“Ant-Man and the Wasp” opened July 6 with a lot to live up to. It’s the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the fourth MCU movie in just the last nine months. But it’s not as groundbreaking as “Black Panther” was earlier this year, and it’s not as epochal as “Avengers: Infinity War.” As a comedic standalone story its closest referent might be “Thor: Ragnarok” from last fall. And like “Ragnarok” it improves on its predecessor, at least as far as the critics are concerned. Click through the gallery above to see how all the Marvel movies rank based on their Rotten Tomatoes scores.
As of this writing “Ant-Man and the Wasp” has an RT freshness rating of 88%, which means that only 12% of critics thus far have given it negative reviews. You might think such a high score would place it among the upper echelon of Marvel movies, but it’s to the credit of the franchise that 88% freshness only lands you in the middle of the pack in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It places 10th out of 20, just above “Infinity War” at 83%. In fact, the lowest-rated film from the universe still has a mostly positive score: “Thor: The Dark World” with 66%.
Rotten Tomatoes is a review aggregator whose scores are based on a pass-fail system: either a critic likes a movie (fresh) or they don’t (rotten). That’s different from MetaCritic, which uses a nuanced sliding scale to calculate its scores. For instance, a three-star review and a four-star review would be measured the same by RT (positive = fresh), the four-star review will be worth a lot more points than the three-star review on MC.
That’s how you get a dichotomy like the one you see for “Ant-Man,” which currently has a score of 70 on MetaCritic. That suggests that most critics like the film, but we probably won’t see it on many year-end top-10 lists. Nevertheless Marvel’s smallest hero did manage to score higher than “Infinity” on both RT and MC — not bad for the little guy.