Critics Agree: Avengers a Blast

Joss Whedon directs Robert Downey Jr. in superhero blowout

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 4, 2012 7:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Sure, it's an effective moneymaking scheme: release movies about individual superheroes, then one about all of them. But with Joss Whedon at the helm, The Avengers really works. What critics are saying:

  • "Even if you don't particularly like comic-book adaptations, this film just might make a believer of you," writes Kenneth Turan in the 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."

  • "The Avengers has it all. And then some," writes Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. The "shiny, stupendously exciting" film is "Transformers with a brain, a heart, and a working sense of humor."
  • "Whedon's delicious ode to the Marvel universe boasts clarity, conviction, and characters who live and breathe," notes Amy Biancolli in the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • But not everyone is thrilled. At Slate, Dana Stevens points out that the film's "primary purpose is not to explore or subvert the superhero movie, but to lay the groundwork for more of them."
And a lack of fawning from the New York Times has Samuel L. Jackson demanding AO Scott get "a new job."

In this film image released by Disney, Chris Hemsworth portrays Thor, left, and Chris Evans portrays Captain America in a scene from The Avengers.
In this film image released by Disney, Chris Hemsworth portrays Thor, left, and Chris Evans portrays Captain America in a scene from "The Avengers."   (AP Photo/Disney, Zade Rosenthal)
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A trailer for the film.   (YouTube)

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