When Joe and Anthony Russo became attached to the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger, fans didn't really know what to expect. They were of course known to fans of Dan Harmon's Community, but apart from that, the pair were yet to really carve a reputation as one of the great collaborators of the cinematic medium.
Today, the Russo Brothers have been charged with leading the Marvel Cinematic Universe into unchartered territory. And as all eyes are focused on Infinity War, a film far grander in scale than their earlier works, it makes sense to revisit the film that first endeared the pair to the Marvel faithful - Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Back then and even today, the Russo Brothers' first Marvel movie was heralded as the best the MCU had seen - and it's easy to see why. Rooting itself in seventies-era conspiracy fiction and adapting Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's seminal Winter Soldier arc from the comics, the film immediately stood out as a smart, character-driven and riveting ensemble, one driven not only by the performances of Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, but also by discussions surrounding surveillance, individual liberty, and interventionism too.
It really is an excellent film, and while there are several MCU features that could lay claim to being the franchise's best, this 2014 film still has the strongest case to make.