Avengers: Endgame isn’t the kind of movie that one would read reviews for before making up their mind on whether to watch it in theaters or not. But Marvel fans would be glad to know that the movie is getting rave reviews from the film critics.
Almost immediately after the world premiere of Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios gave the go-ahead to the attending film critics and reporters to share their thoughts briefly on the movie on social media. Those first reactions made it clear that the movie, like almost every other Marvel Cinematic Universe installment, is turning out to be a critical darling. And now that the full reviews are coming in, we are left with no doubt about the particular notion.
Of course, it’s not like the critics are all calling the upcoming April 26 release is a flawless movie. In fact, a number of them seem to have a problem with its central plot device. But most of them agree that it is a fitting finale to the decade-long MCU Season One (which consists of three phases and twenty-two movies) that is sure to impress the long-standing fanbase, with a blend of varying tones from the different franchises within the cinematic universe. Interestingly, a critic or two believe that you might end up having a good time watching the movie even if you haven’t watched most of its precursors.
Like any another contemporary superhero movie, Avengers: Endgame makes room for loads of CGI-heavy action sequences. But unlike most of them, this one finds emotions taking precedence. The movie apparently does a commendable job at paying tribute the MCU so far as well as setting the course for the future.
Check out our collection of excerpts from twenty-odd reviews for the Russo Brothers below. We’ve tried to keep it as spoiler-free as possible, but you should probably brace yourself for MILD SPOILERS!
Toronto Sun‘s Mark Daniell: The final chapter in an interconnected series of stories that Marvel Studios has been weaving together since 2008, across 22 movies, is the greatest superhero movie ever made.
Chicago Tribune‘s Michael Phillips: The Marvels behind “Avengers: Endgame” apparently mis-heard Thanos’ one-liner. The new film goes straight for the heart, not the head. It dwells at considerable length in tearful reunions and farewells. And in a notable exception to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s liberal nobody-really-dies storytelling policy, things wrap up with a goodbye-for-real denouement involving a majorly major character.
IGN‘s Laura Prudom: Endgame is a film that feels like it was made by fans, for fans – to the point where some scenes will undoubtedly be labeled as outright fanservice. But it’s hard to view those moments as cynical pandering so much as earned and effective homages to the moments, characters, and relationships we’ve grown so invested in over the past 11 years.
CNET‘s Mike Sorrentino: Endgame is a giant sequel to every MCU movie ever, but thankfully an in-depth knowledge of those films is unnecessary. The plot does jump around at times, which might confuse casual viewers, but bottom line: this thrill ride kicks off big and never lets up. It’s so much fun.
Associated Press‘ Jake Coyle: Somewhere in this juggling act is a little bit of every tone in the Marvel universe: some of the wit of “Iron Man,” a touch of the madcap romp of “The Guardians of the Galaxy,” a smidge of the cosmic saga of “Thor,” and even a little of the resonance of “Black Panther.” More than any of those franchises, “Endgame,” at its best moments, carries the thrill of classic comic-book twists and reversals.
The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw: Avengers: Endgame is of course entirely preposterous and, yes, the central plot device here does not, in itself, deliver the shock of the new. But the sheer enjoyment and fun that it delivers, the pure exotic spectacle, are irresistible, as is its insouciant way of combining the serious and the comic. Without the comedy, the drama would not be palatable. Yet without the earnest, almost childlike belief in the seriousness of what is at stake, the funny stuff would not work either. As an artificial creation, the Avengers have been triumphant, and as entertainment, they have been unconquerable.
Vanity Fair‘s Richard Lawson: Sure, there are action scenes peppered throughout—but Endgame is largely about stealth and internal reckoning. It presents the warming, moving idea that the strength and ingenuity of community can amply combat despair, even when all seems a frozen and lonely ruin.
Vox‘s Alex Abad-Santos: The most shocking thing about Avengers: Endgame is that there are several moments within this colossal movie that feel like a Marvel miracle. These are the pockets of time when what you watch on screen sends a shock of joy jumping through your skin, making your eyes go wide and watery at the spectacle.
Variety‘s Peter Debruge: Yes, “Avengers: Endgame” is the most expansive film yet, and yes, it strives to provide emotional catharses for several of fans’ favorite characters. It’s even safe to say that “Endgame” shifts the focus from extravagant, effects-driven displays of universe-saving — manifold though they remain — to the more human cost of heroism, which comes at great personal sacrifice.
