With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness now streaming on Disney Plus, MCU fans have the opportunity to rewatch the film-or at least certain parts of it at their leisure. And, according to some recent data, it looks like fans have turned it on more than either of the other two MCU films that also only had a 45-day theatrical window, Shang-Chi, and Eternals. The film is, for the most part, a fast-paced, wild ride through the multiverse, chocked full of crazy cameos and some of Marvel Studios’ most terrifying content to date. But will it, ultimately, be the kind of film fans go back to over and over again? Time will tell, but for now, let’s look at which films already do fit that category…and which don’t.
The 5 Most Rewatchable MCU Films
Everyone loves Paul Rudd and his energy makes 2015’s Ant-Man one of the MCU’s funniest films. Of course, Rudd’s not alone in bringing the laughs as he’s joined by Michael Peña’s Luis, whose attention to all the wrong details in his stories makes for laughs every time. Finally, the father-daughter relationship between Rudd’s Scott Lang and his daughter, Cassie, hits home and adds a layer of sweetness to the film.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
While Avengers: Endgame was received better critically, Infinity War provides fans with a steady flow of rewatchable moments that make it the perfect MCU film to have on in the background. From Cap’s catch of Proxima’s weapon to Thor’s arrival on Earth to the many highlights of the Battles of Wakanda and Titan, Infinity War acts as a highlight reel for the shared cinematic universe.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2015)
From start to finish, Captain America: The Winter Soldier puts out a steady flow of some of the best action in any MCU film to date. Beginning with the raid of the Lemurian Star, continuing to the best car chase the MCU has seen and the beautifully shot battle in the streets between Cap and the Winter Solider and finishing up with the emotional battle in the Hellicarrier, the Russo brothers, with the help of a fantastic score, made fans FEEL the action. While the MCU has had some pretty successful action scenes since this film still feels like it’s the best of the best in that regard.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2015)
James Gunn changed an awful lot from the way these characters were depicted in the source material and one of them cements this film as one of the most rewatchable MCU films. By giving Peter Quill a Walkman, Gunn found an organic way to incorporate music into the film and from the moment fans saw the first teaser footage, it was the music that drew them in. It doesn’t hurt that Gunn’s strength as a director is dealing with interpersonal dynamics-and he certainly had a lot of fun with that here-but every time fans see Star-Lord dancing on Morag, the good feelings come rushing back.
Thor: Ragnarok (2015)
The most dumb fun ever put into one MCU film. Ragnarok began the process of making Thor a lot less Shakespearian and a lot more fun. Director Taika Waititi figuratively and, in one scene, literally, deconstructed everything fans thought they knew about Thor and Asgard, allowing for the Odinson to be reborn-though he certainly had to suffer before he got there. Between the comedy and the fun action, Ragnarok is rewatchable from beginning to end and stands at or near the top of the list.
The 5 Least Rewatchable MCU Films
Captain Marvel (2019)
A less than marvelous plot, run-of-the-mill action, and some really dull and poorly written characters combine to make this one tough to get through more than once. Sure, Ben Mendelsohn‘s Talos is pretty great, but for a film starring Brie Larson, Lee Pace, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jude Law, it really misses the mark. Like many MCU first films, this one does a lot of foundational work that will likely allow for a stronger sequel, but even there the film falls short by failing to really dive into the Kree-Skrull War, one of the comic’s longest-standing feuds, and making the Skrulls pretty boring.
For a film based on one of Jack Kirby’s wildest ideas, very little is wild here and very little is Kirby here. Wooden and sleepy performances are everywhere in Eternals, with only Kumail Nanjiani and Don Lee escaping that trap. It also may have been a mismatch to put director Chloe Zhao, who works only with natural light, in charge of this group who, in the comics, are as bright and bold as any. Finally, the decision-making around how to adapt the Deviants to the MCU is as baffling as any, giving the name to some incredibly boring and very non-Kirby creatures. A missed opportunity for sure.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
As fantastically rewatchable as the first one is, the sequel never really comes near to that. While not necessarily a bad movie, outside of the big opening action sequence, it doesn’t recapture the charm of the first film, and parts of the second act can induce one to wonder what’s happening online rather than dig back in.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Other than introducing Banner and Thunderbolt Ross, this film has really had no reason for existing. Sure, we’re getting more of Abomination/Blonsky now, but adding cool characters to the shared universe doesn’t do enough save this one. As Captain Marvel, this film is full of talented names who fell victim to a story that was simply not that interesting. It’s probably for the best that it’s not available on Disney Plus, though it’s so unwatchable that it’s possible not many people even know it’s not there.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Of all the films on this list, this is the hardest one to explain away. It has some of the MCU’s most memorable and creative action sequences, Jake Gyllenhall is a fantastic Mysterio and everyone loves Tom Holland; however, nothing about it screams “watch me again!”. Interestingly enough, the events of it are rendered completely meaningless by the end of No Way Home, so if you find yourself forgetting the big reveal at the end, you’ll be in the same boat as the in-universe population of the MCU.
What 5 are you taking with you for a weekend retreat? What 5 are you retreating from? Let us know in the comments.