In 2008, Marvel Studios released Iron Man starring Robert Downey, Jr. The movie was a critical and commercial hit, but more than for its individual achievements, the movie is today lauded for being the first installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the biggest unified cinematic narrative in history (sure, there’s the James Bond franchise as well, but those stories are just from the same narrative universe, they’re not a single story). Marvel defined a new brand of lighter superhero movies that “opposed” Warner Brothers’ Batman movies (both Burton’s and Nolan’s) and the whole idea soon became a global phenomenon. In today’s article, we are going to talk about the total running time of the MCU and how you should watch those movies.
The total running time is exactly 3,015 minutes, which is 50 hours and 15 minutes. This means that it would take you a total of 2 days, 2 hours, and 15 minutes to watch the whole series.
What can you expect from our article? We are going to provide you with the ultimate guide to watching the MCU. You’re going to see a list of all the films and their running times, as well as a chronological watching order based on the in-universe timeline of the movies, since not all of them have been released in accordance with the in-universe timeline. We’re also going to discuss each movie individually and that’s about it. Enjoy!
This list is only going to include movies that form part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This means that the TV shows that are part of the MCU won’t be included in our list. This also means that Marvel-based movies that are not part of the MCU (like Sony’s Spider-Man and Venom movies, as well as the X-Men series) won’t be included, as they’re not part of the MCU continuity, despite Disney holding the rights to some of them.
How long would it take to watch all the Marvel movies?
If you were thinking of binge-watching the whole MCU, don’t think it is going to be an easy task. A fun one? Certainly, but the series consists of – at the moment of writing this article (with the Eternals and Black Widow being pushed back to 2021) – a total of 23 movies, each of which lasts about two hours on average. Doing a movie marathon is a demanding, albeit fun task, but deciding to do it with 23 movies is a truly heroic feat.
Now, let us see all of the movies and their running times:
(hours and minutes)
|Iron Man||2008||2 hours and 6 minutes||126|
|The Incredible Hulk||2008||1 hour and 52 minutes||112|
|Iron Man 2||2010||2 hours and 4 minutes||124|
|Thor||2011||1 hour and 55 minutes||115|
|Captain America: The First Avenger||2011||2 hours and 4 minutes||124|
|The Avengers||2012||2 hours and 23 minutes||143|
|Iron Man 3||2013||2 hours and 10 minutes||130|
|Thor: The Dark World||2013||1 hour and 52 minutes||112|
|Captain America: The Winter Soldier||2014||2 hours and 16 minutes||136|
|Guardians of the Galaxy||2014||2 hours and 1 minute||121|
|Avengers: Age of Ultron||2015||2 hours and 21 minutes||141|
|Ant-Man||2015||1 hour and 57 minutes||117|
|Captain America: Civil War||2016||2 hours and 27 minutes||147|
|Doctor Strange||2016||1 hour and 55 minutes||115|
|Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2||2017||2 hours and 16 minutes||136|
|Spider-Man: Homecoming||2017||2 hours and 10 minutes||130|
|Thor: Ragnarok||2017||2 hours and 13 minutes||133|
|Black Panther||2018||2 hours and 14 minutes||134|
|Avengers: Infinity War||2018||2 hours and 40 minutes||160|
|Ant-Man and the Wasp||2018||2 hours and 5 minutes||125|
|Captain Marvel||2019||2 hours and 3 minutes||123|
|Avengers: Endgame||2019||3 hours and 2 minutes||182|
|Spider-Man: Far from Home||2019||2 hours and 9 minutes||129|
So, based on this data, it would take you a total of 50 hours and 15 minutes to watch all of the 23 MCU movies; their total running time is, thus, at 3,015 minutes, which is a pretty long time if you look at it from any perspective.
If you want to binge watch the whole MCU, you would need exactly 2 days, 2 hours and 15 minutes, and that’s just the running time of the movies. Bathroom breaks, food restocking and taking in at least some sun are not included in this time, so if you want to do a proper marathon, it will take you even more than that.
The right order to watch all the Marvel movies
The above list presented the movies in the order they were released. Due to different production reasons, the internal chronology is not identical to the release of each of the movies. This is why we have decided to bring you the correct watching order of the Marvel movies so that you have an alternative way of approaching the whole series:
|Captain America: The First Avenger||2011||1942-1945|
|Iron Man 2||2010||2011|
|The Incredible Hulk||2008||2011|
|Iron Man 3||2013||2012|
|Thor: The Dark World||2013||2013|
|Captain America: The Winter Soldier||2014||2014|
|Guardians of the Galaxy||2014||2014|
|Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2||2017||2014|
|Avengers: Age of Ultron||2015||2015|
|Captain America: Civil War||2016||2016|
|Ant-Man and the Wasp||2018||2018|
|Avengers: Infinity War||2018||2018|
|Spider-Man: Far from Home||2019||2023|
NOTE: The movies were ordered by year in which the majority of the plot takes place. The complete plot was rarely set within the same year due to flashbacks and post-credits scenes being set earlier or later in the chronology.
So, if you want to follow the story as it developed in the movies themselves, this table provides you with the proper chronological order of the MCU movies. There might be some in-movie continuity issues, but the dates in this table are correct, as they have been confirmed by the producers, who thus corrected some of the in-movie errors present in the films.
As far as we are concerned, you can pick any watching order you like, since even the one based on the release dates fits into the general narrative and you won’t be confused while watching.
“The Infinity Saga” – Marvel’s three phases
Now that you’ve seen both lists, we are going to talk about the individual movies in more detail. This section is going to follow Marvel Studios’ official division into phases and is going to give an insight into phases 1-3, which are collectively known as “The Infinity Saga”. The movies are going to be ordered by production date and sorted into phases. This is what you can expect:
Phase One (2008-2013)
1. Iron Man (2008)
Release Date: May 2, 2008
Director: Jon Favreau
Screenplay: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway
Running Time: 126 minutes
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Terrence Howard (James “Rhodey” Rhodes), Jeff Bridges (Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger), Shaun Toub (Ho Yinsen), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts)
Tony Stark is in war-torn Afghanistan with his friend and military liaison, Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes, to demonstrate the new “Jericho” missile. After the demonstration, the convoy is ambushed and Stark is critically wounded by a missile used by the attackers. He is captured and imprisoned in a cave by a terrorist group called the Ten Rings.
Yinsen, a fellow captive doctor, implants an electromagnet into Stark’s chest to keep the shrapnel shards that wounded him from reaching his heart and killing him. Ten Rings leader Raza offers Stark freedom in exchange for building a Jericho missile for the group, but he and Yinsen know that Raza will not keep his word.
Stark and Yinsen secretly build a small, powerful electric generator to power Stark’s electromagnet and a prototype suit of powered armor to aid in their escape. Although they keep the suit hidden, the Ten Rings discover their hostages’ intentions and attack the workshop. Yinsen sacrifices himself while the suit fully charges. The armored Stark battles his way out of the cave to find the dying Yinsen, then burns the Ten Rings’ weapons and flies away, crashing in the desert and destroying the suit.
After being rescued by Rhodes, Stark returns home and announces that his company will cease manufacturing weapons. Obadiah Stane advises Stark that this may ruin Stark Industries. In his home workshop, Stark builds a more powerful version of his improvised armour suit.
Meanwhile, the Ten Rings gather the pieces of Stark’s prototype suit and meet with Stane, who has been trafficking arms to the Ten Rings and has staged a coup to replace Stark as Stark Industries’ CEO by hiring the Ten Rings to kill him. Stane has a massive new suit reverse engineered from the wreckage. Pepper Potts soon discovers that Stane hired the Ten Rings to kill Stark.
Stane’s scientists cannot duplicate Stark’s miniaturized arc reactor, so Stane ambushes Stark at his home and steals the one from his chest. Stark manages to get to his original reactor to replace it. Potts and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attempt to arrest Stane, but he dons his suit and attacks them. Stark fights Stane but is initially outmatched. The fight carries Stark and Stane to the top of the Stark Industries building, and Stark instructs Potts to overload the large arc reactor powering the building. This unleashes a massive electrical surge that causes Stane and his armour to fall into the exploding reactor, killing him. The next day, at a press conference, Stark publicly admits to being “Iron Man.”
In a post-credits scene, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury visits Stark at home, telling him that Iron Man is not “the only superhero in the world”, and explaining that he wants to discuss the “Avenger Initiative”.
2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Release Date: June 13, 2008
Director: Louis Leterrier
Screenplay: Zak Penn
Running Time: 112 minutes
Starring: Edward Norton (Bruce Banner / The Hulk), Liv Tyler (Betty Ross), Tim Roth (Emil Blonsky / Abomination), Tim Blake Nelson (Samuel Sterns), Ty Burrell (Leonard Samson), William Hurt (Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross)
At Culver University, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross meets with Dr. Bruce Banner, the colleague and boyfriend of his daughter Betty, regarding an experiment is meant to make humans immune to gamma radiation. The experiment fails. The exposure to gamma radiation causes Banner to transform into the Hulk for brief periods of time, whenever his heart rate rises above 200 beats per minute.
The Hulk destroys the lab and surrounding area, killing several people inside and injuring the General and Betty, and others outside. Banner becomes a fugitive from the U.S. military and Ross, who wants to weaponize the Hulk.
Five years later, Banner works at a bottling factory in Brazil, while searching for a cure for his condition. On the internet, he anonymously collaborates with a colleague known only as “Mr. Blue.” After Banner cuts his finger, a drop of his blood falls into a bottle, which is eventually ingested by an elderly consumer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, giving him gamma sickness. Using the bottle to track down Banner, Ross sends a special forces team, led by Emil Blonsky, to capture him. Banner transforms into the Hulk and defeats Blonsky’s team. After Ross explains how Banner became the Hulk, Blonsky agrees to be injected with a small amount of a similar serum.
