There are presently 28 Marvel Cinematic Universe films, with more on the way, all of which are set in the same universe and are linked through characters, events, and locales. So you’d be excused for being perplexed as to how they all fit together and in what sequence you should watch them. Marvel’s The Avengers, released in 2012, broke new ground by combining dissimilar heroes from their respective films (Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor) into a single team-up film, before breaking them off into their own sequels. Of course, this method of storytelling had been used in comic books before, but conveying a serialized tale across several films with a variety of tones and characters was novel, and it remains a rich mine of intriguing stories and characters.
However, as the MCU has increased in size, so has its complexity. Some films take place in parallel universes but at the same time as happenings on Earth. Some films are set in the distant past.
We’ve got you covered if you’re wondering how to watch the Marvel movies in order. We’ve included two watching options below: Marvel movies in chronological order and Marvel movies in order of when they were released in cinemas. Both are highly recommended and are the best methods to watch this franchise if you’re in the mood to binge. We also have a list of how to watch the Marvel Disney Plus programs in the sequence below.
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Order of Marvel Films
There are two basic techniques for creating a Marvel movie chronology. The movies are listed in order of release date in the first choice, starting with IRON MAN. The Marvel films are arranged chronologically in the second choice, following the events of each film. In addition, moving CAPTAIN MARVELS THE FIRST AVENGER to the top of the priority list and rearranging Phase Three’s film slate in different ways might be helpful. Here’s our most current recommendation for things to watch when the Marvel films are out.
Order of Marvel Film Releases
First and foremost, here’s how to watch the Marvel movies in order of release. It’s vital to note that Marvel movies are separated into Phases, with the end of one usually indicating the end of a previously established story arc. As a result, the appearance of new and notable characters marks the beginning of a Phase.
Phases 1 through 4 will be discussed in the order in which they were issued. WandaVision/Falcon, The Winter Soldier/Loki, and more characters are included. No, they aren’t movies, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rapidly expanding, and the Disney Plus episodes have grown as important.
Captain America’s narrative starts during WWII, but by the time he wakes up in modern-day New York, it’s the late 2000s. The second character he encounters is Nick Fury. However, this isn’t the first time we’ll meet the former head of SHIELD; we saw him in the 2008 picture Iron Man, which took place before the events of Captain America: Civil War.
We prefer to watch Marvel films in the order in which they were released, therefore we do it chronologically. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will watch them in their own way, and some may even include them in marathon binge-watching sessions. The answer to “how to watch the Marvel movies in order” is simple, in our opinion: binge-watch them in the order they were released.
The majority of Marvel films take place one after the other, however, some record events that occur simultaneously with those in other films. For example, “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” both take place around the same period, with both films building up to “Avengers: Infinity War.”
The Infinity Saga, which begins with “Iron Man” and finishes with “Avengers: Endgame,” is made up of three phases in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Disney+ series “WandaVision” kicked off Phase Four, which also contains “Black Widow” and “Shang-Chi.”
Here’s how You May Watch the MCU Films in Chronological Order:
- The First Avenger, Captain America
- Marvel’s Captain
- Iron Man
- Hulk the Incredible
- Iron Man 2
- The Avengers from Marvel
- Iron Man 3
- The Dark World of Thor
- The Winter Soldier, Captain America
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Vol. 2 of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise
- Age of Ultron (Avengers)
- Civil War: Captain America
- Widow Black
- Spider-Man: The Return
- Panther Black
- Strange Doctor
- Ragnarok, Thor
- The Wasp and Ant-Man
- Infinity War (Avengers)
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Far From Home (Spider-Man)
- The Legend of the Ten Rings and Shang-Chi
- Spider-Man: No Return
- Doctor Strange in the Madness Multiverse
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Is It Better to Watch Marvel Movies in Order of Release?
While the general plot makes sense in any order, if this is your first time viewing the MCU, you should definitely start with the most recent installments. Not only is this the chronological sequence in which the movies were released, but it also shows the progression and refinement of the MCU narrative as Marvel Studios sorted out the bugs and mastered how to produce a Marvel picture.
However, if you’ve watched most or all of the Marvel films, seeing them in the sequence is a rewarding experience. It doesn’t impact the plot, and it’s strange to see “Captain Marvel” so early in the franchise and then have to wait for 20 movies for Brie Larson’s character to be addressed again. However, it enables you to appreciate how nicely Marvel’s prequel films were integrated into the current storyline.