25. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Who would have thought that two of the two brothers best known for their contributions as Directors on Community and Arrested Development would end up directing one of the best comic book films ever made? If you were betting back in 2014 you’d probably say pretty slim. Sure Arrested Development is on of the most beloved and critically lauded TV comedies of the 21st century (the first three seasons at least), and Community might be the 21st century’s most underrated comedy, but the outlook seemed stacked against the Russo brothers prior to The Winter Soldier‘s release in April of 2014. For starter’s the fist solo Captain America movie, The First Avenger, arrived to lukewarm reception critically and at the box office (it’s easy to forget that initially this movie did more money overseas than it did in the US). Then there is the matter that the two MCU movies immediately preceding this were Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, both of which still stand as probably the two worst entries into the entire MCU. Instead they delivered what, up until this year’s Endgame was hands down the best film the MCU ever made. It stands on it’s own as both a great comic book movie and one of the best political thrillers released this century. It’s a great time, a game changer with surprising stakes (something the MCU is frequently criticized for), and arguably Chris Evans’ best turn as Captain America to date.

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