Number 3: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Depending on the mood, this spy thriller can flip flop with No. 2. The Winter Soldier marked the first major game-changer in the MCU. It radically impacted SHIELD, established a major new threat in the modern MCU, laid the groundwork for the splintering of the Avengers and made Agents of SHIELD worth watching.
The hidden agenda vibe of the film helps set Winter Soldier apart with a twist even most comic fans didn’t see coming.
Like the first film, Winter Soldier doesn’t lack for a quality villain whether the title character or Alexander Pierce. And Chris Evans further matures into the character in this performance with great chemistry with co-stars Anthony Mackie and Scarlett Johansson. The spectacular final act is impressive even with a limited Avengers squad. This was the film that suggested Joe and Anthony Russo were the future of the MCU and it wasn’t just a Joss Whedon party.