Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson

Summary: What do you get when you put together a super-soldier, a Norse god, a genius billionaire, two government assassins, and a brilliant scientist with an anger-management problem, all in the hands of Joss Whedon? You get one of the most entertaining comic-book movies ever made.

After being exiled from Asgard, Loki (Hiddleston) has declared war on planet Earth. In order to stop him, a team comprised of Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America (Evans), Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Hulk (Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow (Johansson), and Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye (Renner) is put together by S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Jackson). Loki’s actions have also caught the attention of his adoptive brother Thor (Hemsworth) who returns to Earth to bring Loki to justice. Since all of these “heroes” are used to working alone, bringing them together causes a bit of friction at first. However, once they realize the severity of the situation at hand, they put aside their differences and work together to save mankind.

This movie is the best way to kick off the summer movie season. Joss Whedon does such a great job bringing all the characters together into a story that is entertaining and faithful to the comic-book fan base. He highlights each of the character’s best attributes and brings it to the foreground. While I loved all the characters equally I feel like the Hulk stole the show, and any doubts I had about Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk have been erased. Whedon has always been good at portraying an ensemble of characters in a likeable and entertaining manner (Buffy, Angel, Firefly). I’m happy to see that success finally translated to the big screen.

Trivia: This marks the first Marvel film to be distributed by Disney.

Rated: PG-13 – For intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference.

Grade: A