Captain America: The First Avenger - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Captain America: The First Avenger Reviews

Top Critic
Matthew Lickona
San Diego Reader
July 14, 2015
The story squanders its own fine setup.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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David Denby
New Yorker
August 1, 2011
It doesn't try too hard for irony or style; the comic-book sensibility remains pure, square, and happily stupid.
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Tom Huddleston
Time Out
July 27, 2011
Pacy and punchy, but not quite a knockout.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 22, 2011
Comic book fans are likely to appreciate Captain America, which does a good job of consolidating the disparate origin aspects of the character into something easily digestible.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 22, 2011
The movie looks wonderful.
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David Fear
Time Out
July 22, 2011
Kudos, then, to the creators of Captain America's big-screen blockbuster for keeping the action rooted in the past; except for some brief present-day bookends.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
July 22, 2011
The only problem is that we've been there -- been nearly everywhere Captain America goes -- in countless previous movies.
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
July 22, 2011
Director Joe Johnston has fun with the myth of Captain America.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.0/5
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
July 22, 2011
What lingers most about Captain America is its innocent, throwback ethos, a firm, unqualified embrace of the Little Guy.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
July 22, 2011
With its mix of World War II nostalgia, Bam-Pow comic book sensibilities, underdog determination and red-white-and-blue battle scenes, Captain America: The First Avenger is the best Marvel superhero flick since the first Iron Man.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
July 22, 2011
Scrawny Steve is such a guileless and likeable little dude that his sweetness endures long past the super-sizing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
July 22, 2011
Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely... whip up a Captain America story that often feels like its only purpose is to deliver Steve Rogers into the 21st century.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
July 22, 2011
Joe Johnston -- returning to the vibe of his first directorial effort, The Rocketeer (1991) -- creates a fun retro-futurist environment with a World War II setting, and he has the discernment not to let the effects overwhelm the story.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
July 22, 2011
Despite all the advance hype preceding its release, Captain America, yet another 3-D Marvel Comics concoction, straggles onto the screen with little reason to exist except as a marketing machine.
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
July 22, 2011
A forced love angle and vapid dialogue dooms Captain America.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
July 21, 2011
"Captain America" smashingly layers superhero stuff such as magic serums atop a wry appreciation for campy WWII propaganda and '60s cinematic rousers that kept Richard Burton, Robert Shaw and Lee Marvin constantly employed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
July 21, 2011
The small things -- from the leading man to '40s flourishes -- are what make the movie work. If only Johnston had sweated the big stuff as well.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
July 21, 2011
Rather than fight against the character's flag-waving, Nazi-busting roots, the movie embraces them, going back to the early '40s to remind us what made the "greatest generation" so great.
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
July 21, 2011
Captain America: The First Avenger is pretty good, insofar as it's not nearly as terrible as it seemed destined to be.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 21, 2011
Captain America's metabolism, Peggy tells him, burns energy four times faster than the average person's. The movie's metabolism burns out.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 21, 2011
Yes, the characters are cartoonish (they're comic book heroes, after all), but this is the kind of old-fashioned popcorn entertainment summer is made for.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
July 21, 2011
Captain America isn't a masterpiece, but it's a solidly crafted, elegant adventure movie that held my attention from start to finish and sent me out into the street energized instead of enervated.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 21, 2011
Almost half of the film's running time elapses before Rogers gets any kind of power at all, and though its elements are awfully familiar, it's the most involving part of the film because it takes advantage of Evans' performance.
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Tom Horgen
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 21, 2011
Here's what's missing: tension, drama, and most of all, a sense of wonder. This is a superhero movie, isn't it?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 21, 2011
Evans brings just the right amount of confidence and aw-shucks modesty to Rogers, who surely counts as the most appealing Marvel hero.
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July 21, 2011
By finding an ingenious way to streamline a now-familiar genre, Captain America: The First Avenger does his country proud.
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
July 21, 2011
A star-spangled superhero from the Norman Rockwell era, Captain America might seem ill-prepared to do battle at the modern box-office... But never underestimate the power of old-fashioned corn.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 21, 2011
On almost every level, Captain America is better engineered and more entertaining than the Iron Man or Spider-Man or Batman films. It's a movie that makes you proud to be an American.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 21, 2011
From its antagonists to its art direction, everything about Johnston's movie has a been-there, seen-that familiarity. Yet Evans' clean-cut idealism and objectives make old-fashioned patriotism look fresh.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
July 21, 2011
The roster of crowd-pleasing elements seems dubiously calculated and ambitiously lengthy, but ultimately, that's no strike against the film, which follows Iron Man's lead in obscuring the calculation behind outsized, gleeful fun.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 21, 2011
Evans, who played the Human Torch in two less-than-fantastic Fantastic Four films, brings such humor, heart and vigor to virtuous Steve that our rooting interest holds even when the action gets to be standard-issue.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
July 21, 2011
Need a top-notch comic-book movie to stop this summer's march of mediocre superheroes? "Captain America: The First Avenger," reporting for duty.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 21, 2011
It's paced and designed for people who won't shrivel up and die if two or three characters take 45 seconds between combat sequences to have a conversation about world domination, or a dame.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 21, 2011
Tommy Lee Jones isn't distraction enough from the reality that we've been sold a $140 million trailer for a different movie. The egg's a little rotten.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 21, 2011
Of course it's loaded with CGI. It goes without saying it's preposterous. But it has the texture and takes the care to be a full-blown film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
July 21, 2011
Captain America, like its unapologetically corny hero, is propelled by unpretentious and plucky ingenuity.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 21, 2011
The mix of WWII style and flashy modern eye candy is no surprise coming from director Joe Johnston.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 20, 2011
Evans - always a reliably dynamic and vivacious screen presence - can't do much to bring the character to life. As far as superheroes go, Cap remains a bit of a stiff.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 20, 2011
"Captain America" is exactly what the third week of July needed: a curiously fun, surprisingly imaginative and unashamedly old-fashioned yarn of skulduggery and adventure.
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
July 20, 2011
The details in Captain America deliver, but the big moments fall flat - you can tell that we're intended to cheer here, to weep there, but the scenes that try hardest to elicit emotions just feel deflated.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
July 20, 2011
You are not in for a giddy, winking, high-flying summer fling. And that's OK -- there's something appealing about such an old-fashioned approach.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 20, 2011
The picture is nothing, really, that you haven't seen before, but it's the definition of a square, competent, deliver-the-goods blockbuster.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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James Rocchi
MSN Movies
July 20, 2011
Captain America is not high art, but it is so unabashedly fun -- and such well-made fun -- that it is hard to not like and admire it for so steadfastly being what it is.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Debruge
Variety
July 20, 2011
Red, white and bland.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 20, 2011
In terms of even recent films, Captain America lacks the deft touch, appealing character interaction and sophisticated storytelling skills of Marvel Comics' X-Men: First Class.
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Karina Longworth
Village Voice
July 19, 2011
[A] hokey, hacky, two-hour-plus exercise in franchise transition/price gouging, complete with utterly unnecessary post-converted 3-D.