“Black Widow,” the latest film included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was a pleasure to watch. I felt the same way about “Captain America: Civil War,” “Doctor Strange,” “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Endgame.”

Those listed are the only movies included in the MCU that I’ve seen. And, I must say, some part of me is thankful that’s the case. When I look at the reviews for some of these films after the fact, I realize that there are criticisms of them that I never imagined, mostly because there are sizable gaps in my MCU knowledge. While the superfans are looking to see where the movies strayed from the comics or trying to find a slight character inconsistency, I’m mostly able to sit back and relax.

To Marvel’s credit, I think they do a pretty excellent job, from what I’ve seen, of getting the attention of those who are not diehards. There’s a common narrative that not seeing each and every Marvel movie will leave newer audience members completely lost, but I’ve never really found that to be the case. I’ve literally never read a comic book in my life, and I don’t plan on checking that off anytime soon, but I still can put the necessary pieces together in order to get the big emotional payoffs. Assuming there’s a little suspension of disbelief at play, I’ve never quite understood where the “must watch all movies” stigma came into play.

“Black Widow” was largely a standalone effort, supposedly with some hints and callbacks sprinkled in, so perhaps it isn’t the best example for what I mean. “Endgame,” on the other hand, seems tailor-made for prerequisite viewings, but I managed to get through the experience just fine with my limited knowledge. I mean, I think most people who are alive and on the internet in some capacity have at least heard of Iron Man and Captain America. If you know these characters as a result of being alive in 21st century America, I swear the learning curve is not that daunting when it comes to understanding the MCU film catalogue.

I felt the same way about “Black Widow” as I did about “WandaVision,” the mini-series based in the MCU which is now packing 23 Emmy nominations (Paul Bettany for the win). The fans of that show nearly scared me off by talking about how I’d need to watch 20 movies before diving in, but it ended up being my favorite show of the past year that didn’t include a character named Grogu. Again, there are certainly little tidbits that are thrown into these individual efforts that might mean more to fans, but casuals with an attention span and the will to keep watching should be just fine.

In conclusion, don’t be scared off from enjoying fun, family-friendly entertainment because of the naysayers. I had a blast watching “Black Widow,” not because I cracked every single Easter egg, but because it’s a coherent story in it’s own right. Even the least accessible films in the MCU have pretty broad appeal, so this one is definitely a good match for just about everyone. If you’re looking to go to the theater for the first time in a while, a bombastic tale with familial themes might be a good opportunity.