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How to Watch All of the Marvel Movies in Order

9 Minute Read
Sep 22 2023

So you want to watch all 32 Marvel movies in order? Chronological and based on release date? You’ve come to the right article.

With the Multiverse Saga release schedule up in the air and only one movie with a solid release date, it’s a good time to revisit what’s out so far. Remind ourselves what makes the studio great while we wait for production to spin up again.

How to Watch the Marvel Movies in Order

There are two ways to do this: release order and chronological. I think chronological is better (and get into how in more detail by Saga), but if you prefer to marathon them based on when each hit the theater, this is your list.

  • Iron Man (2008)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • Thor (2011)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • The Avengers (2012)
  • Iron Man 3 (2013)
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  • Black Panther (2017)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  • Captain Marvel (2019)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
  • Black Widow (2021)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  • Eternals (2021)
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

How to Watch the Infinity Saga in Chronological Order

If you want to take this journey of watching the Marvel movies in order, I highly suggest watching the Marvel movies in chronological order over theatrical release dates. Here’s my logic behind the order I watch the 32 movies, with some suggested placements of the Disney+ shows if you really want to sink some time in…

1. Captain America: The First Avenger
Introduces the S.S.R. (what would become S.H.I.E.L.D.) and sets up HYDRA, one of the evils that will be a threat throughout the series. Plus, one of its most beloved heroes and another character that becomes very important later. Its placement in WWII makes it the movie to start with.

via Marvel

2. Captain Marvel
Set in the mid-1990s, it sets up the modern-day S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury is still figuring out just exactly what the organization should be doing. It also introduces the Kree, which will have an important part to play in another movie down the line. Captain Marvel fills gaps in the timeline and introduces a powerful superhero that places an important punch later. Just ignore the post-credits scene until you hit Thor: Ragnarok.

3. Iron Man
We know Howard Stark (introduced in The First Avenger), and now we get to know his son grows from a drunk playboy to a superhero. Along with bringing the other big hero of the Saga to the screen, this movie gives a first look at Agent Coulson, Black Widow, and fully developed S.H.I.E.L.D. as an entity – and from here out, it’s a connecting thread.

via Marvel

4. The Incredible Hulk
The Hulk movie that it seems Marvel would rather forget. Timeline-wise, this happens at the same time as Iron Man 2. It doesn’t factor into the big arc that much, but characters up in Phase 4 several times. It brings Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross into the MCU – he was in five movies after this. The end-credits scene does some more work to tie Tony Stark to S.H.I.E.L.D.

5. Iron Man 2
Tony continues to figure out his purpose and perfect his suit, and we dive deeper into S.H.I.E.L.D. with Nick Fury in a more significant role. It also ties back to Howard Stark and his work with the S.S.R., And we get a permanent actor for Rhodey who is fantastic.

6. Thor
The trinity is complete. Thor 1 introduction of Asgard brings the idea of a more expansive universe – adding the Realm Eternal and another superhero. It also develops the story of S.H.I.E.L.D. further and introduces Hawkeye.

via Marvel

7. The Avengers
The first big team-up takes on a Chitauri invasion from beyond. It makes the existence of out-of-this-world threats and the heroes themselves known to the public. The introduction of the Tesseract starts the seed for what will become one of the big plot points of the big story arc. It also subtly shows that something is not quite right with S.H.I.E.L.D. leadership.

The game changes here, and this is where The Infinity Saga really kicks into gear.


8. Thor: The Dark World
We venture into Marvel Space for a bit. Sibling rivalry and cosmic exploration continue (that will be very important later). Thor faces losses that will affect his character as his arc continues. The most important bit is the introduction of the Infinity Stones.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy
Unveils another Infinity Stone, as well as the return of The Collector from the post-credit scene in The Dark World. This is where the Infinity Stones really become important. We also see the Kree again.

10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Set a few months after the first GotG movie. It gets into the history of the Guardians and the weirdness that is Marvel Space. Plus, more Thanos connections.

via Marvel

11. Iron Man 3
Back to Earth and to a Tony Stark, battling P.T.S.D. from the battle in The Avengers and life as a superhero. There’s a lot of character development for him here through his relationship with Rhodey.

12. Captain America: Winter Soldier
It’s possible this actually happens simultaneously as Iron Man 3 as the two aren’t available to help each other with either villainous plot. Falcon is introduced, an old character comes back, and an even older enemy resurfaces in that place The Avengers hinted at. Cap’s Boy Scout sense of morality really comes out.

via Marvel

13. Avengers: Age of Ultron
The movie opens with the Avengers going after Hydra again. Tony gets more depth; we learn a lot about his motives as he battles his own sentient software. Another Infinity Stone is found and aids in creating a new, powerful being. Thor has a vision of what is to come. You can feel the team splitting apart, which becomes a theme in the next several Infinity Saga movies.

