Thor (2011) 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… 2011-05-06 PG-13 PT130M Action/Adventure Drama Chris Hemsworth Anthony Hopkins Natalie Portman Paramount Pictures
Movie Review

Thor (2011)

MPAA Rating: PG-13


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Details Release Date: May 06, 2011; Rated: PG-13; Length: 130 Minutes; Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama; With: Chris Hemsworth; Distributor: Paramount Pictures

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. Thor, played by the Australian newcomer Chris Hemsworth with a bulked-up swagger, absurdly noble eyes, and a killer grin, is a stud-muffin Viking Hercules who is born to royalty in the realm of 
 Asgard. After crossing his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), in a fit of youthful pique, he gets stripped of his powers and is sent through a wormhole, which crash-lands him in the New Mexico desert.

On Earth, Thor is rescued by a team of scientists (led by Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgðrd), and he is almost childlike in his ability to cause trouble without trying. He speaks in incongruously formal King's English (''I need sustenance!''). Yet the movie, though it's often a very funny god-out-of-water origin comedy, has a stirring emotional core as well. It keeps returning to Asgard, where Branagh stages the political-familial infighting — centered on Thor's treacherous brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) — like an intergalactic Gladiator. The director also proves an unexpected maestro of digital effects (a crystal bridge, a race of scaly blue gargoyles who can turn anyone they touch into ice). On our planet, the film doesn't have much of a plot: Thor must retrieve his weighty hammer (the focus of a government security crackdown), and he does battle with a grand, fire-shooting metal monster. Yet Thor turns its hero's confusion — about who he is, where he belongs, and why he has these..feelings for Portman's feisty Jane Foster — into touchingly overscaled coming-of-age kicks. It's not art, but it's mighty fun. A–

Originally posted May 04, 2011 Published in issue #1154 May 13, 2011 Order article reprints

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Weekend of Jul 27 Box Office Source: Rentrak Corp.
Rank Title Weekend Gross* Weeks on Chart Cume. Gross* EW Grade
$44.0 1 $44.0 B
$29.0 1 $29.0 C-
3. $16.4 3 $172.1 B+
The Purge: Anarchy
$9.9 2 $51.3 C-
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Walt Disney Pictures
$9.3 2 $35.1 B
Sex Tape
$6.0 2 $26.9 C+
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And So It Goes
Clarius Entertainment
$4.6 1 $4.6 C-
Warner Bros.
$3.4 4 $78.1 B
A Most Wanted Man
Roadside Attractions
$2.7 1 $2.7 B
* in millions