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It's been almost exactly 11 years since the experiment that came to be known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born with Iron Man. 22 movies later, the stories of many of our favorite heroes come to a head in Avengers: Endgame. For those that have been on this ride since the beginning, expectations are incredibly high, but for the most part, everybody at CinemaBlend agrees that the film met those expectations, and largely exceeded them.

Nobody would agree with that sentiment more than Cinemablend Events Editor Eric Eisenberg. He wrote the official review for Avengers: Endgame, and he awarded it the first perfect five-star review of the year, saying...

Avengers: Endgame is one of the most ambitious, entertaining, emotional, and stunning blockbusters we’ve ever seen, and the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon thus far.

That's some strong praise, to be sure, but it's not the only praise coming from the team here. Managing Director Sean O'Connell loved Endgame so much that he can barely believe he actually saw it.

Avengers: Endgame is everything Marvel fans need it to be, and more. It's the perfect culmination of 11 years of storytelling, and a beautiful final chapter to 21 previous movies. It's loaded with well-earned fan-service beats, and packed with surprises that both delight and amaze. Seriously, the movie is such a fever dream of Marvel goodness, I'm half convinced that I imagined this film into existence, because there's no way in hell that what I just witnessed actually exists in a finished film. The MCU is a magic trick, the greatest geek accomplishment in our lifetime, and Endgame is the face-melting finale this franchise deserves.

It's hard to believe that so much has happened in barely over a decade. 11 years ago, nobody knew if this idea, bringing comic book style cross-title continuity to the big screen, would actually work. Not only did fans accept it, they embraced it, and the MCU has become the biggest franchise in the history of cinema.

The hardest part of creating any story is probably figuring out where to start, but coming close behind that is figuring out how to finish it. Avengers: Endgame had to do more than most. It had to bring not just one story, but several, to a satisfying conclusion. The film succeeds remarkably well. Senior Movie Contributor Mike Reyes lays the congratulations at the directing pair of Joe and Anthony Russo as well as screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who have largely been responsible for the entire third phase of the MCU.

Avengers: Endgame is a landmark achievement for comic book movies. The film ties up the years and films that have preceded it, and the weight of such history is felt in all the right places. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, along with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have created a film that lives up to the insane hype it's generated, and the entire film is a cross between a victory lap and a sigh of relief. It's blockbuster spectacle crossed with serious, beautiful character work, and packaged in a film that is both self-contained and seriously satisfying when paired with Avengers: Infinity War.

For fans who want to have the experience of watching Avengers: Endgame cold, avoiding accidental spoilers can be a tricky game. The good news, as GatewayBlend Project Manager Cody Beck points out, is that even if you've seen the film's official trailers, you really don't know anything.

It does not feel like 3 hours. The pacing and storytelling keep everything moving along smoothly- and believe me, there’s a lot to tell in this final chapter. The trailers are just the tip of the iceberg- you have seen nothing yet. There are scenes in this movie that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. The throughline to the other 21 films is apparent and so much fun to witness. While It’s not my favorite MCU movie (top 5), I still think it will end up going down as an overall fan favorite. The team-ups, callbacks, and subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) way it pokes fun at the MCU as a whole will have die-hard fans and casual fans alike leaving the theater with a satisfying conclusion to the Infinity Saga.

For those who have been following the MCU from the beginning, who have been along this journey for every step, there's a definite feeling of finality here. This is the end of the road, even if we don't know exactly how. We all know going in this will be an emotional experience. Marketing Editor Adrienne Jones, admits that it is exactly that, and cautions fans to properly prepare in order to not miss a moment.

Somehow, after over a decade of buildup and 21 movies, Avengers: Endgame has managed to both give fans exactly what they want and what they expect (in many ways) while still completely offering up surprises aplenty. A lot of cool shit happens in this movie. It's funny, but it will also make all but those with the hardest of hearts tear up more than once. It calls back or even resolves some things from past films, but still places us firmly in the future of the franchise by the end. And, all of this is capped by one of the largest, most thrilling battles ever seen on film. So, yeah, cut off all eating / drinking at least two hours beforehand and get all potty breaks out of the way early. You won't want to miss anything.

While nobody at CinemaBlend had any issues with Avengers: Endgame that made it an out right bad experience, that's not to day that everybody thought it was perfect. News Director Jessica Rawden would still agree the movie was an impressive accomplishment, though it's also an impressively long accomplishment, and she disagrees with Adrienne regarding the importance of bladder control.

Funny, smart and sentimental, Avengers: Endgame does what I didn't think it could do: hold its ground against its predecessor, Infinity War. The 3-hour movie has many satisfying moments for fans of the MCU and exciting moments for action fans in general, but dare I say it: You will have time to get up and use the bathroom should you need to.

If one thing is clear, it's that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are likely to have an wonderful time with this movie that culminates three phases of storytelling. However, CinemaBlend VP of Product, Mack Rawden, maybe isn't the world's biggest MCU fan, and as such his enjoyment of the film was somewhat tempered.

Endgame is the most Marvel movie that has ever Marveled. It's the most fitting possible culmination to everything that has come in the first three phases, and how much you enjoy it will likely be proportional to how much you've bought into the MCU. The Russo Brothers know their characters well, and all the major ones are given extended runs and special moments in Endgame. To many fans, each of these moments will feel earned and wonderful. To others less enthusiastically on board with the franchise, they'll sometimes feel a bit long and self-important. It's the right climax for this franchise, and because I'm only casually on board, it makes sense I'd be the same on this movie. If you're someone who loves the MCU, you'll have a blast.

Avengers: Endgame may not technically be the final chapter of Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it is still the end in many ways. However, Endgame isn't just the final part of the story, it's also a celebration of every chapter that came before. This is why fans who remember all those pieces will be rewarded for being there every step along the way.

As far as myself, I largely fall in line with those that were simply taken by surprise by just how well Avengers: Endgame handled its impressive responsibility. The film will likely give fans exactly what they want, and while that may frustrate some who are looking for more surprises, there's nothing ultimately wrong with getting everything you ever wanted.

If I had made a list of everything I wanted to see in Avengers: Endgame, I can't think of anything that would still be on it. Very little of it is surprising, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful. Sometimes you get not only the ending you deserve, but the one that you want.

Whatever you think of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the sheer fact that the franchise has succeeded to this point is impressive, and a moment worthy of note in cinema history. What comes next? Nobody knows, except maybe Kevin Feige, and he's not talking.

Avengers: Endgame Stars Share Their Favorite Scenes

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