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Marvel movies to watch before Black Widow — where to watch and in what order

Black Widow movie
(Image credit: Marvel Studios via Twitter)

After several delays, Black Widow is finally here. The first Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie since 2019, Black Widow explores the titular hero's backstory and having seen it ourselves, we can say it's more or less worth the unexpectedly lengthy wait.

Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, made her first appearance in the MCU more than a decade ago and has been a big player in several key story arcs since. Her own solo movie is long overdue, but it’s well worth revisiting her previous Marvel movies in order before enjoying her latest adventure. 

The MCU now comprises two dozen feature films, as well as a trio of Disney Plus original series. That’s a lot of content to consume. If you just want to view the pieces that are relevant to Black Widow we’ve compiled a list of the Marvel movies you need to watch as well as the order to watch them below. 

So before you hit play on Black Widow on Disney Plus Premier Access, or see it in theaters, here's our best advice for what to watch before you see it. Plus, you'll find a note below about how one of these movies is worth watching again after seeing Black Widow.

Marvel Movies to watch before Black Widow 

To date, Black Widow has appeared in seven Marvel movies, not including her own solo movie. Seeing as they play out in chronological order, the best way to watch them is in release order. These are the Marvel movies to watch before Black Widow: 

1. Iron Man 2 (2010): Black Widow only has a little over 10 minutes of screen time in Iron Man 2, but she made a big impression. Her MCU debut is widely considered one of the weaker entries in the Marvel stable, but it’s still worth a watch to see Natasha take down a security team in a very slick fight sequence. 

2. The Avengers (2012): Featuring a whole roster of heroes, The Avengers sees Black Widow team up with the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor in order to take down the villainous Loki. We learn about her long-time work alongside Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye. This flick is still as good fun and enthralling as it was nearly a decade ago.

back widow in the avengers

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014): Still to this date one of the MCU’s best offerings, and the first time Black Widow was given a proper sizable role. This sequel to the original Captain America is an excellent action romp.

4. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015): The seeds of a Black Widow and Bruce Banner romance are sown in this follow-up to The Avengers. Quite a mixed bag of a film overall, but we do get some teases about Natasha’s past which will be expanded upon in the Black Widow movie. 

5. Captain America: Civil War (2016): Black Widow may be a little sidelined in this third Captain America movie, which is a shame — but it plays a big role in the story of the Black Widow movie, as this new movie is places right after Civil War in the MCU timeline. The film itself is still plenty enjoyable, however, and it features so many Marvel heroes it’s practically an Avengers movie.  

Black widow

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

6. Avengers Infinity War (2018): The third Avengers movie sees Black Widow sporting a new hairdo and two electrified batons. The superhero team must attempt to stop the mighty Thanos from wiping out half of life in the universe using the Infinity Stones. No pressure. Oh, and go back and rewatch Infinity War after seeing Black Widow, as you might notice some things you didn't realize were Easter eggs the first time.

7. Avengers Endgame (2019): The culmination of the first decade of Marvel movies, Avengers Endgame features plenty of Black Widow, trying to be a leader of the decimated Avengers. It's also packed with thrilling set-piece moments and some tear-jerking scenes as well — especially for Natasha.

Where to watch every Marvel movie featuring Black Widow 

Disney Plus

(Image credit: Disney)

There is a range of ways to watch the above Marvel movies featuring Black Widow. You could opt for physical Blu-ray copies, or rent/purchase each film on a VOD service of your choice. However, the simplest (and cheapest) way to watch every single moment of the MCU is through Disney Plus. 

To mark the release of the latest Marvel movie, Disney Plus has curated the Black Widow Collection. This brings together every single Black Widow featuring movie mentioned above as well as the recap series Marvel Legends, useful if you don’t have time to watch seven entire movies before watching the Black Widow solo film. 

The service is also the home of a whole rafter of additional Marvel content including classic animated series and upcoming original shows, not to mention all the Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars content available as well. It’s well worth the relatively small monthly subscription cost. 

Disney Plus

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Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.