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Watch These Movies After Avengers: Endgame

So you've finally seen Avengers: Endgame, the biggest movie of 2019. Maybe you've seen it multiple times; perhaps like a lot of fans, you preceded the film with a marathon of every Marvel Cinematic Universe film that came before it. Perhaps even now, between repeat viewings of Endgame, you're marathoning Marvel movies yet again. But what if you'd like to watch something else while still keeping the latest adventure of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in mind? What if you'd like to see the connective tissue that Endgame shares with a wide variety of movies, even ones that seem to have nothing in common?

Well, there are a lot of places to turn, whether you're looking for films starring the same actors, films that share a thematic connection, or even films the directors themselves looked to for some (perhaps unlikely) inspiration. If you've seen Endgame, and you're looking to mix things up a bit with your home viewing, give these movies a try.

Ocean's 13

The word "heist" gets thrown around in Avengers: Endgame rather early, as Ant-Man's proposal to go back in time and steal the Infinity Stones gains steam among the rest of the team. After the film's time travel premise is set up, it becomes a matter of putting a crew together and executing the mission, and this series of sequences unfolds not unlike a group of guys getting together to take millions from a casino.

If you think of Endgame that way, a number of potential heist film contenders emerge as possible thematic cousins, but in this case, Ocean's 13 is among the most fitting. The final film in the Ocean's trilogy features Danny Ocean and his team (including future Avenger Don Cheadle) teaming up not just to rob a casino, but to get revenge on Vegas mogul Willy Bank (Al Pacino) for swindling their friend. They're kind of the Vegas Avengers in this outing, and the added presence of a central trinity of characters — Danny, Rusty, and Linus — lends itself to Endgame's Tony/Cap/Thor dynamic.


For directors Joe and Anthony Russo, inspiration for Avengers: Endgame came not just from action blockbusters and superhero stories. To craft their film, the brothers drew from a wide range of filmmaking influences which they were drawn to for a variety of reasons. In a recent interview, they cited Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni as one of these influences, for the way he was able to create environments in his films which evoked the internal emotional states of his characters.

If the Russos saw fit to mention him, an Antonioni film is certainly recommended Endgame-adjacent viewing. The question is which Antonioni film should you watch? There are a number of options, but if you're a viewer coming off a primarily superhero movie diet, you might want something at least a little accessible. Blowup, the story of a London photographer who stumbles upon what might be a murder, is Antonioni's first film made entirely in English, and features a couple of surprisingly apt thematic comparisons to the latest Avengers film, if you're willing to look for them.


Endgame's time travel exploits create plenty of opportunities for unique predicaments to put the film's heroes in, and when Captain America travels to New York, that takes the form of the First Avenger facing off in battle against... himself. The Cap vs. Cap sequence in Stark Tower is among the film's most enjoyable pieces of action cinema, in part because it seamlessly blends comedy and thrilling fight choreography, but also because it presents us with the greater question of how each of the other major Avengers might react when facing off against their old selves.

The film doesn't give us those other confrontations, but if you're still eager to see more cross-time fighting, check out Rian Johnson's sci-fi thriller about a mafia hitman assigned to kill his own future self, who just happens to be a man on a mission to change the entire future. It's tense, exciting, well-acted, and full of time travel details that a sci-fi fan can get lost in.

About Time

Early on in the film, as the "time heist" plan begins to take shape, Bruce Banner lays out his understanding of the "real" rules of time travel, after Ant-Man and War Machine keep bringing up previous time travel films in an effort to assert their own belief that it's all about doing as little as possible to change the past, because it could alter the future. Banner's explanation, that changing the past doesn't necessarily alter the future because when you time travel the past becomes the future, sets the stage for a film that relies less on time travel pop culture as we understand it and more on blazing its own trail.

Because so many of the films mentioned as being "wrong" about time travel were already listed by the film itself, we're recommending a very different kind of time travel movie that also blazes its own trail in terms of rules. Richard Curtis' About Time is a romantic drama about a seemingly normal man who just happens to be from a family that's genetically gifted with time travel powers. Like Endgame, it's both fascinating and compelling to watch the rules set forth by the film falling into place as the story unfolds.

Time Bandits

Avengers: Endgame features a character lightheartedly referring to what the team is going to try to carry out as a "time heist," and if you're well-versed in time travel movies, that's very likely going to call to mind Terry Gilliam's classic fantasy adventure Time Bandits.

At first, the comparison might not go beyond the surface level fact that both are time travel features that blend comedy and adventure storytelling to great effect, but look closer and you'll see something interesting that unites the two. As the Avengers begin their time heist, they are missing one crucial piece of the puzzle: the information that Thanos will eventually be able to use Nebula's neural network to track their plan and their movements. The time bandits face a similar predicament in their film, as the villainous evil is actually tracking their exploits through time. It might not be a massive connection, but it's a great excuse to revisit Time Bandits, and you might find even more that the films have in common along the way.


