All 33 Marvel (MCU) Movies in Order: Release Date & Chronological

All 31 Marvel MCU Movies in Order By Release Date Chronological
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Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU in short, is more than a franchise of movies & connected shows. It is a cultural phenomenon that gave us one of the most ambitious crossovers in cinema history. With over a decade of films and related media, The MCU has become one of the most successful movie franchises in history and grossed billions of dollars at the box office. MCU introduced some of the most iconic Marvel Comics characters to the big screens, and other B-list characters managed to amass incredible amounts of popularity due to it. 

With everything said, some things need to be cleared up from the start. Not all movies based on the Marvel comic characters are part of the MCU. The MCU movies are all connected and take place within the same continuity, with events and characters from one movie having an impact on others. On the other hand, “Marvel movies” is a broader term that can refer to any movie based on Marvel Comics characters, whether or not it is part of the MCU. The first example that comes to mind is the Fantastic Four franchise. While technically, the movies are based on the Marvel characters; they are not set within the MCU continuity. 

In short, all MCU movies are Marvel movies, but not all Marvel movies are part of the MCU.

So far, the MCU consists of 33 movies, 23 Seasons of TV shows, two specials, eight one-shots, and two animated short collections. This is, however, only the content released so far, as numerous other projects have been announced, and several other projects are in various stages of production. The number of MCU movies goes up to 51 if we count Sony’s Spider-Man and Venom franchise and Fox’s X-Men that retroactively became part of the MCU. The MCU is divided into phases, with the first three collectively known as the “Infinity Saga” and phases four through six dubbed “The Multiverse Saga.” 

Editor’s Note: This post is regularly updated to reflect the true number and state of all projects commonly associated with MCU.

MCU Movies Ordered by Release Date 

For several reasons, the best way to watch MCU movies is in their release date order. It’s the way the movies were intended to be watched, and it’s the best watch order to showcase both the characters’ growth and the ever-expanding storyline. Second, some easter eggs and post-credits scenes only make sense if you watch the movies they accompany in their proper release date order. For example, the post-credit scene of Iron Man references the Avengers Initiative, which sets up the entire premise of the later Avengers films. 

The overall MCU evolution and the quality of both filmmaking and storytelling are best showcased through production watch orders. MCU phase one (Thor, Iron Man, etc.) consisted of relatively simple productions with a humble scope of stories until we gradually reached movies with a plethora of interconnected storylines and characters of epic proportions (Infinity War, Endgame, etc.) 

In summary, watching MCU movies in release date order is the best approach. 

  1. Iron Man (2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  4. Thor (2011)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  6. The Avengers (2012)
  7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  8. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  12. Ant-Man (2015)
  13. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  14. Doctor Strange (2016)
  15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  18. Black Panther (2018)
  19. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  21. Captain Marvel (2019)
  22. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  23. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
  24. Black Widow (2021)
  25. Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings (2021)
  26. Eternals (2021)
  27. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  28. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
  29. Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
  30. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
  31. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
  32. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
  33. ‘The Marvels’ (2023)

MCU Movies in Chronological Order 

We recommend the chronological watch order for fans who want to see the story unfold more linearly. A few significant differences exist when comparing the release date and chronological order. First, easter eggs and some post-credits scenes might appear out of context. Certain Easter eggs and teasers included in later films may be out of order as callbacks to earlier ones. 

Second the production and special effect quality significantly differs from the first few phases to some later phases. By watching the movies in chronological order rather than by their production order, you might find yourself in the situation that you’re watching movies with worse special effects later on instead of at the appropriate time, taking the time period during which they were created into account. 

Whether you will watch the movies chronologically or by release date order, it comes down to your personal preferences; in any case, we have you covered.

The chronological MCU timeline is generally constant, with only several inconsistencies. The first movie, by the chronological order of the events, is Captain America since the events primarily take place in the 40′. Those events are followed by Captain Marvel, which takes place in 90′, the majority of the movie at least. First Iron Man took place approximately in 2010, followed by Iron Man 2, Incredible Hulk, and Thor, which took place in 2011. In 2012 the events from Avengers, Iron Man 3 were set with Thor: The Dark World taking place in 2013. The first few phases had a generally smooth chronological timeline, and the year 2016 is where it gets confusing and where several timeline holes are discovered.  

