Rank You For The Movies: The Infinity Saga

There was an idea…

Humans have an intrinsic fascination for ranking their favourite things. The sense of order and comprehension it brings to our opinions, and the fun of compiling a list, has resulted in a constant stream of top 10s online. Rank You For The Movies is a new feature (inspired by Empire’s fan-favourite The Ranking) which brings together the views of myself, Ross Miller (@rosstmiller), Madeleine Lloyd-Jones (@madelexne) and Lucy Buglass (@LGTHBlog). We essentially discuss a film-related topic and produce a top 10 list at the end – and you can see our conversation unfolding below. 

Cameron: If anyone has Thor: The Dark World in their top 10, we can tussle cause that’s straight-up lunacy.

Ross: Mate, it’s comfortably touching the bottom floor. Apart from the final battle, which is pretty creative, it’s most definitely one of if not the weakest of the lot. I think it has mainly to do with the villain and his whole plot – no disrespect to the great Christopher Eccleston but just very bland.

Cameron: It’s the only MCU movie I actively dislike; the dullest colour palette, boring and just completely unengaging. The recent rewatch was a sore one.

Ross: I wouldn’t go far as to say I dislike it – the affection for the characters carries it but I can see why. I thought the first Thor was damn good.

Cameron: It has one of my favourite quotes though: “Your birthright… was to die!” Great stuff.

Ross: Nice. Reminds me of the kind of one-liner in Avengers: Age of Ultron: “Well, I WAS born yesterday.”

Cameron: Right, the thing with the first Thor. I dig that it’s like Shakespeare and Marvel married together, but the filmmaking is ugly. Dutch angles for days.

Ross: Oh really? I kind of really like that! Branagh brings a grandness to it. And I thought it handled the extremely difficult job of introducing what is a ludicrous character for what started out as “real world” tech hero stuff.

Madeleine: I really agree that it’s low-tier filmmaking. It’s really messy and unsatisfying.

Cameron: He did establish a believable world (even though Asgard, in that first movie, isn’t as gorgeous as one would expect), but it just feels a bit cheap to me. Flourishes that do not agree with me at all; I feel the MCU has pushed all that stuff out and has much slicker cinematography overall.

Ross: I get that. You either go with that kind of flourish stuff or it turns you off. I agree the MCU has definitely gelled more as it went on – some may argue that it’s become homogenized but I think it works if you look at as telling an overarching saga.

Cameron: Strong directorial voice, for sure. Just not a particularly pleasing film to watch, for me anyway.

Madeleine: I agree with that Ross for sure. The first two Thor’s were just establishing in a chill way.

Ross: What do we think of Thor: Ragnarok then? Talk about artistic directorial style and flourish!

Cameron: Ragnarok is the tits.

Madeleine: Ragnarok is brilliant.

Cameron: Very smooth, super cool, truly hilarious and quite unique from the other movies while still fitting in. I like it a lot.

Ross: It’s just such a shot of pure, eye-popping joy – Waititi was such a great choice for make that movie. The way he marries his idiosyncratic style of humour with the Marvel world, embracing the ridiculous and surreal at every turn, made for a refreshing watch.

Cameron: A proper jolt of lightning. That’s the wonderful thing though, about the MCU. It’s a franchise that’s brought me consistent giddiness.

Madeleine: It’s so rare that a franchise film can nail another tone whilst keeping in tune with the other films.

Ross: For sure. You feel like you’re getting a consistency as a fan loyally watching all the films while trying something a bit different. Of course they’re not all like that but for every Dark World there’s a Ragnarok and I’ll take it!

Cameron: I’ve seen people saying that the first Avengers hasn’t aged well but I don’t get that at all? The costumes are maybe a bit schlocky but it looks amazing, visually still a total spectacle and screenplay wise, a pure delight.

Madeleine: Oh my god no way has it aged poorly! It’s still incredible. Still gives me such a sense of excitement.

