Here’s your ultimate guide to watching Marvel movies in chronological order and by release date
With 32 films (and counting) over 15 years, watching the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe lineup can be an overwhelming task — especially with two different ways to consume them.
The first way to watch the movies is by order of release (also known as phase order), starting with Iron Man (2008). The second option is watching in the story’s chronological order, which starts with Captain America: The First Avenger, released in 2011.
Watching the films in release order may be best for those new to Marvel, as the films build on one another and slowly introduce viewers to the greater storyline — specifically through the post-credits scenes. Most Marvel movies contain at least one post- or mid-credits scene, which provides hints or details about what’s to come in the next installment.
Opting for a chronological viewing allows fans to understand the official, canonical timeline, starting in 1942 during World War II with Captain America: The First Avenger and spanning through 2025 with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and beyond. Post-credits scenes viewed in chronological order may contain spoilers if it’s your first time watching the MCU.
Here's a guide to watching all of the Marvel movies by order of release and chronologically.
Marvel Movies in Release Date Order
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)
The Avengers (May 4, 2012)
Iron Man 3 (May 3, 2013)
Thor: The Dark World (Nov. 8, 2013)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4, 2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (Aug. 1, 2014)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015)
Ant-Man (July 17, 2015)
Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016)
Doctor Strange (Nov. 4, 2016)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (Nov. 3, 2017)
Black Panther (Feb. 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)
Black Widow (July 9, 2021)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Sept. 3, 2021)
Eternals (Nov. 5, 2021)
Spider-Man: No Way Home (Dec. 17, 2021)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 6, 2022)
Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8, 2022)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Nov. 11, 2022)
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Feb. 17, 2023)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5, 2023)
The Marvels (Nov. 10, 2023)
Marvel Movies in Chronological Order
Captain America: The First Avenger
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a scrappy kid from Brooklyn, New York, hoping to enlist in the military during World War II, but he is continually rejected due to his poor health. After he is injected with a super serum and emerges as Captain America, Steve embarks on a nationwide tour to promote war bonds. But when his lifelong best friend, Sgt. James “Bucky” Barnes (Sebastian Stan), is captured, he goes behind enemy lines to rescue Bucky and the other soldiers from Hydra.
Vers (Brie Larson) is a soldier from the Kree Empire’s planet Hala. After she’s captured by Skrulls who try to probe her memories, Vers crash-lands in 1995 Los Angeles. She discovers that she is actually Carol Danvers, a U.S. Air Force pilot who was presumed dead after a mission years earlier. She teams up with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to discover her true past and her superpowers.
Playboy billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is ambushed and imprisoned in Afghanistan while demonstrating a missile developed by his company, Stark Industries. He is held captive by the terrorist group Ten Rings and eventually escapes in a suit of powered armor, kept alive by an electromagnet in his chest. He perfects his suit upon his return home and works to figure out who was truly behind the attack.
Iron Man 2
Tony Stark is slowly being poisoned by the palladium core of the electromagnet keeping him alive, and he’s further stressed by the pressure to share his suits with the government and military. He spirals out of control, struggling in his relationships with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Lt. Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle). His rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) hires Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), the vengeful son of Tony’s former partner, to build him a line of armored suits.
The Incredible Hulk
Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is seeking a cure for the gamma radiation that has turned him into the Hulk. After an accident, he goes into hiding for years, still looking for a cure, but soon faces a new threat that’s even more powerful than he is. In subsequent films, Mark Ruffalo replaced Norton as Bruce Banner, beginning with The Avengers.
On the day Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is set to inherit the throne of Asgard from his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), they are interrupted by Frost Giants. Thor and his friends lash out at the Frost Giants against Odin’s wishes, and he is banished to Earth. While a now-powerless Thor adapts to life in New Mexico with the help of Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has taken over the throne in Asgard.
After Loki steals a mysterious energy source called the Tesseract, Nick Fury activates the Avengers Initiative to fight back. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) team up to defend New York from the Chitauri, an extraterrestrial warrior race attacking the city for Loki in exchange for the Tesseract.
Thor: The Dark World
When a powerful weapon called the Aether takes over Jane Foster’s body, Thor brings her to Asgard to try and heal her. But the Dark Elves plot to capture her and use the Aether to destroy the Nine Realms during the Convergence, an alignment of the realms when the portals linking them randomly appear.
Iron Man 3
A terrorist known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is claiming responsibility for several worldwide bombings, one of which injured Tony Stark’s close friend Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau). After surviving an attack at his Malibu, California, pad, Stark winds up in rural Tennessee while the world believes him to be dead. With help from an unlikely companion, Tony is determined to discover who is behind the Mandarin’s attacks.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America is working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and living in Washington, D.C., where he makes a new friend, Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon (Anthony Mackie). When a group of attackers pursues Nick Fury, Cap is labeled a fugitive and goes on the run with the help of Black Widow and Falcon to find the real enemy.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a.k.a. Star-Lord, steals a mysterious orb but soon has bounty hunters and the forces of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) on his tail. After being detained in prison, Quill bands together with an unlikely group of outlaws: Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) to stop Ronan from destroying the planet Xandar.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The Guardians of the Galaxy are hired by the Sovereign to protect special batteries from a monster, getting Gamora’s angry sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) in exchange. But after Rocket steals batteries for himself, the Sovereign attacks the gang. Ego (Kurt Russell) saves them from the attack, but he has ulterior motives that are yet to be discovered.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Avengers encounter a powerful set of twins, Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), when they raid a Hydra facility in Sokovia. Things go further downhill after Stark and Banner complete the “Ultron” global defense program — only for Ultron to turn on them with a plot to destroy all humans.
