Yamadas (another film that Takahata directed) the animation style is very different from other animated films.

19) Tales from Earthsea

This film, directed by Goro Miyazaki (Hayao Miyazaki’s son) is a decent film.  It is based off of the literary works of Ursula K. Le Guin.  Initially Hayao Miyazaki was going to direct the film but because of his efforts in another film, it was decided that Goro would make his directorial debut with this film.  If you go by Rotten Tomatoes ratings, this is the lowest rated film from Studio Ghibli.  I think it’s a decent film and Goro would go on to direct another film for Studio Ghibli that is higher in my rankings.

18) Ponyo

If you are wondering what the lowest ranked Hayao Miyazaki film is, it is Ponyo.  Released in Japan in 2008, Ponyo is a take on the classic fairy tale “The Little Mermaid”.  Ponyo is a goldfish who befriends a little boy named Sosuke and then wants to become a human.  I would say this is probably the most “kid friendly” film as it is geared more towards younger audiences but the story itself is pretty good.  In the end, there are other films I would much rather watch and recommend first (unless you have little kids you want to introduce to Studio Ghibli…then again I have another film higher up that I’d probably point to first).

17) The Cat Returns

This film is interestingly enough the only “sequel” that Studio Ghibli made.  I put “sequel” in quotations because it is not a direct sequel but a character from a previous film has a larger role in this film.  Released in 2002, The Cat Returns centers around a young girl named Haru who gets caught up in a magical world of cat people.  Haru is helped out by one magical cat named the Baron (who fans of Studio Ghibli films would remember).  This film was initially planned as a short film before later extended into a feature film.  This is one of the few films that was directed by someone not named Miyazaki or Takahata (the director was Hiroyuki Morita).  This is a decent film but it finds itself behind a lot of other films (it has the distinction of also releasing in between two pretty big Ghibli films)

16) Kiki’s Delivery Service

This film, released in 1989 in Japan, tells the story of a young witch named Kiki who goes off into the world to find herself and become more independent.  It was based on a novel by the same name that was written in 1985.  It’s a fun whimsical film.  It also was the first film that the Walt Disney Company distributed as part of their deal with Studio Ghibli.  It would go on to be a huge partnership that saw many of the Studio Ghibli films released in North America through Walt Disney (the ones that weren’t were distributed through GKIDS).  The English dub is also known for being the last performance by comedian Phil Hartman who passed away shortly after recording.

15) Castle in the Sky

The first film made under the Studio Ghibli name, Castle in the Sky was released in 1986.  It tells the story of a girl named Sheeta who has a connection to Laputa, the last flying city.  Because of this, she is sought out by a lot of people who want to use her to get to the treasures there.  It has seen two English dubs (several of the older Ghibli films have this distinction) but Disney’s version is the one that’s readily available now.

14) The Secret World of Arrietty

Based on the children’s book series The Borrowers, The Secret World of Arrietty tells the story of a young boy named Sho (Shawn in the English dub) who visit’s his mother’s childhood home one summer with his great aunt and maid.  In this home is a family of Borrowers that includes Arrietty.  The film shows the life the Borrowers live as well as their interaction with the world around them.  Hayao Miyazaki helped write the script for this film but directing duties went to Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who was an animator at Studio Ghibli and worked his way up to director.  He went on to direct another film that’s higher up in the rankings.

13) Porco Rosso

Set in the time between World War I and World War II in Italy, Porco Rosso tells the story of a WWI fighter pilot named Porco Rosso.  After the war, he became a freelance bounty hunter and pilot.  Along with this, he is also turned into a pig.  Having to deal with pirates, secret police and the oncoming Fascist government in Italy, Porco continues to do what’s right while also trying to keep his plane in the air.  The film initially was to be a short film made for Japan Airlines but grew into a feature film.  Miyazaki loved airplanes and flying so this film carries a lot of those themes that he loves as well as having strong female characters (Madame Gina, Flo Piccolo).

