The Avengers

2012 (Joss Whedon) PG, 143 minutes

Chris Evans; Jeremy Renner; Chris Hemsworth; Robert Downey Jr; Mark Ruffalo; Samuel L. Jackson; Scarlett Johanson

The threat that brings six superheroes together is posed by Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the adopted brother of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who has broken into SHIELD headquarters, brainwashed Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Professor Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard), and stolen the Tesseract, an uber-powerful glowing blue cube. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) tries to stop the Norse diety, but fails. Under threat of a planetary catastrophe, Fury recruits Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans), and sends Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to bring in Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). Thor makes his appearance when he learns that his brother is up to no good.  By swinging for the fences, The Avengers opens the 2012 summer movie season with an explosive bang that will reverberate through the superhero genre for years.

James Berardinelli

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