Critics Consensus: Marvel's The Avengers Is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is also Certified Fresh.

The summer blockbuster season starts this weekend, as Marvel's The Avengers, the hotly-anticipated superhero-fest starring Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson , hits theaters. What do the critics have to say?

Marvel's The Avengers

92%

Over the past decade, Marvel Comics heroes like the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America have each starred in their own films. And each individual installment offered tantalizing hints of a monumental big screen superhero gathering. Well, comic book fans, the wait is over, and it was worth it: critics say Marvel's The Avengers is terrific entertainment, a giant-sized helping of thrilling action set pieces with enough humor and character development to please non-Marvel fanatics. When Thor's brother Loki steals the tesseract (the mysterious power source used by Red Skull in Captain America) espionage ace Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assembles a team of superheroes to retrieve it. Dubbed the Avengers, the newly-formed group -- comprised of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth ), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson ) -- must battle a mysterious extraterrestrial force in order to save humanity. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Avengers does a commendable job of letting all the characters share the spotlight, delivering on its promise of spectacular action, and whetting the appetite for the inevitable sequels.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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