“Captain America: Civil War” explores what happens when a bunch of Marvel’s biggest superheroes are divided, but movie critics are united — and they love it.
With 15 critics counted on Rotten Tomatoes, so far, the third “Captain America” film has a 100 percent “fresh” rating. Based on nine critics’ reviews over on Metacritic, the movie has an 84/100. In other words, go be ready and willing to hand over your money when it finally comes out on May 6.
“Corporate filmmaking with an enormous economic investment at stake has the power to force creative people to operate within the art-destroying prison walls of a marketing strategy. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an empire building itself on a foundation that roughly amounts to a house style, tends to stay relatively on balance,” he observed. “Screenwriting team Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (responsible for the previous two “Captain America” films) efficiently move plot blocks into place and check off interlocking points of order, but they do so while never forgetting that their characters are more than brands to build.”
USA Today’s Brian Truitt gave “Civil War” three-and-a-half stars out of four, and praised it for “the best superhero battle put to film yet.” As for that new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, he “nails the role in every aspect.”
That said, Truitt still prefers “The Winter Soldier” over its follow-up.
Grading it an “A-,” Russ Fischer of Indiewire’s The Playlist said this film is “remarkably outshining” the “Avengers” movies, and “finally the fully realized team-up movie Marvel has been striving to make all these years.”
“With a dozen costumed characters, a villain, and at least three major supporting characters to push the story forward, this sequel could easily fall prey to the same overwrought bulge that has troubled other ensemble superhero films,” he wrote. “But despite all those moving parts, this third Captain America movie is relatively lean, driving forward from an introductory sequence melding action and the film’s central moral imperative.”
Over at The Daily Beast, Jen Yamato wrote: “Finally, a big budget superhero sequel that manages to be both effortlessly entertaining and utterly sobering, instead of just one of those things — or, as we’ve endured too frequently in the past, neither of them. (Looking at you, Batman v Superman.)”
She continues her humorous comparison: “It’s most unfortunate for Warner Bros. that, at its core, Civil War explores the same existential themes as Batman v Superman — only far better articulated, and with fewer mommy issues (spoiler: No Marthas die on the Avengers’ watch… that we know of).”
Scott Mendelson of Forbes said the movie is “a classic case of having your cake and eating it too” — but he’s not blindly as high on the movie as some others.
“‘Captain America: Civil War’ is a good movie, one worth enjoying on the biggest screen you can find, and one that will entertain the hell out of lots of people even as it goes against the grain in some surprising ways,” he wrote. “But the film is periodically an exercise in long-form frustration, one which flirts with “The Idiot Plot” more often than it should. I’m not sure if this counts as a major problem, but I was shocked at how often I found myself siding with Tony Stark over Steve Rogers.”
He did make one final point that those prepared to root for Team Stark will appreciate.
“Robert Downey Jr. is as good as he has ever been here, and at some point we are going to have to acknowledge that the best performances in these comic book movies or fantasy action films are just as worthy of praise as those in would-be respectable dramas,” Mendelson wrote.