OK for kids 11+
Comic book adventure mixes patriotism, explosive action.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while this 1940s-set comic book-based superhero adventure is full of explosive action violence -- expect tons of gun battles, fireballs, and fistfights (all of which are even more in-your-face in the 3-D version of the movie), as well as a scary-looking villain -- in most other respects, it's pretty tame as these kinds of movies go. Captain America is wholesome, compassionate, and brave; he doesn't have the dark side that many other superheroes do, and he's not a ladies' man or a party animal. There are a couple of tame kisses and a little bit of drinking, as well as a few uses of words like "hell" and "ass," but what lingers after the last bomb has exploded and the last fight is over are the movie's messages about standing up against bullies and doing the right thing. (That and a very strong sense of "U.S.A! U.S.A!" patriotism.)
- Families can talk about what sets Captain America apart from other superheroes. How does he compare to Batman? Iron Man? Is he more or less of a "good guy" than those characters?
- At one point Steve Rogers says he doesn't want to kill anybody, but during the movie he dispatches plenty of bad guys. Was that his only option?
- How does the fact that much of the movie's violence is larger than life affect its impact? How is it different watching masked human soldiers (like the HYDRA minions) get hurt than individual characters?
- What did you think of the scenes where Captain America performed on stage to inspire people to buy war bonds and join the Army? What does that say about the role of celebrities in our society?
The good stuff
Messages: The movie celebrates the idea of the hero as someone who believes in something greater than him/herself and stands up for those who can't stand up for themselves. Self-sacrifice, friendship, and loyalty are also key themes. There's a very pro-America message, which is reinforced by the strong patriotism of the 1940s setting. Although Captain America at one point professes a reluctance to kill people, he and his soldiers don't have any qualms offing tons of bad guys or using violence as their main means to solve problems.
Role models: Steve Rogers/Captain America is about as wholesome as superheroes come. As both a skinny weakling and a strapping soldier, he's brave, compassionate, resourceful, loyal, and kind. He doesn't have the personal demons/conflict that mark darker heroes like Batman; he is unquestionably a good guy. And though he doesn't seem to mind dispatching Nazis and other bad guys, he also says at one point that he doesn't really want to kill anybody -- he just hates bullies. Agent Carter is a positive female role model; she's respected and good at what she does. Captain America's team is a diverse group (especially for the '40s). The bad guys are clearly evil.
What to watch for
Violence: Frequent strong explosive action violence and weapons. Buildings, vehicles, and more are engulfed in fireballs; lots of gun use. A villain known as Red Skull has a monstrous/skeletal face that could be very scary to younger kids. The bad guys are developing super weapons powered by a mysterious energy source; they're extremely powerful, and some can completely vaporize people. Characters are killed, many impersonally/mostly bloodlessly in gun fights and big explosions, but a few (including some we care about) in more upsetting ways -- a couple are shot point-blank, and one goes through a propeller (blood is spattered). Car and motorcycle chases, fist fights, and war imagery. A child is held hostage. A character commits suicide rather than be captured.
Sex: Some flirting and a couple of kisses; romantic tension between two main characters. Soldiers ogle a woman when she wears a pretty dress. One implied mooning by a soldier; several scenes with Steve/Captain America shirtless.
Language: Several uses of "hell," plus very infrequent use of "ass," "damn," "son of a bitch," "oh my God," and British slang like "bloody." Some insults, like calling soldiers "ladies" to demean them.
Consumerism: Captain America is a Marvel comics character, and merchandise associated with him is available.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Dr. Erskine drinks some schnapps; he later implies that he had too much, but he's not shown drunk. Soldiers drink beer (and harder liquor) in a pub/bar; one is a little tipsy. Captain America tries to get drunk but is unable to.
Fan Reviews provided by
Well Done, Marvel!!! A Total Must Watch!!! by pictouch
At first, I was reluctant to see this movie, since Chris Evans was playing Captain: America. Now after watching the movie, I have to say, this movie has done great justice to the protagonist! In fact, it's 10x better than Thor and The Green Lantern. The acting was far superb than I imagined. The female protagonist, who has a love interest for Captain:America, showed great acting! The story line is well done, but the beginning lacks a bit(slows a bit,k and takes 30 min. for the good stuff to happen). The love interest was very good. It wasn't clique or smutty like The Green Lantern. Instead, you can see the love unfold between the protagonist without any kisses or affection. The ending leaves out room for another sequel, and trust me, it's worth the wait!!! Marvel has finally gave the audience a movie that is worth the watch!
WOW Captain America! by peaceout13
I thought that this was an amazing movie and would definitely go see it again!
The action was so..... Everywhere that it had to keep you on the edge of your seat!
The actors were chosen well and fit their parts. It had a good plot and the scenes are incredible! The only part i found a little bit cheesy was when Captain America is rushing off to go fight bad guys and the "hero" lady makes him give her a kiss. Kinda classic, Kinda cheesy.
But overall I thought it was a great movie and would see it again!
Love the Avenger! by JustLuvMovies
I loved Iron-Man so I was hooked on all the "Avenger" hero type movies. Iron-Man (1) was my favorite...so have to see Captain America, the First Avenger. Pretty good (not great) and worth seeing. I cant wait for the "Avengers".
Captain America: The First Avenger: A- by MattH306
Really enjoyed this movie - Chris Evans played the role well.
The First Avenger!! by catcam2000
I really enjoyed this movie. Saw this during one of our "date nights" with my husband. I'm usually the one dragging him to see these movies (I love the comic hero/ine movies) but he enjoyed this one as well. It was really well done granted I've never read any of the CA comics (but I knew his story). The ending to me was really bittersweet but it sets up for the next Avengers movie really well. Can't wait for the next one!
My Favorite Movie of Summer 2011! by holtge
This is the best movie of summer 2011 -- by far! Wow! What a fantastic movie! I love superhero movies anyway, but the origin story for Steve Rogers becoming Captain America is one of the best I have ever seen! Definitely buying this one when it comes out on Blu-ray!
Grade: C by GooberSmooch458
I must admit, I do appreciate the burning patriotism embedded in the film. I guess this is one of those movies where you have to be a die hard Marvel fan to enjoy it. Unfortunately, I'm not that person. The slow developed beginning and baffling ending are what really dissapointed me, and there were some parts where I felt like I was in a history class rather than a movie theater.
A solid effort at 'The First Avenger' by mtknightdog
The first 30 minutes were perfect, but once he became an official solider and the montage of them taking over the bases was shown, the story started losing its steam and cut itself short.
Still a very decent movie and worthy stepping-stone to the Avengers.
(Though I really hope they pick up the first half hour "A hero comes from inside"-type character-based storyline from this one and continue/ expand it in Cap's other film appearances. Yes, He saved the day by playing hero and all, but that thread of the story was never really official given closure.)
Captain America: The First Avenger review by AfirEcelt
Fantastic blend of comic book film, war film, and sci fi adventure, just what Cap needed!