What MCU Movies to Watch Before Thor: Love and Thunder

The release of the fourth installment in the Thor franchise is upon us as Thor: Love and Thunder will hit theaters on July 8. Chris Hemsworth will reprise for the ninth time his Asgardian god character, including his Avengers forays and mid-credits scenes in 2016’s Doctor Strange. Thor’s new adventures will bring back plenty of familiar faces into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to some old friends, the movie also features Thor’s long-term love interest, Jane Foster, in a key role.RELATED: Thor: Love and Thunder Review: MCU’s Summer Blockbuster Doesn’t DisappointHere are the best MCU picks to rewatch to be prepared for Thor’s return.Thor (2011)A rewatch of Thor’s MCU introduction is almost mandatory. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Thor explained how the titular hero ended on Earth after Odin banished him from Asgard. Only after proving himself worthy of the mighty powers he possessed, could Thor wield Mjölnir and save the Asgardian throne from his brother Loki’s assaults. The film also featured Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Thor’s love interest. The cast included Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins. Critics had mixed feelings about it, but Thor grossed over $440 million at the box office.The Avengers (2012)After failing to conquer Asgard, Loki set his eyes on Earth. Thor and the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assembled to form a superpowered team to stop the formidable menace. Hiddleston showcased all his actorial skills as the villainous Loki. The ensemble cast featured Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner, among others. Joss Whedon’s movie was an instant hit that smashed several theatrical records and ended up with $1.500 billion grossing, overcoming its $220 million production budget.Thor: The Dark World (2013)After teleporting to another world, Jane Foster unintentionally releases a terrible menace upon Asgard. Thor must do whatever it takes to save his family and the woman he loves. While fans were genuinely happy to see the blonde Norse god back in action, the same can’t be said for critics. Until 2021’s Eternals, Thor: The Dark World had the lowest rating on Rotten Tomatoes for an MCU film. However, it is worth revisiting as it was Portman’s latest MCU appearance as Foster, even though the character was mentioned in subsequent movies.RELATED: Chris Hemsworth Reveals How Long He’ll Play Thor in the MCUGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 (2014)The upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder will also feature the return of the most dysfunctional team in the MCU. The first set of adventures of Star-Lord, Rocket, and the other Guardians brought a breath of fresh air to the MCU. The cast starred Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper. James Gunn’s much-appreciated film also took home a couple of Oscar nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Guardians of the Galaxy already received a sequel, and a third movie is on its way, with Gunn serving as both director and writer.Thor: Ragnarok (2017)After saving his world many times in the past, Thor attempts to prevent Ragnarök, a catastrophic event that will doom Asgard once and for all. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plans, and the Norse god is forced to fight for his freedom against an old friend of his. Director Taika Waititi gave a new identity to a character who started to feel a bit repetitive, showcasing new sides of Thor’s personality. The movie also introduced Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie in the MCU. Waititi and Thompson will return for Thor: Love and Thunder.RELATED: Iconic Roles: Chris Hemsworth’s Best Action Movie PerformancesAvengers: Endgame (2019)Thor was a pivotal part of the jewel in MCU’s crown. The events of Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War deeply affected Hemsworth’s character, who struggled with depression, alcoholism, and obesity. Still, Thor’s friendship with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes forced him to stand up and save the universe from Thanos. Anthony and Joe Russo’s film will go down as one of the biggest commercial successes in filmmaking history. While the Academy snubbed it by only nominating it for Best Visual Effects, Avengers: Endgame smashed all sorts of records at the box office. Currently, its earnings sit at over $2.750 billion, but it might grow even more prominent in case of another theatrical release.

Mojtaba Sadira

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