You may have noticed that many of your favorite Marvel movies have been disappearing from Netflix within the past year. That is because, since the launch of Disney+, the overlords of the MCU have their own place to keep their superhero movies for streaming, rendering their availability on Netflix unnecessary.
Soon enough, you will need a Disney+ subscription, if you have not signed up already, to see the Avengers take on Thanos, among other Marvel-related adventures. Fortunately, there is still time left to catch the few remaining MCU films on Netflix, as well as a few others Marvel movies outside of Disney’s rule that are here to stay for a while. We consider these to be the best of the bunch, focused on Marvel properties.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
They say that any film involving a conflict between good and evil is only as good as its villain but, for a while (with the exception of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki), the Marvel Cinematic Universe was one of that rule’s most notorious offenders. Today, one of the most admirably discussed cinematic baddies in recent memory is Josh Brolin’s cold-blooded motion capture performance of Thanos, who is essentially the central character of the gargantuan ensemble of comic book characters in Avengers: Infinity War.
After 10 years and 18 movies of build-up, the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and other powerful do-gooders who recently came aboard for the fun face their gravest threat yet: Thanos, a titan searching for all six Infinity Stones, which will make him the most powerful being alive. Filmmaking wizards Anthony and Joe Russo craft Avengers: Infinity War, a film that should be conceptually impossible, into a powerful tour de force that sees a group of “superhumans” at their most vulnerable, with a conclusion that leaves you paralyzed with devastation… until you watch the second half of the story in Avengers: Endgame. Stream it here.
Ant-Man And The Wasp (2018)
The MCU’s prequel follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War switched gears to something a little less bleak by continuing the lighthearted adventures of insect-sized (or building-sized) superhero Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). This time, Ant-Man is joined by his canonical partner in crime, and life, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), recently given a powerful suit of her own in adoption of the vigilante title, The Wasp.
The chemistry of the titular superhero duo is the heart and soul of this story in which Scott is pulled out of house arrest by Hope and her father Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to help retrieve her mother (Michelle Pfieffer) from the Quantum Realm, but the emergence of a new mysterious villain threatens their plans. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a breezy sci-fi comic book romp that harkens to classic romantic action movie pair-ups of yesteryear. Stream it here.
Black Panther (2018)
It is a bit of a challenge to look back on the impressive legacy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and be able to pinpoint the moment when the franchise transitioned from your typical popcorn movie spectacle to an essential era of cinema, despite some opposing criticisms. I believe director Ryan Coogler’s box office destroyer Black Panther, the first film headlined by the first-ever black superhero, makes a good case because it is more than just a battle between superhumans.
The gripping social commentary underlying the story of a newly crowned king (Chadwick Boseman) trying to protect his country from his tyrannical long-lost cousin (Michael B. Jordan) earned the film seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture (the first superhero movie to do so). Black Panther may be a comic book movie, but its cultural resonance and importance to the genre does not go unnoticed. Stream it here.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)
Everyone has a favorite iteration of Spider-Man with Tom Holland’s teenage Peter Parker having much of the love these days. However, the most acclaimed film headlined by Marvel’s webslinger to date is an animated film that does not revolve around the traditionally known Spider-Man, but instead several different people with arachnid-like abilities brought together by a wrinkle in the multiverse, or Spider-Verse, I should say.
Soon after teenage Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) becomes the latest person in his reality to be bitten by a radioactive spider, he finds himself teaming up with the likes of a Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), a Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) a little girl named Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) who operates a sentient spider-like robot, and more Spider-People on an exciting, heartfelt, and visually inventive adventure unlike any superhero film you have ever seen. It is no question why Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2019. Stream it here.
Ghost Rider (2007)
I will admit that I would not call Ghost Rider the best Marvel film that Nicolas Cage has appeared in. However, competitive motorcycle rider-turned-hellish-bounty-hunter Johnny Blaze is the one Marvel character the Oscar-winner has played that checks off all the boxes of a classic Cage role: nothing but screaming and/or whispering and a lot of fire.
To save his dying father (Brett Cullen), Johnny Blaze sells his soul to the demon Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda), only to discover that their agreement forces him to take on the form of his skeletal, incendiary, chopper-riding servant. Ghost Rider is essentially a silly action fantasy, but the casting of Nicolas Cage sells its over-the-top charm. Not to mention, between it and its sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the 2007 original takes the cake. Stream it here.
So, if you are currently unable to enjoy the many feature-length Marvel adventures exclusive to Disney+, thankfully, Netflix has you covered (for now) with a few of the more recent MCU chapters, as well as a few animated specials, and lesser-known Marvel-related properties such as 1998's Godzilla or the first Men In Black (did not know those were also Marvel comics, did you?). For more updates on the streaming options of your favorite superhero adventures, check back here on CinemaBlend.