10 Best Opening Scenes In The MCU, According To Reddit

The opening of the recent Marvel movie Thor: Love and Thunder is a haunting one, and it does a great deal to establish the motivations of its villains. In fact, opening scenes have always been one of the great strengths of the MCU more generally, and almost every one of the studio’s movies has included an opening sequence that is both beautiful in its own right and also sets the stage for what is to come.

The users of Reddit have helpfully identified some of the most notable of these, all of which showcase the MCU’s great strengths as a movie studio.


Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

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Loki looking at Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.

2018's Avengers: Infinity War was, of course, the beginning of the end of Phase 3, and so its opening scene had even more weighing on it than usual. It is, to be sure, a wrenching scene. ZackThreePack puts it: “I felt was a good high stakes set up to tease what was to come.”

Most notably, the scene showed Thanos killing Loki in one of the most jarring deaths in the history of the MCU. It was a testament to just how much was going to be at stake in the battle to come, and how none of the characters, even if they survived, would ever be the same again.

Iron Man (2008)

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Tony Stark after being caught in an explosion in Iron Man.

Iron Man is one of the best characters in the MCU, and so it makes sense that the first movie to bear his name would also be included as having one of the best opening scenes. The first few moments of the movie are a great example of how to set up not just one film, but also the entire franchise to come.

As GeneSaw says: “The opening of Iron Man always stuck with me. Back in Black kickstarting one of the biggest franchises ever is just iconic. It also perfectly encapsulates Tony's character in just a few minutes.” In a very economical fashion, the movie manages to introduce both Tony Stark as well as the broader universe of which he will be such a significant part.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

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Tony Stark starving in space

As devastating as Infinity War was, in its own way Endgame is even more of an emotional rollercoaster. Jertimmer observes: “To me, Endgame has the perfect opener. Infinity War ended with an absolute gut punch, we went into Endgame feeling all pumped like 'yeah, they're gonna set things right and Thanos is getting his ass kicked.' And then it starts with another gut punch, emotionally, you're right back at the end of IW.”

The opening of this movie, to be sure, is a bleak one, as it works quickly to immerse the viewer once again in a milieu in which so many beloved characters have already vanished. It sets the stage for the growing climax to come, and for this reason, it is a particularly effective opening scene.

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

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Spidey and MJ in Times Square in concept art for No Way Home

Tom Holland’s Spider-Man movies have come to be regarded as some of the best portrayals of the character. No Way Home is a particularly strong entry in the series, as it manages to bring together various characters from previous iterations of the franchise. The opening is also a strong one, as it immerses the viewer right into the midst of the previous movie’s action, allowing one to see how this one connects to the larger story.

As Cynical_root24 puts it: “I love that No Way Home’s opening goes straight from the mid-credits scene in FFH. We usually get some theme over the Marvel Studios logo sequence, but having the audio just be the news report and jumping into the action immediately is amazing.” From the very beginning, it’s clear just what the stakes are going to be.

Black Widow (2021)

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Black Widow's family at the dinner table

Black Widow has always been one of the best female characters in the MCU, and her own movie was a remarkable testament to her continuing appeal. The opening sequence of the movie is particularly notable, as it shows Natasha and other agents pretending to be a regular American family in Ohio. It is, as TheRewster1106 puts it, “one of the most haunting and powerful in the MCU, especially the montage at the end of the opening set to Malia J's cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

I enjoyed the rest of the movie, but man, that beginning stayed with me for weeks afterward.” More than anything else, perhaps, it is a reminder of just how much Black Widow has changed and how much of herself she has had to leave behind during the course of her life.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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2016's Captain America: Civil War is a notable movie in many ways, not least for the ways it showed just how complicated and divisive the dynamics of the Avengers could become. The opening scene is memorable for many reasons, not the least of which is that it helps to showcase the many talents of the various members of the group.

As Pjayyy368 writes: “I always really liked the Civil War opener with Cap his lil Avengers team. It really set the scene and introduced a lot of characters without it feeling too much.” Just as importantly, the collateral damage from the opening attempts to stop a terrorist sets up the essential conflict of the movie, which revolves around whether the Avengers should be overseen by the government or not.

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (2021)

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Simu Liu as Shang Chi with Parents Tony Leung and Fala Chen

Already, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has come to be seen as one of the best movies of Phase 4 of the MCU. And with good reason. It manages to take the established formulae of the MCU and do some new and exciting things with them, in the process bringing in some much-needed diversity. What’s more, the opening sequence is also a feast for the eyes.

As depressly2 puts it: “The whole backstory of the mandarin and the love story of Shang chi was so beautiful, story was perfectly told, the love fight was majestic, the music was amazing and it was just so interesting and kept you pumped.” Its brilliance lies in its ability to both introduce the viewer to this world and yet not get bogged down in its own exposition.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

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The Avengers head into battle in the opening of Avengers Age of Ultron

The robot Ultron is one of the most formidable villains in the MCU, and the movie built around him is one of the better entries in the MCU. It features a truly powerful opening sequence, one which, in the best tradition of the Avengers movies, showcases their formidable skills when they work together.

It is also a scene that has highly impressed many Reddit users, including Sunblockwalker, who writes: “Just them working as a team beating up Hydra baddies and then that slow mo team shot looks soooooooo dope.” The opening of this particular movie is filled with all of the kinetic pleasures and banter fans had already come to expect from this group of superheroes.

Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

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Star-Lord in the opening scene of Guardians of the Galaxy

When it was released, Guardians of the Galaxy was unlike almost any of the other MCU movies that had come before it. The opening is a particularly evocative one, as it sees the young Peter Quill dealing with his mother’s death before he is abducted by aliens.

As NobelOfficial puts it: “It absolutely has to be the most emotionally charged opening scene in the MCU and for that it gets my vote.” What’s more, this opening also sets the scene for all of the action that is to come, as Peter Quill/Star-Lord has to really come to terms with his identity (in both this movie and its sequel).

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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Falcon Sam Wilson Anthony Mackie angry at Chris Evans Captain America during a jog

2014's Captain America: Winter Soldier is one of the darkest MCU movies, focusing as it does on the fraught relationship between the title character and Bucky Barnes, now brainwashed into becoming the assassin known as the Winter Soldier. The opening, however, is a relatively sedate one, which is precisely what makes it so powerful.

Redditor PaulClarkLoadletter puts it this way: “The way the movie opens with the sunrise in DC as Cap’s theme plays on his morning jog, and how he meets Sam? Perfection.” More than anything else, it is simply a beautifully shot sequence, a reminder of the beauty at the heart of the MCU.

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