MCU Movies Order, Release Dates & Must-See Details

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is huge and it can be extremely confusing. Well, if you’re not a veteran fan that is. Within this franchise, there are a number of ways to enjoy these films. Maybe you’re going to watch them for the first time and you don’t know where to start, try watching these films in release order. While veteran MCU fans probably would want to watch the films in a different order, they can try watching the films in chronological order. Point is, all fans can watch these films in any order they so choose, but these two orders, release and chronological, are the easiest ways to do so. We have decided to make those lives who choose to watch these films in these orders a little easier, by creating lists depicting these two specific methods of film marathoning. We will list the release date order first and then the chronological order; included will also be a list of upcoming MCU films and some fan speculation.

WARNING: This article will have spoilers from the MCU.


MCU Movie & Release Order

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN_e5-fcGU4

  • 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 (2018)
  • Captain Marvel (2019)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

That’s all of the MCU films, all 23, in release order.


MCU: Chronological Order

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JerVrbLldXw

The film is set primarily in the ’40s an features the ‘SSR’, which will later become ‘S.H.I.E.L.D’. The film also introduces fans to ‘Nick Fury’ and one of the ‘Infinity Stones’. If you’re going to watch these films, start here.

  • Captain Marvel (2019)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1BCujX3pw8

Primarily set in the mid-’90s, this film acts as the kickoff point for the MCU. Viewers begin to see the evolution of ‘S.H.I.E.L.D’ and ‘Nick Fury’ career. It also sets up the ‘Kree’ and ‘Skrull’ interaction within the MCU.

  • Iron Man (2008)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hYlB38asDY

Due to watching Captain America: The First Avenger first, viewers will understand the importance of ‘Tony Stark’ being a genius like his father, ‘Howard Stark’. We will also understand the subtle importance of ‘Nick Fury’ stepping out of the shadows at the end of the film. Beyond that, we see ‘Tony’ become ‘Iron Man’ and the MCU journey truly begins.

  • Iron Man 2 (2010)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoohRoVA9WQ

Furthering the scope of ‘S.H.I.E.L.D’ and ‘Fury’s involvement with it, we are also introduced to ‘Black Widow’ in this film. Plus, we continue down the “rabbit hole” of why ‘Howard Stark’s legacy is so important to ‘Tony’.

  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbqNb2PFKKA

While the events of this film happen at the same time as Iron Man 2, the end credits scene portrays ‘Tony’s role as a consultant for ‘S.H.I.E.L.D’.

  • Thor (2011)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOddp-nlNvQ

This introduces viewers to title character ‘Thor’ and other ‘Asgardian’ characters while showcasing the mystical involvement that the MCU brings. ‘S.H.I.E.L.D’ is also involved by showing interest in ‘Thor’s hammer.

  • The Avengers (2012)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOrNdBpGMv8

The first team-up of all the main MCU heroes and the further expansion of the universe with the invasion of New York. We also see more power the ‘Infinity Stones’ posses and it’s our first glimpse of ‘Thanos’.

  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npvJ9FTgZbM

This film begins to truly delve deep into the mystery of the ‘Infinity Stones’, even if it is only a small bit of information.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d96cjJhvlMA

Unveiling another ‘Infinity Stone’, viewers also get more information about the ‘Kree’. This film also introduces the ‘Nova Core’ and brings the ‘Collector’ back from Thor: The Dark World, showcasing the connection between the two films. Plus, fans get to see more of ‘Thanos’ and that he wants the stones.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cv2ueYnKjg

The film’s events only happen a couple of months after the events of the first film. So it’s only fitting that the movie is placed here.

  • Iron Man 3 (2013)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYSD2VQagc4

The cosmic arc of the films is over and we are brought back down to Earth. We rejoin ‘Tony Stark’ as he deals with his PTSD symptoms following the events of The Avengers invasion. Plus, with the passage of time, it’s understandable as to why ‘Stark’ has PTSD and built so many versions of the ‘Iron Man’ armor.

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbayiPxkUMM

This film might take place at the same time as Iron Man 3; nonetheless, it shows what ‘Cap’ is up to, as well as ‘Black Widow’ and introduces ‘Falcon’.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmeOjFno6Do

The second ‘Avengers’ film acts as a launchpad for the next upcoming MCU films. It introduces another ‘Infinity Stone’, characters like ‘Scarlet Witch’ and ‘Vision’, and shows us ‘Thor’s vision of an impending threat that may or may not come from the stones. This film also explains why the ‘Hulk’ is blasted into space.

