Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    May 8, 2016
    100
    Captain America: The First Avenger is one of the finest movies yet from Marvel Studios, and a big departure in tone and storytelling from most of the films they've made so far. It is a strong indicator that the more willing the studio is to experiment, the more exciting the payoffs can be.
  2. Reviewed by: Dan Mecca
    May 8, 2016
    91
    Johnston and company are aware that introducing a hero means more than showing off his suit and gadgets or building up the universe he will eventually encapsulate. Before any of that, we must care about who he/she is.
  3. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jul 21, 2011
    91
    It gives you all that you could ask for when you buy a ticket to a thrill ride.
  4. Reviewed by: Glen Weldon
    Jul 22, 2011
    88
    The movie surges ahead, moving nimbly through a series of action set-pieces that owe more to films like "Where Eagles Dare" and "The Guns of Navarone" than they do to, say, "The Green Hornet."
  5. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jul 22, 2011
    88
    Adding goofy uncertainty to shoulders as wide as the East River makes for a disarming hero in one of the spiffiest WWII action yarns ever to march out of Hollywood.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jul 21, 2011
    88
    The best kind of comic-book movie. It's stylish and spectacular, yet it's rooted in history and human emotions. It's smart yet it's funny. It's wise yet it kicks ass when it has to. Just like the U.S. of A.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 21, 2011
    88
    The most stylish comics-derived entertainment of the year...It's paced and designed for people who won't shrivel up and die if two or three characters take 45 seconds between combat sequences to have a conversation about world domination, or a dame.
  8. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Jul 21, 2011
    80
    Joe Johnston - returning to the vibe of his first directorial effort, "The Rocketeer" (1991) - creates a fun retro-futurist environment with a World War II setting, and he has the discernment not to let the effects overwhelm the story.
  9. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jul 21, 2011
    80
    Captain America isn't a masterpiece, but it's a solidly crafted, elegant adventure movie that held my attention from start to finish and sent me out into the street energized instead of enervated.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jul 21, 2011
    80
    This muscular, red-blooded adventure has a decent heart and the stuff of Saturday afternoon serials running through its veins.
  11. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 20, 2011
    80
    Captain America is exactly what the third week of July needed: a curiously fun, surprisingly imaginative and unashamedly old-fashioned yarn of skulduggery and adventure.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd Gilchrist
    Jul 20, 2011
    80
    What really distinguishes Captain from the other superhero movies of 2011 (and quite frankly, the majority of the others released in the last several years) is a romance that feels like an integral - not incidental - component of the plot.
  13. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    What distinguishes Cap is his humble backstory, which involves neither hairy gods nor hot-dogging test pilots but a kid from Brooklyn who just wants to fight for freedom.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    While the story is preposterous and most of the cast standard-issue, it's hard not to like a comic-book movie that features both Busby Berkeley-style dance numbers and high-tech vaporizing weaponry.
  15. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    For the most part, it manages to balance laughs, genuinely rousing moments, and a fully packed agenda into something fleet enough to keep running under the weight of its rich ambitions.
  16. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    Captain America might hold the most promise, not just of saving the world, but of saving comic book movies from themselves.
  17. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    Succeeds where "Thor" didn't and the "Incredible Hulk" hasn't, twice. Unlike those drags, director Joe Johnston keeps things relatively simple and pleasantly stupid.
  18. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 20, 2011
    75
    It goes without saying it's preposterous. But it has the texture and takes the care to be a full-blown film.
  19. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jul 20, 2011
    75
    Stolidly corny, old-fashioned pulp fun.
  20. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jul 20, 2011
    75
    The fourth comic book movie of the summer is the best comic book movie of the summer. Johnston has delivered a light, clever and deftly balanced adventure picture with real lump in the throat nostalgia.
  21. 70
    Until the computer-generated effects bog it down and mess up its rhythms, Captain America: The First Avenger, has a measured, classical pace and a lot of good, old-fashioned craftsmanship.
  22. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jul 23, 2011
    70
    On its own, Captain America is a modestly engaging little-big movie in the median range: well below the first "Iron Man," somewhat above "X-Men: First Class."
  23. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jul 21, 2011
    70
    Captain America is first and foremost an origins story. Almost half of the film's running time elapses before Rogers gets any kind of power at all, and though its elements are awfully familiar, it's the most involving part of the film because it takes advantage of Evans' performance.
