With Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet, Captain America and Captain Marvel, it’s easy for MCU newcomers (and frankly even some veterans) to get confused. That’s without even mentioning time travel, multiverses, ambiguous post credit scenes and the colorful array of TV series on various streaming services.
If you’re looking to watch the Marvel movies in sequence, we recommend viewing in order of their theatrical release dates. Marvel Studios makes references to its past films more often than it does its chronologically preceding events. Watching in release order also ensures that you won’t encounter spoilers out of order. If you are looking for the chronological MCU timeline, however, check out the bottom of this article; we’ve got you covered. We’ll keep spoilers to a minimum, but if you’re trying to go in blind, you have been warned!
Right now, your best option to soar through the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a Disney+ subscription. That will give you streaming access to nearly all of these films. The Disney streaming service costs $11.98 / month, or $119.98 / year ($10.00 / month). You can bundle it with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $12.99 a month (cheaper than Netflix).
A few films are also available on other services outside Disney+. Simply click each title and The Streamable will provide details on where to find each of these action-packed adventures!
Marvel Cinematic Universe Streaming Guide
30 April 2008
The film that launched a franchise, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man still holds up after 10+ years. Billionaire engineer Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) builds a weaponized suit in order to escape imprisonment in an Afghan cave. The suit and what it stands for becomes his new legacy, and it’s up to him to shape the direction of his company to match it. Stark had no idea what he was getting into, and neither did audiences around the world! Stay tuned for the post-credit sequence that hinted at the marvelous world that was about to unfold.
12 June 2008
Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) wants nothing more than to lose the extraordinary curse bound within himself. When he gets angry, he turns into the raging, green Incredible Hulk. While he searches far and wide for an antidote, military masterminds dream of exploiting his powers and conspire to force him back into civilization where he can bend to their needs.
28 April 2010
With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark faces pressure from the government, the press and wost of all - from himself. High on power and struck with palladium poisoning from his arc reactor, he must overcome his own character flaws while confronting powerful new enemies. This film introduces Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and War Machine (Don Cheadle, taking Terrence Howard’s old role) to the MCU.
21 April 2011
The mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is a powerful but arrogant warrior god. The crown of Asgard awaits him, but he proves himself unworthy by reigniting an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and must learn what it takes to be a true hero if he’s to survive the most dangerous villain of his world - and the dark forces of Asgard at his disposal. This movie also brings the introduction of Tom Hiddleston’s marvelous Loki, an important antagonist throughout the MCU. It’s also the debut of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who makes a brief cameo.
22 July 2011
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has the heart of a soldier, but he’ll need more than that if he wants to enlist and fight in World War II. Transformed into a super-soldier, Captain America strives to prove his worth in the war effort, fighting the Red Skull – Adolf Hitler’s ruthless head of weaponry, a man intent on harnessing untold powers in pursuit of world domination.
25 April 2012
When an unexpected enemy emerges and threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Black Widow, and Hawkeye find themselves in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, and Bruce Banner are at the top of their recruitment list. Mark Ruffalo takes the Bruce Banner role in this film. And the post-credit sequence sets up the greatest threat in the entire MCU!
18 April 2013
Nothing’s been the same since the Chitauri attacked New York, and Tony Stark can barely sleep at night. Suffering from paranoia and anxiety, he’s still not a fan of bullies. He challenges a terrorist called The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), but bites off more than he can chew. It’s up to him to rebuild and reevaluate, and take the fight to The Mandarin himself.
30 October 2013
Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos… but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
20 March 2014
Steve Rogers tries to adjust to the modern world. When an old colleague comes under attack, however, Rogers becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off a professional assassin sent to silence him: The Winter Soldier.
30 July 2014
Would audiences follow superheroes into space? The answer was a resounding “yes!” Light-years from Earth, a simple heist puts a hefty bounty on the head of the eccentric Peter Quill (Chris Pratt). The fate of this mysterious orb leads Quill to fight (and then team up with) a sentient tree, a talking raccoon, and two deadly assassins. Are they more than just a ragtag team? This could be the funniest Marvel film.
22 April 2015
Tony Stark finally discovers the way to protect his planet: a suit of armor around the world. When that suit of armor ends up developing its own aggressive personality with a penchant towards the destruction of humanity, however, it’s up to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to avenge their own mistakes. This movie marks the MCU debut for the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany).
