Movies

How to Watch the Marvel Movies in Order

Posted by Deepak Sharma

If you’re in the mood for a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) marathon, you’ll want to know how to watch the Marvel movies in order. In this guide, we’ll explain how to watch the Marvel movies in both chronological and release orders, letting you catch up in time for Marvel’s Phase 4, which will be marked by the arrival of Black Widow and the Disney Plus MCU TV shows.

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Marvel movies are having a quiet 2020, since Black Widow has been pushed back until November, bumping MCU movies like The Eternals and Thor: Love and Thunder further down the schedules. The Falcon and Winter Soldier and WandaVision are technically scheduled to land on Disney Plus in 2020, but the lockdown restrictions on production make their release dates uncertain for now. Watching the Marvel movies in order, then, will help you pass the time until the Marvel Cinematic Universe is back in full swing.

It’s simple enough to watch the Marvel movies in order, but there are two main ways to marathon the films. To watch the Marvel movies in chronological order, you’ll want the list below that starts with Captain America: The First Avenger, as Steve Rogers becomes Cap and takes on the Red Skull during WWII. To watch the Marvel movies in release order, though, you’ll start with 2008’s Iron Man, our introduction to the MCU and Robert Downey Jr’s iconic portrayal of Tony Stark. Each Marvel movie viewing order has its advantages, so you should pick the one you’re happiest with.

MARVEL MOVIES IN ORDER: QUICK LINKS

It’s a real treat to watch the the MCU movies in order, because the 23 movies are cleverly layered to set up stories that sometimes pay off years down the line, and the way they draw in more and more Marvel characters is really exciting. Below, then, we’ll explain the chronological and release order of the Marvel movies. We’ve also ranked the best Marvel movies by user score, and we’ll explain which Marvel movies are on Disney Plus.

Let’s start your Marvel movie marathon…

How to watch the Marvel movies in order: chronological order

A Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) timeline is probably why you’re here. Here’s how to watch the Marvel films in chronological order, starting with Captain America: The First Avengers and closing with Spider-Man: Far From Home (for now, anyway). The reason to watch the Marvel movies in this order is you’ll see crucial MCU events play out as they happened. You’ll witness the Tesseract’s journey from WWII to the coming of The Avengers, and pick up on era-specific details like Carol Danvers meeting Nick Fury in the 1990s.

One intrepid Marvel fan figured out it takes 114 steps to watch the Marvel movies in the exact chronological order, scene-by-scene, which is neat, but way too intense for most people. Instead, we suggest you stick with this list. Here is the chronological viewing order of the Marvel movies:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (takes place during WWII)
  • Captain Marvel (takes place in 1995)
  • Iron Man (takes place in 2010)
  • Iron Man 2 (takes place after Iron Man)
  • The Incredible Hulk (time unspecified, pre-Avengers)
  • Thor (takes place six months before Avengers)
  • The Avengers (takes place in 2012)
  • Iron Man 3 (takes place six months after The Avengers)
  • Thor: Dark World (post-Avengers, pre-Ultron)
  • Captain America: Winter Soldier (post-Avengers, pre-Ultron)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (sometime in 2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (after Guardians)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (takes place in 2015)
  • Ant-Man (takes place in 2015)
  • Captain America: Civil War (post-Ultron, pre-Infinity War)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (post-Civil War, pre-Infinity War)
  • Doctor Strange (takes place in 2016)
  • Black Panther (takes place in 2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (post-Ultron, pre-Infinity War)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (takes place in 2017)
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp (ambiguous, but fits nicely between IW and Endgame)
  • Avengers: Endgame (starts in 2017, finishes in 2022)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (post-Endgame)

When 2020 and 2021 Marvel movies like Black Widow and The Eternals are finally released, along with canonical Disney Plus shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision, we’ll update this MCU timeline appropriately. Black Widow, for example, is definitely set after Captain America: Civil War, but with its release date delayed until November 2020, we’ve left it off for now.

Avengers movies in order

Marvel movies in order: release date

If you want to know how to watch the MCU movies in release order, you’ll want this list, which starts with Iron Man in 2008 and ends in 2019 with Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Watching the Marvel movies in release order is a comforting nostalgia trip, and you’ll see how the MCU films get better over time with increased budgets and better casts. We’ve also included the future MCU Phase 4 release dates below for your reference.

Phase One

  • Iron Man (2008)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • Thor (2011)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

Phase Two

  • Iron Man 3 (2013)
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  • Ant-Man (2015)

Phase Three

  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  • Captain Marvel (2019)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Phase Four

  • Black Widow (November 6, 2020)
  • The Eternals (February 12, 2021)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (May 7, 2021)
  • Untitled third Spider-Man movie (November 5, 2021)
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (February 11, 2022)
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022)

The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Black Panther 2 (May 6, 2022)
  • Captain Marvel 2 (July 8, 2022)
  • Untitled Marvel movie (likely Ant-Man 3, October 7, 2022)
  • Blade (TBD)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (TBD)
  • Untitled Fantastic Four film (TBD)

Marvel movies on Disney Plus

Marvel movies on Disney Plus.

Wondering which Marvel movies are on Disney Plus? The below list correlates to the US as of July 2020, but if you’re in UK and Australia, you can already stream all of these as well as Ant-Man and the Wasp. The Incredible Hulk and the Spider-Man films aren’t on Disney Plus because Universal and Sony own the distribution rights to them respectively. You’ll have to buy them if you want a full Marvel movie marathon.

These are the Marvel movies on Disney Plus:

  • Iron Man
  • Thor
  • Iron Man 2
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • The Avengers
  • Iron Man 3
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ant-Man
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Doctor Strange
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Captain Marvel
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Black Panther

Now Avengers: Infinity War has been added to Disney Plus in the US, there’s just one final MCU film missing: Ant-Man and the Wasp. In the UK and Australia, though, as noted, you can stream this already.

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (August 14, 2020)

Finally, here are the all original Marvel Disney Plus TV shows in the works, which will also fit into MCU continuity, with the exception of animated show What If…?. These dates are tentative, though, and we expect the global pandemic to push them back a little.

  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (was August 2020, now TBA)
  • WandaVision (December 2020)
  • Loki (Spring 2021)
  • What If…? (Summer 2021)
  • Hawkeye (Fall 2021)
  • Ms Marvel (TBA)
  • Moon Knight (TBA)
  • She-Hulk (TBA)

Avengers movie poster.

  • What we know about Marvel’s The Eternals
  • Stay safe when you stream with the best VPN for streaming
  • How to watch the DC Extended Universe movies in order

Best Marvel movies

What are the best Marvel movies, though? It’s a contentious topic. Below, the Marvel movies are ranked based on fan opinion, which is derived from IMDb user scores. The list  gets some things right (Thor: The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk are definitely lesser movies), and other things rather wrong (Ant-Man and the Wasp is worse than every single Captain America movie, if you ask us). Interestingly, it’s a tie between the last two Avengers movies, Endgame and Infinity War, for the best film here.

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