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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 32.39%
Average: 9.09%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 3.41%

7 reviews, 134 user ratings

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Iron Man
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by Lybarger

"Why can’t all movies made from Stan Lee comics be this good?"
5 stars

‘Iron Man’ has several advantages over a lot of recent efforts in the superhero genre. It features a solid cast, snappy dialogue, some pleasant surprises, expectedly impressive special effects and even a hint of subtle social commentary. But most importantly, it’s fun.

Director Jon Favreau (“Elf,” “Zathura”) makes some quirky but intriguing choices that keep the film from being stale or rote. The most notable of these is casting Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role.

As Tony Stark, the weapons tycoon who puts on a high-tech suit of armor to take on bad guys, Downey manages to find dozens of intriguing nuances that manage to make the altar ego just as if not more entertaining than the superhero himself.

Stark’s prodigious engineering skills have enabled him to expand on the wealth he has inherited for his father. His company is a top supplier to the Pentagon, which gives Tony the resources to spend obscenely high amounts on wine, women and Jackson Pollack paintings.

His careless lifestyle concerns his friend Colonel Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard) and his assistant Virginia “Pepper” Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), who worry that he might just party himself to death.

Stark is forced to radically examine his life when after demonstrating his newest missile, he’s captured by Afghan terrorists and forced to make them an exact copy of the new weapon. Teaming up with a local doctor (Shaun Toub, “The Kite Runner”) who’s also being held captive, he instead builds a suit that enables him to take on multiple opponents.

Stark returns home appalled that his weapons had been sold to terrorists as freely as they were sold to the U.S. military. But his stockholders and his second-in-command Obadiah Stone (Jeff Bridges) may take the company from him before he can put a stop to the atrocities.

Downey’s acerbic delivery makes Tony as entertaining as he is self-absorbed. When Pepper discovered Tony removing the Iron Man armor she knows nothing about, Downey blithely tells her, “Let’s be honest. This isn’t the worst thing you’ve caught me doing.”

Downey is also able to play the reformed Tony without slipping into caricature. Because Tony Stark is so convincingly human, it’s much easier to cheer for him and to want him to beat bad guys senseless.

What’s most remarkable about “Iron Man” is that viewers actually have to wait a bit before Stark dons his metallic armor. The fact that the wait isn’t a burden can be directly attributed to Downey. He can effortlessly elicit laughter or empathy, almost at will.

The able supporting players certainly don’t hurt. Howard makes an able sidekick, who gets to do more than simply admire Stark’s lethal toys, and Bridges is wonderfully cold and conscienceless as Stone.

Oscar-winner Paltrow would seem to be overqualified to play Stark’s girl-Friday, but screenwriters Mark Fergus, Hawk Osby, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway thankfully give her substantial tasks instead of simply serving as a damsel-in-distress.

The screenwriters also make room for trail and error. Much of the joy of the film comes from Stark trying to fix the deficiencies in his new suit while he’s on missions. Apparently, evil isn’t taking any breaks.

When the action does come, Favreau, who demonstrated a genuine flair for special effects in “Zathura,” deftly keeps it from looking silly or cartoonish. With Downey providing the wisecracks and the attitude, Favreau’s straightforward approach proves a perfect counterpoint. Favreau also has the good sense to know that impressive hardware can get boring quickly if the people using it aren’t interesting.

As with a lot of the heroes Marvel Comics giant Stan Lee has created or co-created (yes, he makes yet another funny cameo here), Tony Stark’s is intriguing because his impressive abilities are matched with real-world neuroses. Like Lee, Favreau knows that great visuals are to be treasured, but good characters and stories can make those images more compelling than they would be alone.

