If you are considering a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) marathon, you will want to know how to watch the Marvel movies in order. This guide will explain how to watch the Marvel movies in both chronological and release orders, helping you make sense of the MCU timeline.
Meanwhile, we were hoping the story would continue with Phase 4 of the MCU this year, only the Disney Plus TV show WandaVision is releasing in 2020 now, while the Black Widow solo film has been delayed until May 2021.
Watching the Marvel movies in order will let you get caught up before WandaVision, then, and it helps that most of the MCU films are streaming on Disney Plus around the world in 4K right now.
Therefore, there are two main ways to watch the Marvel movies in order: there’s the chronological order, beginning with Steve Rogers’ origin in Captain America: The First Avenger, while watching the Marvel movies in release order starts with Iron Man back in 2008. We will explain both below.
Each list of Marvel movies ends with Spider-Man: Far From Home for now. Eventually, pandemic permitting that will change, with Black Widow, The Eternals, and Shang-Chi all due for theatrical release in 2021.
Consequently, Marvel is likely to be more active on the TV side next year, too: The Falcon and Winter Soldier will follow WandaVision, along with (as-yet-undated) shows based on Loki, Hawkeye, Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, Moon Knight, and Nick Fury. These canonical MCU TV shows will continue the story of the Marvel movies, exclusively on Disney Plus.
Watching the MCU movies in order is a very rewarding experience: it’s like the world’s most expensive TV series, with twists, big finales, cliffhangers, and those all-important post-credits sequences teasing what’s coming up. More so, the story threads like the Infinity Stones sometimes take years to pay off, but when they do, you feel invested in the outcome. This is why Marvel movies have owned the box office for so many years now.
Here, then, we will explain how to watch the Marvel movies in chronological and release order, and we will also rank the best Marvel movies and reveal those that can be streamed on Disney Plus right now.
How to Watch the Marvel Movies in Order: Chronological Order
A Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) timeline is probably what you are looking for. Here’s how to watch the Marvel films in chronological order, starting with Captain America: The First Avengers and finishing with Spider-Man: Far From Home (for now).
The reason to watch the Marvel movies in this order is pretty simple: you will see events play out as they happened, from Red Skull’s grab for the Tesseract in the ’40s all the way up to Peter’s school trip to Venice in the present day.
This 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 2021 Marvel movies like Black Widow and The Eternals are finally released, along with Disney Plus shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision, we will update this MCU timeline accordingly. Black Widow, for example, is confirmed to be set after Captain America: Civil War yet before Infinity War, but with its release date delayed until 2021, we have left it off this list for now. Notwithstanding, Avengers: Infinity War was the first of a two-part finale to Phase 3.
Marvel Movies in Order: Release Date
If you want to watch the MCU movies in release order, you will want this list, which starts with Iron Man in 2008 and ends in 2019 with Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Therefore, watching the Marvel movies in release order is a terrific nostalgia trip, and you’ll see how the MCU films get better over time with increased budgets and better casts.
We have also included the future MCU Phase 4 release dates below for your reference, but they have been in flux a lot lately meanwhile, Black Widow has recently moved to 2021, making 2020 the first year to have no MCU movies since before it all began.
- Iron Man (2008)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- Thor (2011)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- Marvel’s The 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)
- Firstly, Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Doctor Strange (2016)
- Also, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
- Also, Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- Black Panther (2018)
- Also, Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
- Also, Captain Marvel (2019)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Lastly, Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
- Firstly, Black Widow (May 7, 2021)
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9, 2021)
- Also, The Eternals (November 5, 2021)
- Untitled third Spider-Man movie (December 17, 2021)
- Also, Thor: Love and Thunder (February 11, 2022)
- Lastly, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022)
The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Firstly, Black Panther 2 (May 6, 2022)
- Captain Marvel 2 (July 8, 2022)
- Also, an Untitled Marvel movie (likely Ant-Man 3, October 7, 2022)
- Blade (TBD)
- Also, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (TBD)
- Lastly, Untitled Fantastic Four film (TBD)
Marvel movies on Disney Plus
Wondering which Marvel movies are on Disney Plus? The below list is correct in the US, UK, and Australia as of September 2020. 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 will have to buy them on DVD, Blu-Ray or digital if you want a full Marvel movie marathon.
These are the Marvel movies on Disney Plus:
- Firstly, Iron Man
- Also, Iron Man 2
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Also, The Avengers
- Iron Man 3
- Next, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Thor: The Dark World
- Also, Guardians of the Galaxy
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Also, Ant-Man
- Captain America: Civil War
- Also, Doctor Strange
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Also, Captain Marvel
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Also, Avengers: Endgame
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Black Panther
- Finally, Ant-Man and the Wasp
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 the animated show. Aside from WandaVision, these dates are tentative.
- WandaVision (late 2020)
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (was August 2020, now TBA 2021)
- Loki (Spring 2021)
- What If…? (Summer 2021)
- Hawkeye (Fall 2021)
- Ms Marvel (TBA)
- Moon Knight (TBA)
- She-Hulk (TBA)
- Nick Fury (TBA)
What are the best Marvel movies? We have all got an opinion (Civil War, Infinity War, and The Avengers for us) but below, we have let the people have their way, ranking the Marvel movies based on user opinions from IMDb.
The list gets some things right (Thor: The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk are definitely below-average), and other things rather wrong (Ant-Man and the Wasp are worse than Captain America: The First Avenger, in our opinion). Curiously, it’s a tie between the last two Avengers movies, Endgame and Infinity War, for the best film of the MCU so far.
- Firstly, Avengers: Infinity War(2018) – Rating: 8.4
- Next, Avengers: Endgame(2019) – Rating: 8.4
- The Avengers(2012) – Rating: 8.0
- Also, Guardians of the Galaxy(2014) – Rating: 8.0
- Iron Man(2008) – Rating: 7.9
- Next, Thor: Ragnarok(2017) – Rating: 7.9
- Captain America: Civil War(2016) – Rating: 7.8
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier(2014) – Rating: 7.7
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2(2017) – Rating: 7.6
- Spider-Man: Far From Home(2019) – Rating: 7.5
- Doctor Strange (2016) – Rating: 7.5
- Spider-Man: Homecoming(2017) – Rating: 7.4
- Black Panther (2018) – Rating: 7.3
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – Rating: 7.3
- Ant-Man (2015) – Rating: 7.3
- Iron Man 3 (2013) – Rating: 7.2
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) – Rating: 7.1
- Thor (2011) – Rating: 7.0
- Iron Man 2 (2010) – Rating: 7.0
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – Rating: 6.9
- Thor: The Dark World (2013) – Rating: 6.9
- Captain Marvel (2019) – Rating: 6.9
- The Incredible Hulk (2008) – Rating: 6.7
How to Download Marvel Movies
So if you want to download Marvel movies, you can save offline copies via the Disney Plus app on your portable device (smartphone or tablet). Also, you cannot download any video via your desktop browser, though.
You will need enough storage space but just look for the download symbol on any title in the Disney Plus app.
Therefore, the content you download on your phone will stay in your device’s main memory if it doesn’t have an external microSD card slot. That includes all Apple iPhone smartphones, iPad tablets, and a few others handsets (like the Google Pixel 3a).
A 1-hour download takes about 400MB of storage depending on your download quality: High quality is six times better than standard quality while the medium is 50% better than standard quality (which is the Disney Plus app’s default).
If you are happy to buy the movies, too, say through Amazon Prime, that will also allow you to download Marvel movies locally.