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Rank the top 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe Actors


#1

Seeing as we’re coming to a close on 10 years of Marvel with the advent of Infinity War, I thought we could consider which of the dozens of big names actors have turned in the best performances over the years. Entirely your own personal preference, I’m curious to see who the standouts are.

Robert Downey Jr doesn’t have to be #1 by the way. I mean I’m pretty sure he will be, but maybe we’ll get some more along the way.

To help here’s a list of the main casts:

Iron man - Robert Downey Jr
Happy Hogan - Jon Favreau
Pepper Potts - Gwyneth Paltrow
Obadiah Stane - Jeff Bridges
Rhodey 1 - Terrance Howard
Hulk 1 - Edward Norton
Betty Ross - Liv Tyler
Abomination - Tom Roth
Thunderbolt Ross - William Hurt
Captain America - Chris Evans
Red Skull - Hugo Weaving
Peggy Carter - Hayley Atwell
Bucky Barnes - Sebastian Stan
Samuel L Jackson - Nick Fury
Rhodey 2 - Don Cheadle
Justin Hammer - Sam Rockwell
Black Widow - Scarlett Johansenn
Ivan Vanko - Mickey Rourke
Phil Coulson - Clark Gregg
Thor - Chris Hemsworth
Loki - Tom Hiddleston
Odin - Anthony Hopkins
Jane Foster - Natalie Portman
Heimdall - Idris Elba
Sif - Jamie Alexander
Hulk 2 - Mark Ruffalo
Hawkeye - Jeremy Renner
Mandarin - Ben Kingsley
Malekith - Christopher Eccleston
Star Lord - Chris Pratt
Drax - Dave Bautista
Gamora - Zoe Saldana
Rocket - Bradley Cooper
Groot - Vin Diesel
Ronan - Lee Pace
Yondu - Michael Rooker
Nebula - Karen Gillen
Ultron - James Spader
Quicksilver - Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Scarlett Witch - Elizabeth Olsen
Falcon - Sam Mackie
Dr Strange - Bendyback Cumbybums
Wong - Benedict Wong
Kaecilius - Mads Mikkelsen
The Ancient One - Tilda Swinton
Ant Man - Paul Rudd
Hank Pym - Michael Douglas
Hope Van Dyne - Evangeline Lilly
Yellowjacket - Corey Stall
Luis - Michael Pena
Spider-Man - Tom Holland
Vulture - Michael Keaton
Ego - Kurt Russell
Mantis - Pom Klementleff
Black Panther - Chadwick Bosman
Erik Killmonger - Michael B Jordan
Nakia - Lupita Nyong’o
Shuri - Letita Wright
Klaue - Andy Serkis
Hela - Cate Blanchette
Grandmaster - Jeff Goldblum
Valkyrie - Tessa Thompson


#2

My own answer

  1. Thor - Chris Hemsworth. I think he elevated the character from the comics more than any other actor. It’s taken some time to settle on a take on Thor, but slightly dopey surfer dude is just a fantastically engaging cinematic creation that I don’t think Thor will ever be the same again.

  2. Iron man - Robert Downey Jr. See, he didn’t have to be first.

  3. Loki - Tom Hiddleston. Again, a complete transformation from the comic character, and definately the best Marvel ‘villain’. He’s got the right mix of funny, charming and devious and plays him perfectly as a bigger than life comic personality.

  4. Drax - Dave Bautista. He’s a great funny guy playing a straight guy. Pretty much every moment he has on screen is gold.

  5. Spider-Man - Tom Holland. Easily the best Spidey we’ve ever had, I’m loving the young wide eyed Spidey take. And we have probably a decade of seeing him and Spidey grow into the role. He’s funny, his timing and delivery are perfect and he can pull off drama too. Just right for the role.

  6. Yondu - Michael Rooker. I think Marvel has been fantastic for older actors who are really good at what they do. He made Yondu go from a throwaway character that might not have been noticed to an essential part of the GotG mythos.

  7. Star Lord - Chris Pratt. While I think he’d be better if he was 30lbs heavier, and alot less serious about himself, I still like Chris in the role. I just wish he tried less to be a leading man and could resort more to the absent minded good guy bumbling fool like he was in Parks and Rec.

