The embargo for Avengers: Infinity War reviews has just been lifted, and -- following the trend formed by the Marvel movies that came before it -- the feedback for the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film is overwhelmingly positive. Acting as the culmination of the past 10 years, the next MCU installment manages to pull off what seemed to be the impossible: bringing together countless characters and introducing the biggest bad yet, Thanos.
Here's what outlets are saying about Avengers: Infinity War:
Meg Downey, CBR: "Infinity War is going to be a divisive piece of MCU history, and one that, come 2019, is probably only ever going to be shown back-to-back with its sister film with an as-yet unrevealed title, for now just known as Avengers 4. It’s satisfying and unsatisfying, a reward for 10 years of fandom and a painful tease about the future; a frustrating look at a story in progress and a welcome relief to the agony of waiting."
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter: "This grand, bursting-at-the-seams wrap-up to one crowded realm of the Marvel superhero universe starts out as three parts jokes, two parts dramatic juggling act and one part deterministic action, an equation that's been completely reversed by the time of the film's startling climax. Huge is the operative word here — for budget, scope and size of the global audience."
Scott Mendelson, Forbes: "Avengers: Infinity War is as much a 'part one of a two-part story' as The Divergent Saga: Insurgent. I'm not one to hold a movie accountable for its marketing campaign, but folks should know that this isn't the end of the end, and the only real 'surprise' is the reveal of what does or does not need to be dealt with next year. More so than any prior MCU movie, Infinity War exemplifies this long-running franchise as a mega-budget television show projected upon the big screen."
Owner Gleiberman, Variety: "Avengers: Infinity War, a.k.a. 'What If Marvel Threw a Superhero Party and Everyone Came?,' feels like a movie that the American Entertainment State had to get out of its system. It’s the 19th entry in the Marvel Comics Universe, but it’s the first to push to the wall, to the max, to the ultron the notion that the MCU really is a universe: a vast intermeshed thicket of comic-book icons, destined to be an army that’s greater (in theory, at least) than the sum of its parts. If, for decades, the metaphor for propulsive blockbuster filmmaking was the 'ride,' then watching Avengers: Infinity War is like going to a theme park and taking three spins on every ride there."
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: "Infinity War is still only half a movie, with loose ends dangling and a nagging sense of opportunities missed. Of course, no Marvel junkie would think of missing the film and the chance to decode its subtext. And almost everyone agrees that the ending works like gangbusters. Why? Because Thanos keeps us riveted and eager for what's next. Bring it on."
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian: "Avengers: Infinity War is a giant battle for which directors Anthony and Joe Russo have given us touches of JRR Tolkien’s Return Of The King and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. The film delivers the sugar-rush of spectacle and some very amusing one-liners. Whatever else it does, this Marvel movie shows its brand identity in the adroit management of tone. One moment it’s tragic -- the next, it’s cracking wise. It’s absurd and yet persuades you of its overwhelming seriousness. And there are some amazing Saturday-morning-kids-show moments when you really do feel like cheering."
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: "What saves Infinity War from being just another bloated supergroup tour -- and what will end up being the thing that blows fans’ minds to dust -- is the film’s final stretch. Let’s be clear, when it comes to hand-over-fist cash cows like the Marvel films, any time a character is put into any sort of serious jeopardy, you immediately have raise an eyebrow and roll your eyes a bit. All of these characters are such lucrative intellectual properties no studio, no matter how daring, is going to put them into too much jeopardy."
Scott Collura, IGN: "Making good on Nick Fury’s promise from 10 years ago in a manner that was nigh-unimaginable at the time, Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t just assemble Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, it brings together the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther… and Thanos, who now must be ranked among the best villains of the MCU alongside Loki and Killmonger. That it does this while also being fun, thrilling, and emotional is perhaps something that not even Fury himself could have hoped for."
Bryan Bishop, The Verge: "The film’s sparkling sense of humor balances the weight of Thanos’ actions. Marvel’s films have always had a flair for comedy, but Infinity War turns the dial up further, maximizing the levity found in movies like Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy. Pitting Star-Lord’s hyper-insecurity against Thor’s arrogant hyper-masculinity provides for some of the funniest moments in the entire MCU."
Germain Lussier, io9: "Avengers: Infinity War is demanding, heartbreaking, exhilarating, massive, and dense. More than seemingly any movie so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it requires its viewer to be intimately acquainted with all the films that come before it -- and, if you are, it’s rewarding and audacious in ways the franchise has never been before and isn’t likely to be again. It’s a movie that is not screwing around."
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston, and Josh Brolin. The film arrives Friday worldwide.