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How to Watch Marvel Movies in Order - A Simple Guide [2020]

April 20, 2020
Jesús Diaz

There’s no denying that the Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU for short, has been a major franchise in our century. Yet, with so many superhero movies spawning different ages and characters, it’s really easy to lose track of how you’re supposed to watch the movies. Here we will present you with the best alternatives to watch Marvel movies in order.

Marvel movies in order

The best part is that there are actually two ways to perfectly watch the marvel movies in order. You can do it in the so-called spaghetti order, or you can follow the inner chronology of the MCU. Let’s review each order really quickly.

Advantages of each order to watch the MCU.

Each order that you follow will have different advantages and will provide an overall different take. This is especially true if you’re watching all the movies for the first time or you’re accompanied by someone who is.

First things first, let’s present the advantages of each order before we get to the actual order of movies.

The official released movie order (spaghetti order).

  • You’ll be able to switch easily between movies with coherent changes in the cast.
  • Some if not all of the Easter eggs and after credit scenes will make more sense.
  • The experience has the intended effect desired by Disney and their released schedule.

The chronological order.

  • This way the experience of immersion in the MCU is much stronger.
  • You get to relate more with the points of view of some characters and their decisions.
  • It only implies a minimal change in the spaghetti order.

Watch the Marvel movies in order.

From this point on we will be following the spaghetti order for preference. Afterward, we will also give you the chronological order so you can choose whichever you like. Let’s begin with the movie the kickstarted the whole MCU into what it is today.

First, remember that the releases of this franchise of movies are divided into phases. Below we will cover the material released thus far, which is from phase 1 to phase 3.

Iron Man (2008).

Marvel movies in order

Directed by Jon Favreau, starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, this is the movie that started the whole show for Marvel on the big screen. Initially posed to be just another superhero movie. But, the radical, carefree and patriotic personality of RDJ, err we mean, Tony stark, changed the tone for how heroes can be perceived by the public.

The atmosphere of the movie is also one that presents innovation and a somewhat relaxed pace at which events can unfold to turn a philanthropist, playboy, billionaire into even more of a sensation for the public.

The movie is a must-see for anyone even remotely interested in the MCU. So, it’s no wonder it’s the headline of our guide to see the marvel movies in order. Watch a slightly younger Tony Stark in his way to become what the world made him to be. The Iron Man.

The incredible Hulk (2008).

From the directive mind of Louis Leterrier, starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, and Tim Roth. This is the one movie that most fans of the MCU would wish it had never happened. Having Edward Norton as Bruce Banner does give the movie a different edge. However, the feel of the movie was not one that the fans really liked.

Most of the people you ask about the right way to watch the Marvel movies in order won’t include this one. That’s sort of a lie of omission. This movie is, in fact, part of phase 1 of the MCU. Yet, due to the poor reception from fans and critics, the role this movie really plays in the whole MCU is minimum.

As time would probe the cast and particular history of the incredible Hulk would be one best taken from other movies in the MCU. Beginning with the change of the lead actor from Edward Norton to the loveable Mark Ruffalo.

Iron Man 2 (2010).

Continuing with the success of the direction of Jon Favreau and the stellar role of Tony Stark reprised by RDJ. We do see some changes in the cast and new faces. For instance, Don Cheadle takes the place of Howard Rhodes, a part that will be kept through all the MCU.

Mickey Rourke shows up as the rival in this part of what will become a trilogy for solo movies of Iron Man. This atmosphere is full of technological innovation rushing adrenaline scenes and funny but subtle cameos. As it’s accustomed you can catch none other than Stan Lee on every MCU movie. Yet, in this one, you can also see a glimpse of Elon Musk.

At last, this movie has supporting appearances from Samuel L Jackson and Scarlett Johansson being introduced as Black Widow.

Thor (2011).

Marvel movies in order

In this movie, we get to see the first appearance of the mighty god of thunder into our continuity of the MCU. The lead goes for Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. With the support of Anthony Hopkins as Odin and Idris Elba as Heimdall.

This is the first movie of the MCU to really introduce a scale of power that is beyond just what humans are capable of. The story is nicely paced and showcases a quest for worthiness, for power and hope. It’s also a brief introduction of Hawkeye who will play a major role in the MCU later on.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).