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originally posted: 05/03/08 13:51:05
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User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell great fun skip 2&3 though 5 stars
5/12/15 Christian Paulson The rebirth of comic-book movies!!! 5 stars
10/02/14 Horror Lover Still the best solo superhero movie from the Avengers Universe. 4 stars
8/27/12 roscoe disappointing because relies heavily on stark and not enough of iron man 3 stars
10/19/11 Magic The most fun superhero movie at that time. RDJ's best performance in years. 4 stars
1/22/11 Jeff Wilder Easily among the best recent superhero movies. 5 stars
12/03/10 Dr.Lao Definitely one of the better live action marvel superhero movies 4 stars
9/11/10 Barbara Leaf Downey, Jr. looked vulnerable with his puppydog eye -until he donned that iron suit -WOW. 5 stars
2/24/09 man love it 5 stars
2/08/09 Monday Morning Great super hero. He should kick some Wall St. banker and politician ass in the sequel.. 4 stars
1/01/09 zenny not bad, not bad at all 4 stars
11/01/08 Annie G A little disappointing based on reviews, but still an enjoyable action flick. 3 stars
10/21/08 Nichole This is the best movie! 5 stars
10/10/08 man fantastic 5 stars
10/10/08 dude so good 5 stars
10/07/08 Luisa Robert Downey Jr is awesome! Great action flick! 5 stars
10/02/08 Charles Tatum Nothing but fun, great cast and action sequences 5 stars
8/27/08 Shaun Wallner One of the greatest movies ever made! 5 stars
8/22/08 The Talking Elbow Way better than the Dark Knight fo sho 5 stars
8/06/08 E K Zimmerman Extraordinary! Bring on the sequels! 5 stars
7/28/08 David Good, but a little overrated. 4 stars
7/19/08 Susan Lee Love RDJ but was skeptical about his role .. he did awesome job. Gweneth was wasted tho 5 stars
7/14/08 Karen Awesome movie! 5 stars
6/26/08 DK Downey is immense and good script but the ending was like Transformers done worse. 4 stars
6/26/08 Mario A bit overrated, but still a good action film. 4 stars
6/25/08 JD Smith A bit uneven, but overall V entertaining 4 stars
6/25/08 FJ Am ever a fan of RDJ. Thee movie is entertaining, but i would say slightly overhyped. 4 stars
6/22/08 J Black Excellent movie RD, jr was perfect for the role 5 stars
6/22/08 David V Great acting and action, but this is a little over-rated. 4 stars
6/12/08 Heather Incredibly fun movie. Robert Downey Jr. was ubelievably brilliant. 5 stars
6/08/08 John Patricio Great ac tion and acting. How could you not love it. 5 stars
6/06/08 Ming K BEST Comic film of the year...great actions and story 5 stars
6/05/08 Jayson Robert Downey, Jr. was perfect!! 4 stars
6/05/08 katmagick Robert Downey Jr is excellent in this flick! 5 stars
6/04/08 Dana awesome movie i highly recommend it 5 stars
6/02/08 George Barksdale Good action movie and worth going to 4 stars
5/29/08 Raymond What a load of can such crap get good press reviews??!!?? 1 stars
5/28/08 jordan keith i loved this movie but what happens after the credits? 5 stars
5/28/08 Arcane The moive is good, but wayyyyyyyy overhyped. 4 stars
5/26/08 R.W. Welch Hi-caliber perfs for a comic book flick, especially Bridges' smarmy villain. 4 stars
5/20/08 bullit16 Not just a great superhero movie ... a great movie 5 stars
5/19/08 Bert Overrated, formula movie,unlikable people 3 stars
5/18/08 mr.mike Close to awesome , climactic battle could have been a bit better. 4 stars
5/18/08 jm Overrated if you ask me. Good story, crap action. Tony stark is hard to like. 3 stars
5/17/08 Anthony Feor This is the superhero movie I've been waiting for. It is the best one ever made. 5 stars
5/14/08 dude great 5 stars
5/13/08 matt end fight could have been longer, but highly enjoyable 4 stars
5/12/08 pin Finally. Great Casting. a little cheap on the music. 5 stars
5/12/08 austin wertman best superhero movie since spider-man 2 5 stars
5/12/08 kris Overrated. Only the first 30 mins were very good, the rest was formulaic and for kids. 3 stars