Banner returns to Culver University and reunites with Betty. Banner is attacked a second time, tipped off by Betty’s suspicious boyfriend Leonard Samson, causing Banner to again transform into the Hulk. The ensuing battle outside the university proves futile for Ross’ forces, and they retreat, though Blonsky, whose sanity is faltering, attacks and mocks the Hulk. The Hulk severely injures Blonsky and flees with Betty.
After the Hulk reverts to Banner, Banner contacts Mr. Blue, who is actually acellular biologist, Dr. Samuel Sterns, who tells Banner he has developed a possible antidote. Sterns reveals he has synthesized Banner’s blood samples, which Banner sent from Brazil, into a large supply, to apply its “limitless potential” to medicine. Fearful of the Hulk’s power falling into the military’s hands, Banner wishes to destroy the blood supply.
A recovered Blonsky joins Ross’ forces for a third attempt to take Banner into custody. They succeed, and Banner and Betty are taken away in a helicopter. Blonsky stays behind and orders Sterns to inject him with Banner’s blood, as he covets the Hulk’s power. The experiment mutates Blonsky into the Abomination, a creature with size and strength surpassing that of the Hulk. He attacks Sterns, who gets some of Banner’s blood in a cut on his forehead, causing him to begin mutating as well.
Realizing that the Hulk is the only one who can stop the Abomination, Banner convinces Ross to release him. After a battle throughout Harlem, the Hulk defeats the Abomination by nearly strangling him to death, but spares his life. After having a peaceful moment with Betty, the Hulk flees New York.
A month later, Tony Stark approaches Ross at a local bar and informs him that a team is being put together.
3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
Release Date: May 7, 2010
Director: Jon Favreau
Screenplay: Justin Theroux
Running Time: 124 minutes
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Don Cheadle (James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Sam Rockwell (Justi Hammer), Mickey Rourke (Ivan Vanko / Whiplash), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts)
In Russia, the media covers Tony Stark’s disclosure of his identity as Iron Man. Ivan Vanko, whose father, Anton Vanko, has just died, sees this and begins building a miniature arc reactor similar to Stark’s.
Later, Stark learns that the palladium core in the arc reactor that keeps him alive and powers the armor is slowly poisoning him, and he cannot find a substitute. Growing increasingly reckless and despondent about his impending death, and choosing not to tell anyone about his condition, Stark appoints his personal assistant Pepper Potts as CEO of Stark Industries, and hires Stark employee Natalie Rushman to replace her as his personal assistant. Stark competes in the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, where he is attacked in the middle of the race by Vanko, wielding electrified whips.
Stark dons his armor and defeats Vanko, but the suit is severely damaged. Vanko explains his intention was to prove to the world that Iron Man is not invincible. Impressed by Vanko’s performance, Stark’s rival, Justin Hammer, fakes Vanko’s death while breaking him out of prison and asks him to build a line of armored suits to upstage Stark.
Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., approaches Stark, revealing that “Rushman” is Agent Natasha Romanoff and that Howard Stark was a S.H.I.E.L.D. founder whom Fury knew personally. Fury explains that Vanko’s father and Stark invented the arc reactor together, but when Anton tried to sell it, Stark had him deported. The Soviets sent Anton to the Gulag.
At the Expo, Hammer unveils Vanko’s armored drones, led by Rhodes in a heavily weaponized version of the prototype armor. Stark arrives to warn Rhodes, but Vanko takes remote control of all the drones and Rhodes’ armor and attacks Stark. Hammer soon gets arrested for breaking Vanko out of prison while Romanoff and Stark’s bodyguard Happy Hogan go after Vanko at Hammer’s factory. Vanko escapes, but Romanoff returns control of Rhodes’ armor to him. Together, Stark and Rhodes defeat Vanko and his drones. Vanko commits suicide by blowing up his suit, along with the defeated drones.
At a debriefing, Fury informs Stark that because of his difficult personality, S.H.I.E.L.D. intends to use him only as a consultant. Stark and Rhodes receive medals for their heroism. In a post-credits scene, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson reports the discovery of a large hammer at the bottom of a crater in a desert in New Mexico.
4. Thor (2011)
Release Date: May 6, 2011
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Screenplay: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne
Running Time: 115 minutes
Starring: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Selvig), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Anthony Hopkins (Odin)
In 965 AD, Odin, king of Asgard, wages war against the Frost Giants of Jotunheim and their leader Laufey, to prevent them from conquering the nine realms. The Asgardian warriors defeat the Frost Giants in Norway, and seize the source of their power, the Casket of Ancient Winters.
In the present, Odin’s son Thor prepares to ascend to the throne of Asgard, but is interrupted when Frost Giants attempt to retrieve the Casket. Against Odin’s order, Thor travels to Jotunheim to confront Laufey, accompanied by his brother Loki, childhood friend Sif and the Warriors Three. A battle ensues until Odin intervenes to save the Asgardians, destroying the fragile truce between the two races. For Thor’s arrogance, Odin strips his son of his godly power and exiles him to Earth as a mortal, accompanied by his hammer Mjölnir, now protected by an enchantment that allows only the worthy to wield it.
Thor lands in New Mexico, where astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster, her assistant Darcy Lewis, and mentor Dr. Erik Selvig find him. The local populace finds Mjolnir, which S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson soon commandeers. Thor seeks to retrieve it, but he finds himself unable to lift it and is captured. With Selvig’s help, he is freed and resigns himself to exile on Earth as he develops a romance with Foster.
Loki discovers that he is Laufey’s biological son, adopted by Odin after the war ended. Loki confronts Odin, who wearily falls into the deep “Odinsleep” to recover his strength. Loki takes the throne in Odin’s stead and offers Laufey the chance to kill Odin and retrieve the Casket. Sif and the Warriors Three, unhappy with Loki’s rule, attempt to return Thor from exile, convincing Heimdall, gatekeeper of the Bifröst to allow them passage to Earth.
Aware of their plan, Loki sends the Destroyer to pursue them and kill Thor. The warriors find Thor, but the Destroyer attacks and defeats them, prompting Thor to offer himself instead. Struck by the Destroyer and near death, Thor proves himself worthy by his sacrifice to wield Mjölnir. The hammer returns to him, restoring his powers and enabling him to defeat the Destroyer. Kissing Foster goodbye and vowing to return, he leaves with his fellow Asgardians to confront Loki.
In Asgard, Loki betrays and kills Laufey, revealing his true plan to use Laufey’s attempt on Odin’s life as an excuse to destroy Jotunheim with the Bifröst Bridge, thus proving himself worthy to his adoptive father. Thor arrives and fights Loki before destroying the Bifröst Bridge to stop Loki’s plan, stranding himself in Asgard. Odin awakens and prevents the brothers from falling into the abyss created in the wake of the bridge’s destruction, but Loki apparently commits suicide by allowing himself to fall when Odin rejects his pleas for approval. Thor makes amends with Odin, admitting he is not ready to be king; meanwhile, on Earth, Foster and her team search for a way to open a portal to Asgard.
In a post-credits scene, Selvig is taken to a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, where Nick Fury opens a briefcase and asks him to study a mysterious cube-shaped object, which Fury says may hold untold power. An invisible Loki prompts Selvig to agree, and he does.
5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Release Date: July 22, 2011
Director: Joe Johnston
Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Running Time: 124 minutes
Starring: Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Tommy Lee Jones (Chester Phillips), Hugo Weaving (Johann Schmidt / Red Skull), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Sebastian Stan (James “Bucky” Barnes), Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark), Stanley Tucci (Abraham Erskine)
In the present day, scientists in the Arctic uncover an old, frozen aircraft. In March 1942, Nazi officer Johann Schmidt and his men steal a mysterious relic called the Tesseract, which possesses untold powers, from the town of Tønsberg in German-occupied Norway.
In 1943, Steve Rogers is rejected for World War II military recruitment because of various health and physical problems. While attending an exhibition of future technologies with his best friend, Sgt. James “Bucky” Barnes, Rogers again attempts to enlist. Overhearing Rogers’ conversation with Barnes about wanting to help in the war, Dr. Abraham Erskine allows Rogers to enlist. He is recruited as part of a “super-soldier” experiment under Erskine, Col. Chester Phillips, and British agent Peggy Carter. Phillips is unconvinced by Erskine’s claims that Rogers is the right person for the procedure but relents after seeing Rogers jump on a grenade to save his comrades, unaware that it is a test.
Schmidt and Dr. Arnim Zola harness the energies of the Tesseract, intending to use the power to fuel Zola’s inventions, mounting an offensive that will change the world. Meanwhile, Erskine subjects Rogers to the super-soldier treatment, injecting him with a special serum and dosing him with “vita-rays”. After Rogers emerges from the experiment taller and more muscular, an undercover Kruger kills Erskine and flees with a vial of the serum. Rogers pursues and captures Kruger, but the assassin avoids interrogation by committing suicide with a cyanide capsule.
With Erskine dead and his super-soldier formula lost, U.S. Senator Brandt has Rogers tour the nation in a colorful costume as “Captain America”. In 1943, while on tour in Italy performing for active servicemen, Rogers learns that Barnes’ unit was MIA in a battle against Schmidt’s forces. Refusing to believe that Barnes is dead, Rogers has Carter and engineer Howard Stark fly him behind enemy lines to mount a solo rescue attempt. Rogers infiltrates the fortress of Schmidt’s Nazi division Hydra, freeing Barnes and the other prisoners. Rogers confronts Schmidt, who removes a mask to reveal a red, skull-like visage that earned him the sobriquet “the Red Skull”. Schmidt escapes and Rogers returns to base with the freed soldiers.
