Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Captain America: The First Avenger is Good Old-Fashioned Fun

Plus, Friends with Benefits' stars have great chemistry.

by | July 21, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a shield-wielding superhero (Captain America: The First Avenger, starring Chris Evans and Hayley Atwell) and a commitment-free couple (Friends With Benefits, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis). What do the critics have to say?



Captain America: The First Avenger

80%

Good ol’ Captain America. He’s one of Marvel’s oldest heroes. But how does he fare in the 21st Century? Not badly at all, say critics; if Captain America: The First Avenger is a cut below Marvel’s other 2011 blockbusters (Thor and X-Men: First Class, both Certified Fresh), it’s still a rousing, proudly old-fashioned superhero flick with tons of visual flash and an exceptional lead performance from Chris Evans. Steve Rogers (Evans) is a super patriotic lad who’s rejected by the draft board as physically unable to serve. However, he’s enlisted by an expat scientist who’s working on an experiment to create super soldiers, and soon, he’s battling HYDRA, a terrorist organization led by a former Nazi called Red Skull. The pundits say Captain America is a scrappy crowd pleaser that compensates for its lack of originality with strong acting and sense of innocent nostalgia that’s refreshing in our irony-soaked era. (Check out Marvel Movie Madness, in which the RT staff memebers share our thoughts on all of the Marvel movie.)



Friends with Benefits

68%

Will Gluck scored big with Easy A, a teen comedy that brought smarts and freshness to a shopworn subgenre. Can he do the same with a grown up romantic comedy? It appears the answer is “for the most part;” critics say Friends With Benefits has moments of sharp humor and a pair of attractive, lively leads, but too often it veers into predictable territory. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis star as, yes, friends with benefits: two busy, career-driven pals who agree to share physical intimacy while avoiding the potentially painful trappings of a committed relationship. But what if one starts to actually fall for the other? The pundits say Friends With Benefits gets a major boost from the stars’ easy chemistry and often witty banter, but the movie never fully avoids the clichés it’s attempting to skewer. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down co-star Woody Harrelson’s best-reviewed films.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Life in a Day, a synthesis of YouTube videos uploaded by users around the globe in a single day, is at 100 percent.
  • The Woman With The 5 Elephants, a doc about the life and times of a great Russian literature translator, is at 100 percent.
  • World on a Wire, Rainer Werner Fassbinder‘s newly rediscovered 1973 dystopian sci-fi epic, is at 100 percent.
  • Fire in Babylon, a doc about the glory days of West Indian cricket squads in the post-colonial 1970s, is at 89 percent.
  • The Myth Of The American Sleepover, an indie coming-of-age dramedy about a group of teens’ late summer exploits before the beginning of a new school year, is at 83 percent.
  • Sarah’s Key, starring Kristin Scott Thomas in a drama about a journalist who uncovers a dark secret about a family dispossessed by the Nazis, is at 74 percent.
  • Another Earth, an indie sci-fi romance about a pair of damaged souls who attempt to start anew on an exact replica of our planet, is at 64 percent.
  • A Little Help, starring Jenna Fischer and Chris O’Donnell in a dramedy about a suburban woman who suffers a mental breakdown after 9/11, is at 39 percent.

