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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 want to enjoy a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) marathon in 2021, you'll need to understand how to watch the Marvel movies in order. On this page, we'll tell you how to watch the Marvel movies in both chronological and release orders, helping you make sense of the MCU timeline. If you're just starting WandaVision on Disney Plus, we'll also tell you where that fits into the story.

Disney Plus happens to be a good starting point if you want to watch the Marvel movies in order, simply because it has most of them streaming in 4K. WandaVision is just the first of many canonical MCU TV shows coming to the streaming service: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier follows in March 2021, then Loki lands in May 2021, and Ms Marvel and Hawkeye are coming in late 2021. Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Armor Wars, Ironheart and Secret Invasion are planned Marvel originals for the service, too.

2021, meanwhile, will see the return of Marvel movies to theaters, starting with Black Widow in May, and followed by Shang-Chi and Marvel's Eternals later that year – assuming things go to plan. All of these will naturally change up this list of Marvel movies in order considerably.

There are two main ways to watch the Marvel movies in order: there's the chronological order, beginning with Steve Rogers facing off against Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, while watching the 23 Marvel movies in release order kicks off with the debut of Iron Man back in 2008. We'll explain both orders below, so you can pick the one that works for you. 

So, now that Phase 4 of Marvel has officially kicked off with WandaVision, let's get you caught up. Watching the MCU movies in order is a fantastic way to pass the time – it's basically the world's most expensive serialized TV show, and it often pays off stories years down the line. 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 begin your MCU marathon. 

How to watch the Marvel movies in order: chronological order

A Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) timeline is likely what you're searching 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. The reason to watch the Marvel movies in this order is pretty simple: you'll see events play out as they happened, beginning with Red Skull's search for the Tesseract, and ending with Peter Parker's Venetian vacation. The 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.

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 (post-Endgame)

If you want to throw Marvel TV in there, too, WandaVision takes place after Endgame, but it's unclear right now when it's set relative to Far From Home:

  • WandaVision (set just 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

Want 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 more rewarding nostalgia trip, and you'll see how the MCU films get better over time with increased budgets and better casts. The 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, which should be packed after a silent 2020 for new Marvel movies.

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 – January 15, 2020)
  • 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)

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 December 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'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

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...?. 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)

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 rather 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.