10 Best Captain America Movie Villain Quotes


  • Captain America’s villains have universe-altering quotes that challenge the Marvel hero throughout his story.
  • The range of villains Captain America faces ensures that he grows immensely over the course of his arc.
  • The likes of Red Skull, the Winter Soldier and Baron Zemo have impactful lines that carry a lot of implications not just for Captain America, but also for the entire franchise.

Captain America has some of the most important movies in the MCU, containing some memorable villains with universe-altering quotes throughout. With each movie of the trilogy having a significant impact on the universe as a whole, it’s no wonder why Captain America’s franchise remains high up on the list of the best Marvel movies of all time. A fairly common criticism of the MCU timeline is its lack of great villains, but Cap’s tend to standout due to their ideals and how they go about accomplishing their goals.

One of the driving forces behind the Captain America films are its engaging villains that push beyond Cap’s physical limits and test his character and his convictions. Villains like Red Skull, The Winter Soldier, and Zemo have solidified themselves as some of the best antagonists Marvel has to offer. Throughout Captain America’s MCU timeline, these villains (and others) have delivered some incredible lines that have changed the course of the MCU, and tested the resolve of the universe’s greatest heroes.

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10 “No matter what lies Erskine told you, you see, I was his greatest success!”

Red Skull – Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Dr. Abraham Erksine was responsible for creating Captain America. He was also responsible for creating Red Skull, a distorted mirror to the resilient Steve Rogers. When Johann Schmidt pulled off his human mask and revealed himself as Red Skull to Captain America, it highlighted the stark differences between the two characters despite both taking a form of the super soldier serum.

Red Skull is the leader of HYDRA and his arrogance shines through in this scene, which directly opposes the goodness Steve Rogers embodies as Captain America. When the villains states, “You see, I was his greatest success!” it becomes especially clear that Red Skull doesn’t see himself as a monster – instead he sees himself as the hero, the greatest success in the history of humanity up to that point.

Captain America The First Avenger Poster Captain America: The First Avenger PG-13SuperheroActionAdventureScience Fiction Where to Watch

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Captain America: The First Avenger is a 2011 superhero movie starring Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, a weak patriotic civilian who becomes the test subject for the military’s Super Soldier project. The film was the fifth film in the long-running MCU franchise and also starred Samuel L. Jackson, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, and Sebastian Stan.

Director Joe Johnston Release Date July 22, 2011 Studio(s) Marvel Distributor(s) Paramount Pictures Writers Christopher Markus , Stephen McFeely , Joe Simon , Jack Kirby Runtime 124 Minutes Budget $140,000,000 Expand

9 “Who The Hell Is Bucky?”

Bucky / Winter Soldier – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

In a tense highway fight scene that ranks among the best action set pieces the MCU has to offer, it is finally revealed that the Winter Soldier is Steve Roger’s best friend Bucky, who presumably died at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger. Stunned at the revelation, Captain America can only utter “Bucky?” before the Winter Soldier retorts with, “Who’s Bucky?” This moment underlines just how alienated from himself Barnes has become, cementing the tragedy of his time as an MCU antagonist.

At this point in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the titular villain was a mystery to Steve Rogers. The Winter Soldier being revealed as Bucky showed that their conflict would test Steve’s resolve as a human even more than his physical prowess. In that moment, it was clear the rabbit hole went farther than Captain America thought it did, altering what he thought he knew moving forward.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier PG-13SuperheroAction Sci-FiThriller Where to Watch

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the ninth entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After being awoken from cryosleep in the previous film, Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world. As he adjusts, he must battle a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.

Director Joe Russo , Anthony Russo Release Date April 4, 2014 Studio(s) Disney Distributor(s) Disney Writers Stephen McFeely , Christopher Markus Cast Chris Evans , Hayley Atwell , Scarlett Johansson , Samuel L. Jackson , Robert Redford , Anthony Mackie , Cobie Smulders , Frank Grillo , Sebastian Stan Runtime 136 minutes Franchise(s) Marvel Cinematic Universe , Captain America Sequel(s) Captain America: Civil War prequel(s) Captain America: The First Avenger Budget $170–177 million Expand

8 “But While A Great Many People See You As Heroes, There Are Some Who Would Prefer The Word ‘Vigilantes’.”

