Hulk (2003)

Universal Pictures

The third time was the charm for Marvel, when it cast Mark Ruffalo as a lovable Hulk in The Avengers after Eric Bana played the green-skinned goliath in 2003’s Hulk and Ed Norton took his shot in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which was part of the MCU. (Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark turns up for a cameo that connects The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man.)

Though largely forgotten thanks to the other Hulks, Ang Lee’s Hulk was a nuanced and ambitious film that tried to go beyond monster fights to tell a deeper story about childhood trauma. It’s not as fun as the best MCU movies, and the CGI isn’t as good.

But it is a very fresh take on a character well-known to audiences thanks to the Bill Bixby-Lou Ferrigno TV series and the three TV movies it inspired, and the cast, including Bana and Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross, was very solid.

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