Darren Carver-Balsiger’s review published on Letterboxd:
Captain Marvel feels like an obligatory movie, one designed just to get a bunch of characters to where they need to be. Even the lead character goes on an arc just so she can slot into the upcoming Avengers film. In that sense, it just feels soulless and the onslaught of MCU Easter eggs and crappy inspirational quotes do little to prevent this.
As a superhero film however, Captain Marvel is absolutely fine, placing it solidly in the second-lowest tier of the MCU. It's a film that has a rubbish first act but gradually becomes okay and then ends with a strong finale. The opening third is a complete mess, and whilst the clutter is deliberate through the film's use of memory, it is so artificial in structure that nothing natural seems to occur. Still, once the story settles down it becomes better, and Captain Marvel really comes together once the story takes an interesting direction and Carol gets her full powers. I will say this though, for a film about treating immigrants well and mislabelling entire groups as terrorists, it is incredibly ironic that Captain Marvel fawns so much over the US military.
Captain Marvel is like a Phase One Marvel film, complete with a simpler narrative, lousy villain, and extended origin story. However, it also matches the quality of those MCU films and not the more perfected entries that now dominate the franchise. It has a capable cast, some great music cues, and works just fine as a whole, but Captain Marvel is such an average film all things considered.