Ross: I have to admit it’s been a good while since I properly sat down and watched the first Avengers properly but it’s terrific. That moment, THE moment, of the camera spinning around them all finally in a group is spine-tingling. They’d laid the groundwork properly, walked before they ran, which made that moment mean a lot for fans.

Cameron: The confidence that Whedon had is on a par with Waititi; a guy who knew exactly what made comic book movies work and gave the fans more than a handful of moments of euphoria (let’s not discuss Age of Ultron though).

Ross: Ah, not an Ultron fan? I find it very underrated. That whole Sokovia battle is aces.

Madeleine: I need to rewatch Ultron. I was disappointed when I watched it, but I think it had so much to live up to. I think Whedon was given too much to cram in after the success of the first.

Ross: That’s the thing, expectation really did it in. But if you rewatch it’s got its own thing going on. There’s a bleakness to it in how it deals with technology and our responsibility of letting it get out of hand therein

Madeleine: That’s interesting. It was released so soon after the first, which I almost always think is risky. Got the impression it was bashed together pretty quickly to make easy money for the studios.

Cameron: To quote the great Kermode, here’s the thing. It has a lot of the same brilliance that made Avengers Assemble work. Orgasmic shots of the team fighting, nice touches of darkness. But, without James Spader’s extraordinary villain (seriously, top three easily), the thing crumbles like an overbaked pastry. Allegedly the original cut ran around three hours, and you can tell – there’s SO much in it, lots of little plot threads and ideas that aren’t really chewed into enough. Plus, the last battle is fun and all, but it doesn’t hook me in the same way. If it weren’t for Captain America: Civil War, it wouldn’t have anywhere near as much impact today. It did bring us Scarlet Witch though, and Vision.

Ross: I get that; it definitely chucks in more ideas than it really handles. But I appreciate the ambition of it. It also has one of the franchise’s best gags; when they’re all trying to lift the hammer and Thor’s nearly full on shites his pants when Cap is able to move it just a little.

Cameron: Thoughts on the Captain America films?

Ross: Oh boy here we go… I’m not a great fan of The First Avenger.

Madeleine: I think the Cap films are the most consistent films of them all. You’re not?

Ross: I mean, I still like it, but I just didn’t love the whole WWII setting of it. And I know this is part of the point but the old-fashionedness (to make up a word) felt weird to me. It would easily be lower tier to me. But it’s still an enjoyable time, it lays the groundwork nicely for Cap as a good-hearted hero

Madeleine: I think it’s one of the best examples of the setting. I think it was the film to really ground the MCU.

Cameron: I just don’t think Cap as a character would work without seeing him in his original world. To get behind his whole honour and outlook, the wartime is absolutely necessary (not fully convinced he had to put the ship in the water, though).

Ross: I realise I’m in the extreme minority with it, most love it. It’s one of those I’ve seen the least, even though that still means seeing it three times!

Cameron: Winter Soldier is outstanding; proper conspiracy spy thriller (love how Robert Redford plays the exact kind of villain that Bob Woodward would want to expose) with all the superhero trimmings.

Ross: That whole sequence on the ship, that shot of him running as he bounces the shield, is stunning.

Madeleine: They really are the most interesting films, the Captain America‘s. The most political parallels; most real life shit and I think best character work.

Ross: For sure. Just look at how they deal with it all in Civil War which is my favourite of the whole MCU.

Cameron: The direction is actually a lot more confident in that movie than in some action scenes in Civil War. But overall, that’s the MVP. I fucking love Civil War.

Madeleine: Civil War really shook me.

Cameron: The emotional stakes in that film are just so, real? As Maddy said, the real world parallels are interesting. Who knew that politics could actually do some good?

Ross: To me the franchise works best when it deals head on with character work and matches that with pure, unadulterated superhero spectacle. Rarely is that better handled than in Civil War. I love how it comes down to this fundamental disagreement; should superheroes be politically policed?

Madeleine: I love how it asks the question instead of having a take on it.

Ross: I lost my tiny mind during that airport fight scene; when they all ran towards one another, with Spidey brought into the fold, and each having to choose sides. Shooketh to the core.

