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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 is ridiculously easy with Disney Plus, which includes almost all of the most recent entries to the MCU. Sure, you're aware of all the upcoming Marvel movies and series, but are you truly ready to shatter the multiverse with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?

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. There's only one problem — one MCU movie finally coming to streaming is not coming to Disney Plus.

Oh, and Disney is about to consolidate the MCU even further, as Sony Pictures and Disney drew up a deal that will (among other things) will bring all the Spider-Man movies (with Maguire, Garfield and Holland) to the streaming service. When it comes to watching Spider-Man: No Way Home online, though? Disney Plus won't be getting your back until 2023.

While the recently released MCU films and shows all take place around the same time, we've done our best to figure out a chronological order of events.

Plus, we've also figured out when the Marvel Disney Plus series take place, so you can slot them into the chronological list of Marvel movies in order. It's just one big happy (or unhappy, if we're talking Ultron) MCU. 

And while Disney Plus is home to (most of the) MCU, though Disney doesn't own all of the films (some may forever stay far from home). 

So, for those who have already seen them all in order of theatrical release, we've gone above and beyond. As for future MCU films, our upcoming Marvel movies and shows calendar is a complete guide to when your favorite superheroes will next fly to the big screen. Plus, we've got a guide on everything you need to know before watching Doctor Strange 2.

First off, we've organized the Marvel movies in order of the events that take place in the Infinity Saga. It's weird, right, that the films weren't released in that order, but 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, but you've got what it takes to grok the twists in the road from Tony Stark to Groot. 

Re-watching the Disney Marvel movies in order (and looking at other studio's Marvel movies as well) is the ideal way to spend time while you wait for the next Falcon and Winter Soldier ep to drop. We're not going to spoil anything here, but this show is about to break new ground in what's going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel movie news (Updated April 21)

Marvel movies in 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. Since most of the Marvel movies are on Disney Plus, we're saving the breakdown of what's there and what's not to down below.

Some plot points might become stronger, while some plot holes might seem more obvious, but for a decade-plus-long story, it’s bound to be impressive. And after going from 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger to 2019’s Captain Marvel, the rest will surely seem more sensical.  

One note: WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier are not Marvel movies, but we can place them chronologically in the MCU. Because Monica Rambeau rejoins S.W.O.R.D. three weeks after she was snapped back into reality because of the results of Avengers: Endgame (which takes place in 2023), 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 (which is eight months after Endgame). 

Loki, though? It starts in Avengers and Avengers: Endgame at the same time, and includes events from other points in time. Simply put, it's best watched after you've seen Endgame.

And "after Endgame" is where we can sort most of the MCU movies that were released after Endgame. A lot of them seem very close to each other in time, but we do know that Spider-Man: Far From home comes before Spider-Man: No Way Home, and that Hawkeye happens slightly after that.

As for Black Widow, it is set after Captain America: Civil War, so that's where we're placing it in the below list. Except, technically, it also takes place after Endgame.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is post-Blip, putting it after Endgame but also before Far From Home (which takes place during summer 2024). That puts Shang-Chi in a similar time period as TFATWS. Neither gives us enough proof that it's ahead of the other.

  • 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 
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2017)
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Avengers: Endgame (2017 - 2022)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Loki 
  • WandaVision
  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
  • Eternals (on Disney Plus January 12)
  • Spider-Man: No From Home (on Digital March 15)
  • Hawkeye

Marvel movies in 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

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. 

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 4

Phase 5

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?). 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 three 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

While we wish all 23 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 just left Netflix and didn't land on a different streaming service.

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) will be coming to HBO Max in April 2022. Yes, for some reason, it's not going to Disney Plus. You can also buy it from Amazon, Apple and various other sites
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) is available on Starz as a video on demand movie from DirecTV, Sling TV and FXNow.
  • Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019) is also on DirecTV and Starz.
  • Spider-Man: No way Home (2021) VOD starting March 15, 2022, Blu-ray in April 2022 then streaming on Starz by July 2022 at the latest, and on Disney Plus 16 months after that.

The Incredible Hulk isn't available on any streaming service library, and so you'll want to rent or buy on Amazon, Apple and various other sites.

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
Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior 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.