Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    May 2, 2012
    30
    Of the star-studded cast, only Mark Ruffalo (playing Bruce Banner) and Robert Downey Jr. (as Iron Man) bring any personality to the place-holder dialogue. Overlong, monotonous, violent, and simple-minded, this is like one of those "World's Biggest Gang Bang" videos, except that no one onscreen appears to be enjoying himself.
  2. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    May 3, 2012
    100
    There are moments of genuine pathos, genuine humor, genuine surprise. As much as the film adheres to the strictures of the standard comic-book movie, it also pops with a knowing, loving, Whedon-world jokiness that keeps everything barreling along.
  3. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 3, 2012
    40
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    May 2, 2012
    75
    When I see these six together, I can't help thinking of the champions at the Westminster Dog Show. You have breeds that seem completely different from one another (Labradors, poodles, boxers, Dalmatians), and yet they're all champions.
  5. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    May 4, 2012
    80
    This mania is what Marvel followers have hungered for, and it would be fruitless to deny their delight. As Loki says to a crowd of earthlings, "It is the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation." We do, Master, we do.
  6. 100
    The Avengers is both campy and ­reverential. Comic-Con nerds will have multiple orgasms. I had a blast.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 30, 2012
    100
    Most impressive of all, The Avengers makes superhero movies new again - a colossal task indeed.
  8. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    May 4, 2012
    60
    They're fascinating characters, to be sure, with back stories ripe for development. But Whedon doesn't commit here, and the results are shrug-worthy.
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    May 2, 2012
    40
    What I see in The Avengers, unfortunately, is a diminished film despite its huge scale, and kind of a bore.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 28, 2012
    88
    The Avengers has it all. And then some. Six superheroes for the price of one ticket... It's also the blockbuster I saw in my head when I imagined a movie that brought together the idols of the Marvel world in one, shiny, stupendously exciting package. It's "Transformers" with a brain, a heart and working sense of humor. Suck on that, Michael Bay. [10 May 2012, p.74]
  11. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    May 8, 2012
    75
    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.
  12. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 3, 2012
    70
    Because it pulls off the tricky feat of combining multiple pre-existing Marvel franchises into a reasonably entertaining and tonally coherent whole, The Avengers will likely be hailed as a kind of thinking fan's superhero film, the way Whedon's recent "Cabin in the Woods" functioned as both a horror movie and a critique of same.
  13. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    May 2, 2012
    91
    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.
  14. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 1, 2012
    90
    The real hero here is Joss Whedon, who directs the film with a fanboy's enthusiasm and a thorough knowledge of the genre.
  15. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    May 3, 2012
    75
    Even with the flaws of the final half, The Avengers is grand, brisk fun. It comes tantalizingly close to reaching the level of the very best comic book films of the current generation.
  16. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    May 2, 2012
    80
    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.
  17. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    May 2, 2012
    88
    The Avengers kicks ass.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    May 2, 2012
    75
    If the film is more solid and satisfying than terrific, so be it.
  19. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    May 1, 2012
    50
    Every time the movie hints at something rich and evocative, Whedon undercuts it with a punchline - his instincts as a big-picture storyteller crippled by his short-term need to please the crowd.
  20. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 1, 2012
    50
    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.
  21. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 27, 2012
    75
    The Avengers is neither overwhelming nor underwhelming. What it expertly is, is whelming.
  22. Reviewed by: James White
    Apr 22, 2012
    80
    The Avengers have been assembled and, for the most part, they fit together superbly. A joyous blend of heroism and humour that raises the stakes even as it maintains a firm grip on what makes the individual heroes tick.
  23. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Apr 20, 2012
    80
    Whedon and his cohorts have managed to stir all the personalities and ingredients together so that the resulting dish, however familiar, is irresistibly tasty again.
  24. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Apr 20, 2012
    80
    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.
  25. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    May 3, 2012
    40
    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.
  26. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 3, 2012
    75
    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.
  27. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    May 3, 2012
    75
    The Avengers has been executed with all the reverence the super-fans demand, as well as the winking, self-referential humor that has made it palatable for filmgoers disinclined to take a bunch of grown men dressed in spangles and spandex so very seriously.
  28. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    May 3, 2012
    75
    Whedon has made a superb template of an action film.
  29. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 3, 2012
    63
    The fiery finale is good enough to leave the legions smiling. But when a movie is expected to lift an entire industry, "good enough" shouldn't be good enough.
  30. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 3, 2012
    75
    Whedon weaves a story that allows each of the heroes to do what they do best. And while they may not have exactly equal time, audiences get enough of each to feel satisfied, but not sated. Clever work, indeed.
  31. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 3, 2012
    63
    The chaos and carnage here is just a pumped-up take on a tradition that harks back to Godzilla, and harks back, of course, to the Marvel comics from which all these heros originally sprang.
  32. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    May 2, 2012
    78
    Fans of all that has come before (excluding Roger Corman's premature-ejaculation version of "The Fantastic Four," natch) will weep tears of giddy joy at how crowd-pleasingly cohesive – and ridiculously fun – this film is.
