Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier


Stars: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout, Running time 136 minutes, Action/Adventure

Compare to: Man of Steel (2013), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Ohhh another comic book movie! How fun! Summer must be right around the corner! Here comes another by-the-book explosion extravaganza that’s basically a huge ad for action figures. Right?

Thankfully, Captain America: The Winter Soldier defies every expectation of dumbed-down comic book movies that Hollywood has so earnestly built up in the last decade or so. It’s about time, Marvel. You can only hinge so much on Robert Downey Jr’s charisma.

Steve “Captain America” Rogers is getting used to his life in the modern age. After being thawed out from a block of ice during WWII, the good ol’ boy finds himself in a world where the lines between “good and bad” aren’t as clear as they used to be. Things are only made that much worse when the black ops world presents it’s own version of Captain America- an ominous super spy dubbed “the Winter Soldier.”

Friend or foe? Who cares, you don't see the explosion in the back? AWESOME!

Friend or foe? Who cares, you don’t see the explosion in the back? AWESOME!

While I hate building movies up, especially after first viewing (initial excitement can lead to a better grade than deserved while disliking it at first can be better upon contemplation), I would dare say CA:TWS is the best movie Marvel Studios has released to date. Which is a pleasant surprise if you were solely going off of how terrible the posters are.

But to have come this far in Marvel Studios’ Avengers movies and have actually made something of quality is saying a lot. It’s not only saying that big budget movies don’t have to be stupid but they can also carry a bit more weight than they’ve been letting on.



On top of all of this, Winter Soldier is actually it’s own movie. Quick references are made to other characters but no previous viewings of any of those films are necessary to enjoy this film which may include the first Captain America movie as well. The predecessor to this movie seemed to suffer from being rushed(?) to get lead actor Chris Evans ready for his role in The Avengers film but a little more time seems to be taken here to balance story and action. Maybe not to the extent that Nolan’s Dark Knight went, but not too far off either.

Without being the best possible movie that it could have been, Winter Soldier still hits most marks usually unexpected by paid critics that seem to hate giving out a decent review of a big-budget slug fest.

Evans seems to be comfortable in the role of the Captain and being a likable goody two shoes is probably easier said than done. It’s not going to win him any awards but that’s not what they movies are made for, are they?

Ponder on that Cap'n 'Murica.

Ponder on that Cap’n ‘Murica.

The best thing that can be said about Winter Soldier is that, aside from standing on its own two feet (something some fans may hate but c’mon- they shouldn’t all be superhero cameos and nonstop puns), Winter Soldier brings up some serious and relevant issues about the security of our nation without pretending to be something it’s not- awesome action scenes and a good time.

Positives- Story, action, acting; all well done, none surpassing the other. The themes are especially intriguing. All the corniness of most Marvel movies is toned down.

Negatives- Convenient plot devices as expected in Action movies such as this, some predictability may take some enjoyment out of the film.

Grade: B+

Side note: Yes, there is a scene in the middle and at the end of the credits.


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