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Avengers: Endgame 'tragic, uplifting - and the perfect goodbye'

After 11 years and 22 films, this is it - the fate of the Avengers is due to be revealed.

Avengers: Endgame has been hailed the "perfect goodbye" and both "tragic and uplifting" by critics ahead of its highly anticipated release this week.

It looks set to be a box office record breaker, with some analysts saying it could see a huge opening weekend of $1bn (£772m) in global ticket sales.

The epic three-hour superhero film follows on from last year's Avengers: Infinity War, which ended with half the universe being wiped out by evil villain Thanos, played by Josh Brolin.

Fans will finally get to see the remaining Avengers - including Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth's Thor, Chris Evans' Captain America, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, Brie Larson's Captain Marvel and Mark Ruffalo's Hulk - taking one final stand in the Marvel Studios conclusion.

Here's what the critics are saying.

:: In The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw awarded Endgame a perfect five-star score, saying: "As an artificial creation, the Avengers have been triumphant, and as entertainment, they have been unconquerable."

:: The Atlantic magazine says the film is the "perfect goodbye", and that it "earns its length not by overstuffing the frame with opulent action, but by slowing things down and basking in the charisma of its ensemble".

:: The Hollywood Reporter praised the performances of Endgame's A-list cast members, writing: "What comes across most strongly here, oddly enough for an effects-driven comic-book-derived film, is the character acting, especially from Downey, Ruffalo, Evans, Hemsworth, Brolin and Paul Rudd as Ant-Man."

:: USA Today gave Endgame three-and-a-half stars out of four, with reviewer Brian Truitt writing: "Endgame is tragic and uplifting, rousing and grounding, while leaving minds racing and making everybody cry (even the toughest guys)."

:: The New York Times review by A O Scott described the film as a fitting end, but was far from effusive. "Endgame is a monument to adequacy, a fitting capstone to an enterprise that figured out how to be good enough for enough people enough of the time," he said.

:: Variety aired some criticism, concluding: "There's something considerably less elegant to the storytelling this time around."

:: Press Association film critic Damon Smith gave it seven out of 10, describing Endgame as "a muscular, well-crafted blockbuster that nods reverentially to the past 11 years of Marvel Comics mayhem".

:: Avengers: Endgame is released in UK cinemas on April 25

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