How to watch the Marvel movies in order

The Avengers: Endgame poster shows many of the heroes you'll see when you watch the marvel movies in order
(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Twitter)

Watching the Marvel movies in order doesn't require superpowers, just a Disney Plus subscription. The streaming service includes almost all of the most recent entries to the MCU, and it gains its next title later this month. This is one reason why many find it hard to cancel Disney Plus — as it's a guaranteed feed of the latest MCU adventure.

While you may have circled all of the upcoming Marvel movie release dates on your calendar, the next date of note is Oct. 6, when Loki season 2 premieres.

As for when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits Disney Plus? It's arriving on August 2nd. Our complete guide for how to watch the Marvel movies in order lays out the two primary ways: You can relive the theatrical experience and sort by release date or grab them in order of chronological timeline events to follow the Avengers on their own paths.

While the recently released MCU films and shows all take place around the same time, we've got a chronological list of the Marvel movies in order of events.

And that's why we've placed the Marvel movies in order of the events that take place in the Infinity Saga first. It's weird, right, that the films weren't released in that order? Alas, the same is true for the Star Wars trilogies. This order isn't exactly perfect either, with flashbacks here and there that break the strict narrative arc.

Marvel movie and show news (Updated July 21)

Marvel movies in order — chronological order (and shows too)

Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger, one of the early Marvel movies

(Image credit: Jay Maidment/Paramount)

If you’ve seen most or all of the movies and you want to switch things up a bit, chronologically rewatching the Marvel movies in order, to see the events as they took place (with flashbacks thrown in just to throw you off), is a fun experiment. 

And even though the Disney Plus shows such as WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier are not Marvel movies, we can place them chronologically in the MCU. Monica Rambeau rejoins S.W.O.R.D. three weeks after she was snapped back into reality, so we can place WandaVision between Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Similarly, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier takes place three months after the blip brought everyone back, placing it after WandaVision but before Far From Home. 

Disney Plus' own site places Loki (which goes all over the timeline) after Endgame. It also says the last three recent Disney Plus shows — Hawkeye, Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel — take place in release order. Thor: Love and Thunder isn't officially placed in the timeline yet, but because Thor says it's been "eight years, seven months, and six days," since he and Jane broke up (which was somewhere around 2017 and 2018), we can place the movie at around 2026 — which puts it the year after Ms. Marvel (2025).

It's unclear when exactly Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 takes place, but in 2021 James Gunn said it's after Thor: Love & Thunder. Which makes sense consider the Guardians Holiday Special (which was after that Thor movie) happens before Vol. 3. 

That period in time is basically called "present day MCU" or at least that's the phrase that Disney's own description for Secret Invasion says. Disney's use of that terminology for this upcoming series makes us think it happens alongside of the other recent releases.

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (World War II)
  • Captain Marvel (1995)
  • Iron Man (2010)
  • Iron Man 2
  • The Incredible Hulk (occurs prior to The Avengers)
  • Thor (occurs prior to The Avengers)
  • Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
  • Iron Man 3 (six months after The Avengers)
  • Thor: Dark World
  • Captain America: Winter Soldier (after The Avengers, before Age of Ultron)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (ca. 2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Black Widow (with a scene that happens after Endgame)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming 
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • Thor: Ragnarok 
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2017)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2017 - 2022)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Loki 
  • What If...?
  • WandaVision
  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Eternals
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness
  • Hawkeye
  • Moon Knight
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • She-Hulk (based on Disney Plus timeline)
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Thor: Love and Thunder
  • Werewolf By Night
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (likely placement — waiting for Disney Plus confirmation on August 2)
  • Secret Invasion

Marvel movies in order — release order (and shows too)

Iron Man in one of the early marvel movies

(Image credit: Credit: Zade Rosenthal/Paramount)

We recommend watching the Marvel movies in order of their release for a few reasons. It’s fun to see how the special effects and actors evolve over the years, you won’t feel as bad about skipping around if you don’t want to do a complete binge-watch and, quite frankly, the release order tells a stronger narrative — watching a movie like Captain Marvel out of release order might be more confusing than enjoyable. 

You'll see below that we've broken them out into Marvel's three Phases, the groupings it uses to show the major chapters of The Infinity Saga. This is the natural way to organize your own Marvel movie marathon.

