Getting a Disney Plus membership is just half a fight – you need to remember how to stream the Marvel movies in order. And while that might sound simple enough, with more than 20 entries in the series and lots of time jumps, trying to watch them all has become quite a challenge (and let’s not get started on those TV shows just yet – we’re coming to that). So, if you’re curious about how to watch the Marvel movies in sequence, you’ve come to the right location. This detailed guide, with both chronological and release orders, was pulled together by our Marvel experts. Plus, if you’re searching simply for weeks worth of Marvel material, then we also have a rundown of how to watch all the Marvel TV shows in order. And we know, if you get on a superhero train, there’s no way to get off.
1. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Captain America: The First Avenger is the beginning of everything we love about the valiant Cape – the cornerstone on which one of the main characters of the MCU is created. Chris Evans is brilliant as a young, slim Brooklyn boy who gets a beefcake overnight due to the groundbreaking Super-Soldier serum and battles the Nazis. Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull is one of the strongest evil efforts of the MCU. The more languid period piece also helps replay, with Evans’ Steve Rogers and Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter continuing their budding romance here. Of default, Agent Carter is so unmissable that she packed herself a spin-off TV show and is one of the only MCU love interests that is actually interesting.
2. Captain Marvel (2019)
This is the first female-centric superhero movie featuring Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, the plot is easy, but you might have learned more from the squad of avengers as we get some callbacks for squad avengers. Oscar-winning Brie Larson effortlessly makes the role her own, offering a beautiful mix of humanity and a detachment fighter pilot hired by the Kree after taking strength in mysterious circumstances. In spite of the excellent support (Jude Law, Annette Bening, Ben Mendelsohn), the debut of the classic shapeshifting Skrulls villains, some smart twists, and action beats that make you hit the air in triumph, this is a run-of-the-mill origin fare. Brie Larson is good in the part, but the films are missing in the plot, as this film mostly acts as a filler between the events before and after the film, as there is no clarification that the captain has been marveling all along since the beginning of the MCU.
3. Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man, which was released back in 2008, marked the debut of the MCU because there was no going back to wonder, laid the foundation stone for future Marvel films. Early on, there was just a proposal to make the film trilogy, and there was no proposal for the linked world explored by the various characters of the marvel. RDJ rules as Iron Man in the film, and then becomes a popular character in the future Marvel films. You will watch it at any time of the day. If you want to see how to get an origin story right, try out Iron Man, because it barely sets a foot in the wrong direction. Robert Downey Jr was the right guy to carry the vain Tony Stark to life, and his technologically sophisticated costume was a breath of fresh air compared to the mask and tights we used to see superheroes wearing before. Iron Man has been one of the greatest Marvel movies for over a decade.
4. Iron Man 2 (2010)
Iron Man 2 sinks too far from the heights of its precursor, one of the highest-ranking Marvel movies, and everything comes back to view. This is more like a stepping stone than a coherent film. It was planned to play off the popularity of the first Iron Man, to launch the War Machine and the Black Widow, and vaguely to advance the Avengers Initiative. And, on top of all that, they wanted the villains. Sam Rockwell does an excellent job in an inconsequential role, while the above-mentioned Whiplash only occurs for … What’s that, fan service? It’s a filler and a needless filler; Tony’s ghosts come back to haunt him again and again in the MCU, from Quentin Beck to Quicksilver. It’s a storyline that is much more successful in later movies, but the trope is prematurely bored of Whiplash.
5. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
The trouble with Incredible Hulk is that it’s tonally too dissonant with other movies, and it’s really a bit of a drawback. It’s a film that, when combined with Ang Lee’s 2003 Hulk, makes you wonder if the character should make a film of his own or whether he needs to be partnered with other superheroes to function to the fullest degree. Norton is good enough as the troubled, perpetually tense Bruce Banner, but he’s nowhere near as much fun as the joker Mark Ruffalo, who made the part his own from The Avengers onwards. The Incredible Hulk is a kind of origin story that skips over Banner’s gamma-ray-induced explosion – a well-known story that plays out as part of the opening credit sequence – then picks up with him months later in hiding, seeking to locate a cure. It’s pretty funny and hits all the crucial points for a good superhero movie, but it also suffers from an uninspiring love interest and a forgotten baddie.
6. Thor (2011)
Though Chris Hemsworth does a good job of portraying the God of Thunder, the character is tricky to work in his old-fashioned-and period-drama-like clothing. Remember, it’s been a few years since Hemsworth unveiled a peculiar talent for satire, and Thor became one of the MCU’s MVPs. Thor does well to build a persona for his future appearances, however, as well as to develop a family bond that will become relevant later on. In fact, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is one of the highlights of the film and makes his older half-brother even more compelling, which is presumably why Loki appeared alongside Thor in almost every Marvel movie he’s in, but the first Thor movie has more heart than its sequel. Funny, sweet, and with a lot of ludicrous action sequences.
