Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Iron Man Is Heroic, Made of Honor Isn't

Iron Man Is the Best-Reviewed Wide Release of 2008

by | May 1, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got metal-plated superheroes (Iron Man,
starring Robert Downey Jr. and
Gwyneth Paltrow) and matrimonial mishaps (Made
of Honor
, starring
Patrick Dempsey and
Michelle Monaghan). What do the
critics have to say?

The summer movie season has officially begun — and it’s starting off with a big
bang. The critics say Iron Man is everything a blockbuster should be —
action-packed, witty, and thoughtful.
Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark, a
brilliant inventor and weapons manufacturer who is taken hostage by a terrorist
group and builds a suit of armor to free himself; realizing what a great idea he
had, Stark becomes Iron Man, a crime-fighting force to be reckoned with. The
pundits say Iron Man is a marvel (pun intended): Downey imbues his role
with smarts and good humor; director
Jon Favreau
stages several thrilling action set-pieces; and co-stars
Gwyneth Paltrow,
Terrence Howard, and
Jeff Bridges turn
in stellar supporting performances. Plus, the film mixes in a healthy dose of
politics for good measure. At 94 percent on the Tomatometer, Iron Man is
not only Certified Fresh; it’s the best-reviewed wide release of the year, and
one of the best-reviewed superhero movies of all time. (Check out this week’s
Total Recall, in which we recount other memorable Man movies here, and
take a look at our interview with Favreau here.)

“Miss one Family Circus and you’re totally out of the loop!”

Ah, counter-programming. When a superhero movie hits theaters, you can generally
expect that it will go up against a romantic comedy for box-office bounty. And
critics say you can expect every chick flick shtick imaginable to turn up in the
of Honor
Patrick Dempsey stars as Tom, a man who
realizes that he’s in love with his best friend Hannah — just as she’s become
engaged to a wealthy Scotsman. Naturally, an attempt to get her to love him
before the wedding ensues. Sound familiar? Critics say Made of Honor is
essentially a gender reversal on
My Best Friend’s Wedding
, and a mediocre
one at that; the performers are fine, but the script revels in cliché and
formula. At 15 percent on the Tomatometer, Made of Honor has the wedding
bell blues.

“Sure, you can cut in. But wait a second or I’ll drop her.”

Also opening this week in limited release:

Son of Rambow, a Britcom about a group of schoolboys’ attempt to make
their own homemade Rambo flick, is at 79 percent (check out our take from
Sundance here).

Fugitive Pieces, a drama about a man haunted by his childhood World War
II experiences, is at 63 percent.

Viva, the tale of a bored 1970s housewife who takes a walk on the wild
side, is at 60 percent.

The Argentine import XXY, about the life and loves of a intersex teen, is
at 60 percent.

David Mamet‘s
, starring
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Jiu-Jitsu teacher who
is forced to step into the ring, is at 62 percent.

And Harmony
Mister Lonely
, starring
Diego Luna,
Samantha Morton,
and Werner Herzog in the tale of a commune filled with celebrity impersonators,
is at 44 percent.

“So seriously, which is better: ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ or ‘Happy Birthday Lisa?'”

Best-Reviewed Wide Releases of 2008:
95% — Iron Man
92% — U2 3D
85% — Forgetting Sarah Marshall
80% — The Spiderwick Chronicles
77% — Cloverfield