Late in Avengers: Endgame, after Thanos rains fire down on the Avengers compound just moments after Hulk dons the Infinity Gauntlet and snaps everyone back into existence, Clint Barton finds himself trapped in the tunnels beneath the building, trying to keep the Infinity Stones out of enemy hands. Down in the dark, he hears a noise and turns to find a group of Outriders (the space dog-like footsoldiers of Thanos' army) scurrying up the tunnel toward him. It's a brief moment, but it's effective enough to plunge the film into sci-fi horror territory for a few seconds, and the way the shot is framed immediately calls to mind a genre classic: James Cameron's Aliens.

Aliens is in many ways vastly different from Endgame, but that shot of a group of Xenomorphs crawling through the ventilation system remains iconic, and if you've seen both films you'll want to follow up Endgame with it. It also happens to be another film about a group of sci-fi warriors battling near-impossible odds with the future of humanity at stake.

Black Rain

After losing his entirely family to Thanos in the opening moments of Endgame, Clint Barton becomes a man transformed. In the film's first act he is no longer Hawkeye, the friendly archer and heart of the team. He is instead a rage-filled ronin, traveling the globe and taking out criminals whenever and wherever he can, reasoning that they don't deserve to live if his family was wiped off the planet by some space tyrant. He's in the middle of one of these vigilante missions, sword in hand, when Natasha Romanoff tracks him down in Tokyo.

The rain-streaked, neon-filled assault Barton carries out on a Japanese crime lord in this brief sequence calls to mind a number of films, but if you're looking for a hidden gem you might try Black Rain, Ridley's Scott's crime drama about an American cop (Michael Douglas) who escorts a member of the yakuza back to Japan only to be sucked deep into a world of crime and murder. It stars an MCU member in Douglas, and it's full of stylish touches while also retaining the fish-out-of-water element of an American taking on the Japanese underworld.


Each of the major players in Avengers: Endgame turns in a great performance, and some of them deliver the best work of their MCU careers. Chris Evans is among that number with a curtain call performance as Captain Steve Rogers, and it makes us think about other times in his career he's gone above and beyond with brilliant acting.

That, plus sci-fi on the brain, immediately leads to Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-ho's dystopian drama set on a train carrying all of humanity around a frozen future Earth. Like Captain America in Endgame, Evans' Curtis is the leader of a resistance movement trying to undo the oppressive conditions of the only world he has, and just as in Endgame, Evans turns in a career highlight in the film, channeling the misery and desperation of a world gone mad. It's not as outwardly fun as an Avengers film, but it's easily just as compelling, and it's essential Chris Evans.

In the Heart of the Sea

Avengers: Endgame has surprises in store for all of the major surviving Avengers, but the journey is more surprising for some characters than others. In Thor's case, things take a particularly unpredictable turn, as the five-year time jump reveals a God of Thunder who's been ravaged by booze and laziness. It's weird to see Thor with a beer gut, but as the film pushes forward, Chris Hemsworth carries the character arc beautifully, and we see that an overweight Thor can still be more than worthy.

If you're on the hunt for even more startling body transformation work from Hemsworth, check out In the Heart of the Sea, Ron Howard's film about the real-life whaling vessel that inspired Moby Dick, co-starring fellow Avenger Tom Holland. To play a shipwrecked whaler who nearly dies starving at sea, Hemsworth lost an astonishing amount of weight for the film, trimming his normally muscular frame down to almost nothing. He didn't apply the same commitment to fattening up for Endgame, but it's still interesting to see both sides of this physical coin.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

After 11 years, three Iron Man films, four Avengers films, one Captain America film and one Spider-Man film, Robert Downey Jr. completed his arc as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame. It's the end of an era for Marvel Studios, and the end of a meteoric rise that saw Downey become one of the biggest movie stars on the planet after years of addiction and legal issues made him one of the riskiest bets in Hollywood.

In celebration of Downey's redemption story you may have already gone back through and watched all of his MCU movies, but if you want to go back even further you could start with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a crime comedy featuring one of Downey's best-ever performances as a thief who gets sucked into Hollywood. Written and directed by future Iron Man 3 helmer Shane Black, the film is a fantastic showcase of Downey's ability to pivot on a dime between comedy and drama, and was one of the most acclaimed releases of 2005. It helped pave the way for his journey to becoming Tony Stark, and remains one of his astonishing career's biggest highlights.

Under the Skin

Robert Downey Jr. isn't the only Avenger who took their final bow in Endgame... chronologically, at least. Scarlett Johansson may still be back for a prequel film as Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, but the character made the ultimate sacrifice in this film, giving herself up so that her friend Clint Barton could complete the mission and bring the Soul Stone back for the rest of her superhero family. Johansson rises to the occasion of this death, delivering a fantastic farewell performance as Romanoff, so it's only natural we'd also want to look at some of her other exemplary work.

For that, we turn to Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer's haunting sci-fi horror film in which Johansson plays an otherworldly creature who lures men to their deaths in an equally otherworldly way. Johansson brings all of her talents to bear on this film, from improvisational gifts to enigmatic physicality. In many ways, it's as far removed from Black Widow as you can get. In others, it's startlingly similar.