James Gunn crafts a deeply flawed film, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which digs deep into daddy issues, is still entertaining, visually gorgeous, and likable.
Scott Derrickson's Doctor Strange is a surprisingly cerebral, emotionally relatable film. It's also wrapped in some of the most exciting and unique blockbuster visuals seen in years.
Joss Whedon defied expectations with his ambitiously muted, psychological approach to Avengers: Age of Ultron but despite his best intentions and genuinely interesting vision, this would be his only effort with Marvel Studios. It was a good effort.
With Guardians of the Galaxy, set to the soundtrack of an Awesome Mix Vol. 1 cassette tape, Marvel Studios adapted a little-known comic book property -- with a raccoon superhero -- into a hugely successful film and launched the next wave of comic book films.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is inspired by paranoid political thrillers of the '70s, making it the most radical departure from the tried-and-true MCU formula up to that point.
Marvel Studios launched its second phase of films with Iron Man 3, a film filled with bold storytelling choices and irreverent humour that would become hallmarks of the MCU.
By perfecting the comic book superhero formula and creating the first big-budget shared universe with The Avengers in 2012, Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios came to define this decade of blockbuster filmmaking.