Marvel Movies in Order: How to Watch Them in Chronological Order

It all started with 2008’s “Iron Man,” a film that introduced the world to Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark with the hint that he might be a part of something bigger. Twenty-five films later, the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still being told, but with various tributaries and detours that introduce new characters and new worlds that may or may not one day intersect. Every movie in the MCU is stand-alone to some extent, but like building blocks, they all connect as part of an interconnected universe. And in that way, watching the Marvel movies in order tells a great story.

There are several ways to watch the MCU movies, but below we walk through how to watch the Marvel movies in chronological order. Indeed, some movies like “Captain Marvel” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” are complete prequels set in the 1990s and 1940s respectively, and with such complex storytelling throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can watch the movies in the order timeline and it all continues to make sense.

But if you’re a purist, we’ve also included the list of MCU movie release orders, as well as the Marvel movies you can stream on Disney + right now.

Marvel movies in chronological order

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Marvel studios

Most Marvel movies take place one after another, but others are about events that happen at the same time as events from other movies. For example, the events of “Thor: Ragnarok” unfold around the same time as the events of “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the two films leading up to “Avengers: Infinity War.”

The history of the MCU is divided into three phases that make up The Infinity Saga, a story that begins with “Iron Man” and ends with “Avengers: Endgame”. Phase Four began with the Disney + series “WandaVision” and also includes “Black Widow” and “Shang-Chi”.

Here’s how to watch the MCU movies in chronological order of events:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Captain marvel
  • Iron Man
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Iron man 2
  • Thor
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • Iron man 3
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • guardians of the galaxy
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • The ant Man
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Black Widow
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Black Panther
  • Doctor strange
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings
  • Eternals

Marvel Movies in Order of Release

Marvel studios

Marvel Studios began independently producing its own films with “Iron Man” in 2008, and the first MCU films were distributed by Paramount Pictures (with Universal distributing “The Incredible Hulk”) before Disney bought Marvel and released all of them. Marvel Studios films after “Captain America: The First Avenger. The exceptions are, of course, the two standalone“ Spider-Man ”films, which, although official canon of the MCU, were released by Sony Pictures.

So here’s how to watch all Marvel movies in order of release:

  • Iron Man (2008)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • Thor (2011)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • Marvel Avengers (2012)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
  • Black Widow (2021)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  • Eternals (2021)
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Is it better to watch the Marvel movies in chronological order or in order of release?

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Marvel studios

While the overall story makes sense either way, if this is your first time in the MCU, you should probably start by watching the movies in release order. Not only is this the order the movies were made in, but you can also trace the evolution and refinement of MCU storytelling as Marvel Studios solved problems and perfected the way of making a Marvel movie.

But if you’ve seen most or all of the Marvel movies, watching them in chronological order is a fun experience. It doesn’t change the story a thing, and it’s really weird to watch “Captain Marvel” so early and then wait 20 movies for Brie Larson’s character to be mentioned again. But it does allow you to appreciate how much Marvel has adapted its previous films into the existing timeline.

When the Marvel Disney + shows take place

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WandaVision

The first Marvel Disney + show takes place three weeks after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” and is nestled between “Endgame” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home”.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” takes place six months after the events of “Avengers: Endgame”, but before the events of “Spider-Man: Far From Home”.

Loki

“Loki” begins in the immediate wake of “Avengers: Endgame,” but it’s unclear when the MCU-modifying events of the Season 1 finale will take place.

Hawk Eye

“Hawkeye” takes place over Christmas about a year after the events of “Avengers: Endgame”.

New upcoming Marvel movies

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And here’s a list of what’s next for the MCU in terms of confirmed movies and their planned release dates.

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home – December 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – May 6, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder – July 8, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – November 11, 2022
  • Les Merveilles – February 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. May 3 – 5, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – July 28, 2023
Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange Brie Larson Captain Marvel Tom Holland Peter Parker

What Marvel movies are showing on Disney Plus?

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Marvel studios

Almost every MCU movie airs on Disney +, with the exception of “The Incredible Hulk” and the two “Spider-Man” movies, which are currently not showing anywhere.

“Eternals” will be available to stream on Disney + at a later date.

  • Iron Man
  • Iron man 2
  • Thor
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • Iron man 3
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • guardians of the galaxy
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • The ant Man
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Doctor strange
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Black Panther
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Captain marvel
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Black Widow
  • Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings


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