Cameron: I know it’s good to discuss the serious subject matter it manages to weave… but that AIRPORT SEQUENCE. While Civil War isn’t my top MCU movie, that’s the best moment in the franchise. Spidey, Giant Man, aw MAN it’s insane.

Ross: When you find out that it was Bucky who killed Tony’s parents – man alive.

Cameron: Guardians, thoughts?

Ross: I love both Guardians films! The first more than the second but I enjoyed Vol. 2 a lot.

Madeleine: Guardians 1: yes. Guardians 2: messy start, perfect ending.

Cameron: I really enjoyed Vol. 2 recently. Kurt Russell is a legend.

Ross: I get what you mean, though. It takes a bit to establish the father storyline.

Cameron: Soundtrack for the first is better overall I think, too. I prefer the first but they’re both great movies. Character wise, powerful as well.

Ross: There’s this weird dislike for it in certain circles that I don’t understand. Quill’s heritage storyline works even better when you feed it into what comes later, his sense of loss compounding.

Madeleine: I think there was too much forced “look we’re the funny film hahaha!!!” In the first half that I just wasn’t impressed by, but from the Kurt Russell reveal onwards was ace. Like really, really ace. I cried all of my foundation off too.

Ross: Yondu! *ugly cries*

Cameron: Aw god that death hurts. More than I could have ever expected.

Ross: “I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!” Legit all I could think about during the first 20 minutes of Mary Poppins Returns.

Cameron: Iron Man movies; go.

Ross: First one great, second one not so much, looooove the third one. That’s my “I’ll die on this hill” defending MCU movie.

Madeleine: The Iron Man films rest entirely on RDJ’s performance – the plots are pretty… forgettable?

Ross: He is definitely the lifeblood of them.

Cameron: First one is one of my favourites. Actually like the villain but the whole thing is an insanely likeable origin story, it relies on the beauty of RDJ but Favreau’s direction is seriously awesome. Second is still an impressive looking movie, solid fight sequences but weaker in other areas.

Ross: That “cool guys don’t look at explosions” moment where he walks away made the 10-year-old me want to leap up and down in my cinema seat. Rourke just doesn’t seem to care at all, and how very dare they waste Sam Rockwell like that. I bloody love the third film, though. It’s basically about superhero PTSD. RDJ is giving a seriously good performance in that film.

Madeleine: I do appreciate the new depth they went to, and what they did with Pepper!

Cameron: Really enjoy a lot of the third movie, some of the set-pieces are genuinely staggering (Air Force One, what a belter). But I don’t really like that reveal that much, and Guy Pearce does a Brad Pitt impression for a lot of the movie. PTSD angle is its huge saving grace, major props.

Ross: I can’t express how much I love what they did with the Mandarin reveal. It’s genius in my opinion. I don’t come at it from a fan of the comics, so I didn’t have that built-in expectation of what that character should be, but for me it worked as this fantastic commentary on what a villain means in our own world. It was expected it was this hooded middle-eastern bogeyman when that was all propaganda artifice for the villain actually being the rich westerner in the slick suit.

Madeleine: Again, another example of Marvel not being ignorant to real world issues.

Cameron: It’s time my friends… let’s talk Infinity War.

Madeleine: It juggled all those characters miles better than I ever thought it would.

Ross: It really could have flubbed that aspect but the Russo’s nailed it. That is a lot of characters, a lot of clashing personalities and styles all colliding but it’s quite remarkable how well it works.

Madeleine: It felt very authentically structured, which i think is such an underrated but vital quality in a film.

Ross: Very true. Clean, slick, digestible storytelling that allows the character drama and the spectacle to flourish.

Cameron: I guess I kind of like it…

Madeleine: You kind of like it?

Ross: I think he means he adores it Maddy.

Madeleine: I just want him to unleash his full obsessive essay Ross.

Cameron: It is fucking spectacular. I really do adore that movie, I basically worship what the Russo’s managed to pull off. A Herculean feat, this gargantuan number of superstars and plot threads under the final boss villain and it all just moves as one exhilarating piece. It’s the fastest way to spend 2 hours 40 minutes. Feels like 90. I cannot get enough.

