An embodiment of American ideals, Captain America has been one of the most popular superheroes from Marvel’s slate of characters. He has appeared in numerous comic books as one of the main superheroes, and since 2011, has also been part of the MCU, where he was played by Chris Evans.
Steve Rogers has been an integral part of the MCU, but even with his retirement, the character of Captain America will remain a part of the MCU, since the role will be inherited by Sam Wilson, formerly the Falcon. In this article, we are going to bring you a chronological list of all the Captain America movies within the MCU, with a guide to each of them and some additional information.
Since the focus is on Captain America, we’re going to list just his individual movies, and not the ones where he appeared as a supporting character, in a cameo role, or as part of a group. If you want a complete watch order of all MCU movies where Captain America has appeared, you can check our whole MCU watch order.
How Many Captain America Movies Are There?
As of the time of writing this article, three Captain America solo movies have been released. They are:
- Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22, 2011)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4, 2014)
- Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016)
We know that Captain America has appeared in other MCU movies as well, including all four of the Avengers movies, but since they’re not individual Captain America movies, we haven’t put them on this list
Captain America Movies in Order
The list is going to include all the Captain America movies that have, so far, been released as part of the MCU. The list is, as we have said, going to include just the individual Captain America movies, without those where Iron Man appeared as part of a group or not as the main character. We’re going to bring you some basic production info and an overview of each of the movies’ plots.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Director: Joe Johnston
Screenwriter: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Starring: Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Tommy Lee Jones (Chester Phillips), Haley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Hugo Weaving (Johann Schmidt / Red Skull), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes), Stanley Tucci (Abraham Erskine), Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola)
A group of scientists finds a wreck of an old aircraft in the ice of the North Pole. Two explorers manage to penetrate the carcass and find a mysterious blue, white and red circular object.
In 1942, in Norway, Johann Schmidt, head of HYDRA (a Nazi secret scientific division), breaks into a castle to take possession of the Tesseract, a powerful artifact created by the ancient Norse gods. Meanwhile, in New York, Steve Rogers, a frail and stunted boy, attempts to join the army but is rejected due to his physical defects.
One evening, Steve visits Stark Expo with his best friend, Sergeant James “Bucky” Barnes. Abraham Erskine, a German-born scientist who works for the government, struck by Rogers’ patriotic motives decides to have him enlisted.
The young man is thus transferred to a special section of the army, under the command of Colonel Chester Phillips and agent Peggy Carter. In this department, a recruit will be selected, on which the super soldier serum will be tested.
Erskine chooses Rogers because of his loyal, just, and selfless nature, revealing to the young man that the serum had been administered to Schmidt himself, causing him serious collateral damage. Meanwhile, Schmidt, intent on conquering the whole world, uses the Tesseract to power the innovative weapons designed by Arnim Zola.
Rogers and Agent Carter go to Erskine’s secret laboratory, which is aided by Howard Stark, a wealthy inventor and weapons manufacturer. Rogers is injected with the super soldier serum, making him much taller and incredibly developing his muscles. However, a HYDRA undercover agent kills Erskine and escapes with the last remaining vial of the serum.
Rogers sets out in pursuit and captures Kruger, who however commits suicide with cyanide. The last vial of the serum was destroyed in the fight and, with Dr. Erskine dead, it cannot be replied. Rogers is therefore the only super soldier in the world, too valuable to be exposed in battle.
Becoming a popular phenomenon after the city chase, he is promoted to the rank of captain and participates in various shows and performances, during which he is nicknamed Captain America. In November 1943, in Italy, Rogers learns that an entire division of the army has been taken prisoner by HYDRA. Bucky is among the captured soldiers.
Although Colonel Phillips deems a recovery mission inconvenient, Rogers decides to go personally to the rescue of his friend, helped by Peggy and Stark. After flying over the enemy defenses, Rogers parachutes himself and manages to penetrate the HYDRA base.
Here he frees Bucky and the other soldiers of the division, who upset the Nazi base with the help of weapons powered by the Tesseract stolen from the Germans. Rogers and Bucky have a direct encounter with Schmidt, who turns out to be Red Skull, so named for the terrible face he hid behind a mask.
Red Skull and Zola flee with the Tesseract and the American soldiers raze the base to the ground. Back at the camp, Rogers is rewarded by Phillips with a new costume and a shield made of indestructible vibranium given to him by Stark, continuing to fight the HYDRA, flanked by an army of loyal fighters, destroying all the enemy bases one by one.
