5. Captain America: Civil War
The world will remember when that future came to pass: it was May 6, 2016 upon the release of the most comic booky comic book movie yet. A massive, sprawling crossover event featuring almost every big superhero in their repertoire duking it out, Civil War more than illustrated this was a company in complete control. Yes, the same flaws that plague every Marvel movie are still here but the ones that aren’t turned into strengths (the introductions of Black Panther and Spider-Man stand out) are downplayed by the sheer emotion on screen (Zemo’s plan doesn’t hold up super well to scrutiny but damn if he isn’t awesome and the final fight scene worth it).
The airport fight is almost a contained short film itself, another huge indication that we are indeed in the Heroic Age of Hollywood, where splash pages from youth are now realized on screen. The character moments are proportional and earned, from Hawkeye to Ant-Man to Scarlet With to Vision and more. While certainly Avengers 2.5, it also concludes the Cap trilogy satisfyingly, maintaining the tight focus on Steve and Bucky’s friendship as the core through-line of the films