Understanding Infinity War: Which MCU films should you watch?

Understanding Infinity War: Which MCU films should you watch?

As you may have noticed, we are massive fans of Infinity War over here. The film has been a long time coming and it definitely did not disappoint. In fact, it left us all to be merely a shell of our former selves. One moment you laugh and the next you will cry. Basically it is a rollercoaster of emotions. However, we do realise that not everyone is a massive Marvel fan, yet still wants to know what all the hype is about. As Infinty War is part of a serial, you will need to have some basic knowledge about previous films. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have seen all 18 Marvel films to get up to speed. Here’s a guide to the films you should see before going to Infinity War.

MCU Phases

The Marvel Cinematic Universe consists of three different phases, with the 2019 Avengers film starting Phase 4. Currently we do not know exactly which films will be part of Phase 4, although Spiderman 2 will be announced right after the next Avengers instalment. Furthermore, we can expect a sequel to Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy and of course Black Panther. The MCU started in 2008 with the release of Iron Man. Ever since that moment, the universe kept expanding. While the stand-alone films are watchable without having too much previous knowledge, the crossovers, of which Infinity War is one, do require some knowledge. Here’s a list of all different phases:

Phase 1

Understanding Infinity War: Which MCU films should you watch?

Iron Man (2008)

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Thor (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

Phase 2

Understanding Infinity War: Which MCU films should you watch?

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Ant-Man (2015)

Phase 3

Understanding Infinity War: Which MCU films should you watch?

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Doctor Strange (2016)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Black Panther (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Captain Marvel (2019)

Upcoming Avengers film (2019)

Which of these films should you watch before Infinity War?

It can be a bit daunting to see this list and wonder which films you should see so that you at least get the references.

Captain America: The First Avenger

If you are not familiar with the Infinity Stones, you should check this film out. In this film, they introduce the Infinity Stones, which are the objects everybody is obsessing over. The film also introduced the villain Red Skull, who has a cameo appearance in Infinity War.

The Avengers + Age of Ultron

When you have no clue who the Avengers are to begin with, you might want to check out the first two Avenger films. These films introduce the team, which is cool because you want to know who is who. Also, it is very important to see these films if you want to understand these characters and their motivations. Besides, in Age of Ultron, you can listen to James Spader as the bad guy and because that man has a fantastic voice, this should be reason enough.

Captain America: Civil War

This film is because it divides the Avengers right before the start of Infinity War’s events. It’s good to know why Tony Stark is hesitant to call Steve Rogers and why Steve has let that beard grow. The devil is in the details after all. It also explains why Cap and his friends were on the run for such a long time.

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange introduced us to the title character and also showed us the power of the Time Stone. That stone is essential to Thanos (the bad guy)’s plan to ruin basically everything. As Doctor Strange is a massive player in Infinity War, it is good to see this film to truly understand his powers.

Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2

While the previous films mentioned are important to understanding the MCU, they are still optional in some ways. The next few films we are going to mention are definitely films you have to see before venturing into Infinity War. The first two essential films are definitely Guardians of the Galaxy. It explains our villain Thanos and also dives into the complicated relationship he has with his adoptive daughters. Something very important to remember. Apart from that, these films are just very good and entertaining.

Thor Ragnarok

Ragnarok is another must-see. To understand the beginning of Infinity War and also large chunks of the rest of the film, you really should invest time in watching this one. It explains where the Hulk has been all this time. It also explains the loss of Thor’s hammer. And let’s not forget the relationship between Loki and Thor, which has been rather problematic in the past.

Black Panther

Considering Black Panther smashed box office records and is just a fantastic film which you should watch regardless, it is necessary to understand Wakanda and why it is so special. As seen in the Infinity War trailer, an important battle in the film takes place in Wakanda. To fully understand why Wakanda is so important, watching Black Panther is not even optional. I am surprised you haven’t seen it yet. What are you still doing here? Go out and watch this film!


We hope you enjoy watching these films before going into Infinity War. When you do, good lucjk. You will need it. Here are some tissues.



Article written by Ingrid

Ingrid is the twenty-something owner of The Sassologist, who loves everything that has to do with pop culture. While she is one of many who is in the process of writing a novel, she is also currently in denial over not being a witch. Her Hogwarts letter has yet to arrive. In the meantime she writes about pop culture and dreams about unicorns.

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