Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford
Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.
Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.
  • Walt Disney Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 04 Apr 2014 Released:
  • 09 Sep 2014 DVD Release:
  • $258.6M Box office:

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Trailer:

Marvel makes a bold move!9/10
Marvel showed pretty clearly in Iron Man 3 that they are not afraid to take risk, bend comic stories and venture into unknown territories. I was pleasantly surprised by Captain America : The Winter Soldier because Marvel is able to do surprise audience like never before. This movie has mostly everything a fan could ask for. A political drama, conspiracy theories, Chris Evans portrayal of a "out of his time" superhero who is trying to blend in with the world and thinks that "Internet is helpful", typical Marvel's laugh out loud moments and above all some mesmerizing action sequences. Threat in this movie is not as big as the one in Thor :The Dark World since only our tiny planet is at stake rather than entire 9 realms with imaginative difficult to pronounce names, but thanks to some very smart blend of direction, acting and close to perfect background scores, threat seems to be much bigger and more importantly, real this time. You actually care for the fate of entire planet and characters. You do come face to face with the full potential of SHIELD and its structure, its influence on world politics and when the actual villain is revealed, you just cannot hide your excitement. SHIELD acts as a central character in the movie and shows itself to be far bigger and complex than what we suspected after watching all the Marvel offerings. There is Nick Fury as usual hiding secrets, keeping secrets and digging secrets but watching him vulnerable in this movie is much better than watching him acting all almighty in Avengers. Chris Evans shine in this role and I can imagine he won't be at the bottom of favorite Avengers list after this movie. His portrayal of Captain America is near perfect. Scarlett Johansson is a surprise package in the film portraying Black Widow character. She gets ample screen time presence this time, even in scenes where she is not kicking someone. It is actually the first time we learn something about Black Widow, duplicity in her character just adds tension to the already built suspense in the movie. Sebastian Stan is good in his portrayal of winter soldier. He is a perfect nemesis to Captain America in the movie. I bet you haven't seen such creative combat scenes between these two ever before. Action here is not as loud as Thor movies, it is more real, every bullet which find its target hurts, every punch delivered matters, it is so enjoyable to watch just because it is so real. I wish I could write about some more characters but that will be giving away some key points. Please be assured there are some great character comebacks, some you expected, some you didn't. I was a little let down by the climax of the film by its simplicity after the real motive of the real villain is revealed, but of course you have to remember its a Marvel film, there doesn't exist any situation alien/political/social which can't be solved by few explosions and kicks. Overall it's a highly entertaining film from Marvel, I will put it behind only Avengers and first Iron Man, this movie deserves your weekend. And of course it goes without saying, don't dare to leave your seats until last credits have rolled out, you have probably all heard the rumors about Joss Whedon directing the end credit scene. Yes it is awesome and offers an insight into the next Avengers movie.
Brilliant film!10/10
Now "The winter soldier" is everything a Captain America movie should be. While it maintains some of the humour that now has become the trademark of Marvel films, TWS is way more serious than all of them combined. And this is truly where the film feels so brave and yes different than any other superhero flicks that we have seen.

Which brings me to the most important point, the plot. While of course it is not going to be the most original or complicated film of the century, there is the basic screen writing elements that so much lack from modern day blockbusters. You have the (likable) characters and a mystery they need to solve along with a racing clock. It reminded me the 70's political paranoia thrillers (3 days of the Condor - another Redford link, The parallax view, Z) and it is a welcome tone that makes the WS to differentiate itself from the rest. There are strong scenes regarding political fear, control, and information manipulation but it never feels bloated or overbearing. the purpose is to entertain even if it manages to squeeze through a bit of political views with Rogers replacing the viewer's voice on screen. At one point there is a talk about who is who which results in every man for himself mayhem in one of the most interesting sequences that you may see this year. We do not get this stuff these days!

Besides the charged plot, the introduction of new characters and the mega mayhem in the streets of Washingthon DC, the Russos have found time (and they should bloody do since TWS is 2 and a half hours long!) to inject some sentiments in the proceedings - a visit to Peggy, a confrontation with Fury regarding SHIELDs actions, Bucky's memory recall, Natasha's kissing talk. They could have easily skip these "crap" but instead the extra running time feels adjusted and coherent with a bit of more characterization which results to bring us closer to the on screen counterparts.

However, the action is what took me by surprise. The bar has been set higher now. It is truly unbelievable to think that these two directors (of the "Community" fame) came with such inventive ways of using Cap's shield. Finally, the shield gets to be seen in all of its glory. In addition, all the fist fights (and they are many) are excellent examples and putting the glasses to the school of frantic edit (which I truly despise) with varied and rapid choreography. A terrific elevator fight sequence probably stands out as truly memorable whereas the encounters with the Winter Soldier never feel repetitive. The Russo brothers keep changing the game from stealth and cloak missions, to car chases, to gun fires, to dog fights, to fist fights. There is something for everyone here and it is arguably among the finest I have seen. Impressive considering their credits. Real stunt work (backflips, wrestle moves, somersaults, etc), real fights and it is a pleasing sight to go away from superhero duels of the Avengers, Thor and Iron man. These characters rely on instincts and bullets. No more and no less and most of them do have some brutal moments for a PG-13 film (and blood too).

