The Best Way To Watch The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Have you been procrastinating watching all of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and now that you want to start, you’re not sure where? 

There are a LOT of movies in the film franchise! And while it’s perfect fine to watch them out of order, in order to catch all the connections between the movies, it’s better to watch them in order. 

But again, where do you start? 

Now is the PERFECT time to get caught up, especially with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 coming out in May, Spider-Man: Homecoming in July, and Thor: Ragnarok in November. 

We are big Marvel fans, obviously. Especially since we named our daughter after the franchise. (Really we did, you can read about it here). So we’ve been watching them for years and now I’d like to use my knowledge to help you join the bandwagon!

I want to take a moment to explain that while there are a lot of Marvel movies out there, not all of them are a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movies that are included are under the Marvel Studios umbrella as they own the rights to those characters. Films in the X-Men franchise (the X-Men films and Deadpool) as well as Fantastic Four are not included in the universe since Fox owns those rights. Spider-Man used to be outside of the Universe but as of a few years ago, Sony decided to partner with Marvel Studios to allow them the right to use the character in their movies. 

I’m also only going to focus on just the movies here. There are T.V. shows and one-shots (basically a really short film) as well but I didn’t want to include those in this list for now as they add more time to viewing. 

So what is the best way to start and viewing order? 

There’s a lot of opinions out there on what the best way to watch them are, but I think the best way to watch the movies are in their release order. Makes perfect sense right? That’s how those who have been watching since the beginning did it. 

I’m going to break it down into phases as that is what the studios do. They’re kind of like larger chapters that close a story arc. 

Phase 1 (which is the introduction to the main Avengers):

  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. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)

Phase 2:

  1. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  2. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  5. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  6. Ant-Man (2015)

Phase 3: 

  1. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  2. Doctor Strange (2016)

As you can tell there aren’t as many movies in Phase 3 yet. There are plenty more movies coming out both this year and in the years ahead but I don’t know exactly which ones will be in that Phase or in Phase 4. But if you’re curious to know which ones are coming out in the coming years, here’s a glimpse: 

Coming Soon:

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  2. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  4. Black Panther (2018)
  5. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  6. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  7. Captain Marvel (2019)
  8. Untitled Avengers film (2019)
  9. Spider-Man Sequel (2019)
  10. And many more unannounced! 

It looks like a lot of movies but really it’s only about 3 movies a year, which when you look at the earlier years they usually did at most 2 but usually only 1 movie a year. Marvel has learned how much of a cash grab the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because who doesn’t love superheroes? 

So now that you know the best way to watch the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, you can get started watching them! Just don’t blame me if you get a new obsession and decide to watch them over and over again. 

Which movie is your favorite in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Mine would probably have to be the first Avengers film. Let me know yours in the comments! 





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