Every Marvel Phase 4 movie and TV show ranked, from worst to best

Tom Hiddleston's President Loki smiles in Loki season 1 on Disney Plus
Where did Loki season 1 place in our Marvel Phase 4 ranked list? (Image credit: Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.)

Full spoilers for Marvel Phase 4 follow. You’ve been warned.

Marvel Phase 4 has drawn to a close. The first part of the Multiverse Saga has been a mixed bag for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), with some terrific films and shows interspersed with plenty of middling to poor offerings. Given Marvel’s track record for making highly entertaining films, that’s something of a disappointment.

With MCU Phase 4 having ended, there’s no better time to rank every movie and TV show in Marvel's most recent slate. Below, we’ve rated all 17 projects from worst to best, with our least favorite listed first and the best one (in our minds, anyway) ending this round-up.

Here, then, is TechRadar’s definitive ranking of every Marvel Phase 4 movie and TV show.

17. What If...? season 1

A promotional image for Marvel's What If...? TV show on Disney Plus

What If...? season 1 didn't set the world alight. (Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

It might seem harsh to rank Marvel Studios’ first animated show at the bottom, especially when some will argue that two Phase 4 movies were even worse.

However, What If…? season 1 is symptomatic of the numerous problems Phase 4 suffered from. Some episodes feel superfluous (Party Thor), others are tonally inconsistent with the story they told (Zombies), and a few end abruptly (Killmonger rescuing Tony Stark).

There are entries that make What If…? season 1 worth streaming on Disney Plus. The emotionally poignant and horror-infused Doctor Strange episode is fantastic. Meanwhile, the season 1 finale, which sees the Watcher assemble a multiversal Avengers team to stop an Infinity Stone-wielding Ultron, is a riotously good time. Largely, though, What If…? didn’t (or, rather, hasn’t yet) fulfill the limitless potential we expected it to.

16. Eternals

The cast of Marvel's Eternals movie including Richard Madden, Salma Hayek and Gemma Chan

Eternals is an overly long and jumbled MCU movie. (Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

Eternals is universally considered to be the worst Marvel movie of all-time. In our Eternals review, we said it wasn’t as bad as many fans made out and suggested it might need multiple watches to truly appreciate Chloe Zhao’s creative vision.

Even so, Eternals is far and away the least enjoyable Phase 4 film. It’s overly long, introduces too many characters, has a sluggish plot and, aside from those intriguing Eternals post-credit scenes, doesn’t add anything of significance to the MCU. A wasted opportunity that, with a little more finessing and excitement, would’ve been received more positively. Certainly not one of the best superhero movies.

15. Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor meditates under a tree in Marvel Studios' Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder was a messy follow-up to Ragnarok. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

On the flip side, Thor: Love and Thunder is an MCU flick that’s just too short and comical for the detailed and moving story it’s trying to tell.

Again, it’s not terrible. There are likable elements, such as its 80s-style aesthetic, Thor’s continual character evolution, and its crowd-pleasing post-credits cameo. For a film that deals with sensitive subjects including grief and cancer, though, Thor 4 overdoes it on the humor, favoring cheap laughs over meaningful content. Additionally, Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher is criminally underused, the plot moves at breakneck speed, and it feels like a movie shorn of key narrative elements. It’s fairly entertaining, but Marvel movies need substance and style these days. Sadly, Thor 4 only deals with the latter. 

14. Ms Marvel

Kamala Khan's eyes glow as she powers up in the Ms Marvel trailer for Disney Plus

Sorry, Kamala, your MCU TV series is very hit and miss. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Like many of its Phase 4 cousins, Ms Marvel does plenty to improve on-screen inclusivity in the MCU. The TV series introduced Marvel’s first Pakistani superhero to the MCU in refreshing fashion, with its colorful Gen-Z approach juxtaposing the show’s exploration of hard-hitting history, such as the Partition of India.

Despite those positives, Ms Marvel struggles to sustain the invigorating head of steam it builds up in its opening half. Its last three episodes feel underdeveloped, while its antagonists are some of the most rudimentary antagonists in MCU history. Given the villain problem that the MCU has suffered from since its inception, that’s saying something.

Ms Marvel's ending and post-credits scene set up some potentially exciting MCU story threads, but they were a small positive in a lackluster second half. Its place on this list, then, should come as no surprise.

13. Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff in Marvel's Black Widow movie

Scarlett Johansson's final MCU outing is okay at best. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The first film in Marvel’s Phase 4 slate, Black Widow is a Phase 3 movie in every conceivable way.

That’s not to say it’s bad. It’s a gripping spy thriller that fills in key gaps in Natasha Romanoff’s backstory, introduces us to fan-favorite character Yelena Belova, and gives Scarlett Johansson’s Romanoff the send-off she deserved. You know, after she died in Avengers: Endgame. It also acts as the surprising precursor to the Thunderbolts, one of seven Marvel Phase 5 movies launching between February 2023 and July 2024.

Black Widow, though, feels like a film from another MCU era. Compared to its Phase 4 siblings, it comes across as slightly outdated from storytelling and character development perspectives. Still, its family dynamics and action sequences are worth celebrating and make it worth watching.

12. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Sam and Bucky stare back at something off-camera in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 2

Sam and Bucky's buddy cop show is another hit and miss entry. (Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

Marvel’s second TV show seemed like a winner ahead of launch. A buddy cop-style series starring Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes? Check. A new, mentally unstable Captain America? You bet. A show positioned as a political thriller in the style of Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Oh boy, this should be good.

Unfortunately, Falcon and the Winter Soldier (FATWS for short) never lived up to the hype. In our review, we said it started out as a gripping show but, as the weeks went by, it lost its way. The antagonistic Flag Smashers make for a frustrating secondary villain, the show’s middling set pieces don’t deliver much excitement, and its messy narrative keeps diverting the series away from its most thrilling moments.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier does some things really well, mind you. Its examination of racial injustice in the US is simultaneously brave and emotionally powerful. Wilson and Barnes’ partnership is as dramatic and amusing as any we’ve seen in the MCU, and it only gets better once Baron Zemo turns this bickering duo into a riotously fun, albeit tonally tense, trio. And hey, if nothing else, we’ll always have that dancing Zemo gif to thank FATWS for.

11. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Drax and Mantis hug some Christmas decorations in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Marvel's second festive offering is pretty enjoyable. (Image credit: Marvel)

The second of Marvel’s Disney Plus Special Presentations (and three holiday-themed projects in Phase 4), The Guardians of the Galaxy's Holiday Special is a funny and surprisingly moving watch.

Putting the dynamic duo of Mantis and Drax front and center of this TV special is a masterstroke. Placing them in confusing situations – for them, at least – on Earth as they draw up a plan to kidnap Kevin Bacon to cheer up Star-Lord makes for even better viewing.

At just 40 minutes, The Guardians’ Holiday Special is disappointingly on the short side. Considering how quick-witted the ragtag team’s two MCU movies are, it’s also not as laugh out loud as you might expect. Regardless, this is a delightful festive special that’ll warm the cockles of your heart – and a TV special to add to your annual holiday season watch rotation.

10. Hawkeye

A screenshot of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop in Hawkeye episode 6 on Disney Plus

What's better than one Hawkeye? Two Hawkeyes. (Image credit: Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. © Marvel Studios 2021)

Speaking of holiday season-set projects, Hawkeye is another that offers festive frolics for all the family.

Marvel really stepped up its game in Phase 4 with its character dynamics and Hawkeye is a perfect example of that. The bond that grows between the cynical, grouchy Clint Barton and the effervescent Kate Bishop makes Hawkeye a much better show than it should be. The inclusion of Yelena Belova and the aristocratic Armand Duquesne III adds spicy drama and extra sprinkles of humor. Meanwhile, the revelation Wilson Fisk – portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio, who played the character in Netflix’s Daredevil show – exists in the MCU was equally shocking and fan-pleasing.

Hawkeye has its issues – Fisk is introduced a bit too late in proceedings, while some of its subplots are corny – but it’s mostly an entertaining show that doubles as a superhero series and a family drama. Oh, and Hawkeye's ending, as well as Fisk’s appearance, all but confirmed Daredevil was coming to the MCU. High fives all around. 

9. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange, Christine Palmer and America Chavez look out into the multiverse in Doctor Strange 2

Doctor Strange's second solo movie is a ton of fun. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Campy horror is the name of the game in Doctor Strange 2. Sam Raimi’s overdue return to the superhero genre gave us the first genuinely spooky MCU movie and provided plenty of fan service through its wildly crowd-pleasing cameos. Add in a compelling narrative based around fate and maternal love, and it’s hard not to like what Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness provides.

