Marvel movies have taken the world by storm, with their epic storylines and beloved characters. From Iron Man to Spider-Man, Marvel has captured the hearts of audiences around the globe. With so many movies in the franchise, it can be tough to keep track of the order in which they were released. In this article, we’ll break down the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies in order, so you can stay up-to-date and ready for the next big release.
The MCU officially kicked off in 2008 with the release of Iron Man. This movie introduced us to Tony Stark, genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, and set the stage for the rest of the franchise. The Hulk followed later that same year, and then in 2010, we got Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger. These movies all culminated in the epic team-up film, The Avengers, which hit theaters in 2012.
Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man tells the story of Tony Stark, a billionaire weapons manufacturer who is captured by terrorists and forced to build a weapon for them. Instead, he builds a suit of armor that he uses to escape and become a hero. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, and also features Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, and Terrence Howard.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
The Incredible Hulk stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, a scientist who transforms into a giant green monster whenever he gets angry. He’s on the run from the military, who want to use his powers for their own purposes. The movie also features Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
In Iron Man 2, Tony Stark faces off against a Russian scientist who has created a similar suit of armor. Meanwhile, he’s also dealing with health issues caused by the arc reactor in his chest. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Mickey Rourke.
Thor introduces us to the Norse god of thunder, who is banished to Earth by his father Odin. He must learn humility and become worthy of his powers before he can return home. The movie stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, as well as Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, and Anthony Hopkins.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Captain America tells the origin story of Steve Rogers, a scrawny kid who is transformed into a super-soldier during World War II. He faces off against the evil organization HYDRA and their leader, the Red Skull. The movie stars Chris Evans as Captain America, as well as Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, and Hayley Atwell.
The Avengers (2012)
The Avengers brings together all of the heroes from the previous movies to form a team and fight off an alien invasion. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner.
Phase Two of the MCU kicked off with Iron Man 3 in 2013. This phase also included Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark faces off against the Mandarin, a terrorist who has been causing chaos around the world. The movie also deals with the aftermath of the events of The Avengers. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ben Kingsley.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Thor: The Dark World sees Thor facing off against Malekith, the leader of the Dark Elves, who is trying to destroy the universe. The movie also explores the relationship between Thor and Jane Foster. The movie stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier sees Steve Rogers teaming up with Black Widow to take down a conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. The movie also introduces us to the Winter Soldier, a brainwashed assassin with a mysterious past. The movie stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Sebastian Stan.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy takes us to space, where a group of misfits band together to save the galaxy from the evil Ronan the Accuser. The movie stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and features the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Avengers: Age of Ultron sees the team facing off against Ultron, an AI who wants to destroy humanity. The movie also introduces us to new heroes like Scarlet Witch and Vision. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo.
Ant-Man tells the story of Scott Lang, a thief who becomes the superhero Ant-Man after stealing a special suit. He must use his new powers to save the world from a dangerous weapon. The movie stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, and Evangeline Lilly.
Phase Three of the MCU began with Captain America: Civil War in 2016. This phase also includes Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, and Avengers: Endgame.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: Civil War sees the Avengers split into two factions over a disagreement about government oversight. The movie also introduces us to new heroes like Black Panther and Spider-Man. The movie stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Scarlett Johansson.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Doctor Strange introduces us to Stephen Strange, a brilliant surgeon who becomes a powerful sorcerer after a car accident. He must use his new abilities to protect the world from dark forces. The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Tilda Swinton.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sees the team facing off against a new threat while also exploring the mystery of Star-Lord’s father. The movie stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and features the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming brings Spider-Man into the MCU, as Peter Parker navigates high school while also being a superhero. He faces off against the Vulture, a villain who is stealing advanced technology. The movie stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, and Robert Downey Jr.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Thor: Ragnarok sees Thor teaming up with the Hulk and other allies to save Asgard from destruction at the hands of Hela, the goddess of death. The movie also introduces us to new characters like Valkyrie and Korg. The movie stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Cate Blanchett.
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther takes us to Wakanda, a hidden African nation that is home to the advanced metal vibranium. T’Challa must defend his throne and his people from threats both inside and outside of Wakanda. The movie stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War sees the Avengers teaming up with other heroes to stop Thanos, a powerful villain who wants to destroy half of all life in the universe. The movie features a massive cast, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and many more.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp sees Scott Lang teaming up with Hope Van Dyne, who becomes the superhero Wasp, to rescue Hope’s mother from the quantum realm. The movie also introduces us to new villains like Ghost. The movie stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Douglas.
Captain Marvel (2019)
Captain Marvel is set in the 1990s and follows Carol Danvers, a former Air Force pilot who becomes the superhero Captain Marvel after gaining extraordinary powers. She must use her new abilities to stop a war between two alien races. The movie stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jude Law.