Not that it matters, because it's going to be a freakishly enormous success regardless of what critics say, but "Marvel's The Avengers" is kicking off the summer movie season with excellent reviews.
The much-hyped assembly of comic book superheroes including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) finally arrives in theaters under Joss Whedon's direction. AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire gave it three and a half stars out of four, saying of Whedon: "He's pulled off the tricky feat of juggling a large ensemble cast and giving everyone a chance to shine, of balancing splashy set pieces with substantive ideology."
Also opening this week in limited release is "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," which features its own dream team of veteran British actors led by Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy. They're among several retirees traveling to what they think will be a luxurious resort in India, but they find the place is a dump. Lemire gave it two stars out of four, saying: "Sure, it'll seem warm and crowd-pleasing but probably only to crowds of a certain age, who may relate to these characters who find themselves in flux in their twilight."
Here's a look at how these movies and others fared on the top review websites as of Friday afternoon. Each score is the percentage of positive reviews for the film:
_ "Marvel's The Avengers": Metacritic, 69; Movie Review Intelligence, 78.2; Rotten Tomatoes, 93. Average: 80.1.
_ "First Position": Metacritic, 69; Movie Review Intelligence, 81; Rotten Tomatoes, 89. Average: 79.7.
_ "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel": Metacritic, 60; Movie Review Intelligence, 62.3; Rotten Tomatoes, 77. Average: 66.4.
_ "Mother's Day": Metacritic, 34; Movie Review Intelligence, 44.7; Rotten Tomatoes, 46. Average: 41.6.