So, it’s devoid of criticism, right? Not exactly. Wanda Maximoff’s character arc is perplexing whether you watched her Disney Plus show (more on this later) or not before seeing Doctor Strange 2. America Chavez’s inclusion as a mere plot device is equally grating, while the movie’s Multiverse of Madness tagline stretches the truth over how surreal it actually is. The final product is good enough, but it could’ve been even better.

8. Werewolf by Night

A seated Jack Russell stares at the Bloodstone, which sits off camera, in Marvel's Werewolf by Night TV special

Werewolf by Night gave us a fascinating glimpse into an R-rated MCU world. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

It’s fitting that Marvel’s first TV special – another horror-positioned production – sits just one place above Doctor Strange 2.

Werewolf by Night is an obscure Marvel character that only diehard fans would really know about. And yet, thanks to first-time director Michael Giacchino’s expert eye, its tight and cohesive narrative, and the monochromatic aesthetic, it’s one of Marvel’s better Phase 4 projects.

There’s plenty to like about Werewolf by Night. Its primary characters, including the loveable but dangerous Man-Thing, are all likeable. It’s scary and mature enough to toe the line between being R-rated and PG-13 friendly, too. And, with more monster-themed Marvel movies and shows to come, its brief but important exploration of the supernatural is the perfect entry point to this side of the MCU.

7. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

She-Hulk looks at Bruce Banner's Hulk during her stay in Mexico at sunset in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

She-Hulk's TV series really divides opinion. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

A legal comedy whose 30-minute episodes felt novel for an MCU TV show, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was bright, breezy, bold, and unashamedly feminist. That last point rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and resulted in She-Hulk (currently, anyway) being the worst-rated TV series on IMDb.com.

Taking that nonsensical ranking at face value is a huge disservice to She-Hulk’s live-action debut, which is funny, thought-provoking, and subversively dramatic. With the charismatic Tatiana Maslany playing Jennifer Walters and her superhuman alter-ego to brilliant effect, too, She-Hulk is more than deserving of its high place in our list. 

Okay, it’s not perfect. Some of its humor is cringy and the less said about some of the show’s CGI, the better. But, as MCU projects go, She-Hulk is one of the best Disney Plus shows around.

6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Simu Liu prepares to fight in Marvel's Shang-Chi movie

Shang-Chi's MCU debut is a surprisingly great one. (Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Another criminally underrated Phase 4 entry, Shang-Chi is the high stakes, martial arts superhero movie we didn’t know we needed.

Simu Liu thrills as the titular character in this MCU offering that, like Hawkeye, is a superhero project dressed up as a family drama. Charming and earnest as Liu’s Shang-Chi is, it’s the supporting cast – most notably Awkwafina’s Katy and Tony Leung’s Xu Wenwu – that shines brightest, including a brilliant cameo from Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery that might be the best in MCU history. Throw in some truly spectacular action – the MCU’s best, perhaps? – and you’ve got an emotionally dense and action-packed movie worth rewatching over and again.

Shang-Chi’s pivot towards a typically CGI-led finale is vexing and stops it from being a top-tier Marvel flick, but it’s still a fantastic movie that’ll have you laughing, cheering, and crying in equal measure.

5. WandaVision

Wanda Maximoff, Billy, and Tommy dress up for Halloween in WandaVision

The first Phase 4 project got things off to a strong start. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The show that kickstarted Phase 4 is one of our favorite MCU projects for some time. WandaVision took Marvel’s new penchant for creativity and ran with it, centering Wanda’s standalone series around the sitcom subgenre and an increasing sense of occult-based foreboding.

WandaVision’s examination of grief and trauma isn’t novel for the MCU, but it’s the show’s tackling of these subjects that make it stand out. Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda has never been more relatably heartbreaking and, despite her puzzling evolution from heroic figure into tragic villain in Doctor Strange 2, her solo series is a vital component in tracing her character arc from one project to the next.

WandaVision shares Shang-Chi’s primary fault in that it turns into a by-the-numbers, CGI-laced show in its final episode – a crutch Marvel refuses to let go of from a visual perspective. Look past the studio’s eye-rolling passion for VFX-heavy showdowns between its heroes and villains, though, and WandaVision is an emotionally engaging series that few Phase 4 productions can beat.

