After the triumph ofWonder Woman in 2017, studios and audiences began to wonder: What if other female superhero films had failed not because of a lack of audience interest in the leads, or even a lack of demand, but because the films themselves were shoddily written, acted, directed, and marketed? Build a good movie, it turns out, and fans will come. Thankfully, Captain Marvel is a good movie, both because and notwithstanding the fact that the lead, played with grit and verve by Brie Larson, is a tough, multifaceted woman. Codirectors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck , who also cowrote the screenplay with Geneva Robertson-Dworet, understand that resilience more than physical strength is their heroine’s superpower. Repeatedly, she falls down. Repeatedly, she stands up. The feelings roused by this age-old perseverance story are universal; the position of Carol Danvers as a woman surrounded by male fighters, however, intensifies her underdog status and raises the stakes of an otherwise conventional hero’s journey. Not only are powerful forces in the galaxy hell-bent on her destruction, but the men in her life are quick to belittle her when she dares to do what they can do, and better.