The most hyped movie of the year is almost here with Avengers: Age of Ultron, the latest in the highly successful and long lasting Marvel Cinematic Universe. Age of Ultron has already launched in many foreign territories, but the US release isn’t until this Friday, though most theaters are holding 7:00 pm showings on Thursday. If you are just like me, you love to properly prepare for major movies like this and there are lots of movies out there to watch if you want to fully be ready for Age of Ultron. As a result, I thought I would give you the full rundown of what movies you can watch and what order they should be watched.
First of all, this won’t go into the details of switching between movies like how certain movies had flashbacks and sections that take place far in the past. This will include the 10 movies that are out thus far, plus the Marvel One-Shots as well. With it being so close to release, I’m not going to include the TV series in the below list, but I’ll give a quick down. If you are seeing it late, basically know that Agent’s of SHIELD had a tie-in as a followup to Thor: The Dark World in episode 8, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier taking place at the same time as episodes 16 and 17.
Agent Carter obviously takes place after Captain America: The First Avenger, but may be better served to be watched later as well. The newest Daredevil doesn’t have any specific placement either, so that can be watched anytime. Without further ado, this is the best order to watch the Marvel movies and One-Shots to prepare for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- The Incredible Hulk
- The Consultant One-Shot
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer One-Shot
- The Avengers
- Item 47 One Shot
- Iron Man 3
- All Hail The King One-Shot
- Thor: The Dark World
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
This order provides the best way of navigating the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though you could technically also watch by release order if you really want. Captain America: The First Avenger serves as the best opener by setting up the world’s first superhero and what will eventually become SHIELD. Iron Man kicked off the MCU by release date and is the next chronologically by introducing us to Iron Man and an assortment of other important characters like Phil Coulson.
Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk technically take place at about the same time, as seen on the TV screens at the very end of Iron Man 2. However, the after credits sequence where Tony meets with Thunderbolt Ross is a follow-up to the end of Iron Man 2, with The Consultant One-Shot expanding on that meeting.
The ending to Iron Man 2 with Thor’s hammer also leads to the Thor’s Hammer One-Shot and then Thor itself. After being introduced through these movies comes The Avengers and the end of Phase One. This is followed up by the Item 47 One-Shot that is mostly separate, but is a nice little follow-up to Avengers.
Iron Man 3 is then the first of the Phase Two movies that deals with the personal fallout of Tony Stark following the Battle for New York. The final One-Shot, Hail to the King, is a must watch follow-up to Iron Man 3 that reveals more about the Mandarin.
Thor: The Dark World then comes and we get to see just what happens to Asgard after the return of Loki that came as a result of the events in The Avengers. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the most important of the Phase Two movies by far, as it sees the fall of SHIELD and introduces an entirely new status quo, complete with a teaser scene that is vital to Age of Ultron.
Guardians of the Galaxy is the one movie of the bunch that is basically completely separate from the rest and has no real impact on Age of Ultron, but for the completionists it has to be watched. It just is that good and is always worth watching again. With all of the movies and One-Shots under your belt, you will be ready for Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend.