With the release of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, we thought it would be fun to list the staff’s favorite movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We asked everyone on staff to rank their top three MCU movies (from 2008’s Iron Man to last year’s Ant-Man). Side note, while some of the staff have seen Civil War, we left it out of contention for this list. Without further ado, here is Victory Point’s favorite films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

4531041) Captain America: Winter Soldier 

The voting wasn’t even close. We here at Victory Point love The Winter Solider, and rightfully so. The second Captain America film, Winter Soldier improved on the original in almost every aspect. Stakes were higher, and the battles were more epic. The film brought with it some brilliant set-piece moments with it as well. From Nick Fury’s “death,” to the street fight between Bucky (The Winter Solider) and Captain America. One thing that makes The Winter Solider so great is that even if you stripped away all the super hero aspects of the film, it’s still a good espionage thriller. With Hydra lurking in the wings, there’s a sense of paranoia throughout the movie on who the good and bad guys are.

The Russo brothers did a great balancing act, giving Captain America, Falcon, Black Widow, Bucky, Nicky Fury, and even S.H.I.E.L.D their time to shine. Robert Redford also stole the show as one of the film’s many bad guys. Also, that scene where Steve Rogers confronts and old Peggy Carter … heartbreaking. The Winter Soldier represents the best of Marvel.

5200122’s) Guardians of The Galaxy / The Avengers

That’s right! We had a tie for our second favorite movie in the MCU. Guardians of The Galaxy and The Avengers came in second. Two (similar) films, both look at an ensemble in the MCU. Guardians takes a look at a band of misfit, ragtag heroes traveling space as they search for a specific artifact. Guardians is easily one of the funniest Marvel movies to date. From Chris Pratt (who plays Star Lord) to Bradley Cooper (who plays the anthropomorphic Rocket Raccoon), everybody has fantastic one liners and all add to the comedic brevity of the film. It’s interesting to, because out of all the Marvel heroes, The Guardians of the Galaxy are the most unknown. So it was great to see James Gunn craft an incredibly charming, funny, action packed movie that introduced us to the characters. Here’s to Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2, coming Spring 2017.

The other film that tied for second is Marvel’s The Avengers. This was the film event of 2012 when it was released. All the MCU movies since 2008 were leading up to this epic collaboration. Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers brought all of our heroes together for the first time to stop the evil Loki. The movie moves at a brilliant pace and is full of heart. This was the first real ensemble MCU film, so to see the balancing act Whedon does giving each character a chance to shine, is great.

The film’s finale still stands as one of the best set-piece moments in the MCU. It also serves to set up the foundation for what Captain America: Civil War is all about. Whedon crafted a movie that is fun for all ages and will stand the test of time for repeat viewings. For someone new to the Marvel Universe, The Avengers isn’t a bad place to start. Also, the first time they did this! What an incredible feeling seeing that on screen.

iron-man-2008-american-superhero-film3) Iron Man

Rounding out the top three, we have 2008’s Iron Man. The debut of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. However, that wasn’t always the case. Marvel didn’t think that they’d have a ginormous blockbuster on their hands when Iron Man first released. However, it was through the fantastic direction of Jon Faveau, and the brilliant Robert Downey Jr, that super hero movies were back. Downey Jr. as Tony Stark was an inspired casting choice. His personality fit so well with that of the eccentric billionaire’s that is was a wonder why the connection wasn’t made soon.

Another great thing that set Iron Man apart was how grounded it was. Albeit for one or two scenes, the action in Iron Man is relatively small in scale. It was also really great getting to see the original incarnation of the Iron Man suit in the film. Who would’ve thought that this film would be the ignition for a number of multi-billion-dollar franchises, and spawn one of the first cinematic universes.

big_thumb_185d03c7f7a1c7474f86c30ec1dfb310The Rest / Cutting Room Floor

Rounding out the rest of the voting were the following films: Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, and Iron Man 2. Interesting to see these movies receive some votes. Iron Man 2 gets a lot of flak because it was more of a stepping stone to get us to The Avengers more than anything else. Also, how about that twist in Iron Man 3? Might be one of the gutsiest movies in AAA movie history, pulling a bait and switch on unsuspecting viewers. As for Captain America? Well, that’s just a fun Joe Johnston movie. The same director that brought us Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer, and Jumanji delivers a fun, World War II super hero movie. All three of those films have their problems, but it’s great to see the Victory Point staff diversify their picks.

Also … no Thor. Not even one vote.