Captain America: The First Avenger

6.92 h 4 min2011X-RayPG-13
Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret project.
Joe Johnston
Chris EvansHugo WeavingHayley Atwell
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Stanley TucciTommy Lee JonesDominic Cooper
Kevin FeigeAmir Madani
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Violencesubstance usesexual contentfoul languagealcohol use
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4.8 out of 5 stars

19368 global ratings

  1. 84% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

LionorsReviewed in the United States on July 5, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
This movie is to the Fourth of July what It's A Wonderful Life is to Christmas - and it gets watched every year.
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It's a good thing I don't mind eating crow, because I ate a cornfield of them AND had my foot surgically removed from my mouth after I first saw this film. It's hard for me to believe that I first watched this film under duress. I first saw Cap in the comics during the first Civil War. Even though I'd never been an action comic fan before, he won me over completely.

However, when I heard they'd cast Chris Evans, I was outraged. At that time in comics, the push was to turn all the good guys into smart-aleck-y jerks, and while I'd liked Evans in the Fantastic Four (his performance was really the only thing worth watching in either movie, tbh), he wasn't built like Cap and I was convinced Marvel was going to remake Cap into a swaggering Johnny Storm clone. (Mind you, it worked great for Johnny Storm, but Johnny Storm is NOT Cap.)

Now, years later, I can't think of anyone else who could ever fill Evans' shoes as Steve Rogers or as Captain America. He's THAT kind of iconic. Marvel's done incredibly well with its casting overall, particularly with RDJ as Tony Stark, but to me, Evans went one better, simply because Steve is SUCH a difficult character to get just right. Evans captures that blend of earnestness, dedication and heart perfectly and never goes over the edge of being a goody-two-shoes or holier than thou. He's Captain America, but what always shines through is that little guy from Brooklyn who never ran from a fight.

I was further gobsmacked when I got a chance to watch the extended version of the movie and saw some of the behind the scenes. It never occurred to me just HOW much I had bought into the transformation without questioning it until I saw the actual footage of full-size Evans doing all the skinny Steve action -- floundering on push-ups, staggering in the alley, the body language and his so-palpable frustration and guilt at not being able to go. Yes, the CGI is beyond noteworthy, but it was the acting beneath that sold it. All the CGI in the world wouldn't have sold skinny Steve if the acting hadn't matched it.

As if that weren't enough, Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter is absolutely luminous. In anyone else's hands, I think Peggy Carter would have been a typical love interest. Not with Atwell. Carter is one of the best depictions of a strong female I can think of in any action movie. She's not strong simply because she can punch people and she's a great shot. She's got courage to match Steve's, belief that won't break, and she never surrenders an inch of her femininity in doing so. I loved the One-Shot they did with her and was so glad they spun it off into her own series (and I'm still sorry they didn't go for season 3!) I was equally glad to see Dominic Cooper return there as Howard Stark - I love me some Howard.

There simply wasn't a character I didn't like in this, from Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes, to Toby Jones' perfect depiction of Doctor Zola, to Tommy Lee Jones' crusty Colonel Phillips, to Stanley Tucci's paternal Dr. Erskine. Even Senator Brandt's glad-handing and unscrupulousness in creating Captain America in the first place worked. If there was any weakness at all, it was *possibly* Hugo Weaving's Red Skull -- but admittedly, even in the comics, the Skull is usually a pretty over-the-top villain. One thing Weaving *did* capture well was the Skull's megalomania and jealousy that he, the genius, had been forced to take the guise of a monster while a nobody American from Brooklyn became the ubermensch ideal of Aryan perfection instead.

I know some people have complained because parts of it toward the end seem cheesy, but to me, it's a beautiful homage by Johnston to the war films of the 40s. I love the faint sepia tone, too, especially in contrast with the sharply colored and focused end.

And, I'll admit it: I cried twice during this movie, and I never, ever cry. Even as many times as I've now seen it, I still sniffle.

