Captain America is the beating heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man may have kickstarted the shared universe, and other Marvel heavyweights like Thor and Black Panther have taken the spotlight from time to time, but the conscious and soul of Marvel’s biggest stories have always come back to Steve Rogers. Played with earnest conviction by Chris Evans, Cap’s story spans over eight decades, from his World War II origins right up to facing off with Thanos in a futile effort to save the universe from devastation.
Captain America has been such an elemental and ever present force in the MCU – Avengers: Endgame will mark Evans’ eleventh turn in the red, white, and blue – that it’s hard to believe he’s only technically starred in three solo films. Many of the character’s shining moments have come in team up films, where it’s easier to contrast his purity of spirit and purpose with some of the more obviously flawed Avengers. But Cap’s essential moments have largely been in his solo outings, which are pretty easily the most consistently great MCU solo films.
With Captain America appearing one, last time – in Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers: Endgame – Evans’ role in the MCU is coming to an end. So, in anticipation of what could very well be his final battle in Endgame, we’re ranking all three of Captain America’s solo films.
3. Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War was a huge turning point for the MCU. There had always been a certain amount of tension between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, but this is the point where that tension boiled over. Cap’s efforts to protect his deeply damaged friend Bucky and shirk the Sokovia Accords led to a splintering of the Avengers that’s still not fully healed heading into Endgame. By the MCU’s standards, it’s a dark, heavy movie that sees friends forced to fight each other over morally ambiguous ideals that neither side if completely sure about. It’s also a movie blessed with the debut of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who serves as an irresistible breath of fresh air amidst all the chaos.
But Civil War is, essentially, an Avengers film. It’s just as much about Tony Stark as it is Steve Rogers, and the fact that nearly every Avenger – save for Thor and Hulk – are on hand makes it hard to take too much time to focus on Cap himself. The film still manages to say some important things about Cap’s worldview – his sense of loyalty and righteousness even in the face of unthinkable resistance is the character at his core, to be sure. But the whole thing feels a little bit improbable; it’s difficult to shake the feeling that most of Steve and Tony’s differences could be settled if they would sit down and talk like grownups. It’s also, quite frankly, overstuffed, as it’s tasked with setting up both Black Panther and Spider-Man’s solo movies. It’s one of the MCU movies that feels too episodic, like it’s a piece of a puzzle rather than its own film. That airport scene sure is a lot of fun, though.
Page 2 of 2: Top 2 Captain America Movies
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019