During an assault on a HYDRA armored train, Steve and Bucky manage to capture Zola, but Bucky falls over a precipice. Phillips extorts from Zola the location of the last base of the HYDRA, which is located in the Alps and is attacked with all available forces.
Red Skull manages to take off aboard a Flying Wing, but is joined by Captain America. Red Skull intends to bomb major US cities, but the captain reaches the cockpit and fights with Schmidt. Eventually, Red Skull grabs the Tesseract, being sucked into it and disappearing into thin air.
Rogers realizes that the controls are blocked towards New York, deciding to sacrifice himself to avoid the catastrophe. Exchange the last words with the beloved Peggy, the captain crashes in the Arctic. After long searches, Howard Stark retrieves the Tesseract at the bottom of the ocean but finds no trace of Captain America, who thus remains hibernated in the ice for almost seventy years, until she is found.
Awakened in a hospital in present-day New York, the captain runs away on the street but is joined by Nick Fury, who provides him with explanations. Eventually, Rogers is intent on training in a gym when he is joined by Fury, who proposes to him a mission to save the world from a new threat.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Screenwriter: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Release Date: March 13, 2014
Starring: Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson / Falcon), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter), Haley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Robert Redford (Alexander Pierce)
Two years after the battle in New York, Steve Rogers lives in Washington D.C., where he works for S.H.I.E.L.D. while he tries to adapt to modern society. Rogers and Natasha Romanoff are sent together with the S.T.R.I.K.E. team, led by Agent Rumlow, to free some hostages on a S.H.I.E.L.D. stormed by the mercenary Georges Batroc.
On board, Steve finds Romanoff unknowingly extracting files from the ship’s computers. Back at the agency’s headquarters, the Triskelion, Rogers asks Nick Fury for an explanation, who shows him the Insight project: three Helicarriers connected to spy satellites and designed to prevent any kind of threat.
Fury is unable to decrypt the data recovered by Natasha and, suspicious, asks Alexander Pierce, general secretary of S.H.I.E.L.D., to postpone the Insight project. Fury is attacked by some men led by an assassin known as the Winter Soldier. Fury manages to escape and hides at Rogers’ house, but after giving Rogers the USB key with the data, Fury is shot dead by the Winter Soldier.
The next day Rogers is summoned by Alexander Pierce, and when he refuses to reveal any information about Fury to Pierce, he is declared an enemy of S.H.I.E.L.D. and is forced to flee.
Steve meets with Natasha and thanks to the data from the USB key they discover a secret bunker of S.H.I.E.L.D. under Camp Lehigh, New Jersey, the military base where Rogers was trained during World War II.
There they activate a supercomputer containing Arnim Zola’s consciousness, which reveals to them that since the founding of S.H.I.E.L.D., HYDRA has secretly infiltrated the organization, wreaking havoc around the world in the hope that humanity would spontaneously give up freedom in exchange for security and eliminating possible threats like Howard Stark.
Rogers and Romanoff then manage to survive a missile launched at the bunker and realize that Pierce is the leader of the HYDRA. The two ask for help from Sam Wilson, Steve’s friend and former USAF paratrooper and pilot of the “Falcon” wingsuit.
The three interrogate agent Jasper Sitwell, actually a member of HYDRA, who reveals to them that Zola has developed an algorithm capable of identifying individuals who may in the future oppose their plans and then eliminate them thanks to the new Helicarriers.
Rogers, Romanoff, and Wilson are attacked by the Winter Soldier, who kills Sitwell. During the battle, Rogers discovers that the Winter Soldier is actually Bucky Barnes, his best friend, captured and subjected to experiments during World War II.
The trio are rescued by Maria Hill, who leads them to a safe haven where Fury, who had faked his death, is planning a mission to sabotage the Helicarriers by replacing their control chips. Members of the World Security Council arrive at the Triskelion to witness the launch of the Helicarriers, and Steve reports to the entire S.H.I.E.L.D. the true plan of HYDRA.
The Black Widow, disguised as a member of the Council, disarms Pierce, who is then forced by Fury to unlock the S.H.I.E.L.D. database, in order to reveal the true plans of the HYDRA to the world. After a short fight Fury shoots Pierce, killing him.
Meanwhile, Rogers and Wilson attack the Helicarriers and manage to replace two of the three chips, but the Winter Soldier destroys Wilson’s armor and joins Rogers on the last Helicarrier. During the fight Rogers tries to get Bucky’s memory back and manages to replace the last chip, thus allowing Maria Hill to take control and let the three Helicarriers destroy each other.