If I have any criticisms, it's that I wish they'd kept the deleted ending instead of the one they chose (Steve has some more to say and it's a masterwork of Nick Fury manipulating Steve in just a sentence or two) and I wish they'd made it clear that Steve had no option other than to do what he did. I've seen the novelization of this, and without giving away spoilers, the novelization both makes it clear that Schmidt jimmies the autopilot so the plane can *only* be diverted off course by someone of Steve's strength, and it has Steve explain this to Peggy as well. If you watch closely, you can see Schmidt breaking off a certain switch, but it's easy to miss. It's a bit annoying because I've seen countless people complain that Steve didn't look for options -- but in fact, there were no options other than the one he had, and people are too quick to forget that sacrifice is not only a part of's pretty much what you'd expect out of a super soldier.

I would recommend getting the Blu-Ray or at least the extended version so you can see just how utterly amazing the transformation really is. I'm still sick this didn't get nominated for something. After all, when it's *so* good we don't question it -- that's when it's truly noteworthy.

Buy it, watch it, love it. You won't regret it.
256 people found this helpful
StoneHengeReviewed in the United States on September 20, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Gets better with age
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I'm certain I've seen this movie dozens of times now, and I swear I like it better every time. I'm sure some of my admiration stems from what a great guy I think Chris Evans is. But mostly I think it's a product of the fact that while the Cap character has continued to evolve spectacularly, he has always held the core of what we see here in this movie.

I liked Cap somewhat when I read him in the comics growing up, but the X-men were my jam way back then. I think his evolution through the movies had a solid base starting here that helps me connect with the character better than I ever could with the comic version.

The movie is wonderful, and while I think it has some issues, it never failed to help me connect with the characters. I cried when Bucky died. I cried when Peggy had to let Steve go, and I cried again when we saw that look of anguish on Steve's face as he says he had a date.

Cap has never failed to make me feel things that I rarely feel for super heros or movie characters in general.

I am sorely going to miss him after Avengers 4, but like all good things... Chris Evans must move on to other things.

I am still completely impressed with how they CG'ed little Steve. I will forever be in awe with how much that must have taken for Chris Evans and his stand in to get all that right.

The only reason this doesn't get 5 stars from me is I did not fall in love with it on first blush. There were just too many little bits here and there that kept me from loving the movie as a whole, despite the fact that I adored Steve, Peggy, Bucky, the Commandos and Col Phillips.
46 people found this helpful
remcentreReviewed in the United States on March 4, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A good movie with a great lesson
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My kid was probably a little young to watch it, but he had been begging me and his grandpa was willing to watch it and had never seen it. To move focus from the violence and deaths and some adult language, I would speak up to reiterate and reinforce the qualities of Capt America's character that made him the choice to become Capt America, the importance of not being a bully, and helping those who may need your help. I've seen the movie before and really enjoyed it, but watching it this way really made me realize Marvel did a superb job with stressing being a good person in life.
26 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on June 9, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
A great war movie that sets the stage for most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
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If you ever wanted to watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies in any kind of order you would start with Captain America The First Avenger. Not only is it chronologically the first as it takes place in the 1940s during World War II, but it sets up much of the background to the current series of films. That includes Hydra, Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Nick Fury, SHIELD, Doctor Zola, and the Tesseract that contains an Infinity Stone although that’s not revealed until several movies later.

Things start in the present day when SHIELD find a World War II plane frozen in the ice that includes the body of Captain America. Things then flick back to 1942 where the Red Skull, who heads the Nazi organization Hydra, invades a small town in Norway looking for the Tesseract that holds unknown power. Things then shift to America where a very scrawny Steve Rogers wants to enlist in the Army but is constantly rejected because of his small stature and poor health. His best friend Bucky Barnes on the other hand is about to ship out to fight in Europe. While the two are together they watch a presentation by Howard Stark who is showing off some of his new inventions.

