The mind boggles indeed, but whether it's luck, fate, the ingestion of large quantities of psychedelic drugs or the influence of seasoned Captain America scribe Ed Brubaker. Miraculously, the Russo's have managed to produce the best Marvel standalone that is almost, but not quite, as solid and spectacular an effort as Whedon's epic Avengers. Considering this is by far the biggest film the duo will have been involved with, the Russo's skill and assuredness is almost supernatural. From the one-on-one combat scenes to the grandiose set-pieces, it's difficult not to be impressed and occasionally awe-stuck. Most importantly of all, they've managed to find that magic sweet spot between Cap's superhuman physical prowess and his vulnerability.
As for negatives, some will complain that the Winter Soldier isn't exactly a worthy foe, or that the characters of The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Alexander Pierce (a gleeful Robert Redford playing against type) are not adequately fleshed out. However, any critic that really goes to town on those points would merely be masking their shame at having enjoyed another cursed comic movie. For all those Marvel completists out there, make sure you sit all the way through The Winter Soldier's end credits for a sneaky peak at Whedon's upcoming Avengers Assemble sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron.