Marvel's The Avengers Reviews

Tom Charity
CNN.com
Top Critic
May 8, 2012

Never underestimate the entertainment value of the Hulk Smash.

Anthony Lane
New Yorker
Top Critic
May 8, 2012

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.

Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
Top Critic
May 4, 2012

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.

Laremy Legel
Film.com
Top Critic
May 4, 2012

A spectacle in the grandest sense of the word ...

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

It's two-plus hours of visual brawn, unexpected heartbeats and welcome humor.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Dana Stevens
Slate
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Bob Mondello
NPR
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

This film is stylish, intelligent and, one hopes, influential on the next generation of superhero movies; it should leave a lasting legacy.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

Biff! Bam! Boring!

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

Audiences have been eagerly anticipating this first all-hero extravaganza for years. The wait was worth it.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
A.O. Scott
New York Times
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

A slickly packaged, effects-driven smashup.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
May 3, 2012

"The Avengers" is done well by Joss Whedon, with style and energy. It provides its fans with exactly what they desire.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
May 2, 2012

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.

Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
Top Critic
May 2, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Keith Phipps
AV Club
Top Critic
May 2, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
May 2, 2012

"The Avengers" is both a culminator and a set-up for more, more, more.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
May 2, 2012

The Avengers kicks ass.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
May 2, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
May 2, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
Top Critic
May 2, 2012

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.

Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
Top Critic
May 1, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Karina Longworth
Village Voice
Top Critic
May 1, 2012

Really, who cares about another battle? We know how this is going to end.

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
May 1, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
Top Critic
May 1, 2012

... the filmmakers behind The Avengers attack their task of creating a comic book superhero epic with not just conviction, but something almost resembling panache.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
May 1, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
Top Critic
May 1, 2012

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.

Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
May 1, 2012

After years of buildup, it's a reward to patient audiences who've been waiting for this team-up for years.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
May 1, 2012

Whedon's investment in building this world is so complete that it captures the audience, as well.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic
May 1, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic
May 1, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic
April 30, 2012

One of the great joys of Marvel's The Avengers is its sense of humor about itself.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
April 30, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
Top Critic
April 30, 2012

This mega-entertaining "Avengers" film is something comic fans have dreamed of since Marvel debuted the title almost 50 years ago.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
April 30, 2012

Comic-Con nerds will have multiple orgasms. I had a blast.

Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic
April 27, 2012

'The Avengers" is neither overwhelming nor underwhelming. What it expertly is, is whelming.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
April 25, 2012

The movie guarantees fast-paced fun without forcing anyone to think about what it all means, which is nothing.

Tom Huddleston
Time Out
Top Critic
April 24, 2012

This is as close as cinema gets to a fairground ride: it's shiny, noisy and exhilarating.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic
April 23, 2012

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.

Justin Chang
Variety
Top Critic
April 20, 2012

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.

Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
April 20, 2012

Whedon pulls off a stunning feat in bringing balance to this superhuman circus, engineered to charm the geek core and non-fans alike.