14. Ant-Man
Introduces some important new concepts that take us from Earth to inner space. It also gives Falcon more screen time to move him from sidekick to primary character status.


15. Captain America: Civil War
Ideologies clash when the government wants to register and control heroes. It’s an Avengers-light movie under the Captain America banner. It provides a lot of plot points for the big arc, including character and location introductions for the next two movies. Sam’s character arc plants him firmly in the story.

16. Black Panther
This is set about a week after Civil War. Wakanda is front and center (an important part of movies following this), and we see a familiar face from Ultron get more time in front of the camera. This movie is more important than any in this Saga for reasons that don’t have to do with the Saga.

17. Black Widow
It came out during Phase 4 and is technically in the Multiverse Saga, but it belongs here. It gives Natasha a redeeming backstory and brings in her sister, who will play into the MCU later.

via Marvel

18. Spider-Man: Homecoming
About two months after Civil War, this is Peter’s story with a little ‘Tony is feeling a bit better’ thrown in. It’s a great figuring-things-out-as-a-super-human-teenager movie and brings the focus down to a more human level while discussing the fallout of the attack on N.Y.C.

19. Doctor Strange
Another Infinity Stone is revealed, and more information about the realms beyond our plane is shared. This thread ties the Quantum Realm, Earth, and Marvel Space together.

via Marvel

20. Thor: Ragnarok
We’re back in space where the Hulk is found and pick up a new warrior. The ending directly ties into Infinity War, but we need to make one pitstop before we get there to gather information.

21. Ant-Man and the Wasp
This has a lot of big story arc filler in it that’s needed for things to make sense. It happened before Infinity War and has some significant plot ties to Endgame.  

via Marvel

22. Avengers: Infinity War
The snap. Giant battle to save everything, part one.

23. Avengers: End Game
Giant battle to save everything, part two.

via Marvel

24. Spider-Man: Far From Home
Peter is still trying to figure out what being a hero means and how he can do it without hurting people or putting them in harm’s way. It looks at life after the re-snap and gives us an idea of where the next big story is going in the next phase of movies. The multiverse is officially a thing, and it’s not safe.


Watching Marvel Movies in Order – The Multiverse Saga

Watching the new Marvel movies in order is a bit more straightforward. Thanks to mixed leadership, the A.M.P.T.P. not paying writers, and other factors, the path of the new Saga is muddled. The strings trying everything together in the Infinity Saga aren’t quite present here – at least not in all of the movies. We’re also a dozen planned movies away from the main arc being resolved.

25. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Phase 4 kicked off with a Wuxia/Kung Fu movie starring a new hero. The story is more than just a martial arts and C.G. extravaganza; it’s a rumination on legacy and how our actions affect the future in ways we’re unprepared for. It’s a theme that appears again in other Multiverse Saga movies and shows, more so than multiple universes or time travel.

via Marvel

26. Eternals
We go back in time to the start of everything and meet the giant gods of the MCU. The idea of galaxy-creating Celestials goes beyond the dead head we met in Guardians of the Galaxy. Its post-credit scenes have led to two projects that have been canceled and another that’s in limbo.

27. Spider-Man: No Way Home
The multiverse theme that gives the Saga its name really kicks in here. Peter is forced to reckon with enemies from across the live-action movies – from the Green Goblin to Sandman. Honestly, this feels like the natural starting point. If I could, I’d put Shang-Chi and Eternals in a bubble to the side; they may get solid connections later.

via Sony Entertainment

It might be helpful to watch WandaVision before the next movie.

28. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Set directly after No Way Home, Strange takes on Scarlet Witch and is forced to deal with versions of himself across the multiverse. It does some work to tie the Saga’s theme to more threads, but the next several movies don’t pick them up. The post-credit is still unresolved.

29. Thor: Love & Thunder
Thor’s adventures post End Game. It feels like a stand-alone movie rather than part of a larger arc. The post-credit is still unresolved.

via Marvel

30. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Another that generally feels like a stand-alone with little ties to the other movies beyond a message of family. The post-credit is currently unresolved.

It might be helpful to watch Loki Season 1 before the next movie.

31. Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania
The multiverse returns in the form of the Quantum Realm. The Saga’s big bad – the time-traveling conqueror Kang – makes his first appearance on the big screen after being introduced in Loki S1. At least one of the post-credit scenes is attached to a project we know we’re going to see.

via Marvel

32. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
The gang gets back together for one last adventure. It’s another stand-alone, and it feels like it should be a footnote in the Infinity Saga rather than in the Multiverse Saga. This isn’t to say it’s bad, but that it’s another I can’t put into a chronological spot.

Watching WandaVision and Ms. Marvel before the next movie might be helpful.

33. The Marvels
You can’t entirely watch all the Marvel movies in order just yet. Captain Marvel returns and teams up with two heroes from the Disney+ series. We’ll see if this has stronger ties to the multiverse, Kang, or Shang-Chi when it comes out on November 10th.

Author: Mars Garrett
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