Movies to watch on Disney+ prior to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
In addition to offering a variety of originals films and series, Disney Plus is the digital hub for all things Marvel. Whether you’ve just finished WandaVision, or want to revisit your favorite Avenger on film, Disney+ has got you covered.
The platform also offers a number Marvel-adjacent and bonus superhero films that are perfect for satiating your superhero addiction ahead of the latest Marvel Studios latest spinoff show. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a list of movies to watch on Disney+ before diving into the new The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series. Here they are.
Best movies and shows on Disney+
- MCU Phase 1
- MCU Phase 2
- MCU Phase 3 & 4
- Marvel Legacy films
- Bonus Superhero flicks
- What’s next on Disney+
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Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One
Iron Man (2008)
The Marvel film that started it all, Iron Man introduces fans to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) — a billionaire industrialist and genius who is conducting a weapons test overseas. When Stark is kidnapped by terrorists, his only option is to become Iron Man.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Set in 1941, Captain America: The First Avenger follows Steve Rogers, whose small stature has kept him from joining America’s armed forces despite several attempts. When Rogers volunteers for an experimental program, he’s turned into a super-soldier.
The Avengers (2012)
In The Avengers, Thor’s evil brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) gets his hands on the energy cube called the Tesseract, leading Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury to recruit the world’s best superheroes to defend Earth.
Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Set hundreds of years after the gods of Asgard defeated the Dark Elves and buried their ultimate weapon, the Aether, Thor: The Dark World finds Thor sprining into action when Dr. Jane Foster uncovers the weapon — and becomes its host.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Set after the events that took place in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier finds Steve Rogers joining forces with Black Widow and the Falcon in hopes of exposing an ever-expanding conspiracy.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy finds space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) becoming the target of ruthless bounty hunters after he steals an orb coveted by a powerful villain named Ronan.
Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three and Four
Doctor Strange (2016)
In Doctor Strange, Dr. Stephen Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes when a car accident takes away the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, Strange looks for healing in a mysterious enclave. It’s soon revealed, however, that the enclave is the front line of defense against dark forces seeking to destroy reality.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: Civil War finds the Avengers team split in half due to differing opinions about how the team should operate. While Captain America feels they should be able to defend without government involvement, Iron Man supports oversight and vows, leading to an all-out brawl between one-time friends.
Captain Marvel (2019)
Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between the human race and the alien Skrulls. Things get complictaed for the warrior, when while living on Earth in 1995, she begins having recurring memories of a past life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers.
Marvel Legacy Movies
While the X-Men have yet to be offiicially introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), there’s plans to do just that with the long-awaited Deadpool 3. As such, it might be a good time to catch up with the mutants. Here’s a selection of previously-released X-Men films that will serve as a good primer ahead of the new group of mutants joining the MCU.
The first film in the X-Men franchise, Bryan Singer’s X-Men introduces the core members of Dr. Charles Xavier’s X-Men Team and pits them against the villainous Magneto (Ian MCKellen), who wants the mutants of the world to come out of hiding and take out the human race.
The Wolverine (2013)
The Wolverine finds Hugh Jackman’s mutant character returning to Japan for his first time since World War II, and struggling to both keep it together and rediscover the hero within himself while on the run.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
With mutants on the brink of extinction, X-Men: Days of Future Past finds Wolverine volunteering to go back in time and rally the X-Men in order to change a pivotal moment in history and attempt to save their futures.
Superhero films you don’t want to miss
Disney+ also gives subscribers access to a selection of superhero films that might be a better fit for families with younger children. Here are three films that both meet those requirements and are worth a watch.
Sky High (2005)
Set at a time when the existent of superheroes is known and accepted, Sky High follows superhero-in-training William Stronghold as he attempts to balance being a normal teenager with saving the world from his classmate Gwen, the daughter of his superheo dad’s biggest foe.
Incredibles 2 (2018)
The long-awaited sequel to the 2004 Pixar film, Incredibles 2 finds Mr. Incredible stepping into the role of a stay-at-home parent when wife Elastigirl is enlisted to save the world.
Secret Society of Second-Born Royals (2020)
A Disney+ original film, Secret Society of Second-Born Royals stars Peyton Elizabeth Lee (And Mack) as a princess named Samantha, who is shocked to learn that she has superpowers and belongs to a secret society of second-born royals who have been working to secretly keep the peace for centuries.
What’s next on Disney+
The movies listed above are just a small selection of the content that’s worth watching ahead of the debut of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. But if you’re looking for a variety of films that will get you up to speed on everything you might of missed far it’s a good place to start. This is especially true of Iron Man, as well as it’s two sequels, which serve as the jumping off point for each phase of the MCU.
If you’ve exhausted your viewing of the Avengers-related movies, that in might be time to start an X-Men marathon. While the timeline throughout the existing films is a bit wonky, the original X-Men film and it’s sequels are a solid primer for the characters you might see pop up when the mutants are reintroduced by Marvel Studios.
And if you’re still building up to all the action that Marvel has to offer, the more kid-friendly Incredibles 2 might be a good place to start. You can also take your viewing experience to the next level by operating Disney+ on a 4k compatible device.
Once you’ve made it through this list of standout movies to watch on Disney+, you’ll be prepared for the next round of content hitting the platform. In fact, Disney announced earlier this year that — in addition to WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Solider series — 11 other Marvel projects are already in the works. This includes the upcoming Loki series starring Tom Hiddleston — which is set to premiere in June — as well as the previously announced Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and She-Hulk series. So, buckle up! It’s going to be a wild ride.
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