Marvel Movies in Order: All 27 MCU Movies Chronologically

Marvel Movies in Order All 23 MCU Movies Chronologically

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a pop-cultural phenomenon that will hardly ever be replicated in the world of movies and TV shows. The movies that are a part of the MCU can all stand alone as separate, independent films. However, the plot of each film influences the plot of the next film, tying everything together into one big story – hence, the name Cinematic Universe.

It all began with Iron Man in 2008, and the MCU is still expanding and branching out to this day. Now, many TV shows and mini-series (like WandaVision, Loki, or Hawkeye) fall under MCU’s next phase, meaning that the Universe expanded from the movie to a whole new engagement level for fans to follow. 

It’s important to note the difference between Marvel Studios and the MCU. You see, not all Marvel movies and TV shows fall under the MCU. Many Marvel movies came out before the MCU began, and many Marvel movies are still coming out independent of the MCU, like Venom, the X-Men, Deadpool, etc. This article will focus only on the MCU, not all Marvel Studios’ work.

The MCU started in 2008, and it’s still rolling, branching, and expanding, which sometimes makes everything a bit hard to follow if you haven’t started from the beginning. Don’t worry, though – I got your back. Here’s how you should watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe the right way.

How to Watch Marvel Movies in Order?

The best way to watch the MCU movies in order – is in the order they came out. The producers deliberately released the films in that order, as the stories complete each other perfectly. The post-credit scenes from one movie often give you crucial information to understand everything in the next movie, etc.

Without further ado, here’s how you should watch the MCU:

  1. Iron Man (2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  4. Thor (2011)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  6. The Avengers (2012)
  7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  8. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  12. Ant-Man (2015)
  13. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  14. Doctor Strange (2016)
  15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  18. Black Panther (2018)
  19. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  21. Captain Marvel (2019)
  22. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  23. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
  24. Black Widow (2021)
  25. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  26. Eternals (2021)
  27. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  28. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  29. Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  30. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  31. The Marvels (2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  32. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  33. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) (TBR – To Be Released)

This list presents the best way to watch all MCU movies from start to finish (at least for the projects that have been released or announced so far). It’s best to watch them in this particular order because the stories are linked to one another, so crucial information is given at meticulously planned points of the MCU.

Marvel Movies in Chronological Order

Suppose you wish to watch the movies in chronological order based on when the plot is taking place. In that case, the list will look a bit different, as several sequels/prequels depict events happening way before the events of an MCU movie that had been released earlier. It’s made as such deliberately, but still, if you wish to watch Marvel movies in chronological order, here’s how:

1. Captain America: The First Avenger (set in 1943-1945)

We follow Steve Rogers on his way to becoming Captain America. He was a weak, small guy that wanted to serve his country. He received the super-soldier serum that made him superhumanly strong, fast, and durable, ultimately making him Cap. In the end, he crashes a plane into ice to save the world, leaving him frozen for 70 years.

2. Captain Marvel (set in 1995)

Carol Danvers was a prolific US army pilot that came into contact with an extraterrestrial object of incredible cosmic power. After an explosion, Danvers absorbed unfathomable amounts of cosmic energy from the object, becoming Captain Marvel instead of dying.

3. Iron Man (set in 2010)

Tony Stark is an eccentric, genius billionaire engineer specializing in weapons development. After he gets trapped and held captive in a cave in Afghanistan, Stark creates a powerful suit made out of nothing but scraps to fight his way out and eventually survive. It prompts him to develop a weaponized suit and fight evil, becoming Iron Man.

4. Iron Man 2 (set in 2011)

Now, the world knows who Iron Man is. Apart from dealing with that, Tony has to deal with declining health; all the while, a new great threat emerges from the dark with a desire to destroy Stark because of his father’s legacy.

5. The Incredible Hulk (set in 2011)

Although the movie’s action began in 2005, it finished in 2011. The story follows doctor Bruce Banner who agreed to do experiments and testings to revive the 1940s Super soldier Program. But instead of looking like Stever Rogers, he ends up becoming the Hulk.

6. Thor (set in 2011)

After almost starting a war between Asgard and Jotunheim due to his arrogance and thirst for battle, Thor – The God of Thunder – gets stripped of his powers and banished to Earth until he can prove himself worthy of his powers again.

7. The Avengers (set in 2012)

Loki comes to Earth, ordering people to kneel before him while leading a colossal alien army in an attack on New York. The Avengers team is assembled to fight him and protect Earth.

8. Iron Man 3 (set in 2012)

Iron Man faces the Mandarin in his third movie – a terrorist that does his best to shatter his world into pieces. Tony regroups and tries to rebuild his name and reputation.

