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70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics What's this?

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8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 894 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, lives quietly in Washington, D.C. trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 44
  2. Negative: 1 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    Apr 18, 2014
    91
    Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a tremendous piece of pop entertainment, smart and engaging and featuring a home run movie star lead performance by Chris Evans.
  2. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Apr 3, 2014
    83
    This sequel is, by design, entirely absorbing and satisfying without being one whit memorable.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Apr 3, 2014
    80
    Steve and the movie still fly high through plot twists and cool stunts.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 3, 2014
    75
    The movie does its duty. It's a reliable commodity, delivered efficiently and well, like pizza.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 3, 2014
    70
    It needs to seem cool enough that we want to watch it despite its obvious silliness, and viewed through that prism of canny analysis, the craftsmanship of “Winter Soldier” is first rate.
  6. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Mar 20, 2014
    67
    The Winter Soldier is probably in the upper tier of Marvel pictures in terms of quality, but ultimately proves too muddled and frantic to match the heights of "The Avengers."
  7. Reviewed by: Eric Henderson
    Apr 2, 2014
    38
    Despite one or two moments of Venture Brothers-worthy fancy, the film is as by-the-numbers as any this series has ever offered.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 217
  1. Apr 19, 2014
    10
    Marvel is not afraid of taking big risks when it comes to it's cinematic universe and you have to admire them for it because the we get films like The Winter Soldier! Starting the film off with the "on your left" (if you've seen it then you know) scene reminds of us the great one liners and humor that we enjoy and can always expect from these films. It knows how and when not to take itself too serious. That said, it is far from a campy comedy like we've witnessed in poorly executed movies like the Fantastic 4. No, this one is a darker and much grittier film. A political thriller where no one can be trusted, wherever you turn, someone is trying to get you and big brother is always watching. The film is so well written and directed that you forget you're watching a super hero film and start to think it's a Bourne movie, which is a compliment. It just proves that Captain America has the ability to stand alone in the franchise, as Iron Man has done in his outings. It's packed with fine storytelling and Characters that are very well developed and come into their own as the film progresses. The screen time each of the heroes gets here is well balanced and never feels like too much or too little. Especially with a cast like this one. Redford brings the gravitas that he known for and Samuel L. Jackson finally shows us why he is the General. Filled with enough martial arts, humor, one of the best car chases I've seen, and the occasional CGI spectacle, This one is NOT to be missed! Expand
  2. Apr 6, 2014
    10
    I've got huge amount of pleasure watching this sequel. If first movie made impression of naive action with some amount of fun, the sequel has blown my mind in all the aspects. It grew much more serious, its filming, visuals, scenario, fighting scenes, characters got a lot better. Right after the ending i had a feeling that i'd rather forget that i've watched it so i can go buy a ticket and watch it again. BIG pleasure. This is one of the best ones from Marvel Universe for me. Top 3 at least. Expand
  3. Apr 4, 2014
    10
    Very good movie, best I've seen in a while. Comparable to Avengers really. Acting and Writing were both awesome. Could potentially be the movie of the year. Expand
  4. Apr 17, 2014
    9
    Very nice. Chris Evans and Scarlet Johanson are great duo. Actual plot in additional to newest special effects makes this movie A class. Cant wait for Avengers 2. Also, while Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 was worse than previous movies, this one is definitely better than Capitan America 1. Keep it up! Expand
  5. Apr 20, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. There’s no point in denying that the new Captain America movie is anything less than another instalment in the superhero saturation of the last ten years, but although the Captain himself has been considered the blandest of the bunch, at least as far as The Avengers (2012) is concerned. It’s still a fantastic world of unbelievable stunts and perfectly timed one-liners, but the new film offers a lot more depth than some of the weaker superhero fare on offer.

    In addition to the ambitious Marvel Cinematic Universe, the rich tapestry of interwoven stories that Disney’s Marvel Studios has been crafting at the rate of about two blockbusters a year since 2008’s Iron Man, we have seen everything from the unrelated narratives of Marvel’s Spiderman and X-men series, to the gritty reboots of rival DC classics like Superman and Batman. The Marvel Universe alone is an unprecedented shared universe multimedia franchise, extending from the silver screen to various short films, television series and tie-in comic books.

    Wanton American patriotism is far from internationally popular, and the challenge with Captain America as a character is to give this bastion of United States glory modern appeal. The first film took the character back to his roots, giving us a brilliant pulp action adventure, set during the character’s 1940s heyday.

