Thor: The Dark World

Poll: Worst Marvel MCU Movie (So Far)

Last week, we asked about your favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now tell us which entry in the franchise you rank as the worst to date.

In my opinion, even the weakest MCU films usually have some redeeming qualities – either fun character interaction or cool action set-pieces. However, with 18 movies produced over the last decade and more on the way, it’s not at all surprising that at least a few of them have been dogs.

Our poll options today are the same as yesterday. To reiterate, the list contains all 18 feature films in the official Marvel Cinematic Universe to this point. Other superhero movies that may happen to be based on Marvel comics (‘X-Men’, ‘Deadpool’, ‘The Fantastic Four’, etc.) are not included if they’re not part of this continuity. I have also left out MCU television properties.

This is a vote for the #1 worst movie. You only get to pick one.

Which Is the Worst Marvel MCU Movie (So Far)?

View Results

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For my money, this is a close race between the narratively incoherent ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and the inane, disjointed mess that was ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’. Both movies are centered around lame villains, and both feel cobbled together from a thousand conflicting studio notes. Ultimately, I think ‘Ultron’ takes the cake. I hated everything about the conception of Ultron as a character, and the all-powerful deus ex machina called Vision may be even worse. I also loathed the way that movie introduced magic into the MCU. Its big action and VFX sequences felt tired, like everyone involved put in the minimum amount of effort to get the job done so they could collect their paychecks and go home. Even its sound mix is terrible. What a letdown after the very fun first ‘Avengers’ movie.

What’s your pick for worst?


  1. I actually like ‘Age of Ultron’ more than the original ‘Avengers’ movie.

    Last poll, I voted ‘Iron Man 3’ as my favorite, which I knew would be toward the top of the worst on this poll.

    For this, I voted ‘Thor: The Dark World’. While the original ‘Thor’ was surprisingly dull, ‘The Dark World’ was just too…dark…

  2. plissken99

    To me they are all entertaining to one degree or another, though the biggest chore to get through is the first Captain America movie. Wasn’t crazy about it when it came out, and age isn’t improving it. Funny that Winter Soldier is easily among the best.

    • Nestor P.

      I agree. The first Cap was by least favorite (followed closely by Thor Dark World) out of all of the movies on the list. And, yes, Winter Soldier was great.

      The biggest surprises for me, in a good way, were Guardians Vol. 1, Ant-Man and Homecoming. I went in expecting the worse and came out having a blast with all of them.

  3. Alex

    I’m still at a loss to explain why so many people dislike “The Incredible Hulk”. Was it Norton? Was it the fairly straightforward plot? Was it Tim Roth (how dare you!!)? Was it the design of Hulk himself? I love the movie, honestly. I love that it’s Marvel already trying out their formula of bending genres – it’s a Universal Monster Movie! I love the sequences in Brazil and the fight with the Abomination at the end. And I love the callbacks to the Ultimate Destruction video game and Lou Ferrigno voicing the Hulk again.

    P.S. I voted for Thor: The Dark World. That one commits the cardinal sin for these movies – it’s 100% forgettable. Seriously, without looking on Wikipedia, tell me the name of the villain (you said “Christopher Eccleston”, I heard you – what was the character’s name?)

    • Guy

      I voted for The Incredible Hulk. I really, really enjoy the movie up through the university set piece. Then Bruce and Betty going on the run together and their time with Dr. Sterns is merely okay. The moment The Abomination shows up, though, the whole thing becomes a bore. I’m not outright opposed to a CGI finale like many, but that one had very little to offer that felt unique and two rage monsters punching doesn’t offer a lot of narrative or character stakes to make me care about the action. So, for me, the movie starts just fine but keeps going places I’m less interested in until it whimpers to an end.

  4. Vidfreek

    Mine is the original Thor, I enjoyed Dark World for its more fantasy based plot, yeah the villain was generic but thats happened a lot in Marvel movies…..for me, the first Thor has nothing really happening, Thor gets booted out of Asgard and literally falls in love and redeems himself in a couple of days? There is no way he’s going to change his outlook that damn fast and then, talk about Generic, they send some beam shooting giant robot down that barely does anything and is super easy to take out….while I enjoyed the characters overall, Thor’s later movies were far better serving of the world Thor lives in and his character overall

  5. Guy

    I’m always surprised that The Dark World is so maligned because I thought it fixed everything I didn’t like about the first Thor film. Branagh’s distracting camera work is gone, the tonal dissonance between Earth and Asgard scenes was smoothed out, I dug the clever uses of the portals in the big finale, the establishing shots of Asgard don’t look PS3 cutscenes, Jane and Thor’s nothing romance is less of an issue because you simply take it as a given the second time around and Loki’s role is more interesting than “Wah! Daddy likes brother more than me.” The Dark Elves were not very compelling as villains, but neither were the Frost Giants of the first film. Why the Dark Elves take the cake between the two is because I enjoyed the Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings vibe of the Asgard assault sequence more than all the action from Thor 1 put together.

