Countdown to ‘Endgame’: Our Favorite Moments from ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

We are only a few short weeks away from the premiere of Avengers: Endgame. And as the release date approaches and we reach the end of this journey, we want to look back on everything that brought us here. The heroes we watched struggle, grow, and save humanity over the last ten years and our favorite moments of their stories. We will be going through each phase in order, covering every movie leading up to April 26.

Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. Courtesy of IMDb.

The next film in our series is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Released in 2014, this film introduced us to Sam Wilson and the deadly HYDRA assassin, The Winter Solder, who we learn is Steve’s best friend Bucky Barnes.

Here our some of our favorite moments from the film:

Courtesy of Marvel Studios.

I said it when I had to pick my top favorite moment from Captain America: The First Avenger, and I’ll say it again for every Captain America movie following: Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes are actual friendship goals. Even when Bucky is brainwashed by Hydra and it feels like Steve’s world is falling apart, that root of knowing that this is basically your other half was still there. It is eventually what helped Bucky overcome the brainwashing he receives.

Despite their friendship being my favorite thing about any of the Captain America movies, my top two (because I could not decide) favorite moments of Captain America: The Winter Soldier are actually the elevator scene fairly and the scene where Cap is chasing the Winter Soldier in the beginning. The elevator scene is one of them because I am a huge cinematography geek (blame my college classes) so watching the scene and realizing that 1) Chris Evans definitely did not have a lot of room to work with because elevators are typically on the small side so the choreography that went into it had to be exactly precise and 2) being brought to the conclusion that this is the moment Steve Rogers realizes that S.H.I.E.L.D. is not what he thought it was, plays a major role in the movie. And for the chase scene, the moment that Cap launches his shield at this masked attacker who just “killed” his “boss” and Bucky just stops it in mid-air, which—mind you—none of the other villains had been able to do, proves that this man was made to be Captain’s equal, or better than him. It is also the first time we get the full effect of The Winter Soldier and it is confirmed to the audience that this is James Buchanan Barnes. – Mikayla

Courtesy of Marvel Studios.

This is without a doubt my favorite out of all the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and there are several reasons for it. In my opinion, the Captain America trilogy lives from its characters and their relationships. It is what supports and drives the plot. In the first film and even in the following movies, Steve Rogers’ relationship with Bucky Barnes is what shapes and defines his life in many ways, starting with the choices he makes and ending with what he is willing to give up to save someone. The Steve Rogers we meet in Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a man still adjusting to life on earth 70 years after he went into the ice in a move to sacrifice himself, going down with a plane. Even this decision was that of a man who had lost something, or someone, that had given his life meaning and support being ripped away from him. This Steve not only is struggling, but he is dealing with the aftermath of the battle of New York and trying to start a new life in Washington D.C.. The audience witnesses Steve meeting new friends (one of my favorite additions to the MCU, Anthony Mackie playing Sam Wilson a.k.a. The Falcon), but also revisiting his past. His confrontation with his own life in the Smithsonian marks the first of many favorite parts in this movie, because we see how fragile and lost this man with super strength truly is. No matter how many times I see this film, the scene where Steve sees the footage of himself and Bucky or even the interview with Peggy never ceases to make me emotional.

In a plot that revolves around Nick Fury, Steve finds out that his best friend from childhood, Bucky Barnes, is in fact, not dead. Instead, he has been turned into one of Hydra’s biggest and fiercest weapons, The Winter Soldier. This is where this film becomes a true masterpiece, as far as I am concerned. Sebastian Stan, throughout this movie, does an incredible job playing this “new” character, with parts of Bucky Barnes slowly but steadily leaking through and taking over this brainwashed, emotionless, not-even-really-human character. Every scene with him leaves me in awe. He does an incredible job showing emotions just through Bucky’s eyes: when he first faces Steve and in the scene that is without a doubt one of the moments with the most impact and moving scenes in this movie, where the Hydra technicians try to get info out of The Soldier and he brokenly keeps saying how he remembers “the man on the bridge”. Actually, the entirety of this movie shows the fight to break through the constant brainwashing and it manifests in two different battle scenes, the last one proving even more how great of an actor Stan really is. The relationship between Bucky and Steve works as a heartbreaking canvas on which these scenes are painted, resulting not only in Steve once again willing to give his life, but also Bucky as The Soldier breaking through his programming and protocol and saving the man he has only know as his “mission”.

Even without these scenes, The Winter Soldier shows great potential with its fast-paced action sequences and the framing used to convey them. One is the scene with Steve fighting the Hydra agents in the elevator, which is one of the best choreographed and compelling fight scenes I have seen in a comic book adaptation and the second is the first fight with the Winter Soldier on the highway, displaying his inhumane way of fighting without any sense of self-preservation. In my opinion, this is one of the defining moments in the Marvel franchise, because this film manages to unite an in-depth character study, a tragedy and also an addition to the overall story line of the following movies. It is until this day the Marvel film I have seen the most, and it will probably remain that for a long time. – Conny

Courtesy of Marvel Studios.

This is hands down one of my favorite films in the MCU. It gave us some of the most iconic fight sequences, introduced us to Sam Wilson, and really cemented the friendship between Steve and Natasha. We also learned the fate of Steve’s best friend, Bucky Barnes, after his fall from the train in Captain America: The First Avenger. I have so many favorite moments and lines from this film, from Steve’s “on your left” every time he laps Sam in the opening credits, to when he tells Bucky he is with him “till the end of the line.” This film was so great because The Winter Soldier was truly lethal, and terrifying, and then we learn that this is Bucky Barnes and the entire storyline takes a turn.

This film was also high action, which I loved. The highway scene when Steve, Sam, and Natasha finally come face to face with The Winter Soldier, and the scene where Steve takes out an entire STRIKE team, were among my favorites. If I had to pick just one of my favorite scenes, it would be when Steve—aided by Nat, Sam, and Maria Hill—returns to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters in order to stop HYDRA. Steve enters one of the command centers and gives what may be one of my favorites speeches ever.

“Attention all S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. This is Steve Rogers. You’ve heard a lot about me over the last few days. Some of you were even ordered to hunt me down. But I think it’s time you know the truth. S.H.I.E.L.D. is not what we thought it was. It has been taken over by HYDRA. Alexander Pierce is their leader. The S.T.R.I.K.E. and Insight crew are HYDRA as well. We don’t know how many more, but I know they’re in the building. They could be standing right next to you. They almost have what they want: absolute control. They shot Nick Fury, and it won’t end there. If you launch those helicarriers today, HYDRA will be able to kill anyone that stands in their way. They must be stopped. I know I’m asking a lot. The price of freedom is high; it always has been. But it’s a price I’m willing to pay. And if I’m the only one, then so be it. But I’m willing to bet I’m not.”

That last line is so powerful, and really highlights the kind of character, person, and soldier Steve is. – Kayla

Stay tuned as we look back on all our favorite moments from the Marvel Universe as we anticipate what lies ahead for our heroes in Avengers: Endgame.

Be sure check out the rest of this series!

Kayla

Kayla has been with Nerds and Beyond since 2016 when she decided to combine her love of fandoms and writing. She enjoys all things Marvel, gaming, reading, traveling, going to conventions and concerts. When not writing, she can usually be found in front of the TV enjoying her favorite shows and trying to make a dent in her every growing 'to watch list', behind a camera lens, or on Twitter yelling about her love for Bucky Barnes.

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