12) Grave of the Fireflies

Released on the same day as My Neighbor Totoro in Japan as a double feature (April 16, 1988), Grave of the Fireflies was the first film directed by co-founder Isao Takahata with Studio Ghibli.  It is based on a semi autobiographical story of the same name and set during the end of World War II in Japan.  It is more on the reality based side of films for Studio Ghibli.  It tells the story of brother and sister Setsuko and Seita as they are living through the ending of World War II.  It was less successful than Totoro at the box office but is still considered one of the best animated films of all time.  It even led to two live action versions released in Japan.  It is just outside my top 10 but it’s still a really good film.

11) Ocean Waves

Originally released as a television movie in Japan in 1993, Ocean Waves is based on a novel of the same name and tells the story of three teenagers.  Two of them are two boys who are best friends living in the city of Kochi and the third is a young girl who transfers to their school from Tokyo.  The story is told both in the present as well as in flashback and how their lives are impacted both in the present and in the past.  It had just recently came to the states (and is the only release to not get an English dub) but the story is still compelling.  It’s just outside the top 10 for me like Grave of the Fireflies but no fault of it’s own.  The top 10 to me are well deserving of their spots.

10) Spirited Away

One of the most well known Studio Ghibli films, Spirited Away is also one of the most awarded.  Released in Japan in 2001, it tells the story of Chihiro, a young girl whose family gets lost on the way to their new home and gets caught up in a magical spirit world.  Chihiro has to help find her way out of this spirit world as well as return her parents to normal after they had been turned into pigs.  Spirited Away went on to become the highest grossing film in Japanese cinema and so far the only anime, non-English-speaking and traditionally animated winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

9) Whisper of the Heart

Whisper of the Heart has the distinction of being the first Studio Ghibli film to not be directed by either Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata (although Miyazaki did write the screenplay for the film).  It was directed by Yoshifumi Kondo who was to be the heir apparent director for Studio Ghibli.  Tragically, he died only a few years after the release of this film.  The film tells the story of a young junior high girl named Shizuku Tsukishima.  She is preparing for graduation and looking ahead to the future.  She wants to pursue writing and is inspired by a doll at a store she encounters named “The Baron” (which would get his own film The Cat ReturnsWhisper of the Heart released in 1995 and was the highest grossing film in Japan that year.

8) Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaa was the first film that Hayao Miyazaki directed on his own.  The film actually preceded Studio Ghibli’s formation but is considered by most to also be a “Studio Ghibli film”.  Set in a post apocalyptic world in the future, the film tells the story of Nausicaa.  She is known as the “Princess of the Valley of the Wind”.  She seeks to protect both humans and the creatures of the world including large insect like creatures called Ohm.  However there are humans from the kingdom of Tolmekia that want to conquer and rule over the earth at all costs.  Nausicaa must try and stop the Tolmekians from destroying the jungles which provide clean air to breath as well as protect the Ohm.  It is still considered one of Miyazaki’s best films and does stand the test of time.

7) When Marnie Was There

As of this post, When Marnie Was There was the last film released by Studio Ghibli.  Released in Japan in 2014, it is based on the novel of the same name.  The film tells the story of a young girl named Anna who is visiting family of Anna’s foster parents in a rural seaside town for the summer.  While there, Anna encounters a girl named Marne and through her interactions with Marnie learns a lot about herself and where she comes from.  The films was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (who also directed The Secret World of Arietty).  It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (but lost out to Inside Out).

6) Only Yesterday

Released in Japan in 1991, this was director Isao Takahata followup film to Grave of the Fireflies.  The film tells the story of Takeo Okajima, a 27 year old unmarried girl living in Tokyo.  She decides to take a trip to the countryside to spend time with family of her brother in law.  Along the journey and while there, she remembers her time as a middle school student.  The film goes back and forth between young Takeo and present day.  This was very much a grounded real life film.  It is also the film that for the longest time did not get released in North America.  Aside from a subtitled version airing on Turner Classic Movies in 2006, it had never been on home video or gotten a theatrical release until 2016 when it received both a theatrical/home video release as well as an English dub.

