So is this a good list of minimally necessary MCU movies in order to "get" the whole story?
This wouldn't be a terrible marathon.... Just 12 movies.
Iron Man (2008)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
The Avengers (2012)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
I'm trying to figure out if anything integral is missing due to the movies I removed. We aren't introduced to Hawkeye's off-the-books family from Age of Ultron, but that's irrelevant. We see him with his family at the opening of Endgame and at that point it's no longer important whether or not they are hidden.
Also, I'm not sure if I should include Dr. Strange, because he has SUCH a presence in Infinity War.... I haven't seen Dr. Strange yet (other than a few scenes), but I wasn't lost at any point in terms of his character. The Time Stone business is drilled in pretty well in both IW and Engame as it is.