How to Watch Iron Man Movies in Order

How to Watch Iron Man Movies in Order

The famous genius, billionaire, and playboy is a household name. Some of the most memorable scenes in the MCU were created by this man. It’s crazy to think about how far Iron Man has come and how his persona has changed over time.

Maybe you’re wondering which Iron Man films to see first, or in what order, to see Tony Stark develop into a heroic hero. Let us fill you in on the details. Here we’ve compiled a few suggested viewing orders for the Iron Man films.

We’ve got their sequence of release, their chronology, and even their place in the grand scheme of the MCU’s history all out for you! Here you will discover the solutions to your problems. Just keep scrolling down and we’ll get started!

How To Watch Iron Man Movies In Release Order

For your convenience and binge-watching, we’ve arranged all Iron Man series films and shorts by order of release date. J.A.R.V.I.S., make a note!

1Iron Man2008
2Iron Man 22010
3Iron Man 32013

How To Watch Iron Man Movies In Chronological Order

The chronological order of the Iron Man films includes the sync between the Avengers franchise, and can only be understood if seen in its intended order.

1Iron Man2008
2Iron Man 22010
3The Incredible Hulk 2008
4The Avengers 2012
5Iron Man 32013
6Avengers: Age of Ultron2015
7Captain America: Civil War2016
8Spider-Man: Homecoming2017
9Avengers: Infinity War2018
10Avengers: End Game2019

All The Iron Man Movies In Order Explained

Whether you’re a first-time viewer of the Iron Man franchise or a long-time fan, there’s no denying that the many Marvel Cinematic Universe movies can be pretty confusing. The series is filled with characters and plot lines that intertwine throughout.

To make things even more challenging, several Iron Man movies stand alone as independent films and ones that are connected to the overarching MCU storyline. Rediscover your love for Tony Stark with this definitive guide on how to watch Iron Man movies in order!

1. Iron Man (2008)

1. Iron Man (2008)
  • Release Date: May 2, 2008
  • IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
  • Letterboxd: 3.7/5
  • 7.9/10
  • Directed By: Jon Favreau
  • Leading Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, Gwyneth Pattrow

This is the film that started the whole MCU. When billionaire inventor Tony Stark is captured and held hostage by terrorists, he has no choice but to build them a weapon. However, Stark is a genius in his own right and uses the opportunity to develop his own weapon instead.

The rest of the movie sees Stark escape, team up with his fellow scientists and figure out how to be a hero while still protecting his own interests. This film is excellent, but it also establishes many themes and characters that will recur throughout the MCU.

There are several recurring themes and ideas throughout all Iron Man movies in order, but the most important one is the idea of what power means and how the people with the most power can use it for good. Tony Stark is a genius inventor with the money to do whatever he wants.

However, he uses his power for good by becoming Iron Man. Again, this is a theme we see throughout all the other MCU movies. Every hero has the power to change the world for the better and make it a better place to live, even if they don’t have Stark’s billions in their bank account.

2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Release Date: June 8, 2008
  • IMDB Rating: 6.6/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
  • Letterboxd: 2.5/5
  • Directed By: Louis Leterrier
  • Leading Stars: Edward Norton, Tim Roth, Lou Ferringo, Liv Tyler

This is the one movie in the Iron Man series that isn’t actually about Iron Man. Instead, it focuses on one of the most famous Marvel characters, the Hulk—one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe. Still, this movie is less interested in the Hulk as a superhero and more in him as a monster.

The Hulk in this movie also has a fascinating relationship with another Marvel character, Black Widow. Tony appears in the post-credits scene to speak with General Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) and sow more seeds for the upcoming Avengers movie.

However, he doesn’t really have a role in the plot of this Edward Norton and Jennifer Lawrence film. Instead, this movie begins a story arc that will see the Hulk team up with the other Avengers and become a more positive character in the Marvel universe. 

