Many MCU fans did a full franchise rewatch ahead of Avengers: Infinity War. That meant revisiting 18 movies, roughly ten years worth of Marvel Studios releases. Not an easy task, but far from an impossible one. That’s not the case anymore. As of this writing there have been 32 big screen entries in the series, with a whole lot more on the way. Wading through all of them again would take a whole lot of time. But do you even need to? If you’re not a completist, or simply want to/must cut back on your total viewing commitment, there are some you can omit on your next go-round. These are the nine MCU movies—including some of the best, most beloved in the series—you can now skip on a rewatch.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Right off the bat this list feels sacrilegious because we’re omitting the origin story for one of the MCU’s foundational characters. Plus, the movie is really good! But at this point there are few elements from Captain America: The First Avenger that still matter to the franchise’s future. And those do—like Bucky’s story—are explored in other entries. We gotta start somewhere, and the First Avenger is fittingly our first cut.
What to Do with the Time You Save Skipping Captain America: The First Avenger: Anything you want. And you can do it all day.
Iron Man 3
I’m an Iron Man 3 convert, but before Extremis played a minor role on the very forgettable Secret Invasion, what long term impact did this film have on anything that happened after? It ends with Tony destroying all of his extra suits, which he completely rebuilds by Civil War. His entire Iron Man 3 character arc is entirely undone immediately. None of the villains stuck around for future entries, either. The only real long-term impact came from Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery. He returned for more comic relief in Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings, a movie we’re not sure Disney even remembers it made.
What to Do with the Time You Save Skipping Iron Man 3: Read about why it should have been set at New Year’s Even instead of Christmas.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Forget being an Iron Man 3 convert. I am an Age of Ultron truther. The Avengers second film, arguably the one that most captures the feel of the team’s comic dynamic, is much better than it gets credit for. It also has the great James Spader as the titular sentient robot. But unless you just want to watch for pure enjoyment, the only thing you really need to remember from this film is what it means for Vision’s understanding of mankind. That gets covered in future films and shows.
What to Do with the Time You Save Skipping Avengers: Age of Ultron: Watch the Seinfeld episode Spader guest-starred on. It’s still hilarious and only 22 minutes.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Baby Groot, we’re sorry. We love you. We also love seeing Nebula take her first real steps towards becoming a hero. In fact, we love all the Guardians, including Mary Poppins, y’all. But if we’re looking to trim some time from a lengthy rewatch schedule we can leave out the second Guardians film, even if it’s still really good. Infinity War, Endgame, and their Holiday Special give us everything we need to know ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
What to Do with the Time You Save Skipping Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Dance off, bro.
If you’re angry seeing Tom Holland’s first solo outing included on this list, I don’t blame you. I personally think it’s the best of his three movies. So why is it on this list then? Because the character development Peter Parker undergoes in his next two installments are considerably more important. In Far From Home he has to deal with no longer having his mentor Tony around, and No Way Home marks the death of Aunt May. Everything important from this first film is also addressed in those films. And let’s face it, it’s not like we don’t spend too much time watching Spider-Man movies in general. There’s no shortage of friendly neighborhood Spider-people in our lives.
What to Do with the Time You Save Skipping Spider-Man: Homecoming: Reach out and thank a teacher you definitely scarred as a kid.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
There’s an argument to be made the original Ant-Man is more skippable, especially because the sequel introduces both generations of the Wasp to the superhero franchise. But Scott Lang is still too important to the MCU to omit his origin story. It also matters more to the events of Quantumania than his second movie. And since he series’ third installment also covers all of the important stuff you need to know from Ant-Man and the Wasp, if you pass over it you’re not really missing anything other than meeting Ghost, who won’t seemingly appear again until Thunderbolts. See, you forgot about Ghost! And now you already remember everything you need to know about her.
What to Do with the Time You Save Skipping Ant-Man and the Wasp: We’re not legally allowed to say try your hand at burgling, but we can say, “Try something new and exciting that might be a little dangerous.” Then get back to us in 3-5 years to tell us how it went.
Black Widow is a beautiful farewell to Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, an original MCU Avenger who sacrificed her life to save the entire universe. It also introduced Yelena and Red Guardian to the franchise, both of whom will return to the MCU soon. And yet, you don’t really need to watch this Infinity War prequel if you want to shorten your rewatch. It’s more a goodbye than another chapter in a story, and Yelena’s arc on Hawkeye covers her story.
What to Do with the Time You Save Skipping Black Widow: Visit Budapest, but for pleasure not work.
Remember anything that happened in Eternals? No? Me neither, which is weird because I remember going to the theater to see it. Did Disney use the Men in Black Neuralyzer on us collectively to erase it from out memories? The MCU itself certainly hasn’t done anything to remind us that movie existed. Until it does you can leave it off your rewatch list.
What to Do with the Time You Save Skipping Eternals: Watch Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao’s Best Picture triumph Nomadland, a movie you won’t be able to forget.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Unlike Eternals we remember everything about Thor: Love and Thunder. Only by leaving it off our MCU rewatch can we start to remedy that.
What to Do with the Time You Save Skipping Thor: Love and Thunder: Watch Thor: Ragnarok a second time.