L-R – Anthony, Joe Russo(LOS ANGELES) — Like the heroes in their action-packed finale of their biggest hit, Avengers: Endgame, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have emerged to battle a malevolent force: Martin Scorsese.

O.K., perhaps referring to the famed director’s headline-grabbing diss of Marvel movies as such is a bit too dramatic, but the Russos are just the latest to criticize Scorsese’s opinion that the films are “not cinema.”

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter while promoting 21 Bridges, the film they produced with Avengers star Chadwick Boseman, Joe Russo said,  “Ultimately, we define ‘cinema’ as a film that can bring people together to have a shared, emotional experience.”

“The other way to think about it, too, is, nobody owns cinema,” Anthony added. “We don’t own cinema. You don’t own cinema. Scorsese doesn’t own cinema.”Joe jokes, “But, at the end of the day, what do we know? We’re just two guys from Cleveland, Ohio, and ‘cinema’ is a New York word. In Cleveland, we call them movies.”

The Russos also pointed out that Scorsese, by his own admission, hasn’t seen all the movies he’s flaming.

And just because a movie is a huge commercial success, Joe Russo explains, that doesn’t mean it’s artistically bankrupt.  As Russo notes of Avengers: Endgame’s status as the highest-grossing movie of all time, “[W]e don’t see that as a signifier of financial success. We see it as a signifier of emotional success.”

“It’s a movie that had an unprecedented impact on audiences around the world in the way that they shared that narrative and the way that they experienced it,” he says. “And the emotions they felt watching it.”  Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.