We get it, you don’t have all the time in the world to watch all 21 previous Marvel movies before Avengers: Endgame. You have a life. You’re busy. You can’t seemingly dedicate almost two days worth of movie watching to be all caught up. In fact, we know there are some movies in the MCU you are definitely good on not seeing again!
That’s why we’re about to give you the 7 essential movies of the MCU that play heavily into Avengers: Endgame. You have to see them to even have a remote idea of everything that’s going on. Good? Let’s begin.
1. Iron Man (2008)
Sure, you could watch Iron Man 2 or Iron Man 3 but that’s besides the point. The entire MCU started the moment Robert Downey Jr. became Tony Stark and set all of these events in motion. You learn about why Happy, Tony’s main line of support is key, why he and Pepper Potts have started up a relationship and of course, the very first introduction of Nick Fury.
Oh, and if you’re sitting next to anybody watching Iron Man for the first time — be nice and tell them the guy who will become War Machine is not the same guy from Iron Man 1, mane.
2. The Avengers (2012)
Four years and about four or five films later (a Thor movie, a Captain America movie, another Iron Man and a Hulk movie), we get The Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in their first movie all together. You remember this one because its the one where Mark Ruffalo first became The Hulk and swung Loki around like a baseball bat. It’s also our first foray into Infinity Stones AND is the very first time we see Thanos (yes, he becomes much more important later too).
3. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Technically, you could watch the best actual MOVIE in the MCU that preceded this in Captain America: The Winter Soldier to explain WHY exactly everybody is mad at the Winter Soldier but everything comes to a boiling point here. It’s our first look at Black Panther, our first look at Spider-Man officially in the MCU because he starred in about FIVE Sony movies before this that had nothing to do with the MCU, our first look of Wakanda AND the last time Cap and Tony have much seen each other, yet agreed on anything.
4. Doctor Strange (2016)
The time stone is pretty darn important in the MCU and it’s going to be a pretty big deal in regards to how “Endgame” works. It’s our first look at Doctor Strange and establishes why he’s such a badass.
5. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
You know why. It’s the set-up for Endgame and was THE saddest movie in the MCU. (Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was sad but not like, walk out the theater and think you need a ton of answers about life and sh*t sad). It’s also why everybody for the past year has made memes about not feeling so good and turning into dust.
6. Ant-Man And The Wasp (2018)
Wait, why Ant-Man and the Wasp? Quantum Realm. You recall everybody in new suits in the Avengers trailer, right? Yes, those are quantum realm suits and they played a major factor in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
7. Captain Marvel (2019)
“Where’s Fury?” It’s the last words said in Captain Marvel by Brie Larson and she’s basically coming for Thanos head once the Avengers break it to her what happened to their friends and her beloved mentor.
So that’s the list. It’s remotely 14 hours worth of movie to sit through but you can easily watch all seven months between now and Avengers: End Game to have an idea of what’s about to happen. Good luck true believers!