Madeleine: There it is.

Ross: How rare is it you get a cultural event like that pulled off with such confidence, with such bravura and handle on all the aspects. Not only that but send your audience away gobsmacked.

Madeleine: Genuinely the most impressive piece of franchise cinema.

Cameron: Please tell me you guys like that ending? I will maintain that the snap is not only genius, but extremely necessary thematically.

Ross: Of course! How could you not? It hurts so gooooood.

Cameron: Spider-Man’s death is genuinely one of the most emotionally distressing things I’ve endured in a cinema.

Madeleine: I was a tiny bit like… okay but those characters that just ‘died’ have sequels coming out soon so… but the bit that made it heart-wrenching was the survivors reactions. Okoye’s!

Ross: It proved there was stakes. I don’t buy this “well they’re just going to undo it so how does it matter?” bullshit. Of course we know they’re not going to permanently kill of Spidey or Black Panther (one of whom they just introduced, the other featured in a $1.2 billion cultural touchstone) but it matters in context, for the characters, the for the world it’s set up, for the remaining Avengers to have something to fight for.

Madeleine: It introduces the idea that these characters are actually defeat-able.

Ross: Three things make that film work as well as it does. The pacing, the emotional gut punch and Brolin’s performance as Thanos.

Cameron: We had to see THE BIG BAD use his BIG POWERS. Otherwise he’s just another run-of-the-mill antagonist. I would have been seriously pissed if they just finished him off. I want to see the original heroes hurting. This should be the fight of their lives, and as such, the most engrossing comeback of the entire series. That’s why it works.

Ross: That character could have been so very silly. But Brolin imbues him with such presence and menace, that “I’m right” arrogance, you really feel he’s a threat.

Madeleine: That character could have been so very silly. But Brolin imbues him with such presence and menace, that “I’m right” arrogance, you really feel he’s a threat.

Cameron: And you know what? His motives are almost, agreeable?

Madeleine: That’s what makes him so scary, even though he is big and purple his motives are very human.

Ross: Well I mean GENOCIDE, Cameron, but I see what you’re saying.

Cameron: Perfectly balanced, as all things should be…

Madeleine: It’s not “I want power”, “I want to rule the world” it’s “someone’s got to do something about this”. It’s like a biblical type purge.

Ross: He wants power but as a means to an end, not for the sake of it.

Madeleine: What I really admire about the MCU is how with it’s success, it’s always stayed authentic. The more and more power it gets behind it worldwide from audiences, the more intricate and brilliant the story making gets. Everything is so thought out, connected and executed with a clear purpose – nothing is a cash grab.

Ross: That’s what sets it apart from the likes of the DCEU.

*We were about to finish up then quickly realised we forgot Black Panther*

Madeleine: Black Panther is cool!

Ross: *Laughs* oh yeah, Black Panther! That little movie.

Madeleine: Quick summary: monumentally important, culturally brilliant, brilliant performances, great music, great fun. Maybe a little predictable at the end but great script so it’s all good.

Cameron: We can all agree that Black Panther is excellent, yes? Brilliant villain, immersive world. Some shaky effects but generally terrific.

Ross: Yeah Black Panther is damn good; the sense of style, something different. Convincingly portrays this hidden kingdom, unseen by choice by the rest of the world. Top music, too. Not surprised it won the Oscar.

Madeleine: It’s the most real world in the MCU. Even from Civil War I bought it as a nation.

Ross: And the only MCU film to introduce a gesture that’s culturally recognisable now.

Cameron: Right we’re definitely in the Endgame now, let’s vote.

