I used to go to the theater a lot - but that was before. Now it's expensive, and I have no time for it. So, I try to focus on movies bound to provide a guaranteed satisfaction - in my case, blockbusters, and in particular, Marvel movies. Although I'm not a fan of super heroes and didn't like the first movies when they came out, they provide a good level of entertainment, and I like the growing interconnection between the different productions. Also, when I venture into a movie that is not a Marvel (say, the recent Batman), I often end up disappointing and feeling like I wasted my time utterly (seriously, I almost left the seance midway).
Because I feel bored I will provide my personal ranking of the Phase IV movies so far.
1) The Eternals
I already expressed my liking for this movie. It has honestly many flaws (a lot of circumvolutions in the scenario are pointless). But I enjoyed that it had the dimension of a true epic. It was a bit more pompous than the usual Marvel movie (more akin to the DC vein in this regard), but it was really fitting, and there were still bits of humor here and there. I honestly didn't realize I liked it that much until, several months later, I find myself still mumbling over it. It also has virtually no connection to the rest of the MCU. This is my favorite of the new batch by far, and pretty close to be one of my all-time favorites MCU movies.
2) Black Widow
I never understood why the Black Widow was an Avenger. She came out of nowhere, she has no super powers, and she is basically useless most of the time. I didn't expect much out of the movie. But I thought it was really, really fun. The dynamics between the different characters were really enjoyable. The character of the father was curiously likable. That they don't have devastating abilities made for more interesting and punchy action scenes - fewer flashes of color, more blows, bruises, and pew-pew moments. It's fundamentally inessential to the MCU, but weirdly really fun.
3) Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
This one felt pretty similar to Black Widow in that it revolves more than often around the scars of a disjointed family. But it felt more clumsy, lengthy, and the CGI leaned more insistently into kitsch. It was an OK entertainment but still feels retrospectively like a mish-mash of scenes and moments that don't merge into a bigger whole. The "Fantasy Chinese" world also felt a bit silly and forced, and I wish it had been more efficient at giving me a sense of wonder.
4) Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
Halfway into the movie, as I was feeling that "something felt off", I suddenly realized: "Oh, but yes! It's from Sam Raimi! I'm not watching a Marvel movie, but a Sam Raimi one!". In a way, it's nice that the artistic inclinations of a director can surface during a massive production that goes through what I guess is a good many executive boards or whatever. On the other hand, it felt a bit "overly Raimi", as if he had underlined with too thick a marker the most distinctive traits of his style. There were also too many colored flashes exchanged between the characters, which were, as a rule, too powerful. Wanda didn't get a very interesting treatment and she really felt one-dimensional and repetitive during the whole movie, which is a shame after we spent a good time with her in WandaVision. I'm also not a fan of Strange as a character, even though I had enjoyed the first movie for its outstanding visual effects. This movie also made me realize that I think the Multiverse is a boring and lazy scenaristic device to endlessly rehash the same fan-pleasing tropes and multiply the Easter Eggs.
5) Spider-Man: No Way Home
Speaking of which... Spider-Mand: No Way Home is a side-by-side accumulation of Easter Eggs as you revisit all previous Spider-Man movies. However, these may be the best part of the movies, the silly interactions between the different Spider-Man interactions providing the most entertainment. The rest of the movie is diving into the ridicule, the new Mary Jane, which was lively and mischievous in the previous movies, is now insipid and nothing but a stooge for Peter Parker. Some of the "humor" moments fell embarrassingly flat (e.g. when they all laugh out loud because Dr. Octopus has a silly name). The death of the aunt was overly melodramatic. It just felt like a very tired movie - something like an excuse to finally set up the All-In Spider-Man party that everyone but me basically wanted apparently.
6) Thor: Love and Thunder
What is this movie doing at the bottom of this list? I still wonder. Thor: Ragnarok was one of my favorite Marvel movies, fully taking advantage of the narrative resources offered by the ever-growing MCU. Yet, Love and Thunder disappointed me in the first five minutes. The tone was simply off, trapped into caricature every time it attempted to make a point. Do you want to be a social critic, or do you want to be a parody? The movie simply doesn't know and end up as being a parody of a social critic - something not fun, that want to carry the same kind of messages as the darker DC, with the self-obliviousness and lack of seriousness of a Marvel.
And it keeps getting worse. Thor, by the end of the Infinity War, ended up in the crew of the Guardians of the Galaxy. This was a golden opportunity to have some good fun on screen, and to foster interesting relationships between different character thread lines. Except the movie ditched the Guardians of the Galaxy very soon, never to be seen again. Thor then pursues a solitary path, re-hashing the meaningful moments of the previous three Thor movies, and blissfully ignoring the rest of the MCU. He's back at being an arrogant prick. When Natalie Portman, as teased from the earliest moments of this movie promotion campaign, takes up the Thor's mantle (or rather a hammer), she starts acting completely out of character, treating the hero job as a costume party and more preoccupied about the best catchphrase to say when beating a villain than about actually saving the world. I think Taika Waititi wants very badly to show you that he is far beyond and above the super-hero stuff, to the point that he treats every single aspect of the movie as a joke to mock with too forced a laugh. The Valkyrie character, which proved a leading figure in the third installment, is here to enrich the background. The stone guy keeps telling annoying jokes or silly songs.
Even worse! The movie becomes completely inconsistent with the previous MCU movies. One of the McGuffin is an entity named Eternity that can grant a wish to whoever ask. The villain wants to use it to fulfill some sinister purpose, and the heroes need to stop them as always. And at this point I just ask: wait wait wait... If there was something so powerful that everyone apparently knew about, why Thanos didn't bother finding Eternity to reduce the universe's population in half, instead of going through all the pain of collecting the seven Infinity stones? And why did Thor never come up with this solution when they were all mourning about their defeat? You just can't introduce something so powerful all of a sudden without collapsing the consistency of what has been built so far. You also realize that the heroes can rely on an impressive set of instant teleportation items that can carry them anywhere in the whole universe in a snap. This adds up to the complete sense of disbelief, but hey, remember, nothing is for serious!
Add to this battle scenes that are all identical and almost a copy-paste of the epic endscene of Ragnarok, three (!) exposition sequences to remind you what had happened in the previous movies, dumb jokes repeated over and over (screaming goats), and overall a sheer lack of subtlety. It's boring (I can't count how many people ended up watching their phones during the movie, however rude it is), it's dumb, it's nonsensical. This movie is simply a disaster, one of the worst installments in the whole MCU. It bodes ill for Phase IV which has not found consistency and purpose yet.