  33. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    May 2, 2012
    75
    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.
  34. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    May 2, 2012
    83
    The Avengers is as brawny and lamebrainy as any comic book movie deserves to be, capped by a 40-minute assault pummeling senses as few action sequences ever have.
  35. 50
    Expected too is the result: a kind of sterile opulence or, if you prefer, a magnificent emptiness.
  36. Reviewed by: Jaime N. Christley
    May 2, 2012
    63
    While The Avengers exhibits exemplary craftsmanship, Joss Whedon hasn't made a great film.
  37. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    May 1, 2012
    60
    The picture is broken down into narrative chunks that ultimately don't tell much of a story – what you get instead is a series of mini-climaxes held together by banter between characters.
  38. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    May 1, 2012
    80
    The action scenes-blissfully easy to follow-are where Whedon makes the giant leap into the big leagues.
  39. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Apr 28, 2012
    83
    In terms of storytelling, The Avengers is for the most part a highly functional, banged-together vehicle that runs on synthetic franchise fuel. Yet the grand finale of CGI action, set in the streets of New York, is - in every sense - smashing.
  40. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Apr 26, 2012
    80
    The Avengers doesn't aim for transcendence, only for the juggler's skill of keeping the balls smoothly airborne, and in 3-D too (converted after production). At that it succeeds.
  41. Reviewed by: Henry Barnes
    Apr 22, 2012
    60
    It's fun to watch Whedon pitch his heroes against each other. Child's play, maybe, but entertaining all the same.
  42. Reviewed by: Jonathan Crocker
    Apr 22, 2012
    80
    Big, brash and very funny, Joss Whedon's Avengers Assemble is equal to the sum of its parts – and for once, that's no faint praise. Suit up.
  43. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Apr 20, 2012
    60
    The bad news is that if you haven't seen "Thor," "Captain America" and "Iron Man 2" - that's six hours and three minutes of homework - The Avengers won't make sense. The good news is if you're a human under the age of 45, you probably already have.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2361 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 617
  1. May 4, 2012
    10
    The Avengers is the best Marvel film to date and quite possibly the best superhero movie I've seen in terms of all-out action spectacle, humor, and replay value. Tony Stark has so much more character development here than in the self-obsessed and flat Iron Man 2, it's nice to see Iron Man getting to do more intricate work aboard the helicarrier than just blowing stuff up. Chris' Evans and Hemsworth did an awesome job as the no-nonsense living legend super soldier and the huggable god of thunder respectively. Joss Whedon does an amazing job balancing the screen time for all the heroes and everyone gets their chance to shine, Black Widow and Hawkeye get to have their own complete story-arcs and S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury, Agent's Maria Hill and Coulson also had their moments and they took it well with the most pivotal scene of the film. But the big surprise is Mark Ruffalo who really steals the show as Dr Bruce Banner/Hulk, he's nailed down the relationship between the scientist and the big guy down to a T, and he has all of the funniest scenes in the Avengers.
    Loved the first two acts, the first meet-up of the characters, the confrontations are all top draw but the highlights for me are the vocal interactions between everyone, whether it's between Stark/Banner, Stark/Cap, Coulson/Cap, Loki/Thor, Loki/Widow, Widow'Hawk and what have you is all perfect and I'd be more than happy if the movie would've been four hours long just to see them all bouncing off each other and that's all credit to the smart witty screenplay by Whedon. Every scene is so well made and the script compelling and essential to moving the plot forward, the most memorable moment for me was when Cap was putting on his suit while a Mozart-esque symphony is playing in the backdrop and loved all the pop culture references especially Stark's nickname for the Hawk. The final third of the movie is all-out mayhem and watching the team come together to save Manhattan from a never-ending wave of an alien race who-shall-not-be-named attacks is absolutely exhilarating and the one long continuous shot of all the Avengers in the heat of battle is captivating. It proves the point of how character build-up and the tension watching our superheroes fight and play-off each other in the first two acts and have the final battle in context can make for a more engaging and extraordinary spectacle than just mindlessly blowing things up because you have to. It's the best action set-piece I've ever seen and it's so over the top in an amazing way. When you walk out of the cinema I promise your craving for a very well made superhero movie that's not dumbed down and at the same time not as gritty and dark will be satiated. It's pure indulgence.
    Full Review »
  2. May 7, 2012
    10
    I'd like to just pile on with what everyone is saying...GO SEE THIS MOVIE. As close to a guarentee that you will love this movie as you can come by. Only The Dark Knight Rises might be the other but just echoing what's been said - the acting (given a blockbuster movie) is more than adequate, action scences are spectacular and the directing/script was well done. I've seen it twice and plan a third trip before it comes on Blu Ray later in the year. Must see - you won't be disappointed! Full Review »
  3. May 5, 2012
    5
    The special effects for this movie were amazing, I'll give it that. But there is no significant story, the "come together moment" is not believable at all, and it takes way too much time to get the ball really rolling. Full Review »