14 July 2015
Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner hero and help his newfound mentor, Doctor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Can he protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats? Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
27 April 2016
Following the disastrous events of Age of Ultron, the collective governments of the world pass an act to keep superheroes in check. This polarizes opinion among the Avengers, creating a schism between Stark and Rogers. Old hostilities are reawakened and it’s friend vs. friend in a heated clash of ideologies. Civil War is notable for the introductions of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the MCU’s Spider-Man (Tom Holland).
25 October 2016
After his career is destroyed, brilliant but arrogant surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under her wing and trains him to defend the world against evil. Doctor Strange is a feast for the eyes, with incredible, innovative special effects.
5 July 2017
The first of the MCU’s Spider-Man movies, Peter Parker is coming into his own as an upstart superhero. Eager and enthusiastic, he struggles to lay low under the mentorship of Tony Stark - especially when a new threat, the Vulture (Michael Keaton), emerges.
25 October 2017
With direction from the brilliant Taika Waititi, this Thor adventure is surprisingly funny. Confronted with a new nemesis more powerful than he thought possible, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe. He must now fight and parley his way back to Asgard in time to stop Ragnarok, an end to Asgardian civilization, and the reign of the tyrannical Hela (Cate Blanchett). Keep your eyes peeled for a quick cameo from Matt Damon and Chris Hemsworth’s brother, Liam.
13 February 2018
King T’Challa returns home from America to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne by factions within his own country as well as without. It’s up to him and his closest allies to prevent Wakanda from instigating a world war.
Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger is one of the MCU’s best villains, and his performance helped propel this Oscar-winning epic to a $1.3 billion worldwide box office.
25 April 2018
As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos (Josh Brolin). A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment - the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain. The ending of this film left audiences awestruck.
4 July 2018
Just when his time under house arrest is about to end, Scott Lang once again puts his freedom at risk to help Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym dive into the quantum realm and try to accomplish, against time and any chance of success, a very dangerous rescue mission. The end of this movie provides an important development for the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.
6 March 2019
Vers (Brie Larson) is a proud Kree soldier but remembers little of how she became one. As she makes her way through 1990s America, she discovers her past, awakens her inner talents, and discovers her place in a galactic war between two alien races.
24 April 2019
After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of their remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe once and for all, no matter what consequences may be in store. This crowd-pleaser offers fist-pumping fan service and one incredible gut-punch. There’s a good reason this is the highest grossing film of all time.
28 June 2019
Still reeling from the backlash of the events of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker tries to relax on a school trip to Europe. When his trip is hijacked by Nick Fury, his vacation quickly turns into superhero business: Powerful elementals are destroying entire cities and Peter must juggle his personal life with saving the continent.
Marvel Cinematic Universe Chronological Viewing order
Our recommendation for first-time viewers is to watch films in their release orders, but that order is different from the actual MCU timeline. If you want to go from the very beginning up until the present, the order is below. If it’s your first time through the series, avoid the post-credit sequences to avoid spoilers!
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Captain Marvel
- Iron Man
- The Incredible Hulk
- Iron Man 2
- The Avengers
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: The Dark World
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: Civil War
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Doctor Strange
- Black Panther
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Avengers: Endgame
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
Upcoming Marvel Films
7 July 2021
Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
27 October 2021
The Eternals are a team of ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. When an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows, they are forced to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, the Deviants.
23 March 2022
Dr. Stephen Strange’s continuing research on the Time Stone is hindered by a friend-turned-enemy, resulting in Strange unleashing unspeakable evil.
6 July 2022
Given the shocking death of Chadwick Boseman, it’s impossible to know how this movie will play out. Some have theorized that T’Challa’s sister Shuri will become the new Black Panther. But given the MCU’s history of careful planning, it’s a sure bet the new plan will have to be carefully considered.
Marvel Films Outide the MCU
Also worth noting, some Marvel characters have appeared in films outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The X-Men and Fantastic Four had their own franchises and reboots. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine got three standalone movies. The very R-rated Deadpool movies aren’t very Disney-friendly, so they’re on the sister service, Hulu.
There are also two preexisting Spider-Man franchises - one with Tobey Maguire and one with Andrew Garfield. There’s also the Oscar-winning Into the Spider-Verse animated film. Based on the final moments of Spider-Man: Far From Home and some shocking casting news about the next Spidey-film, it could be Disney’s plan to tie all of these existing properties together somehow. Stay tuned!