After getting out of jail, petty thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) moves in with his former cellmate. The pair team up to commit a burglary, and Lang takes what he believes is a motorcycle suit — which turns out to be equipped with intense strength, the ability to shrink and the power to control an ant army.
Captain America: Civil War
The Avengers are bitterly divided into two teams as the government pushes to hold them accountable for their actions in Sokovia. Captain America is against government interference in their activities, while Iron Man leads the half for oversight. Team Cap consists of Falcon, Bucky, Hawkeye, Wanda and Ant-Man, while Team Iron Man is War Machine, Black Widow, Vision and newcomers Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland).
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Natasha is on the run and reunites with Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), her undercover younger sister who also trained in the Red Room. When she learns that the program, which turns young girls into assassins, is still up and running, Natasha vows to put an end to things once and for all with the help of Yelena and their surrogate parents Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour) and Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz).
Following his father’s death, T’Challa returns home to Wakanda, a secretive nation with impressive technological advancements, to take his place as king. But an unexpected challenger to his birthright threatens the safety of T’Challa’s home and the balance of power.
After fighting alongside Iron Man in Germany, Peter Parker resumes his normal life as a teenager in New York City while sneaking around to fight crime as Spider-Man. Stark saves Peter from dangerous arms dealers — including Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) — and warns him not to get involved. Despite Stark’s objections, Peter decides Spider-Man is the hero to stop Toomes.
After neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) loses the use of his hands in a car accident, he searches for experimental treatments in the mysterious Kamar-Taj. Instead, he discovers a world of alternate dimensions, magic and dark forces.
The fire demon Surtur is holding Thor hostage and warns him of the impending apocalypse Ragnarok. Believing that he has beaten the prophecy after defeating Surtur, Thor sets out to find his father, who is missing from Asgard, and instead discovers a dark family secret.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Scott Lang is on house arrest after violating the Sokovia Accords but finds himself quantumly entangled with Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), who went missing in the Quantum Realm years earlier. With Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), a.k.a. the Wasp, they build a tunnel to find Janet. But they’re not the only ones looking for her.
Avengers: Infinity War
Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his crew intercept a ship of survivors from Asgard, taking control of the Space Stone — one of the six Infinity Stones that hold ultimate power over a different element. He battles the Avengers along the way, aiming to complete the full gauntlet on his hand with the remaining stones.
Five years after Infinity War, Scott Lang emerges from the Quantum Realm believing only five hours have passed. The team travel through time in an effort to capture the Infinity Stones from Thanos.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Peter Parker is ready to enjoy a class trip to Europe and tell MJ (Zendaya) how he really feels, but Nick Fury needs him for a new mission. Peter and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a superhero from another timeline, team up to defeat the Elementals before they destroy the world.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Peter’s world is turned upside down after he is revealed to be Spider-Man, and he turns to Dr. Strange for help in getting the world to forget his identity. But when the spell goes awry, foes of Spider-Man from across the multiverse are on the hunt for him. While trying to locate Peter, Ned and MJ find two other Peters (Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield) who also need to return home.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Trained to be an assassin from a young age, Xu Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) leaves his life behind to live as Shaun in San Francisco. After he’s attacked by the Ten Rings, Shang-Chi sets out to protect his sister in Macao. But their father, Wenwu (Tony Leung), captures them in a desperate attempt to find his wife, whom he believes to still be alive.
After exterminating the invasive Deviants, the Eternals, a group of ancient heroes with unique powers, separate for 500 years. But when a new threat presents itself, the group reunites to figure out their mission and prevent Earth’s destruction.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Dr. Strange meets America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a young girl with the ability to travel through the multiverse. He consults Wanda Maximoff for help, only to discover she has been corrupted by the Darkhold, a powerful book of spells, and is after America’s powers.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
After King T’Challa’s death, Wakanda is left without a Black Panther and under pressure to share vibranium with the world. When a group of water-breathing people — led by Namor (Tenoch Huerta) — kill an American expedition party looking for the resource, Wakanda is wrongfully blamed for the attack and must figure out how to move forward.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Thor’s retirement is interrupted when he learns that Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) is targeting New Asgard, the Norwegian village where his people settled after the Snap. To protect the Asgardians and truly find peace, Thor enlists the help of New Asgard’s leader Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Kronan warrior Korg (Taika Waititi) and his ex Jane Foster, who now wields Mjölnir as the Mighty Thor.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Ant-Man is sucked into the Quantum Realm with his teenage daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), Pym, Janet and Hope. The group work to find their way home but are introduced to a mysterious new foe, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
The Guardians are disjointed after the loss of Gamora but band together when one of their own is attacked and nearly killed. As they learn more of Rocket’s traumatic origin story, the group races against the clock to save his life before it’s too late.
Captain Marvel's powers become intertwined with Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris). Together, they must team up to fight Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), the new leader of the Kree.
The Marvels is currently in theatres
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