10. Spider-Man: Homecoming

© – Marvel

9. Black Panther

© – Marvel

8. Iron Man 3

© – Marvel

7. Iron Man

© – Marvel

6. Thor: Ragnarok

© – Marvel

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

© – Marvel

4. Guardians of the Galaxy

© – Marvel

3. Avengers Assemble

© – Marvel

2. Avengers: Infinity War

© – Marvel

1. Captain America: Civil War

© – Marvel

Keep your eyes peeled for the next Rank You For The Movies (and good luck for Avengers: Endgame…)

Top 10 – Movie Trailers

Perhaps you wouldn’t imagine to read a list of the best film trailers? Well when you think about it, trailers are incredibly important to a film’s life cycle. They kickstart the hype train, often sending fans into a frenzy or a meltdown. One of my favourite things to do is watch trailers, so let’s have a look at the 10 best ones out there!

Continue reading Top 10 – Movie Trailers

Top 10 – Stars of 2015

Where 2014 was the year of Chris Pratt, Margot Robbie, Miles Teller, and Jack O’Connell, I want to look at whose star rose the highest in 2015.

It should also be said I leave out the aforementioned bearing in mind that they had a better 2014, than 2015. Pratt was the star of the second biggest grossing film of the year, so maybe it’s harsh to leave him out, but I feel 2014 was his breakthrough. Margot Robbie was also a star of Focus, and filming Suicide Squad, but Wolf of Wall Street was undoubtedly her rise to stardom.

Continue reading Top 10 – Stars of 2015

Top 10 – Horrors

Nothing beats the feeling after watching a pure good horror. How amazing is it that a film can have the power to absolutely terrify you? Most of the time they aren’t even true stories – we’re petrified by total fiction. Nothing to be a shamed of though, I’m a fearty at the best of times. So, to celebrate horror films, here’s the best 10 out there!

Continue reading Top 10 – Horrors

Top 10 – Dog movies

I’m gonna be honest, if you don’t like dogs there’s obviously a loose wire somewhere. They’re bloody fantastic animals! What’s amazing is that quite often, we have found ourselves more emotional about dogs in films than humans (that’s cause humans are shite and dogs are brilliant though). So, to celebrate dogs, here’s a top 10 list of films based around them!

10. Hachi: A Dogs Tale

(© – Stage 6 Films)

Telling the story of a college professor who forms a bond with a dog he finds on a train platform, this emotional, moving film starring Richard Gere is a must watch for dog lovers.

9. 101 Dalmatians

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

The original, animated film is great, but the live action remake is my favourite. Some of it may seem a little silly, but the dogs are great and the story works so who cares!

8. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

This does have a cat in it, but there’s also two dogs so it’s okay! This classic tells the story of three pets who escape to find their owners in San Francisco, and chat along the way. Brilliant!

7. Cujo

(© – Warner Bros)

Whilst the majority of dog films make us fall in love with them, this one made us afraid of them. A St. Bernard with rabies? HA, NAW.

6. Eight Below

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

Whilst Snow Dogs wasn’t very good, this survival tale starring Paul Walker is more serious, and generally a shit-load better. Ahh, huskies.

5. All Dogs Go to Heaven

(© – United Artists)

This oldie is a cracking little animated film, one I watched when I was younger. It may be a little dated looking, but in terms of quality, it’s still great.

4. Lady and the Tramp

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

Everyone has at least heard of Lady and the Tramp, but you really should have seen it. It’s a timeless Disney animated classic – beautifully made and generally just lovely.

3. Turner & Hooch

(© – Touchstone Pictures)

Perhaps not all of you have seen Turner and Hooch, but you should. It’s essentially a buddy cop film, except it’s a cop and a dog that are buddies. A massive slevery, drooling dog is the star here, so what else do you need to hear?

2. Marley & Me

(© – 20th Century Fox)

Marley and Me became an instant classic when it was released. As well as having Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, the hilarious Labrador Marley really steals every scene he’s in. You’ll laugh and cry, and love every second.


  1. Beethoven
(© – Universal Pictures)

For me this was the obvious choice. I watched it all the time when I was younger, and event today I love it dearly.

When a family feel something is lacking from their home, they adopt a St. Bernard puppy. Of course he isn’t a puppy for long, so when Beethoven grows up to be a huge, slobbery animal, all sorts of hilarious chaos ensues. That is until someone not-so-friendly wants Beethoven.