    It’s not a top five MCU entry for me by any means, but it’s happily nestled in the middle of the pack being mostly good fun along with Ant-Man and Spider-Man. The first Thor, The Incredible Hulk and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 are the ones I’m most cold on.

    • Opinionhaver

      Thor 2 should not be maligned, as it is a good solid film, but if I have to pick one worst I’ll go with it just because it treads water in the overarching story. If you prefer, swap in Iron Man 2 or 3 for the same reason, or Ultron for mishandling Ultron entirely. But the truth is we should be celebrating the relative quality of this cinematic universe, which has been maintained for a decade! No one should be complaining if any one of the movies listed above is the worst of anything; we’re pretty damn spoiled if you ask me.

      • Chaz Dumbaugh

        This for sure, I’m a huge fan of these movies and even the “bad” ones arent BAD, not by any stretch of the imagination, some arent quite as good as others and we all seem to have different issues with ones we call the worst. Myself, I love Guardians 2 almost as much as the first, its not quite there but I dont get the internet hatred for that one, the ending was awesome and I actually gave a shit about Yondu after that movie, its message about where and what your family is was great and the comedy was up there as well, just a super fun movie overall, but you know 🙂

  6. Jimmy McNulty

    It’s rare to see a movie sequel flanderize the installment before it as blatantly as with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. that movie seems to have been created by committee! “you thought baby Groot was cute in the first movie? we feature him constantly in #2!” … “you thought Drax was funny in the first movie? now he spouts one-liners every few minutes!” i could go on, but i’m sure you get the idea.

  7. Margie Escarsega

    I love Marvel Movies don’t get me wrong. But l just couldn’t stand the Iron Man movie at all. I’d rather watch paint dry. Sorry to those who are big Iron Man fans.

  8. Don

    I voted for Norton’s Hulk. I’ll quibble with Ultron, because Whedon staged a couple of group scenes that were just amazeballs, and the cocktail party/hammer pull was super-fun. But the results pretty well track with my feelings. I will admit that my affection for certain characters color my opinions of their movies, heh.

  9. Timcharger

    Josh:. “I also loathed the way that movie introduced magic into the MCU.”

    So u haven’t seen Doctor Strange yet? I know you’re behind in your blockbuster comic book films watchlist.

      • Timcharger

        So you’re saying you LOATHED magic’s entrance into the MCU, but since it’s in now, Doctor Strange’s full embrace of it was less loathsome for you. Okay. Not that I wanted to defend Age of Ultron, that film’s other faults portends to why Whedon is ultimately only 1 for 3 in super teamups.

  10. Charles M

    Iron Man 2 is the worst. Just a gigantic commercial for the Avengers. That and Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger are the worst Marvel Universe movies.

  11. William Henley

    “Worst” is a strong term, for the reason that they all have redeeming qualities.

    I know I am going to get a LOT of hate for this, but to me, the movie I liked the least was the original The Avengers. To me, the movie was an absolute mess – the characters felt thrown together, and there were instances of “who can we give this line to? Let’s draw a character out of the hat!” The movie felt like it focused more on action and special effects than a story that actually made sense. I have tried to sit through the movie a couple of times since it came out on home video, and I never make it that far into it. I strongly…. don’t love it.

    It’s not as bad as, say, a Transformers movie, or the Justice League movie, but its not a good movie either.

    I tried, really I did, to find a movie I disliked more (including Age of Ultron and The Hulk) but I just couldn’t do it – The Avengers is just…. not good.

    I just don’t care much for superhero movies where they team up, unless you already have a team (like X-Men). To me, both the Justice League and The Avengers just feel like they are cheating – I mean, how strong does a supervillian need to be if you have to throw all of your superheros at him / her / it? It also ruins the individual superhero movies, because then you have to ask “why don’t they just assemble the team?”

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