  8. Vulture - Michael Keaton. He’s played the best main villain of everyone so far. Magnetic when he was on screen.

  9. Grandmaster - Jeff Goldblum. I love what he did with the character, and he’s perfect as this slightly not-quite-there elder of the universe. I really want more elders to be featured, I like the idea that these grand cosmic entities are all just a little nuts. Like Dinner for Schmucks, but with the gods of the universe.

  10. Nebula - Karen Gillen. I think she’s done great work with Nebula, could have been just a one note performance but she’s added alot to the role.


#3

No FF actors from any films? I’m gonna vote for Doug Jones, then, as Silver Surfer!


#4

MCU only. Easier to deal with without having all the X Men and others in the mix.


#5
  1. Iron man - Robert Downey Jr - He is first for me. He just embodies Stark, but it’s the tiny little things - falling forward from blast momentum of the Stark missile display, dumping strawberries in a bin like he’s never had to clean up, it just gets magically done around him, how nonchalantly he pours a drink a few feet from a powerful alien. He’s so watchable.

  2. Loki - Tom Hiddleston - That powerful alien in question is number 2. Has there ever been a more likable villain? Hiddleston made Loki indispensable to the MCU, far outgrowing the usefulness and popularity character he was based on.

  3. Drax - Dave Bautista - Bautista may not be a stage actor and is only really passable in Bushwick as a lead, he excels at Drax, perfectly executing every line.

  4. Thor - Chris Hemsworth - Hemsworth makes you believe a dick can learn not to be a dick in Thor 1, that a powerful alien is as fallible as humans in Avengers and that good guys can be genuinely hilarious without losing any clout in Thor 3. His Thor is arrogant and stupid in all the right ways to still remain incredible likable in ever scene he’s in.

  5. Erik Killmonger - Michael B Jordan - His character in lesser hands could have been a disaster, but he completely owns the screen ever time he’s on it, seething anger growing throughout. As wrong as his politics might be, he’s one of the coolest villains in cinema history.

  6. Odin - Anthony Hopkins - You can expect Hopkins to be brilliant, it’s a given, but his Odin was one who had the layers needed to add real depth to Thor’s story, and his Loki scene in Thor 3 is up there with Kingsley’s ‘Mandarin’ in terms of foolery.

  7. Mandarin - Ben Kingsley - Mad but just brilliant. Kingsley absolutely nails both the characters he’s playing here to great effect.

  8. Rocket - Bradley Cooper - Only being a voice, Cooper puts an unbelievable amount of character into Rocket. I genuinely think it’s one of the best voice performances of all time.

  9. Vulture - Michael Keaton - He’s just so perfect in that prom sequence. Watching him realize Peter is Spider-Man is like a Michael Jordan moment. Keaton is just fantastic.

  10. Grandmaster - Jeff Goldblum - The more I watch Thor 3 the more I see in Goldblum’s performance. Tiny wee things that show how unhinged and un-selfaware the character is. It’s Goldblum hamming it up but it’s Goldblum so it’s still understated.


#6
  1. John Cena
  2. Everyone else

#7

Oh my god… Cena should be Taskmaster!!! I want that film now. TAKE MY MONEY, DISNEY! TAKE IT!


#8

Ahem.
Korg Taikia Waititi

That is all.


#9


#10

Oooh, lists. I like lists.

01/ Robert Downey Jr. - Yes, there can be other choice as number one. Some of those choices might even appear to be convincing. But they would still be incorrect. Consider how much hinged on his performance getting over as much as it did. It would have been so easy for IM1 to go the way of Incredible Hulk and leave the MCU as nothing more than a quirky Easter egg in 2008. RDJ elevated it far higher than even the geekiest among us could have hoped for (and, arguably, Marvel’s entire company as well).

02/ Chadwick Boseman - Ten years later, in entirely different ways, Boseman is having a similarly significant impact on things. Playing the sci-fi Simba straight man role is not easy and yet Boseman is such an engaging presence as T’Challa that he is bringing audiences back again and again.

03/ Tom Hiddleston - Hemsworth caught up to him eventually by the time we got to Ragnarok but it was Hiddleston who carried the first two Thor movies, not to mention holding things together in by the time we got to the “oh my god they’re really actually doing this” phase with the first Avengers movie. Every line reading has so much relish it should come with a hot dog.

04/ Tom Holland - What a breath of fresh air he was after Maguire’s wimpiness and Garfield’s Anakin-on-a-skateboard oddity. Holland simply was Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Peter Parker brought to the big screen. Youthful, energetic, smart, funny, wounded, vulnerable and I think the best is still to come.