Coming back to the old days in which the world was in the second world war. This movie is an epic from the heart of gold turned into a hero for the ages. Captain America also known as Steve Rogers is portrayed by none other than Chris Evans. With the support of Tommy Lee Jones and Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter. We also see the infamous Red Skull portrayed by Hugo Weaving.

This a story of the first hero who rose to the tops only to find himself loosing almost everything held dear. Truly the story is for those who seek a good old superhero movie with lots of action and a sober comedy tone characteristic of Marvel movies.

Being the first in the chronological order, this movie set the stones for many characters within the MCU. There are even quite a few characters that even got their own shows, Agent Carter being one of them.

The Avengers (2012).

Marvel movies in order

Directed by Joss Whedon, this is the first gathering of the all-star team that is The Avengers. This movie marks the end of phase 1 of the MCU and the first major milestone in our tour of how to watch marvel movies in order.

We get to see Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk, the latter being the reprised by Mark Ruffalo for the first time. This movie is a major conjunction point for the MCU, the events that unfold in this movie will be so grave that the entire MCU will revolve around them for quite some time.

With the lovely acting of Tom Hiddleston as Loki, you can bet that this movie is as funny as it is packed with action and excitement.

Iron Man 3 (2013).

For the end of the solo movies about Iron Man, there’s a change of direction, from Jon Favreau to Shane Black. Join Tony Stark, A.K.A Iron Man, in dealing with the after-effects of the end of phase 1. This time tackling a much more earthly and human threat than a full-blown alien invasion.

You’ll get to see just how much a character can grow and improve when done correctly. This movie feels sort of rushed but in all the right points. With the characteristic and refreshing humor particular to the movies in the MCU.

There are many easter eggs for comic fans and movie followers alike. The end scene sets a bright and clear panorama for the character of Tony Stark.

Thor: The Dark World (2013).

The sequel of the first movie about the god of thunder in the MCU, of course, taking place after the events in The Avengers. Here you’ll get the chance to see the same cast and characters, with some minor exceptions, in new adventures.

This time, the danger comes on a cosmic scale and comes armed with weapons that make even Asgardians fight in the defensive. This is another movie that plays a fundamental role in our list of how to watch the Marvel movies in order.

Major losses are sure to happen when war is fought at the scale that is habitual of Thor, this movie is no exception. Presenting a more gray and sober atmosphere placing emphasis on the colors used in certain scenes. This difference really sets the tone for the mood of the movie.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).

Marvel movies in order

Take a look at the vision from the Russo Brothers, seeing spy games, action and the reintroduction of characters thought lost. Chris Evans makes a wonderful Captain America as always, this time presenting new characters like Falcon.

You’ll also get to see some major plotlines that changed the entire landscape provided by the organization known as SHIELD. The tone of the movie is again perfect, rushed at the right times but with a sense of comfort when there needs to be.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).

One of the major relevancies of the Guardians of the galaxy movies is the almost psychedelic use of color. Setting the tone for even more comedic lines and funny situations. Nevertheless, this is still an action movie. As such is packed with exciting action and a top of the line cast.

You can see Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana as the cool and green Gamora. Dave Bautista from the WWE is also in the lead along with Bradly Cooper and Vin Diesel. These last two being present in voice only.

This movie opens up even more possibilities for the MCU and is completely filled with fun cameos and easter eggs. One of the most acclaimed things about this movie is the soundtrack. It takes the audience back to simpler times when rock was different from what we got today.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

The second gathering of the Avengers comes from the seeming end of the remainders of Hydra. However, the threat this time is not the usual bad guys, instead of being the pace keeping program known as Ultron.

Introducing major new characters to the MCU, such as Wanda Maximoff and Vision. This movie is a wink to terminator and everything that could go wrong with the dangers of AI technology. Yet, still not enough to take down the mighty Avengers.

Ant-Man (2015).

The not so small hero known as Ant-Man comes as a successor of the original Hero. The lead goes to Paul Rudd, who does a surprisingly good role in the MCU, being able to mix comedy very well with the action scenes required for a Marvel movie.

This movie is full of new introductions rather than interactions with older characters. Presenting a new way for the storytelling in the MCU, which goes very well with the cast and tone of the movie.

