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How to watch the Marvel movies in order

Here’s a chronological guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in order

If you're doing a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) marathon in 2021, 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, and provide context for the MCU timeline. If you're enjoying WandaVision on Disney Plus, too, we'll explain how that fits chronologically alongside the movies. 

Disney Plus is the service to get if you want to watch the Marvel movies in order, since it has the majority of them available to stream in 4K. WandaVision is just the first of many canonical MCU TV shows landing on the streamer, too: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier arrives soon in March 2021, Loki releases in May 2021, and Ms Marvel and Hawkeye are coming in late 2021. The series Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Armor Wars, Ironheart and Secret Invasion are planned Marvel originals for the service, too.

2021 – hopefully – will also bring Marvel movies back to the big screen, continuing the story after a long hiatus. As it stands, Black Widow is due in May, followed by Shang-Chi and Marvel's Eternals later in the year. They will shake up the list of Marvel movies in order considerably, which is something to look forward to.

There are two main ways to watch the Marvel movies in order: the chronological order kicks off with Captain America: The First Avenger, while the release order begins with Iron Man back in 2008, which introduced Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark to the world. You'll find both MCU movie orders below. 

Now that Phase 4 of Marvel has begun with WandaVision, let's explore how the pieces fit together. Watching the MCU movies in order is always great fun, with narrative threads sometimes taking years to pay off, and patience being rewarded with amazing endings to ongoing character arcs. Below, we'll explain how to watch the Marvel movies in chronological and release order, and we'll also rank the best Marvel movies. 

Let's start your MCU marathon. 

How to watch the Marvel movies in order: chronological order

A Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) timeline is probably what you're here for Here's how to watch the Marvel films in chronological order, starting in WWII with Captain America: The First Avenger and (currently) with Spider-Man: Far From Home. The reason to watch the Marvel movies in this order is pretty simple: you'll see events play out as they happened, from Red Skull's pursuit of the Tesseract, all the way up to the demise of Thanos. The MCU story has now continued with WandaVision on Disney Plus, which you'll also find below – like Spider-Man: Far From Home, that's set after Endgame, but before the second Spidey film.

Here's 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 (eight months post-Endgame)

WandaVision, meanwhile, actually takes place before Spider-Man: Far From Home:

  • WandaVision (three weeks after Endgame)

When 2021 Marvel movies like Black Widow and The Eternals are finally released, along with more Disney Plus shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, we'll update this MCU timeline accordingly. Black Widow is meant to be set after Captain America: Civil War – but it's unclear if parts of the film will be set earlier or later, so we've left it off of the list for now. 

Avengers movies in order

Avengers: Infinity War was the first of a two-part finale to Phase 3.  (Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Marvel movies in order: release date

Looking to watch the MCU movies in release order? You'll want this list, which begins 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 better option if you want a nice nostalgia trip, and you'll see how the MCU films are supercharged after the Disney acquisition with bigger and better budgets. 

The MCU story was meant to be enjoyed in this order, after all. 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

  • WandaVision (TV show – currently releasing weekly)
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TV show – March 19, 2021)
  • Black Widow (May 7, 2021)
  • Loki (TV show – May 2021)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9, 2021)
  • The Eternals (November 5, 2021)
  • Ms Marvel (TV show – late 2021)
  • Untitled third Spider-Man movie (December 17, 2021)
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022) 
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (May 6, 2022)
  • Black Panther 2 (July 8, 2022)
  • Captain Marvel 2 (November 11, 2022)

The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including TV shows

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania (TBD)
  • Blade (TBD)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (TBD)
  • Fantastic Four (TBD)
  • Hawkeye (TV show – TBA)
  • She-Hulk (TV show – TBA)
  • Moon Knight (TV show – TBA)
  • Secret Invasion (TV show – TBA)
  • Ironheart (TV show – TBA)
  • Armor Wars (TV show – TBA)
  • Wakanda series (TV show – TBA)

Marvel movies on Disney Plus

Marvel movies on Disney Plus.

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Wondering which Marvel movies are on Disney Plus? The below list is correct in US, UK and Australia as of January 2020. The Incredible Hulk and the Spider-Man films are not available on Disney Plus because Universal and Sony own the distribution rights to them respectively. You'll have to buy or rent them on DVD, Blu-Ray or digital 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
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp

Meanwhile, these are the series coming to , with the exception of animated show What If...?. Aside from WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, which had their release dates confirmed at Disney's Investor Day in late 2020, these dates are tentative. 

  • WandaVision (January 15, 2020)
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (March 19, 2021)
  • Loki (May 2021)
  • What If...? (summer 2021)
  • Ms Marvel (late 2021)
  • Hawkeye (late 2021)
  • She-Hulk (TBA)
  • Moon Knight (TBA)
  • Secret Invasion (TBA)
  • Ironheart (TBA)
  • Armor Wars (TBA)
  • Wakanda series (TBA)

Marvel movies in order

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier follows Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Best Marvel movies

What are the best Marvel movies? We've all got an opinion (Civil War, Infinity War and The Avengers are the winners for us) – but below, we've let the people have their opinion, ranking the Marvel movies based on user scores from IMDb. The list gets some things right (Thor: The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk are definitely below-average), and other things extremely wrong (Ant-Man and the Wasp is surely worse than Captain America: The First Avenger?). Curiously, it's a tie between the last two Avengers movies, Endgame and Infinity War, for the best film of the MCU so far.

Best

Worst

How to download Marvel movies

If you want to download Marvel movies, you can save offline copies via the Disney Plus app on your portable device (smartphone or tablet). You cannot download any video via your desktop browser, though.

You'll need enough storage space, but just look for the download symbol on any title in the Disney Plus app:

Click the download symbol on the right, here.

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 medium is 50% better than standard quality (which is the Disney Plus app’s default).

If you're happy to buy the movies, too, say through Amazon Prime, that'll also allow you to download Marvel movies locally.