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Best Order to Watch All the Marvel Movies: Chronological Order Vs. Release Order

Wondering what the right or best order to watch all the Marvel movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? This is your complete guide to all the Marvel movies and TV shows in the MCU. Is the best order to watch Marvel movies in chronological order or release order? Here you’ll find lists of Marvel movies in order of release date, a list of Marvel movies in chronological order, a short Marvel movies list to watch, and the most important Avengers movies in order when you just want a brief introduction to the Avengers!

The best order to watch Marvel movies before Avengers: Endgame!

Lists of All the Marvel Movies in Order to Watch Before Phase 4

You get a Marvel movies list, you get a Marvel movies list, and you get a Marvel movies list! Seriously, there are so many ways you can watch the Marvel movies, but these lists are based on your interests.

How many Marvel movies are there in total? Right now, there are 23 Marvel movies released in the MCU, but more are coming in 2021! Phase 3 ended in 2019 with Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Disney just released the new Marvel Phase 4 Timeline with new release dates for Black Widow, Thor 4, Captain Marvel 2, and more, so you have some time to catch up before all the new movies and Disney+ TV shows come out. 

Speaking of Phase 4, Black Widow is the beginning of Marvel Phase 4 in movie form. These are some of the most kick-butt Black Widow movie quotes

Black Widow got pushed back again to May 2021, so you’ve got more time to watch the Avengers movies in order before Black Widow. However, WandaVision was released on Disney+. And technically that is the beginning of Phase 4, but it’s weird, so I would leave it after you’ve watched all these movies.

However if you do want to start WandaVision, because of all the hype, I suggest at least watching Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War. 

What order should YOU watch the Marvel movies? Here are your options. I recommend by release date for new Marvel movie watchers and chronological order if you’ve already seen most or all of them.

Where does Captain Marvel fall in the MCU timeline?

List of Marvel Movies in Order of Release Date 

So you’re all in and want to watch all the Marvel movies? Well how about the way a lot of people saw them, by their release date.

They jump around in a timeline, but half the fun is figuring out how they intertwine. I recommend watching all the Marvel movies in order of release date for those who are just starting to watch Marvel movies.

If you watch them in the order they were released, then you’ll start to piece together things on your own.

Here is the Marvel movies list in order of release date:

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 Vol. 2 (2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Black Panther (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 2018)
Captain Marvel (March 2019)
Avengers: Endgame (April 2019)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (June 2019)

List of Marvel Movies in Order of release date

Complete List of Marvel Movies in Chronological Order

If you really like watching Marvel movies in the correct and perfect order, then check out the Marvel movies in chronological order. This Marvel movies list is by the year the events happened. Remember how I mentioned that Avengers movies like to jump around? Well this is the list of Marvel movies in order by year to watch in real time sequence.

It’s crazy to think that Captain Marvel would now be the 2nd movie to watch if you’re watching the Marvel movies list serially. Captain Marvel takes place in the 1990s, before The Avengers. You’ll get a glimpse on how The Avengers are formed. 

How to watch the Marvel movies in chronological order

Marvel Movies List in Chronological Order

Captain America: The First Avenger (1943-1945)
Captain Marvel (1990s)
Iron Man (2010)
Iron Man 2 (2011)
The Incredible Hulk (2011)
Thor (2011)
The Avengers (2012)
Iron Man 3 (2012)
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 (2014)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Ant-Man (2015) 
Captain America: Civil War (2016) 
Black Panther (2016-2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016)
Doctor Strange (2016-2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp -Happening the same time as Infinity War
Avengers: Endgame (2023)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2023)

Click on the printable Marvel Movies in Chronological Order List PDF below to print your own copy for future reference!

Marvel Movies in Chronological Order PDF

MCU Official Timeline

There are a few holes in the MCU timeline, so the diehard fans may say that Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man Homecoming can’t happen at the same time.  Also Marvel had even said that Thor: Ragnarok happens maybe on top of Civil War, maybe on top of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Somewhere in that ball park.

Then Marvel came out with an official timeline in Marvel: The First Ten Years guidebook. These dates reflect that update.

If you get technical, Spider-Man: Homecoming should be set in 2020, which is impossible, because those events happen before Avengers: Infinity War. Also, Spider-Man: Homecoming happens a few months after Captain America: Civil War. 

Marvel has said Black Panther is set in 2017, but a news segment mentions T’Chaka died a week earlier which happens in Captain America: Civil War, so I moved Black Panther to after Civil War, because it makes more sense.

I added Ant-Man and the Wasp after Avengers: Infinity War, even though they are happening at the same time, too. Ant-Man and the Wasp mentions Scott has been on house arrest for 2 years.

You could argue that it happens before Avengers: Infinity War, but there are still many unanswered questions. Also, you’ll need to watch Avengers: Infinity War first to understand the end credits of Ant-Man and the Wasp. So those last few, you can intertwine and be fine.

Then there’s the whole when does Avengers: Endgame take place? Technically Avengers Endgame takes place in 2023, since it’s supposed to happen 5 years after Avengers: Infinity War. So it’s not all a perfect matchup.

