Suit up, moviegoers: "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" has arrived.
"Winter Soldier" is the second "Captain America" solo film, Chris Evans' fourth time in the suit (if you count his "Thor: The Dark World" cameo) and the latest entry of Marvel Studios' slate of Phase Two films. The story follows Steve Rogers in the modern day, working as a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative and raging against the machine after he learns some startling secrets. Reviews for the new "Captain America" movie are glowing, with some critics citing it as the best Marvel movie yet.
Read on for a round-up of what reviewers are saying about "Winter Soldier":
The Story and the Stakes
"The set-up is straightforward enough: Cap and Black Widow are working for/with Nick Fury when S.H.I.E.L.D. comes under attack. Unsure of whom, if anyone, to trust, they must uncover a hidden threat before it destroys them all. The film not only serves as a strong follow-up to Cap's first outing, 'Captain America: The First Avenger,' and Joss Whedon's ensemble juggernaut 'The Avengers,' it also has the strongest ties to and most profound impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large. The repercussions of the events of this film will reverberate throughout all of Marvel's properties." — Roth Cornet, IGN Movies
"Evans has settled comfortably into the title role, and bolsters its appeal with a precise charm, never letting you forget that the heart of a regular and sincere wimp beats beneath that rock-sculpted chest. He spends much of the film working up a will-they-could-they? partnership with Johansson's still-sparky Black Widow, who enjoys her greatest chunk of Marvel screen time yet. It's an engaging double act. And when he isn't ticking off Fury, running righteous rings around the cycloptic boss' persistent, end-justifies-means ambivalence, he's fostering a whole new buddyship with Anthony Mackie's likable veteran support-group organiser Sam Wilson." — Dan Jolin, Empire Magazine
"First and foremost, 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' is the best action film out of the entire Marvel movie universe so far, bar none. Just in terms of sheer impact and choreography and execution and clarity of geography and did I mention impact because damn. If that is all that this film did well, that would be enough for me to recommend it." — Drew McWeeny, HitFix
The New S.H.I.E.L.D. Directors
"First-time Marvel directors Joe and Anthony Russo hail from the far reaches of cult comedy ('Arrested Development' and 'Community,' and yes, Danny Pudi's Abed has a cameo) and operate as if their necks are still under a network's guillotine. 'The Winter Soldier' has the taut nervousness of a story anxious to get in, get the job done, and get out. It's more grounded than other flicks in the Avengers franchise: There's no road trip to space, no cackling galactic goon or cheap-looking space trinket with the power to destroy all life. The Russos add GPS coordinates to the bottom of the screen, as if to say, 'This is no comic book; drive to this part of New Jersey and see it for yourself.'" — Amy Nicholson, LA Weekly
The Final Word
"'The Winter Soldier' is no labored treatise on political science; it fulfills all the expectations of a Marvel movie. But this time the danger doesn't emanate from a fantasy villain like Neutron or an imaginary realm like Asgard. It's grounded in threats from today's headlines. (Russia shows up too, though as a victim country — not an invader.) Instead of butter on your movie-theater popcorn, you get a healthy spritz of paranoia. It tastes good." — Richard Corliss, Time Magazine
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is in theaters now.