Steve Rogers, a.k.a Captain America, is coming to terms with his new life in the modern world. When Director Fury is attacked, it soon becomes clear that S.H.I.E.L.D has been compromised and Captain America is warned not to trust anyone. With just an undecipherable piece of information and only a few people to work with, Cap must find out the truth of what S.H.I.E.L.D is hiding. With a seemingly unstoppable assassin known as ‘The Winter Soldier’ trying to kill them, the team’s task of discovering and preventing a mysterious and malevolent plan from within their own organisation becomes increasingly dangerous.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – Director Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Running Length: 136 mins
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson
Genre: Comic Book, Action
‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is the ninth movie in the ‘Avengers’ movie series and the second which has Captain America as the main protagonist. Captain America is a thoroughly likeable character; tough and pragmatic with a positive and open demeanour. Although he was a man of the 1940’s, thankfully, there is no lazy writing such as out of touch prejudices on display, instead he simply expects everyone to do their job as best they can, just like himself. While he does struggle with his sudden move into the 21st century, this transition isn’t dwelt upon too much, ensuring that the pace of the film isn’t stunted with constant regret over what could have been.
Chris Evans as the eponymous hero carries the movie on his broad shoulders very well. He fully encapsulates the character and is completely believable as the super soldier whose strength and agility sets him apart from everyone else. The supporting cast – Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Anthony Mackie as the interesting new addition to the team, Sam Wilson (or Falcon) – bring plenty of exciting action and laughs to the proceedings. The mysterious assassin, The Winter Soldier, has a very interesting story and the difficulty that Captain America has with his relentless pursuit keeps the excitement levels high throughout.
‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is a fantastic movie which is chock-full of action, has a great story which will have serious repercussions for any future ‘Avenger’s’ stories and (as is standard for Marvel) plenty of comedy to keep everything grounded and light-hearted.
IS ‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
There are a lot of intense violent action scenes in this movie causing many people to be badly injured or killed. We will highlight the strongest instances and therefore, any children who will be ok with these, should be ok with the rest of the movie.
Towards the beginning of the movie, a S.H.I.E.L.D team, led by Captain America and Black Widow, board a S.H.I.E.L.D ship which has been hijacked by pirates. Most of the villains are knocked out or shot quickly but there are a few other instances which may cause some distress to younger children. One character has a knife thrown into his hand and cries out in pain, another leaves a room and when he turns around, a cattle prod style weapon is touched against his head, causing it to snap upwards. He stays in this position for a few seconds and it is unclear whether this has killed or just stunned him.
There are a few instances of large-scale gunfights and car chases in populated areas which are bound to cause a lot of civilian casualties. Cars are shot through with bullets to reach adversaries on the other side. Other cars are crashed into and it is clear that the villains do not care who gets killed if someone is in their way. While no civilian suffering is seen and a lot of children will most likely not pick up on this, it is possible that some will understand the implications of what is happening and could be quite upset by it.
One character has their memory wiped, a procedure which involves them being forcibly strapped to a medical table while electricity is zapped into their head. They cry out in pain and it is clear that this procedure has been done several times before. The person who gives the order to do this is very callous and has no sympathy for the character who is suffering.
Some characters are killed when badges on their clothes suddenly turn into weapons. The badges glow and the characters groan in pain then collapse onto the floor. Another is threatened with this fate, being told that they will get ‘a two inch hole in (their) sternum’ so, while what happens to the others is not shown on-screen, the audience know how they have been killed.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is by far the most violent of the Marvel Avengers movies to date. There are a lot of deaths (on and off-screen) and a lot of fist fights and gun fights. While the violence rarely goes beyond what would be expected of a comic book movie, the sheer amount could be a little overwhelming for children who are not used to this level of action.
We feel that this movie should be appropriate for kids aged 9 and over although the plot does get a little complicated with betrayals and double crossings so it could be a bit hard to follow for those only interested in the high-octane action.
- Violence: 3/5 (one man is kicked off a roof. The person who does this talks casually with a friend and clearly doesn’t care about what they have just done. An incidental character is shot in the throat and gags for a few seconds and another is kicked into the blades of an aircraft. An innocent character is murdered in cold blood)
- Emotional Distress: 2/5 (several known characters are killed, including one major character. Those closest to them mourn their loss)
- Fear Factor: 2/5
- Sexual Content: 1/5 (a middle-aged male politician brags to another man about a young, attractive girl that he has been sleeping with. The dialogue is very vague and most children are unlikely to understand the context of what is being said)
- Bad Language: 2/5 (two moderate curse words and some mild blasphemy)
- Dialogue: 3/5 (some violent dialogue and threats)
- Other notes: Deals with themes of betrayal, trust, friendship, working in secret, sacrifice for the greater good, the moral implications of punishing someone before they commit a crime, genocide and fascism.
- Keep watching after the initial end credits for an additional short scene.
Words by Laura Record