In the Russo Brothers' Captain America: Civil War, friend turns on friend, and no easy resolution is reached. It's rather like the toxic online fan culture that followed the film's release.
Spider-Man: Far From Home ties up the themes of deception and Trump-era media manipulation and it ensures that the next Spider-Man film will be completely different from anything that came before.
Avengers: Endgame features all the expected trappings of a superhero blockbuster alongside surprisingly rich character resolutions to become the most crowd-pleasing finalés to a long-running pop culture series ever made.
The first female-centric film in the MCU, Captain Marvel, bakes the female experience into every aspect, making a potentially familiar story fresh and exciting.
Animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse uses unique, groundbreaking animation techniques and engages with the most 'out-there' comic book concepts to tell a hilarious, relatable, timely coming-of-age story
Ruben Fleischer's toothless antihero film, Venom is like a blockbuster from 15 years earlier: one-dimensional, loose plot, inconsistent tone, and packaged in the least-offensive, most mass appeal way possible. Sigh.
The first half of Deadpool 2, in which Vanessa is murdered and Wade becomes purposeless and suicidal, is a slog. The second half, where Wade commits to defending an angry teenage mutant, positively soars with fantastic action and some of the funniest superhero film moments in years.
The focus on Thanos single-handedly saves Avengers: Infinity War from becoming the overstuffed mess many feared and lends the film a relentless action pace more akin to Mad Max: Fury Road than a superhero blockbuster.
Ryan Coogler's Black Panther engages with deep and timely social, cultural, and psychological concepts, and completely taps into America's zeitgeist.