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Rated PG-13 (MPAA) · 142 min. · 2012

Action/Adventure, SciFi/Fantasy
Joss Whedon didn’t have an official hand in any of the individual Marvel superhero movies that laid the foundation for The Avengers, but his signature is all over this one. That’s a good thing. The nerd-god auteur handles several films’ worth of characters, and the big name actors who play them, as adroitly as could possibly be expected, handing great moments to familiar heroes and fleshing out lesser known warriors, particularly Scarlett Johansson’s Buffy-esque Black Widow. Sure, there’s not much room for a coherent story, and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is too flaccid a villain to be worthy of the super-friends’ team effort. But the action’s decent enough and the generous dashes of wit---a friendly-fire cheap shot from the Hulk is a personal favourite---and reverential, referential tone makes this a worthwhile exercise in Whedonism. –Matt Semansky
Official Site: marvel.com/avengers_movie
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Zak Penn and Joss Whedon
Producer: Kevin Feige
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson

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