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Captain America: The First Avenger

Directed by Joe Johnston

The latest of the Marvel comic book movies is smooth sailing from start to finish. The story is set during World War II, and the mix of wartime adventure and comic book action is plea­surable. Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers, whose physique and medical history have kept him out of the army as well as out of the running for girls--while his best friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), experiences no trouble on either front.

Stanley Tucci, with a slightly ironic Dr. Freud accent, is the émigré Austrian scientist drawn to Steve's courage and heart who puts him forward for a scientific experiment: turn a man into a superman who can combat Johann Schmidt, aka Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), the crazed Nazi who has used a long-buried artifact from ancient times to bolster his own strength. Eventually Rogers gets a gorgeous British agent (Hayley Atwell) as a sweetheart. The cast also includes an amusingly blustering Tommy Lee Jones as the colonel in charge of the program, Dominic Cooper as weapons manufacturer Howard Stark (fabled father of Tony "Iron Man" Stark) and Toby Jones as Schmidt's pip-squeak fellow scientist, Dr. Zola--all acting as if they're on vacation.

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