This is the last movie to be part of phase 2 of the MCU and is yet again another milestone in this guide of how to watch the Marvel movies in order. The next stop will be the positioning of all pieces and characters for the last stage of the Avengers we know.

Captain America: Civil War (2016).

The Russo Brothers directed what can be called one of the major superhero conflicts in this age. This time the outside threat lurks in the shadows, injecting its poison to make teams break and friendships burn.

This movie is the first of the MCU phase 3 and marks the dawn of an era of conflict between Captain America and Iron Man. Having each different heroes on their side. While this movie is a long way from being a major conflict that it was on the comics. It’s still a great take on a series of numbers that went down in history for Marvel.

You’ll get to see most of the known faces in the MCU and the very first introduction to Spider-Man. A.K.A Peter Parker.

Doctor Strange (2016).

Marvel movies in order

This time is the turn of the arcane arts to take the major role. With all the technology that comes from movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man. It may be easy to miss that magic and the mystic also exists in the MCU.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Stephen Strange, a very narcissistic and self-centered Doctor that experiences and life-changing situation. Being forced out of his field of expertise Dr. Strange will be forced to seek out more than just science.

This movie plays with certain elements of the MCU already present and introduces new ones. The cast is wonderful and the movie is very immersive regardless of some scenes being highly dependent on computer effects.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017).

Get ready to see even more colorful landscapes, some heavy artificial effects and enjoy music that your parents probably heard. This second take at the Guardians of the Galaxy comes from the direction of Jams Gunn.

Exploring more of the vast universe of creatures and beings in the MCU. This time from the hand of a personal experience for the leader of the merry band of Guardians, Peter Quill. This may not be the familiar experience that the audience is lead to believe at the beginning of the movie.

The whole cast from the first movie comes back to do a wonderful job at their respective roles. This time with the addition of a new face to the MCU, Mantis.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).

Marvel movies in order

If you’ve ever been curious to see how a regular old friendly neighborhood spider man tackles his roles as a hero and high school student, then this is the movie for you. From dealing with not so simple criminals to something as trivial as prom night. You’ll get to see a very fresh take on the role of Peter Parker.

Not to mention that we get the delightful presence of Marisa Tomei as Aunt May again. You’ll also get to see known faces like Tony Stark and Captain America, all be it briefly.

The movie in itself is way more relaxed than the rest of the third phase of the MCU featured in our list of how to see the marvel movies in order.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017).

This movie presents itself as an action-comedy, although sometimes it is much more comedy than anything else. It is meant to close cycles and provide answers for some questions left a few movies ago. For instance, we now see Hulk returning to the scene and this time much more talkative.

Thor will be exploring its lineage and family. Much will change after this movie and it’s all an anticipation for what’s to come. Yet, the danger here lies in a more self-sufficient plot with scenes as funny as ridiculous. Presenting the return of a major loved character of the MCU, albeit not for as long as it may seem.

Black Panther (2017).

Marvel movies in order

Form the hand of Ryan Coogler as the director, we get to see Chadwick Boseman put on the black panther suit once more. This time expanding on the traditions and culture of the people of Wakanda. Following the list of solo movies that have little connection to major plots within the MCU. This movie is certainly a must-watch within the list of how to watch marvel movies in order.

You can great quantities of action in a movie designed to expand even more the earthly frontiers of the MCU. This time presenting Wakanda as what the nation really is.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

Marvel movies in order

This movie comes as the realization of all the dangers and major plotlines developed over the previous movies. Josh Brolin acts as the voice and model of Thanos, who’s in a quest to wipe out most of the life in the universe.

This time the Avengers will see themselves divided, outnumbered and overpowered. Featuring more humor in the first part than in the second half of the movie. Filled with large action scenes and warlike fights. Not every character will be leaving this confrontation unscathed. The audience is sure in for a wild ride with this Avengers movie.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018).

With the second Ant-Man movie, we get to see a more developed character and a more sober tone. In this movie is very noticeable that the scales playing in the MCU have really changed. Featuring old allies and new enemies, Scott Lang will have a handful dealing with more than just advanced physics.

This movie also officially welcomes the wasp and even introduces the whole original duo of Ant-Man and the wasp. Following on the storytelling of the first solo movie, this one is also refreshing trough and trough.

