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How to watch Marvel movies in order (release and chronological)

Here's how to watch the Marvel movies in order
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

It’s the most 21st Century of all conundrums: how to watch the Marvel movies in order. The all-conquering MCU is nearing a quarter century of entries and that means, for newcomers and veterans alike, trying to watch them all in order becomes an increasingly difficulty task.

For starters, there is more than one way to watch the Marvel movies in order. There is the (mercifully more straightforward) release order method, which charts everything from the humble beginnings of Iron Man in 2008 right through to Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019. For the most part, that’s the way to do it but – as you’ll soon find out – there is another, more in-depth way to watch the Marvel movies in order and it’s perfect for a rewatch.

Yep, if you have a Hulk-sized hole in your free time, you can go about either watching the Marvel movies in chronological order or even add in the TV shows and get super in-depth with the watch order. We’ve even thrown in the upcoming Black Widow for good measure should you want your plans to be futureproof.

So, you ready? Here are the full lists and everything you need to know if you want to watch the Marvel movies in order – by chronological order or release date.

How to watch the Marvel movies in order – release order

marvel movies in order list

(Image credit: Disney)

Best for: Newcomers to the Marvel movies.

First up, here's how to watch the Marvel movies in release order. Marvel films, we should note, are split into Phases, with the end of a Phase typically indicating a natural end to a story arc. The beginning of a Phase, therefore, signals the introduction of new, important characters. Below, we go through Phases 1 to 3 in release order – plus the upcoming Phase 4 (though these release dates may be subject to change due to ongoing coronavirus-related delays). 

Phase One:

Phase Two:

Phase Three:

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Phase 4 has yet to start, but already the line-up is looking stacked. While we have official release dates for some, others have merely been announced and do not have dates. Here's what we know so far.

Phase Four (and beyond):

  • Black Widow – May 7, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – July 9, 2021
  • Eternals – November 5, 2021
  • Spider-Man 3 – December 17, 2021
  • Thor: Love and Thunder – February 11, 2022
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – March 25, 2022
  • Black Panther 2 – May 6, 2022
  • Captain Marvel 2 – July 8, 2022
  • Ant-Man 3 (TBA)
  • Black Panther 2 (TBA)
  • Blade (TBA)
  • Captain Marvel 2 (TBA)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (TBA)
  • Fantastic Four (TBA)
  • Untitled Mutants movie (TBA)

How to watch the Marvel movies in order – chronological order

marvel movies chronological order

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Best for: MCU veterans looking for a new way to watch. 

Want to experience the MCU in a more complicated, yet still viable way? Then you'll perhaps want to know how to watch the Marvel movies in chronological order. 

This one's a little more complicated than the above list. Luckily, Marvel has revealed the official year in which each movie takes place. Without Phase 4 being out yet, we cannot guarantee when each of those unreleased movies takes place, so we have not included them just yet – but be sure to check back following each movie's release for an updated entry right here.

  • 1. Captain America: The First Avenger (1942-1943)
  • 2. Captain Marvel (1995)
  • 3. Iron Man (2010)
  • 4. Iron Man 2 (2011)
  • 5. The Incredible Hulk (2011)
  • 6. Thor (2011)
  • 7. The Avengers (2012)
  • 8. Iron Man 3 (2012)
  • 9. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • 10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • 11. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • 12. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2014)
  • 13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  • 14. Ant-Man (2015)
  • 15. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • 16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016)
  • 17. Doctor Strange (2016-2017)
  • 18. Black Widow (2017)
  • 19. Black Panther (2017)
  • 20. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  • 21. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2017)
  • 22. Avengers: Infinity War (2017)
  • 23. Avengers: Endgame (2018-2023)
  • 24. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2023)

How to watch the Marvel movies AND TV shows in chronological order

marvel movies in order

(Image credit: ABC/Marvel)

Best for: People with A LOT of time on their hands who know the MCU inside out.

The MCU also consists of a fair few TV shows, though their place in a watch order can be somewhat confusing. For instance, we know the Netflix shows – such as Daredevil – take place after the first Avengers, but there's no signal where they come in regards Ultron or Civil War or any of the other major movies. 

To work out the following list, therefore, we used all the clues we could find in the various series, plus some official information from Marvel. For a more detailed explanation, head over to our full MCU timeline explained article, which includes some reasoning around plot holes and the like. We also have a few notes below to help you out.