5) Howl’s Moving Castle

Based on the novel by the same name, Howl’s Moving Castle tells the story of Sophie, a young lady who is cursed by an evil witch with old age and encounters a wizard name Howl.  Howl has of course a moving castle as well as a collection of people in the castle that Sophie befriends.  In the midst of all this, there is a war going on between two countries that are trying to recruit wizards and witches to help them win.  The film was released in Japan in 2004 and was Hayao Miyazaki’s first film after Spirited Away.  It ended up getting an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film (losing to Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit).

4) My Neighbor Totoro

Famous for giving us the logo that defines Studio Ghibli, My Neighbor Totoro is probably the first well known Studio Ghibli.  Released at the same time (in fact it was a double feature with) Grave of the Fireflies in Japan in 1988, the story tells the story of the Kusakabe family who live in Japan in the 1950s.  The father, Tatsuo, is a university professor.  The mother, Yasuko, is recovering from an illness that had her in the hospital.  The two daughters, Satsuki and Mei (along with her dad) move to be closer to their mother.  At the old house they move into, Satsuki and Mei come across some spirits, one large one Mei calls Totoro.  It’s a very heartwarming film and one that I would probably recommend if someone was first getting into Miyazaki films.

3) Princess Mononoke

This was the first Studio Ghibli film I ever saw and I saw it in college with the recommendation of one of my friends and roommates.  Released in 1997 in Japan, Princess Mononoke is set during the Muromachi period in Japan but includes elements of fantasy.  A young Emishi prince, Ashitaka is cursed by a demon he slayed protecting his village.  Now to hopefully release the curse, he must travel west and at the same time essentially go into exile.  Along the way he encounters various characters including a Buddist monk, a town of outcasts led by Lady Eboshi, the wolf godess Moro and a human girl adopted by the wolves, San.

2) From Up on Poppy Hill

This is the highest rated non Hayao Miyazaki film on the list (though he did co-write the screenplay).  His son Goro directed the film (based on a comic of the same name) which released in Japan in 2011.  Set in 1963 Yokohama, Japan, From Up on Poppy Hill centers around Umi Matsuzaki, a high school girl who helps run a boarding house while her mother is off studying medicine in America and her father was killed during the Korean War.  She raises signal flags each morning for the boats that sail through the port of Yokohama which catches the eye of fellow student Shun which leads to their journey together at and outside of school.  I love the story and the music in this film is top notch.

1) The Wind Rises

This film was initially to be the swan song for Hayao Miyazaki back in 2013 (but that changed when news came out about his unretirement and new film in 2020).  The Wind Rises is a biopic of sorts.  It’s a fictionalized account of the life of Jiro Horikoshi.  Jiro is most famous for designing Mitsubishi A5M fighter plane and it’s more well known successor the A6M Zero which was used by Japan during World War II.  The film goes from his time as a child dreaming of flying to his time in school studying to be a designer to his time as an adult working on designing warships.  It also shows Jiro falling in love with a girl named Naoko which also impacts Jiro’s life tremendously.  Overall, this film is one of the most beautifully made films I’ve ever seen.  It was nominated for an Academy Award (though it did not win).  But at the very least it is number 1 in my rankings.

Michael’s Rankings: Updated Marvel Cinematic Universe Films

Having just seen Thor: Ragnarok I was thinking about where it ranks as far as MCU films and then I realized that I haven’t updated them since 2015.  There have been several MCU films released since then as part of Phase 3.  So here I go with an “updated” listing.  There will be a little bit of changes to fit the new films in but my guess is the top film and the bottom film will probably still be the same. And I’m sure I will revisit this list and adjust accordingly as time goes on and even more films are released.  So here is the list (from least favorite to favorite):

17.) Thor:  The Dark World

The sequel to Thor resides at the bottom of the list.  Nothing against this film.  I enjoyed it but compared to the rest of the MCU and specifically to the first one, this one isn’t as good.  To me, the plot felt kinda disjointed and the Dark Elves could’ve been used better (or at least have potential to carry over into future films).  As you will probably notice in this list, Phase 2 films will occupy a lot of the lower ends of this list.  I’ll address that more here in a little bit.