Captain Marvel (2019).

We cannot say that this movie was an all-fan-favorite yet is still pretty good. Brie Larson Teams up with Samuel L Jackson to face off against enemies never seen before. This movie is considered the birth of the most powerful superhero present in the MCU.

While Captain Marvel doesn’t play a major role in the rest of the movies in the MCU at phase three. It is certainly a necessary addition to counter the power that Thanos wields from the last Avengers movie.

It’s highly anticipated that the character of Captain Marvel will play a significant and central role in phase 4 of the MCU. While we wait to see that, we can add this movie to our list of Marvel movies in order.

Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Marvel movies in order

At last, we have the conclusion of the Thanos and infinity stones plotlines. This movie features the whole Avengers cast, some in a way that not all fans expected to see.

Surging from the ashes of what Thanos Left, this movie shows a bright sense of hope and camaraderie even when all is thought lost. Here we’ll have to say goodbye to many loved faces and heroes. Some with a well-deserved happy ending, and others being elevated to a hero indispensable for the survival of the MCU.

Marking the parting and conclusion of an era, this is the way that Marvel can say to their fans that they are loved 3000.

Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019).

Coming as an epilogue to phase 3 of the MCU. This movie will explore the after-effects of Endgame and how much the world has changed because of everything that has happened.

Our friendly neighbor Spider-Man will have to deal with new threats in an international landscape. This movie is the last of the MCU released, at least for a while, it is one the best ways to pose what’s next for phase 4 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

So far, this has been the spaghetti order for the MCU. Remember that this is just one way to see the marvel movies in order.

Bonus on how to watch the Marvel movies in order, the chronological order.

Here you won’t have to worry so much about the different phases of the MCU. You’ll be following the timeline of how events unfold directly inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger (1942-1943).
  2. Captain Marvel (1995).
  3. Iron Man (2010).
  4. Iron Man 2 (2011).
  5. The Incredible Hulk (2011).
  6. Thor (2011).
  7. The Avengers (2012).
  8. Iron Man 3 (2012).
  9. Thor: The Dark World (2013).
  10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
  12. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2014).
  13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).
  14. Ant-Man (2015).
  15. Captain America: Civil War (2016).
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016).
  17. Doctor Strange (2016-2017).
  18. Black Widow (2017).
  19. Black Panther (2017).
  20. Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
  21. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2017).
  22. Avengers: Infinity War (2017).
  23. Avengers: Endgame (2018-2023).
  24. Spider-Man: Far from Home (2023).

Keep in mind that this order will likely change a bit after the release of Black Widow and some of the phase 4 movies of the MCU. Speaking of which.

Bonus number 2, waiting for phase four.

So far, the confirmed movies for phase four of the MCU are the following:

  • Black Widow.
  • The Eternals.
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
  • Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
  • Spider-Man 3.
  • Thor: Love and Thunder.
  • Ant-Man 3.
  • Black Panther 2.
  • Blade.
  • Captain Marvel 2.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
  • Fantastic Four.

This does clarify two major controversial topics in the MCU, the presence of Spiderman in the MCU and the role of Black Widow.

Sadly, the release dates of the movies are yet to be announced due to the rescheduling product of the global situation you’re all aware of by now. Nevertheless, this only means we will have more of the MCU for a long time yet.

Black Widow (2020 So far…).

This time, it’s the first solo movie for Black Widow and we can say that this is long overdue. The movie takes place between the events of Captain America Civil War and Avengers Infinity War. So, it’s definitely going to change the chronological order once it comes out.

There’s not much to say about this movie just yet. However, we do know the cast involved. Not to mention that there’s an official trailer released for you to check out. You can simply google Black Widow Trailer on google, or follow our link for the YouTube release.

Our final input on how to watch the Marvel movies in order.

This has been it for our guide on how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Don’t forget that many of these movies have been released on Disney +. Not to mention that if you want to fully keep up with the MCU and its counterpart on series, there are plenty of series announced.

So far, the horizon is looking great for the MCU. In the worst-case scenario, we have a long list of great movies to enjoy. Basically, anything you get from phase 1 to phase 3 is guaranteed to give you a good time.

Do pick your favorite way to watch marvel movies in order. Whether the chronological order or the spaghetti order and make the best out of your free time.

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