The actors are absolutely brilliant in their roles. While Evans came out as a bit arrogant in the "Avengers" and the least interesting character, here he truly shines. First time ever, I actually bought what he was bringing on the table. This is a soldier who believed in protecting the people and their freedom. Here though, in the modern era of espionage with multiple intrigues and political events, he finds himself unable to identify which side he is on and for what. At one point he even considers himself Fury's caretaker of terrorist "problems". The other side of the coin is Samuel Jackson's Nick Fury and Robert Redford's Alexander Pierce. It is nice to see Jackson expanding his role from 1 minute cameo in "Iron Man" to a fully supporting actor here. But the real standout is Robert Redford. Kevin Feige (the producer) probably knows how to do casting because so far there has not been a single acting mistake. Bringing heavy-acting-weight Redford to a superhero film is actually a bold move and while most movies do not focus on the talented cast, here the Russo brothers give Redford plenty of close ups and necessary gravitational dialogue that kept surprised me for a "summer" and "mindless" blockbuster. Antony Mackie plays Falcon believably enough and it is very good to see a great supporting turn instead of being the comedic sidekick. The winter soldier now himself is as you would have expected? probably the best villain outside Loki(!) in the marvel films. A truly unstoppable and cool killing machine that shows no remorse or regret considering his complete disregard (and destructive) actions throughout the film. Shaw manages to bring a bit of menace to a generally light hearted series of fantasy films as he has to act more with his eyes rather than sharing any scenes of actual dialogue.

Is it perfect? Of course not but it does not feel that it is drugging forever or raising any boring flags. There is plenty of plot, intelligence and sweet characters moments to keep anyone satisfying. This is blockbuster at its finest, a superhero film with heart, immersive action and subtle touches of humour. Totally recommended.
A wonderful thriller, conspiracy and adventure that delivers a great great film10/10
This film is simply exceptional in every way. The edge it has is delivering the best, grittiest action the genre has ever scene and characters that are as complex as the are fun. Why do I say that? Well...

What I love about the character is that Steve Rogers has "I'm-a-man-out- of-time issues" but he's comfortable with the chaos that it brings. In acclimating himself to this century he is at his best. Yes, most people would be overwhelmed but because of who he is and where he's from, he's able to cope and adapt. The serum that gives him his physical edge also gives him a mental boost. It's his emotions that are raw and unaided. Time has passed since Avengers so we don't get to see his day to day amazement and adjustment. I'm glad they skipped that stuff. What we do see is the man who once represented America and has become alien to America and it's slanted values. The passage of time. Add those struggles to a full blown conspiracy film and what results might just be the best film released all year long.

Steve Rogers is basically a John Wayne American. The world shifts to him and it's his job to tell everybody "Here's they way things should be done." We saw that in Avengers and even the first film after he gathered his Howling Commandos. Now, the powers that be are a lot more flexible in terms of loyalties and how they're going to get certain jobs done. How he handles this century's gray morality is at the heart of the film.

Like most men from the 1940's, Steve keeps things to himself and keeps his emotions bottled up. (EX: the first film when he mentions his mother dying of TB and he was even embarrassed when Peggy found him mourning alone for Bucky) So, bringing The Black Widow in to this film gives him someone who is going to draw out his story, because he's never going to offer it up of his own accord. Natasha learns from him. Fury learns from him. Sam Wilson learns from him. Yet, they all give him something in return. Every character used is utilized perfectly and smartly. Falcon for example, is not in awe of the legend of Captain America. This is exactly what Steve wants in a friend and in a fellow soldier, to not have to be Captain America. Everyone fits perfectly in to the plot and allows access to different beats, tones and emotional depth. Yes, conspiracy thrillers need depth and this one has it.

Captain America is probably the only superhero left in this world of the reboot who is singularly heroic. He doesn't have this dark existential quandary like other reinventions. Plugging that resolute goodness into a morally complex story means he doesn't question what he believes, but he questions whether anybody else does anymore. He doesn't question his foundation but he questions where he has ended up and what his role must now be. The conspiracy element and structure of this story helps in that Captain America is not up on a pedestal being self righteous, he's in a corner and that makes you want to root for the guy. He believes in what he's doing and the viewer is along for a great ride sharing that belief.

Marvel movies usually establish character early. This one starts out fast but it's got a lot of character in it. The first act packs a punch but does it laying the groundwork for a remarkable third act. They take time showing the issues and you immediately empathize with Steve. Giving us good character depth means the action delivers more punch. And the action here is beyond great. This movie absolutely punches you in the face in the best way possible. The action has advanced a lot from the first film. How he now operates in the world and kicks butt is all very impressive.