Phase 1: This one's actually fairly straight forward, as only includes one TV show (Agent Carter) but a bunch of one-shots which were released with the DVDs and Blu-Rays (though have seemingly since been retired by Marvel). 

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (1943-45)
  • One Shot: Agent Carter (1944)
  • Agent Carter season 1 (1946)
  • Agent Carter season 2 (1947)
  • Captain Marvel (1995)
  • Iron Man (2010)
  • Iron Man 2 (2011)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2011)
  • One Shot: The Consultant (2011)
  • One Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer (2011)
  • Thor (2011)
  • Avengers (2012)
  • One Shot: Item 47 (2012)

Marvel movies in order: Phase 1

(Image credit: Marvel)

Phase 2: Introducing the Netflix series and Agents of Shield. The events of Shield tie directly into the Marvel movies, which makes watching the show and the films side-by-side a lot of fun.

  • Iron Man 3 (2012)
  • One Shot: All Hail the King (2013)
  • Agents of Shield season 1, episodes 1-7 (2013)
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • Agents of Shield season 1, episodes 8-16 (2014)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Agents of Shield season 1, episodes 17-22 (2014)
  • Daredevil season 1 (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2014)
  • Agents of Shield season 2, episodes 1-19 (2015)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  • Agents of Shield season 2, episodes 20-22 (2015)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Jessica Jones season 1 (2015)
  • Daredevil season 2 (2015)
  • Luke Cage season 1 (2015)
  • Agents of Shield season 3 episodes 1-10 (2015)
  • Agents of Shield season 3, episodes 11-19 (2016)

Marvel movies in order: Phase 2

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Phase 3: Here's where things get more complicated. The Netflix series reference the movies less and less, as does Shield. Plus, we are introduced to time travel... 

Agents of Shield season 7 flies around in time a lot, with some events taking place in the 30s, 40s, 50s. So, why aren't they in that order here? If you watch the series, you'll realise the main team are "out of time" as they go back, and you can only understand their mission if you have watched the movies and seen the events that transpire – as the team has. Plus, having a solo entry here keeps things simple! And, as we go forward into Phase 4 and 5, we're going to want to keep things simple, that's for sure.

  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Agents of Shield season 3, episodes 20-22 (2016)
  • Agents of Shield season 4, episodes 1-8 (2016)
  • Agents of Shield: Slingshot (2016)
  • Agents of Shield season 4, episodes 9-22 (2016)
  • Iron Fist season 1 (2016)
  • The Defenders (2016)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016)
  • The Punisher season 1 (2016)
  • Doctor Strange (2016-2017)
  • Agents of Shield season 5, episodes 1-19 (2017)
  • Black Panther (2017)
  • Black Widow (2017)
  • Jessica Jones season 2 (2017)
  • Inhumans season 1 (2017)
  • Luke Cage season 2 (2017)
  • Iron Fist season 2 (2017)
  • Daredevil season 3 (2017)
  • The Punisher season 2 (2017)
  • Jessica Jones season 3 (2017)
  • Runaways season 1 and 2 (2017)
  • Cloak and Dagger season 1 and 2 (2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017-2018)
  • Agents of Shield season 5, episodes 19-22 (2018)
  • Agents of Shield season 6 (2018)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2017-2018)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2018-2023)
  • Agents of Shield season 7 (2023)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2024)

Which Marvel movies are on Disney Plus?

marvel movies order on Disney Plus

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Best for: People with a Disney Plus subscription

Disney Plus has changed the streaming game. A huge competitor to Netflix and Amazon Prime, Disney's entry into the online content wars has made a huge impact, bringing all of the Mouse's classic movies into one place. There are also original series, plus the majority of the Marvel movies. 

Below, find all the Marvel movies on and coming to Disney Plus. Note: you will not find The Incredible Hulk or the Spider-Man movies on Disney Plus. This is because the rights to Hulk belong to Universal, while the rights to Spider-Man belong to Sony.

Marvel movies on Disney Plus:

  • Iron Man
  • Thor
  • Iron Man 2
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • The Avengers
  • Iron Man 3
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ant-Man
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Doctor Strange
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Black Panther
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Captain Marvel
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Avengers: Endgame

So, what are you waiting for? If you haven't got Disney Plus, then here are the latest Disney Plus prices around the world. Want to know more about it before buying? Then check out our Disney Plus review.

GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer. Lover of all things Nintendo, in a tortured love/hate relationship with Crystal Palace, and also possesses an unhealthy knowledge of The Simpsons (which is of no use at parties).