There are presently 28 Marvel Cinematic Universe films with more on the way, all of which are set in the same universe and are linked by characters, events, and locales.
As a result, you’d be forgiven for being perplexed as to how they all fit together and in what sequence to watch them.
With Marvel’s The Avengers, released in 2012, the studio broke new ground by bringing together dissimilar heroes from their respective films (Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’s Captain America, and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor) in one team-up film, before splitting them up into their own sequels. Of course, this method of storytelling has been used in comic books before, but conveying a serialized story across multiple films with a variety of tones and characters was a first, and it remains a gold mine of interesting stories and characters to this day.
However, as the number of MCUs has increased, so has their complexity. Some movies are set on other planets yet take place at the same time as events on our own. Some movies are set in the distant past.
We’ve got you covered if you’re trying to figure out how to watch the Marvel movies in order. We’ve provided two alternatives for viewing the Marvel movies: chronological events and when each film was released in theatres.
Both come highly recommended and are excellent options for binge-watching this franchise. Below there is a list of how to view the Marvel Disney Plus shows in chronological order.
The sequence of these lists is strongly influenced by our own in-depth MCU timeline, which delves into the specifics of when each event in the MCU takes place.
Marvel Movies in Order of Release
All of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films are listed below in chronological sequence, with “phases” denoting smaller story arcs inside the broader MCU arc, as defined by Marvel Studios.
May 2, 2008 – Iron Man
On June 13, 2008, The Incredible Hulk was released.
May 7, 2010, is the release date for Iron Man 2.
Thor was born on May 6, 2011, and he is a superhero.
Captain America: The First Avenger will be released on July 22, 2011, by Marvel Studios.
May 4, 2012 – Marvel’s The Avengers
May 3, 2013, is the release date for Iron Man 3.
Thor: The Dark World will be released on November 8, 2013, by Marvel Studios.
April 4, 2014 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
1st August 2014 – Guardians of the Galaxy
May 1, 2015, is the release date for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
July 17, 2015 – Ant-Man
May 6, 2016 – Captain America: Civil War
November 4, 2016 – Doctor Strange
May 5, 2017, is the release date for the second installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
On July 7, 2017, Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released.
Thor: Ragnarok is scheduled to be released on November 3rd, 2017.
February 16, 2018 – Black Panther
Avengers: Infinity War is set to hit theatres on April 27th, 2018.
July 6, 2018 – Ant-Man and the Wasp
Captain Marvel will be released on March 8, 2019, in theatres.
Avengers: Endgame is set to hit theatres on April 26th, 2019.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Far From Home will be released on July 2, 2019.
9 July 2021: Black Widow
3 September 2021 – Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
5 November 2021 – Eternals
On December 17, 2021, Spider-Man: No Way Home will be released.
The Multiverse of Madness – Doctor Strange – May 6, 2022
Thor: Ragnarok will be released on July 8, 2022.
November 11th, 2022 – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Quantumania – February 17, 2023 (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
May 5, 2023, is the release date for the third installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
July 28, 2023 – The Marvels (aka Captain Marvel 2)
Marvel Movies in Chronological Order of Events
1. Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The First Avenger is the film that takes place at the beginning of the MCU timeline. The Steve Rogers origin tale begins in 1940 with Steve (Evans) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) enlisting in the military and concludes in 1945 with Steve’s plane crashing and him being frozen for the next half-century.
2. Captain Marvel
Then there’s Captain Marvel, which is one of the newest Marvel films but whose events take place before the main MCU timeline. Brie Larson’s character, a pilot, crashes her jet in 1989 and is later trained as a Kree before returning to Earth in 1995, the year in which the majority of Captain Marvel is set.
3. Iron Man
The first Marvel film was released in 2008, however, according to Marvel’s own timeline, it takes place in 2010 rather than 2008.
4. The Incredible Hulk
The Hulk movie starring Edward Norton takes place soon after Iron Man.
5. Iron Man 2
The year 2011 is the setting for the sequel of Iron Man.
Thor takes place in 2011, roughly the same time as Iron Man 2, with flashbacks to events from centuries ago.
7. The Avengers
Finally, in the year 2012, the two come together.
8. Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 is set in the year 2012 and focuses on Tony Stark’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the events of The Avengers.
9. Thor: The Dark World
In the year 2013, the forgettable sequel is set.
10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
S.H.I.E.L.D.’s big fall takes place in 2014, a few years after the agency helped assemble The Avengers.
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