    This was an easy place to be Captain America, but after being dragged into the twenty first century in time for The Avengers, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) must work out what America stands for today, and decide what he represents. The temporal displacement is a rich vein to be mined for soul searching and character interpretation.

    As a pawn of SHIELD, the superhero intelligence organisation: our Nazi-punching hero has been reduced to a shady covert operative who is unsure if the missions he is sent on are aiding or abetting the forces of evil. This insecurity comes to a head when he learns of SHIELD’s Project Insight, a sinister initiative which operates under the twin axes of surveillance and pre-emptive strikes, undeniably referencing drone controversy and the concerns over US internal surveillance. Thus The Winter Soldier is an espionage thriller, firmly rooted in modern day concerns, but with a style heavily influenced, according to the directors, by cold war conspiracy thrillers from the 1970s.

    Events are still very much rooted in the events of the first film, mysterious forces have been working in the background since the end of the war, and the Captain finds himself battling enemies both old and new. Symbolically, he trades his brand new twenty first century black and navy blue uniform for his bright red, white and blue wartime clobber before the film is out.

    As is the case with many comic book movies, I am impressed to learn that much which transpires on screen, no matter how incredible or brief, is in fact distilled from the original comics over their seventy year history. I’m certainly not the one to personally notice all this detail, but it’s apparently crammed full of nods to various eras, arcs and character backgrounds.

    The characterisation of Falcon, real name Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), was strong. An Air Force veteran, he shares Rogers’ military background and helps him adjust to the modern world. Later, he demonstrates his loyalty when he is called upon once the Captain becomes a fugitive.

    Of course, the question having over every post-Avengers solo movie is why characters neglect to call in their superpowered chums to save the day in a fraction of the time. There is a slight aversion in that Captain America does spend the whole film working closely with fellow Avenger Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), who has been largely sidelined in her previous appearances. The truth is that having fewer lead characters mean more attention can be given to others, and Johansson is finally given some significant screen time. Black Widow’s alluring presence is welcome throughout, her moral ambiguity and chequered past providing a stark contrast to the Captain’s clear cut integrity.

    Similarly, SHIELD director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is much more important to the story than the cameo status he has held until now. By contrast, the eponymous Winter Soldier, a bionic badass bearing Soviet livery has little screen time, initially filling the role of unbeatable enforcer to the villains, and the only individual strong enough to challenge the Captain, but his tragic presence is vital to the overarching saga. Also noteworthy is Robert Redford’s appearance as a sinister SHIELD executive.

    Freedom, the most American of values, nevertheless carries a global relevance, and remains a major theme, but any overt patriotism is relatively, and wisely downplayed, despite the character’s name and apparent raison d’être. What’s left is a solid conspiracy blockbuster, with the superhero status incidental aside from enabling higher octane action sequences than a subtler spy movie.
    Expand
  6. Apr 6, 2014
    8
    Definitely takes a rather mature step above the first film. Since Joe Johnston didn't direct this one, it doesn't have that corny historic feel to it kinda like the first one did. Instead, this one takes a much darker turn and allows for much greater plot development. Chris Evans once again fulfills the title role nicely, as does Scarlett Johansson, who returns as Black Widow. I was also glad to see Samuel L. Jackson in this one reprising his Nick Fury role. There were also some good new cast additions, like Robert Redford. Great action sequences, along with a cool new villain really made this a great addition to the series of standalone Avenger films before Avengers 2 hits theaters next year. It's certainly not the best standalone film, but it's pretty high up there. And yes, there are two post-credit scenes at the end. Expand
  7. Apr 4, 2014
    2
    'What's going on' asks Chris Evans of Scarlett Johansson at one point in this confused unstructured movie. This is the question that I would like to have had answered a lot earlier than is actually the case here. By the time some sort of resolution is offered one really couldn't care less. In fact this Marvel-less movie is a thorough going bore. Aside from a few sequences (involving a lift, and a climatic fight aboard an artillery carrier) most of the action is un excitingly derivative. In between these set pieces we have a lot of waffle spoken in an attempt to build character, but this only extends the agony of an already over long film. Visual effects are impressive, generally, although one static shot of the three artillery stations does look very fake.
    It is good to see Robert Redford playing a villain for a change although he must obviously be doing it for the money. After all, didn't he set up Sundance as an alternative to this kind of movie regularly churned out by the Hollywood machine.
    Fans of the first film, I'm sure, will love it and will stay (if in the know) for the two sequences that arrive during, and at the end of the final credits. Others, like myself, may wish they had left after the first 20 minutes.
    Expand

See all 217 User Reviews

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