As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment - the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner / Hulk), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Don Cheadle (James Rhodes / War Machine), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Chadwick Boseman (T'Challa / Black Panther), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Paul Bettany (Vision), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson / Falcon), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Peter Dinklage (Eitri), Benedict Wong (Wong), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Dave Bautista (Drax), Vin Diesel (Groot (voice)), Bradley Cooper (Rocket (voice)), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Benicio Del Toro (The Collector), Josh Brolin (Thanos), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord), Sean Gunn (On-Set Rocket), William Hurt (Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Terry Notary (Cull Obsidian / On-Set Groot), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Ebony Maw), Carrie Coon (Proxima Midnight), Michael James Shaw (Corvus Glaive (as Michael Shaw)), Stan Lee (Bus Driver), Winston Duke (M'Baku), Florence Kasumba (Ayo), Kerry Condon (Voice of Friday (voice)), Monique Ganderton (On-Set Proxima Midnight)...
From the same director
Christopher Markus (screenplay by), Stephen McFeely (screenplay by), Stan Lee (based on the Marvel comics by), Jack Kirby (based on the Marvel comics by), Joe Simon (Captain America created by), Jack Kirby (Captain America created by), Steve Englehart (Star-Lord created by), Steve Gan (Star-Lord created by), Bill Mantlo (Rocket Raccoon created by), Keith Giffen (Rocket Raccoon created by), Jim Starlin (Thanos, Gamora and Drax created by), Stan Lee (Groot created by), Larry Lieber (Groot created by), Jack Kirby (Groot created by), Steve Englehart (Mantis created by), Don Heck (Mantis created by), Jim Starlin (story "Infinity Gauntlet") (uncredited)
Victoria Alonso (executive producer), Mitchell Bell (co-producer), Ari Costa (associate producer), Louis D'Esposito (executive producer), Jon Favreau (executive producer), Kevin Feige (producer (produced by) (p.g.a.)), Michael Grillo (executive producer), James Gunn (executive producer), Stan Lee (executive producer), JoAnn Perritano (associate producer), Edu Sallouti (BPS line producer: Brazil), Nicholas Simon (line producer: philippines), Trinh Tran (executive producer), Jen Underdahl (associate producer)
Over the past decade, Marvel has earned itself the benefit of the doubt. The studio has consistently delivered smart, funny, brave films that both embrace and transcend their comic-book origins. The 18 blockbuster movies produced since Iron Man first blasted off into the stratosphere in 2008 have not only reinvented superhero films as a genre - they've helped to legitimise it. Indeed, Marvel's two most recent films - Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther - have received the kind of accolades usually reserved for edgy arthouse flicks.
And yet, it's perfectly reasonable to be apprehensive about Avengers: Infinity War. This is a blockbuster film that's been ten years in the making, its plot hinted at and scattered throughout 18 other movies. It features 30 or so characters, each with their own complex backstories and motivations. And all of them are coming together in a bid to stop a giant purple alien dude from destroying the universe. It sounds ridiculous, and feels impossible.
But that's precisely what makes the final product such a monumental achievement. Masterfully directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Infinity War is bold, brainy filmmaking at its very best: the kind that will lift your spirits, blow your mind and shatter your soul - occasionally in the same scene. It demonstrates on an epic scale what Marvel has known all along: that special effects and tightly choreographed action are there to serve the story. For all its blockbuster spectacle (and there's almost too much of that), the film works because it's anchored by the heart, humour and humanity of its characters.
The film's basic plot is simple: Thanos (played via motion-capture by Josh Brolin), intergalactic purveyor of death and destruction, has long been on the hunt for the six Infinity Stones that will give him complete control over the elemental building blocks of the universe. He dispatches his acolytes to Earth to retrieve the Time Stone, currently in the possession of Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and carve the Mind Stone out of the forehead of Vision (Paul Bettany). It's a literal existential threat so terrifying that all the heroes we've come to know and love - from the Avengers to the Guardians of the Galaxy - must put aside their differences and unite against a common foe.
From the outset, it's immediately clear that neither the film's directors nor screenwriters (Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) are interested in playing it safe. Most other superhero films are bled of high stakes - the hero in the title might suffer untold trauma, but it's a super-safe bet that he or she will make it to the end alive. There's no such guarantee here. Within the first ten minutes, we are confronted with the dark, twisted depths to which Thanos and his acolytes in the Black Order will sink in order to achieve their goals. Death, as well as genuine loss and sacrifice, is intrinsic to the narrative drumbeat that drives Infinity War ever forward, and the film is all the better for it.
That's not to say the movie is a morbid and depressing experience. What's so impressive about Infinity War is how it expertly juggles its constantly shifting tones and moods. When it's funny (and it very often is), it's deeply, truly funny. The film finds maximum joy in flinging characters together with merry abandon, mixing and matching ones you'd never have expected to share scenes or trade banter. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is floored by Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) godly muscles. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is charmed by the wit and intelligence of Shuri (Letitia Wright). And it'd be impossible to not be utterly delighted by Peter Dinklage's inspired cameo. It's a blithely tongue-in-cheek sensibility shared by Marvel's best comic books, which understand that humour can make you care when it really counts.
And, boy, does Infinity War make it count. There are many heartbreakingly human moments threaded throughout the film: from the charming surrogate father-son dynamic shared by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and Peter Parker (Tom Holland), to the undeniable love that ties Vision and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) together. In many ways, the film stands as a testament to the human capacity not just to love, but to love fiercely and beyond all logic. It's right there when the unfailingly noble Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) declares, "We don't trade lives", even when giving up one could save billions.