9. Thor: The Dark World (set in 2013)

After raging his powers in the first Thor movie, the Asgardian god has to return home to defend it from horrifying creatures called the Dark Elves. They try to use one of the Infinity Stones to destroy Asgard, but Thor stops them in the end.

10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (set in 2014)

There’s a great new threat on the horizon in the form of the Winter Soldier – a legendary warrior/villain under somewhat of programmed hypnosis. It turns out, Rogers’ best friend, Bucky Barnes, had also been frozen for decades, only to get brainwashed and become the Winter Soldier. Cap has to fight him, but be careful not to hurt his friend.

11. Guardians of the Galaxy (set in 2014)

An odd group of extraterrestrials, called the Guardians of the Galaxy, is formed in a fight against a cosmic threat called Ronan – a rogue subordinate of Thanos who took the Power Stone for himself, wanting to rule the galaxy and destroy everybody in his way.

12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (set in 2014)

The second Guardians of the Galaxy movie takes place right after the events of the first film. The crew is still together doing bounty hunting work across the galaxy. However, they encounter Ego, the Living Planet, a Celestial that turns out to be Star-Lord’s father. The family reunion goes bad, but we find out there’s more to Peter Quill than we ever knew.

13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (set in 2015)

Back on Earth, Tony and Bruce are trying to wake up a dormant artificial intelligence program called Ultron. But, instead of being helpful, things go wrong, and Ultron decides to eradicate humanity. It’s the same movie where Vision is born, out of Jarvis AI and a synthetic body powered with the Mind Stone.

14. Ant-Man (set in 2015)

Scott Lang is a low-life burglar that gets a chance to redeem himself after Hank Pym – the creator of the famous Pym particle – chooses him to wear the Ant-Man suit, allowing him to shrink in size, but increase his strength. Lang, Pym, and Pym’s daughter, Hope, develop a plan to save the world from a guy with his own special shrinking suit.

15. Captain America: Civil War (set in 2016)

Things aren’t always a fairytale among the Avengers. In Civil War, a dispute between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers regarding Bucky Barnes – and political involvement regarding the team – leads to the team dividing into two sides, ultimately battling each other.

16. Black Widow (set in 2016)

The Black Widow movie plot takes place right between the Civil War and Infinity War. Natasha Romanoff reunites with her long-lost sister and “parents.” After we learn that her family was fake the entire time, and her parents gave both Natasha and Yelena to become Widows, the sisters fight together to end Dreykov, the Red Room, and the entire Widow program.

17. Black Panther (set in 2016)

Meanwhile, the world learns about Wakanda – an African country hidden from the public eye with incredibly advanced technology due to the massive amounts of vibranium metal they possess. The new king, T’Challa, has to battle his estranged cousin, The Killmonger, for the Wakandan throne (and for the Black Panther mantle), and after he succeeds, he finally lets the world know about Wakanda.

18. Spider-Man: Homecoming (set in 2016)

Homecoming begins several months after the Civil War when Peter Parker returns to his neighborhood to fight crime. He encounters the Vulture that wants to steal very dangerous weapons from an Avengers convoy and almost succeeds, but Spidey prevents him.

19. Doctor Strange (set in 2016-2017)

Stephen Strange is one of the most brilliant surgeons in the world – but also one of the most egocentric. After a car crash takes away his arm’s precision, he delves into the Mystic arts to try and recover. 

Instead, he becomes Doctor Strange, aka the Sorcerer Supreme, defending the Earth from otherworldly threats – most notably, Dormammu, a horrible entity living in its own dimension, trying to destroy Earth and expanding his darkness over it.

20. Thor: Ragnarok (set in 2017)

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Thor has to battle his long-lost sister, Hela, who was imprisoned by their father for being too greedy for power – while already being too powerful. Her return prompted Ragnarok – an unstoppable prophecy that destroys Asgard completely together with Hela, while the people escape in a spaceship, trying to find a new place to live.

21. Ant-Man and the Wasp (set in 2018)

Just before the Avengers: Infinity War, and throughout the same time, it’s happening. Ant-Man and the Wasp find a way to safely enter the quantum realm – a subatomic realm where time and space are warped completely. As Thanos snaps his fingers and wipes out half of the universe, Scott ends up trapped inside the quantum realm.

22. Avengers: Infinity War (set in 2018)

Thanos, the Mad Titan, ventures onto a quest to find all six Infinity Stones and “balance” the universe once again before overpopulation destroys it. His view of balance is randomly exterminating 50% of all life. The Avengers fight him and nearly succeed, but Thanos does what he came to do in the end.

