Note: I have not seen Ant-Man or Captain America: Civil War, but I have seen all of the others in this series.
Featuring Captain America, Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), and Nick Fury, this episode feels like a spy movie. Neither Cap nor Romanoff have the flashy powers of Iron Man, Thor, or Hulk. Instead, they are simply highly trained and, in Cap's case, physically enhanced. When the mysterious Winter Soldier showed up to threaten S.H.I.E.L.D, Nick Fury, Captain America, and Black Widow were forced to go on the run as everything they believed in came crashing down around them. Even the deadly Winter Soldier himself was not who everyone believed... I love this movie for several reasons: 1) I love Captain America, 2) the whole movie felt like a high-intensity spy adventure, and 3) it followed up on some of the foreshadowing from The Avengers, and the mighty, ubiquitous S.H.I.E.L.D. itself was shaken to its core. Overall, this was a fantastic movie.
2. Captain America: The First Avenger
As much as I loved Cap's second movie, I liked the first one better. In this installment, Steve Rogers started out as a scrawny, sickly guy with a determination to fight in World War II. He constantly got beaten up by bullies, and he viewed the Nazis as even bigger bullies. Finally, a scientist noticed his determination and general goodness and chose Rogers as a subject for an experimental procedure that would give him great strength, stamina, and metabolism. Even after that, not everything was easy. Cap continued his uphill battle to make a difference in the war. Meanwhile, Hydra, the Nazi science division, tapped into an ancient power to develop deadly new weapons. I loved how Cap's absolute goodness shined through. He is a classic example of a true hero. In addition, the World War II setting is probably my favorite real-world time period that occurred after the Renaissance. In fact, only one movie had a setting I liked even better...
As a huge fan of both fantasy and Norse mythology (which first introduced many common fantasy tropes), Thor: The Dark World was my favorite movie mainly because of the setting. The whole movie was just beautiful... Asgard was stunning, Svartalfheim was lovely in a dismal sort of way, and the costumes were fantastic. Of course, there were other factors that make this movie the best. Loki is one of my favorite characters (and my #2 all time favorite villain), and his actions in this movie only cemented this status. His skills of manipulation and deception are legendary. But Loki isn't the only great villain in this movie. The dark elves, which capture the top spot in my "Top 3 Mythical Creatures" post, also make an appearance as the "true" villains. This movie was everything a fantasy-lover could want, and I haven't even mentioned the plot! All in all, this movie certainly deserves its number one spot.
What about you? Have you seen the Avengers series of movies? If so, which was your favorite, and why? Let me know in the comments!
Captain America: Winter Soldier: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/marvelcinematicuniverse/images/2/26/Cap_2_poster.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140131142227
Captain America: The First Avenger: http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/marvelcinematicuniverse/images/8/81/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvengerComicConPoster.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120122235032
Thor: The Dark World: http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/marvelcinematicuniverse/images/f/fc/Thor-_The_Dark_World_poster.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20131115001851