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Iron Man 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.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    You hire an actor for his strengths, and Downey would not be strong as a one-dimensional mighty-man. He is strong because he is smart, quick and funny, and because we sense his public persona masks deep private wounds. By building on that, Favreau found his movie, and it's a good one.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The gadgetry is absolutely dazzling, the action is mostly exhilarating, the comedy is scintillating and the whole enormous enterprise, spawned by Marvel comics, throbs with dramatic energy because the man inside the shiny red robotic rig is a daring choice for an action hero, and an inspired one.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Iron Man's biggest strength is that the fantastically armored suit doesn't overpower the intriguingly flawed character encased within.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Even at his coolest, Downey's Iron Man remains a ghostly, neurotic crusader -- one whose life, in the Marvel tradition, has become a grand spectacle of overcompensation.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Downey plays off his own bad-boy image wonderfully. The writers give him great lines to work with and ditto that for his Girl Friday, Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts, whose own svelte lines cannot be improved on.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Great action, lots of style, some iffy stuff.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids may clamor to see this fast-paced, action-packed comic book-based adventure. But it's definitely more age-appropriate for teens than younger children. Although much of the violence is clearly meant to be based in the realm of sci-fi and fantasy -- and/or is shown at a distance -- there's plenty of it, from massive explosions to children held at gunpoint to super-powered fistfights. Some of the violence is war themed, and some characters get hurt and/or die. While much is made of lead character Tony Stark's devil-may-care lifestyle of fun and frolic, viewers also see him turn away from the more irresponsible aspects of playboyhood. Language is minimal, and sexual content is more suggested than shown overall -- though there are a few eyebrow-raising moments.

  • Families can talk about the popularity of comic book movies. Do they speak to escapism or darker fantasies about power?
  • How does the fact that much of the movie's violence is based in fantasy affect its impact? How is it different watching human characters get hurt than robots and other beings?
  • Iron Man may be a do-gooder, but he's no Boy Scout. Can heroic characters still be flawed? Does that make them more heroic or less?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: "Good guys" and "bad guys" are pretty clearly delineated, but there's some ethical iffiness on both sides. Extensive discussion of the morality of weapons sales, as well as the nature and character of maintaining peace through possession of the biggest guns.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Tony is a carefree playboy who eventually discovers a conscience and tries to do good. He's initially captured by terrorists, but another character offers him aid, assistance, and moral guidance. The movie's villain is clearly a bad guy.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Extensive, constant sci-fi action and war violence. Characters (including kids) are held at gunpoint; adult villagers are rounded up by bad guys and separated from their kids; wounded characters bleed; people perish in explosions or at the hands of weapons; Iron Man's armor shoots energy rays, micro-missiles, and, in an early version, flames -- all of which are used as weapons (the flame throwers result in some massive fireballs). Characters in high-tech power armor have impressive, super-powered fistfights.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Some making out and tumbling about in bed (partially clothed woman); a young woman wakes up in a bed covered only by a sheet, presumably after sex, and then walks around wearing just a man's shirt; stewardesses dance suggestively (a stripper pole is present but not used); much is made of Tony Stark's reputation as a playboy. Some flirting.

  • language false2

    Language: Mild sexually suggestive language. Fairly infrequent use of words like "damn" and "hell." Generally, tame langage for PG-13.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise. Contextual references to Burger King, and characters drive Audi cars (both companies have promotional agreements with the film). Verizon cell phones. A montage includes several mock magazine covers with visible logos: Time, Newsweek, Wired, Rolling Stone, and others.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Alcohol is consumed frequently; one character enjoys a cigar, albeit mostly as a prop.