So, this is probably Marvel's grittiest movie and it's also their best sequel to date. There's a dash of humor but there's mostly a wonderful thriller, conspiracy and adventure that delivers a great great film.
Pure Awesomeness10/10
Went into the movie not expecting much as I felt that the first Captain America was one of the weaker movies in Phase one of the Avengers. However, this movie was one of the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

First off, the action and fight scenes in the movie are just awesome and there is plenty of action to keep you entertained throughout the entire movie. There is also enough humour to balance all this. The characters all had their own amazing moments and the acting is decent as well. You get to see more of Nick Fury, and he was awesome in this. Black Widow is used much more in this movie and as well as being badass, she brings out more of the Captain's story. Sam Wilson (the Falcon) is great and is involved in some great action scenes. The villains in this movie were awesome as well.

Quite enjoyed the story as well. There were a few twists; some unexpected, some expected. And the reveal of the unexpected twists in the final third were epic. The story is not just about Captain America and the Winter Soldier, there are darker forces at play and causes the Captain to ask dangerous questions.

This movie is very entertaining, the story is decent, the ending is awesome and satisfying and I would recommend watching this. Makes for a decent political thriller as well. This will easily be one of my favourite movies.
A Thrilling Sequel that Raises the Bar for Marvel9/10
With Rogers, Fury, and Romanoff previously established, directors Joe and Anthony Russo do a magnificent job at expanding these characters – along with some secondary characters we've seen before – providing more depth to understanding their actions and how they will affect future stories. Sam Jackson has a stronger presence this time around, validating Nick Fury as a main staple in the MCU among the big boys. Captain America is stronger, faster, and a more refined soldier, equipped with better fighting skills and understanding of current technology. Evans plays the earnestness of Captain America's black and white morality with convincing finesse in an age of grey that he has yet to find a comfortable middle. And Johansson progresses the allure of the cunning and multifaceted Black Widow, while bringing a splendid and lively balance to Rogers' straight and narrow.

Amidst such a tight and clever script, The Winter Soldier introduces a band of new characters, all of whom play a significant role, creating a more layered and conceivably real MCU. Frank Grillo brings the swolling mass of muscle known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Brock Rumlow to life. Emily VanCamp surprises with her portrayal of Agent 13, whom I wish had more screen time with Cap than just two quick scenes. Robert Redford plays Alexander Pierce, a superior ranking Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., friend to Nick Fury, and representative of the World Security Council. Pierce is a wonderful look into the higher ranks at S.H.I.E.L.D., contributing new insights as to how the organization is run outside of Fury, Agent Coulson, and Agent Maria Hill. Anthony Mackie is Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, an ex-military special-ops paratrooper and a welcomed addition recruited by Rogers to help fight the good fight. Mackie fits comfortably among the cast of veteran actors and should play nicely with the other Avengers.

Enhanced for combat and strength, The Winter Soldier's presence is terrifying when it comes to any action scene. Sebastian Stan does an amazing job holding his own against his targets and those who get in his way of his missions. My only gripe is that it is not explained how he obtains the immense power and skills he beholds. The connection between Rogers and The Winter Soldier is dealt with true care and excels the story of Captain America from the first film brilliantly. (Be sure to stay after the credits for a nice button leading into Captain America 3.)

The Winter Soldier is not just a fantastic sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers, it should also be recognized as one of the best sequels ever made. In fact, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the duo behind Thor: The Dark World, the Narnia Trilogy, and The First Avenger, have done such a great job shaping Captain America's story that this movie could almost stand on its own. There are many exciting twists and turns in this well-constructed, political action-thriller, but nothing comes as more of a shock than how important the story is at defining the direction of the MCU. What takes place in The Winter Soldier, along with an awesome mid-credits sequence tie-in, will inherently influence Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – which should make the TV series a lot more interesting and reward fans who have stuck by its side.

Tonally, The Winter Soldier is the darkest story we've come to encounter, raising many deep-seated questions about government and soldiers of war while also taking Rogers on an emotional journey. It also has the best action choreography among all of the MCU movies thus far. Whedon's NYC battle in The Avengers is beautifully shot and written, but cannot compare to the hard-hitting set pieces found in The Winter Soldier, each building up to the bigger whole. The Russo brothers come from a background of directing television comedies such as Arrested Development and Community, and it's extraordinary how well they handle a big budget action blockbuster from cinematography to pacing. They do infuse their own style of comedy with fun references and a cameo other than Stan Lee, functioning properly within the confines of the tone and story. Henry Jackman (Captain Phillips; Wreck-It Ralph; X-Men: First Class) also composes an adrenaline pumping score that sets the right mood every time.

The biggest fault found in The Winter Soldier is that it does not address the whereabouts of other heroes or where we are in terms of the time line of the other movies. Why can't Captain America call on Tony Stark to help him out or even Hawkeye who is a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. himself. This is a recurring problem we have seen throughout Phase 2 of the MCU in Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World. Marvel Studios needs to acknowledge this hiccup if they want us to continue to believe all of these characters live in the same universe together. You cannot exclude these characters once you have opened Pandora's Box.

Marvel Studios has hit this one out of the ball park with yet another gripping adaptation for fans to enjoy for years to come. By and large, Captain America: The Winter Soldier succeeds on all fronts. It is the perfect set up for future films and at the same time it increases the value of its predecessors. There is little to argue against its merits and should be regarded as one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.