Tonight was the first public screening of 'The Avengers' and critics were told that they could not publish their reviews until they got closer to release. But they were allowed to tweet, and so here are the first reactions from that screening...

Alex Billington of firstshowing was quick out the gate with:

The Avengers - Epic. EPIC! Everyone fights everyone, but it does deliver. Marvel's movies get better every single one. Hulk! HULK!!

Whereas Devin Faraci of Badass digest was slightly more reserved, but mostly positive:

That'll do, Joss, that'll do. Btw, avoid THE AVENGERS in 3D. Worthless. See it 2D.

While Jeremy Smith (aka Mr. Beaks) of Aint it Cool News pointed to the film's faults, but suggested it ends well:

THE AVENGERS. Finally, a Marvel film with a rousing finish. I'll deal with the first two acts in my review. And that third act is more than enough to make THE AVENGERS the best Marvel movie yet.

Germain Lussier of Slashfilm is also mostly positive:

I'd tweet about The Avengers but my body is still recovering from non-stop geeking out. So, so, so much fun (for the most part).

Peter Sciretta of Slashfilm added:

The Avengers is pretty epic. There is probably more action in this film's climax than all the other Marvel movie combines!

Movieline's Jen Yamato offered this saucy tweet:

Avengers was big, messy, fun. More importantly there's now nothing but Hawkeye fanfic swimming around in my head

Our Don Kaye said:

In a word, awesome. This is the AVENGERS movie you've dreamed of.

Steve Weintraub of Collider added:

Absolutely loved THE AVENGERS. Was smiling from beginning to end. If you're a Marvel fan you're going to lose your shit in the theater.

Of course, this is just the early word from a screening that coincided with the premiere, but with that wider spectrum of tastes it makes it sound like the film is mostly good, and that geeks will lose their minds. Which they've been doing for quite some time now. The film opens proper May 4. We'll have our review closer to release.