10. Iron Man 3 (PG-13) - Runtime: 130 minutes
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce
Director: Shane Black
First of all, kudos to Marvel for just naming this Iron Man 3, instead of some vague subtitled mess like Iron Man: The Phantom Mandarin or some such nonsense (If only they would apply this straight forward thinking toward the new Captain America and Thor movie titles!). And secondly, this is by far the best Iron Man movie out there. That's a bold statement, but IM3 delivers on a lot more action, more laughs and arguably one of the better character arcs for a superhero movie.
Tony Stark is dealing with all the shit that went down in New York during the Avengers and can't grasp that Iron Man himself would have to deal with something trivial as anxiety attacks. He's living in a world where an alien threat seems imminent and there's all sorts of weird dimensions and possibly magic. Tony Stark is a mechanic and a man of science and all of these events have shaken him to the core. Now a new threat, the Mandarin makes things personal for Tony and he's out for revenge on top of it all.
I don't think I need to talk too much about the movie - it's just really well paced - at over 2 hours it breezes by. Helping that is a good dose of humor throughout - Downey, Jr., is of course, perfect again, but he's aided by a supporting cast and a great self-aware script that pokes fun at itself occasionally (like the hired goon who, when faced with death by the hands of Iron Man, yells "I don't even like working here. These guys are really weird!"). Everyone gets their moment to shine in this movie - especially Ben Kingsley, whom Maggie thought was "just a delight!" I couldn't agree more - this movie is energetic and engaging.
Plus the action is a step up in regards to previous installments. Stark's house being destroyed is simply stunning - a beautiful disaster and the end climax doesn't wear out its welcome. Plus in between you have a great rhythm of action and drama and comedy. Shane Black nailed it here and I would love it for him to come back again to these characters - it's just something he gets.
If you haven't seen it yet and you have enjoyed the Marvel movies so far, you owe it to yourself to see this spectacle of a movie right away. It's not perfect, but it's most definitely the best movie I've seen all year!
Rating: See It!