7. The Avengers (2012)
When The Avengers movie came, it was a revelation, particularly when a lot of people felt there was no chance the studio could take anything like this out. A crossover movie featuring several lead characters and a plot covering several franchises? It felt like an insane scheme that might never succeed, however, thanks to the groundwork laid by the previous Marvel movies and the talented hands of writer/director Joss Whedon, The Avengers became Marvel’s first film worth over a billion dollars. Not only did it succeed, but it’s also a great film in its own right. With superheroes galore, action-packed blockbuster fights, and ample consistency in the plot to really take care of each character, the Avengers have gone down in film history.
8. Iron Man 3 ( 2013)
Iron Man 3 is an interesting and extremely controversial MCU film. It’s a film that’s meant to bear the whole load of The Avengers on its back, and instead just shrugs it off, and shrugs off the guilt of being part of a shared world to just go off and do its own thing. The MCU upped the ante with Iron Man 3, far from a traditional Marvel movie. In reality, it’s the film that made it really clear that, from 2013 onwards, the traditional Marvel film formula will no longer exist. Black’s presence is much more important than his 80 ‘s action track record as his barnstorming funny, postmodern film noir satire.
9. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
A cape-wearing, long-haired deity who sounds like Shakespeare was always going to be a little hard-selling to modern-day moviegoers. Although Thor: Ragnarok knows how to have fun with the ridiculousness of the God of Thunder, Thor: The Dark World (like his predecessor) struggles from being a little too superhero-y. In a cinematic world where we have intergalactic space opera shenanigans, WW2-era war movies, and size-altering heist movies, a handsome man in a costume battling a foe who comes off as Stereotypical Bad Guy (Christopher Eccleston, wasted as Dark Elf Malekith) doesn’t stand much chance. Something must be the lowest on this scale, and one will believe that it’s The Dark World.
10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the second film in the trilogy of Captain America and is considered to be one of the best comic book films ever made. The best adaptation of a comic book arrives after a long time; the best part of the film is Captain America and the black widow squad to fight the hydra. Action scenes, plots, and special effects are at the top of the film. The director duo of Russo Brothers is the biggest thing behind the popularity of the film, both critically and commercially. It’s a must-see if you’re a lover of good old adventure movies featuring superheroes.
11. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
It’s the first MCU film set in space and other dimensions, rather than earth, as the basis of the plot. It features a handful of newcomers, a star king, a Gamora, and a Groot. The main antagonist of this film is Ronan, the accuser who is a Kree who serves Thanos as the major bad guy of the entire MCU; the film is the space gem of the MCU, the comic strips are on par with the storyline. The soundtrack and the music are also a treat for this film; you’re going to be hooked on a sensation. When it was released in 2014, very few would have thought that the Guardians of the Galaxy would be a major success, particularly because it seemed very tangential to the rest of the MCU. Quite quickly, though, it became apparent that the creative team trapped energy in a bottle, and the film was a huge hit. It manages to be both entertaining and enjoyable at the same time, with lots of great displays, and it’s a reminder of how good the MCU can be.
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
The Guardians of the Vol. Galaxy. 2 is a good time, but not a perfect time. It takes the formula set out by the original, the booster belts, the stereo cranks up to full, and goes full throttle for more than two hours. Unfortunately, however, were the original Guardians of the Galaxy had been a surprise success – a Marvel movie so new and refreshing – it set the bar impossibly high for the sequel. Jokes are not as new the second time around. You also feel like you’ve seen the new worlds before, and the individual character arcs are predictable. None of the character beats perform as well, and this time Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord loses anything.
13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
At the time of release, it was riding the galaxy’s Winter Soldier and Guardians, when watching one of the biggest and greatest Marvel movies of all time, The Avengers. There are plenty of powerful moments too: the Hulkbuster scenes are blockbuster splash page glory; the Clint Farm interlude offers some much-needed character drama; The MCU features small encounters, such as the after-party scene or the final showdown between Vision against Ultron.
14. Ant-Man (2015)
Paul is one of those actors who continues to shine in whatever kind of film he’s going to be in. While he undoubtedly excels in comedy, he also has a dramatic side that can be used to the fullest effect. They’re both on view in Ant-Man, one of the many movies that make up the MCU. There is no question that SAVE is the right guy to play the reluctant hero in this picture, and he owns the part from the beginning of the film to the final scene. Ant-Man is a character who can be reduced to the scale of the ant. Paul Sturdy stars as an ant man in the movies, he’s had his ups and downs in the script, but he’s got a nice start on the crowd, and the story ends in a good and happy way. This is the first incarnation of Ant-Man on the big screen, and Michael Douglas stars as Hank Pym.
15. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: Civil War is the first film since Avengers to combine all the heroes from the magnificent universe in a single superhero film, Captain America. This is the third film in the Captain America series, starring superheroes such as Iron Man, Black Widow, Black Panther, Winter Soldier, etc. The storyline of this film is very good; all the characters are online with the tale of the movies, the action scenes are well done, the visual effects department is also well done.
16. Spider-Man: Homecoming ( 2017 )
Marvel sold the rights a long time before the MCU existed, but due to a team-up between Marvel Studios and Sony, Spidey got home and what a welcome home it was. Most of Spider-Man ‘s success: Homecoming hinges on the fact that a) it’s not another story of Spider-Man origin, and b) Tom Holland is ideally cast as a teenager, Peter Parker. Despite not seeing Peter get bitten by the all-important spider, Homecoming is still a pretty conventional superhero flick, but it owes almost as much to classical high school movies as it does to the works of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Put in an injection of Tony Stark’s charisma, a killer Spidey suit, and a brilliantly delivered final act twist / reveals, and you’ve got yourself one heck of an MCU movie.
17. Doctor Strange ( 2016)
Dr. Strange follows the story of Dr. Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon. Living in New York City, he suffered an injury and lost his motor functions. Then he goes on a journey to learn magic, and then he becomes a strange Doctor. The film dives into the supernatural and supernatural elements of the Marvel comics, and later Doctor Strange became a regular character in subsequent MCU films. The VFX of the film is on par with the other MCU movies.
18. Black Panther ( 2018 )
Black Panther is the first black superhero to make his first feature film, Ryan Coogler is the writer and director of this film, he hits the mark with this film as a narrative gem but loses the originality of the plot as it’s essentially a vengeance thriller. Chadwick Boseman plays Black Panther and Michael Jordan as Killmonger, the film’s primary antagonist. The film is set during the Civil War, which marked the debut of the character on the big screen.
19. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Thor comes back with a bang, wakes up in the ropes, and tackles Surtur. This is a sequence that’s enough to make the film succeed. This is the third film in the Thor trio that isn’t set in Asgard or Earth, rather than space. Thor battles against his elder sister Hela, who seeks to rule Asgard and then the entire world with the assistance of his brother Loki, Hulk, and Valkyrie. In the final fight between Thor and Hela, Immigrant Song by Led Zeplin definitely gives you some chilling. You’re sure to watch it again. Thor: Ragnarok has a lot to do with the rest of the cast, particularly when it features none other than the magnificent Cate Blanchett, who continues to conquer the whole screen every time she appears
20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Ant-Man ‘s sequel to Ant-Man and Wasp is an important moment in MCU history, but it’s so much more than that. Picking up after the events of Captain America: Civil War and set parallel to Avengers: Infinity War (but published a few months later), Ant-Man and Wasp are the ultimate palate cleanser after Thanos’s grab. Like its sequel, the Ant-Man series has a clear and powerful plot that lets the characters shine, and it’s a lot about Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne’s relationship. Then why is there just number 19 on our list of the best Marvel movies? Ant-Man and Wasp lack the freshness of the original, and much of the excitement of shifting size is diluted by the visible-it-all-before-factor – particularly when Captain America: the Civil War stole Lang’s Giant-Man thunder.
21. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War is considered to be the greatest Marvel film of all time, largely based on the Infinity War comic book series. The best part of it is the best team-up of superheroes represented in this film. Everyone’s performance and performance is the best part of this film, we all liked Thor’s Wakanda entrance into the film theatres used to become a stadium with the applause of this scene. It’s the ideal re-watch in this quarantine era.
22. Avengers: Endgame ( 2019)
Avengers: Endgame is the definitive evidence of Marvel’s brave vision for a shared universe; the conclusion of hundreds of plot arcs through 22 movies; and the fitting finale for the first stage of MCU overlord Kevin Feige’s grand scheme. The plot decisions are daring – the time leap, the character dies, the nods to earlier movies – but they all make complete sense in the saga context. There’s definitely never going to be another movie like Endgame beyond the MCU because of the special way this story was told. Yeah, the aspect of time travel is at best blurry, but it’s a small quibble that even Endgame admits to being dumb because characters confess that their understanding of time travel comes solely from the film. But for a three-hour film, Endgame is flying and serves as a mighty fine conclusion even if the MCU can begin. I also suspect that the more I see this show, the higher it will be in the rankings.
23. Spider-Man: Far From Home ( 2019)
Though not as strong as Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home does what these MCU Spider-Man movies do well, offering a view into the world into MCUs from the perspective of non-superheroes. Although Spider-Man (Tom Holland) may be at the forefront of the action, he’s surrounded by everyday people who are responding to the huge developments around them, whether it’s something the viewer forgot about, like Captain America’s BARF technology: Civil War, or something critical like the Thanos’ pop. Giving these characters time makes the MCU feel true and inclusive, not just a superhero universe that happens to have average people in it.