16.)  Iron Man 3

While I do enjoy the reference to Tennessee in this film (though there is no location in Tennessee where Tony Stark visits), Iron Man 3 is the least enjoyable of the Iron Man trilogy.  I give it credit, it does reference The Avengers in trying to tie the story in the aftermath of those events on Stark.  However, it feels disjointed and the ending, while makes sense if you look at it as just an Iron Man trilogy, does not make sense when you look at the bigger MCU picture.  Hence, why it’s so far down on my list.

15.) Iron Man 2

The lowest film in Phase 1, Iron Man 2 is better than Iron Man 3 but compared to the rest of the MCU films, it’s not as enjoyable for me.  It does have the debut of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and she does a great job.  But when compared to the first Iron Man, this one misses the mark.

Captain America:  Civil War

I mentioned before (and will again shortly) about some films being higher on other people’s lists and some being lower.  This is one that probably for a lot of people would be higher but not on my list.  Like Winter Soldier, I’m not a big fan of the tone of this film.  I’m not a big fan of the impetus for the big clash between Cap & Stark.  I’m not a big fan in general of the portrayal of many of the characters in this film with the exception of Black Panther & Spider-Man.  So Avengers 2.5 as I’ve liked to call it is this far down on the list.

13.) Captain America:  The Winter Soldier

This will be the film that most will be higher on their lists.  Why is it so low on my list?  There are a couple of reasons.  One, I don’t like that they blew up S.H.I.E.L.D..  I get why they did it but I think there were a lot of miles they could’ve traveled with S.H.I.E.L.D. still working and on top of that I didn’t like that they said Hydra was pretty much around inside S.H.I.E.L.D. nearly the entire time of existence.  Two, compared to the first Captain America film, I didn’t necessarily like the tone.  Granted, I’m in the minority on that thought but that’s just me.  It’s a good film and probably out of all the Phase 2 films, it ties most into Avengers:  Age of Ultron the best.  But if I am going to choose between which Captain America film I’m going to watch, this one wouldn’t be my first choice.

12.) Thor

Out of the origin story films, Thor is the lowest.  I like Thor but again compared to other MCU films, it ranks lower.  I like the tone of this film better than The Dark World.  It helps that Loki is more prominent in this film as opposed to the sequel.  I will say the next several films are tough to rank because they are all kinda bunched up together.

11.) Avengers:  Age of Ultron

I’m sure that this film will be one that will be higher on other lists.  And I enjoyed it when I saw it in the theater.  However, the main problem that I had with the film is what made it less enjoyable than some other films.  That problem was continuity.  If you view the film on its own, it’s fine.  However, when you tie it in to the other MCU films, there are problems.  One of the main problems is the end of Iron Man 3 and zero explanation of how Stark went from the end of that film to Age of Ultron.  Hydra is barely around in the film and is a secondary villain at best.  The action scenes were great and I really like that they gave Hawkeye some quality screen time.  He was probably the best character in the film.  I’m going on record as saying this will probably be my least favorite Avengers film.

10.) Thor: Ragnarok

The newest MCU film as of this writing.  You can go back to my recent post to see my overall thoughts on the film.  In regards to this ranking, it is the best of the “trilogy” films so far and the best Thor film.  But in trying to be a Thor film, a Guardians film & a Hulk film, it finds itself here.  I like it better than Age of Ultron which has now become the MCU baseline film for these rankings.

9.) The Incredible Hulk

This will be the film that is lower on a lot of lists.  But I really enjoyed this film.  And I thought Edward Norton did a great job as Bruce Banner/The Hulk and I loved Liv Tyler as Betty Ross (which is another complaint about Age of Ultron, they dismiss Ross and have Banner together with Romanov…but given that Barton is married in MCU, that option wasn’t available, anyway…).  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Mark Ruffalo fan and what he’s done with the role.  But this film tells a really good story.  I do hope at some point there is another Hulk standalone film.  But until then, this is the one.

8.) Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

Guardians Volume 2 is the highest ranking sequel on the list.  It did a great job of taking a lot of what worked in the first film and furthering the story along.  It hits the right tones of action, drama & comedy and ties things together with the first film.

7.) Ant-Man

Since the last ranking, Ant-Man dropped out of the top 5 because there were two good films that I liked more but it was tough.  I would definitely say the second half of this top 10 are really bunched together.  I’ll mention again why I really enjoyed this film is that it has the same beats as the first Iron Man.  Paul Rudd is Scott Lang & that totally is what makes the film work so well.