05/ Michael Keaton - Pure. Keaton.

06/ Jeff Goldblum - Pure. Goldblum.

07/ Chris Hemsworth - Maybe he would have been higher if he hadn’t had to waste so much time on the Natalie Portman stuff, which never quite worked for me, but now he’s got this whole Bruce-Willis-only-awake vibe going on it is all finally clicking.

08/ Batista - As a long-time wrestling fan he was always Big DAVE to me. Now he’s Drak. 'Nuff said.

09/ Chris Evans - As with Boseman, he has the harder task of playing the earnest, straightforward superhero role. His Cap doesn’t quite shine as brightly on the screen as T’Challa but he damn sure gives it his all and shows a whole other side of his acting ability than I ever saw before.

10/ Stan Lee - I don’t think anybody can dispute the range that he has shown in the MCU.


#11
  1. Loki - He just embodies the character so perfectly.
  2. Iron Man - Because.
  3. Thor - Love how Hemsworth plays it, right mix of humor and seriousness
  4. Nick Fury
  5. Captain America
  6. Shuri - I thought she was the best character in BP
  7. Alexander Pierce
  8. Hulk
  9. Hela - It’s Cate blanchett!
  10. Grandmaster

#12

In all seriousness though:

  1. Chris Evans’ Captain America - he embodies the character for me. The way he looks, the way he acts, his presence on screen. Whilst I have enjoyed many of the movies, I’m honestly not that big a fan of the MCU. I would probably have given up on it by now if it wasn’t for Evans’ performance in this role.

  2. Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner

  3. Chris Hemsworth’s Thor

  4. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker (although honestly, I preferred Garfield).

There have been some great performances by other actors in individual movies, but these are the few that get me excited about the MCU. Everyone else is a plug & play.

Downey Jr doesn’t count, as he was basically playing himself.

Hiddleston was great in Thor and Avengers, but had been on autopilot in every subsequent appearance.


#13

No point me posting, not much to argue against and this post and I’d pretty much go with a similar order also


#14

But if you don’t post how can we tally up the scores properly :wink:


#15

Just count Jim’s twice :slight_smile:


#16

That’s the way I hold all my votes.


#17

Chris-es on Infinity Earth

Wot?


#18
  1. Chris Evans as Cap
  2. Chris Hemsworth as Thor
  3. Chris Downey Jr as Iron Man
  4. Chris Rudd as Ant-Man
  5. Chris Holland as Spider-Man
  6. Chris Kinglsey as Mandarin
  7. Chris Gregg as Coulson
  8. Chris Hiddleston as Loki
  9. Chris Keaton as Vulture
  10. Chris Pena as Luis

#19

1 Hemsworth… if we forget about that HORRIBLE look he had in Thor1 and (lesser but still) in A1.
2 Evans… as far as I’m concerned he had the hardest job, he nailed it.
3 Hiddleston… he’s been consistently great.
4 Johansen… Same, she’s been solid all the way through.
5 Kingsley… short appearance but most memorable “villain” for me.
6 Paul Bettany (who Jim forgot… SHAME! =P)… because he’s also been super solid, from his Jarvis days to his Vision days.
7 Holland… great PP and his enthusiasm for the role shines through.
8 through 10… I dunno, I’m waiting to watch BP and IW… plus:

Add RDJ somewhere in there, although I’m getting a bit bored with him… but anyhoo… I’m hoping I’ll be able to add Thanos to that list


#20
  1. RDJ- The key to the whole thing.
  2. Boseman- The key to the new generation
  3. Hemsworth- Hard to deny him here
  4. Pratt- His performance, I think, pointed a way forward for the studio when it seemed doomed to spiral into grim and gritty
  5. Ruffalo- I think he is the best actor of this generation, but he also managed to get the Hulk down after two big-screen false starts, which is no small thing
  6. Paltrow- I don’t think this is unreasonable. She is fantastic and brought way more to the role than what was required. Extra points for being there at the universe’s genesis.
  7. Bautista- This is as low as you can get for him. Docked just a bit because he became a little one-note in the sequel
  8. Saldana- The straight woman in the clown car but she also brings the much needed soul to make the concept fly
  9. Keaton- Probably the best villain Marvel has introduced, and nearly 100% on his performance
  10. Weaving- Perfect casting. I’m stunned they never brought him back, especially with their dearth of villains.