7 Essential MCU Movies: Iron Man (2008)

Before Avengers: Endgame arrives next week, let’s revisit the 7 essential MCU movies you should rewatch before the Infinity Saga comes to a close…


What’s it about? Billionaire playboy Tony Stark makes a living as a military weapons contractor, but when he’s kidnapped by terrorists, he will discover a conscience he didn’t know he had and take to the skies as the world’s first superhero (well, he’d like to think so) – Iron Man.

Why is it essential? Endgame could very well be the end of Stark’s journey, so it makes sense to remind yourself of where it all began. Phil Coulson’s appearance introduces us to the concept of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (they were still working on the acronym at this point). Last but not least, Nick Fury’s cameo in the post-credits scene gives us our first hint of “the Avenger initiative.”

Why is it worth re-watching? It all started here. We wouldn’t be gearing up to watch Endgame 20+ films and 11 years later if it wasn’t for the success of Iron Man. As well as that, it’s interesting to compare how down-to-earth this movie is with the cosmic sagas that now play out in the MCU. Plus, it’s just always fun to watch Robert Downey Jr. do his thing as the Armored Avenger.

What’s the best scene? That has to be the MCU-defining final sequence in which Tony Stark throws away his pre-written speech and reveals that he is Iron Man to the assembled press. The moment was actually improvised by Downey but producers were so impressed that it made it into the movie and came to sum up who Tony Stark is.

What should I watch out for? The terrorist group hired by Iron Monger to kidnap Tony are called the Ten Rings. This was done to allude to Iron Man’s nemesis the Mandarin, who possesses ten magical rings in the comics. The villain’s presence in the MCU was later fumbled in Iron Man 3, but the short film “Hail to the King” established that the real Mandarin is still out there somewhere…

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