Rogers recruits Barnes and several others to attack other known Hydra bases. Stark outfits Rogers with advanced equipment, most notably a circular shield made of vibranium. Rogers and his team sabotage various Hydra operations, while he and Carter begin to fall in love.
In 1945, Barnes falls from the train to his apparent death after an assault on Hydra. Sometime later, Rogers leads an attack to stop Schmidt from using weapons of mass destruction on major American cities. During the subsequent fight, the Tesseract’s container is damaged. Schmidt physically handles the Tesseract, which opens a wormhole into space, sucking him into it. The Tesseract burns through the plane and is lost in the ocean. Seeing no way to land the plane without the risk of detonating its weapons, Rogers radios Carter and says goodbye to her before crashing in the Arctic. Stark later recovers the Tesseract from the ocean floor but is unable to locate Rogers or the aircraft, presuming him dead.
Rogers awakens in a 1940s-style hospital room. Hearing a radio broadcast of a baseball game that he attended in 1941, Rogers deduces that something is wrong. He flees outside and finds himself in present-day Times Square, where S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury informs him that he has been “asleep” for nearly 70 years. In a post-credits scene, Fury approaches Rogers and proposes a mission with worldwide ramifications.
6. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
Release Date: May 4, 2012
Director: Joss Whedon
Screenplay: Joss Whedon
Running Time: 143 minutes
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner / Hulk), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton / Hawkeye), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Selvig)
Loki encounters the Other, the leader of an extraterrestrial race known as the Chitauri. In exchange for retrieving the Tesseract, the Other promises Loki an army with which he can subjugate Earth. Nick Fury and his lieutenant Agent Maria Hill arrive at a remote research facility, where physicist Dr. Erik Selvig is leading a research team experimenting on the Tesseract. Agent Phil Coulson explains that the object has begun radiating an unusual form of energy. The Tesseract suddenly activates and opens a wormhole, allowing Loki to reach Earth. Loki takes the Tesseract and uses his scepter to enslave Selvig and a few other agents, including Clint Barton, to aid him in his getaway.
In response to the attack, Fury reactivates the “Avengers Initiative”.
In Stuttgart, Barton steals iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract’s power while Loki causes a distraction, leading to a brief confrontation with Rogers, Stark, and Romanoff that ends with Loki’s surrender. While Loki is being escorted to S.H.I.E.L.D., Thor, his adoptive brother, arrives and frees him, hoping to convince him to abandon his plan and return to Asgard. After a confrontation with Stark and Rogers, Thor agrees to take Loki to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s flying aircraft carrier, the Helicarrier. Upon arrival, Loki is imprisoned while Banner and Stark attempt to locate the Tesseract.
The Avengers become divided, both over how to approach Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to harness the Tesseract to develop weapons as a deterrent against hostile extraterrestrials. As the group argues, Barton and Loki’s other possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling one of its engines in flight and causing Banner to transform into the Hulk. Loki escapes after killing Coulson and ejecting Thor from the airship, while the Hulk falls to the ground after attacking a S.H.I.E.L.D. fighter jet. Fury uses Coulson’s death to motivate the Avengers into working as a team.
Rogers, Stark, Romanoff, Barton, and Thor rally in defense of New York City. Banner arrives and transforms into the Hulk, and together the Avengers battle the Chitauri while evacuating civilians. The Hulk finds Loki and beats him into submission. Romanoff makes her way to the wormhole generator, where Selvig, freed from Loki’s mind control, reveals that Loki’s scepter can be used to shut down the generator.
Meanwhile, Fury’s superiors attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Midtown Manhattan. Stark intercepts the missile and takes it through the wormhole toward the Chitauri fleet. The missile detonates, destroying the Chitauri mothership and disabling their forces on Earth. In the aftermath, Thor returns Loki and the Tesseract to Asgard, while Fury expresses confidence that the Avengers will return if and when they are needed.
In a mid-credits scene, the Other confers with his master about the failed attack on Earth.
Phase Two (2013-2015)
7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
Release Date: May 3, 2013
Director: Shane Black
Screenplay: Drew Pearce, Shane Black
Running Time: 130 minutes
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Don Cheadle (James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine), Guy Pearce (Aldrich Killian), Ben Kingsley (Trevor Slattery), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts)
At a New Year’s Eve party in 1999, Tony Stark meets scientist Maya Hansen, the inventor of an experimental regenerative treatment named Extremis that allows recovery from crippling injuries. Disabled scientist Aldrich Killian offers them a place in his company Advanced Idea Mechanics, but Stark rejects him. In December 2012, seven months after the battle of New York, Stark is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and is having frequent panic and anxiety attacks. Restless, he has built dozens of new Iron Man suits to cope with his insomnia, creating friction with his girlfriend Pepper Potts.
A string of bombings claimed by a terrorist known as the Mandarin has left intelligence agencies bewildered by a lack of forensic evidence. Stark’s security chief Happy Hogan is badly injured in one such attack, prompting Stark to boldly issue a televised threat to the Mandarin, revealing his home address in the process. The Mandarin sends gunship helicopters to destroy Stark’s home. Hansen, who came to warn Stark, survives the attack with Potts. Stark escapes in an experimental new Iron Man suit, which his artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S. pilots to rural Tennessee. Stark’s new armor is not fully functional and lacks sufficient power to return to California, leaving the world to believe him dead.
Stark investigates the attacks and discovers the “bombings” were triggered by soldiers subjected to Extremis whose bodies explosively rejected the treatment. These explosions were falsely attributed to a terrorist plot in order to cover up Extremis’s flaws. Stark witnesses Extremis first hand when Mandarin agents Savin and Brandt attack him: Stark kills Brandt and incapacitates Savin. Meanwhile, Killian resurfaces and kidnaps Potts with assistance from Hansen. American intelligence agencies continue to search for the Mandarin’s location.
Stark traces the Mandarin and infiltrates his headquarters. Inside, he discovers the Mandarin is actually an English actor named Trevor Slattery, who is oblivious to the actions carried out in his image. Killian reveals he is the real Mandarin behind Slattery’s cover. After capturing Stark, Killian reveals he has subjected Potts to Extremis in the hope Stark will help fix Extremis’s flaws while trying to save her. Killian kills Hansen when she tries to stop him.
Stark escapes and reunites with Rhodes, discovering that Killian intends to attack President Ellis. They trace Killian to an impounded damaged oil tanker where Killian intends to kill Ellis on live television. On the platform, Stark works to save Potts, as Rhodes goes after the President. Stark summons his remaining Iron Man suits, controlled remotely by J.A.R.V.I.S., to provide air support. Rhodes secures the President and takes him to safety, while Stark discovers Potts has survived the Extremis procedure; before he can save her, a rig collapses around them and she falls to the platform below, causing Stark to believe her dead. Stark fights Killian, but finds himself cornered. Potts, whose Extremis powers allowed her to survive her fall, intervenes and kills Killian to save Stark.
Stark orders J.A.R.V.I.S. to remotely destroy all the Iron Man suits as a sign of his devotion to Potts. With Stark’s help, Potts’s Extremis effects are stabilized; and Stark promises to scale back his life as Iron Man, undergoing surgery to remove the shrapnel near his heart and throwing his obsolete chest arc reactor into the sea. He muses that, even without the technology, he will always be Iron Man.
8. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Release Date: November 8, 2013
Director: Alan Taylor
Screenplay: Christopher L. Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Running Time: 112 minutes
Starring: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Selvig), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Christopher Eccleston (Malekith)
Eons ago, Bor, father of Odin, clashes with the Dark Elf Malekith, who seeks to unleash a weapon known as the Aether on the nine realms. After conquering Malekith’s forces, including enhanced warriors called the Kursed, on their home world of Svartalfheim, Bor safeguards the Aether within a stone column. Unknown to Bor, Malekith, his lieutenant Algrim and a handful of Dark Elves escape into suspended animation.
In present-day Asgard, Loki stands imprisoned for his war crimes on Earth. Meanwhile, Thor repels marauders on Vanaheim; it is the final battle in a war to pacify the Nine Realms following the reconstruction of the Bifröst. The Asgardians soon learn that the Convergence, a rare alignment of the Nine Realms, is imminent; as the event approaches, portals linking the worlds appear at random.
In London, Jane Foster and her intern Darcy Lewis travel to an abandoned factory where such portals have appeared, disrupting the laws of physics around them. Separating from the group, Foster is teleported to another world, where she absorbs the Aether. Heimdall alerts Thor that Foster has moved beyond his near all-seeing vision, leading Thor to Earth. When Thor finds Foster, she inadvertently releases an unearthly force, and Thor returns with her to Asgard. Odin, recognizing the Aether, warns that the Aether will not only kill Foster but that its return heralds a catastrophic prophecy.
Malekith, awakened by the Aether’s release, attacks Asgard. During the battle, Malekith and Algrim search for Foster, sensing that she contains the Aether. Thor’s mother Frigga is killed protecting Foster, and Malekith and Algrim are forced to flee without Foster. Despite Odin’s orders not to leave Asgard, Thor reluctantly enlists the help of Loki, who knows of a secret portal to Svartalfheim, where they will use Foster to lure and confront Malekith, away from Asgard. In return, Thor promises Loki vengeance on Malekith for killing their mother. With Volstagg and Sif stalling Asgardian soldiers and Fandral assisting their escape, Thor, Loki, and Foster head to Svartalfheim.
Loki tricks Malekith into drawing the Aether out of Foster, but Thor’s attempt to destroy the exposed substance fails. Malekith merges with the Aether and leaves in his ship as Loki is fatally wounded while killing Algrim. Thor, cradling Loki in his arms, promises to tell their father of his sacrifice.
