Captain America: The Winter Soldier Parent Guide
Captain America is, for many, the kind of superhero you might actually want your kid to see and emulate -- if only moviemakers had kept the brutality in check.
Parent Movie Review
Rumors that Chris Evans was retiring from acting sent chills through fans of Captain America. But he later clarified his statement on GMA, saying that he wasn’t planning on abandoning his superhero persona, only taking some time to focus on developing his directing skills. (He makes his directorial debut this year in 1:30 Train.)
Whew! Glad we dodged that bullet.
Of all the Marvel Comic book heroes, Captain America ranks as one of my favorite. Even in an age of political corruption, questionable ethics and digital surveillance, he maintains his belief in justice and freedom—two ideals he fought for against the Nazis. Sadly, now the very things he treasures appear to be unraveling. And instead of defending American values and his homeland, he becomes the target of a Soviet agent called the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
Like so many superhero movies of late, Captain America: The Winter Soldier takes a more mature turn. Although the Steve Rogers character isn’t tortured with inner demons like so many of his counterparts in the superhero world (thank goodness for that), he still isn’t sure whom he can trust, even among his peers at S.H.E.I.L.D. On one elevator ride in headquarters he is kicked, punched and shocked with a high-voltage gun by guys he thought were on his side.
Not only are trust issues on the rise in this sequel, but the amount of violence is also upped. While they remain fairly bloodless, the intense depictions of hand-to-hand fighting, stabbing, gun and other weapon use, electrocutions and explosions are pervasive and often explicit. The director’s decision to use high-speed shutter camera work and split second edits makes certain scenes look like nothing more than a blur of flying arms and legs (and in some cases, this may cause nausea). Others are more graphic: One character has his hand pinned to the wall with a knife and another victim is thrown over the side of a building. Even the heroes aren’t opposed to using some seemingly unnecessary brute force to immobilize the bad guys.
These portrayals may be tolerable for many older teens and adults, however Captain America is also being marketed to a much younger audience in the form of action figures, lunch boxes, costumes and sleepwear. Helping a six or eight-year-old understand that the movie might not be appropriate for him or her can be difficult when the child is wearing full Captain America gear.
Some may argue the script merely reflects the broodier themes found in the comic book, yet this outing is just not as much fun as Captain America: The First Avenger. The plot takes itself too seriously and loses much of the humor that helped the pacing of the first film. Stan Lee, one of the comic book’s creators, appears as a museum guard in one of the movie’s lighter moments, which are just too few and far between.
Unfortunately these elements combine to make Captain America: The Winter Soldier a little disappointing. Captain America is tireless in his efforts to preserve the American ideals, even if they seem old fashioned in the 21st century. He is a hero who isn’t caught up in his own ego or attention seeking antics. He values old friendships and codes of behavior. He is, for many, the kind of superhero you might actually want your kid to see and emulate—if only moviemakers had kept the brutality in check.Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Frank Grillo. Running time: 136 minutes. Theatrical release April 4, 2014. Updated May 23, 2016
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Rating & Content Info
Why is Captain America: The Winter Soldier rated PG-13? Captain America: The Winter Soldier is rated PG-13 by the MPAA PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout.
Violence: Characters are choked, punched, kicked, shot, slashed and thrown overboard during an attack on a ship. Hostages are threatened with guns. One man is hit with a heavy pipe. Others are shocked with a TAZER-like weapon. A car is surrounded by police, riddled with bullets and a missile-like weapon, and ultimately exploded with a man inside. Cars are smashed and blown up. A man is shot and dies of his injuries. Characters are thrown off buildings. Medical personal are covered in blood during a surgery. A man is attacked by numerous men in an elevator and later has to jump several stories to preserve his life. Characters are caught in a building that explodes. Characters plot to take over the world. Characters are killed with electronic devices.Violence is usually bloodless but does contain some gruesome injuries and is pervasive throughout the story. Many scenes include intense and brutal shootings and beatings. A character has his hand pinned to the wall with a knife. Blood oozes from a man’s chest after he is shot. Large airships explode in midair.
Sexual Content: A couple kisses as a way to avoid detection. A woman’s clothing reveals some cleavage.
Language: The script contains about a dozen mild and moderate profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use:Characters drink a toast to celebrate an accomplishment.
Page last updated May 23, 2016
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Parents' Guide
A group of leaders develops a policing strategy that will eliminate any one who poses a threat to society before they can cause harm. What are the dangers of such a plan? Who gets to decide who is a threat and who is not? What information are they using to determine possible suspects?
Trust becomes an issue for Captain America. Why does Nick Fury warn him not to trust anyone? Who does he eventually put his faith in? Why do people need others they can rely on? How do you determine whom you can trust?
How is digital surveillance used in this story? What information could someone get about you from your social networking sites and other digital information? Are you comfortable with that? Is there any way to prevent it?
What is the difference when people are controlled with fear rather than given their freedom to make their own choices? Why might leaders prefer to govern with fear?
The most recent home video release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie is September 9, 2014. Here are some details…Home Video Notes: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Release Date: 9 September 2014
Captain America: The Winter Soldier releases to home video (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following special features:
- Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes
- Making-of Featurettes
- Audio Commentary
- And More!