Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the most politically relevant superhero film since The Dark Knight. It’s a fierce tale of a man within a governmental program that is out-of-hand and morally corrupt, and more importantly it’s the first film Marvel has made that’s relevant to our time. The movie stars Chris Evans as the titular character in a post-Avengers world, working within S.H.I.E.L.D. as a superagent of sort alongside Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). They work with new agents and attempt to take care of a threat that originates inside of their own organization, leading to mass chaos and a return of a familiar face. Robert Redford’s Alexander Pierce is a terrific presence that allows the film to explore the nature of the American government and its invasion of privacy. The effective mirroring of drone strikes, excessive governmental power, and corruption in a government agency designed to protect the people is such a perfect product of its time. And even without the film’s intelligent commentary, the film balances character development, great action scenes, and a sense of self remarkably. This is one of the best superhero films ever made.
Grade: ★★★★½ (out of 5)