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The Avengers 2012

Critics score:
92 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The movie guarantees fast-paced fun without forcing anyone to think about what it all means, which is nothing. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: ... the filmmakers behind The Avengers attack their task of creating a comic book superhero epic with not just conviction, but something almost resembling panache. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Comic-Con nerds will have multiple orgasms. I had a blast. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: A slow start, a single star performance surrounded by indifferent acting and an onslaught of computer effects that range from seen-it-all-in-"Transformers" to a whole sky full of spectacular stuff in the midtown Manhattan climax. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: It's a first-class production all around, from the acting to the 3-D special effects to the touches of wit throughout. It delivers, in grand style, the thing we demand most from a comic-book movie: fun. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: Tasked with meeting the many requirements necessary for any Avengers movie to work, Whedon checks off all the boxes, then sets about creating new expectations for what a big superhero movie ought to be. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Whedon's investment in building this world is so complete that it captures the audience, as well. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: You don't need to be a "comic-book person" to find the set pieces exhilarating. But if you are such a person, or a fan of the movies that comic books turn into, "The Avengers" feels like the moment you've been waiting for. Read more

Amy Nicholson, Boxoffice Magazine: Apparently, bootleg copies of Transformers 3 made it to Asgard. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: Every now and then, director Joss Whedon executes a quirky camera set-up to assert that the film was created by him and not a team of marketing executives. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: "The Avengers" is both a culminator and a set-up for more, more, more. Read more

Tom Charity, CNN.com: Never underestimate the entertainment value of the Hulk Smash. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: The film is good enough to keep all the Marvel Comics crazed audiences out there deliriously happy while keeping the rest of us earthbound types in moderate thralldom. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: The dialogue sparkles as brightly as the special effects; these people may be wearing ridiculous costumes but they're well fleshed-out underneath. And so in every regard, this movie truly fulfills its hype. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Whedon knows how to be self-aware without getting overly cute about it. He has fun highlighting each character's neurosis and knows which personalities clash to greatest effect. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: It's two-plus hours of visual brawn, unexpected heartbeats and welcome humor. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: There's great entertainment in "The Avengers" - big bold, action-filled silliness with just enough human spirit to sell itself. This is a comic book movie done right. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: The best thing about The Avengers, a multi-tentpole blockbuster that gathers half a dozen Marvel superheroes and unfurls them on a baddie from another planet, is that it also unleashes them on each other. Read more

Laremy Legel, Film.com: A spectacle in the grandest sense of the word ... Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Whedon pulls off a stunning feat in bringing balance to this superhuman circus, engineered to charm the geek core and non-fans alike. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Whedon is the key reason why this $220-million behemoth of a movie is smartly thought out and executed with verve and precision. It may be overly long at two hours, 23 minutes, but so much is going on you might not even notice. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: Even those who don't know a Marvel hero from a DC caped crusader will find themselves having a grand time. That's because Whedon manages to tap the inner fanboy and fangirl dormant in us all. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: The Avengers has a knockout final 30 minutes, all gee-whiz crash and bang and eye candy that makes grand use of 3D and IMAX and all the other toys. But the Transformers movies did that, too. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: This is a movie that knows and deeply loves its audience, but it's funny, smart and good-natured enough to please the rest of us, too. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: If you are a Marvel fan, then The Avengers will feel like Christmas. Thanks to the merry doings of the director, Joss Whedon, all your favorite characters are here, as shiny and as tempting as presents under the tree. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: After years of buildup, it's a reward to patient audiences who've been waiting for this team-up for years. Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR: The banter has zip, the effects are fun, the climactic battle is decently spectacular, and if the 3-D is mostly expendable, there are a few scenes where it adds a nice kick. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: This mega-entertaining "Avengers" film is something comic fans have dreamed of since Marvel debuted the title almost 50 years ago. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: 'The Avengers" is neither overwhelming nor underwhelming. What it expertly is, is whelming. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: The light, amusing bits cannot overcome the grinding, hectic emptiness, the bloated cynicism that is less a shortcoming of this particular film than a feature of the genre. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: A slickly packaged, effects-driven smashup. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The Avengers kicks ass. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com: One of the great joys of Marvel's The Avengers is its sense of humor about itself. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: "The Avengers" is done well by Joss Whedon, with style and energy. It provides its fans with exactly what they desire. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: All hail Joss Whedon, the warrior king of this dizzying, dazzling 3D action epic. The Avengers is Transformers with a brain, a heart and a working sense of humor. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com: If you're not much of a Marvel Comics person but just want to get an early start on your mindless summer moviegoing, well, I guess this picture is no stupider than anything else. Read more

Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle: Whedon, a pop-genre magician best known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is a master of viewer manipulation - because he never gives up his own seat in the crowd. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Its primary purpose is not to explore or subvert the superhero movie, but to lay the groundwork for more of them. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: This film is stylish, intelligent and, one hopes, influential on the next generation of superhero movies; it should leave a lasting legacy. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Biff! Bam! Boring! Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: Ultimately, it all comes back to Whedon: His clear vision for each character and how they might be profitably intermingled; his unexpected knack for action choreography; his funny, tender, immaculately constructed script. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: To watch another comic book transformed into another blockbuster is to "marvel" at much and to feel nothing - that's a safer bet than the converse, perhaps, which may explain the genre's popularity. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Whedon gets the vibe and the delights of Marvel comic books in the same way that Spielberg and Lucas intuitively understood the appeal of serials in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: This is as close as cinema gets to a fairground ride: it's shiny, noisy and exhilarating. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Whedon, the pop savant responsible for TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, straddles the line between sarcastic gab and pulp solemnity like Eli Manning on a fourth-down, go-it-alone jag. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: A saga guaranteed to pass muster with the Comic-Con cognoscenti, without forsaking regular popcorn munchers who just hope to see the planet get saved with maximum firepower and a few laughs. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Audiences have been eagerly anticipating this first all-hero extravaganza for years. The wait was worth it. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: Like a superior, state-of-the-art model built from reconstituted parts, Joss Whedon's buoyant, witty and robustly entertaining superhero smash-up is escapism of a sophisticated order. Read more

Karina Longworth, Village Voice: Really, who cares about another battle? We know how this is going to end. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: The performances are so well-pitched in The Avengers, meshing with such vividness and ease, that it's tempting to overpraise the good but not great movie that surrounds them. Read more