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Are the Marvel movies good cinema? Show more Show less
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, is one of the most successful intellectual properties of all time. But when asked about his opinion of the Marvel movies, famed filmmaker Martin Scorsese contended that they were not real cinema. This is not just one man's shot at a franchise, but rather a part of an overarching debate about whether the Marvel movies are merely common blockbusters, or something much more. Is Scorsese right, or does the MCU deserve more artistic respect?

Yes, the Marvel movies are good cinema Show more Show less

The Marvel movies are serious artistic ventures and monuments of good filmmaking.
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The Marvel movies feature compelling performances by renowned actors

The MCU's roster is filled with stars, but they don't phone in their performances. Rather, they present amazing depictions of their characters.

The Argument

What makes great cinema? Undoubtedly, one factor of a great movie is the actors that appear in it. Great performances can elevate the immersion of the film and convey emotions and ideals quite effectively. Conversely, bad or even mediocre performances can consign a film to irrelevance. The Marvel movies contain some of the most compelling acting performances in modern media. Robert Downey Jr. played Iron Man extremely well, to the point where people have begun to conflate their identities. He portrays narcissistic playboy and traumatized hero with equal skill. Chris Hemsworth's portrayal of Thor is similarly praiseworthy. He displays amazing range between the uptight prince, comedic protagonist, and tragic hero. These and other actors have put on their A-game in portraying their characters. What's most impressive is that they not only maintain this level for one project, but also over twenty movies spanning more than a decade. This consistent high-quality acting is one of the biggest reasons for Marvel's success. It's also one of the biggest indicators that these movies count as cinema.

Counter arguments

The actor performances in the Marvel movies were surely good. But to be remembered in the annals of cinema history, one can't just be good - one has to be amazing. It's telling that for all the praise Hemsworth and Downey have received, neither of them, nor anyone in the MCU, has been nominated for an Oscar for those movies. The MCU aren't exactly character dramas; they're focused on action. There's not much room to show one's acting chops.

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 19:59 UTC

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