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Kyla’s Movie Review

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (PG-13) - Starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Cobie Smulders, and Frank Grillo. It’s getting to the point that if you didn’t grow up reading Marvel Comics you need to take a refresher course before every movie based on them. The world of the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. now encompasses several movie and TV series, with characters jumping back and forth among them, and hints of things to come. In addition to Captain America (Evans), the narrative incorporates Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) and Falcon/Sam Wilson (Mackie). Also on hand is Samuel L. Jackson’s irrepressible Nick Fury, who has more to do here than in any of his appearances outside The Avengers. Robert Redford provides a smooth, suave bad guy, Secretary Alexander Pierce. The movie starts with a mission in which the Captain leads a SHIELD team in boarding a pirated ship. The effort is successful but, when it’s revealed that the true purpose of the assault is to protect SHIELD assets, not save lives, a rift develops between the Captain and the head of SHIELD. Later, after Fury is targeted for assassination, the Captain, accompanied by Natasha and Sam, goes on the run to discover who’s behind corrupting SHIELD. They learn that not only does it go to the very top but Secretary Pierce has his own superhuman agent, an ex-Soviet assassin codenamed The Winter Soldier (Stan), working for him. Having taken down Fury, The Winter Soldier targets Captain America. For those invested in the Marvel superheroes, this film ranks high up there. It’s not The Avengers or Iron Man, but it’s better than most of the rest of them. There’s enough intrigue, explosions, and double crosses to keep you going through 136 minutes. RATING: B

SABOTAGE (R) - Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Mireille Enos, Terrence Howard, Josh Holloway, and Joe Manganiello. Schwarzenegger plays John “Breacher” Wharton, the head of an elite undercover DEA unit that takes down major drug distributors. In the film’s opening, he and his team invade a mansion held by a foreign drug cartel for a dual purpose: to get the bad guys but also to skim $10 million off the cash stockpiled there. Things go wrong and Wharton and the others find themselves relieved of duty and under investigation. The main story kicks in when they’re all reinstated, and then–one by one–start getting bumped off in violent ways. The Atlanta homicide detective (Williams) assigned to the case not only finds herself caught up in law enforcement rivalries, but a bloody mystery in which she can’t be sure whom she can trust. The other DEA agents turn out to be as colorful as Breacher. Monster (Worthington) is married to Lizzy (Enos), who is also part of the team. Grinder (Manganiello) towers over Breacher and Sugar (Howard) is a smooth talker but, like the others, lives on the adrenaline rush of their jobs. They work hard and they play hard, and when they start getting killed, they’re lucky if all their body parts are in one place. There are a number of mysteries that slowly play out. In the meantime there are shootouts and car chases and a series of betrayals that payoff late in the film with Schwarzenegger playing it straight. This is the sort of violent, hard-boiled action film that surprises. RATING: B-