Thaddeus Ross – Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Thaddeus Ross returns in Captain America: Civil War in an attempt to get the Avengers to sign the Sokovia Accords as a direct result of their actions in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Thaddeus iterates that many “would prefer the word ‘vigilantes’” when discussing how the team operates and how they go about completing missions. The quote boils down the Avengers to their simplest terms while highlighting the repercussions of their actions so far.

In this moment, it seems that Thaddeus Ross also views the Avengers in the same light. This scene is the driving force behind the entire film and the point where the conflict between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers begins to root itself into other members of the Avengers. Up until now, most of the Avengers have seen themselves as the heroes of the story, but being called vigilantes and needing to sign the Sokovia Accords dictating how they will operate going forward is one of the biggest moments in the MCU.

Captain America Civil War Poster Captain America: Civil War PG-13Sci-FiThrillerAction Where to Watch

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This third Captain America film adapts the “Civil War” storyline from Marvel Comics and sees Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at an impasse over who governs superheroes and how. Captain America: Civil War pits two teams of Avengers against one another and introduces new superheroes Black Panther and Spider-Man. The divide between the two perceived leaders of the Avengers caused the other members to choose sides. It all started when the UN decided to take control of the superheroes’ involvement in fighting crimes. Steve disagreed with the UN’s proposal, while Tony supported the decision. Things turn for the worst when Steve’s friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), also known as the Winter Soldier, becomes the prime suspect in a terrorist bombing.

Director Anthony Russo , Joe Russo Release Date May 6, 2016 Studio(s) Marvel Studios Distributor(s) Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Writers Stephen McFeely , Christopher Markus Cast Martin Freeman , Daniel Brühl , Robert Downey Jr. , Sebastian Stan , Elizabeth Olsen , Chadwick Boseman , Chris Evans , Paul Rudd , Frank Grillo , Scarlett Johansson , William Hurt , Paul Bettany , Anthony Mackie , Emily VanCamp , Tom Holland Runtime 147 Minutes Franchise(s) Marvel prequel(s) Captain America: The Winter Soldier , Captain America: The First Avenger Budget $250 Million Main Genre Action Expand

7 “I Have Seen The Future, Captain! There Are No Flags!”

Red Skull – Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Throughout Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers has been proudly donning the red, white, and blue of America as he works with the military to help end the war and stop the Nazis. To Steve Rogers, the war is a battle of nations, but to Red Skull, nations will cease to exist under the rule of HYDRA. While once again trying to show Steve Rogers his way, Red Skull highlights one of their biggest differences: “There are no flags!

In a future where Red Skull is successful and HYDRA becomes the dominant power, the stars and stripes Captain America dons won’t matter anymore. Steve Rogers fights for his country and what he believes is right, while Red Skull wants those countries to become obsolete and powerless before ceasing to exist. As such, Red Skull craving the power to shape the future the way he sees fit comes through especially well in this line.

6 “HYDRA Created A World So Chaotic That Humanity Is Finally Ready To Sacrifice Its Freedom To Gain Its Security.”

Dr. Arnim Zola – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

When Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff become fugitives and go on the run, they encounter the consciousness of Dr Arnim Zola, who explains that HYDRA has continued to operate despite Red Skull dying at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger. He recounts the motivations of HYDRA throughout their history, how they infiltrated SHIELD, and the chaos they have created throughout humanity post World War II. The very organization Captain America was working for was compromised the entire time.

Zola claims that humanity will “sacrifice its freedom to gain its security” and allows Rogers a look behind the veil that SHIELD had turned into. Everything that Steve believed in has begun to come crumbling down, and the final steps of HYDRA’s plans are being put into place. The moment proves especially harrowing for the hero, as if humanity is truly ready to sacrifice their freedom for more peace of mind, then HYDRA has won and everything Rogers and Romanoff have been fighting for will be for nothing.

5 “And The Dust Cleared… And The Screaming Stopped… It Took Me Two Days Until I Found Their Bodies.”