5/11/08 Koitus A couple of unlikely plot points (original suit=no eye protection), but still a good movie. 4 stars
5/11/08 Ole Man Bourbon Meh. 3 stars
5/10/08 ironman this film is fkin awsome 5 stars
5/09/08 Quigley Surprisingly excellent comic book film. Great CG effects and spetacular Robert Downey, Jr. 5 stars
5/07/08 dee Great movie, great cast, Downey is terrific 5 stars
5/07/08 Greg It's a movie about evil weapons-makers and it's still non bleeding-heart enough for you? 5 stars
5/07/08 Sarbu Rada Yes, an amazing movie. No wonder it made so much money and they already plan the sequel 5 stars
5/07/08 my precious What a whiney reviewer... forgot to take his meds so that he could properly review a movie. 5 stars
5/06/08 AJ Muller Oh, and I can't take it anymore - Gonsalves is fucking retarded. Erase this if you will - 5 stars
5/06/08 michaelb1478 Downey was spot on, great comic book movie 5 stars
5/06/08 Loserboy2049 When life hands you lemons just dance a disco beat 3 stars
5/06/08 AJ Muller Downey is perfect; Favreau does a kickass job. One of the best comic flicks ever. 5 stars
5/06/08 carlos Not perfect, but > than SM3, X3 & others trying 2 do 2 much. Oh, & easter egg aft credits! 5 stars
5/06/08 Wolfrider Didnt exactly live up to my expectations - but the GF liked it 3 stars
5/06/08 CallistaZM I would agree with others that this is the best superhero movie I've ever seen. 5 stars
5/06/08 diggz it was ok. but the fighting scene at the end has the corniest dialouge ive ever heard. 3 stars
5/06/08 Cherie Partain Great movie -- Robert Downey, Jr. was great! 5 stars
5/06/08 Loserboy2049 Take it from me, rust doesn't taste like ketchup! 1 stars
5/06/08 sue bobier Best movie in a long time, robert downey, jr is awesome! 5 stars
5/06/08 STH Rob, Iron Man kicked ass. nuff said 5 stars
5/06/08 Loserboy2049 One time I got lost in an abdondoned van 5 stars
5/06/08 Excruciator Why is this bonehead allowed to review movies with any measure of authority? 5 stars
5/06/08 mlvassallo You know Rotten Tomatoes labled your review as "Fresh"... so you are helping with the ratio 5 stars
5/05/08 Blue Knuckle Your review is replete with spelling errors!!!!! 5 stars
5/05/08 NB Your first sentence has a flaw. He is repentant 5 stars
5/05/08 Loserboy2049 My feet smell like cat piss after I stepped in cat piss... 1 stars
5/05/08 Brett Your review is inane. Great superhero rollercoaster ride! 5 stars
5/05/08 FredGarvin I'm very sorry for what seems to have happened to you as a child. It wasn't your fault. 5 stars
5/05/08 Amy You just seem to hate that it's popular and that it isn't a bleeding heart anti-war film 5 stars
5/05/08 Mark In the hands of a lesser actor, this movie would have fallen on its face. Props RDJR. 4 stars
5/05/08 igor deviates in a good way from many recent superhero movies 5 stars
5/05/08 MightyMad For God's sake, Rob: it's a summer blockbuster, dummy! Enjoy it for what it is - I did! 5 stars
5/05/08 Ryan Best superhero I have seen 5 stars
5/05/08 Kevin This reviewer is insane 5 stars
5/05/08 JC Awful, predictable movie... this thing didn't surprise me once and relied on cheap humor... 1 stars
5/05/08 Dennis Awesome movie had alot of fun watching it might even go back and see it again your review s 5 stars
5/05/08 BB It's pretty good movie. I supose it's just that you don't like superhero movies that much 4 stars
5/05/08 Andre The movie is true to the source material, and fun, it isnt pro war, or right wing 5 stars
5/05/08 Ya Daddy Anybody that didn't like this plays with Care Bears 5 stars
5/05/08 Bob best movie I've seen lately. 4 stars
5/05/08 Kay Best superhero flick ever! Downey was fantastic! 5 stars
5/05/08 Darkstar Be sure to wait until after the credits roll for the best scene of the movie. 5 stars
5/05/08 Doc Austin I wanna see it again! Sorry if I'm politically incorrect here, but i liked it a lot. 5 stars
5/05/08 bill s stick to art-house. i hate when movies try to drag reviewers down to theri level 5 stars