Back on Earth, Thor and Foster learn that Malekith plans to restore the Dark Elves to dominance by unleashing the Aether at the center of the Convergence in Greenwich. Thor battles Malekith through various portals and across multiple worlds until one portal separates them, leaving Malekith unopposed on Earth. Thor returns in time to help his mortal comrades use their scientific equipment to transport Malekith to Svartalfheim, where he is crushed by his own damaged ship.
Thor returns to Asgard, where he declines Odin’s offer to take the throne and tells Odin of Loki’s sacrifice. As he leaves, Odin’s form transforms into Loki, who is alive and impersonating Odin.
In a mid-credits scene, Volstagg and Sif visit the Collector and entrust the Aether to his care, commenting that with the Tesseract already in Asgard, having two Infinity Stones so close together would be unwise. As they leave, the Collector states his desire to acquire the other five Stones. In a post-credits scene, Foster and Thor reunite on Earth, while somewhere in London, a frost monster from Jotunheim—accidentally transported to Earth during the final battle—continues to run amok.
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Release Date: April 4, 2014
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Running Time: 136 minutes
Starring: Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson / Falcon), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury)
Two years after the Battle of New York, Steve Rogers works in Washington, D.C., for the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. under Director Nick Fury, while adjusting to contemporary society. Rogers and Agent Natasha Romanoff are sent with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s counter-terrorism S.T.R.I.K.E. team to free hostages aboard a S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel from pirates. Mid-mission, Rogers discovers that Romanoff has another, secret task she has to do for Fury.
On his way to rendezvous with Maria Hill, Fury is ambushed by assailants led by a mysterious assassin called the Winter Soldier. Fury escapes to Rogers’ apartment, and warns Rogers that S.H.I.E.L.D. is compromised. Fury is gunned down by the Winter Soldier, before handing Rogers a flash drive containing data from the ship. Fury is pronounced dead during surgery, and Hill recovers the body. The next day, President Pierce summons Rogers to the Triskelion. When Rogers withholds Fury’s information, Pierce brands him a fugitive.
Rogers and Romanoff enlist the help of Sam Wilson, whom Rogers befriended, and acquire his powered “Falcon” wingpack. Deducing that S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jasper Sitwell is a Hydra mole, they force him to divulge that Zola developed a data-mining algorithm that can identify individuals becoming threats to Hydra. Rogers, Romanoff, and Wilson are ambushed by the Winter Soldier, who kills Sitwell. During the fight, Rogers recognizes the Winter Soldier as Bucky Barnes, his childhood best friend who supposedly fell to his death on a mission, but was actually captured and experimented upon after WWII.
After the World Security Council members arrive for the Helicarriers’ launch, Rogers broadcasts Hydra’s plot to everyone at the Triskelion. Romanoff, disguised as one of the Council members, disarms Pierce. Fury arrives and forces Pierce to unlock S.H.I.E.L.D.’s database so that Romanoff can leak classified information, exposing Hydra to the public. Following a struggle, Fury kills Pierce.
Meanwhile, Rogers and Wilson storm two Helicarriers and replace the controller chips, but the Winter Soldier destroys Wilson’s suit and fights Rogers on the third. Rogers fends him off and replaces the final chip, allowing Hill to take control and have the vessels destroy each other. Rogers refuses to fight the Winter Soldier in an attempt to reach his friend, but ends up being thrown out into the Potomac River. The Winter Soldier rescues the unconscious Rogers before disappearing into the woods. Rogers and Wilson decide to find the Winter Soldier.
In a mid-credits scene, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, at a Hydra lab, proclaims that the “age of miracles” has begun as scientists examine an energy-filled scepter and two test subjects: one with superhuman speed, the other with telekinetic powers. In a post-credits scene, Barnes visits his own memorial at the Smithsonian Institution.
10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Director: James Gunn
Screenplay: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Running Time: 121 minutes
Starring: Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Racoon), Vin Diesel (Groot), Dave Bautista (Drax), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Lee Pace (Ronan), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Benicio Del Toro (Collector)
In 1988, following his mother’s death, a young Peter Quill is abducted from Earth by a group of alien thieves and smugglers called the Ravagers led by Yondu Udonta. Twenty-six years later on the abandoned planet Morag, Quill steals a mysterious orb, but is attacked by forces of the fanatical Kree renegade, Ronan the Accuser. Although Quill escapes with the orb, Yondu discovers his theft and issues a bounty for his capture, while Ronan sends the assassin Gamora after the orb.
When Quill attempts to sell the orb, Gamora ambushes him and steals it. A fight ensues, drawing in a pair of bounty hunters: the genetically and cybernetically modified raccoon Rocket, and the tree-like humanoid Groot. Nova Corps officers capture the four, detaining them in the Kyln prison. An inmate there, Drax the Destroyer, attempts to kill Gamora due to her association with the powerful intergalactic warlord, Thanos, and Ronan, who killed his family.
Ronan meets with Gamora’s adoptive father, Thanos, to discuss her betrayal. Quill’s group flees to Knowhere, a remote lawless outpost in space built in the giant severed head of a Celestial. A drunken Drax summons Ronan while the rest of the group meets Tivan. Tivan opens the orb, revealing the Power Stone, an item of immeasurable power that destroys all but the most powerful beings who wield it. Ronan arrives and easily defeats Drax, while the others flee by ship, pursued by Ronan’s followers and Gamora’s adoptive sister Nebula. Nebula destroys Gamora’s ship, leaving her floating in space, and Ronan’s fighters capture the orb.
Quill contacts Yondu before following Gamora into space. Rocket, Drax, and Groot threaten to attack Yondu’s ship to rescue them, but Quill negotiates a truce, promising the orb to Yondu. On Ronan’s flagship, the Dark Aster, Ronan embeds the Stone in his warhammer, taking its power for himself. He contacts Thanos, threatening to kill him after first destroying Xandar; hateful of her adoptive father, Nebula allies with Ronan.
The Ravagers and Quill’s group join with the Nova Corps, with Quill’s group breaching the Dark Aster with the Milano. Ronan uses his empowered warhammer to destroy the Nova Corps fleet. Drax kills Korath and Gamora defeats Nebula, who escapes, but the group finds themselves outmatched by Ronan’s power until Rocket crashes a Ravager ship through the Dark Aster. Ronan emerges from the wreck and prepares to destroy Xandar, but Quill distracts him, allowing Drax and Rocket to destroy Ronan’s warhammer. Quill grabs the freed Stone, and with Gamora, Drax, and Rocket sharing its burden, uses it to vaporize Ronan.
In the aftermath, Quill tricks Yondu into taking a container supposedly containing the Stone, and gives the real Stone to the Nova Corps. As the Ravagers leave Xandar, Yondu remarks that it turned out well that they did not deliver Quill to his father per their contract. Quill’s group, now known as the Guardians of the Galaxy, has their criminal records expunged, and Quill learns that he is only half-human, his father being part of an ancient, unknown species.
In a post-credits scene, Tivan sits in his destroyed archive with two of his living exhibits: a canine cosmonaut and an anthropomorphic duck.
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Director: Joss Whedon
Screenplay: Joss Whedon
Running Time: 141 minutes
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner / Hulk), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton / Hawkeye), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), James Spader (Ultron), Paul Bettany (J.A.R.V.I.S. / Vision), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver)
In the Eastern European country of Sokovia, the Avengers—Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff, and Clint Barton—raid a Hydra facility commanded by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has been experimenting on humans using the scepter previously wielded by Loki. They encounter two of Strucker’s test subjects—twins Pietro, who has superhuman speed, and Wanda Maximoff, who has telepathic and telekinetic abilities—and apprehend Strucker, while Stark retrieves Loki’s scepter.
Stark and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter’s gem, and secretly decide to use it to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark’s A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters. Escaping with the scepter, Ultron uses the resources in Strucker’s Sokovia base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones. Having killed Strucker, he recruits the Maximoffs, who hold Stark responsible for their parents’ deaths by his company’s weapons, and goes to obtain Wakandan vibranium. The Avengers attack Ultron and the Maximoffs, but Wanda subdues them.
The Avengers fight amongst themselves when Stark and Banner secretly upload J.A.R.V.I.S.—who is still operational after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet—into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body, explaining based on his vision that the gem on its brow is the Mind Stone, one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence.
In Sokovia, the Avengers fight Ultron’s army while Fury with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to evacuate civilians. Pietro dies when he shields Barton from gunfire, and a vengeful Wanda abandons her post to destroy Ultron’s primary body, which allows one of his drones to activate the machine. The city plummets, but Stark and Thor overload the machine and shatter the landmass. In the aftermath, the Hulk, unwilling to endanger Romanoff by being with her, departs in a Quinjet, while Vision confronts and seemingly destroys Ultron’s last remaining body.
In a mid-credits scene, Thanos, dissatisfied by the failures of his pawns, dons a gauntlet and vows to retrieve the Infinity Stones himself.
12. Ant-Man (2015)
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Director: Peyton Reed
Screenplay: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd
Running Time: 117 minutes
Starring: Paul Rudd (Scott Lang / Ant-Man), Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne), Corey Stoll (Darren Cross / Yellowjacket), Michael Douglas (Hank Pym)
In 1989, scientist Hank Pym resigns from S.H.I.E.L.D. after discovering their attempt to replicate his Ant-Man shrinking technology. Believing the technology would be dangerous if replicated, Pym vows to hide it for as long as he lives. In the present day, Pym’s estranged daughter, Hope van Dyne, and former protégé, Darren Cross, have forced him out of his company, Pym Technologies. Cross is close to perfecting a shrinking suit of his own, the Yellowjacket, which horrifies Pym.
