Marvel Cinematic Universe – Viewing Order

I was always coming back to a specific post on Stack Overflow detailing the viewing order for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since I found it tedious to always go back there, so I copied it here as the basis of this post, but changed it to reflect changed dates, and include new movies and new TV series into in the list.

I feel the best viewing order for the MCU is the order in which the movies are released, that’s how they were written. The TV series sometimes tie into the movies (Agents of SHIELD), or are rather independent (Agent Carter) – but even in the latter case I would not watch them at a very different time, they might reveal something that is considered canon and spoil it anyway.

Last updated: 2015-11-29, to include the second Ant-Man and the changed release schedule that results from its announcement, and the four new unnamed movies at the end of phase three (or phase four?). While updating this, I also added links to IMDB for all movies and seasons.

Phase One: “Avengers Assembled”

  • Iron Man (2008-05-01)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008-07-10)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010-05-06)
    • One-Shot: “The Consultant” (2011) (4 mins) (short movie on Thor Bluray — set directly after The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2)
  • Thor (2011-04-28)
    • One-Shot: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer” (2011) (4 mins) (short movie on Captain America Bluray — set directly before Thor (although it adds very little and makes more sense to watch afterwards))
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011-08-18)
    • One-Shot: “Agent Carter” (2013) (12 mins) (short movie on Iron Man 3 Bluray — set directly after Captain America)
  • The Avengers (aka “Avengers Assemble”) (2012-04-25)
    • One-Shot: “Item 47” (2012) (12 mins) (short movie on The Avengers Bluray — set directly after The Avengers)

Phase Two

Phase Three

Phase 4?

  • Untitled 1 (2020-05-01)
  • Untitled 2 (2020-07-10)
  • Untitled 3 (2020-11-06)

Jupiter Ascending

I watched Jupiter Ascending last weekend. Yes, despite all the extremely low ratings and the warnings to avoid this movie, I went to see it. And what can I say… it was a nice movie. Really.

Don’t get me wrong – it definitely had its faults. Jupiter (played by Mila Kunis) is portrayed as overly naive, much more than she needs to be. She falls for people who want to use her twice, and both times it was clear as daylight what was going to happen.

The pacing and structure was also a little off, especially in the first quarter or so. The introduction of the different parties looking for Jupiter was weird, and it took me a while to understand who was supposed to be the good guys and who was the bad guys. I don’t mean that in the sense of plot twists or deception – that is fine if it fools the audience, even expected. But in this case I think the presentation of the different groups just was not executed well.

But apart from these issues, I did not really think there was something outright terrible about Jupiter Ascending. The dialog was sometimes wooden, but I didn’t expect something that would be winning any Pulitzer Prize soon. The overall plot was not the kind where you later walk out of the cinema and just think that this was the best story, it was just a generic action flick, but that’s what I expected from the trailers.

And what a lot of people really found laughable, the “dog people”… have you never seen fantasy movies before? In this case they even try to explain it semi-scientifically with spliced genes, etc. Sure, that is basically technobabble, but still, for a fantasy action movie that was pretty normal.

To be honest, I enjoyed Jupiter Ascending much more than Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness. Those had gaping plot holes as well all over the place, and a huge legacy to live up to, and in my opinion they failed that spectacularly. Jupiter Ascending is just a random fantasy action movie without any baggage like that.

And: it is gorgeous. It was the best 3D movie I saw, period. Take it for what it is, just don’t expect the next Matrix, and enjoy the ride.