John Hanlon Reviews

Film Reviews

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War

Genre: Action and Adventure

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd

MPAA-Rating: PG-13

Release Date: May 6th, 2016

The latest Marvel movie hits theaters nationwide today but have critics tired of this ongoing franchise? We’ve looked over the Captain America: Civil War reviews and we’ve found a mix of both views. This latest installment focuses on the growing animosity between Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evan’s Captain America and the film co-stars Paul Rudd, dosage Tom Holland and Scarlett Johansson.

At this writing, the feature has a 92% fresh rating on

In the meantime though, check out a few of the must-read Captain America: Civil War reviews below (and make sure you check out our own review here).

Kurt Loder, “Civil War is just another stop on Marvel’s march toward world super-flick domination, and stand-alone movies featuring Spider-Man, Thor, Ant-Man and Black Panther are already in the pipeline. Exhausted skeptics might wonder where it all will end.” Check out the full review here.

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: “Marvel’s new “Captain America” is anything but bleak—what’s so audacious about the film, and so pleasing, is its quicksilver mix of hardcore action and bright comedy.” Check out the full review here.

Leonard Maltin, “Bigger isn’t always better, and this film is bursting at the seams…But I found it more frustrating than entertaining.”Check out the full review here.

Matt Zoller Seitz, “[T]he Russos’ deft switching between slapstick and melodrama, the surprising outcomes of key storylines, and the strength of the central performances go a long way towards overcoming nitpicks.” Check out the full review here.

Nell Minow “I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll just say the action is everything you’d hope, with superhero-on-superhero collisions beyond the dreams of fanboy heaven.” Check out the full review here.

Josh Larsen, “The fact that a film this big is even asking such questions — and offering a variety of perspectives in place of propaganda — makes it an especially significant piece of popular culture.” Check out the full review here.

Brian Lowry, “Simply put, when it comes to juggling multiple superheroes in a single movie, Marvel’s latest comes close to setting the standard.” Check out the full review here.

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times: “Forget the calendar and the spring cold. “Captain America: Civil War” is a classic example of what the big-ticket summer movie experience is all about.”Check out the full review here.

Brian Truitt, “Under the direction of Winter Soldier’s Anthony and Joe Russo, Civil War is the most epic Avengers movie so far, even though it’s not an Avengers movie.” Check out the full review here.

Ann Hornaday, “As enjoyable as it is, “Civil War” often teeters on the brink of sheer overkill. As viewers approach the film’s second hour, they could be forgiven for wondering just how much more carnage, chaos and character-establishing they can take.” Check out the full review here.

If you want to read our perspective on the film, click here for our review.
In many superhero movies (see Man of Steel, sovaldi The Avengers or The Avengers: Age of Ultron), try
there’s a climactic action-packed sequence where the heroes vanquish the villains, cities get ripped apart and then the heroes go back to their normal lives as if nothing had happened. Just another day for them. Instead of averting that difficult subject as superhero movies have often done in the past, Captain America: Civil War magnifies it and offers a thoughtful debate about the consequences of such destruction.

This third chapter in the Captain America series begins with more mayhem and destruction and a simple mistake made by one of the heroes leads to tragedy. Shortly thereafter, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) — a hero who dared to take off his mask and reveal his true identity to the masses — comes face to face with another revelation: many innocent people have died in the wake of such mayhem.

Miriam (Alfre Woodard), a mother who lost her son during an Avengers battle, confronts Stark. “You think you fight for us,” she says, “You just fight for yourself.”

Such scenes set the stage for a civil war that pits the repentant Stark against the idealistic Captain America (Chris Evans). More specifically, Stark wants to agree to a UN mandate that would put the Avengers under the supervision of a special committee. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) agree while Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) argue that the group shouldn’t have to consult a committee to save the world.

The screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely takes its time setting the stage for the showdown to come. It allows these characters an opportunity to debate the UN resolution and voice their own distinctive opinions. As the title character, Captain America leads the battle against bureaucracy noting that “If we sign this, we’re surrendering our right to choose.”

In addition to the thoughtful plot, there’s also a renewed sense of excitement here as Spider-Man joins the team. Tom Holland, who did such amazing work in The Impossible, only has a few scenes here but he makes the most of his screen time by reminding viewers of this franchise’s continued excitement. “This was awesome,” Spidey shouts after a climactic battle sequence. It sure was.

Although some of the first action sequences aren’t that spectacular, the latter ones are truly superb with the Russo brothers crafting an intense but intricate fight sequence that finds some of these grand superheroes fighting against each other. It’s a truly impressing scene where the intense action is matched with the great comedy that has been such a hallmark of this series. A late airport sequence shows a large scale battle that is only later matched by a climactic personal battle between Iron Man and Captain America.

Unlike Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which discussed some of the consequences of massive destruction only to feature a large-scale special effects-laden climax, this movie follows through on its message. The final battle is small in scope but emotionally-driven and thrilling. Daniel Bruhl does a solid job here as Zemo, a villain who has suffered the consequences of the Avenger’s actions but this film is about much more one destructive man. It’s about big ideas and that’s what makes this movie stand out.

Click here for more must-read reviews of the new film.

Find out how the film did in its opening weekend in our box office report here.

Review by: John Hanlon