'Thor': The Reviews Are In!

Critics are applauding the God of Thunder's big-screen debut.

The golden-locked God of Thunder has finally descended upon theaters. "Thor," starring brawny Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth, tells the tale of a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. As a result, his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), banishes Thor to Earth, where he meets humans Jane (Natalie Portman), Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Dr. Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård). When a dangerous villain from Thor's world invades Earth, Thor must learn what it takes to be a true hero.

Next to "Fast Five," "Thor" is one of the first potential blockbusters of the summer. Also, with Thor being part of Marvel Comics' "Avengers," the hopes are high for the film to be a success and draw in more fans in advance of 2012's highly anticipated ensemble flick.

So what do the critics think? So far, so good. The film's current approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a "certified fresh" 80 percent.

The Story

"Can a blockbuster be momentous and lighthearted at the same time? Thor, Kenneth Branagh's rousing popcorn adventure about the Norse-blond, hammer-wielding god of thunder who made his Marvel Comics debut in 1962, pulls off something I wouldn't have thought possible: It restores the innocence to big-budget superhero mythmaking." -- Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

The Visuals

" 'Thor' is a fantasia of geektacular iconography. It is loaded with TV-show Batman Dutch angles, features a WWE-style brawl in the mud, a giant spherical teleportation beam at the foot of a rainbow bridge, Frost Giants, Anthony Hopkins screaming like he hasn't since 'The Bounty' and, most importantly, a shot of Chris Hemsworth, golden locks flowing, flying toward camera parallel to the ground holding his charmed hammer Mjolnir, daring to be a more super man than even Christopher Reeve himself." -- Jordan Hoffman, UGO

The Comic-to-Film Adaptation

"The exiled and agitated Norse god Thor was distinctly B-list or worse on the Popsicle-stained colour page. There's only so much you can do with a hammer and attitude. But on the big screen, it's a whole other Thor-y, especially with the welcome discovery of Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth in the title role. As quick with a smile as he is with a snarl, he lands with a roar instead of the feared thud." -- Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

Kenneth Branagh's Shakespearean Touch

"It's supposed to have mind-blowing action scenes, a heart-rending father-son story, a compelling love affair and a Cain vs. Abel fraternal standoff. Branagh's 'Thor' does most of those things fairly well, in fact, and a few of them better than that. I've never felt sure that Branagh was a natural filmmaker, although he's been doing it for quite a while now, but all his projects, on stage or on screen, have a natural bravado about them that's endearing. ... Branagh's completely at home in this kind of inflated family drama, of course, and the three guys yell, sulk and brood in their ridiculous costumes to fine effect." -- Andrew O'Hehir,

The Final Word, Pro-Con-Pro Style

"The effects are effective. The humor is humorous and just self-referential enough to let you know the film doesn't take itself too seriously." -- Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post

"A howling turkey is at least something to laugh at, and maybe even something to see. But 'Thor' is an example of the programmed triumph of commercial calculation over imagination." -- A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"At its best moments, 'Thor' weaves a spot of magic from the complex science of $150-million fantasy-film technology." -- Richard Corliss, Time

Have you seen "Thor" yet? Share your reviews in the comments!

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