Even though I've got some gripes with how the Marvel cinematic universe has fundamentally changed the way studios finance films, I'm still too much of a card-carrying nerd to hate the franchise entirely. On the whole, Marvel films are decent adaptations of the source material that trade the artistry and subtext for quips and cameos.
Modern Marvel films are the template for today's bloated and formulaic tentpole blockbusters, but there was a period when the MCU was genuinely groundbreaking. And that period started with 2008's Iron Man.
Before Iron Man, comic movies were always a little off. Too often, Hollywood made senseless revisions to characters and their origins that only alienated long-time fans and fed false information to the casuals. Off the top of my head, some examples were: Spider-Man's organic webbing, the Joker killing Batman's parents, and everything about the Fox X-Men franchise. For some reason, Hollywood was keen on adapting comic books but also didn't want to adhere to the comics they chose to adapt. T'was a weird time.
Since Marvel comics' film studio produced Iron Man– before Disney turned the MCU billion-dollar pablum factory- it was not only a shockingly accurate adaptation but one that took the property seriously. The film was replete with deep cuts to the character's lengthy and, at that point, obscure history. In short, Iron Man was unique because it treated fans with respect instead of just an installed fanbase that gleefully lapped up whatever garbage a studio produced.
To celebrate Iron Man's 14th anniversary, I took the liberty of linking my favorite scene above.