There's even a chilling echo of it in Thanos himself. A lesser film would have turned Thanos into a one-dimensional villain, much the way he's all monster and maniac in the comic books. In Infinity War, however, Thanos' end goal is surprisingly relevant when it comes to thinking and talking about the staggeringly overpopulated world in which we live today. There is, as it turns out, method to Thanos' madness. It makes the tragic twists and turns in his relationships with his estranged adopted daughters, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), all the more unsettling.
For the most part, Infinity War does justice, too, to the many heroes who have been assembled for the film. The Russo brothers displayed great skill at interweaving multiple perspectives and character trajectories in Captain America: Civil War, and they do so again here, with twice as many characters. Even the most minor of supporting players, like Don Cheadle's James Rhodes/War Machine, are given story beats that land. It helps that Marvel has always taken care to cast genuinely good actors in roles that might otherwise come off as silly and slight.
Even so, there are a few standouts amongst this enormous and enormously talented cast. Emotionally speaking, this is Downey's film. He plays every note of Tony's reluctant courage and bone-deep trauma, as he embarks on what he's convinced is a suicide mission. He's ably matched by Cumberbatch, who finds vulnerability even in his character's most cunning and calculative move. Hemsworth, meanwhile, is given free rein to import the big-hearted comedic swagger of Thor: Ragnarok into this film - while also layering it with a deeply-felt, jagged grief for the losses he has suffered at the hands of Thanos and the universe.
In a film with so many moving parts, some elements don't work quite as well. A couple of characters that you might have expected to be right at the forefront - including an original Avenger or two - fade into the background. The film tumbles from dizzying fight scene to dizzying fight scene, and while most of them are fantastically choreographed, there are some purely dumb moments that literally revolve around attempts to prevent Thanos from clenching his fist. In effect, this is a superhero mêlée that's part over-the-top and part overkill, and might prove too much for those who don't already care for this franchise and the characters in it.
Minor quibbles aside, though, Infinity War is yet another step in the right direction for Marvel. It continues the studio's tradition of placing a premium on rich, complex storytelling that respects both its characters and its audiences. But it also refuses to make things easy for itself. The film ends even more bravely than it began, with a final ten minutes that will haunt and horrify you in equal measure. It's a stroke of bold, brilliant genius - a narrative risk so audacious that you'll want to follow Marvel wherever it goes next.
Tom Holland was not allowed to read the script for this film, since he revealed too many secrets for Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). In one of the promotional videos for the movie, several of its cast members are in an interrogation room refusing to reveal any spoilers, and Holland's mouth is conspicuously taped shut.
Nominated for Oscar. Another 25 wins & 58 nominations
Academy Awards, USA • BAFTA Awards • Screen Actors Guild Awards • Annie Awards • Awards Circuit Community Awards • Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards • Costume Designers Guild Awards • Davey Awards, US • Denver Film Critics Society • Florida Film Critics Circle Awards • Georgia Film Critics Association (GAFCA) • Golden Schmoes Awards • Golden Trailer Awards • Grammy Awards • Hollywood Film Awards • Hollywood Post Alliance, US • Indiana Film Journalists Association, US • International Online Cinema Awards (INOCA) • Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Awards • Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA • MTV Movie + TV Awards • Nevada Film Critics Society • North Carolina Film Critics Association • Online Film & Television Association • People's Choice Awards, USA • Phoenix Critics Circle • Satellite Awards • Seattle Film Critics Awards • St. Louis Film Critics Association, US • Teen Choice Awards • UK Film Review Awards • Vega Digital Awards • Visual Effects Society Awards • Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards
Avengers: Infinity War (Albania; Argentina; Czech Republic; Germany; France; India (English title); Italy; Mexico; Uruguay (3-D version)) • Отмъстителите: Война без край (Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)) • Vingadores: Guerra Infinita (Brazil) • Avengers: la guerre de l'infini (Canada (French title)) • Tasujad: Igaviku sõda (Estonia) • Vengadores: Infinity War (Spain) • Vengadores: La guerra del infinito - 1ª parte (Spain (alternative title)) • Εκδικητές: Ο πόλεμος της αιωνιότητας (Greece) • Osvetnici: Rat beskonačnosti (Croatia) • Bosszúállók: Végtelen háború (Hungary) • Ha'nokmim: Milkhemet ha'einsof (Israel (Hebrew title)) • Kersytojai: Begalybes karas (Lithuania (Lithuanian title)) • Atriebeji: Bezgalibas kars (Latvia) • Avengers: Wojna bez granic (Poland) • Vingadores: Guerra do Infinito (Portugal) • Razbunatorii: Razboiul Infinitului (Romania) • Osvetnici: Rat beskraja (Serbia) • Мстители: Война бесконечности (Russia) • Maščevalci: Brezmejna vojna (Slovenia) • Avengers: Sonsuzluk Savasi (Turkey (Turkish title)) • Месники: Вiйна нескiнченностi (Ukraine) • Mary Lou (USA (fake working title)) • The Avengers 3 (USA (informal title)) • Avengers: Cuoc Chien Vo Cuc (Vietnam) • Avengers: Infinity War - Part I (World-wide (working title) (English title))
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references.
Argentina:13 / Australia:M / Austria:12 / Brazil:12 / Canada:PG / Canada:PG / Colombia:7 / France:Tous publics / Germany:12 / Hong Kong:IIA / Hungary:16 / India:UA / Indonesia:13+ / Ireland:12A / Italy:T / Japan:G / Lithuania:N-13 / Malaysia:P13 / Mexico:B / Netherlands:12 / New Zealand:M / Norway:12 / Philippines:PG-13 / Portugal:M/12 / Russia:16+ / Singapore:PG13 / South Korea:12 / Spain:12 / Sweden:11 / Switzerland:12 / Taiwan:PG-12 / Thailand:G / United Kingdom:12A / United States:PG-13
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