Cautions: violence and intensity, some emotional intensity, language, mild sensuality, and mild ethical confusion
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - two different men with superhuman powers, working for two different men with the same agenda: to achieve world peace by annihilating any potential threat before the thought of violence even crosses its mind. In a world where algorithms are grounds for mass murder, where the only agency powerful enough to stop the evil has become the evil, and where even your closest friends hunt you down, the only thing standing between planet earth and destruction is Captain America.
2014 | Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | 136 min Watch Trailer
Violence and Intensity
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is between half again and twice as intense as Captain America: The First Avenger. The violence involves less gore, but it is more personal, has higher stakes, and takes on a significantly darker tone.
There are several major, intense fight scenes involving machine and hand guns, and electrocution weapons. There are several major explosions. Main characters and good guys, including civilians, are shot, some fatally. These scenes are fairly intense.
Captain America throws a downed bad guy’s knife into another villain’s hand. A female agent fighting a villain strikes him in the head (obviously to death) with an iron bar. A villain is crushed by falling debris. A villain is seen lying dead with his eyes open.
An intense chase scene involves a good guy’s vehicle being attacked by villains dressed as police. The villains shoot at the vehicle with machine guns, sometimes at point blank range. They ultimately bomb the vehicle, which blows up and rolls upside down. The chase also involves some crashing into other innocent parties’ cars.
Flashbacks and current scenes involve a man being “wiped” (mentally reprogrammed) by torturous methods.
There is a hostage situation. There are references to past murders, and to the concept of “neutralizing threats”.
Captain America shoves a female agent against the wall to get answers about her unethical actions. He does not injure her in any way, and while she takes him seriously, she does not appear at all frightened.
Some Emotional Intensity
A prominent character undergoes surgery, and dies on the table. Other characters are shown grieving.
An intense scene involves a man refusing to do what the villains tell him to, even though he is trembling with fear, has a gun to his head and knows the villain will shoot.
A character falls, unconscious, into water, and sinks.
There are references to the death of a character from the first Captain America film.
A memory scene apparently takes place immediately after the funeral of Steve Rogers’ (Captain America’s) mother.
A fellow agent, Natasha (not romantically involved with Steve), instructs him to avoid being recognized by villains by kissing her, since public displays of affection make people “very uncomfortable”. He hesitates, and she kisses him anyway. When the villain passes them by, Natasha asks Steve if he’s still “uncomfortable”. He replies, “That’s not exactly the word I would use.”
Later, Natasha asks Steve if he’s kissed a girl since 1945 (implying that he’s not very good at it), and he replies, “I’m 95, not dead,” but he also adds that he hasn’t kissed anyone special.
Natasha briefly pulls her top up an inch or two to display a scar on her abdomen. She tells Captain America that this scar meant “bye-bye bikinis.” He responds with, “Yeah, I bet you look terrible in them now,” but this is less a suggestive remark than an angered, sarcastic reminder that there are more important issues.
A bad guy makes a remark about wanting to sleep with a female reporter.
A man is seen shirtless, but in a non-sensual way.
Natasha tries throughout the movie to persuade Steve Rogers to ask one of several girls he knows out on a date.
Mild Ethical Confusion
During an early scene, Captain America voluntarily puts away his shield (a significant defensive and offensive weapon) to fight a bad guy who suggested that the shield was what made him any good. Later in the movie, he (mostly) refuses to fight a former friend who is now involved with the villains.
Natasha, an agent described as being “comfortable with everything”, morally speaking, summarizes her philosophy with “The truth isn’t all things to all people all of the time.” Her position is portrayed negatively, and Captain America clearly disagrees with her.
When their lives are at stake, Steve and Natasha lie to maintain their cover. They also “borrow” a truck and some military equipment in order to save their own and others’ lives. Steve takes back his old uniform from a museum.
A character, in a positively portrayed move, declassifies the secrets of a couple of corrupt government agencies and dumps them on the internet.
Steve admits that the WWII generation compromised ethically during the war, but says that it was to make people safe.
One of the major side characters is a female agent, often employed in situations where the role does not need to be filled by a woman.
The movie includes brief cultural references to Star Wars, Star Trek, and the band Nirvana.
A former villain’s mind is said to have been preserved in computer form after his physical death.
The tombstone of a character of occasionally questionable ethics is inscribed with the phrase, “The path of the righteous man.”