Empire‘s Helen O’hara: It’s a long film, but it doesn’t feel it even with all these talky scenes. We get a steady stream returning characters – and not just heroes – that ensure your interest never has a chance to wane: the cast of this film is a indie director’s fever dream, an embarrassment of riches that is well invested at key moments. Inevitably a few characters are underserved, with Rocket, Okoye (Danai Gurira) and maybe even Natasha short a scene or two while others get far more than before, but it’s hard to see what else could have been cut without losing something important. Cap, in particular, becomes the heart of this film in a big way.
Forbes‘ Scott Mendelson: As a definitive ending to the ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe saga, Avengers: Endgame works and it hits hard when it needs to. No contextual spoilers, but there’s a moment toward the end that reminded me of Titanic in the best way, and I can’t imagine any fans walking away unsatisfied. There is grace in its failings, and it has been a privilege to watch this whole story play out over the last decade.
Polygon‘s Susana Polo: Avengers: Endgame is a heist movie, and it’s written like one. We know in our comics-trained hearts that our heroes are going to win this one, but a surprisingly tight script does some frankly ingenious problem-solving to raise the stakes over and over again. That logic opens up emotional possibilities for our heroes like no other genre of story can, and while the thrust of the plot is about cosmic rocks, it is hung on a framework of character development and payoff. And there’s nothing Endgame sets up that it doesn’t pay off.
CNN‘s Brian Lowry: Running just over three hours, the sequel has more on its mind than just completing that story. Somehow, the film manages to set up Marvel’s future while nostalgically embracing its past, bringing a sense of cohesion to the decade-plus roster of movies that have led up to this point.
GamesRadar‘s Jamie Graham: Avengers: Endgame is not perfect. Many of action scenes, though full of moments sure to evoke audience whoops, lack the bruising impact of those in the Russos’ previous MCU movies, and the CG-spectacle, though gloriously realised, at times proves there can be too much of a good thing. But the juggling of the ensemble and tones is again masterful, and the ending – or rather endings, for there are several, all of them earned – prove there were indeed real consequences to Thanos’ Snap.
Entertainment Weekly‘s Leah Greenblatt: Nearly a year to the day, Endgame returns with the promise of many things: revenge, redemption, a runtime that defies the limits of most streetside parking meters. And the movie largely delivers, splashing its ambitious three-hour narrative across a sprawling canvas of characters, eras, and not-quite-insurmountable challenges.
IndieWire‘s Eric Kohn: The title of “Endgame” is misleading: This busy love letter to the biggest movie franchise of all time unleashes several endings at once, resulting in a fascinating — if at times messy — collection of competing agendas.
USA Today‘s Brian Truitt: “Endgame” loses some of its momentum in the middle of its three-hour run time, but unleashes the largest and most fist-pumping, goosebump-causing, insanely destructive action climax in a superhero movie yet. Good luck to anybody trying to surpass this one, because the mold’s been broken.
New York Post‘s Johnny Oleksinski: That said, the superheroes that are still standing at the start of the film — Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) — are the most emotionally honest they’ve ever been. The Russos, surely coveting that “Black Panther” Oscars slot, let their characters movingly dig into relationships, instead of merely kicking ass and spouting off plot points.
ComicBook‘s Brandon Davis: The performances of the likes of Downey Jr., Evans, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Karen Gillan, and Scarlett Johansson, specifically, are a highlight. Each of these eight actors had to portray a range of emotions throughout the film, never missing a beat on any a single one of them.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Todd McCarthy: So Avengers: Endgame is, from all appearances, the end of the road for some characters and storylines, but the seeds of many offshoots look to have been planted along the way. Expect to see them grow and multiply in the coming seasons.
TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde: Directors Joe and Anthony Russo were known mostly for TV before getting involved with the MCU, and they and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have created a season finale writ large, one in which some major characters will take a final bow while others are placed into new roles or locations where we will find them in future installments.
As of writing, Avengers: Endgame currently has a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 98 percent with 85 reviews counted. With such overwhelmingly-positive critical response, the movie’s chances of making a mindboggling $1 billion in its worldwide opening weekend are probably even greater now.