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How to watch the Marvel movies in order

Here’s a chronological guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

(Image: © Marvel Studios)

With Avengers: Endgame finally out on Blu-ray and the next slate of Marvel films - what we’re calling Phase Four - right around the corner, now is a perfect time to go back and watch every MCU film from start to finish.

That said, there’s more than one way up the Marvel movie mountain: you can watch the films in their correct chronological order that starts with Captain America: The First Avenger which starts with Cap fighting Nazis in the 1940s, or watch the films as they were released in theaters starting with the original Iron Man film from 2008. It's all pretty handy to know with Disney Plus not far around the corner?

We’ll list both the orders down below, along with a new third list that ranks the films by score for all the non-Believers out there who only have the time to watch the best Marvel movies without forcing themselves to sit through Thor or, worse, The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton. 

For now, kick off your boots, put on some pop-corn and get ready to watch some of the best films to ever come from the pages of a comic book.

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Marvel films in chronological order 

Chances are good that this is the list you came for. This list contains all the Marvel films listed chronologically from The First Avenger to Endgame. The benefits of watching the films this way is that you’ll get to see the events as they unfolded in the universe. You can keep track of the Tesseract, watch Thor’s journey from hero to zero to hero and the Guardians of the Galaxy eke ever closer to killing Thanos. 

Here’s the correct chronological viewing order:

  • 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 (time unspecified, pre-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)

A still from Iron Man

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Marvel movies ordered by release date 

That being said, if you want to see the films as they were originally released in theaters, you should follow this list that starts with the original Iron Man in 2008 and continues all the way up to Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home (which is still in theaters). Watching the films this way means that they’ll start out rough and only improve over time as the studio puts more money behind the box office behemoth, and makes for a fun walk down memory lane. 

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 (dates subject to change) 

  • Black Widow (2020)
  • The Eternals (2020)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  • Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021)
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2021)

The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe 

  • Black Panther II (TBD)
  • Blade (TBD)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (TBD)
  • Untitled Captain Marvel film (TBD)
  • Untitled Fantastic Four film (TBD)

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Marvel movies ranked from best to worst 

Finally, if you don’t have time to waste with the worst Marvel films (*cough*) Thor (*cough*), we’ve also put together a guide to the films ranked from best to worst with the most highly acclaimed films like Endgame and Guardians of the Galaxy right at the top.  (Scores are based on their IMDB ranking.)