In Captain America: Civil War, Vision mentions that Tony Stark revealed he was Iron Man 8 years ago, but Iron Man took place in 2010, making it 2008, which doesn’t add up. Spider-Man: Homecoming takes place four months after Civil War, but it says “8 years later” after a scene set in 2012, which means the film takes place in 2020, making the timeline even more confusing. Doctor Strange takes place throughout 2016 and 2017, and Black Panther takes place in 2017, despite stating that it takes place one week after Civil War, making it unclear how it takes place in a different year. Still, by “adding” some details to the “timeline holes,” we can get the following chronological timeline. Here’s the full chronological watch order of all MCU movies released so far.  

Take note that since technically, Eternals have a few scenes set in 5000 B.C. the timeline starts with that movie; we, however, opted out for the chronological approach that takes the whole movie into account and not only isolated scenes or post-credit scenes. 

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) 
  2. Captain Marvel (2019)
  3. Iron Man (2008)
  4. Iron Man 2 (2010) 
  5. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  6. Thor (2011)
  7. The Avengers (2012)
  8. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  9. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  14. Ant-Man (2015)
  15. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  16. Spider-Man: Home Coming (2017)
  17. Doctor Strange (2016)
  18. Black Panther (2018)
  19. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  21. Black Widow (2021)
  22. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  23. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  24. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
  25. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  26. Eternals (2021) 
  27. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  28. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
  29. Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
  30. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
  31. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
  32. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
  33. ‘The Marvels’ (2023)

The Complete MCU Watch Order: Including Shows, Specials, & One-shots

The movies are a core and vital component of the MCU; however, several related media, shows, one-shots, and specials were released as a part of the MCU to further complement the movies. Shows can be separated into several groups, which makes them easier to separate from the mainline Disney+ shows. First, we have the Marvel Heroes, a group of series released on ABC that are directly connected to the MCU. Marvel Heroes consists of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, and Inhumans. 

The second group of series is The Defenders Saga, originally released on Netflix. The Defenders Saga focuses on street-level superheroes and is directly connected to the MCU; the series in question are Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher. 

Likewise, there are two young-adult-oriented series in the MCU focusing on Runaways and Cloak & Dagger and one in Marvel’s Adventure into Fear franchise titled Helstrom.

Phase Four series of the MCU were primarily released on Disney+ and are most closely connected to the events of the mainline MCU movies. The Phase Four series are WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If….?, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, I Am Groot, and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. 

Besides the shows, two specials and eight one-shots were released: Werewolf by Night, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, The Consultant, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer, Item 47, All Hail the King, Team Thor: Part 1, Team Thor: Part 2, and Team Darryl. 

As you can see, with everything considered, there is a lot of MCU-related media to watch. Luckily, we’ve decided to put together this release date watch order for all MCU movies, shows, specials, and one-shots.

  1. Iron Man (May 2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (June 2008)
  3.  Iron Man 2 (May 2010)
  4.  Thor (May 2011)
  5. The Consultant (Marvel one-shots) (2011)
  6.  Captain America: The First Avenger (July 2011)
  7. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer (Marvel one-shots)(2011)
  8.  The Avengers (May 2012)
  9. Item 47 (Marvel one-shots) (2012)
  10.  Iron Man 3 (May 2013)
  11. Agent Carter (Marvel one-shots) (2013)
  12. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 (September 2013)
  13.  Thor: The Dark World (November 2013)
  14. All Hail the King (Marvel one-shots) (2013)
  15.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 2014)
  16.  Guardians of the Galaxy (August 2014)
  17. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 (September 2014)
  18. Agent Carter Season 1 (January 2015)
  19. Daredevil Season 1 (April 2015)
  20.  Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 2015)
  21.  Ant-Man (July 2015)
  22. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 (September 2015)
  23. Jessica Jones Season 1 (November 2015)
  24. Agent Carter Season 2 (January 2016)
  25. Daredevil Season 2 (March 2016)
  26.  Captain America: Civil War (May 2016)
  27. Team Thor: Part 1 (Marvel one-shots) (2016)
  28. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 (September 2016)
  29. Luke Cage Season 1 (September 2016)
  30.  Doctor Strange (November 2016)
  31. Team Thor: Part 2 (Marvel one-shots) (2016)
  32. Iron Fist Season 1 (March 2017)
  33.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 2017)
  34.  Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 2017)
  35. The Defenders (Miniseries) (August 2017)
  36.  Thor: Ragnarok (November 2017)
  37. Inhumans Season 1 (September 2017)
  38. Runaways Season 1 (November 2017)
  39. The Punisher Season 1 (November 2017)
  40. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 (December 2017)
  41. Team Darryl (Marvel one-shots (2018)
  42.  Black Panther (February 2018)
  43. Jessica Jones Season 2 (March 2018)
  44.  Avengers: Infinity War (April 2018)
  45. Cloak & Dagger Season 1 (June 2018)
  46. Luke Cage Season 2 (June 2018)
  47.  Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 2018)
  48. Iron Fist Season 2 (September 2018)
  49. Daredevil Season 3 (October 2018)
  50. Runaways Season 2 (December 2018)
  51. The Punisher Season 2 (January 2019)
  52.  Captain Marvel (March 2019)
  53. Cloak & Dagger Season 2 (April 2019)
  54.  Avengers: Endgame (April 2019)
  55. Jessica Jones Season 3 (June 2019)
  56. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6 (May 2019)
  57.  Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2019)
  58. Runaways Season 3 (December 2019)
  59. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7 (May 2020)
  60. Helstrom (Hulu Series) (October 2020)
  61. WandaVision (miniseries) (March 2021)
  62. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (miniseries) (April 2021)
  63. Loki Season 1 (June 2021)
  64.  Black Widow (July 2021)
  65. What If…? Season 1 (animated series) (October 2021)
  66.  Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings (September 2021)
  67.  Eternals (November 2021)
  68. Hawkeye (miniseries) (November 2021)
  69.  Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 2021)
  70. Moon Knight (miniseries) (March 2022)
  71.  Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 2022)
  72. Ms. Marvel (miniseries) (June 2022)
  73.  Thor: Love and Thunder (July 2022)
  74. I Am Groot (animated shorts) (August 2022)
  75. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (miniseries) (August 2022)
  76. Werewolf by Night (TV Special) (October 2022)
  77.  Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (November 2022)
  78. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (TV Special) (November 2022)
  79.  Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February 2023)
  80. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 2023)
  81. Secret Invasion (June, 2023)
  82. I Am Groot Season 2 (2023)
  83. ‘Loki’ Season 2(October 2023)
  84. ‘The Marvels’ (November 2023)
  85. ‘What If…?’ Season 2 (December 2023)
  86. ‘Echo’ (January 2024)

