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Iron Man 3 Review Critics


Dave White Profile

You'll put your eye out, kid. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Variety Scott Foundas

    Iron Man 3 is more perfunctory and workmanlike than its two predecessors, but this solid production still delivers more than enough of what fans expect.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    The big problems with Iron Man 3 are less specific to the movie itself than they are characteristic of the hypermalaise that’s infected so many current mega-blockbusters—too much plot, too much action, too many characters, too many pseudo-feelings.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The third iteration of a franchise that began so well becomes a hollow hymn to martial gadgetry. The suits and story clank in unison.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    It's not without its payoffs; I enjoyed a lot of it. But overall last year's "Avengers" delivered the bombastic goods more efficiently than this year's Marvel.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The rambunctious Iron Man 3 is a briskly paced thrill ride until about 90 minutes in, when the excitement wanes. A few late-breaking surprises re-invigorate the tale, however.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Black and his co-screenwriter, first-timer Drew Pearce, have great fun reshuffling the deck, teasing about who might occupy what superhero suit and morphing the story along with identity revelations and expansions of the dramatic horizons; the well-chosen cast members respond in kind with virtually palpable glee.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    Thanks to Downey’s genius, Iron Man 3 is equally terrific, whether Tony’s fending off an army of villains or bantering with a kid in a shed on a cold, snowy night.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Iron Man 3 is an ominously exciting, shoot-the-works comic-book spectacular.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Fewer playboy antics, but still plenty of violence.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Iron Man 3 is another big-budget entry in the Marvel universe, and after the immense popularity of 2012's The Avengers, it will have huge appeal for tweens, teens, and adults alike. The violence is as explosive, large-scale, and pulse-quickening as you'd expect from this franchise. While the body count and mass devastation aren't as high as in The Avengers, scenes of both extremely destructive public bombings and casual shootings could be disturbing; overall, there's a bigger "human" factor to the violence here than in Robert Downey Jr.'s previous Iron Man movies, which involved more robot/machine action. On the other hand, there's less sexuality here (aside from a mention of a one-night stand and shots of women in bikinis or bra and panties) than in the other two, and language is on the milder side (one "s--t" and "p---y," plus "goddamn," "jerk," "hell," "ass," etc.). Expect some drinking and product placement. Iron Man 3 is as much about Tony figuring out who he is without the suit as he is with it, and there are some mature themes about identity, anxiety, the dangers of unchecked power, and the necessity of a moral compass.

  • Families can talk about the movies in the Marvel universe. How does Iron Man stack up against the other Avengers films? Do you prefer the individual superhero movies or The Avengers together? Why?
  • How has Tony changed since the events of The Avengers? How is this movie a response to Captain America's question about what Tony is without his suit? Why does Tony wonder whether he's as worthy as his other "super friends"?
  • Tony's going through an identity crisis in Iron Man 3. Which other superheroes have comparable moments of introspection of anxiety with their "super" gifts?
  • Are weapons of war glamorized in the movie? Should weapons be portrayed as that shiny and cool? What message does this send?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Iron Man 3 has some of the most obvious messages in the franchise to date: that with power and opportunity, even the purest of intentions can mutate into hubris, greed, and ruthlessness. It also deals with themes of identity, anxiety, and the necessity of a moral compass. There's a clear distinction between the heroes and villains, with the exception of one misguided character who's confused.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: At this point, Tony is a much different man than he was in the first movie. He's committed and selfless, he acts as a heroic father figure to a young boy, and he saves strangers as often as he does friends -- though there are also scenes in which he casually (and almost glamorously) kills a villain's bodyguards. Rhodes is Tony's steadfast companion and best friend; Pepper is generous and patient with Tony's stubbornness and mood swings.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Although the violent confrontations are most graphic toward the end of the movie, there are plenty of cringe-inducing images in the first half, too: The Mandarin stages executions and big bombings in several public places that cause a ton of collateral damage and critical injuries, a man is assassinated on camera (audiences hear the gunshot but don't see the dead body), and a house is blasted to smithereens by missiles. Guards/bad guys are killed casually. There's also a huge battle between mutated soldiers and Iron Man and his remote-controlled suits. Weapons include the high-tech Iron Man suits, guns, bombs and explosives, and fists, though there's less robot-on-robot fighting this time and more humans involved in the violent moments.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Pepper and Tony kiss a few times. Pepper wears a sports bra and low-slung trousers in the movie's final sequence. In a flashback, Tony has a one-night stand with a woman who's briefly shown in her bra and panties. Also in a flashback, Tony makes jokes about "going to town on" a woman he's with for New Year's Eve. A villain views Pepper as his "trophy," and a bunch of bikini-clad/lingerie-wearing women laze about in a Miami mansion (two of them await a man in bed at once in one scene). A few short scenes take place at a beauty pageant, with women wearing skimpy swimsuits.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes one "s--t" and one teasing "p---y," plus "damn," "d--k," "what the hell," "ass," "crap," "idiot," "jerk," "bloody hell," "freak," "spaz," "goddamn," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Slightly fewer product placements than in Iron Man 2, but there are still several prominent close-ups of Audi cars, a Dora the Explorer watch, the companies Oracle and Sun, and PBS' Downton Abbey. Skype is also seen/used.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink at a New Year's Eve party and at a bar. A character admits he had a problem with substances and is often seen chugging a beer. But this is Tony's soberest movie.