Zemo – Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Zemo and Black Panther finally coming face to face as Iron Man and Captain America fight each other below is one of the most poignant moments in the MCU. During their confrontation, Zemo reveals that he believes the Avengers were responsible for the death of his family during their fight against Ultron in Sokovia. “It took me two days until I found there bodies,” Zemo recalls, looking off into the distance.

Captain America: Civil War grapples a lot with what happened in Sokovia, and this moment where Zemo reveals his motivation for attempting to dismantle the Avengers brings it altogether. It instantly humanizes Zemo and helps the audience understand his motivations, while also allowing Black Panther to step back and see where his own thirst for vengeance was leading to. Civil War‘s themes are perhaps on best display here, and the moment remains a core part of the overall MCU mythos deservedly to this day.

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4 “If You Cut Off One Head, Two More Shall Take Its Place. Hail HYDRA.”

HYDRA Agent – Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Following his transformation after being injected with the super soldier serum, Captain America gives chase to a HYDRA agent that had snuck in, stole the serum and killed Dr. Erksine. After the chase ends, Steve is interrogating the agent who then utters his final words, “Hail HYDRA” before taking his own life. This starts to set things into motion for Captain America, who begins to learn about HYDRA and how they are involved with the war.

This proves to be another prime example of Captain America beginning to understand that what he thinks he knows isn’t the bigger picture. The super soldier serum goes beyond just the war at hand and the introduction to HYDRA will presumably have a lasting impact on not only the war, but even further beyond that. It’s the first moment where Steve finds himself in a deeper plot than he originally believed.

3 “We Knew, That Despite All Diplomacy And The Handshaking And The Rhetoric, To Build A Better World Sometimes Means Having To Tear The Old One Down.”

Alexander Pierce – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Before officially being revealed as a villain, Alexander Pierce talks with Captain America about his history with Nick Fury and what they believed in. He explains that “to build a better world sometimes means having to tear the old one down.” This way of thinking falls in line with the ideas set forth by HYDRA, and by the end of the conversation, Steve Rogers realizes that Alexander Pierce is also working for them.

When this line is spoken, the tension builds as all the pieces that Captain America has been learning about begin to fall into place. The ideals that motivate Pierce and HYDRA directly clash with Steve’s, who has shown countless times that he believes in humanity and largely in the systems that have been in place. Still, it’s through these moments that his beliefs in those systems are challenged, even though his belief in humankind remains as strong as ever – something that can potentially be seen to set the stage for Captain America: Civil War.

2 “You’re My Mission.”

Bucky / Winter Soldier – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

The climax of Captain America: The Winter Soldier ends with Cap and the Winter Soldier fighting on a helicarrier as Bucky tries to stop Steve Rogers and complete his mission. Barnes states, “You’re my mission,” in response to Captain America refusing to fight anymore and trying to get Bucky to understand who he is and what they mean to each other, letting the reveal of who the Winter Soldier is

come full circle as the hero commits to trying to save his friend.

This scene and quote is completely tragic, showing Steve’s strength of character and Bucky presumably beginning to grapple with who he is. Cap understands that fighting won’t necessarily bring Bucky back, but appears to register that if he can reason with him, then maybe his old friend is still in there somewhere. The moment of hesitation before Bucky says the line also indicates that it is possible that Steve could get through to him.

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1 “An Empire Toppled By Its Enemies Can Rise Again. But One Which Crumbles From Within? That’s Dead… Forever.”

Zemo – Captain America: Civil War (2016)

The final confrontation between Zemo and Black Panther is full of incredible lines that stand among the best the MCU has to offer. Talking about his motivations for his actions, Zemo reveals he wanted to tear the Avengers apart and to do that he had to get them to turn on each other, comparing them to an empire. He understands that his plan succeeding will create a lasting conflict for the iconic superhero team that could be impossible to repair.

Zemo’s life was torn apart when the Avengers fought Ultron in Sokovia, and he has been planning his revenge since. Sitting in the snow, he sees his efforts come to fruition and his life seemingly coming to an end. Captain America: Civil War is a movie about vengeance and how it can tear someone apart. With Iron Man and Captain America engaging in the conflict Zemo sowed, Black Panther registers that justice and revenge are two different things because of the villain’s speech – with T’Challa and the warring heroes making the hard choice to choose the path of justice instead.

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