Marvel Multiverse: All Movies that became part of the MCU in release date order

We’ve already mentioned that not all movies based on the Marvel characters are part of the MCU, and while this is generally true, some older movies that initially weren’t part of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe retroactively became a part of it and “canon” so to speak due to several reasons. Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man Trilogy became canon with a single Fury’s line dating from Iron Man’s alternate post-credits scene “as if Gamma accidents, radioactive bug bites, and assorted mutants weren’t enough.” 

Fury is clearly referencing both Spider-Man and X-Men, who had their respective cinematic universe long before MCU was even planned. But, for the younger audiences, the defining moment when Tobey’s Spider-Man joined the MCU officially was Spider-Man: No Way Home. During No Way Home, Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man duology likewise became part of the MCU. 

The aforementioned Fox X-Men franchise was a universe of its own when mutants were headlining the most popular Marvel characters. And while the franchise was previously unconnected to the MCU Professor X variant from Earth-838 appeared in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, linking the original X-Men trilogy, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and the Wolverine trilogy.

This also links the X-Men: First Class films to the MCU multiverse as Patrick Stewart’s Professor X interacts with James McAvoy in the second installment. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is also set to appear in the third Deadpool movie, which was confirmed to be a part of the MCU. With some clever time travel, the first two movies are set to become MCU canon as well. 

The Venom franchise and other Sony movies like Morbius (due to MCU’s Vulture scene) have become part of the MCU through post-credits scenes in Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Despite Venom’s ultimate return to Sony’s universe. While Marvel “Multiverse” movies do not line up with MCU movies in terms of timelines and chronological release date orders, we’ve prepared the release date order for all movies that retroactively became part of the MCU. 

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man:

  1. Spider-Man (2002)
  2. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
  3. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Fox X-Men Film Series:

  1. X-Men (2000)
  2. X-2 (2003)
  3. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  5. X-Men: First Class (2011)
  6. The Wolverine (2013)
  7. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  8. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  9. Logan (2017)
  10. Dark Phoenix (2019)
  11. The New Mutants (2020)

The Amazing Spider-Man:

  1. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
  2. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Deadpool series:

  1. Deadpool (2016)
  2. Deadpool 2 (2018)

Venom series:

  1. Venom (2018)
  2. Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)
  3. Morbius (2022)

This is not everything, however, as MCU is set to expand significantly in the future with the upcoming Phase 5. Deadpool is set to be released in 2024, with numerous additional movies over the next three years. In terms of the MCU series, there’s much planned as well. Agatha: Coven of Chaos is set to be released in 2024, with 12 additional series planned for the future or with undisclosed released dates. 

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!