How to watch Marvel (MCU) movies and series in order

Whether you're a newcomer to the Marvel world or a superhero veteran, we give you the low down on how best to personalise your viewing experience.

All Marvel movies (MCU): how to watch them in order

Do you fancy a few massive Marvel movie sessions? And do you feel like watching all of them in an appropriate order so that you get the most out of the experience? If so, then it’s your lucky day...

How to watch the Marvel movies and not get lost in the order

Within this article we will show you how to watch the Marvel movies in various orders allowing you to find the best way to enjoy them depending on the kind of viewer you are. If you have never sat through any of the Marvel movies before, for example, you will probably want to tackle them in release order first. We will also offer you a glimpse into what is available on Disney+.

How to watch the Marvel movies by release order if you are a newcomer

To begin with, Marvel movies are split into what are called 'Phases'. When a Phase comes to an end and another one begins you will see the introduction of important new characters, all of whom represent a natural end to a story arc and the beginning of a new one.

Black Panther

Black Panther

Below we go through Phases 1 to 3 in release order, and we also cover the much-anticipated development of Phase 4, with release dates subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Phase One:

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 Two:

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)

Phase Three:

13. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
14. Doctor Strange (2016)
15. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
18. Black Panther (2017)
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)

Ant Man

Ant Man

24. WandaVision (TV series)

25. Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TV series) - here's what you need to know about the latest release!

The majority of these films are available on Disney+, the place that contains the largest collection of Marvel movies of any streaming service (they do own them after all!) with prices starting at $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.

As for Phase 4, it is stacked and in progress. For some of the upcoming movies, dates are already official so get them in your diary now.

Phase Four (and thereafter):

Black Widow – 7 May 2021

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – 9 July 2021

Eternals – 5 November 2021

Spider-Man 3 – 17 December 2021

Thor: Love and Thunder – 11 February 2022

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – 25 March 2022

Black Panther 2 – 6 May 2022

Captain Marvel 2 – 11 November 2022

Ant-Man 3 (TBA)

Blade (TBA)

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (TBA)

Fantastic Four (TBA)

Untitled Mutants movie (TBA)

Which Marvel movies are on Disney Plus?

Anyone with a Disney Plus subscription and a desire to get enveloped by the Marvel universe are going to have fun. The platform has become a huge competitor to Netflix and Amazon Prime and not only has brought all the Mickey and Minnie’s friends classic movies into one place, as well as various original series, it is home to the majority of the Marvel movies.

These are all the Marvel films that are on now and are coming to the platform soon... (Note that Hulk and Spider-Man movies are not on the list, since they belong to Universal and Sony, respectively).

Marvel movies on Disney Plus:

Iron Man
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
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

How to watch the Marvel movies in chronological order for veterans

Marvel has released the year in which each movie has actually taken place, except for those in Phase 4, hence why they do not appear in the following list.

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 in order – 'Spaghetti Order'

Spoiler alert: in here, the traditional film order is about to be subverted. You may wonder why is it called Spaghetti? This order does not have any innate link to the narrative nuances of Italian filmmaking, à la Spaghetti Western. The Spaghetti Order follows sound and simple reasoning: basically, if a post-credit scene alludes to another film, the thinking is that you should watch that film next, if possible. That's it!

So if you are looking to go a little more offbeat with your Marvel movie marathon, here is how that ordering breaks down:

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. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017)
11. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
12. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
13. Ant-Man (2015)
14. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
15. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
16. Black Panther (2018)
17. Doctor Strange (2016)
18. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
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)

Black Widow

Black Widow

What is the best order to watch the Marvel movies?

There is no right or wrong way. The choice is completely yours. But for a Marvel newcomer, viewing the films chronologically would not be the best option, because it may be complicated to remember the background of certain characters. Captain Marvel, for instance, will be introduced in the second film in the list only to next be mentioned over 40 screen hours later.

The opposite might also happen, where the user spends too much time with other superheroes. Tony Stark is a good example: his character arc can feel rushed if you watch Iron Man and Iron Man 2 back to back.

Marvel-lous highlights

Here is a selection of some highlighted Marvel movies and their main characters:

Iron Man (2008)

According to the official Marvel timeline, Iron Man takes place in 2010. It's all about genius-inventor-philanthropist Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr. He is captured by a terrorist organization, the leader of which wants the latest weapons system designed by Stark. But Stark designs the first Iron Man suit...

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Incredible Hulk follows Bruce Banner on the run from General Thunderbolt Ross and the US Military. Realising he cannot control or contain the Hulk, Ross decides to create his own version of the Hulk using another soldier, but he loses control. The Incredible Hulk stars Edward Norton, replaced by Mark Ruffalo in 2012.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America is the fifth Marvel Studios film. The events take place during World War II. We see the creation of the super-soldier portrayed by Chris Evans.

Thor (2011)

The God of lightning has been banished to Earth from Asgard by his father Odin thanks to the trickery of Loki. In order to earn his powers back and control his hammer, Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, must prove he is worthy.

Black Panther (2018)

After the UN bombing in Captain America: The Civil War, T’Challa must return to Wakanda and be named king but has to deal with the isolation that has helped protect the territory. He also faces a mistake from his father’s past in the form of Eric Killmonger, performed by Michael B Jordan.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

After years orchestrating things from to find the Infinity Stones, Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin) decides to go get them himself, but in his way he finds the Avengers. Thanos’ reason for seeking the power of the stones is to wipe out half of all life in the universe.

Captain Marvel (2019)

In this movie the main character is Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson, who begins a hunt for the shape-shifting Skrull aliens. There’s as much action here as there is nostalgia, especially if you're a 90s kid.