  24. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jul 21, 2011
    70
    Has a winningly pulpy, jaunty, earnest spirit.
  25. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Jul 20, 2011
    70
    Sticking to its simplistic, patriotic origins, where a muscular red, white and blue GI slugging Adolf Hitler in the jaw is all that's required, Captain America trafficks in red-blooded heroes, dastardly villains, classy dames and war-weary military officers.
  26. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jul 23, 2011
    63
    Captain America falls into the prevalent pitfalls of origin stories. So much time and effort is expended explaining how the protagonist gains his super-powers (and exploring his initial usage of them) that there's not enough opportunity to develop a compelling storyline beyond his "baptism."
  27. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Jul 21, 2011
    63
    From its antagonists to its art direction, everything about Johnston's movie has a been-there, seen-that familiarity. Yet Evans' clean-cut idealism and objectives make old-fashioned patriotism look fresh.
  28. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Jul 21, 2011
    63
    This is what the ongoing onslaught of comic book movies lacks: stars. Real stars. Robert Downey Jr. is the exception when he should be the rule. It's possible we take these movies for granted because the marketing tells us we should.
  29. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 21, 2011
    63
    Here's the funny thing: Despite all the Captain America rah-rah in costume and indestructible shield, the movie is at its best when the story sticks with skinny Steve.
  30. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 20, 2011
    63
    Tommy Lee Jones provides wisecracking levity as Rogers's commanding officer, Hayley Atwell supplies the aforementioned buxom chest and accompanying tough-girl grit as Rogers's British love interest, and Johnson directs with flair, his set pieces defined by both muscularity and clarity.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1222 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 254
  1. Jul 22, 2011
    10
    I go to the movies almost every week, some weeks I go more than once. I must say this summer has been full of disappointments. I was gettingI go to the movies almost every week, some weeks I go more than once. I must say this summer has been full of disappointments. I was getting so upset at all the big summer movies being ok at best, but then Captain America comes along and blew me away! The movie moves at a fantastic pace with the right mix of action, comedy, drama and romance to interest almost everyone. This is one of 4 movies this summer that is movie perfection. With Super 8 and X-Men out of theaters and since everyone has seen Harry Potter then this is the movie to see. I couldn't have liked it more! Full Review »
  2. Jul 22, 2011
    10
    Never was a huge Captain America fan, but since 2008, starting with Iron Man leading up to Cap's movie, the quality of the movies have gottenNever was a huge Captain America fan, but since 2008, starting with Iron Man leading up to Cap's movie, the quality of the movies have gotten better and better - with an exception of Thor - and Captain America is the pinnacle of Marvel Studios' movies' quality. The whole time, you're immersed in the 1940's. I only say "1940's" because I'm trying to use as little spoilers as possible. But the movie is a blend of a WWII movie, a Superhero movie and a Sci-fi movie. It explains the origin of Captain America and really brings you into his shoes and makes the viewers understand his views. The movie is loaded with action, supporting cast - Nick Fury's father, Tony Stark's father Howard, Bucky and even Stan Lee which is a fun little thing to throw in - and interesting, intense story. The movie definitely made you realize that Captain America IS a hero and the world would be different without him. Bottom line, see the movie. It will make you laugh, it will make you want to punch Nazis and it might even bring about a tear. Full Review »
  3. Jul 22, 2011
    10
    They really did good for once. You cheered you laughed some kids behind me cried and tried to be brave and cover it up. Unlike the abortionThey really did good for once. You cheered you laughed some kids behind me cried and tried to be brave and cover it up. Unlike the abortion that was Thor this was a movie I did not regret paying to see. Don't bother with 3d. There are about 15 seconds of footage that is crap flying at the camera but the rest is just as good in 2d. Only other Marvel film that was this good was Iron Man 1. I loved the 1940s backdrops that were so exaggerated it was great. It should be fine to take your kids to. A couple people get shot and one guy turns into red mist after getting thrown through a propeller but not so much as a swear or boob. There isn't a nerd alive who Steve Rogers doesn't remind of their childhood. Take kids and elderly if you are a 20 something hipster you will like it to you just won't admit it in public cause it's so dorky. They even worked the punching Hitler in the jaw scene in. Oh and the preview of the new Spiderman? It looks like crap. Full Review »