Captain America: Civil War

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Captain America: Civil War Movie Poster Image
Intense, entertaining adventure is a great threequel.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 146 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 35 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 130 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Brings up issues of loyalty and friendship. Also explores the idea of personal will vs. the collective good and hones in on the fact that people who are wrong but think they're right can be the most dangerous kinds of adversaries. Focuses on the necessity of trust between teammates and how keeping something secret can be thought of as lying to someone. Characters demonstrate courage, integrity, and teamwork.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While all the Avengers are brave, Steve/Captain America continues to be exceptionally loyal, principled, and decent. He isn't willing to obey a law if it means limiting his ability to help others. Vision sees what makes Scarlet Witch/Wanda wonderful, even though the outside world treats her as a danger. Black Panther is steadfast and strong, and he's mature enough to see how vengeance was eating at him. Tony means well but lets his ego get the better of him. Natasha and Clint are unconditional friends. Rhodey and Falcon are loyal to their best friends. The Avengers all feel guilty about the people who've died while they're battling forces of evil.

Violence

Avengers fight with outside forces and against one another. The fights usually involve their enhanced artifacts (like Cap's shield, Bucky's metal hand, and special suits), but the adversaries use weapons. A character grieves the death of a loved one. Explosions, guns, and enhanced weapons are used. Tons of explosions, collateral damage, and innocent casualties -- including a couple in more close-up than is typical for these films, which makes the impact more upsetting. An intense violent act from someone's past is revealed and shown.

Sex

Cap shares a quick kiss with a woman. Vision and Scarlet Witch exchange a couple of longing looks and embrace a couple of times.

Language

A couple of uses of words including "s--t," "son of a bitch," "ass," "hell, "damn," "oh my God," "goddamn," and more.

Consumerism

Nothing overt in the movie, but there are many, many Avengers-related toys, action figures, games, apparel, and other products associated with all the characters in the franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Captain America: Civil War is the third Captain America installment and the 13th movie in the Marvel cinematic universe. It focuses on the growing tension between Steve Rogers/Cap (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), which ultimately ramps up into an internal "war" between Avengers factions. It's about as violent as Winter Soldier: There's a lot of fighting, and it's all even more fraught because many of the big battle scenes are between Avengers. Although even young viewers might believe none of the main characters is going to die, characters do get injured (one so seriously he seems dead for a moment), and there's a lot of anguish as old friends find themselves on opposing sides. Language is infrequent but includes "s--t" and "son of a bitch"; romance is limited to a quick kiss and a few longing looks and tender moments.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThe dinosaurfan May 5, 2016

Best MARVEL movie yet!!! Great for 12++

This movie was the best MARVEL movie yet!! It was great! Swearing was an issue but wasn't so bad. Language could've been handled by 11 year olds. The... Continue reading
Parent Written byUdeen2016 May 5, 2016

Captain America civil war

Captain America civil war is not like other superhero films and great roles and messages.good for kids 8 and up
Teen, 16 years old Written byaynjj May 6, 2016

The Bar Was Just Raised!!

Where to start? This movie not only lives up to all expectations, but it blows them all away! It was phenomenal! The fight scenes were beautifully choreographed... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 6, 2016

Great for mature tweens/teens

Violence is heavy in this action pic but the biggest problem you might have with this movie is the themes You Definitly Should Not watch With Your Kids Unless Y... Continue reading

What's the story?

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR opens with a fight between a crew of Avengers led by Steve Rogers -- aka Captain America (Chris Evans) -- and heavily armed mercenaries in Lagos, Nigeria, that ends up causing unexpected civilian deaths. Back home, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) calls upon Cap, Natasha/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Sam/Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Vision (Paul Bettany), and Wanda/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) to sign an international accord that would limit the Avengers' authority and allow them only to act at the behest of the Secretary of State and a global task force. Tony thinks it's the right thing to do, as do Rhodey and Vision, but Cap disagrees. When an assassin detonates a bomb at the United Nations, where the accords were to be signed, the culprit seems to be Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) -- Cap's dear old friend. One of the casualties was the King of Wakanda; his son, Prince T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), believes it's his duty to seek vengeance and emerges as the Black Panther. Unwilling to turn Bucky over to be arrested without learning more about what happened, Cap enlists his side to go against the accords and protect Bucky. Ultimately, Cap and Tony engage in an Avengers civil war, with old friends taking sides, and new allies -- like Ant Man (Paul Rudd) and (possible spoiler alert!) Spider-Man (Tom Holland) -- joining the fray.

Is it any good?

With its death-defying action sequences, charismatic additional superheroes, and emotional character development, this Captain America threequel is both intense and entertaining. The Russo Brothers certainly know what they're doing. They once again prove that it's Captain America who's the Avengers' emotional core, with his immovable sense of loyalty and responsibility. It's unnecessary to choose sides, because -- as reasonable as Tony might seem when he goes on about the need of government oversight and accountability -- Captain America: Civil War is obviously Cap's movie, and therefore his is the more compelling argument. Evans goes through the entire emotional range as he deals with his complicated feelings for former-best-friend-turned-robotic-killer Bucky, as well as the knowledge that Tony believes he's betraying him and the grief of an unexpected but unsurprising death.

As for the new additions, Boseman and Holland are fabulous as the Black Panther (the closest thing the Marvel universe has to Batman) and Spider-Man respectively. Peter Parker is for once played by an actual teen -- funny, nerdy, and in awe of his much more experienced fellow superheroes. In the big "civil war" fight scene, Peter prattles on, asking questions about everyone's suits and shield and abilities in a hilarious way. Meanwhile, Boseman is cool and fierce, believably a prince and a protector at the same time. There are small touches that reveal the deep bonds between this crew, like when Vision sweetly tells Wanda that he wants the world to see her as he does, not as a threat, or when Natasha asks Clint (Jeremy Renner), "we're still friends right?" We all know, no matter what side they might take in a particular argument, they're clearly still besties. Marvel might be churning these movies out at an incredible pace, but the quality and the depth in the Captain America movies in particular shows what's best about this superhero saga.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence Captain America: Civil War. How does it compare to the other Avengers movies? Is there a difference in the impact between hand-to-hand combat versus catastrophic, buildings-collapsing type of explosions?

  • What are the movie's messages about teamwork and accountability? Do you think one side wins? Why is teamwork an important character strength?

  • What are the consequences of the Avengers' actions? Do you think they're role models? If so, which ones? How do they demonstrate courage and integrity?

  • How does the movie explore the issue of revenge? Is it understandable how it affects the characters? What role does it play in the movie?

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