The Helicarrier Rogers and the Winter Soldier are on crashes into the Triskelion and Rogers falls unconscious into the Potomac River. The Winter Soldier drags him out of the water and disappears into the woods.
With the S.H.I.E.L.D. compromise Natasha appears in front of a Senate committee to give explanations and Fury, presumed dead, goes in search of the remaining HYDRA cells, while Rogers and Wilson decide to go in search of the Winter Soldier.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Screenwriter: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Starring: Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes), Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa / Black Panther), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Daniel Brühl (Helmut Zemo), Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson / Falcon), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang / Antman), William Hurt (Thaddeus Ross), Paul Bettany (Vision), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton / Hawkeye)
In 1991, Bucky is sent to retrieve a briefcase containing the super soldier’s serum samples from a car, and kills the occupants of the vehicle. In the present, about a year after the Battle of Sokovia, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson, and Wanda Maximoff stop Brock Rumlow from stealing a bioweapon from a lab in Lagos.
During the fight, Rumlow activates an explosive vest, committing suicide; Wanda limits the explosion, killing several Wakanda volunteers, however, and increasing the international community’s distrust of the Avengers.
At the Avengers headquarters, Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross informs the Avengers that the United Nations has entered into the Sokovia Accords, which will establish an international governing body to monitor and decide when to ask for the Avengers to intervene.
The team is divided; Tony Stark argues for external oversight as he feels guilty for creating Ultron and the subsequent destruction of Sokovia, while Steve struggles to trust governments and institutions after the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., and believes the Avengers should be free to decide of their own accord when to intervene.
Unable to convince Rogers, Romanoff travels to Vienna for the ratification of the Accords, but during the conference, a bomb kills the king of Wakanda, T’Chaka. Security cameras reveal that the bomber is Bucky, and T’Chaka’s son, T’Challa, decides to take revenge personally. Rogers and Wilson track down Barnes in Bucharest and try to protect him from the police and T’Challa; all four are arrested.
Jailed in Berlin, Bucky receives a visit from Colonel Helmut Zemo, who uses the HYDRA word combination to unleash his fury. Steve manages to stop Barnes and flees with him along with Sam; After coming to his senses, Bucky reveals that Zemo is responsible for the attacks.
Rogers and Wilson recruit Wanda, Clint Barton, and Scott Lang, while Stark recruits Natasha, T’Challa, James Rhodes, Vision, and a young Peter Parker. Iron Man’s team intercepts Captain America and his team at Leipzig-Halle airport, where the two factions clash.
During the battle, Romanoff decides to let Rogers and Barnes escape, who travel to Siberia to stop Zemo. The rest of their team is captured, while Rhodes is paralyzed in the legs after being inadvertently hit by the Vision beam.
Tony discovers that Zemo is the real perpetrator of the attacks, so he joins Steve and Bucky in Siberia, making a truce with them, without suspecting that he was being followed by T’Challa. The three discover that the other Winter Soldiers have been killed by Zemo, who reveals that he is Sokovian seeking revenge for the death of his family during the Battle of Sokovia.
Zemo shows them a video from December 1991, in which Howard and Maria Stark, Tony’s parents, are brutally killed by a Barnes who is completely deaf to their pleas. Tony attacks Bucky and, during the fight, Bucky loses his metal arm and lies on the ground.
A fierce battle ensues between Rogers and Tony, which ends when Steve deactivates Stark’s armor by destroying its core. Captain America leaves with Bucky, leaving his shield on the ground. Outside, T’Challa finds Zemo, who, after explaining the reason for his hatred of the Avengers, attempts to commit suicide, but is stopped by T’Challa and handed over to the authorities.
Sometime later, Stark gives Rhodes an exoskeleton to help him walk, and in the meantime Rogers makes his companions break out. In Wakanda, Barnes decides to let himself hibernate again thanks to cryogenic sleep until a cure is found for his conditioned brain.
Do You Need to Watch the Captain America Movies in Order?
If you want to see how Captain America’s individual story evolved, you should watch the movies in order. Namely, the movies have been released in their proper chronological order and form a fixed narrative trilogy, with the first movie also including the time skip between Rogers’ apparent death and return in the modern age. There is no other way to watch these movies.
Will There Be More Captain America Movies?
Actually, despite Steve Rogers being retired from the role of Captain America, we’re actually going to see at least one new Captain America movie; the movie is currently scheduled without a fixed release date, but we do know that the persona of Captain America is going to be represented by Sam Wilson, formerly known as Falcon. Anthony Mackie, who has been playing Wilson in the MCU since his debut appearance, will reprise his role as the new Captain America.