Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier hit theaters recently, bringing with it plenty of fans as well as great reviews from critics worldwide. CBM's anthonyEstark got the chance to see it, and now I'm here to give you a spoiler-free review of the film. Read on after the jump!

Good Day, fellow fans! On my latest adventure to the theater, I finally nabbed the chance to see Marvel's latest, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. From what I've heard so far, it was “the best stand-alone Marvel film yet” if not even “Better than The Avengers.” So I was extremely curious to see it, as I'm a big fan of the star-spangled hero. So let's begin, shall we?

I'll start off with the plot. We all know the basic story. Two years after the events of The Avengers, Cap has to put on the uniform again to take on his former friend now turned enemy, The Winter Soldier, while teaming up with other heroes such as Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, as well as newcomer the Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie. But I'll tell you now, it gets much deeper than that. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo described the film as “a 70's political thriller” and it was just that. They always had something to keep you on the edge of your seat and waiting to see what would happen next. But it wasn't all plot, there were plenty of 'splosions' for all you action lovers. This brings me to the next category, the visual effects.

While watching the credits of the film, I noticed that Marvel had hired plenty of visual effects crews to work on this, and they certainly used their money wisely. Visual effects in movies have improved over the years, and this is definitely one of the best films to feature effects. While Iron Man 3 may have had a small action fight with all of Tony Stark's armors, and Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim featured both Jaegers and Kaiju, the major disadvantages of those is that everything is set at nighttime, so we don't get the full effect of the VFX team's hard work. But in this, we get to see three of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s helicarriers at battle in the skies, and the best part is that it's all in the middle of the day! The guys who worked on this really put their time into it, and the outcome was great.

Next up, the characters. I was excited to see what Marvel would do with their characters for the movie, with newcomers Falcon and Alexander Pierce, played by Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford. Both of these characters have roles in the comics, where they changed up Pierce's role by making him a large part of S.H.I.E.L.D. Instead of just a normal hand-to-hand combatant. I can say I quite enjoyed the change. Marvel also brought in Brock Rumlow, who was played by Frank Grillo and many comic fans know Rumlow as the infamous Crossbones, a villain to Cap. I hope we can see him in future films as he was a good character to throw into the project. Several other heroes had a large role in the film, being Black Widow, Nick Fury, as well as Maria Hill. I was surprised at this, as we really get to explore the past of these heroes, and giving us things that we haven't seen before in the MCU.

And now it's time to move on to the ultimate factor; the villain. I would put this in the “characters” part of the review, but Sebastian Stan's role was so great that he deserves a whole paragraph. Sebastian Stan played the film's titular villain, “The Winter Soldier,” and while I was expecting him to pull it off, I was pleasantly surprised. In Joe Johnson's original Captain America: The First Avenger, Stan played Bucky Barnes, Cap's partner and a overall light-hearted guy. In this we see a completely different side of the character, who doesn't know who he is or why he's here, but his only job or worry is his next target. I wasn't expecting Stan to have too many lines in the movie, and I was more than right. He only said a few things and didn't need to say more. He pulled off the role intimidatingly, and I was quite surprised.

One thing that I was quite surprised about in this film was the way that it changes the game for Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as future Marvel films. I can't go into detail, as it is a major part of the film's plot and I don't want to spoil it for you. This film is definitely Marvel's most serious yet, and if you haven't enjoyed the large amounts of jokes from Thor: The Dark World or Iron Man 3, then this will certainly be a break for you. But don't fear, as there is still several jokes in there for family to enjoy.

Many of you know that the film was based off of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's comic arc bearing the same title, and was adapted to the film by screen writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. I can honestly say that I was quite happy about seeing the changes and similarities from the comic that were worked into the film.

As usual, be sure to stick around for the after-credit scenes which lead up to The Avengers sequel as well as the confirmed Captain America 3, which I am extremely excited for after seeing this. I had the pleasure of viewing the film in RealD 3D, and while it wasn't spectacular, I recommend it for viewers, as it still looks great and is well worth the extra price.

To summarize everything up, this film was simply amazing, hardly having any flaws. I think it's one of the greatest superhero films released and I can't wait for more, and I hope you join me!

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