The 7 Most Important Movies in the MCU
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
After 11 years and 22 movies, the greatest undertaking in cinematic history is set to wrap with one more movie on the horizon. Sure, Avengers Endgame was more or less the ending we were all waiting, culminating into a battle sequence that Kevin Feige says his entire career was building toward. But, every great story needs an epilogue as well and that is apparently what Spider-Man: Far From Home is going to serve as. So, as we wait for the real final end to the Infinity Saga, I wanted to take a moment to break down the top 7 movies that made it all possible.
7. The Avengers
The first real test of what would become the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Avengers pulled off the biggest (at the time) team-up movie that no one thought would ever work. There’s not enough screen time to fill all those characters, who wants to watch the Avengers fight themselves? As it turns out, everyone did. The Avengers proved it could be done and introduced us, for just a brief moment, Thanos the Mad Titan.
6. Guardians the Galaxy
This isn’t a title I would’ve put on this list prior to Avengers Endgame. However, given that the final incarnation of Thanos comes from this era of movies, it’s important to include. Thanos in Infinity War was mad, perhaps cruel, but still sympathetic. He was a hero in his own story. The Thanos from this era was the true Mad Titan.
5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Besides being one of the best films in the MCU, the Winter Soldier is an important mark in Captain America’s story and feeds directly into the next entry on the list. This movie defines the way Steve Rogers acts and views himself and the other Avengers for the rest of their time in the MCU. The betrayal by SHIELD (Hydra) rocked Steve Rogers to his core, and made him realize the only ones he could trust were himself and the other Avengers.
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Age of Ultron, while not liked by most, serves the same purpose on this list that The Winter Soldier does, but for Iron Man. It also starts to set up some important plot points that become much clearer later on. (The origin of Scarlet WitchQuicksilver and by extension Captain Marvel). There’s also that ominous line that Ultron uses, “When the Earth begin to settle, God throws a stone at it.” We didn’t know how right he was.
3. Captain America: Civil War
Taking into account The Winter Soldier, Civil War was only going to end one way (the way it did). After the fall of SHIELD, Captain America was never going to trust another governing body to do the right thing or look after the world again. Tony and Steve would never have been on the same side of the Sokovia Accords and with the fracturing of the Avengers the events of Infinity War were inevitable.
2. Ant-Man and the Wasp
The Quantum Realm introduced briefly in the first Ant-Man had so much potential and I don’t think anyone really saw just how big it would be. Some early theories were that the Infinity Stones didn’t work in the Quantum Realm, that Thanos could be trapped inside of it. The final battle would happen there…but as it turns out, it’s just time travel. Or reality travel. Maybe both. Either way, without it, the heroes never would have had their second chance in Endgame.
1. Thor: The Dark World
Yes, arguably one of the most boring movies in the Infinity Saga is the most important on this list because it set in motion what would happen exactly 11 movies later. Up until this point there were theories and conspiracies and guess work, but until the post credit scene with The Collector none of us knew for sure what Marvel had been building toward. With the utterance of the first “Infinity Stone” we all knew at that moment exactly what was coming. *Snap*.
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