Short on time? Anthony Russo reveals the MCU movies you *have* to watch before Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame
Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

Avengers: Endgame is now only mere weeks away. I’m sure some of you are planning some major MCU marathons in that time, not unlike our own maddening attempt last year before Avengers: Infinity War, but that’s not going to be for everyone. Whether you don’t have the patience, or just want a quick cheat sheet before the final showdown with Thanos, co-director Anthony Russo has picked the two movies you have to watch to get caught up with the MCU before Avengers: Endgame.

Unsurprisingly, the younger Russo brother has picked some of his own MCU efforts, but for very good reasons. Speaking to Fandango, Anthony Russo explains that although “people who haven't seen anything [can still enjoy the movie]” there are two touchstones that everyone should get round to watching at some point before Avengers: Endgame rolls around.

“I would say, certainly, Civil War and Infinity War are probably the two biggest lead-ins to this movie,” says Anthony Russo. Avengers: Infinity War is, well, duh. That’s a direct prequel to Endgame, so you need to watch it, but Captain America: Civil War is a more interesting.

As Russo explains, it’s because “[Civil] War created the situation where the Avengers were divided,” and things obviously need to be patched up between Cap and Iron Man before they take on the Mad Titan.

But there’s also a few more MCU flicks you could focus on. The director suggests (wisely) sticking with his four-movie run of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Civil War, and then Infinity War, while also suggesting that “the previous Avengers movies also very much factor into this film.”

So, if you’re not keeping track, the essentials are, according to Anthony Russo:

  • The Avengers
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Avengers: Infinity War

The Avengers: Endgame ending isn't too far off, so let's take a look at the big questions leading into the grand finale.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.