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Avengers: Infinity War's best and worst lines

Avengers: Infinity War is the longest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to date, but its epic runtime doesn't even begin to describe its scope. It takes place in more than half a dozen major locations, features dozens of speaking roles, and stars numerous familiar characters who like to talk a lot. To say that screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had their work cut out for them is an understatement. A lot of words are spoken over the course of this film, and inevitably, while the dialogue includes some of the most memorable lines in the quip-filled MCU, others...well, aren't as great. Everyone's going to come out of Infinity War with a favorite line (or two, or ten), and everyone's going to hear a few things that land with a bit of a thud, whether because they're just slightly clumsy lines or because they don't quite work in their particular moment. With that in mind, here's a spoiler-filled look at ten of the best and worst lines from the jam-packed Avengers: Infinity War

Best: Trading lives

Infinity War is a film of very, very high stakes, and as a result, it finds many of the film's core characters debating how best to handle those stakes. Vision (Paul Bettany), who has one of the Infinity Stones — the Mind Stone — in his head, is at the center of one of the most difficult conundrums. After nearly dying at the hands of the Black Order, he suggests that it's better for Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) to simply destroy the stone, and himself, rather than risk it falling into the wrong hands and costing untold lives. Captain America (Chris Evans) counters with a simple declaration: "We don't trade lives." This is, of course, far from simple, and even the mighty Steve Rogers is very much aware of that. It doesn't stop him from aiming for the best possible outcome and holding out hope for as long as possible, though, and it delivers a huge payoff when Vision saves his life later in the film.

Worst: Thanos boasts

As the film's most important character and Marvel's most formidable villain so far, Thanos (Josh Brolin) naturally gets many of the film's best lines, but one he utters early on lands with at least a little bit of a thud. Standing amid the bodies of dead and dying Asgardians, with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) clutched in one hand like a rag doll, he gives a threatening little speech about the feeling that comes with losing. Then, in attempt to put an exclamation point on it, he says: "Your destiny arrives all the same, and now it's here. Or should I say...I am." The whole speech is still effective, but that last little "Or should I say..." feels like a bit too much. Thanos obviously sees himself as an instrument of destiny in his quest to cleanse the universe of half of its population, but he could have made the point just as easily by ending the speech earlier and then brandishing his gauntlet with its gleaming Power Stone. Still, if he hadn't gone on so long, we wouldn't have gotten Thor's classic quip about Thanos talking too much.

Best: Superhero names

It's a tradition in big superhero crossover events to take some time out of all of the universe-saving for a little banter between heroes, establishing how their varying personalities play into the overall narrative. Infinity War has scenes like that to spare, and many of the best include one of the MCU's newest members: Spider-Man (Tom Holland). That, plus Spidey's gift for wit, pays off from the get-go, and gets a particularly laugh big laugh during the scene in which he and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) are getting acquainted. Spidey leads off by using his real name, Peter Parker, while Strange simply introduces himself as Doctor Strange, because his superhero name and his real name are one and the same. Peter's reply — "Oh, we're using our made-up names. I'm Spider-Man, then." — is a perfect comedic boost in between action scenes. It re-establishes that Peter is still new at this whole superhero thing, that Strange is still rather at odds with the Avengers, and that Spider-Man can't stop talking no matter how big the events around him might be.

Worst: Rocket's wisecrack in a graveyard

Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) is a smartass. He always has been and he always will be, even in the biggest emotional moments of the Guardians of the Galaxy films. It's no surprise that he's just as sardonic and quick to mock when Infinity War rolls around, including his continued obsession with prosthetic appendages of all kinds. One particular joke from Rocket, though, felt a little out of place even by his standards. When the Guardians crew arrives at the spot where Thor's now-destroyed ship once was, they find the space around them littered with corpses and debris. A few moments before, they were joking around about how they'd get money out of whoever they were saving, but upon seeing the carnage everyone else is shocked and saddened. Rocket, on the other, simply says "I guess we're not gettin' paid." The line could have worked in terms of the character using humor as a defense mechanism, but after two straight movies in which he had to learn to care about others, it felt off. Plus, it's followed by him screaming to turn the wipers on to get Thor off the windshield, which is a much better tension breaker.

Best: Thanos and Gamora

Gamora (Zoe Saldana) was introduced into the MCU as the "daughter" of Thanos, a position that she didn't relish but that nonetheless defined her as a person with a dark past on a quest for redemption with the Guardians of the Galaxy. We knew that connection was there and it would likely play into Infinity War, but it's doubtful many expected it to be the most heart-wrenching part of the film. What begins with Gamora warning everyone else of what Thanos wants and how far he'll go to get it ends with Gamora realizing that, in his own twisted way, her "father" really loved her and dreaded having to give her up in order to fulfill his quest. That deep moral conflict, underlined further by the reality that Thanos somehow helped make Gamora the good, fierce warrior she is at the time of the film, is filled with memorable moments, from Thanos opting not to sit on his own throne because he knows Gamora hates it to Gamora weeping when she thinks she's finally killed the tyrant. There are a number of memorable lines, but perhaps the one that sticks the most in the end is what Thanos says when he first meets his daughter as a little girl on her home planet: "You're quite the fighter, Gamora."