Upon his release from prison, well-meaning thief Scott Lang moves in with his old cellmate, Luis. Unable to hold down a job because of his criminal record, Lang agrees to join Luis’ crew and commit a burglary. Lang breaks into a house and cracks its safe, but only finds what he believes to be an old motorcycle suit, which he takes home. After trying the suit on, Lang accidentally shrinks himself to the size of an insect. Terrified by the experience, he returns the suit to the house, but is arrested on the way out. Pym, the homeowner, visits Lang in jail and smuggles the suit into his cell to help him break out.
Pym wants Lang to become the new Ant-Man to steal the Yellowjacket from Cross. Van Dyne and Pym train Lang to fight and to control ants. While Van Dyne harbors resentment towards Pym about her mother Janet’s death, he reveals that Janet, known as the Wasp, disappeared into a subatomic quantum realm. Pym warns Lang that he could suffer a similar fate if he overrides his suit’s regulator. They send him to steal a device that will aid their heist from the Avengers’ headquarters, where he briefly fights Sam Wilson.
Cross perfects the Yellowjacket. Lang, along with his crew and a swarm of flying ants, infiltrates the building during the event, sabotages the company’s servers, and plants explosives. When he attempts to steal the Yellowjacket, he, along with Pym and Van Dyne, are captured by Cross, who intends to sell both the Yellowjacket and Ant-Man suits to Hydra.
Cross dons the Yellowjacket and attacks Lang before Lang is arrested by Paxton. Lang overrides the regulator and shrinks to subatomic size to penetrate Cross’ suit and sabotage it to shrink uncontrollably, presumably killing Cross. Lang disappears into the quantum realm but manages to reverse the effects and returns to the macroscopic world. Seeing that Lang survived and returned from the quantum realm, Pym wonders if his wife is alive as well. Later, Lang meets up with Luis, who tells him that Wilson is looking for him.
In a mid-credits scene, Pym shows Van Dyne a new Wasp prototype suit and offers it to her. In a post-credits scene, Wilson and Steve Rogers have Bucky Barnes in their custody. Unable to contact Tony Stark because of “the accords”, Wilson mentions that he knows someone who can help.
Phase Three (2016-2019)
13. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Running Time: 147 minutes
Starring: Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton / Hawkeye), Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang / Ant-Man), Paul Bettany (Vision), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch), Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa / Black Panther), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson / Falcon), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier), Daniel Brühl (Helmut Zemo)
In 1991, the brainwashed super-soldier James “Bucky” Barnes is dispatched from a Hydra base to intercept an automobile carrying a case of super-soldier serum. In the present day, approximately one year after Ultron’s defeat, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson, and Wanda Maximoff stop Brock Rumlow from stealing a biological weapon from a lab in Lagos, causing an accident in the Nigerian city..
Thaddeus Ross, the U.S. Secretary of State, informs the Avengers that the United Nations (UN) is preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords, which will establish a UN panel to oversee and control the team. The Avengers are divided: Tony Stark supports oversight because of his role in Ultron’s creation and Sokovia’s devastation, while Rogers has more faith in his own judgment than that of politicians.
Meanwhile, Helmut Zemo tracks down and kills Barnes’ old Hydra handler, stealing a book containing the trigger words that activate Barnes’ brainwashing. At a conference in Vienna, a bomb kills King T’Chaka of Wakanda. Security footage indicates the bomber is Barnes, whom T’Chaka’s son, T’Challa, vows to kill. Rogers decides to try to bring in Barnes—his childhood friend and war comrade—himself. Rogers and Wilson track Barnes to Bucharest and attempt to protect him from T’Challa and the authorities, but all four, including T’Challa, are apprehended by the Bucharest police and James Rhodes.
Impersonating a psychiatrist sent to interview Barnes, Zemo recites the words to make Barnes obey him. He questions Barnes, then sends him on a rampage to cover his own escape. Rogers stops Barnes and sneaks him away. When Barnes regains his senses, he explains that Zemo is the real Vienna bomber and wanted the location of the Siberian Hydra base, where other brainwashed “Winter Soldiers” are kept in cryogenic stasis. Unwilling to wait for authorization to apprehend Zemo, Rogers and Wilson go rogue, and recruit Maximoff, Clint Barton, and Scott Lang to their cause. With Ross’s permission, Stark assembles a team composed of Romanoff, T’Challa, Rhodes, Vision, and Peter Parker to capture the renegades.
Stark’s team intercepts Rogers’ group at Leipzig/Halle Airport, where they fight until Romanoff allows Rogers and Barnes to escape.
Stark discovers evidence that Barnes was framed by Zemo and convinces Wilson to give him Rogers’ destination. They find that the other super-soldiers have been killed by Zemo, who then shows them footage that reveals that the automobile Barnes had intercepted in 1991 contained Stark’s parents, whom Barnes subsequently killed. Enraged that Rogers kept this from him, Stark turns on them both, leading to an intense fight, in which Stark destroys Barnes’ robotic arm, and Rogers disables Stark’s armor. He departs with Barnes, leaving his shield behind. Satisfied that he has avenged his family’s deaths in Sokovia from the Avengers’ actions by successfully fracturing them, Zemo attempts suicide, but he is stopped by T’Challa and taken to the authorities.
In the aftermath, Stark provides Rhodes with exoskeletal leg braces that allow him to walk again, while Rogers breaks his allies out of the Raft. In a mid-credits scene, Barnes, granted asylum in Wakanda, chooses to return to cryogenic sleep until a cure for his brainwashing is found. In a post-credits scene, Parker explores the features of the web shooters built for him by Stark.
14. Doctor Strange (2016)
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Director: Scott Derrickson
Screenplay: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Running Time: 115 minutes
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch (Stephen Strange / Doctor Strange), Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Karl Mordo), Benedict Wong (Wong), Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecilius), Tilda Swinton (Ancient One)
In Kathmandu, the sorcerer Kaecilius and his zealots enter the secret compound Kamar-Taj and behead its librarian. They steal a few pages from an ancient, mystical text belonging to the Ancient One. The Ancient One pursues the traitors, but Kaecilius and his followers escape.
In New York City, Stephen Strange, a wealthy, acclaimed, and arrogant neurosurgeon, severely injures his hands in a car crash, leaving him unable to operate. Strange learns about Jonathan Pangborn, a paraplegic who mysteriously regained use of his legs. Pangborn directs Strange to Kamar-Taj, where he is taken in by Mordo, a sorcerer under the Ancient One. The Ancient One demonstrates her power to Strange, revealing the astral plane and other dimensions such as the Mirror Dimension. She reluctantly agrees to train Strange, whose arrogance and ambition remind her of Kaecilius.
Strange studies under the Ancient One and Mordo, and from ancient books in the library that is now guarded by Master Wong. Strange progresses quickly, and secretly reads the text from which Kaecilius stole pages, learning to bend time with the mystical Eye of Agamotto. Mordo and Wong warn Strange against breaking the laws of nature, drawing a comparison to Kaecilius’ desire for eternal life.
Kaecilius uses the stolen pages to contact Dormammu of the Dark Dimension, where time is non-existent. The zealots attack the New York Sanctum, killing its guardian, but Strange holds them off with the help of the Cloak of Levitation, only to be critically injured during a skirmish. Upon returning to the Sanctum, Strange reveals to Mordo that the Ancient One has been drawing power from the Dark Dimension to sustain her long life, and Mordo becomes disillusioned with the Ancient One.
After a fight in the Mirror Dimension of New York, Kaecilius mortally wounds the Ancient One and escapes to Hong Kong. Before dying, she tells Strange that he too will have to bend the rules to complement Mordo’s steadfast nature in order to defeat Kaecilius. Strange and Mordo arrive in Hong Kong to find Wong dead, the Sanctum destroyed, and the Dark Dimension engulfing Earth. Strange uses the Eye to reverse time and save Wong, then enters the Dark Dimension and creates a time loop around himself and Dormammu. After repeatedly killing Strange to no avail, Dormammu finally gives in to Strange’s demand that he permanently leave Earth alone and take Kaecilius and his zealots with him in return for Strange breaking the loop.
Disillusioned by Strange and the Ancient One defying nature’s laws, Mordo renounces his sorcerer career and departs. Strange returns the Eye to Kamar-Taj and takes up residence in the New York Sanctum to continue his studies with Wong. In a mid-credits scene, Strange decides to help Thor, who has brought his brother Loki to Earth to search for their father, Odin. In a post-credits scene, Mordo confronts Pangborn and steals the mystical energy he uses to walk, telling him that Earth has “too many sorcerers”.
15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Director: James Gunn
Screenplay: James Gunn
Running Time: 136 minutes
Starring: Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Racoon), Vin Diesel (Groot), Dave Bautista (Drax), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Kurt Russell (Ego)
In 2014, Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Baby Groot are renowned as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign race, has the Guardians protect valuable batteries from an inter-dimensional monster in exchange for Gamora’s estranged sister Nebula, who was caught attempting to steal the batteries. After Rocket steals the batteries for himself, the Sovereign attacks the Guardians’ ship with a fleet of drones. The drones are destroyed by a mysterious figure, and the Guardians crash-land on a nearby planet. There, this figure reveals himself as Quill’s father, Ego, and invites Quill, Gamora, and Drax to his home planet. Rocket and Groot remain behind to repair the ship and guard Nebula.
Meanwhile, Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta and his crew, who have been exiled from the greater Ravager community for child trafficking, to recapture the Guardians.
Ego, a god-like Celestial that manipulated the matter around its consciousness to form this “home” planet, explains that he projected a humanoid guise to travel the universe and discover a purpose, eventually falling in love with Quill’s mother Meredith. Ego hired Yondu to collect the young Quill after Meredith’s death, but the boy was never delivered, and Ego has been searching for him ever since. He teaches Quill to manipulate the Celestial power.
