#1 – Captain America: Civil War

Civil_War_Final_PosterH:3 Although this feels like a team movie, we must remember that it is actually Cap’s story. My consistent problem with Captain America is his lack of growth or development. He is always the solid bastion of truth and righteousness, never making any mistakes, and after a while that gets boring. At least this movie showed him doubting his allegiances and being torn between the law and his best friend, but in the end, Cap didn’t really grow or change that much. Although the iconic line delivered at the funeral “No, you move,” may sound noble, a person who never moves makes for a pretty dull character.

V:5 The best thing by far about this movie is how Marvel solved their “villain problem”: there was no villain! That’s not counting Nemo, sorry, Zemo, who is really like a red-herring villain for the real conflict between the Iron Man and Cap. But the best part of the film is that at different points you sympathize with different characters! You can see both Cap and Iron Man’s sides, and neither one is being “evil for the sake of evil”. It’s a real conflict with real struggles of morality and consequences.

U:4 During a summer with three separate “hero vs hero” movies, it’s so refreshing that Civil War didn’t follow the mold. The other movies (Batman vs Superman and X-Men Apocalypse) made the obvious choice: have the heroes fight one another in the beginning, but then unite against a bigger bad guy. I’m so happy that Civil War only made you think that Iron Man and Cap would unite to fight the assassins, but then flipped things around again for that epic final show down. The conflict between heroes, and the absence of a conflict between clear cut “good vs evil” makes this movie unique.

S:5 After Age of Ultron, it seemed like Marvel may have bit off more than it could chew regarding the number of heroes they stuffed into one movie. But all hail the Russo brothers, who somehow managed to cram even more heroes into Civil War (including 2 brand new ones who stole the show) without loosing track of the main characters. Not to mention, they managed to do a better Spider Man in 30 minutes than Sony accomplished in 5 movies. Now that is some strong secondary character work.

M:5 Do I even have to say it? That huge, epic spread shot of the two teams running/flying at each other at the airport? It gave me chills. Add scene stealing charm from Tom Holland as Peter Parker (“Woah, you have a metal arm?”) and Tony’s heart-breaking realization that Bucky killed his parents, and you’re left with a movie that stays in your mind.

Final Score: 22 – Maybe it’s just because this film is the most recent, but come on- it was just way to cool not to get the top spot! We got a much deeper and fleshed out Scarlet Witch, plus a romance with Vision, plus the scene-stealing additions of Spider Man and Black Panther. Marvel did a masterful job of avoiding the pitfall of overcrowding a movie with too many big characters, giving each one plenty of screen time to shine, and it’s honestly hard to imagine how this movie could have improved. Marvel finally took responsibility for the rampant city-destroying that so many super hero movies are guilty of, weaving it into a story that feels both grounded in reality yet still maintains its epic, larger-than-life superhero scope.

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