Marvel Movies In Order: How To Watch All 23 MCU Movies

Jump into the the Marvel Cinematic Universe and you’ll not only get wrapped into a huge story that spans multiverses and deep space and quantum dimensions, but an epic spread over a wide expanse of time. If you’re looking to watch the Marvel movies in order of in-universe chronology, you’ve come to the right guide.

The uninitiated would think to start with Iron Man, set and released in ye olde 2008, but that actually takes place decades after the first event in the MCU. Captain America: The First Avenger is the big bang of the MCU, set during World War II. After that would be the ’90s-set Captain Marvel, and then it’s time for the original Iron Man. Continue on down with the watch list, and you’ll experience all the superhero and world-saving theatrics as they occur in-story. (And if you’re seeking out the MCU movies in order of release date as they arrived in our reality, consult our Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise hub.)

With prequel Black Widow on its way for 2020 (a prequel set some time after Captain America: Civil War), along with The Eternals, here’s your guide to how to watch the Marvel movies in order!

#23
Adjusted Score: 88.294%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
Synopsis: Captain America: The First Avenger will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans)... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#22

Captain Marvel (2019)
78%

#22
Adjusted Score: 101.525%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Synopsis: The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#21

Iron Man (2008)
94%

#21
Adjusted Score: 104.678%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
Synopsis: Billionaire industrialist and genius inventor Tony Stark is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence... [More]
Directed By:

#20

Iron Man 2 (2010)
73%

#20
Adjusted Score: 82.013%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.
Synopsis: In "Iron Man 2," the world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the armored Super Hero Iron Man.... [More]
Directed By:

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 75.704%
Critics Consensus: The Incredible Hulk may not be quite the smashing success that fans of Marvel's raging behemoth might hope for, but it offers more than enough big green action to make up for its occasionally puny narrative.
Synopsis: Mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner has been traveling the globe in search of the antidote that will allow him to break... [More]
Directed By: Louis Leterrier

#18

Thor (2011)
77%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85.885%
Critics Consensus: A dazzling blockbuster that tempers its sweeping scope with wit, humor, and human drama, Thor is mighty Marvel entertainment.
Synopsis: The epic adventure Thor spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the mystical realm of Asgard. At the... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 105.399%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: Marvel Studios presents Marvel's The Avengers-the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man,... [More]

#16

Iron Man 3 (2013)
79%

#16
Adjusted Score: 91.509%
Critics Consensus: With the help of its charismatic lead, some impressive action sequences, and even a few surprises, Iron Man 3 is a witty, entertaining adventure and a strong addition to the Marvel canon.
Synopsis: Marvel's "Iron Man 3" pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 76.512%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the finest film to come from the Marvel Universe, but Thor: The Dark World still offers plenty of the humor and high-stakes action that fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth... [More]
Directed By: Alan Taylor

#14
Adjusted Score: 101.747%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.
Synopsis: After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into... [More]
Directed By: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 103.914%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
Synopsis: From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers,... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn (II)

#12
Adjusted Score: 102.495%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.
Synopsis: Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" continues the... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn (II)

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 89.14%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#10

Ant-Man (2015)
83%

#10
Adjusted Score: 95.5%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Synopsis: The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#9
Adjusted Score: 107.326%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War" finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 108.623%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Synopsis: A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#7

Doctor Strange (2016)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 103.534%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Strange artfully balances its outré source material against the blockbuster constraints of the MCU, delivering a thoroughly entertaining superhero origin story in the bargain.
Synopsis: A disgraced former surgeon named Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) becomes a powerful sorcerer under the tutelage of a mystic known... [More]
Directed By: Scott Derrickson

#6

Black Panther (2018)
97%

#6
Adjusted Score: 119.222%
Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.
Synopsis: "Black Panther" follows T'Challa who, after the events of "Captain America: Civil War," returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#5

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 110.77%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise -- and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Synopsis: In Marvel Studios' "Thor: Ragnarok," Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and... [More]
Directed By: Taika Waititi

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 105.389%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Infinity... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 106.603%
Critics Consensus: A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser.
Synopsis: From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink: "Ant-Man and The... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 117.525%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers... [More]
Directed By: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo

#1
Adjusted Score: 110.778%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Synopsis: Peter Parker returns in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the next chapter of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

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