Movies & TV

What’s The Best Way to Watch All The Marvel Films Before ‘Infinity War’?

Pre-game!
IMAGE Marvel Studios
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We are weeks away from Avengers: Infinity War, which hits theaters here in the Philippines on April 25 (a Wednesday, of course, with no advanced or midnight screenings). If you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at all (of course you are), you’re probably palpitating at the thought of this next film—the biggest of them all, and in spite all those memes, quite possibly the most ambitious crossover event in cinematic history.

To contain your anxiety for this next film (or perhaps to exacerbate it), it’s best to watch all the MCU movies ahead of the 25th. It’s a great way to catch up, and to make sure that by the time you actually get to see Infinity War, nothing flies over your head. The question, now, is in what order. Excluding the Marvel series by Netflix, ABC, and Hulu (which despite being included in the MCU canon, are collectively too long to catch up on before April 25), here are our recommendations:

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According to Release
Some purists might want to revisit the MCU films in order of their release dates. It’s may not be the ideal order for story immersion, but it’s true to how we actually experienced the movies in real life.

2008
Iron Man
The Incredible Hulk

2010
Iron Man 2

2011
Thor
Captain America: The First Avenger

2012
Marvel’s The Avengers

2013
Iron Man 3
Thor: The Dark World

2014
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of The Galaxy

2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ant-Man

2016
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange

2017
Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Thor: Ragnarok

2018
Black Panther

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According to The MCU Timeline
For the best continuity, you might want to take the historical approach and watch the movies based on their place in the Marvel timeline. It’s worth noting, though, that there isn’t an official timeline that explicitly points out the years in which each of the movies took place. We can, however, roughly determine the sequence based on the references they make to each other (excluding flashbacks).

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Captain America: The First Avenger
Iron Man
The Incredible Hulk
Iron Man 2
Thor
Marvel’s The Avengers
Iron Man 3
Thor: The Dark World
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of The Galaxy
Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ant-Man
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Thor: Ragnarok
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Black Panther

In Whatever Order You’d Like
If you aren’t much of a purist, and would just like to watch in the most satisfying order possible, just line ‘em all up however you think feels right. Here’s our version of that; our very own “Machete Order” for the MCU so far:

Iron Man
Captain America: The First Avenger
Iron Man 2
The Incredible Hulk
Thor
Marvel’s The Avengers
Thor: The Dark World
Iron Man 3
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Guardians of The Galaxy
Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Ant-Man
Captain America: Civil War
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Doctor Strange
Black Panther
Thor: Ragnarok

This order starts strong with Iron Man, the first MCU film and our introduction to Robert Downey’s Tony Stark, who eventually threads through a lot of the films and becomes the franchise’s main icon. The origin story of his counterpoint, Steve Rogers, comes next, followed by Iron Man 2, to cement Stark’s character development early on. Then watch The Incredible Hulk, as it happens around the same time as Iron Man 2 (if not just shortly after), but also because it builds up well to The Avengers (including a post-credits reference to the Avengers initiative). Then Thor comes next, as it directly transitions to The Avengers with a post-credits scene that shows the Tesseract in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s possession.

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After The Avengers, finish off the Asgardian arc with Thor: The Dark World before proceeding to Iron Man 3, in which Tony Stark’s PTSD would feel a little more organic now that it’s one movie removed from the events of New York. Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes next chronologically, but also perfectly transitions to Avengers: Age of Ultron, both because of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s crucial role, and the Winter Soldier post-credits scene with the Maximoff twins.

With Age of Ultron out of the way, take a break from the entire Earth arc and head to space, with two consecutive Guardians of The Galaxy films (which are consecutive in the timeline as well). It’s a good way to detach before getting to Ant-Man, which has a post-credits excerpt that will ease you back down to Earth in time for Captain America: Civil War.

Then go for something light with Spider-Man: Homecoming, which takes place directly after Civil War. For the home stretch to Infinity War, start with Doctor Strange, as it also takes place right after Civil War (with War Machine still nursing his injury), followed by Black Panther, to get familiar with Wakanda. Lastly, get back into the space arc with Thor: Ragnarok, which ends with an ominous encounter with Thanos’ ship. Once that’s done, get dressed and head to the theater to see all of it come together in Infinity War.

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Catch Avengers: Infinity War when it hits theaters on April 25.

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