Phase One

  • Iron Man (May 2, 2008)
  • The Incredible Hulk (June 13, 2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (May 7, 2010)
  • Thor (May 6, 2011)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22, 2011)
  • Marvel’s The Avengers (May 4, 2012)

Phase Two

  • Iron Man 3 (May 3, 2013)
  • Thor: The Dark World (November 8, 2013)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4, 2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1, 2014)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015)
  • Ant-Man (July 17, 2015)

Phase Three

  • Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016)
  • Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017)
  • Black Panther (February 16, 2018)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (April 27, 2018)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6, 2018)
  • Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019)
  • Avengers: Endgame (April 26, 2019)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2, 2019)

Phase Four

TV shows are listed with their premiere dates.

Phase Five

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Feb. 17, 2023)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5, 2023)
  • Secret Invasion (June 21, 2023)

Marvel movies in 2022 and beyond (and shows too)

The list of Phase 4 release dates keeps changing, as COVID-19 halts production for movies around the world and keeps many multiplexes at bay. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the next movie coming up from Marvel Studios, and we expect it to arrive on Disney Plus either by Monday, Dec. 26 (45 days after its theatrical opening) or as late as January 11 (Thor: Love and Thunder took two months to get to Disney Plus).

Speculation based on below list of movies has some wondering where the Avengers will find their next leader. Some think Carol Danvers herself will be taking the reins of the team, but we'll have to wait for July 2022 to see if there's any merit to that fan theory. Here is the short calendar of when to expect upcoming Marvel movies (in order of theatrical release).

Phase 5

Phase 6

  • Deadpool 3 (Nov. 8, 2024 — film)
  • Fantastic Four (Feb. 14, 2025 — film)
  • Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (May 2, 2025 — film)
  • Avengers: Secret War (May 1, 2026 — film)

The best Marvel movies to watch

Say you don't want to watch every movie, but just the great ones. Sure, there are some gems out there — critics loved Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok — but for every Endgame there's also a The Incredible Hulk (remember the pre-Ruffalo Hulk?). There is only one Eternals, though. Or at least there was until Quantumania lowered the bar.

So, for those trying to find the best MCU films, we have your back. We've organized the Marvel movies in order of their Rotten Tomatoes scores, which give us a wealth of insight into how these movies were critically received. 

Marvel movies on Disney Plus

Endgame on Disney Plus

(Image credit: Future)

All but four of the MCU Marvel movies are on Disney Plus, the streaming service that most MCU fans will want to have when they get the itch to rewatch the Avengers. On top of that, all Disney Plus movies can be saved for offline, in case you're going on a trip any time soon.

  • Captain America: The First Avenger 
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Captain Marvel 
  • Iron Man 
  • Iron Man 2
  • Iron Man 3
  • Thor 
  • Marvel’s The Avengers 
  • Thor: Dark World
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron 
  • Ant-Man
  • Doctor Strange
  • Black Panther 
  • Thor: Ragnarok 
  • Avengers: Infinity War 
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Black Widow
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Eternals
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  • Thor: Love & Thunder
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming 
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

While we wish all MCU movies will streamable on Disney Plus eventually, there's reason to suspect that The Incredible Hulk and both Spider-Man films won't make it, due to being owned by Sony and Universal, respectively. 

Interestingly, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (which isn't MCU canon, more of a Sony Spider-Man movie, like Morbius) is still in absentia.

For more, read our full Disney Plus review.

Marvel movies not on Disney Plus

MJ and Spider-Man in Far From Home

(Image credit: JoJo Whilden)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008) is on HBO Max. Yes, for some reason, it's not on Disney Plus. You can also buy it from Amazon, Apple and various other sites
  • Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019) is also on DirecTV and Starz.
  • Spider-Man: No way Home (2021) Streaming on Starz, and available for rental or purchase digitally on Amazon and other services. We expect it on Disney Plus (or some other service) around November 2023.

We believe Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far from Home will come to Disney Plus soon, per Sony and Disney's deal, but they're not there yet. Both are available on Starz.

At this point, people who don't want to add Disney's monthly billing will turn to rent the rest through iTunes or Amazon for $1.99–$3.99 each. 

Looking to watch the Harry Potter movies in order? You don't find them on Disney Plus, but we've got the details.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.