The Plot: Thor's no-good brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has declared war on the good citizens of planet Earth. So the American government calls upon Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of S.H.I.E.L.D. -- or the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division -- to assemble his team of superheroes to save the day. Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth),and Black Widow(Scarlett Johansson) all participate in this ultimate pageant of the masters.
The Buzz: Marvel Studios pulled off a coup in coordinating the releases of Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger (combined domestic gross: $670+ million) throughout the last two years to tease The Avengers. The addition of writer-director Joss Whedon to this project was an inspired one. Whedon, who has spearheaded cult TV series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, has a knack for cooking up quick-witted dialogue, which he tends to give to kick-ass heroines.