6.) Spider-Man:  Homecoming

These next two films were so hard to rank.  I almost could’ve went with a tie for fifth.  But I decided to go the first MCU Spider-Man film or as I also like to call it “The Redemption of Tony Stark”.  This film not only fully introduced Spider-Man into the MCU but redeemed Tony Stark after the events of Civil War.  It is one of the best Spider-Man films (which reminds me I should rank those at some point) and right up there in the MCU.

5.) Doctor Strange

I would guess this film might rank lower in some lists but I thoroughly enjoyed this film.  Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange was great (even though it’s still weird hearing him with an American accent).  The vibe and feel of the film work well together and the story is compelling.  I would highly recommend watching the film while listening to the director’s commentary.  That is probably one of the best commentaries I’ve ever heard for a film.  So far this would be my favorite Phase 3 film and it does show that for the most part I’ve enjoyed the Phase 3 films more than Phase 2.

4.) Captain America:  The First Avenger

Captain America is one of my favorite superhero characters.  And I love the retro feel of this film.  In many ways those two characteristics are what make this film more enjoyable in my mind than The Winter Soldier and Civil War.  I wish though that the Red Skull had survived (and maybe he did, who knows?) but the tone of this film makes the rewatchability more enjoyable.

3.) Guardians of the Galaxy

The best Phase 2 film to me, this film was a lot of fun.  Of course the cast of characters makes the film that much enjoyable.  The film was unlike any other Marvel film up to that point and it’s charm and quirkyness make it stand out to me.  If there is one Phase 2 film I could watch, this would be the one.

2.) Iron Man

The original classic.  The one that started the whole thing.  I love the first Iron Man.  The story it tells is great.  If one goes back and rewatches it now one can see how dated it was.  There was talk of MySpace and there weren’t really any smart phones and a digital camera was used to take a picture.  But it still holds up really well.

1.) The Avengers

To me, the first Avengers film is my favorite.  I love the action.  I love the story.  I love the soundtrack.  It is an awesome film.  If I’m choosing Avengers films, this is the one I’m more likely to go with (that may change when Infinity War comes around but as of right now this is it).

So that’s my list.  Like I said, it’s a ranking of which ones I enjoy the most.  All of them are good films and can watch them again and again.  There was some shuffling around and obviously next year there will be even more shuffling.

Michael’s Rankings: Marvel Cinematic Universe Films

I love to do rankings every now and then.  So I figured since I recently saw Ant-Man, that I would look back and review to rank the list of Marvel Cinematic Universe films.  Let me preface this by saying that this is my ranking of the films based on my favorites.  I’m sure some films are higher on my list than in others and vice versa.  Also this is through Phase 2.  Once Phase 3 gets going next year, I’m sure I will revisit this list and adjust accordingly.  So here is the list (from least favorite to favorite):

12.) Thor:  The Dark World

The sequel to Thor resides at the bottom of the list.  Nothing against this film.  I enjoyed it but compared to the rest of the MCU and specifically to the first one, this one isn’t as good.  To me, the plot felt kinda disjointed and the Dark Elves could’ve been used better (or at least have potential to carry over into future films).  As you will probably notice in this list, Phase 2 films will occupy a lot of the lower ends of this list.  I’ll address that more here in a little bit.

11.)  Iron Man 3

While I do enjoy the reference to Tennessee in this film (though there is no location in Tennessee where Tony Stark visits), Iron Man 3 is the least enjoyable of the Iron Man trilogy.  I give it credit, it does reference The Avengers in trying to tie the story in the aftermath of those events on Stark.  However, it feels disjointed and the ending, while makes sense if you look at it as just an Iron Man trilogy, does not make sense when you look at the bigger MCU picture.  Hence, why it’s so far down on my list.

10.) Iron Man 2

The lowest film in Phase 1, Iron Man 2 is better than Iron Man 3 but compared to the rest of the MCU films, it’s not as enjoyable for me.  It does have the debut of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and she does a great job.  But when compared to the first Iron Man, this one misses the mark.

