SHIELD's Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) recruits a team of superheroes to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.
" It's two-plus hours of visual brawn, unexpected heartbeats and welcome humor. "
" Its primary purpose is not to explore or subvert the superhero movie, but to lay the groundwork for more of them. "
" Never underestimate the entertainment value of the Hulk Smash. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" This film is stylish, intelligent and, one hopes, influential on the next generation of superhero movies; it should leave a lasting legacy. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" Biff! Bam! Boring! "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" A slickly packaged, effects-driven smashup. "
" A spectacle in the grandest sense of the word ... "
" Audiences have been eagerly anticipating this first all-hero extravaganza for years. The wait was worth it. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
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