3. Iron Man 2 (2010)

3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • Release Date: May 7, 2010
  • IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
  • Letterboxd: 2.9/5
  • Directed By: Jon Favreau
  • Leading Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Pattrow

This is the movie where Iron Man first meets the other Marvel superheroes and discovers that there are other people out there with the same powers as him. In this film, the Russian government is creating an army of robots, and Tony Stark is forced to go up against them.

He seeks the help of Colonel Rhodes, who becomes the superhero War Machine. This is also the movie where we meet the other scientific genius, Dr. Bruce Banner. He is trying to find a cure for his Hulk-like transformation, and he meets Tony Stark as they both do their own research at the same labs.

Iron Man 2 is a very different movie from the first one, but it is just as good. Iron Man still faces off against Russian criminals, but he has a team of superheroes with him this time. We also learn that Tony Stark is not the only person to have built an Iron Man suit. There are others out there in different hands, including one that is being built for the American government.

4. The Avengers (2012)

4. The Avengers (2012)
  • Release Date: May 11, 2012
  • IMDB Rating: 8/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
  • Letterboxd: 3.7
  • Metacritic: 69%
  • Directed By: Joss Whedon
  • Leading Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Mark Ruffalo

This is the first Avengers movie. It’s the story of how all the different heroes who end up forming the Avengers first meet each other and come together to try and save the world. The movie begins with a group of scientists discovering an ancient artifact called the Infinity Stone.

The team, working together as a group called SHIELD, soon discovers that the artifact is one of six. Each stone has incredible power and is capable of giving the person who wields it near limitless power. What follows is the team trying to find the other stones.

At the same time, SHIELD tries to stop a group called the Avengers from getting their hands on them. There are a lot of different plot points happening simultaneously in this movie. Still, all the characters and their relationships work so well together that it doesn’t feel overly complicated or confusing.

5. Iron Man 3 (2013)

5. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  • Release Date: May 17, 2013
  • IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
  • Letterboxd: 3.1/5
  • Directed By: Shane Black
  • Leading Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Pattrow, Don Cheadle

This is the third Iron Man movie and the first one since the events of the Avengers Assemble movie. This movie is interesting because it is part of a larger story arc involving Mandarin. Still, it also has many more minor plot points that would become important in later movies.

For example, this is the first time we meet Dr. Strange, who is trying to help Tony Stark with his battle against the Mandarin. This movie is also the first to explore the themes of power and responsibility we saw in the first Iron Man movie.

The Mandarin is a compelling villain, but he is also one that the government can’t seem to find a way to stop. In the end, it is up to Tony Stark to find a way to take him out. *Spoiler* Gwyneth Pattrow also gets in on the action to help the Iron Man!

6. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

6. Avengers Age of Ultron (2015)
  • Release Date: May 1, 2015
  • IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
  • Letterboxd: 3.1/5
  • 9/10
  • Directed By: Joss Whedon
  • Leading Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Mark Ruffalo

This is the second Avengers movie, and this time, the team is up against the big bad of the universe, Ultron. This is a computer program that Tony Stark originally built to help protect the world, but it gradually becomes self-aware and decides that the only way to truly save the world is if humans don’t have any power over it.

What follows is an epic battle between the Avengers and the new villain, this time with the help of the scientist Dr. Banner. This is the movie where the two characters start to build a friendship, and it’s also where we begin to see some of the consequences of Tony Stark creating a self-aware program.

The first Avengers movie was about coming together as a team, but this one is very much about what happens when one person has all the power. This movie has a much darker and more serious tone than the first Avengers film and introduces many new characters and concepts to the broader Marvel universe.

7. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

7. Captain America Civil War (2016)
  • Release Date: May 6, 2016
  • IMDB Rating: 7.8/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
  • Letterboxd: 3.6/5
  • Directed By: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
  • Leading Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson

This is the movie that really kickstarted the Marvel phase three of their cinematic universe. This is the story of how Captain America, who has been missing for many years, comes back to discover that the government has been using people with powers as weapons.

This causes a rift in the team, with Captain America on one side and Iron Man on the other. This movie is important because it introduces the idea that not all heroes are good, and not all people with powers are heroes. This movie also shows the first real divide in the superhero team, with Iron Man and Captain America taking sides against each other.