Each of the Captain America movies has a general theme. The Winter Soldier for example was a spy thriller. The First Avengers is a war movie that dabbles in the philosophical as well about what constitutes a just war. That’s been a debate that many societies have struggled with over the centuries. According to Rogers he’s willing to fight not because he condones killing, but because he doesn’t like bullies. Standing up for the oppressed against their oppressors, in this case Nazi Germany, underpins the film.

As stated before The First Avenger is crucial for the MCU. Not only did it introduce Captain America who would be a leader in the following movies like the Avengers, but many other characters and events would play out as well. You have Peggy Carter who becomes not only Rogers’ love interest and is seen in later films, but was one of the founders of SHIELD as well. She had her own short lived TV series that was a spinoff of the film. Carter’s niece Sharon is in later Marvel films and has a relationship with Rogers as well. The Red Skull was Cap’s ultimate adversary in the comics, but also appeared in Avengers Infinity War and Endgame as a ghost protecting one of the Infinity Stones. He created Hydra which eventually took over SHIELD as shown in The Winter Soldier and in the TV show Agents of SHIELD. Dr. Zola would be in Winter Soldier as well revealing Hydra’s plot. Bucky Barnes became the Winter Soldier and was in the following movies. Howard Stark started Stark Industries, helped found SHIELD, was the father of Tony Stark/Iron Man, and was featured in the Peggy Carter TV show and appeared in some of the later films like Ant Man. The Tesseract included an Infinity Stone that would be important in the first Avengers’ film and the subsequent ones as well. Captain America’s shield is made out of vibranium, which comes from Wakanda the home of the Black Panther. Finally, Nick Fury and SHIELD continues to be the character and organization that ties together all of the heroes in the MCU.

Overall, the First Avenger is a great film. You get the origins of Captain America, you get all kinds of history for what happens in later MCU films, you get the action from the war scenes. and Chris Evans was a great choice for Steve Rogers. He plays the character perfectly without being self-righteous or cheesy.
7 people found this helpful
VOLKOV9Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Standard WWII flick feel, but in superhero story form. Not nuanced, but necessary for Cap's arc in other movies
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As a stand-alone, it's a little too hammy for my taste. The world is nuanced; this story is not.

Viewed in tandem with other Cap movies, this movie is exactly what it needs to be. This represents the worldview of the 1940's, the context that Cap is coming from in subsequent Avengers and Cap movies. It's what they contrast against, and they are better for it. That's not enough to make me say this movie is good per se. As I said above, it's what it needs to be for the saga.
12 people found this helpful
S. HallReviewed in the United States on March 29, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Wonderful And Heroic Tale
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This film is absolutely brilliant.

Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer) has created a wonderfully immersive period piece and superhero epic. Johnston crafts a fantastic origin story for one of the oldest and beloved superheroes in comics history.

Great packaging, additional digital copy and a great film all in one perfect package for a great price.
14 people found this helpful
Denise BacherReviewed in the United States on September 6, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Love this movie
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Great movie! I was so excited to see this when it came out and it didn't disappoint.
Chris Evans is fantastic as Steve Rogers. He just seems like he was MEANT TO play that part. Sebastian Stan as Bucky is wonderful as well. Love their friendship.

And Evans chemistry with Hayley Atwell is superb!
21 people found this helpful
Rick JamesReviewed in the United States on November 27, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
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Super zero to "super" hero? I didn't see anything extraordinary here. Some of the action scenes were visually pleasing and the special effects were done well but other than that I found it a bit of a letdown. The story was incredibly straight forward. I didn't feel any emotional connection with the hero and didn't find myself rooting for him. The villain wasn't scary at all and is an archetype done many times before. I was hoping the fact that I never got into comic books wouldn't downgrade my viewing experience but I suppose it did because I viewed in the scope of my own mind as opposed to folks that love the character, the comic books, Marvel, Stan Lee, etc. One final comment--his "super" abilities could have been explored far better in this movie. There weren't enough instances of him using them, and the choreography of them, their intensity, etc. were rather lukewarm.
One person found this helpful
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