Nebula arrives at Ego’s planet and tries to kill Gamora, but the pair reach an uneasy alliance when they discover a cavern filled with skeletal remains. Ego reveals to Quill that in his travels, he planted seedlings on thousands of worlds that can terraform into new extensions of himself, but they can only be activated by the power of two Celestials. To that end, he impregnated countless women and hired Yondu to collect the children, but killed them all when they failed to access the Celestial power. Under Ego’s influence, Quill helps him activate the seedlings, which begin to consume every world, but Quill fights back when Ego reveals that he gave Meredith the tumor that killed her due to the distraction she posed.
Mantis, Ego’s naïve empath servant, grows close to Drax and warns him of Ego’s plan. Gamora and Nebula also learn of the plan. The reunited Guardians find Ego’s brain at the planet’s core. Rocket makes a bomb using the stolen batteries, which Groot plants on the brain. Quill fights Ego with his newfound Celestial powers to distract him long enough for the other Guardians and Mantis to escape. The bomb explodes, killing Ego and disintegrating the planet. Quill loses his Celestial powers soon after Ego’s death. Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill and dies in the vacuum of space.
In a series of mid- and post-credit scenes, Kraglin takes up Yondu’s telekinetic arrow and control-fin; Ravager leader Stakar Ogord reunites with his ex-teammates; Groot has grown into a teenager; Ayesha creates a new artificial being with whom she plans to destroy the Guardians, naming him Adam; and a group of uninterested Watchers abandon their informant, who is discussing his experiences on Earth.
16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Release Date: July 7, 2017
Director: Jon Watts
Screenplay: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Running Time: 130 minutes
Starring: Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Zendaya (Michelle), Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Michael Keaton (Adrian Toomes / Vulture), Marisa Tomei (May Parker)
Following the Battle of New York, Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by the Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.), a partnership between Tony Stark and the U.S. government. Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons.
Eight years later, Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers by Stark to help with an internal dispute in Berlin, but resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger.
Parker quits his school’s academic decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons Toomes sold them, Parker returns to his Queens apartment, where his best friend Ned discovers his secret identity. On another night, Parker comes across Toomes’ associates Jackson Brice / Shocker and Herman Schultz selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis.
Parker saves Davis before being caught by Toomes and dropped in a lake, nearly drowning after becoming tangled in a parachute built into his suit. He is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker and warns him against further involvement with the criminals. Toomes accidentally kills Brice with one of their weapons, and Schultz becomes the new Shocker.
Parker and Ned study a weapon Brice left behind, removing its power core. When a tracking device on Schultz leads to Maryland, Parker rejoins the decathlon team and accompanies them to Washington, D.C. for their national tournament. Ned and Parker disable the tracker Stark implanted in the Spider-Man suit, and unlock its advanced features. Parker tries to stop Toomes from stealing weapons from a D.O.D.C. truck, but is trapped inside, causing him to miss the decathlon tournament. When he discovers that the power core is an unstable Chitauri grenade, Parker races to the Washington Monument, where the core explodes and traps Ned and their friends in an elevator. Evading local authorities, Parker saves his friends, including his classmate and crush Liz. Returning to New York City,
Parker persuades Davis to reveal Toomes’ whereabouts. Aboard the Staten Island Ferry, Parker captures Toomes’ new buyer Mac Gargan, but Toomes escapes and a malfunctioning weapon tears the ferry in half. Stark helps Parker save the passengers and confiscates his suit as punishment for his recklessness.
Parker returns to his high school life, and eventually asks Liz to go to the homecoming dance with him. On the night of the dance, Parker discovers that Toomes is Liz’s dad. Deducing Parker’s secret identity from Liz’s account about him, Toomes threatens retaliation if he continues to interfere with his plans. During the dance, Parker realizes Toomes is planning to hijack a D.O.D.C. plane transporting weapons from Avengers Tower to the team’s new headquarters, dons his old homemade Spider-Man suit, and races to Toomes’ lair. Though he is ambushed by Schultz, he defeats him with Ned’s help.
At the lair, Toomes destroys the building’s support beams and leaves Parker to die. Parker escapes the rubble and intercepts the plane, steering it to crash on the beach near Coney Island. He and Toomes continue fighting, ending with Parker saving Toomes’ life after the damaged Vulture suit explodes, and leaving him for the police along with the plane’s cargo. After her father’s arrest, Liz moves away, Parker declines an invitation from Stark to join the Avengers full-time, and Stark proposes to Pepper Potts. He also returns the Spider-Man suit to Parker, who puts it on in his bedroom just as his Aunt May walks in.
In a mid-credits scene, an incarcerated Gargan approaches Toomes in prison, saying he has heard that the latter knows Spider-Man’s real identity, which Toomes denies.
17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Release Date: November 3, 2017
Director: Taika Waititi
Screenplay: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher L. Yost
Running Time: 133 minutes
Starring: Chris Hemstowrth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner / Hulk), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Karl Urban (Skurge)
Two years after the battle of Sokovia, Thor is imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur, who reveals that Thor’s father Odin is no longer on Asgard. He explains that the realm will soon be destroyed during the prophesied Ragnarök, once Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns in Odin’s vault. Thor frees himself, defeats Surtur and takes his crown, believing he has prevented Ragnarök.
Thor returns to Asgard to find Heimdall gone and his estranged brother Loki posing as Odin. After exposing Loki, Thor forces him to help find their father, and with directions from Stephen Strange at the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, they locate Odin in Norway. Odin explains that he is dying, Ragnarök is imminent despite Thor’s efforts to prevent it, and his passing will free his firstborn child, Hela, from a prison she was sealed in long ago.
Hela was the leader of Asgard’s armies, conquering the Nine Realms with Odin, but Odin imprisoned her and wrote her out of history after fearing that she had become too ambitious and powerful. Odin dies as Thor and Loki look on, and Hela appears, destroying Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. She pursues the two as they attempt to flee through the Bifröst Bridge, forcing them out into space. Arriving in Asgard, she defeats its army and kills the Warriors Three. She then resurrects the ancient dead who once fought with her, including her giant wolf Fenris, and appoints the Asgardian Skurge as her executioner. Hela plans to use the Bifröst to expand Asgard’s empire, but Heimdall sneaks in, takes the sword that controls the Bridge and begins hiding other Asgardians.
Thor crash-lands on Sakaar, a garbage planet. A slave trader designated Scrapper 142 subdues him with an obedience disk and sells him as a gladiator to Sakaar’s ruler, the Grandmaster, with whom Loki has already ingratiated himself. Thor recognizes 142 as a Valkyrie. Thor is forced to compete in the Grandmaster’s Contest of Champions, facing his old friend Hulk. Summoning lightning, Thor gets the upper hand, but the Grandmaster sabotages the fight to ensure Hulk’s victory.
The Grandmaster orders 142 and Loki to find Thor and Hulk, but the pair come to blows and Loki forces her to relive the deaths of her Valkyrie companions at the hands of Hela. Deciding to help Thor, she takes Loki captive. Unwilling to be left behind, Loki provides the group with the means to steal one of the Grandmaster’s ships. They then liberate the other gladiators who, incited by two aliens named Korg and Miek, stage a revolution. Loki again attempts to betray his brother, but Thor anticipates this and leaves him behind, where Korg, Miek, and the gladiators soon find him.
Thor, Banner, and 142 escape through a wormhole to Asgard, where Hela’s forces are attacking Heimdall and the remaining Asgardians. Banner transforms into Hulk again, defeating Fenris, while Thor and 142 fight Hela and her warriors. Loki and the gladiators arrive to rescue the citizens, and a repentant Skurge sacrifices himself to enable their escape. Thor, facing Hela, loses his right eye and then has a vision of Odin that helps him realize only Ragnarök can stop her. He sends Loki to retrieve Surtur’s crown and place it in the Eternal Flame. Surtur is reborn and destroys Asgard, killing Hela and himself, as the refugees flee.
Aboard the Grandmaster’s spaceship, Thor, now king, reconciles with Loki and decides to take his people to Earth. In a mid-credits scene, they are intercepted by a large spacecraft. In a post-credits scene, the overthrown Grandmaster is confronted by his former subjects.
18. Black Panther (2018)
Release Date: February 16, 2018
Director: Ryan Coogler
Screenplay: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Running Time: 134 minutes
Starring: Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa / Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (N’Jadaka / Killmonger), Andy Serkis (Ulysses Klaue), Lupita Nyongo’o (Nakia), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Winston Duke (M’Baku), Forrest Whitaker (Zuri)
Following T’Chaka’s death, his son T’Challa returns to Wakanda to assume the throne. He and Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje regiment, extract T’Challa’s ex-lover Nakia from an undercover assignment so she can attend his coronation ceremony with his mother Ramonda and younger sister Shuri. At the ceremony, the Jabari Tribe’s leader M’Baku challenges T’Challa for the crown in ritual combat. T’Challa defeats M’Baku and persuades him to yield rather than die.
When Ulysses Klaue and his accomplice Erik Stevens steal a Wakandan artifact from a London museum, T’Challa’s friend and Okoye’s lover W’Kabi urges him to bring Klaue back alive. A firefight erupts, and Klaue attempts to flee but is caught by T’Challa, who reluctantly releases him to the CIA’s custody. Klaue tells agent Ross that Wakanda’s international image is a front for a technologically advanced civilization. Erik attacks and extracts Klaue as Ross is gravely injured protecting Nakia. Rather than pursue Klaue, T’Challa takes Ross to Wakanda, where their technology can save him.