9.) Captain America:  The Winter Soldier

This will be the film that most will be higher on their lists.  Why is it so low on my list?  There are a couple of reasons.  One, I don’t like that they blew up S.H.I.E.L.D..  I get why they did it but I think there were a lot of miles they could’ve traveled with S.H.I.E.L.D. still working and on top of that I didn’t like that they said Hydra was pretty much around inside S.H.I.E.L.D. nearly the entire time of existence.  Two, compared to the first Captain America film, I didn’t necessarily like the tone.  Granted, I’m in the minority on that thought but that’s just me.  It’s a good film and probably out of all the Phase 2 films, it ties most into Avengers:  Age of Ultron the best.  But if I am going to choose between which Captain America film I’m going to watch, this one wouldn’t be my first choice.

8.) Thor

Out of the origin story films, Thor is the lowest.  I like Thor but again compared to other MCU films, it ranks lower.  I like the tone of this film better than The Dark World.  It helps that Loki is more prominent in this film as opposed to the sequel.  I will say the next several films are tough to rank because they are all kinda bunched up together.

7.) Avengers:  Age of Ultron

I’m sure that this film will be one that will be higher on other lists.  And I enjoyed it when I saw it in the theater.  However, the main problem that I had with the film is what made it less enjoyable than some other films.  That problem was continuity.  If you view the film on its own, it’s fine.  However, when you tie it in to the other MCU films, there are problems.  One of the main problems is the end of Iron Man 3 and zero explanation of how Stark went from the end of that film to Age of Ultron.  Hydra is barely around in the film and is a secondary villain at best.  The action scenes were great and I really like that they gave Hawkeye some quality screen time.  He was probably the best character in the film.  I’m going on record as saying this will probably be my least favorite Avengers film.

6.) The Incredible Hulk

This will be the film that is lower on a lot of lists.  But I really enjoyed this film.  And I thought Edward Norton did a great job as Bruce Banner/The Hulk and I loved Liv Tyler as Betty Ross (which is another complaint about Age of Ultron, they dismiss Ross and have Banner together with Romanov…but given that Barton is married in MCU, that option wasn’t available, anyway…).  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Mark Ruffalo fan and what he’s done with the role.  But this film tells a really good story.  I do hope at some point there is another Hulk standalone film.  But until then, this is the one.

5.) Ant-Man

Yes, the newest entrant in the MCU makes my top 5 list.  You can see my post on the film from yesterday to see some of the reasons why I enjoyed it.  I’ll say again that it has a lot of the same beats as the first Iron Man.  It is my 2nd favorite Phase 2 film and if you haven’t seen it, you need to see it.  You really need to see it in the theater.

4.) Captain America:  The First Avenger

Captain America is one of my favorite superhero characters.  And I love the retro feel of this film.  In many ways those two characteristics are what make this film more enjoyable in my mind than The Winter Soldier.  I wish though that the Red Skull had survived (and maybe he did, who knows?) but the tone of this film makes the rewatchability more enjoyable.

3.) Guardians of the Galaxy

The best Phase 2 film to me, this film was a lot of fun.  Of course the cast of characters makes the film that much enjoyable.  The film was unlike any other Marvel film up to that point and it’s charm and quirkyness make it stand out to me.  If there is one Phase 2 film I could watch, this would be the one.

2.) Iron Man

The original classic.  The one that started the whole thing.  I love the first Iron Man.  The story it tells is great.  I will say that I rewatched it a couple of months ago and saw how dated it was.  There was talk of MySpace and there weren’t really any smart phones and a digital camera was used to take a picture.  But it still holds up really well.

1.) The Avengers

To me, the first Avengers film is my favorite.  I love the action.  I love the story.  I love the soundtrack.  It is an awesome film.  If I’m choosing Avengers films, this is the one I’m more likely to go with (that may change when Infinity War comes around but as of right now this is it).

So that’s my list.  Like I said, it’s a ranking of which ones I enjoy the most.  All of them are good films and can watch them again and again.  But given a choice, there’s some I’d watch first before others.  I’m looking forward to Phase 3 and seeing what’s next.