Tag Cloud

YA 4/20 USA Turner black werewolf Travel Channel hollywood 24 frames GIFs blaxploitation independent ABC Ellie Kemper directors unscripted slashers FXX See It Skip It disaster Toys Tumblr Shondaland CW Seed Avengers AMC Baby Yoda crossover Rock New York Comic Con USA Network Alien films theme song YouTube Premium Mary Poppins Returns Bravo versus 2015 australia reboot Kids & Family renewed TV shows kids Trailer dceu travel OneApp robots transformers Binge Guide 2017 Cartoon Network cinemax Apple TV Plus BET Awards A24 Anna Paquin 71st Emmy Awards Disney streaming service screen actors guild YouTube Red Hallmark IFC Films Hallmark Christmas movies best El Rey Paramount Network Epix Pop TV Academy Awards blockbuster Sundance TV parents laika science fiction Lifetime criterion classics MTV Endgame Winter TV MCU TBS fast and furious Extras Trivia rt archives Box Office Animation period drama Paramount The Purge Countdown psychological thriller spider-man south america video Premiere Dates true crime psycho BBC One Summer obituary comiccon french crime space LGBT Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TCA Awards witnail Video Games Opinion football toronto Comedy Central hispanic Film Festival Sci-Fi halloween tv Mindy Kaling BET animated Captain marvel Musicals Tarantino Apple Super Bowl Mary poppins Marvel SDCC Spike batman book Writers Guild of America Set visit news Shudder documentaries Nominations 2020 Disney+ Disney Plus DC Universe Rom-Com Red Carpet BAFTA crime drama Star Trek BBC America Stephen King sag awards comedies Women's History Month President TCA die hard Logo Esquire scary movies name the review Crackle nbcuniversal Tomatazos Ghostbusters Brie Larson Heroines Peacock CBS All Access rotten FX on Hulu concert The Walking Dead Food Network Turner Classic Movies thriller technology RT History DC Comics cancelled TV series DC streaming service Cosplay anthology supernatural PlayStation discovery TCA Winter 2020 Holidays RT21 franchise VICE Marvel Television nfl series PaleyFest Drama docudrama cats LGBTQ 007 movie Song of Ice and Fire First Reviews Crunchyroll Amazon historical drama Walt Disney Pictures screenings Pixar TLC Mary Tyler Moore children's TV television HBO Max rotten movies we love revenge dogs 72 Emmy Awards NYCC police drama christmas movies TIFF green book universal monsters critics Acorn TV Hear Us Out Fantasy satire hist Election Year in Review PBS movies documentary aliens spanish language GoT Disney Channel Amazon Prime DirecTV Mystery boxing CBS james bond TV Land Rocky 20th Century Fox American Society of Cinematographers teaser Martial Arts Amazon Studios E3 Film romantic comedy A&E cops strong female leads zombies SundanceTV cancelled Masterpiece what to watch canceled TV shows Lucasfilm venice Calendar justice league CMT streaming TruTV sitcom nature sequel cartoon Thanksgiving CNN talk show Mudbound dragons TCM Amazon Prime Video WGN Arrowverse joker Universal Trophy Talk Western political drama harry potter ESPN Vudu Sundance Now Pop Funimation Showtime IFC HBO Go fresh Christmas Music diversity cults Elton John BBC ghosts Marvel Studios anime Chernobyl mission: impossible Emmy Nominations 2016 45 worst 2018 spinoff natural history X-Men Best and Worst Family TV renewals crime thriller DGA foreign Winners E! dramedy Sony Pictures japanese mockumentary Lionsgate Disney Plus dark singing competition medical drama festival canceled award winner italian Fox News war Creative Arts Emmys twilight elevated horror cancelled television based on movie Marathons superhero Classic Film Photos Oscars Sundance comics asian-american facebook Interview The Arrangement vampires ratings OWN Pet Sematary tv talk romance spanish VOD binge FOX Country Hulu chucky Warner Bros. The Witch all-time 2019 richard e. Grant Cannes Comic Book Adult Swim YouTube Action Disney Starz worst movies golden globes game of thrones Fox Searchlight Netflix Lifetime Christmas movies serial killer Superheroes Black History Month Infographic emmy awards History stoner Tubi Awards Tour sports TCA 2017 The Academy miniseries Pirates spy thriller First Look composers child's play Discovery Channel stop motion Comics on TV TNT Valentine's Day breaking bad Rocketman cancelled TV shows Reality Competition adventure Schedule remakes doctor who Horror politics ITV SXSW The CW Awards 21st Century Fox stand-up comedy zombie Television Academy video on demand adaptation Comedy Character Guide Columbia Pictures Syfy latino Spring TV festivals archives deadpool Emmys Netflix Christmas movies cooking reviews boxoffice halloween Black Mirror cars comic books Certified Fresh dc Nat Geo 99% casting Ovation finale indiana jones WarnerMedia zero dark thirty scorecard biography MSNBC toy story Grammys Holiday Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt indie APB Watching Series FX ID National Geographic mutant Apple TV+ Polls and Games San Diego Comic-Con jamie lee curtis Biopics NBC Star Wars VH1 GLAAD Podcast a nightmare on elm street ABC Family Dark Horse Comics Reality Superheroe Spectrum Originals TV game show Fall TV HBO spain Freeform Sneak Peek Quiz Nickelodeon social media free movies comic Pride Month Musical Britbox quibi sequels Teen Television Critics Association