  • Ant-Man (2015)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdKf3MneyI

Set in the immediate aftermath of the second ‘Avengers’ film, we have the first Ant-Man, due to the film mentioning the events of ‘Sokovia. Plus, ‘Falcon’ and ‘Ant-Man’ do fight and that explains why ‘Cap’ has ‘Ant-Man’ on his side in the next film.

  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKrVegVI0Us

The ‘Avengers’ are torn apart in this film due to a falling out between ‘Cap’ and ‘Iron Man’ due to the events that happened in Sokovia.

  • Black Panther (2018)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjDjIWPwcPU

This character was introduced in Civil War and this film furthers his story. Plus, the events from this film only happen a week after the ‘Avengers’ split up.

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9DwoQ7HWvI

This film takes place two months after Civil War and focuses on building ‘Peter Parker’ as a character; plus, his relationship with ‘Tony Stark’.

  • Doctor Strange (2016)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWRUNTLisPo

This film explains the importance of the cosmic, mystical, and earthly worlds and how each can destroy one another. We also get to see the ‘Quantum Realm’ as ‘Strange’ goes there to face ‘Dormamu’. This film introduces yet another ‘Infinity Stone’ called the ‘Time Stone’. In addition, the end credits scene fits nicely with the next film.

  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue80QwXMRHg

This follows immediately after Doctor Strange. We also see what happens to the ‘Hulk’ after he is launched into space during the events of the second ‘Avengers’ film. With the end credits scene, viewers finally see a play from ‘Thanos’ as he intercepts the ‘Asgardian’ refugees.

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUkn-enk2RU

A bulk of this film’s story takes place before the events of Infinity War; however, the end credits shows that ‘Ant-Man’ is the only one who survives the ‘Thanos’ “snap” and how becomes trapped within the ‘Quantum Realm’.

  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZfuNTqbHE8

This is the last film that you should watch before Endgame.

  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcMBFSGVi1c

This film ends the ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Captain America’ arches within the film franchise. After suffering defeat by ‘Thanos’ the heroes regroup and discover a way to correct their mistake of losing. With the events of time travel and multiple “snaps” this film could lead to the potential use of the Marvel “multiverse”.

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt9L1jCKGnE

Following the events of Endgame, the second ‘Spider-Man’ film centers around ‘Peter Parker’ and how he handles the death of ‘Tony Stark’, with the inclusion of how ‘Stark’s absence affects the world. However, with the end credits scene, featuring ‘Nick Fury’, fans are beginning to wonder if the remnants of ‘S.H.I.E.L.D’ will expand outside of Earth to protect it from outer threats.

That’s all of the MCU films in the best chronological order that we could put them in.


MCU Rumor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW9sIcksvWU

Reported by Uproxx, the biggest MCU rumor going around is due to the end credits scene of the most recent MCU film, Spider-Man: Far From Home. In this end credits scene, we see ‘Nick Fury’ morph into one of the ‘Skrull’ and contact the real ‘Nick Fury’ who is in space. What this leads fans to believe is that ‘Fury’ is overseeing the construction of ‘Sentient World Observation and Response Department’; also known as ‘S.W.O.R.D’. Click the above video from Sceenrant to learn more about ‘S.W.O.R.D’. If this were to come true then it would make sense for the MCU to build this aspect from the comics up. With parent company Disney purchasing Fox, who held the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, the construction of ‘S.W.O.R.D’ would be perfect because both of those franchises are heavily involved with the rumored covert organization. The X-Men and the Fantastic Four have been to space and other realms a multitude of times. With slowly building this part of the MCU up, it could be a great way to get both of these franchises into future MCU projects.


MCU’s Future

Like all things, the people in charge at Marvel Studios have a schedule of the upcoming films planned to be added to the MCU and thanks to Sceenrant we have an idea on what projects are rumored and being worked on currently:

  • Black Widow
  • The Eternals
  • (Untitled) Black Panther II
  • (Untitled) Doctor Strange II
  • Shang-Chi
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

What these potential movies can have stored, we are unsure of; however, we can be sure that these films can be spectacular just like all of the other films so far.

The MCU has plenty to offer and there’s a lot that fans and newcomers need to know before jumping in headfirst. We hope these lists, rumors, and upcoming films can help you in your quest of getting up to date on the MCU. Remember: enjoy watching these films.

 

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