The Best Marvel Movie to Watch on Netflix Before Disney Pulls the Plug

To Disney+  or not to Disney+? That is the broader streaming question surrounding the new platform but, for now, that answer can wait. Since some Marvel movies are still on Netflix for the time being, we think fans should check out a particular Marvel movie before it disappears like the Avengers in Thanos’ snap.

Why you should watch ‘Black Panther’ ASAP

Of course, with Avengers: Endgame swallowing almost every screen at your friendly neighborhood movie theater, the natural inclination will be to visit or revisit Avengers: Infinity War. But that’s just it. Since many people will be doing that, we suggest going a different route and visiting or revisiting Wakanda in Black Panther. Simply put, Black Panther is the better movie.

And it’s not just critics who think that. Yes, critics gave Black Panther a 97% score, while they gave Infinity War 85%. But the verdict was pretty clear with audiences too. Both movies were phenomenal hits, but Black Panther made $700 million, while Infinity War made $678 million.

Granted, that’s a difference of only $22 million, which is chump change in Marvel’s very grand scheme of things. But one can very easily argue that Black Panther’s achievement was more impressive on several levels.

First, the Avengers movies have traditionally kicked off the extremely lucrative summer blockbuster season. By contrast, Black Panther opened in February, when studios are usually churning out a subpar product.

Second, the Avengers have a built-in audience: Iron Man, Captain America, and the Hulk are household names who have appeared in the comics for decades. While Black Panther first appeared in the comics in 1966, the character didn’t make a giant footprint on pop culture. His movie’s box office success was far from a sure thing, so when it ended up topping every other Marvel movie, its achievement was all the more remarkable.

‘Black Panther’ won a lot of awards

To date, Black Panther remains the one and only superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. It was widely assumed that The Dark Knight just missed a nomination in 2009, and that prompted the Academy to increase the number of nominees from five to a maximum of 10.

It’s not unreasonable to suggest that Black Panther might have missed the cut if there were only five slots. But it’s worth noting that Black Panther also won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, which many people consider a bellwether for Best Picture at the Oscars. True, it didn’t win – Green Book did — but Marvel’s movie did win the Oscars for Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

One of the key reasons for Black Panther’s resonance was its story, which many considered the strongest yet in the MCU. Most villains are ranting megalomaniacs, but it wasn’t hard to think that Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger had good reason to be angry, even if his methods were wrong. As more than one person has said: “Every great villain is the hero of his own story.”

You can’t go wrong either way

Make no mistake, if you do decide to watch Infinity War, you’re still making a very defendable choice. We’re not saying don’t see it. It may even play better the second (or third or fourth or fifth) time around, as its interweaving of 10 years of storylines becomes clearer.  Certainly, no Marvel movie has a more talked about ending than Infinity War. Just think of all the memes you’ve seen of something disintegrating into particles.

That said, the ending of Black Panther has an especially memorable quote from T’Challa when Wakanda decides to stop hiding and agrees to share its revolutionary technology with the world: “We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.”

That’s a message that resonates beyond the comics, and beyond the movies. Even if you’ve seen it before, give Black Panther another look before Disney+ debuts in the fall.