10 Essential Marvel Movies to Watch Before Avengers: Endgame

So, let’s say you just want to have some kind of idea of what’s going on in Avengers: Endgame, but you are short on time. You’re a new fan or you just want to hang with your friends who are fans. These are the first Marvel movies I would watch if you want a shorter list to start with.

After watching Avengers: Endgame, my list of what Marvel movies you have to watch before Endgame has changed a little bit. There are at least 10 Marvel movies you should see.

If you want to know most of the characters you’ll see in Avengers: Endgame, then watching the Avengers movies in order -The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Avengers: Infinity War would be a good idea. But I’m leaving one out just for plot purposes.

Doctor Strange is a bit trippy, but he plays such a crucial role in Avengers:Infinity War that I think you should watch it to understand time travel. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. also introduces a couple of new characters, but I’ll leave it out of the necessary Marvel movies list for now.

Included on the extra credit list are also Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok. But if you have time, you should also watch them!

List of Marvel movies to watch before Avengers Endgame

Iron Man

The movie that started it all.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Here you’ll find Captain America’s origin story, which is important, plus see some more information about SHIELD, and Howard Stark.

Captain Marvel

Chronologically, this comes after Captain America: The First Avenger. It’ll also tie up some Nick Fury ends for you.

The Avengers

This Marvel movie is essential to watching before you see Avengers: Endgame. It introduces you to most of  The Avengers, but most importantly, the original 6 Avengers. 

Thor: The Dark World

Normally, this isn’t my favorite Marvel movie, but it’ll explain some things in Avengers: Endgame.

Guardians of The Galaxy

This is crucial to being introduced to the characters from these films, plus a look at Thanos and his relationship with Gamora.

Captain America: Civil War

Since you meet some of the crucial characters before Avengers: Infinity War like Spider-Man, Ant-Man, and Black Panther, I’m leaving out their individual films from this essential Marvel movies list in order.

Doctor Strange

Perhaps a little strange for this list, but as newcomer, I would want to see Doctor Strange before Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. It’s not the most action-packed, but it’s still important.

Avengers: Infinity War

If nothing else, please at least watch Avengers: Infinity War. Please, for the love, I’m begging you. I don’t know how many texts I got from friends who hadn’t watch one single Marvel movie before Avengers: Endgame.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

This one I’m including for the explanation of the Quantum Realm. You’ve seen the Avengers’ awesome Quantum Suits in the trailer, right?

Watch these Marvel movies in order of importance when you're short on time. Meet the Guardians of the Galaxy.

List of Marvel TV Shows and Movies in Order

You can always rewatch the Marvel movies over and over. There’s always something you’ll pick up. However, if you really want all in, then here’s the absolute best order to watch all of Marvel including the Marvel TV Shows on Netflix and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. where I fell in love with Agent Coulson. That series is so good!

This is definitely an investment in time and reserved for hardcore Marvel fans. It’s not hard to become one once you’ve watched all the Marvel movies in order.

The Complete Guide to Watching Marvel Movies and TV Shows

Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Thor (2011)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 (2013)
Daredevil Season 1 (2015)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2014)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 (2014)
Jessica Jones Season 1 (2015)
Ant-Man (2015)
Daredevil Season 2 (2016)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Luke Cage Season 1 (2016)
Agent Carter Seasons 1 and 2 (2015-16)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Black Panther (2018)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seasons 3 and 4 (2015-16)
Iron Fist Season 1 (2017)
The Defenders Season 1 (2017)
The Punisher Season 1 (2017)
Jessica Jones Season 2 (2018)
Luke Cage Season 2 (2018)
Iron Fist Season 2 (2018)
Daredevil Season 3 (2018)
The Punisher Season 2 (2019)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 (2018)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Captain Marvel (2019)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 6
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7
WandaVision
 

Where does Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6 fall? Well, because of an uncertain timeline and whether the show would be renewed, Jed Whedon says it happens before Avengers: Endgame.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7 is one of the best seasons, so don’t miss it!

Do You Need to Watch the Marvel Movies in Order Before Phase 4?

Is watching Marvel movies in a certain order important? To my husband, yes. He does not like watching things out of sequence. It drives him crazy to not put the Marvel puzzle together ahead of time. 

For someone like me, no. I like being entertained, and it doesn’t bother me if I have to backtrack.

If you are someone who needs all the details, then watch the Marvel movies in chronological order or at least watch the Marvel movies in order of release date.

Marvel Movies for Kids

Some Marvel movies are not for all kids. If you’re a parent and you want to screen the movies before going with your children, check out my list of the most kid friendly Marvel movies.

Is Spider-Man: Far From Home kid friendly? A guide for parents.

I recommend screening the film or reading parent reviews first, because not all Marvel movies are created equally for kids, in my opinion. Black Panther was more violent than most and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had more language and sexual references than most Marvel films.

If you need snacks to get through your Marvel movies list marathon, here are some Marvel drink recipes you can make – Spider-Man Drink, Captain American Drink Recipe  or a Black Panther Frozen Drink.

Happy Marvel Movies watching!


Watch these Marvel Movies in order to get caught up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Marvel movie lists for every level Avengers fan!
The Best Order to Watch All the Marvel Movies, especially before Avengers: Endgame. Here are Marvel movie lists of how to watch Marvel movies in chronological order, by release date, and a short list when you don't have much time to get caught up.

 

 

 

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