10 MCU Movies Blatantly Inspired By Other Movies

There's nothing wrong with inspiration, but some MCU movies could stand to be more subtle about it.

Captain Marvel Top Gun

All films take cues from other films. It's just how things are done, and there's no shame in that. Art exists partly to inspire other artists, and imitation is the highest form of flattery. However, there's such a thing as subtlety, especially when it comes to the films that inspire yours. And the MCU doesn't do subtlety very well at the best of times.

Whether it's tone, setting, aesthetic, or outright ripping off story beats, several MCU movies have taken blatant inspiration from single, or even multiple movies to build their narratives and identities.

In some cases, one could argue that the inspiration is purely surface level, with the actual meat of the story being all its own. But other times you just need to call it out - not because it makes the film worse - but because you can't help but notice it, and the film could definitely have been more subtle about it.

These ten MCU movies took inspiration from other movies, but wore that fact just a bit too much on its sleeve.

10. Infinity War/The Shining

Captain Marvel Top Gun

Now just roll with us on this... No, it's not a one to one comparison (it's at the bottom of the list for a reason) but when it comes to movies starring complicated, or even morally bankrupt father figures, there's a very good chance that Stanley Kubrick's horror masterstroke played some part in the research process.

Now, the same could be said for any number of villain pov stories, but we wanted to use The Shining so that we had something more specific to work with. But once you start looking at the movie in this light, considering that Thanos really is the closest thing Infinity War has to a main character, it all starts to line up a bit.

Especially in regards to how Thanos relates to his daughters is more than a little similar to the "I love you but I also kiiiiinda want your head on a mantle above my fireplace" manner in which Jack Torrence interacts with his son Danny.

Again, not a one to one comparison, but inspiration was definitely taken in some capacity. The Russo brothers are film nerds, and it's required by film nerd law to have seen Kubrick's films multiple times, so there's no way it didn't play a part.


John Tibbetts is a novelist in theory, a Whatculture contributor in practice, and a nerd all around who loves talking about movies, TV, anime, and video games more than he loves breathing. Which might be a problem in the long term, but eh, who can think that far ahead?