We are T-minus 22 days until Avengers: Endgame hits theaters, and that gives fans just enough time to rewatch the 21 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date before The Infinity Saga comes to a close. You could do one movie a day, binge them, or you could take part in AMC’s epic 59-hour marathon. But if you don’t have time for that or you’re already committed to rewatching Game of Thrones (seriously, how awesome is April?) the Russo Brothers have suggested two MCU movies you should check out before Endgame. According to Anthony Russo:
It's a great question, and I will say we do work hard to make sure that the story works in a way that even people who haven't seen any thing [can still enjoy the movie] because we feel like that's very important. I think you see this movie after movie, the audience keeps growing for these films. So what that tells us is that people are seeing these movies who haven't seen the previous ones. So it's important that we are speaking to an audience that is perhaps seeing these stories for the first time. That being said, there's certainly an interconnected story being told. I would say, certainly, Civil War and Infinity War are probably the two biggest lead-ins to this movie in the sense that Civil War created the situation where the Avengers were divided.
Speaking to Fandango, Anthony Russo explains that he, his brother and Marvel endeavor to make sure that the MCU movies are accessible and can bring in new fans and they have been successful in that. The hope is that you could theoretically come in to watch Avengers: Endgame cold, why you would do that is a mystery but the idea is that you could.
Nevertheless, this is obviously a story many films in the making and if you wanted to only hit the bullet points to enter this world or refresh your memory before Endgame, you should watch Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. These picks make the most sense, as they are the last two MCU films the Russo Brothers directed. And that makes them natural primers for Avengers: Endgame.
That you should rewatch Avengers: Infinity War is obvious. These two films were originally conceived of as two parts of a giant film and Infinity War set up the cliffhanger that will need to be resolved in Endgame. You need to know or refresh your memory on Thanos, the Infinity Stones, how they Avengers fought and how and who they lost.
Anthony Russo also says that you should watch Captain America: Civil War because that was the movie that divided the Avengers. That was the first film out of the gate in Phase 3, and it set up the fractured nature of the heroes that continued through Avengers: Infinity War. When Bruce Banner came back to Earth in Infinity War he found out that the Avengers were no more.
The various teams in Infinity War weren’t the product of a divide and conquer strategy, they were the natural result of the heroes no longer communicating with one another and working together. Consider that they might have had more time to save Vision and destroy the Mind Stone if Cap and Co. weren’t in exile and knew about the threat sooner.
To defeat Thanos for good the Avengers must truly assemble and that means healing the deep wound suffered in Captain America: Civil War. We’ve already seen Cap and Tony reuniting in the trailers for Endgame, so that schism will clearly be addressed and if you don’t remember exactly how it happened in the first place, rewatching Civil War is a sound idea.