23. Avengers: Endgame (set in 2023)

Five years have passed, and the survivors try to cope with what Thanos has done. But, when Scott Lang finally escapes the quantum realm thanks to a rat, he floats the idea of using the quantum realm to time-travel and reversing what Thanos had done. They do so in the end, but not without some serious casualties.

24. Eternals (set in 2024)

The Eternals are cosmic beings created by the Celestials to protect humanity from the Deviants and help humankind progress. They have been here for 7000 years but instructed not to interfere with anything that doesn’t include the Deviants, which is why they don’t help the fight against Thanos. However, they learn that their purpose on Earth might not be what they thought it was.

25. Spider-Man: Far From Home (set in 2024)

After losing his mentor, Tony Stark, in the Endgame, Peter Parker griefs while trying to move on with his life. He goes on a trip to Europe with his school, only to find that trouble follows him there. He battles Mysterio, but after he wins, the villain reveals Spidey’s identity and blames him for his misdeeds.

26. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (set in 2024)

The events in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings happen after the Endgame returns everyone lost in the Blip. Shang-Chi has to battle his father, who’s trying to open a door that has been closed for a long time – not realizing they were closed for a reason.

27. Spider-Man: No Way Home (set in 2024)

Following the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home where Mysterio reveals Spider-Man’s identity, Peter asks Doctor Strange for help. Strange and Peter cast a spell for everyone to forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. The spell goes wrong and all breaks loose. The Multiverse is finally here!

After this, we also have WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and Hawkeye TV shows, all happening right after Endgame (apart from Loki, who exists outside of the regular time and space continuum due to the introduction of the Time Variance Authority).

The entire thing sets up the multiverse – which will tie into the plots for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (set after Endgame and WandaVision) coming out in 2022, Thor: Love and Thunder, etc. It’s still unclear how the upcoming movies will relate to each other chronologically.

Marvel Movies in Order of Release

As I mentioned earlier, the best way to watch the MCU is in order of release because the storyline, plot points, and post-credit scenes play into each other perfectly to round up the story. That being said, the following list is the same as the one in the first subheading, but with the exact release dates:

  1. Iron Man (May 1, 2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (June 13, 2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (April 29, 2010)
  4. Thor (April 28, 2011)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger (July 28, 2011)
  6. The Avengers (May 3, 2012)
  7. Iron Man 3 (April 25, 2013)
  8. Thor: The Dark World (November 8, 2013)
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4, 2014)
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy (July 31, 2014)
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (April 30, 2015)
  12. Ant-Man (July 16, 2015)
  13. Captain America: Civil War (May 5, 2016)
  14. Doctor Strange (October 27, 2016)
  15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017)
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017)
  17. Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017)
  18. Black Panther (February 16, 2018)
  19. Avengers: Infinity War (April 23, 2018)
  20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (June 25, 2018)
  21. Captain Marvel (March 7, 2019)
  22. Avengers: Endgame (April 26, 2019)
  23. Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2, 2019)
  24. Black Widow (July 9, 2021)
  25. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (September 3, 2021)
  26. Eternals (November 5, 2021)
  27. Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 17, 2021)
  28. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 6, 2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  29. Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8, 2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  30. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (November 11, 2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  31. The Marvels (February 17, 2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  32. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 23, 2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  33. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (July 28, 2023) (TBR – To Be Released)

The release dates for the movies still to be released have been announced. Still, they may change due to unforeseen circumstances, just like Spider-Man: No Way Home had been postponed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic.

MCU Movies by Phases (with Disney+ Shows)

As you probably know, the MCU is divided into Phases for fans to follow the storyline easier. The first three Phases are called the Infinity Saga. Phase 4 is currently developing, with movies and TV shows coming out continuously, while some Phase 5 projects have already been announced. Here’s a complete list of MCU movies and TV shows divided into phases.

