6. Iron Man
The film that started it all. What can be said that hasn’t been said already? Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark may have been the casting masterstroke of the 21st Century thus far, rocketing the formerly-troubled star right to the peak of Mount Hollywood (next door to Money Mountain). Jon Favreau set the stage for everything that comes after with his witty tone and clean filmmaking. There are miniature versions of MCU staples, call-forwards to War Machine, shout-outs to villain monikers like Iron Monger and the infamous credit tag with Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. For what he was saying, he might as well have been portending the future of the movie industry itself.
“You think you’re the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.”