Iron Man came out eight years ago, and people STILL LEAVE THE THEATERS BEFORE THE END CREDIT SCENES.
First and foremost, the movie is a lot more sombre than the average MCU movie. There's jokes and quips and the audience (IE: me) reacted well to them, but they're few and far between, and almost exclusively Spider-Man's and Ant Man's. Unlike Age of Ultron, it isn't one joke after another, which was one of the problems with AoU.
Let's get the nitpicking out of the way. First, this is the point in the universe series where you're going to have to have seen the previous movies. Most of the others are pretty self contained, and Civil War tries to keep you up to date with the events leading up to the current situation, but character motivations and a lot of the references are about all the previous movies. This also leads to less overall characterization for established characters, and considering how packed the movie is with them that's a real shame. That's not to say there isn't any characterization, but it's a bit bare bones. Also no Zemo sock mask. In fact, Zemo is in name only, not really related to his comic counterpart in any way at all. That's more a nitpick for a geek like me, because Zemo was actually really great. Probably the best villain the movies have had. Really keeps you guessing until the very last moment. On the other side, Rumlow was pretty weak. Serviceable, but nothing really worthwhile except as a set piece to move the plot from point a to b. Oh, one more nitpick: REDWING IS A ROBOT.
Now, like I said last night and deleted to write a more detailed review, Spider-Man was the best. Now, yes, the character is my favorite so there's a degree of bias there. I feel they got the whole "nervously awkward geek" Peter Parker down. They showcase his intelligence, power, and his nonstop bantering quite well. Also, Marisa Tomei is still hot. Peter probably has a borderline Oedipus Complex. On the other side, I think they could have done more with T'Challa, the Black Panther. They gave him a good, quick incentive and his reasoning was solid, but the movie definitely more focused on introducing Spider-Man. Speaking of T'Challa, I think they made his father a little too benevolent and nice, and the idea that Wakanda wanted to be part of the world is off the mark. Country was isolationist and xenophobic.
The combat choreography is above and beyond. The entire movie could be just the airport scene and it'd still be worth the price of admission. Everyone's particular powersets are displayed and unique and it's absolutely beautiful. The ranged fighters stay at range as much as possible, the close combat stay close, and when they mix up they use their particular abilities to their advantage. Again, Spider-Man pretty much is the highlight of the whole sequence, but Scott Lang, Ant Man, also is astonishing to watch, using his size changing ability to maximum effect. Also the Hawkeye Ant Man Supercombo is a delight. Cap vs Spider-Man was good to see, too.
I don't want to spoil, but I feel the last act has a lot of weight compared to previous MCU movies. For once the villains motivation is difficult to follow (as it should be) until the last act, at which point it makes sense.
Besides that, if you liked the comic book event the movie is based off seek professional help. It was horrible. Besides that, there's a few references to it throughout the movie, but has pretty much nothing to do with it. An explosion at the start leading to governments requiring oversight, leading to hero vs hero and jailing those not complying. Above and beyond though, they kept both sides' opinions pretty equal so there's really no "right" one, unlike the comics where the Registration side somehow turned into evil dictators for no real reason other than to fill a villain role. Everyone felt like they were in-character here, and it really pays off in the last act.
My previous favorite movie was Winter Soldier, also by the Russo brothers, and this is pretty much everything that was enjoyable there and amped to 11. Even the last end credit scene was my favorite of all the movies as well, but I am bias.
Probably the best MCU movie to date. Certainly my favorite.
Oh, and the previews. They were pretty uninteresting, nothing new. Dr Strange and Star Wars: Rogue One were the better ones.
Edited, May 6th 2016 12:20pm by lolgaxe