It’s a great movie that leaves you wondering what will happen next. It also leaves you with many questions about where the story will go next, what will happen to the different characters, and what the story’s overall theme will be.

8. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

8. Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)
  • Release Date: July 7, 2017
  • IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
  • Letterboxd: 3.6/5
  • Metacritic: 73%
  • Directed By: Jon Watts
  • Leading Stars: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomel, Jennifer Connelly

This is the first Spider-Man movie since the release of Iron Man 3, and it’s the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been brought to life by a different studio. This is the story of how Peter Parker becomes the hero known as Spider-Man, and it’s a great introduction to the character for people who don’t know much about him.

This movie is interesting because it doesn’t really tie to the broader Marvel universe. Therefore, it doesn’t really impact the other characters or the storyline. However, Tony plays a secondary role in Spider-first Man’s solo outing as his new Civil War protégé (Tom Holland).

Peter Parker’s impatience causes him to be reckless during the battle with the evil Vulture, and for once, Iron Man gets to portray the mature adult.

9. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

9. Avengers Infinity War (2018)
  • Release Date: April 27, 2018
  • IMDB Rating: 8.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
  • Letterboxd: 4/5
  • Metacritic: 68%
  • Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
  • Leading Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Tom Holland, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Mark Ruffalo

The Avengers come together to fight their most formidable foe yet, the evil Thanos, with the help of Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, and the rest. Thanos is on the lookout to gather all six Infinity Stones and intends to use them to impose his dark will on reality.

This is the point, the great stage that has been set throughout the development of MCU. The Avengers stand at the crossroads of the most uncertain fate of the universe and existence itself. However, the movie also includes dramatic interactions, focusing on backstories and maintaining continuity.

Tony and Steve haven’t reconciled after two years. However, it appears as though a reunion is about to take place when Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) travels to Earth to notify the Avengers that Thanos is approaching. The Avengers join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy on Titan to battle Thanos, Tony (and Captain America), some of the last superheroes left alive after the Infinity Snap.

10. Avengers: End Game (2019)

10. Avengers End Game (2019)
  • Release Date: April 26, 2019
  • IMDB Rating: 8.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
  • Letterboxd: 3.9/5
  • Metacritic: 78%
  • Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
  • Leading Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Bri Larson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch

The Avengers are left dispersed and divided after Thanos snatches away half of all life in his famous Infinity Snap. The Avengers must band together as a team again and learn to put conflicts aside to work together and undo the damage now that there is a way to undo it.

As they approach the ultimate showdown with Thanos, which will see the heroes engage in the greatest battle they have ever faced, the Avengers realize that sacrifices must be made along the way. The universe was saved from Thanos and his forces by Tony Stark.

How To Watch Iron Man Movies In Order: FAQs

When it comes to learning how to watch Iron Man movies in order, you may come across a few concerns. Below we provide answers to some of the most common queries!

Nine. Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark in the MCU in the following movies:

  • Iron Man (2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • The Avengers (2012)
  • Iron Man 3 (2013)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Tony Stark, with an alter-ego Anthony Edward Stark.

Iron Man may have the finest and most durable armor to shield him from bombs or bullets, but Wolverine can kill him with a single blow. In addition, several other characters in the MCU and comics can easily take on Iron Man in a 1v1, for example, Thor, Thanos, The Skrull Queen Veranke, Galactus, The Hulk, The Void, Hydra Cap, and Beyonder.

According to Bruce Wayne, AKA The Caped Crusader, he is a trillionaire. Not surprisingly, given that he received a significant portion of his wealth through inheritance, he did invest wisely—better than Stark, in fact. With Stark Industries’ revenue at 20.3 billion dollars, Tony is only worth 12.4 billion.

Wrapping Up

Some movies are so packed with references to other characters and plot points that it feels like you need an entire encyclopedia to understand them. The Iron Man franchise is one of those—with lots of little details and hints about the more expansive Marvel universe lurking in the background of these films. Hopefully, this article has helped you discover how to watch Iron Man movies in order.