Where does 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' fit in?
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10. 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'
Director: Joe and Anthony Russo
Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan
Best moment: Cap, stuck in an elevator full of men who want to hurt him, calmly calmly asks, "Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?" No one takes him up on the offer, because they prefer pain to common sense.
Why it's an all-time great: It mashes up the best elements of paranoid political thrillers of the '70s (complete with Redford in a big role) and modern-day superhero epics, two genres that shouldn't go together nearly as well as they do here, with the sincere and decent '40s relic Cap serving as a great contrast to all the morally ambiguous characters around him. The Russo brothers make marvelous use of physical space for the action sequences, and Cap's partnerships with both Black Widow and (especially) the Falcon turn it into an "Avengers" film in mini without ever feeling overstuffed the way so many superhero sequel films do.
- Alan Sepinwall