5/05/08 Michael Quite simply the movie was boring- it wasn't about anything after he escaped from kidnapin. 1 stars
5/05/08 zetronet This critic can not be taken seriously and should not be paid more than minimum wage 5 stars
5/05/08 Jimmy probably great if you're a comic book fan, otherwise it's just kind of meh 3 stars
5/05/08 Destarius This movie rated 94%. You're not intellectual, you're just flatulent and out of touch. 5 stars
5/05/08 Terry You're rating simply shows your liberal upbringing - get a grip! The movie is excellent! 5 stars
5/05/08 Derek C "Iron Man is as thoughtless as it is weightless." Much like your review, Iron Man rocks!! 5 stars
5/05/08 Drei Hw didn't bring up the fact that he killed people himself because he didn't people knowing. 5 stars
5/05/08 joey Your review stinked... awesome movie! .. setting up for a nice sequal 5 stars
5/05/08 Diesel Downey captures the snarkiness of Stark and achieves superhero-movie apotheosis! 5 stars
5/04/08 Kzach What a dumb review. Talk about having an agenda. Get off your political high horse, moron. 5 stars
5/04/08 johnnybgoode Great casting. One of the best superhero movies to date. 5 stars
5/04/08 Dutch Your right , great entry into superhero flicks but the end was a letdown. 4 stars
5/04/08 m price GREAT comic book movie. Plus far-lefty Tom Morello gets it in the cave. Nice touch. 5 stars
5/04/08 Steve Excellent movie, ignore this pretentious wannabe and his subpar review and go see it! 5 stars
5/04/08 MCMC Another bitter, failed critic pooping and screaming for attention and praise. 5 stars
5/04/08 philip Simply incredible, best superhero movie to date. 5 stars
5/04/08 SonofAnon Very good movie I don't know why people give it bad reviews could of been like fantastic 4 5 stars
5/04/08 AJ Gudmundsen "I saw Americans Die" I dont know you didnt understand that. 5 stars
5/04/08 Kyle What the hell is this reviewer talking about? Pretentious douche ahoy! 4 stars
5/04/08 Kanoose One of the best movies I've ever seen. Was enjoyable from start to finish. Good job. 5 stars
5/04/08 ska-boss I was thinking the same thing when he said "I saw Americans die" 4 stars
5/04/08 Jerry N. Wow. Once again Gonsalves has proved himself to be mentally hadicapped. 5 stars
5/04/08 lawl Pretentious douchebag critic drowned in fanboy spam, and rightfully so. I lol. 5 stars
5/04/08 Stephen Glad someone says it. This movie is awful. 1 stars
5/04/08 stavos williams Talk about pretentious critics - Rob "SnobMan" Gonsalves wants a moralistic pacifist Ghandi 5 stars
5/04/08 Rock Star This reviewer does social commentary better than film criticism 5 stars
5/04/08 John Christopher The movie was fantastic, and you review was poor. Maybe you should find a new career. 5 stars
5/04/08 Phil The best super-hero film? It just might be....... 5 stars
5/04/08 Tony G The bar has been set for super-hero movies and Iron Man is IT!!! 5 stars
5/04/08 Jmac64 Saw Movie twice in 12 the only choice for Stark...A Millenium Classic 5 stars
5/04/08 Jacqueline Carpenter Keeps me interered all through 5 stars
5/04/08 gcc Equal to the 1st spidey and x-men, Downey perfect as Stark, well done. 5 stars
5/03/08 sebas1972 Excellent movie!!! Stay during the end credits... surprise at the end!!! 5 stars
5/03/08 Obi Wan Very well done movie. RDJ, JB and GP were on the money! 5 stars
5/03/08 Dan Excellent. Downey Jr. was perfectly cast and did a superb job. Only weakness was PepperPots 5 stars
5/03/08 john nicely done...2008 is finally getting some great movies like '...Sarah Marshall 5 stars
5/03/08 action movie fan very good adaption of marvel super hero-downey is good as stark-good story 4 stars
5/03/08 damalc big fight should have been longer, but very good. downey cast was perfect! 4 stars
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  02-May-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Sep-2008


  DVD: 30-Sep-2008

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