Worst: Thunderbolt Ross talks tough

The best thing about Captain America: Civil War was the meaningful emotional core that came with two camps of superheroes forced to come down on two sides of a complex moral argument. The worst thing about Civil War? The ongoing bureaucratic background radiation that came with its fallout. In Infinity War, fortunately, very little time is spent on this, except for a brief moment to catch everyone up on where Hawkeye and Ant-Man are (under house arrest, apparently) and an appearance by Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt), the Secretary of State who got behind the Sokovia Accords. Because Steve Rogers and his crew chose to defy the Accords even after the events of Civil War, Ross still considers them war criminals, and he says as much when they show up at the upstate Avengers facility to seek War Machine's (Don Cheadle) help. Ross appears only briefly, and in hologram form, but he takes enough time out of the evolving crisis to chastise Cap one more time. "The world's on fire, and you think all's forgiven?" he asks Rogers, who assures Ross that he'll go down fighting if he's forced to. It's a short exchange, but enough to make you groan a little bit. Still, it's helped by Ross quickly accepting that, for the moment, he and the former Captain America need each other once again.

Best: Parting words from Thanos

Thanos gets a number of appropriately grandiose speeches in Infinity War, whether he's explaining his motivations to Gamora or simply trying to tell the Avengers why all their efforts to fight him will ultimately prove irrelevant. He saves one of these, very appropriately, for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who spends the film haunted by the "curse" of Thanos that's been hovering over him ever since The Avengers. Stark doesn't just see the Thanos threat as something he has to stop as a superhero. It's personal to him. It's the thing that keeps him up at night, that keeps him from starting a family or attempting to live any semblance of a normal life, so he wants very badly to wipe that curse from his mind. When Thanos beats him back, confident in victory, he informs Stark that he also knew of him, that they're both cursed with knowledge that they don't want, and Stark has won his respect. Then, as Stark starts to bleed out among the ruins of Titan, Thanos delivers the kicker: After reminding Stark that half of humanity will survive his purge, he looks the godfather of the MCU dead in the eyes and says "I hope they remember you." Moments later Thanos is gone, Iron Man is helpless, and hope seems lost. Ouch.

Worst: Star-Lord can't stop bragging

Humility and emotional maturity have never really been things Peter "Star-Lord" Quill (Chris Pratt) is good at. He likes to talk trash, brag about his achievements, and flex both his physical and egotistical muscles. This hasn't been helped along by the fact that he's now in a real relationship with Gamora, so it's no surprise that he spends much of Infinity War comparing himself to other heroes. He's annoyed when Thor and his massive godly muscles show up to win over the Guardians, annoyed when Rocket gets to claim to be the captain of the ship, and annoyed when Iron Man tries to take control on Titan and do the planning. Then, when the gang finally gets to Thanos and has him within reach, Peter just can't shut up. Even before he gets emotional over Gamora's apparent death, he takes a second to brag "This was my plan, by the way," when it seems the Mad Titan is finally on the ropes. Now, it's really a bad line, but in the context of the scene and understanding the severity of what they're trying to accomplish — particularly after he failed in his promise to Gamora — it feels like the ultimate self-centered move at the very worst time.

Best: Spider-Man breaks our hearts

Tom Holland is a particularly great big screen Spider-Man because he's able to pivot between "Peter Parker, the frightened child" and "Spider-Man, the aspiring superhero" on an emotional dime, and it's often startling to watch. He does it particularly well in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and it's a skill that Infinity War is able to exploit for the saddest moment in a montage of very sad moments. When Thanos snaps his gauntleted fingers and wipes out half the universe, the surviving heroes watch as many of their comrades suddenly and inexplicably collapse into dust. On Titan, Tony Stark has to watch as Mantis, Drax, and Star-Lord fade away before his eyes, and then he turns to Peter Parker. Peter, his mask off, knows something is wrong (possibly because his budding Spider Sense tipped him to it even before he started to break apart) and it's so frightening that he runs to Stark and begs for his life, saying: "I don't want to go. I don't want to go, sir. Please, I don't want to go." Tony already looked at Peter as a kind of surrogate son, but his confession earlier in the film that he was thinking about finally having a child of his own, and Holland's remarkable performance as a scared kid far from home, only add to an already devastating moment. We already know we'll see Holland as Spidey again, but this was very hard to take nonetheless.

Worst: An unnecessary final line

Most of the montage in which our heroes have to watch their friends dissipate into dust passes in relative silence, with only the sounds of the environment around them and a few shocked words to break the tension. Spider-Man's heartbreaking final words are preceded by Strange's own goodbye ("there was no other way") and then it's all closed out by an exhausted and defeated Captain America simply sighing, "Oh God." Moments before that, though, War Machine steps into frame, surrounded by freaked out Avengers who can only look on in silence, and asks: "What is this? What the hell is happening?" It's a perfectly reasonable thing to ask when you just watched half the people around you disappear for no immediately apparent reason. Still, if only a little bit, it detracts from the stunned silence punctuated only by a few very effective lines. At this point, we don't need a character to ask "What is this?" when we've already seen it written on all of their faces. It's obvious that everyone is scared and confused and in mourning. War Machine vocalizing it doesn't really add to the moment. It all could have wrapped up with the silent Avengers in Wakanda and Cap's "Oh God," and worked just as well, if not better.