4. Moon Knight

Moon Knight stands alone after beating up some enemies in his Marvel TV show

Moon Knight just misses out on a top three spot. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Some readers might question why our best-reviewed Marvel TV show sits fourth in our ranking. In March 2022, we said Moon Knight was "quite possibly the best TV series Marvel has ever made" – so why isn’t it placed higher? Well, for the same VFX-heavy final battle problem that affects WandaVision and Shang-Chi.

After five episodes of a well-crafted, subversive, and at times mind-boggling story, Moon Knight’s final episode (apart from its fantastic post-credits scene) is a bit of a letdown. That’s a massive shame, too, because Moon Knight is an otherwise god-tier – pun intended – TV series that’s as creepy, funny, and traumatic as anything we’ve previously seen from Marvel.

Oscar Isaac delivers an electrifying dual performance as Steven Grant and Marc Spector, with the Dune and Star Wars actor ably supported by thrilling and brilliant turns from May Calamawy (Layla El-Faouly), Ethan Hawke (Arthur Harrow), and F. Murray Abraham (Khonshu). A stunning show that shines an important light on mental health and is only let down by its average final entry.

3. Loki season 1

Tom Hiddleston's Loki stares in disbelief at something off-camera in Loki episode 2

Loki's first season is the best Marvel TV show so far. (Image credit: Disney Plus/Marvel Studios)

Loki season 1 is more than just a primer for the Multiverse Saga. Yes, it’s a hugely important show that delivers a masterclass in multiversal exploration, but the god of mischief’s solo series is much more than that. It’s surprisingly deep from a thematic perspective, feels intellectually stimulating and, above all else, is just good honest fun.

Lead star Tom Hiddleston has a joyous time reinventing the beloved anti-hero for the umpteenth time. The show’s main supporting characters in Owen Wilson’s Agent Mobius and Sophia di Martino’s Sylvie give Hiddleston’s Loki two brilliant and different foils to bounce off of, too.

In a rare move away from Marvel’s formulaic CGI-heavy finales, Loki episode 6 – complete with a show-stealing performance from Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains – is a dramatically tense, cerebral Mexican-style stand-off that does more for the MCU than most other films and shows. No wonder it’s the most-watched Marvel Disney Plus show ever. Bring on Loki season 2.

2. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

The new Black Panther stands in a cave in the Jabari tribe's territory in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Wakanda Forever just misses out on first place. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was always going to make for emotionally impactful viewing in the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s death. 

Nothing, though, can prepare you for how much of a tearjerker it is. The cast and crew’s grief is reflected throughout in stunning and agonizing fashion, and it’s difficult not to get caught up in the poignancy of it all. You’d be hard-pressed to argue against any of its stars or director Ryan Coogler receiving multiple nominations on the 2023 awards circuit.

As much as Black Panther 2 is a celebration of Boseman’s life, it’s also a staggeringly great piece of theater. It’s extremely funny on occasion, packed with suspenseful moments, and as culturally significant as 2018’s Black Panther was. A titan of the superhero genre and one of the best movies in recent memory.

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Tom Holland's, Tobey Maguire's, and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men pose in No Way Home

No Way Home is our favorite Marvel Phase 4 production. (Image credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios)

How do you top Phase 4 projects as good as Wakanda Forever, Loki, and Moon Knight? This is how.

Tom Holland’s third solo MCU film is dripping with nostalgia. Spider-Man: No Way Home comes packaged with numerous villains from previous Spider-Man film franchises, including Willem Dafoe’s menacing Norman Osborn and Alfred Molina’s tragic Doc-Ock. Their inclusion gives this MCU movie a multiversal Sinister Six feel and, whether interacting with Holland’s Peter Parker or their fellow antagonists, some truly memorable dynamics.

It’s the additions of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men, though, that make No Way Home such a gripping, touching, and highly enjoyable watch. Just seeing these three interact in the same room, and team up to non-lethally take down each villain during the film’s climactic battle is a dream come true for any webhead.

There’s very little (if any) criticism that can be leveled at Spider-Man: No Way Home. It’s a wistful reminder of the power of superhero-centric cinema to bring us together and deliver a theatrical experience that no film fan will ever forget. A joyous, fan-service-led, and near-perfect movie that’ll stand the test of time.

For more MCU-based content, find out how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Alternatively, read our Marvel movies ranked piece to see how we rated every MCU film, or see if Disney's streamer is worth subscribing to in our Disney Plus review.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.