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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

Iron Man
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by brianorndorf

"Robert Downey Jr. is a comic-book-movie gift"
4 stars

Superheroes have been young, mutated, and alien, but they’re rarely fortysomething billionaires with a taste for one-night-stands, metallurgy, and scotch. Perhaps this is why “Iron Man” is so effective, taking well-worn feats of courage and subverting the candied results with a pinch of adulthood and plenty of acidic humor. The feature doesn’t quite leap off the screen, but it’s a wonderful ride.

A brazen war profiteer overseeing his own weapons industry, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is pushed to reassess his life when violently taken hostage in the Middle-East and fitted with a powerful magnet-like device to keep shrapnel out of his vital organs. Hoping to abandon the mass-death game, Tony turns inward, creating an intelligent suit of armor that he trusts will assist him in reclaiming the world he’s helped tear apart. With the help of faithful assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and military pal Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard), Stark works to perfect his suit; however, when business partner Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) learns of Stark’s ambitions, he sets in motion a plan to harvest the playboy’s new powers for himself.

Downey Jr.? Paltrow? Bridges? Howard? A voice cameo by Paul Bettany? Well, director Jon Favreau was certainly doing his homework when stitching together his fourth filmmaking effort, “Iron Man.” Easily the best ensemble to hand-hold a funny book to the big screen, the cast makes all the difference in the world between “Iron Man” sinking into medium-awareness mediocrity and smashing ahead as a top-tier adaptation, capable of big summer-movie thrills and sharp, sarcastic laughs. It’s a strange brew, but Favreau is an ideal cook, and takes impressive command over this strange superhero property, pulling together an unexpected film that intends to play by caped, hands-on-hips standards, but has a much better time messing around with convention.

Stark isn’t the typical character for a comic book metamorphosis, and Downey Jr. is certainly not the first actor that springs to mind when considering the tenets of truth and justice; yet the crooked casting works in favor of “Iron Man.” Downey Jr. is a scream here as the blithe Stark, lording over his empire with a boozy grin; a womanizer with impeccable publicity and a constant circle of yes men, Downey Jr. does an impressive job humanizing Stark beyond the frown lines. His character arc is an intriguing one, taking Stark from a coin-hungry jet-setter to a man concerned with his legacy of violence, and willing to reach beyond himself to right his extensive wrongs. Stark is no saint, and his ballooned ego is a plot point Downey Jr. tees up with brilliantly, playing off his cast with rat-pack ease, and sharing touching chemistry with Paltrow. He’s perfect in this role.

Because “Iron Man” is an origin tale, Favreau tries to unearth any moment of goosebumpy goodness he can find between exposition sequences, but the pickings are slim. Following Stark through his incarceration in Afghanistan, his renunciation of industrialism, and the creation of the famous red and gold suit, the picture is allowed short bursts of excitement and, heavens, they are tremendous moments. Watching Stark test his various suits, getting used to their spastic capabilities are the highlights of the picture, merging special effects and generous actor beats into an entertaining whole. Trouble only arrives when Favreau becomes too enamored with this world, which leaves the 125-minute running time too sludgy in the midsection of the film, rendering the climatic fight between Iron Man and villain Iron Monger stunningly ineffective. Perhaps Favreau, a gifted director, didn’t realize how sharply executed Stark’s earlier scenes of trial and error were, leaving the end of the film a payoff letdown, but still worthy of a few superb metal-crunching money shots.

If the enthusiastic crowd I caught “Iron Man” with was any indication, there are plenty of obscure comic book references packed into the picture to please long-standing fans, while the overall film remains more accessible than I was expecting. “Iron Man” is a high-quality entry in the superhero genre, and while it doesn’t scream sequel at the end, Favreau is generous with dangling plot threads, and with all that origin nonsense out of the way, Tony Stark is poised to continue on into one heck of a sequel.

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originally posted: 05/03/08 02:51:01
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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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