Los Angeles Times

'Avengers': Every MCU movie ranked in order of significance to 'Endgame'

Warning: The following story freely references major events from "Avengers: Endgame." It is intended to be read after you've seen the film. In other words: Massive spoilers ahead.

"Avengers: Endgame" is more than just Marvel's latest record-breaking blockbuster. It's the culmination of 11 years and 21 previous films - all of which are integral to fully understanding and appreciating its epic plot.

But some of its predecessors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are more important than others. So - after much discussion, and some friendly debate - we've ranked each MCU film in order of its significance to "Endgame."

(Before you file any official complaints, remember: This is not a ranking of each film's individual quality. And yes, that means: "Thor: The Dark World" is very important. But "Black Panther"? Not so much.)

Last chance to stop reading: "Avengers: Endgame" spoilers ahead.

21. "The Incredible Hulk" (2008)

If you wanted to skip just one movie before seeing "Endgame" and not feel like you've missed something, this is it. But even with Oscar nominee Edward Norton in a one-shot turn as Bruce Banner (which Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo would inherit for the rest of his MCU appearances), there's still some relevance to fully appreciating the long arc toward "Endgame." For one, this is where we meet Gen. Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), who briefly turns up in "Endgame." And in a post-credits scene, Tony Stark himself approaches the General, cryptically proposing

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