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How to watch the Marvel movies in order

marvel movies in order
(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Twitter)

Watching the Marvel movies in order is easy enough with Disney Plus, and it's about to get even easier. 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. But if you're trying to figure out where Black Widow and the new Loki show fit into this chronology? We've got a simple answer and a complicated one. 

Our complete guide for how to watch the Marvel movies 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. Soon enough, you'll have soared from Tony Stark beta testing his first suits to Spider-Man's most recent trip abroad.

As mentioned above, we've also figured out when WandaVision and Falcon and Winter Soldier takes place, so you can slot it into the chronological list of Marvel movies in order.

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. Oh, and as for the MCU films coming in the future? While we keep this story updated with the latest release dates, our upcoming Marvel movies and Disney Plus shows calendar is a complete guide to when your favorite superheroes will next fly to the big screen.

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.

Latest Marvel movie news (Updated July 9)

  • Black Widow is now out on Disney Plus Premier Access and theaters and it takes place after Captain America: Civil War
  • Loki is out and it's all over the timeline, as one would expect from him
  • The deal between Sony and Disney will bring older Sony Pictures movies, including the Spider-Man MCU films, to Disney Plus

Marvel movies in chronological order

Marvel movies in order: Captain America: The First Avenger

(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.

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 Solider 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 Solider takes place three months after the blip brought everyone back, placing it after WandaVision but before Far From Home (which is 8 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're all caught up.

And Black Widow? It's after Captain America: Civil War, so that's where we're placing it in the below list.

  • 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
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming 
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • Thor: Ragnarok 
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2017)
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Avengers: Endgame (2017 - 2022)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home

Marvel movies in release order

Marvel movies in order: Iron Man

(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

  • Black Widow (July 9, 2021)

Marvel movies in 2021 and beyond

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. While Black Widow is the next scheduled MCU film, its date could get pushed back again, as May 2021 still seems a bit early given the state of social distancing. Though we could see it being  surprise launch on Disney Plus Premier Access.

The biggest news regarding the next MCU movies is that Tom Holland's third Spider-Man movie will reportedly also feature other Spider-Men. Yes, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield (along with Alfred Molina and Kirsten Dunst) are coming back. Smells like a live-action Spider-Verse to us.

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

  • Black Panther 2 (May 6, 2022)
  • Captain Marvel II (July 8, 2022)
  • Blade (To be announced)
  • Avengers 5 (To be announced)
  • Untitled Marvel Studios film (February 17, 2023)
  • Untitled Marvel Studios film (May 5, 2023)
  • Untitled Marvel Studios film (July 28, 2023)
  • Untitled Marvel Studios film (November 3, 2023)

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

Marvel movies in order: 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

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) isn't available on any streaming service library, and so you'll want to rent or buy on Amazon, Apple and various other sites
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) is available as a video on demand movie from DirecTV, Sling TV and FXNow.
  • Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019) is also on DirecTV and Starz.

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. Homecoming is available as a video on demand movie from DirecTV, Sling TV and FXNow, while Spider-Man: Far from Home is also on DirecTV and 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. 

Henry T. Casey

Henry is an editor writer at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom's Guide — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and looking for the headphone adapter that he unplugged from his iPhone.