To say that Avengers: Endgame had a high bar set would be an understatement. This is the culmination of over a decade of buildup, and to say it delivered would also be an understatement. First, this will be a spoiler-free review, as much as it can be. Second, as with most Marvel movies at this point (but this one especially), if you have not seen the others, you will be hopelessly confused.
I would recommend a full Marvel binge, from the first Iron Man up to Captain Marvel, if possible, but failing that, the original Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War are the bare minimum required viewing to have a base understanding of what is going on in the film.
Thirdly, this will be the only spoiler: if you do go see this movie in theaters, ignore the impulse to sit through the credits that Marvel has conditioned into all of us, there is no post-credits scene in this movie. Sitting through the credits is just a waste of fifteen minutes.
As far as the movie itself, the quality of the technical aspects almost goes without saying. The visuals, effects and fight choreography are all absolutely fantastic. The cast plays off of one another perfectly. The pacing is astounding. This is a three-hour movie without a single scene that feels like it drags. Each scene hits exactly the right note. In the packed theater that I saw this in, people were regularly cheering, laughing, and a few even ended up crying. Overall, this is a heartfelt love letter to all the fans who have stuck with the MCU over the years.
The in-jokes and references are constant. It breaks your heart and puts it back together, then breaks it all over again. It gives you things that you didn’t even know you wanted, but extracts a painful price in return. To give a few completely out of context examples, it gives us Thor’s mom insisting that he eat a salad, Ant-Man giving Iron Man a heart attack and Mjolnir being used as a defibrillator, baby Ant-Man, ancient Captain America, and the most epic game of keep away of all time.
All in all, ten out of five.
Stop whatever you are doing and go see this right now!