As many are aware, Avengers: Infinity War is a culmination of 10 years and 18 films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Avengers: Infinity War (AIW) brings a multitude of characters together to battle to stop Thanos in his quest to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet and its Stones to eradicate 1/2 of the universe.
However, a good question came about as it was asked that if one hadn’t seen all of the Marvel films, what essential movies would one have to watch in order to understand AIW? Sure, some of you reading are probably saying that those people should just make time and watch them all but let’s be honest, there are plenty of movies within the 18 that aren’t exactly essential to understand AIW. I mean as much as I loved Black Panther and as much as it’s one of the biggest movies in the world, it’s actually one of the skippable movies. For those wondering why, outside of really setting up Wakanda, not much is added in the story that is essential to understanding the Infinity War story.
So, let’s take a look at what can be considered the movies that one would absolutely need to watch in order to understand AIW. Of course feel free to disagree later!
Captain America: The First Avenger – This movie setting-wise provides the groundwork for all of the other MCU movies. It introduces us to Captain America during World War II who becomes one of the founding members of the MCU’s Avengers, it introduces us to Red Skull whose actions have an impact later in AIW and the introduction of the Space Stone.
Iron Man – The movie establishes Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Avengers. We also get Tony Stark’s origin story and also leads us to…
Thor – This introduces Loki and Thor. This is essential because both play a huge role in…
The Avengers – It brings the first three major characters together, along with Hulk (yes, we will get to his movie later), Black Widow and several others. Along with finding out about the Space Stone we are also finally introduced to Thanos during the end credits. We also are introduced to the Mind Stone before it’s embedded in Vision’s head.
Thor 2 Dark World – This is the movie that introduces the Reality Stone in the form of the Aether. At the end the Reality stone is given to the Collector who appears in…
Guardians of the Galaxy – GOTG introduces us to Peter Quill, Rocket Raccoon and the rest of the crew. GOTG also establishes Gamora and her relationship with Thanos, which is essential to know about during the course of AIW. The Power and Soul Stones are introduced here as well. We also find out a bit about the Celestials, the creators of the Infinity Stones, in this movie.
Captain America: Winter Soldier – This movie shows what happened with Bucky after his disappearance in Captain America: TFA. It also lays the groundwork for Captain America: Civil War.
Avengers: Age of Ultron – AoU shows how the Mind Stone ended up in Vision’s head, and pushes the Avengers to the depths of break up as Steve Rogers and Tony Stark disagrees with how super powered beings and AI should be managed world wide.
Captain America: Civil War – Takes place right after the events of Avengers: AoU and shows the total breakdown of the Avengers team. Also introduces several other characters which will have major and minor roles to play in AIW.
Dr. Strange – This movie is essential to watch after CA:CW as key events in that movie are mentioned here in Dr. Strange. This is Dr. Strange’s origin movie as he plays a key character in AIW; not to mention the Time Stone is introduced here as well.
Thor: Ragnarok – Towards the end of this movie we find that as Hela is ravaging Asgard, Loki just can’t let go and things that were meant to be lost, are found again…kind of like The One Ring. Everything in the the last 45 minutes of the film, is crucial to the first hour of AIW.
There you have it, ladies and gents. All of the movies that you absolutely should watch leading up to Avengers: Infinity War. Yes, I know you are saying, “Well why not The Incredible Hulk?” While The Incredible Hulk is a first phase movie and one of the main Avengers characters, there is not much setup for the overall story about the Infinity Gauntlet or the formation of the Avengers. More to the point, this really isn’t an origin movie either. In The Incredible Hulk, it’s already shown that Banner has had his powers already and is just staying under the radar. If you are a Hulk fan, have at it but this movie really doesn’t add much. Same can be said as Spider-Man: Homecoming. Even Ant-Man, while a good origin movie that sets up a character that is seen in Civil War, isn’t essential in the overall story.
If there are any movies that you think should have been included on this list, please let us know in the comments below!