Meanwhile, Killmonger kills Klaue and takes his body to Wakanda. He is brought before the tribal elders, revealing his identity to be N’Jadaka and claim to the throne. Killmonger challenges T’Challa to ritual combat, where he kills Zuri, defeats T’Challa, and hurls him over a waterfall to his presumed death. Killmonger ingests the heart-shaped herb and orders the rest incinerated, but Nakia extracts one first. Killmonger, supported by W’Kabi and his army, prepares to distribute shipments of Wakandan weapons to operatives around the world.
Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda, and Ross flee to the Jabari Tribe for aid. They find a comatose T’Challa, rescued by the Jabari in repayment for sparing M’Baku’s life. Healed by Nakia’s herb, T’Challa returns to fight Killmonger, who dons his own Black Panther suit. W’Kabi and his army fight Shuri, Nakia, and the Dora Milaje, while Ross remotely pilots a jet and shoots down planes carrying the vibranium weapons. M’Baku and the Jabari arrive to reinforce T’Challa. Confronted by Okoye, W’Kabi and his army stand down. Fighting in Wakanda’s vibranium mine, T’Challa disrupts Killmonger’s suit and stabs him. Killmonger refuses to be healed, choosing to die a free man rather than be incarcerated; T’Challa takes him to the waterfall where they fought, where Killmonger dies peacefully.
T’Challa establishes an outreach center at the building where N’Jobu died, to be run by Nakia and Shuri. In a mid-credits scene, T’Challa appears before the United Nations to reveal Wakanda’s true nature to the world. In a post-credits scene, Shuri helps Bucky Barnes with his recovery.
19. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Release Date: April 27, 2018
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Running Time: 160 minutes
Starring: Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton / Hawkeye), Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang / Ant-Man), Paul Bettany (Vision), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch), Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa / Black Panther), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson / Falcon), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier), Benedict Cumberbatch (Stephen Strange / Doctor Strange), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Starl-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Racoon), Vin Diesel (Groot), Dave Bautista (Drax), Josh Brolin (Thanos)
Having acquired the Power Stone, Thanos and his lieutenants—Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive—intercept the spaceship carrying the survivors of Asgard’s recent destruction. As they extract the Space Stone from the Tesseract, Thanos subdues Thor, overpowers Hulk, and kills Loki. Thanos also kills Heimdall after he sends Hulk to Earth using the Bifröst. Thanos and his lieutenants depart, destroying the ship.
Hulk crash-lands in the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, reverting to the form of Bruce Banner. He warns Stephen Strange and Wong about Thanos’ plan to destroy half of all life in the universe, and they recruit Tony Stark. Maw and Obsidian arrive to retrieve the Time Stone from Strange, drawing the attention of Peter Parker. Maw is unable to take the Time Stone due to an enchantment and captures Strange instead. Stark and Parker sneak aboard Maw’s spaceship while Wong stays behind to guard the Sanctum.
Midnight and Glaive ambush Wanda Maximoff and Vision in order to retrieve the Mind Stone in Vision’s forehead. Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Sam Wilson rescue them and they take shelter with James Rhodes and Banner at the Avengers compound. Vision asks Maximoff to destroy him and the Mind Stone to keep Thanos from retrieving it, but Maximoff refuses. Rogers suggests they travel to Wakanda, which he believes has the resources to remove the Stone without killing Vision.
The Guardians of the Galaxy respond to a distress call from the Asgardian ship and rescue Thor, who surmises that Thanos is currently going after the Reality Stone, which is in the possession of the Collector on Knowhere. Rocket and Groot accompany Thor to Nidavellir, where they and Eitri create Stormbreaker. On Knowhere, Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, and Mantis find Thanos with the Reality Stone already in his possession. Thanos kidnaps Gamora, his adopted daughter, who reveals the Soul Stone is on Vormir in order to save her captive adopted sister, Nebula, from torture. On Vormir, the Stone’s keeper, Red Skull, tells Thanos that he can only acquire it by sacrificing someone he loves. Thanos kills Gamora, earning the Stone.
On Titan, Thanos’ homeworld, Doctor Strange uses the Time Stone to view millions of possible futures, seeing only one in which Thanos loses. The group forms a plan to subdue Thanos and remove the Infinity Gauntlet, which he uses to house the Stones. Thanos appears and justifies his plans as necessary to ensure the survival of a universe threatened by overpopulation. Nebula arrives soon after, and helps the others subdue Thanos until she deduces that Thanos has killed Gamora. Enraged, Quill attacks Thanos, inadvertently allowing him to break the group’s hold and overpower them. Thanos grievously wounds Stark, but spares him after Strange surrenders the Time Stone to him.
In Wakanda, Rogers reunites with Bucky Barnes before Thanos’ army invades. The Avengers, alongside T’Challa and the Wakandan forces, mount a defense while Shuri works to extract the Mind Stone from Vision. Thor, Rocket, and Groot arrive to reinforce the Avengers. Midnight, Obsidian, and Glaive are killed and their army is routed, but Shuri is unable to complete the extraction before Thanos arrives. Maximoff destroys the Mind Stone and Vision, but Thanos uses the Time Stone to reverse her actions and rips the repaired Mind Stone from Vision’s forehead, killing him. Thor severely wounds Thanos with Stormbreaker, but Thanos activates the completed Gauntlet by snapping his fingers before teleporting away.
Half of all life across the universe disintegrates, including Barnes, T’Challa, Groot, Maximoff, Wilson, Mantis, Drax, Quill, Strange, and Parker, as well as Maria Hill and Nick Fury, although Fury is able to transmit an emergency signal on a modified pager. Stark and Nebula remain stranded on Titan while Banner, M’Baku, Okoye, Rhodes, Rocket, Rogers, Romanoff, and Thor are left on the Wakandan battlefield. Meanwhile, Thanos watches a sunrise on a peaceful planet.
20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Release Date: July 6, 2018
Director: Peyton Reed
Screenplay: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Running Time: 125 minutes
Starring: Paul Rudd (Scott Lang / Ant-Man), Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne / Wasp), Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet van Dyne), Michael Douglas (Hank Pym), Hannah John-Kamen (Ava Starr / Ghost)
Two years after Scott Lang was placed under house arrest due to his involvement with the Avengers, in violation of the Sokovia Accords, Hank Pym and his daughter Hope van Dyne briefly manage to open a tunnel to the quantum realm. They believe Pym’s wife Janet van Dyne might be trapped there after shrinking to sub-atomic levels in 1987. When he had previously visited the quantum realm, Lang had unknowingly become quantumly entangled with Janet, and now he receives an apparent message from her.
With only days left of house arrest, Lang contacts Pym about Janet, despite the strained relationship they have because of Lang’s actions with the Avengers. Hope and Pym kidnap Lang, leaving a large ant with Lang’s ankle-monitor on as a decoy so as not to arouse suspicions. The trio work to build a stable quantum tunnel so they can retrieve Janet. They arrange to buy a part dealer Sonny Burch, who ultimately double-crosses them. Donning the Wasp outfit, Hope fights off Burch and his men until she is attacked by a quantumly unstable masked woman. Lang tries to help fight off this “ghost”, but the woman escapes with Pym’s lab.
Pym reluctantly takes Hope and Lang to visit his estranged former partner Bill Foster, who helps them locate the lab. The ghost captures the trio and reveals herself to be Ava Starr. Her father, Elihas, another of Pym’s former partners, died along with his wife during the experiment that caused Ava’s unstable state. Foster reveals that Ava is dying and in constant pain as a result of her condition, and they plan to cure her using Janet’s quantum energy. Believing that this will kill Janet, Pym refuses to help them and escapes with Hope, Lang, and the lab.
Opening a stable version of the tunnel, Pym, Hope, and Lang are able to contact Janet, who gives them a precise location to find her but warns that they only have two hours before the unstable nature of the realm separates them for a century.
Lang is soon able to help Pym and Hope escape custody, and they find the lab. Lang and Hope distract Ava while Pym enters the quantum realm to retrieve Janet, whom he finds alive. Meanwhile, Lang and Hope are confronted by Burch and his men, and following a lengthy chase, Ava regains control of the lab, allowing her to begin taking Janet’s energy by force. Luis, Dave, and Kurt incapacitate Burch and his men so that Lang and Hope can stop Ava. Pym and Janet return safely from the quantum realm, and Janet voluntarily gives some of her energy to Ava to temporarily stabilize her.
Lang returns home once again, in time for a now-suspicious Woo to release him at the end of his house arrest. Ava and Foster go into hiding. In a mid-credits scene, Pym, Lang, Hope, and Janet plan to harvest quantum energy to help Ava remain stable. While Lang is in the quantum realm doing this, the other three turn to dust.
21. Captain Marvel (2019)
Release Date: March 8, 2019
Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Screenplay: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet
Running Time: 123 minutes
Starring: Brie Larson (Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel), Jude Law (Yon-Rogg), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Ben Mendelsohn (Talos), Lee Pace (Ronan)
In 1995, on the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala, Starforce member Vers suffers from amnesia and recurring nightmares involving an older woman. Yon-Rogg, her mentor and commander, trains her to control her abilities while the Supreme Intelligence, the artificial intelligence that rules the Kree, urges her to keep her emotions in check.
During a mission to rescue an undercover operative infiltrating a group of Skrulls, alien shapeshifters with whom the Kree are at war, Vers is captured by Skrull commander Talos. A probe of Vers’s memories leads them to Earth. Vers escapes and crash-lands in Los Angeles. Her presence attracts S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, whose investigation is interrupted by a Skrull attack. In the ensuing chase, Vers recovers a crystal containing her extracted memories while Fury kills a Skrull impersonating Coulson. Talos, disguised as Fury’s boss Keller, orders Fury to work with Vers and keep tabs on her.
