Captain America: Civil War — A Review

The new Captain America movie is the most historically inaccurate portrayal of the civil war since Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It takes huge liberties with the historical timeline. It stretches the truth when it comes to how the events of the civil war unfolded. Its geography is completely off. Very few aspects of the fictional story took place in real life. Call me old fashioned, but when I go in to a historical drama, I expect at least some level of accuracy. Even if the story itself is fictional, it is up to the film makers to do their research. On this front, the writer clearly phoned it in. Pick up a text book! 11 year olds have given class presentations with more facts than this movie. Overall, if you’re a history buff you will not enjoy Captain America: Civil War. Period.

The civil war was a defining chapter in American history. It took place from 1861 to 1865. The furthest back Captain America takes place is 1991. Missed it by a few hundred years, guys. Placing the story in such a modern setting not only caused inaccuracies in the timeline, but also the lifestyles of the characters. Where in reality people would have been using single shot rifles, Cap and his gang had fully automatic weapons. Where people would have to wait days, if not weeks, for communications, the characters of the movie had cell phones and spoke instantaneously. A horse-drawn carriage? How about a hoverjet!? These small differences added a whole level of inaccuracy to the movie that was difficult, if not impossible, to look past.

The civil war was fought for state’s rights over federal control. While this theme is present in the movie (Captain America representing the South and Abraham Lincoln being played by Robert Downey Jr.) that’s about the only similarity it shares to true events. This was a conflict that built over years of political discourse and moral debate. Eventually that conflict came to a boil and the civil war was the result. But in the movie, the conflict begins, takes place, and ends in the course of a week or so. And while the actual civil war had many voices contributing to the fight — the movie had two. It wasn’t about the struggle of a new country, finding its place in an old world. It was about two men who didn’t really have much of a reason to fight.

Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee from the film

The actual war was a fight between two sides of America. As such, it only really took place in our country. There were no fights on foreign soil. It was the all-American war. Just us. But half of the movie takes place over-seas. Places like Wakanda, Germany, and Russia are all key locations in the movie. But two of those countries had nothing to do with the actual civil war! This is just one of the many ways it is clear that the writer of this film knew very little about the civil war and never bothered to learn.


The North won. At the end of the civil war the North regained control of southern states and kept the Union from splitting in two. This does not happen in the movie. In fact the end of the movie remains vague as to its position on State’s Rights and Slavery, the two biggest factors in the civil war! At the end of the day, there are plenty of civil war documentaries out there that address all of the issues I had with Captain America. If you want a well-mannered, responsible, sensible, and educational time find one of those. If you want and inaccurate retelling of a story that never happened in the wrong times and places, while also completely missing the point of the war itself, check it out on bluray.