Avengers: Endgame is going to be the biggest movie event of the last decade—maybe even the last 50 years. The culmination of over ten years and 21 movies will see the Avengers face Thanos in what will surely be a showdown for the ages. If you aren't caught up on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, here's your guide to every movie you need to watch before watching Avengers: Endgame.
Note: These movies are listed in the order they took place, not when they were released.
- The leader: Captain America: The First Avenger
- Higher, further, faster: Captain Marvel
- The beginning: Iron Man
- Don't get angry: The Incredible Hulk
- Unfinished business: Iron Man 2
- Introducing a god: Thor
- Avengers assemble: Marvel's The Avengers
- Extremis: Iron Man 3
- Two brothers: Thor: The Dark World
- O Captain! My Captain!: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- I want you back: Guardians of the Galaxy
- Father and son: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The leader: Captain America: The First Avenger1
Steve Rogers is brave and determined, but he doesn't have the physicality to be a great soldier. His life changes when he volunteers for an experimental procedure that turns him into a super-soldier known as Captain America.
Higher, further, faster: Captain Marvel2
Before the events of Avengers: Endgame, a woman named Carol Danvers finds herself living among an alien civilization. But she soon realizes that she's not who she thought she is—and neither are those she thought was family.
The beginning: Iron Man3
Iron Man jumpstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe, introducing the world to Tony Stark and his massive ego. When the billionaire is captured and held captive by terrorists, he makes a great escape by building a powerful suit of armor.
Don't get angry: The Incredible Hulk4
Before Mark Ruffalo was Hulk, Ed Norton played the angry green monster. The film focuses on the tragic origin of Hulk, who goes on the run from the US government in an attempt to cure himself of his dangerous condition.
Unfinished business: Iron Man 25
With his health on the decline, Tony Stark must evade the US government after officials learn about his Iron Man technology. Meanwhile, someone from the Stark family's past has come to seek revenge, while teaming up with Tony's rival.
Introducing a god: Thor6
After a display of arrogance, Thor is banished to Earth from Asgard, where he must fend without his powers and his trust hammer Mjolnir. On his hero's journey, the God of Thunder must prove he is worthy.
Avengers assemble: Marvel's The Avengers7
The Avengers must thwart the attacks of Loki and his Chitauri army when the trickster opens a wormhole over New York City. The film is a defining moment in the MCU, because it brought so many beloved heroes together in one epic movie.
Extremis: Iron Man 38
Tony Stark must help stop a mysterious terrorist known as the Mandarin while uncovering the origins of Extremis. The film takes a deeper dive into Tony's psyche as he struggles with anxiety following The Avengers.
Two brothers: Thor: The Dark World9
Thor must team up with Loki in an effort to prevent a vengeful dark elf, Melekith, from using the Aether to plunge the universe into darkness. But even though Loki helps Thor, he still has ulterior motives.
O Captain! My Captain!: Captain America: The Winter Soldier10
Considering one of the MCU's strongest movies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier raised the bar with its engrossing story and terrific action. In the film, Captain America teams up with Black Widow to stop an assassin named Winter Soldier from killing more people.
I want you back: Guardians of the Galaxy11
A motley crew of criminals must band together when Ronan the Accuser, working on behalf of Thanos, attempts to steal a powerful artifact. Said artifact turns out to be a lot more important than the Guardians realize.
Father and son: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 212
When Peter Quill learn who his father really is, the bond between him and the other Guardians is put to the test. Meanwhile, we learn about the past of Yondu and why he kidnapped Quill in the first place.
AI uprising: Avengers: Age of Ultron13
When Tony Stark creates a powerful global defense program known as Ultron, the artificial intelligence becomes too smart and decides that the only way to protect Earth is to get rid of all humanity.
Small but mighty: Ant-Man14
A thief named Scott Lang gets mixed up with Hank Pym, who possesses groundbreaking shrinking technology. When Pym's protege, Darren Cross, attempts to create shrinking technology of his own, Scott must help Hank stop Cross for good.
All together now: Captain America: Civil War15
Featuring a humungous cast, Captain America: Civil War sees the Avengers become divided over the Sokovia Accords, which proposes oversight over the Avengers' actions. This leads to one of the most epic battles in all the MCU.
A new hero: Spider-Man: Homecoming16
A young Peter Parker struggles to balance adolescence with being Spider-Man. In the film, he learns what it takes to be a hero as he faces off against Vulture, who has his own motivations for turning to a life of crime.
Wakanda forever: Black Panther17
Following the death of his father, T'Challa is crowned the kind of Wakanda. But he's soon challenged for the throne when his cousin, Erik "Killmonger" Stevens, arrives in Wakanda. Who will come out on top?
The mystic arts: Doctor Strange18
When a wealthy and arrogant neurosurgeon is involved in a career-ending car accident, he seeks out help from the Ancient One, who teaches him the mystic arts. After mastering the mystic arts, Strange must stop a zealot named Kaecilius.
Thor vs. Hulk: Thor: Ragnarok19
Thor finds himself on a junkyard planet known as Sakaar, where he must partake in a gladiator battle against Hulk. Meanwhile, Asgard is threatened by Thor's sister, Hela, and the impending Ragnarok.
The Mad Titan: Avengers: Infinity War20
Thanos and the Black Order bring death and destruction across the universe as the Mad Titan searches for the Infinity Stones. The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy must once again come together to stop their greatest threat yet.
Rescue mission: Ant-Man and the Wasp21
While on house arrest, Scott Lang seeks out Hank Pym with information about Janet van Dyne, who has been trapped in the quantum realm for decades. But a wrench is thrown into their plans when a mysterious new villain shows up.
Thanos. Infinity Stones. Mystic arts. Quantum Realm. With 21 movies (22 if you count Avengers: Endgame) under Marvel's belt, it's a lot to take in. So much has happened since Iron Man kicked off the MCU, and it's all going to culminate when the Avengers face off against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame.
If you don't quite have the time to watch all 21 movies before Avengers: Endgame hits theaters, there are a handful you must watch: Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War.
However you decide to go about it, enjoy the journey as we approach the release of Avengers: Endgame.
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