Anish Surepeddi’s review published on Letterboxd:
Wow. I never thought this would match, forget exceed my sky high expectations. Nor did I think this would take the mantle from The Avengers as my favorite Marvel movie - forget the MCU.
I just wanna get all the flaws from people off the bat. The most common complaint is that it was too jam packed, it had tonal shifts and it moved too fast despite being long and having overwhelming levels of material. Well, you gotta pick and choose. Would you rather have some characters on the forefront and the rest sidelined or all sacrificing time for each other? Would you rather have an in-depth, non-stop movie or one that takes its time with heavy subject material? Would you rather have tonal changes between moments or all characters being a shell of their old self? Well, these are the 'sacrifices' you have to make to enjoy the movie, and trust me - it's worth it.
Thanos is a villain that you believe can kill anyone in the room at any given moment. He not only poses a real threat, but has character development and a deep pathos explored in the story. Thor has the second most screen time, and it's well earned. I wish the storyline felt as impactful as it should've been for him considering the events of Ragnarok, but he generated some of the movie's best moments. The Guardians were actually amazing here. Some special depth is given to Gamora here, and Groot is sidelined, but the comedy beats hit hard. The Russo Brothers really hit the tone right on them.
We already know what to expect from RDJ as Tony Stark here. There's still some inner workings from older movies in his arc, and he is still a star for the MCU. Black Panther and the Wakandan characters were criminally underused, likely because nobody expected their success, but they had great moments. Steve Rodgers probably got the most cheers from our theater but him along with Bucky and Black Widow had smaller roles than expected. But once again, anyone that has smaller roles here will play a bigger part in Pt 2, so I'm not worried.
Doctor Strange had a large role here, and playing him off with Tony and Peter was genius. He was a little one-note 'bah humbug', but he has an important role to play. Spidey had small moments here, but all of them were worth the price of admission. The keys for the future of the MCU are in his hands. Banner/Hulk continues his 3-movie storyline here and despite being in the movie a handful, I thought it could've been handled a bit better. War Machine, Scarlet Witch and Vision had some importance in spades here, but none had much depth. Falcon was a afterthought. The Black Order was iffy and some like Ebony Maw were intriguing, but the rest were just powerful figures for the Avengers to kill. Now that I spent like 5 paragraphs just talking about the characters, I just wanna appreciate what I just saw on screen.
I initially didn't plan on seeing this in IMAX 3D, but boy was it surprisingly good. There was some in-your-face effects and it added to the immersiveness of the big screen. Speaking of, the CGI is so good you even forget it's there. The budget shows its worth here. The grandeur, the spectacle, everything here makes this an event film you can't miss.
This is like part one of a series finale. The sheer emotions of watching all the characters together is amazing, let along doing it right with a tight script that throws in twists and turns but doesn't subvert the expectations far enough to anger fans. Avoiding spoilers (and even reviews and RT scores as I did) are essential to enjoyment of this. And oh boy, that ending, I'll have to talk about that in spoilers soon.
The Russo brothers did an amazing job of weaving everything you love about these characters and merging it into one movie with emotional resonance while keeping us invested in the journey Thanos takes. It's the pinnacle of the MCU and doesn't disappoint whatsoever. May 3rd, 2019 can't come any sooner.