Beethoven himself is so lovable, like every time I watch it I feel the need to adopt a St. Bernard. I have no doubt you’ll adore this film, so please if you haven’t seen it, do it! It’s certainly a film the whole family can enjoy. If you’re one of those strange bastards that doesn’t like dogs, maybe this will change your opinion.

What do you think? What’s your favourite dog film? Let us know in the comments, or tweet @film_swot.

Author: Cameron Frew

Top 10 – Disney Pixar films

For me and many others, Disney Pixar films were a massive part of my childhood and let’s be honest they still mean a lot to me today. The mass majority of them are ingenious and manage to engross kids and adults alike. As well as being hilarious, they are quite often emotional also. So, here’s a top 10 list of the best ones out there, enjoy!

10. Toy Story 2 

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

The sequel to the first Toy Story proved that not all sequels are a disappointment. It introduced new characters, remained hilarious and still had as much heart.

9. Inside Out

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

One of the most recent Pixar films, I had no doubt in my mind once I saw it that it was one of the best. The incredibly clever storyline is what made this a classic. The only voice inside my head when I watch Inside Out is Joy.

8. WALL·E 

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

This film truly showcased how incredible Pixar’s animation was, as well as giving us a story like no other. Who knew we could get so connected to a couple of animated robots?

7. Up

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

Everyone has at least heard about the opening sequence of Up. I’m not going to say what happens, let’s just say you WILL get teary-eyed. Moving on from there, it turns into a wonderfully funny and inventive adventure film.

6. Cars

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

Cars has always been one of my personal favourites. It really is hilarious, I mean who doesn’t love Mater? The sequel and spin offs have been pretty dire, but the original remains excellent to this day. Not to mention Owen Wilson voices the main character!

5. The Incredibles

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

Not all incredible (I’m sorry) superhero movies are live action. The Incredibles is one of the best out there, giving us fantastic action sequences as well as all the benefits we’d expect from a Pixar film.

4. Toy Story 3

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

The most recent sequel to the original Toy Story somehow managed to improve upon the first sequel, introducing even more characters and bringing us a thrilling storyline at the best of times. The villain is excellent, and I guarantee you’ll nearly – if not – cry at the end.

3. Monsters, Inc.

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

One of the originals, Monsters, Inc took a scary part of life for kids and turned it into something they could love. By turning monsters into lovable characters, Pixar really outdone themselves.

2. Finding Nemo

(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

Pixar have this incredible ability to create beautiful, colourful worlds in different places. This time round it was the sea, and I loved every second of it. As well as sublime animation, every single character, especially the hilarious Dory, is memorable. The sequel to Finding Nemo is definitely one of the most anticipated films this year.


  1. Toy Story
(© – Walt Disney Pictures)

There was only one really choice for the number one spot wasn’t there? Toy Story was the first Disney Pixar film, and it’s definitely still the best.

By creating a world where toys come alive, it is ridiculously fun for both kids and parents. The lead characters, expertly voiced by the wonderful Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, immediately became iconic across the world. I myself loved Woody growing up – I even still have the toy in my cupboard.

Wonderfully clever and miles ahead of it’s time, it’s no wonder it spawned sequels, with a fourth in production. Even though it’s over 20 years old, the animation is still amazing. I am confident that Toy Story will remain my favourite animated film ever till the day I die.

What’s your favourite Disney Pixar film? Is it Toy Story too? Let me know yours in the comments or tweet @film_swot.

Cameron Frew

Top 10 – ‘Coming of Age’ films

Ah, growing up – it’s hard. You’ll go through various ups and downs in the massive learning curve. Whether its your first break up, getting ignored on MSN, falling out with your mates, pushing your Dad’s Ferrari out a window – you’ll have a shit time at one point or another. But growing up brings people some of their greatest memories, and this whole process makes for excellent movies. Therefore, here’s our top 10 ‘coming of age’ films.

Continue reading Top 10 – ‘Coming of Age’ films