‘Avengers: Endgame’: Which Marvel Movies Do You Need to Watch in Advance?

With the release of Avengers: Endgame coming up fast, some fans may wonder what Marvel movies they really need to see to be ready for the new movie, in which our crestfallen heroes must rally to defeat Thanos. After all, not everyone has the time or stamina to sit through a 59-hour marathon of 22 movies.

Avengers should be in the title – usually

It should go without saying at the very least one should see last year’s Infinity War. Marvel and directors Anthony and Joe Russo conceived these movies as a two-parter – basically one very long movie broken up in halves. Just don’t consume too much soda: the running time for Endgame is just a hair over three hours. That’s easily a record for a superhero movie, although not by much. The Dark Knight Rises ran for a mere two hours and 45 minutes.

Probably the second most important is Captain America: Civil War. Though it’s not titled as an Avengers movie, it may as well have been, since it featured almost all the key players and was directed by the Russos. It was also the movie that introduced Black Panther to the world before his standalone movie became a phenomenon. Most importantly, it set up the conflicts between Iron Man and Captain America that became the key driver for the events leading up to Infinity War.

And of course, it certainly won’t hurt to see The Avengers or Age of Ultron, just so you can say you’ve seen all the official Avengers movies. With those titles under your belt, confusion will be kept to a minimum.

Check out these other heroes too

If you want to go into Endgame really knowing your Marvel, it will help to catch up with these individual heroes movies:

Captain America:  The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier: Rumor has it that Endgame will feature Chris Evans’ final turn as Captain America, so it’s probably wise to catch up with the original Avenger’s story. The first movie was a fun World War II adventure, but many agree the second movie, a political thriller with spandex, is even better.

Black Panther: Wakanda’s heroes played a key role in the battle against Thanos, with one very important figure being a victim of the dreaded Thanos snap. And besides all that, many people consider this the Best Marvel movie of all. It was the one nominated for Best Picture. Not even The Dark Knight managed that.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Marvel’s outer space band of misfits played a big part of the MCU puzzle, since Thanos came from this corner of the cinematic universe. Both of that team’s movies are fun, but seeing how they got together will help the most if you’re preparing for Endgame.

Captain Marvel: This one ought to be easy since it’s still playing in theaters. Carol Danvers is Marvel’s most powerful hero, who may prove to be the key to defeating Thanos.

Iron Man: It’s the one that started this whole thing. Why not?

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could see the movies in chronological order too.

Marvel movies you don’t need to watch before ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Many agree that Marvel has been a well-oiled machine since Iron Man started this whole cycle way back in 2008, but there are a few of their movies you don’t really have to see.

Iron Man 2: Most agree that Tony Stark’s second movie fell victim to sequelitis. It has its moments, but it’s one of Marvel’s least essential titles. Its best asset was the introduction of Black Widow.

Thor: The Dark World: The god of thunder’s movies were the goofs of the Marvel universe before the Guardians of the Galaxy came along. Seeing his first movie certainly won’t hurt if you want to see all the character’s origins, but the second movie just didn’t stick in many fans’ memories for very long.

The Incredible Hulk: Not to be confused with the 2003 movie starring Eric Bana, this was Marvel’s second movie after Iron Man, and general consensus places this at the bottom of the Marvel barrel.

The cast on talk shows: It might be a good idea to stay away from late night TV, as the cast is prone to drop a spoiler or two.