Using her extracted memories, Vers and Fury go to the Project Pegasus installation at a U.S. Air Force base. They discover Vers was a pilot presumed to have died in 1989 while testing an experimental light-speed engine. Fury soon discovers Talos’s ruse and helps Vers escape in a cargo jet with Lawson’s stowaway cat Goose. They fly to meet former pilot Maria Rambeau, the last person to see Vers and Lawson alive.
Rambeau and her daughter Monica reveal that Vers is Carol Danvers, who was once like family to them. Talos, arriving unarmed, explains that the Skrulls are refugees searching for a new home and that Lawson was Mar-Vell, a renegade Kree scientist helping them.
Danvers, Talos, Fury, and Rambeau locate Lawson’s cloaked laboratory orbiting Earth, where Lawson hid several Skrulls, including Talos’s family, and the Tesseract, the power source of Lawson’s engine. There, Danvers is captured by Starforce and interfaces with the Supreme Intelligence. During their conversation, Danvers removes the Kree implant that was suppressing her powers, allowing her to reach her full potential. In the subsequent battle, Fury retrieves Goose, who is revealed to be an alien Flerken. Goose swallows the Tesseract and scratches Fury, blinding his left eye. Danvers destroys a Kree bomber, forcing Kree officer Ronan the Accuser and his squadron to retreat, before overpowering Yon-Rogg on Earth and sending him back to Hala with a warning to the Supreme Intelligence.
Danvers departs to help the Skrulls find a new homeworld, leaving Fury a modified pager to contact her in an emergency. Meanwhile, Fury drafts an initiative to locate heroes like Danvers, naming it after her Air Force call sign, “Avenger”. In a mid-credits scene, set in 2018, the activated pager is being monitored by the Avengers when Danvers appears. In a post-credits scene, Goose climbs onto Fury’s desk and regurgitates the Tesseract.
22. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Release Date: April 26, 2019
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Running Time: 182 minutes
Starring: Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton / Hawkeye), Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang / Ant-Man), Paul Bettany (Vision), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch), Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa / Black Panther), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson / Falcon), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier), Benedict Cumberbatch (Stephen Strange / Doctor Strange), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Starl-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Racoon), Vin Diesel (Groot), Dave Bautista (Drax), Brie Larson (Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel), Josh Brolin (Thanos)
Twenty-three days after Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to disintegrate half of all life in the universe, Carol Danvers rescues Tony Stark and Nebula from deep space and returns them to Earth, where they reunite with the remaining Avengers—Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, Thor, Natasha Romanoff, and James Rhodes—and Rocket. Locating Thanos on an uninhabited planet, they plan to use the Infinity Stones to reverse “the Snap”, but Thanos reveals he destroyed the Stones to prevent further use. Enraged, Thor decapitates Thanos.
Five years later, Scott Lang escapes from the quantum realm. At the Avengers’ compound, he explains to Romanoff and Rogers he experienced five hours, not years, while trapped. Theorizing the quantum realm could allow time travel, they ask Stark to help them obtain the Stones from the past to undo Thanos’ actions in the present. Stark refuses, thinking about his wife, Pepper Potts, and daughter, Morgan, but relents after musing on the death of Peter Parker. Stark, Rocket and Banner, who has since merged his intelligence with the Hulk’s strength, build a time machine. Banner notes changing the past does not affect their present; any changes instead create branched alternate realities. He and Rocket visit the Asgardian refugees’ new home in Norway—New Asgard—to recruit Thor, now overweight and drinking heavily, despondent over his failure to stop Thanos. In Tokyo, Romanoff recruits Clint Barton, now a vigilante following Thanos’ disintegration of his family.
Banner, Lang, Rogers, and Stark travel to New York City in 2012. Banner visits the Sanctum Sanctorum and convinces the Ancient One to give him the Time Stone. At Stark Tower, Rogers retrieves the Mind Stone, but Stark and Lang’s attempt to steal the Space Stone fails, allowing 2012 Loki to escape with it. Rogers and Stark travel to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters in 1970, where Stark obtains an earlier version of the Space Stone and encounters his father, Howard. Rogers steals Pym Particles from Hank Pym to use in returning to the present, and spies lost love Peggy Carter.
Meanwhile, Rocket and Thor travel to Asgard in 2013, extracting the Reality Stone from Jane Foster and retrieving Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. Barton and Romanoff travel to Vormir in 2014, where the Soul Stone’s keeper, the Red Skull, reveals it can only be acquired by sacrificing someone they love. Romanoff sacrifices herself, allowing Barton to obtain the Soul Stone. Nebula and Rhodes travel to Morag in 2014 and steal the Power Stone before Peter Quill can. Rhodes returns to the present with the Power Stone, but Nebula becomes incapacitated when her cybernetic implants link with those of her past self, allowing 2014 Thanos to learn of his fate at the hands of the Avengers. Thanos replaces present-day Nebula with 2014 Nebula.
Reuniting in the present, the Avengers place the Stones into a technological gauntlet Stark, Banner, and Rocket have created. Banner, the most resistant to the Stones’ gamma radiation, is chosen to wield the gauntlet and reverses the disintegrations. Meanwhile, 2014 Nebula uses the time machine to transport 2014 Thanos and his warship to the present, where he attacks the Avengers’ compound looking for the Stones. Present-day Nebula convinces 2014 Gamora to betray Thanos but is unable to convince 2014 Nebula and is forced to kill her. Confronted by Stark, Thor, and a Mjolnir-wielding Rogers, Thanos outmatches them and summons his army from his warship to retrieve the Stones, intent on using them to destroy the universe and create a new one. Stephen Strange arrives with other sorcerers, the restored Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, the Ravagers, and the armies of Wakanda and Asgard to fight Thanos and his army. Danvers arrives and destroys Thanos’ warship, but Thanos overpowers her and seizes the gauntlet. Stark steals the Stones and uses them to disintegrate Thanos and his army, at the cost of his own life.
Following Stark’s funeral, Thor appoints Valkyrie as the new ruler of New Asgard and joins the Guardians. Rogers returns the Infinity Stones and Mjolnir to their original timelines and remains in the past to live with Carter. In the present, an elderly Rogers passes his shield and mantle to Sam Wilson.
23. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Director: Jon Watts
Screenplay: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Running Time: 129 minutes
Starring: Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Zendaya (Michelle), Jake Gyllenhaal (Quentin Beck / Mysterio), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Marisa Tomei (May Parker), J.K. Simmons (J. Jonah Jameson)
In Ixtenco, Mexico, Nick Fury and Maria Hill investigate an unnatural storm and encounter the Earth Elemental. Quentin Beck, a super-powered individual, arrives to defeat the creature. Beck subsequently defeats the Air Elemental and is recruited by Fury and Hill. Meanwhile, in New York City, the Midtown School of Science and Technology completes its year, which was restarted to accommodate the students who previously disintegrated five years ago as a result of Thanos’ actions. They had reappeared un-aged, thanks to the actions of the Avengers. The school organizes a two-week summer field trip to Europe, where Peter Parker—who is still mourning the death of his mentor and father figure Tony Stark—plans to reveal to classmate MJ his attraction to her. Happy Hogan informs Parker that Fury intends to contact him, but Parker ignores Fury’s phone call.
Parker and his classmates travel to Venice, Italy, where the Water Elemental attacks. Parker helps protect his classmates, while Beck arrives and destroys the creature. Fury meets with Parker and gives him Stark’s glasses, which were meant for his successor. The glasses enable him to communicate with and take command of the artificial intelligence E.D.I.T.H., which has access to Stark Industries’ databases and commands a large orbital weapons supply. Beck claims to hail from an alternate reality within the Multiverse, where the four Elementals killed his family and destroyed his civilization. He predicts that the Fire Elemental will appear in Prague. Parker declines Fury’s invitation to join the fight and returns to his class trip.
Fury secretly changes the class’s itinerary to divert the students to Prague. There, Parker is forced to help Beck fight the Fire Elemental to again protect his friends. Beck manages to destroy the creature with Parker’s help. Fury and Hill invite Parker and Beck to Berlin to discuss the formation of a new superhero team, but Parker decides that Beck should go alone and transfers control of E.D.I.T.H. to him. In actuality, Beck is secretly a former Stark Industries holographic-illusions specialist who was fired for his unstable nature, and now leads a team of disgruntled ex-Stark employees, using advanced projector drones to simulate the Elemental attacks, masquerade as a hero, and gain control of E.D.I.T.H. so they use the orbital weaponized drones to increase the scale of their illusions.
After MJ tells Parker she knows he is Spider-Man, they discover that a piece of debris she retrieved during the battle is a projector that shows part of the Air Elemental’s attack, leading them to realize Beck isn’t who he says he is. Parker travels to Berlin to warn Fury, only to be tricked by Beck with an illusory “Fury” into revealing the names of his friends who know about Beck’s plan. Left for dead by Beck, Parker regains consciousness and contacts Hogan, who flies him to London, where his classmates are. Beck uses E.D.I.T.H. to orchestrate a fusion of all the Elementals, as a cover to kill Parker’s friends. Parker is able to disrupt the illusions, so Beck attacks him with drones. Parker defeats Beck and regains control of E.D.I.T.H. Beck is killed by misfired gunshots from the drones, but one of his associates escapes with data from the drones. After returning to New York City, Parker begins a relationship with MJ.
In a mid-credits scene, J. Jonah Jameson of TheDailyBugle.net broadcasts doctored footage of the London incident in which Beck frames Spider-Man for the drone attack and his death, but not before exposing his secret identity to the world, much to Parker’s shock. In a post-credits scene, Fury and Hill are revealed to be the Skrulls Talos and Soren in disguise, under orders from the real Fury while he is away commanding a Skrull spaceship.
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