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'Iron Man 3': Tony Stark As Home-Brew Hero.

Director and co-writer Shane Black kicks Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., out of his comfort zone — a choice that has Stark functioning as a lone gumshoe, thinking like a garage mechanic and, when necessary, straight-up MacGyvering a fix.


The New British Empire: Pop-Culture Powerhouses.

James Bond and The Rolling Stones both turn 50 this year. As critic John Powers points out, both may have been born in response to a dying British Empire, but their evolving legacies have reflected the times through which these brands have lived.


Historical, Fictional Icons Take To The Big Screen.

Two of the year's most highly anticipated movies arrive this week. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, and Skyfall, the third film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond 007, directed by American Beauty Oscar-winner Sam Mendes. Film critic David Edelstein has this review of both.


A 'Snow White' As Bleak As It Is Grimm.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm first published Snow White in 1812, but the story had been around for centuries and would continue to evolve. Opening Friday is the latest and perhaps darkest treatment, Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth.


'The Avengers': A Marvel-Ous Whedonesque Ride

In Joss Whedon's The Avengers, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor and Captain America unite in what, on the basis of advance ticket sales, promises to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer. Critic David Edelstein says the movie's a blast -- and one that will let fanboys geek thoroughly out.


'Captain America': Nostalgic Fun, With Muscles.

The latest Marvel Comics superhero movie stars Chris Evans as the 98-pound weakling who transforms into Captain America. Critic David Edelstein says the film "has an easy, classical pace and a lot of good, old-fashioned craftsmanship."


'Crowne' And 'Transformers': Fitting For The Fourth.

One humble, one humongous, these movies couldn't be more different. Larry Crowne is low-tech with human-scaled characters. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is like War of the Worlds on steroids. But in their own way, each one is perfect for the holiday weekend, says critic David Edelstein.


'Green Hornet', 'Dilemma' Prove Bromance Is Dead.

Both The Green Hornet and The Dilemma open this weekend. The two big-budget male buddy pictures -- one starring Seth Rogen; the other Kevin James and Vince Vaughn -- illustrate that the juvenile "bromance" genre is just getting old.


'Due Date' and '127 Hours' Aim Low, Hit High

Two gross-out movies open this weekend. Todd Phillips' buddy comedy Due Date and Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, about a hiker, played by James Franco, who has to chop off his own arm after he's pinned under a boulder. David Edelstein says the two films are "relentlessly in your face."


'Iron Man 2' Is So Money (And Totally Knows It)

Critic David Edelstein says the effects-mad blockbuster is a smart piece of work. The sequel to the first Iron Man stars Robert Downey Jr. as a billionaire superhero who must simultaneously do battle with his enemies and with Congress.


'Love' American Style: In Paris, Travolta Takes Names.

Luc Besson's latest action fantasy, From Paris With Love, stars John Travolta as an FBI agent and Jonathan Rhys Myers as a diplomat trying to stop a terrorist attack in Paris. The story moves at warp speed — and it doesn't skimp on thrills.


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