How many movies in The Marvel Cinematic Universe? Looking for how to watch the Marvel movies in order? Now that Loki season 2 is here, there’s no better time for an MCU rewatch – and that could mean choosing to go in release date order or chronological order.
But, considering there are a massive 45 projects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and counting), the watch order can be fairly complicated. But that’s where we come in. We’ve got the complete guide on how to watch the Marvel movies in order, as well as the best way to watch, right here.
We’ve also factored in the Disney Plus shows in our Marvel order, which means WandaVision all the way through to Loki season 2 and Secret Invasion. We’ve also included specials like Werewolf by Night, but not one-shots or non-canon series like Daredevil. We’ll get into that properly later.
How many movies in The Marvel Cinematic Universe?
There are currently 30 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and counting, all of them taking place in the same universe and connected by characters, events, and settings. So you’d be forgiven for being a little confused as to how, exactly, they all fit together and which order to watch them in.
Marvel broke new ground with 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers, which brought together disparate heroes from their own individual movies (Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor) into one team-up movie, before then splitting them off again into their own sequels. Of course this way of telling stories had been done in comics, but telling a serialized story across many, many films with diverse tones and characters was brand new, and continues to be a gold mine of compelling stories and characters.
But as the MCU has grown in quantity, it’s also grown in complexity. Some films take place worlds away but at the same time as events that are occurring on Earth. And some films take place in the far past.
If you’re wondering how to watch the Marvel movies in order, we’ve got you covered. Below we’re offering two viewing options: the Marvel movies in order of chronological events, and the Marvel movies in order of when each film was released in theaters.
Both are highly recommended and are the ideal ways to view this series if you’re in the mood to binge-watch a franchise. And below that, we’ve got a rundown of how to watch the Marvel Disney Plus shows in order. The order of these lists also pulls heavily from our own comprehensive MCU timeline, which gets into the nitty-gritty of when every event happens in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel Movies in Chronological Order of Events
Captain America: The First Avenger
Chronologically speaking, the film that is set the earliest in the Marvel timeline is Captain America: The First Avenger. The Steve Rogers origin story begins in the year 1940 with Steve (Evans) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) enlisting and ends in 1945 with Steve’s plane crashing and him being frozen for the next half-century.
Next up we have Captain Marvel, which is actually one of the most recent Marvel movies but whose events precede those of the main MCU timeline. Brie Larson’s pilot character crashes her plane in the year 1989 and is subsequently trained as a Kree before returning to Earth in 1995, which is the year in which most of Captain Marvel takes place.
The first Marvel movie released is third in chronological order, and believe it or not—according to Marvel’s own timeline—it actually takes place in the year 2010 and not 2008 when it was released.
The Incredible Hulk
The events of the Edward Norton Hulk movie take place shortly after the events of Iron Man.
Iron Man 2
The Iron Man sequel is set in the year 2011.
The events of Thor also take place in 2011, around the same time as the events in Iron Man 2, although there are flashback to events that go back centuries.
The team-up finally occurs in the year 2012.
Iron Man 3
The underrated Iron Man 3, which deals heavily with Tony Starks’ PTSD from the events of The Avengers, take place in the year 2012.
Thor: The Dark World
The forgettable sequel is set in the year 2013.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The big fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. is set a couple of years after the organization helped form The Avengers, set in 2014.
Guardians of the Galaxy
The events of Guardians of the Galaxy also take place in 2014, around the same time as The Winter Soldier.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The Guardians sequel takes place a couple of months after the events of the first film.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The second Avengers team-up film takes place in the wake of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s dismantling, in the year 2015.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
While it makes stray references to Spider-Man, it’s clear that this story was meant to take place before No Way Home, and while the official timeline might put this now shortly after No Way Home in Spring of 2025 – consider this one a gimme. Feel free to switch the order of this and Spider-Man around if you want to spend some time in the multiverse timeline where we got this movie first.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever begins with the death of T’Challa, which takes place in 2024. But the bulk of the story is set one year later, in 2025. It’s possible that there’s some overlap between the events of this movie and Doctor Strange 2, but there’s nothing specified, so it does seem like it happens after the events of that film. In any case, as the conclusion of Phase Six, it does make sense to watch this movie after all the other films in this particular phase.
Marvel Disney Plus Shows in Order of Release Date
- WandaVision – Premiered January 15, 2021
- The Falcon & The Winter Soldier – Premiered March 19, 2021
- Loki – Premiered June 9, 2021
- Marvel’s What If… – Premiered August 11, 2021
- Hawkeye – Premiered November 24, 2021
- Moon Knight – Premiered March 30, 2022
- Ms. Marvel – Premiered June 8, 2022
- She-Hulk: Attorney at Law – Premiered August 18, 2022
- Werewolf by Night (Special) – Premiered October 7, 2022
- The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Special) – Premiered November 25, 2022
- Secret Invasion – Premiered June 21, 2023
- Loki Season 2 – Premiered October 5, 2023
- Echo – Premiering January, 2024
- What If…? Season 2 – Premiering Winter 2023
- Agatha: Darkhold Diaries – Premiering Fall 2024
Beyond Phase Five:
- Spider-Man: Freshman Year – 2024
- Marvel Zombies – 2024
- Daredevil: Born Again – TBA
- Ironheart – TBA
- Untitled Wakanda series – TBA
- Spider-Man: Sophomore Year – TBA
- Wonder Man – TBA
- Untitled Nova series – TBA
- Vision Quest – TBA
- What If…? Season 3 – TBA
Above is information about How many movies in The Marvel Cinematic Universe? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of The Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thank you for reading our post.