Phase 1

  1. Iron Man (2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  4. Thor ( 2011)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  6. The Avengers (2012)

Phase 2

  1. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  2. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  5. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  6. Ant-Man (2015)

Phase 3

  1. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  2. Doctor Strange (2016)
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  5. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  6. Black Panther (2018)
  7. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  8. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  9. Captain Marvel (2019)
  10. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  11. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Phase 4 (Movies)

  1. Black Widow (2021)
  2. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings 2021)
  3. Eternals (2021)
  4. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  5. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  6. Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  7. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  8. The Marvels 2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  10. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) (TBR – To Be Released)

Phase 4 (TV Shows)

  1. WandaVision (2021)
  2. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021)
  3. Loki (2021)
  4. What if…? (2021)
  5. Hawkeye (2021)

Phase 5 (Movies)

  1. Marvel’s Fantastic Four (2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  2. Blade (*potentially in 2022, more likely in late 2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  3. Untitled Deadpool 3 (2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  4. Untitled Captain America 4 (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  5. Untitled X-Men Movie (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  6. Nova (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  7. Thunderbolts (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)

Phase 5 (TV Shows)

  1. Moon Knight (2022)
  2. She-Hulk (2022)
  3. Secret Invasion (2022)
  4. Ms. Marvel (2022)
  5. Ironheart (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  6. Armor Wars (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  7. Loki Season 2 (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  8. What If…? Season 2 (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  9. Echo (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  10. Agatha: House of Harkness (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  11. Spider-Man: Freshman Year (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  12. Marvel Zombies (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)

It’s important to note that Phase 4 is still in progress, and it is unclear what movie or TV show will be the last in the Phase and when Phase 5 will begin. The list above contains all the announced or rumored MCU projects, many of which are unclear what Phase of the MCU they will be a part of.

And yes, both Deadpool and the X-Men are rumored to enter the MCU finally. Even Morbius and Venom may become a part of the MCU at some point in the future, but not quite yet.

The Complete Marvel Cinematic Universe Watch Order

Now that we know that Phase 4 of the MCU finally included TV shows and not only movies, it might be more difficult to understand the order in which to watch the complete MCU. Again, the order is best-watched by release date, so here’s a list of the complete Marvel Cinematic Universe watch order, including both the movies and the TV shows:

  1. Iron Man (May 1, 2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (June 13, 2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (April 29, 2010)
  4. Thor (April 28, 2011)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger (July 28, 2011)
  6. The Avengers (May 3, 2012)
  7. Iron Man 3 (April 25, 2013)
  8. Thor: The Dark World (November 8, 2013)
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4, 2014)
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy (July 31, 2014)
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (April 30, 2015)
  12. Ant-Man (July 16, 2015)
  13. Captain America: Civil War (May 5, 2016)
  14. Doctor Strange (October 27, 2016)
  15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017)
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017)
  17. Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017)
  18. Black Panther (February 16, 2018)
  19. Avengers: Infinity War (April 23, 2018)
  20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (June 25, 2018)
  21. Captain Marvel (March 7, 2019)
  22. Avengers: Endgame (April 26, 2019)
  23. Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2, 2019)
  24. WandaVision (January 15 – March 5, 2021)
  25. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (March 19 – April 23, 2021)
  26. Loki (June 9 – July 14, 2021)
  27. Black Widow (July 9, 2021)
  28. What If…? (August 11 – October 6, 2021)
  29. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (September 3, 2021)
  30. Eternals (November 5, 2021)
  31. Hawkeye (November 24 – December 22, 2021)
  32. Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 17, 2021) (TBR – To Be Released)
  33. Moon Knight (2022) (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  34. She-Hulk (2022) (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  35. Secret Invasion (2022) (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  36. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 6, 2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  37. Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8, 2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  38. Ms. Marvel (Mid-2022) (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  39. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (November 11, 2022) (TBR – To Be Released)
  40. The Marvels (February 17, 2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  41. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 23, 2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  42. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (July 28, 2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  43. Marvel’s Fantastic Four (2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  44. Blade (*potentially in 2022, more likely in late 2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  45. Untitled Deadpool 3 (2023) (TBR – To Be Released)
  46. Untitled Captain America 4 (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  47. Untitled X-Men Movie (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  48. Nova (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  49. Thunderbolts (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  50. Ironheart (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  51. Armor Wars (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  52. Untitled Wakanda Series (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  53. Loki Season 2 (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  54. What If…? Season 2 (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  55. Echo (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  56. Agatha: House of Harkness (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  57. Spider-Man: Freshman Year (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)
  58. Marvel Zombies (TBA – To Be Announced) (TBR – To Be Released)

How Many MCU Movies Are There?

There are 27 movies that are officially set inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Is It Better to Watch Marvel Movies in Chronological Order or Release Order?

You should watch the MCU in release order rather than the chronological order of the plots. Pieces of information are given at a specific time. Also, the post-credit scenes are carefully designed to tell you everything you need to know at every particular moment in the MCU.

Why Are Marvel Movies Released Out of Order?

If the movies were released in chronological order, they would reveal information that you shouldn’t know before you’ve already watched another event that possibly happened later chronologically. The release order is carefully designed for the viewers to understand the plot in the best way possible.